Sunday, September 25, 2011

Fringe Returns for Season 4 - Almost Without Peter

Back from Boston and my nephew's wedding with this late review of the Season 4 premiere of Fringe, in which
  • Peter's not quite missing, or not missing enough, from both universes - according to the Eternal Bald Observers, who say traces of him are still leaking through.  Accordingly, the EBO who helped Walter kidnap Peter from the alternate reality, and whom we best know, is tasked by his superior with erasing Peter more thoroughly.  To do this, he will need parts from a 1950s television (literally supporting my view that Fringe is in part composed of and inspired by 1950s science fiction - see my essay below). 
  • There's tense cooperation between the two universes (which I sometimes call two realities).  But Olivia does not trust Fauxlivia, and her distrust seems warranted by a new attack of the shapeshifters.
  • Lincoln Lee, one of the best characters on the other side - whom we saw briefly (or we briefly saw his counterpart) last season on this side, is now becoming Olivia's partner (though I suppose he could be really alternate Lee, undercover here)
  • We see the effects on this side of Peter the adult never having existed - especially on Walter, who's nuttier than he was last year and the year before, under Peter's helpful tutelage.
So, all in all, an excellent beginning.  Removing people from time - and the impact of that on everyone else who knew them - has been one of the great staples of science fiction and time travel stories in particular.  Fringe has picked up this theme, but put it in new non-time-travel packaging.  An excellent gambit, and it will be fun to see how it plays, even though I do love time travel.  But Fringe's metier and mettle has always been to put classic science fiction spirits in sleek new bottles....

Just published: 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 ... Fringe 3.21:  Ben Frankin, Rimbaldi, and the Future ... Fringe Season 3 Finale: Here's What Happened ... Death Not Death in Fringe 
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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