Friday, April 29, 2011

Fringe 3.21: Ben Franklin, Rimbaldi, and the Future

Well, Fringe 3.21 tonight had everything from Walter doing his best Ben Franklin to Olivia making like Sydney from Alias (with an ancient drawing of Olivia in play), and a promised surprise ending that wasn't about a person or place but a time.

The word about Fringe in its first year was that time travel would not be one of the themes explored.  That expectation was already broken with an excellent, personal time travel story last year - a  pretty much stand alone story- what I called Strangeness on a Train, episode 2.18, with Peter Weller.   But now time travel, to the future no less, has been woven into the central, war-between-the-realities narrative of Fringe, as Peter ends up 15 years into the future in our reality.  

We know this because he's near a September 11, 2001 memorial plaque in New York - this didn't happen on the other side, "over there" - and it's by a plaque dated September 11, 2021.  And there seems to be some horrendous new mass destruction going on in this future.  

How Peter got there is less interesting, I'd say, then the fact that he's now there.  But his journey entailed Walter flying a kite to attract electricity; Olivia making Sam work with her, at gun point; and Sam bowing out as Olivia, at Walter's coaxing, uses telekinesis (one of the original Fringe golden-age science fiction themes from the beginning) to open the doomsday device here on this side by shutting off the device on the other side on Liberty Island through the sheer power of her mind.

One of the great problems with time travel - in additional to the tantalizing, mind-numbing paradoxes - is how, if you've traveled to the future, can you communicate with people back in your own time.  At least when you travel to the past, you can leave a note - or an ad in a newspaper (as Isaac Asimov had his hero do in The End of Eternity, my favorite time travel novel).

And, to make Peter's situation even more interesting, he's not only in the future, he's in his future - that is, he seems to be 15 years older.

Will be fun to see what Peter - and the future versions of our other characters - do about this, and other crises that beset them, next week ...

And coming this August ... my essay  The Return of 1950s Science Fiction in Fringe in this new anthology ...

See also Fringe 3.1: The Other Olivia ... Fringe 3.2: Bad Olivia and Peter ... Fringe 3.3: Our/Their Olivia on the Other Side ... Fringe 3.5: Back from Hiatus, Back from the Amber ... Fringe 3.7: Two Universes Still Nearing Collision ... Fringe 3.8: Long Voyages Home ... Fringe 3.10: The Return of the Eternal Bald Observers ... Flowers for Fringenon in Fringe 3.11 ... Fringe 3.12: The Wrong Coffee  ... Fringe 3.13: Alternate Fringe ... Fringe 3.14: Amber Here ... Fringe 3.15: Young Peter and Olivia ... Fringe 3.16: Walter and Yoko ... Fringe 3.17: Bell, Olivia, Lee, and the Cow ... Fringe 3.18: Clever Walternate ... Fringe 3.19 meets Inception, The Walking Dead, Tron ... Fringe 3.20: Countdown to Season 3 Finale 1 of 3
See also reviews of Season 2: Top Notch Return of Fringe Second Season ... Fringe 2.2 and The Mole People ... Fringe 2.3 and the Human Body as Bomb ... Fringe 2.4 Unfolds and Takes Wing ... Fringe 2.5: Peter in Alternate Reality and Wi-Fi for the Mind ... A Different Stripe of Fringe in 2.6 ... The Kid Who Changed Minds in Fringe 2.7 ... Fringe 2.8: The Eternal Bald Observers ... Fringe 2.9: Walter's Journey ... Fringe 2.10: Walter's Brain, Harry Potter, and Flowers for Algernon ...  New Fringe on Monday Night: In Alternate Universe? ... Fringe 2.12: Classic Science Fiction Chiante ... Fringe 2.13: "I Can't Let Peter Die Again" ... Fringe 2.14: Walter's Health, Books, and Father ... Fringe 2.15: I'll Take 'Manhatan' ... Fringe 2.16: Peter's Story ... Fringe 2.17: Will Olivia Tell Peter? ... Fringe 2.18: Strangeness on a Train ... Fringe 2.19: Two Plus Infinity ... Fringe the Noir Musical ... Fringe 2.21: Bring on the Alternates ... Fringe 2.22:  Tin Soldiers and Nixon Coming ... Fringe Season 2 Finale: The Switch

See also reviews of Season One Fringe Begins ... Fringe 2 and 3: The Anthology Tightrope ... 4: The Eternal Bald Observer ... 7: A Bullet Can Scramble a Dead Brain's Transmission ... 8. Heroic Walter and Apple Through Steel ... 9. Razor-Tipped Butterflies of the Mind ... 10. Shattered Pieces Come Together Through Space and Times ... 11. A Traitor, a Crimimal, and a Lunatic ... 12, 13, 14: Fringe and Teleportation ... 15: Fringe is Back with Feral Child, Pheromones, and Bald Men ... 17. Fringe in New York, with Oliva as Her Suspect ... 18. Heroes and Villains across Fringe ... Stephen King, Arthur C. Clarke, and Star Trek in Penultimate Fringe ... Fringe Alternate Reality Finale: Science Fiction At Its Best

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The Plot to Save Socrates

"challenging fun" - Entertainment Weekly

"a Da Vinci-esque thriller" - New York Daily News

"Sierra Waters is sexy as hell" - curled up with a good book

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