Good-Bye: Fringe

Posted on January 24, 2013

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In May of last year, I wrote about sticking with Fringe. I had some reservations, but we were sticking out the season. Now, even as I write this, I am watching the series finale.

Good Riddance

Frankly, I cared less and less about this season as it went on. It’s taken me awhile to understand why, but I think I’ve figure it out.

It’s Rushed

In just a few episodes this season, they went through Walter realizing that he needed part of his brain back, getting it back, becoming a bad version of himself, and then having it removed again.

Really?

Realizing that he needed it back should have been a season-long arc. There should have been huge, alienating, fights between the characters about it. We should have seen them struggling to find alternatives. We should have seen Walter’s reluctance.

Becoming bad should have been a season long arc. Not because it needed to be gradual, but because we needed to see how bad Walter got.

Having it removed should have been a multi-episode arc with evil Walter struggling to stay “alive.”

Instead, they rushed through all of that so they could tell their story of the struggle against the Observers.

Context is King

When they jumped twenty-one years into the future, I really stopped caring.

On the one hand, it was too much context. There was the parallel universe and the future world. It was too much to keep track of.

On the other hand, it was too little context. I cared what was happening in our world. I did not care what was happening in future world. The rushed nature of the season meant that I didn’t have time to care. They couldn’t build the future as a metaphor for what is happening right now.

So I stopped caring.

We Missed It

I wanted to see Olivia go through pregnancy, and I wanted to see what the daughter of a telekinetic and a parallel dimension would be like.

Instead, they threw all of that away. They completely skipped Olivia’s pregnancy, and her 21-year-old daughter turns out to be distressingly normal. Forget about special abilities, she doesn’t even have emotional issues from being without her parents and growing up as a revolutionary.

And then she dies.

It’s like they wanted us to stop caring.

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Finale

There are some nice things in the finale. I liked the shout-out to Faux-livia and how things turned out differently for her.

Ultimately, though, the show had a good run and having a whole season to say good-bye was nice.

Final Thoughts

Is it better to gradually stop caring about a show in its final season, or to rage against the dying of something you loved?

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