A love letter to Fringe – A sci-fi show with love at its centre
When I watched the pilot of Fringe in September 2008 I really had no idea where the show would go. In fact I was unsure how long I would keep on watching it. I found it interesting but I didn’t necessarily fall in love with it. Over the course of S1 though I slowly became obsessed.
Early on episodes like The Arrival highlighted just what the series was capable of. By the time There’s One More Of Everything aired I was hooked. I was in love with the characters, I was thrilled with possibilities the show had with the alternative universe and the mysteries surrounding the Bishops and Olivia.
Another turning point was Peter and baring the series finale this episode will always be my favourite. It was a masterclass of acting but mostly it defined what the show was really about. Not the weird science experiments gone wrong cases of the week, not the Pattern but the just how far love will push someone to do something not only impossible but earth shattering. Walter’s decision back in 1985 set off the chain of events that would see two worlds go to war with only a mad scientist, a reluctant hero and a extraordinary woman there to stop it.
S3 brought with it new characters from the Red Verse and I would happily spend an entire spin off series with Liv, Lincoln and Charlie from the other side. This season is also the show’s strongest IMO, effortlessly combing all the strengths we love. Olivia took centre stage and Anna Torv showed time and time again just how fantastic she is. We had the villainous Walternate and the mystery machine. We had our Walter attempting to coming to terms with the fact that he would have to let Peter go. The finale which at the time was very nearly a series finale ended on such a tragic note with Peter erased from history that I think if we never got another season the entire fandom would still be recovering from it now.
With S4 came a new timeline, we a slightly altered team (no Peter, a new Lincoln) and whilst I think the season struggled a little bit its ability to make us care about the characters and its emphasis on the importance of love and emotion would set the show up nicely for the final piece of the puzzle.
With S5 we are experiencing what I believe to be the darkest hour before the dawn. Our heroes are struggling, their losses great but the key to defeating the Observers seems to lay with that one word again ‘love’. Bringing everything back to relationships between father and sons and the overall theme of family.
Throughout all five seasons it has been hard to be a fan, the continuous ratings drop and the ever looming presence of cancellation made it hard not to worry. But something quite remarkable happened during S3 of the show, the Fringe fandom found its voice. One of the reasons I created my Hell Yeah Fringe Tumblr was because between S2 and S3 I couldn’t find an active Tumblr for the show. I wondered just where was the fandom? Yet as soon as the show was sent to the death slot that is Friday nights everyone was spurred into action. Campaigns began, trending on Twitter became a regular thing. We told Fox how much we loved the show and it turns out they did as well. We got the seasons everyone else told us were impossible.
I am going to miss Fringe a hell of a lot, like Lost before it it offered the perfect mix of mystery, science and characters worth caring about something currently missing in a lot of the newer sci-fi shows.
Reaching a 100 episodes is a milestone for any series these days, I salute Fringe for doing it with drama, a bit of comedy, a couple of acid trips, a musical, cliff-hangers that made us scream, kisses that made us cry and a whole lot of love.