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Fringe, a short story about love

In which I talk about the Fringe finale:

I fully admit that haven't enjoyed this season as much as others, but that doesn't mean I didn't still love it. The great thing about this show is that even when I'm not totally loving the plot, there are still more than enough wonderful character interactions to make it worth watching. For me it's always been, first and foremost, a show about family--everything else is secondary--and they've never failed me on that front. Never.

I was very pleased with the way they resolved everything and felt like every character got a great send-off and appropriate closure. Getting to see superhero Olivia again? Yes. The callbacks to all those disgusting MOWs? Awesome. Walter telling Astrid that her name was beautiful? PERFECTION.

My only two quibbles were that 1) nothing about it surprised me and 2) it felt a little rushed at the very end. It was pretty telling that every Fringe fan I follow on Twitter was wailing when they cut to that last commercial break with only nine minutes left. I wish they'd maybe thrown one or two less wrenches into the plot in that last hour so that they could have spent a little more time on the aftermath. It would have been nice to have gotten a longer look at happy Peter and Olivia and Etta before we had to say goodbye for good. I mean, it was wonderful to get the happy version of that scene in the park at last, but I'm greedy, I want a more than just a scene I've already seen most of over and over all season long. And as for the end being predictable, well, it's hard to get too mad about the fact that they wrote the most appropriate ending possible. I mean, I saw the white tulip coming three episodes away, but since it's one of my very favorite episodes and the significance of it is heightened even further by the way the fans used that symbol to show support at Comic-con, it'd be really stupid to complain about that, wouldn't it?

I suspect that on rewatch I'm actually going to enjoy this season a lot more. The serialized plot and shorter season will probably lend themselves better to DVD viewing. Plus, I think knowing that it was the end put too much pressure on everything and raised my expectations too high. Once I've had time to digest it all and make peace with the fact that it's over, I bet I'm going to be a lot happier with this last season.

And you know what? Even if the whole rest of the finale totally sucked (which it didn't), it'd still be a masterpiece just for that Walter/Peter scene. "You're my very favorite thing" is possibly one of the most beautiful father/son moments ever filmed for television. But even more than that, Walter saying he wouldn't give up their time together "for the world" was the perfect conclusion to five wonderful years. It wasn't just a figure of speech, it was a very literal statement, and given the guilt and pain he's struggled with, I really can't think of a more perfect way to end the show than Walter telling Peter that it was all worth it in the end.



( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 20th, 2013 07:24 pm (UTC)
I think this season and the finale in particular had the same pacing issues that we've seen before from the series (S1 and S4 particularly). They could've done a lot less with the Observers and a lot more with the Team and still have gotten through the same story.

Also, I have a LOT of issues with the way they explained The Plan and what Walter was to do with Michael vs what actually had to have happened to get us back to the picnic scene. The Plan was to stop the Observers from being created - this means no 12, no September, no Walter crossing over, no picnic (w/o a lot of magical hand waving). To get the picnic Walter had to work with the scientists long enough to set up some sort of system whereby September would still come back and cause everything we've seen in the series w/o leading to Observers who invade. Its two very different things. The reason it bothers me is that they were so explicit about stopping the Observers from existing.

Issues out of the way I think everyone did a fabulous job and John Noble deserves so many awards because he acted the hell out of his goodbye scenes and he made me cry. I was very happy to see the Other Side and there was def. flailing at that whole sequence. And I'm glad they ended it on a positive note that hasn't put me off the series for good.
Jan. 20th, 2013 09:40 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I've been trying not to think too hard about the plot this season because I don't think it holds up to scrutiny very well. It's possible when I go back and rewatch eventually some of it will make more sense, but it really seemed like they were hand-waving a lot of stuff.

I mean, if the Observers don't exist, then September doesn't distract Walternate from discovering the cure, so Walter never crosses over and Peter stays on the other side and never meets Olivia. Right? That's no good.

Overall, I wasn't super thrilled by the way this season played out. Walter concocting some outlandishly complicated plan that involves a locating a bunch of hidden objects and then losing his memory so he can't remember the plan anymore just felt way too repetitive. That's basically what seasons one and three were, right? Since technically those events never actually happened except in Peter and Olivia's memories maybe the writers were trying to say something about how people are fated to repeat the same actions or something, but as a viewer it just felt tiresome.

But, whatever. I'm willing to go along with some hand-waving and tedium if it gets me to the excellent interpersonal drama, because that's really why I watch the show. And honestly, human September kind of made up for everything I didn't love about the story this season.
Jan. 20th, 2013 09:43 pm (UTC)
I kind of feel that Fringe hasn't been overly successful plot-wise since the end of S3. But they've consistently nailed the emotional and character notes for which I'll forgive a lot.
Jan. 21st, 2013 12:53 am (UTC)
I agree. Despite the plot holes: If there were no observers, then no Michael....., the finale gave us a satisfying ending that I'm not going to "logic out".
Jan. 21st, 2013 01:05 am (UTC)
My problem is that I've watched too much Doctor Who so I have serious opinions on time travel stories so my immediate reaction was to "logic out" as I was watching. But in the end it doesn't annoy me enough to keep me from enjoying the series as a whole as some other finales have done.
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )

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