Thursday, September 11, 2008

Fringe Benefits

In light of the fact that I know at least three friends (Winnie, That Girl, and Harley) are interested in Fringe, here's my recap and commentary. If you like Lost and X-Files with a dash of Alias, you should check this out. (Winnie, I'm jealous you blogged before me re this combo!) Keep in mind that it's the beginning, and there's a lot of character exposition. Even so, it was still fairly compelling, which gives me hope for future episodes.
The show's opening plane turbulence immediately conjures thoughts of Lost. Coincidence? Doubtful. This is a show by JJ Abrams, after all.

Nervous Sweaty Guy injects himself with something, as the man seated next to him tries to assure him, "My friend, it is just an electrical storm." (Funny, as the assuring man is of Middle Eastern descent, i.e., the very stereotypical profile that people fear on planes. Nice one, JJ.)

Whatever Nervous Sweaty Guy injected into himself turns him into Weirdo Inside Out Man and everybody else on the plane, too. The plane comes down, and everybody inside is nothing but bones and steamy goo.

Cut to a steamy tryst between FBI agents in a dingy motel room. We learn they are Agents Olivia Dunham and John Scott. Coitus interruptus! They are called to the goo plane.

Floating letters notify viewers of the location of each scene. I kinda like them. You have to see them to appreciate them.

Creepy Dude from Lost is in charge of the airplane goo investigation. He is a total dick to Agent Dunham.

After the plane, the lovers journey to a storage facility and find all sorts of weirdo stuff in a unit -- computers, mutated rats, etc. All of a sudden, Bad Guy (who looks exactly like Nervous Sweaty Guy from the plane) comes out of another storage unit. They run about train cars like rats in a maze -- nice touch, JJ, with that quick shot from above.

Bad Guy stops and remotely sets off an explosive at the touch of a button. Agent Scott gets blasted and contaminated with the weirdo stuff in the storage units. He looks like the disintegrating people in the plane!

Agent Dunham, who is running a few feet behind, survives the blast relatively unscathed, but she is horrified that her lover is turning into goo at the hospital. Agent Dunham researches furiously and discovers a crazy Dr. Walter Bishop who might know something about this stuff.

Turns out Dr. Bishop is a locked-up nutcase who can only be visited by immediate family. The lovely Agent Dunham goes on a hunt for Dr. Bishop's son.

And finally we get Pacey! Ok, his name is Peter here, but let's be real. Joshua Jackson will always be our beloved Pacey. Oh, how I love thee, Joshua Jackson! I will always treasure our dinner together years ago. I'm still sad I only shook your hand, while Perfecta went in for the hug. I should've gone for the hug, too, damn it. Bah!

Peter is the son of Dr. Bishop. He is in Iraq for some undisclosed reason, and he has an IQ of 190. 190! Wow! Agent Dunham coerces Peter to return to the U.S. to visit his father in the loony bin.

Agent Dunham explains that "fringe" includes stuff like mind control, teleportation, invisibility, and reanimation. Dr. Bishop was at the forefront of this weird science. Peter laughs and says, "You're telling me my father was Dr. Frankenstein?" Agent Dunham gives him a silent stare.

Ohhh yeah, he was.

Agent Dunham and Peter navigate the heavily locked-down institution. Peter tells her to go in without him. Dr. Bishop looks like Ted Kaczynski. He talks about terrible butterscotch pudding and then tells Agent Dunham that the goo can be reversed.

Dr. Bishop wants to see Peter. Peter goes in. I feel like he is about to say, "I...don't...want...your life!" in a bad Southern twang even though that was Dawson in Varsity Blues. Peter is a jerk in this show. Maybe I'm glad I only shook his hand after all.

Dr. Bishop gets cleaned up. Now he just looks like a really old guy. I think I kinda like him as Ted Kaczynski better. Dr. Bishop and William Bell of technology giant, Massive Dynamic, used to share a lab. Key thing to remember.

Dr. Bishop mulls over the gooey Agent Scott, picks up a scalpel, scrapes some goo off into a petri dish, and says he needs to go to his lab at Harvard. When Agent Dunham tells him there is no more lab, Dr. Bishop goes berserk. Then they somehow open the lab. Damn, Dr. Bishop is crazy.

Dr. Bishop asks for a cow. A cow is led through the halls of Harvard. This show is wack.

Dr. Bishop determines that Agent Scott is not infected with a finished product, but he'll still be dead in 24 hours. Dr. Bishop doesn't know how to reverse the goo-ification, but he says that he can transfer Agent Scott's thoughts to Agent Dunham's brain by drugging her with LSD, putting her naked into a tank of water, and connecting her to Agent Scott. What is the point of this? Apparently, this would lead Agent Dunham to the image of Bad Guy in Agent Scott's head.


Peter: This is insane!
Dr. Bishop: Excellent! Let's make some LSD!
Mr. Monkey: I want to see her naked!

Meanwhile, Massive Dynamic's William Bell doesn't want to talk to the FBI. No surprise.

Agent Dunham takes off her robe and is in her underwear. I guess there is no real nakedness, as this is Fox, not cable. Too bad, Mr. Monkey. As Dr. Bishop injects Agent Dunham, he explains, "This will rip open your consciousness!"

Agent Dunham gets into John's head. Wait. No. She sees her uncle's kayak. Wait. No. She's in Agent Scott's head now. They embrace on a checkered floor with an FBI emblem.

Then they are back at the storage units. She sees his memories. She sees the Bad Guy's face! Her body goes nuts! She wakes up! Whoa!
Bad Guy was on the flight! No, wait! He is his twin! He killed his own brother! And he used to work for...Massive Dynamic!

Agent Dunham meets Bionic Arm Woman at Massive Dynamic. This show is freaky freaky freakster.

Mad chase after Bad Guy. Love that Agent Dunham leaps from rooftop to rooftop like a badass. Very Sydney Bristow. Thank you, JJ.

Bad Guy is caught. Agent Dunham interrogates. No dice. Peter comes in and starts to torture Bad Guy. Perfect. They get the chemical info from him.

Creepy Dude from Lost is impressed. He asks Agent Dunham to join his Creepy Team.

Agent Scott is revived! He's aliiiiiiiive!

Bad Guy says he did the Bad Things because someone from the FBI told him to. Agent Dunham listens to the tape. It's Agent Scott himself! WHAT?! And then he smothers Bad Guy with a pillow in the hospital!

Car chase! Agent Dunham hunts down Agent Scott! Agent Scott crashes!

Agent Scott dies for real this time. Good riddance. Boo.

Then there is the heavy-handed commentary by Agent Dunham's superior as they drive away from the car crash: "How do we protect people when corporations have higher security clearance than we do?" Ugh. So clunky.

Before credits roll, Bionic Arm Woman of Massive Dynamic acquires Agent Scott's corpse and says, "Question him." Creeeeeepy.

The previews for the upcoming episodes are even more freaky freaky freakster.

Premiere encore next Sunday if you missed it or watch online.


  1. So meanwhile the hubs keeps telling me how people really used to do that with LSD...but I'm not sure where he got his information from. Frankly the whole "we're going to drug you and put you in a tub of water naked" reminds me too much of college fraternity parties...I mean...from what I've heard.

    I was hoping it'd be funnier with a Whedon on the writing team. Then again, I wasn't into X-Files or Dawson's Creek.

  2. I love this recap! It's always a bad idea to fall in love in JJ's productions. And I love how the creepy black dude from Lost and the Steward of Gondor in LOTR are both in Fringe!!! Eeeeeee. How awesome is that?

  3. Fantastic recap! I like the characters so far, but I thought they made it too obvious that Agent Scott was either going to die or be a bad guy when he finally told Olivia he loved her. Too TV-cliche. I love Dr. Bishop! He's an awesome crazy guy! Although I watched half the episode wracking my brain to figure out what else I'd seen him in. Duh. Apparently Winnie got it right away. Looking forward to next week.

  4. i'm totally setting the tivo for sunday's repeat. if for nothing else, i was looking forward to "fringe" for joshua jackson.

    i love me some pacey.

  5. I think your review might even be better than the show was!! That was hilarious to read. And very accurate, too.
    I liked the show, I think. I'll watch it again, but mostly because I want to see what naked brunette's baby turned into inside her stomach. Crazy stuff.

  6. awesome recap! I love Fringe. Double points that I get to see Pacey. Yes, he will forever be Pacey to me. Le sigh...

    I can't wait til next episode. I wanna see what's all the screaming is about.

  7. Wow. I'm starting to like cliff notes TV. Saves me a lot of time.

  8. steamy goo!

    dawson's and pacey used to make me swoon. i don't like this sci fi ish shows, though.


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