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Hard Clumping
Mar 19, 2008

Y'ALL BREADY
FOR THIS


1x03 - The Ghost Network

In Which Some Schlub Character Gains The Power To See The Cold Open

"I believe with proper demodulation, you could receive satellite television for free."

THRILL as the show plays with fun ideas new and old, such as: Amber (permanently fatal variant), scrolling through camera footage scene (minor enhancement variant), and Walter's Science Hat (minor brain surgery variant).

As Open Source Idiom has mentioned (in his good writeup posts I hope continue), early Fringe throws a bunch of X-Files spaghetti at the wall. This episode is less heinous than last week's, but the linking of the two main plots is seriously a throwaway line by Charlie. Apparently the Fringe Team keeps a couple priests on retainer just in case a person of interest has a deeply-ingrained sense of obligation towards the church.

This guy's precognition would have better served the show had they waited until near the end of the season, so he could have the room full of cool little models of a bunch of Fringe cases the show actually depicted rather than having a bunch of made up name drops of cases that hold no significance to the audience. I do love the casting they did for this character though - Zak Orth plays the perfect deer-in-headlights lab rat for Walter, and the scene where they turn on the hat has a rad mix of good gags and creepy moments.

Anyway, who's this fella?


Hard Clumping fucked around with this message at 17:46 on Dec 7, 2014

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howe_sam
Mar 7, 2013

Creepy little garbage eaters



I feel like Walter self-medicating with drugs he cooked up in the lab, and the recommending that the Schlub start taking drugs really helped set the tone for the character.

Nina continues to be a character with her own agenda, but since I'm guessing all of her actions this season are under the direction of William Bell that's understandable. Though for the life of me I can't remember if any of Nina's shenanigans lead to anything

I wonder if the concept of data discs implanted in enemy sleeper agents will come back up again?

If the Ghost Network was so untraceable why was ZFT(is it ZFT at this point?) speaking in Latin?

Open Source Idiom
Jan 4, 2013


What they thought:

* Generally speaking, they liked it better than last week's, but still not as much as the pilot. I'm pretty sure they'll like next week's a bit more though, and I know they're hanging around to see Britta as a villain. Hopefully they'll be hooked by then.
* They loved the Time Gas (their word for the amber -- I managed to bargain it down to Time Jelly). It really doesn't turn up at all in this episode, beyond the first five minutes. Strange, for something that ends up being so prominent.
* They loved the moment when Charlie claimed he was Agent Scott's secret lover. Amazingly, the dude looks legit sad when Olivia laughs his claim off as a joke. Obviously not true, but that's still hilarious.
* Massive Dynamic is really bad at covering its tracks -- to the point where people were taking bets on whether it's be revealed that the scan of the Ghost Network Guy's brain would just have the MD Logo stamped on it.
* "Why would there be metal in her blood? That's not normal, is it?" Popcorn thrown at the screen. People don't like Astrid very much, but she's really gotten not that much to do, and she's been victim of some poor exposition so far.
* Some speculation as to how Massive Dynamic even got started as a company, and how "Massive Dynamic" is actually a terrible name for a two-man, garage-based start-up company.
* People missed Gene. Where was Gene? Was she inside the piano? Are Gene and the piano on a time-share contract?
* When Gene is not in a scene, people should be asking, "Where's Gene?"


My thunks:

My gut reaction is that this is a vaguely interesting episode looking for a stronger third act, where something bigger -- either emotionally, or pyrotechnically -- happens. The episode leans on Zac Orth's guest character to help give it structure, but his character arc ends about twenty minutes into the episode, where everything is explained to him. I think it's telling that, for the last half of the episode, he basically performs the function of human telephone. Our heroes use him to track down the bad guys, but the bad guys all kill each other without explaining very much. The end.

I guess shaggy dog stories are theoretically fine. This episode is, in many ways, an episode about characters brushing up against hidden systems that are far bigger than themselves. Olivia has blundered into an underground war between two mysterious organisations, Zac Orth has accidentally become attuned to the transmissions of that war, and Walter's research is somehow tied up in it all, but he can barely remember what he was originally working on before it was adulterated by powers unknown. The episode suggests -- certainly for Zac Orth's character, but to a lesser extent the others -- that this is akin to some kind of religious experience. But, to the episode's failing, there's no sense of the inexplicable, and there's no moment of transcendence. A prophetic image of a ghostly woman with stigmata is revealed to be a misinterpreted communique telling someone to cut open a woman's palm. It's all so prosaic.

On the other hand, I certainly enjoyed the dynamics the show is establishing here. Strange to think there was a time when Nina and Broyles shared a close relationship -- indeed the episode paints Broyles in quite a shady light -- and I continue to like Olivia and Walter. Peter's (slowly) growing on me in this rewatch, who's a character I've never much had time for prior to his arc in Season 5.

I think the amber is a fantastic image. I can't think of a better way science-fiction representation of a terrorist attack, in some sense. You've got these people who are walking around, living their lives, and then suddenly everything they are is completely erased. They've been stopped in an incredibly public and disturbing and embarrassing way, in the last seconds of their lives -- the one moment of their existence that's going to be scrutinised and speculated over for the longest period after everything else they represent has been forgotten, and is definitely going to be the most memorable and public representation of their lives. It's a moment that captures both the complacency of their lives before their deaths and the trauma of their passing. It's utterly horrific, and I loving love it.

howe_sam
Mar 7, 2013

Creepy little garbage eaters



Open Source Idiom posted:

On the other hand, I certainly enjoyed the dynamics the show is establishing here. Strange to think there was a time when Nina and Broyles shared a close relationship

Though not as close as they get later on :pervert:

SpookyLizard
Feb 17, 2009


I kinda liked how Ep 2 turned a pre-existing normal crime case into a fringe event. It may feel a little forced to some people, but it gives sort of a feeling and creedence to there being cases before recent history and that people are really only just recently becoming aware of What Hath Science Done.

Early on, and I really like this, even before we're aware of ZFT, there's cases that are perpetrated and caused by them, where they are loving with advanced technology and causing fringe events, and then cases where what they basically believe is coming true: technology is rapidly racing out of any hope to control it, people don't realise the scope of what they're doing, and to borrow a line from Jurassic Park, "your scientists were so preoccupied with whether or not they could that they didn't stop to think if they should."

Kurtofan
Feb 16, 2011

hon hon hon


Was Bell also Not-Bowie's boss in the original timeline?

Taffer
Oct 15, 2010





Keep doing these! I'm really enjoying hearing both the audience reaction from first time viewers as well as your detailed breakdown. Your analysis puts a finger on a lot of things I feel about certain episodes but can't pin down, especially with the underlying themes in the storytelling.

bring back old gbs
Feb 28, 2007

by LITERALLY AN ADMIN


Season 1 of Fringe is a tough re-watch imo. I usually watch it after season 5 when I'm a little bummed out and want more episodes. Treat it like a preequel.

I AM GRANDO
Aug 20, 2006



Kurtofan posted:

Was Bell also Not-Bowie's boss in the original timeline?

Who's Not Bowie? There are a number of antagonists whose names feature Bowie connections. If it's David Robert Jones, then yes he is always Bell's protege and he's always out to murder Bell for firing him.

...of SCIENCE!
Apr 26, 2008
Probation
Can't post for 10 years!


32MB OF ESRAM posted:

Season 1 of Fringe is a tough re-watch imo. I usually watch it after season 5 when I'm a little bummed out and want more episodes. Treat it like a preequel.

I've been following Kumail Nanjiani's X-Files Files podcast and one thing that stands out about X-Files is how the first season has a few really bad episodes but it makes up for it by having some really fantastic ones. I feel like Fringe has the opposite problem, where it has a great pilot but then is just mostly kind of mediocre until the tail end of the season when they realized that they weren't going to be a LOST-level hit and kicked the plot into gear to avoid getting cancelled.

Rocksicles
Oct 19, 2012

by Nyc_Tattoo


Open Source Idiom posted:

What they thought:

No offence, your friends are idiots.


My thunks:
You're not.

Wheat Loaf
Feb 13, 2012

by FactsAreUseless


Kurtofan posted:

Was Bell also Not-Bowie's boss in the original timeline?

If I recall correctly, Jones worked for Bell until Bell betrayed him in some undisclosed way and bogged off to the red universe; Jones was trying to get into the red universe to avenge himself. In the amber universe, Jones either a) stayed loyal to Bell or b) made it to the red universe and rejoined Bell instead (maybe Bell cured him of his terminal case of falling apart and oozing).

Kurtofan
Feb 16, 2011

hon hon hon


Metal Loaf posted:

If I recall correctly, Jones worked for Bell until Bell betrayed him in some undisclosed way and bogged off to the red universe; Jones was trying to get into the red universe to avenge himself. In the amber universe, Jones either a) stayed loyal to Bell or b) made it to the red universe and rejoined Bell instead (maybe Bell cured him of his terminal case of falling apart and oozing).

Thanks, so Bell was a "good guy" in the original timeline?

Wheat Loaf
Feb 13, 2012

by FactsAreUseless


I think he was sort of morally ambiguous in the same way Walter was in the flashback episodes. Not evil, but not exactly a good man, either.

Sulphagnist
Oct 10, 2006

WARNING! INTRUDERS DETECTED



Yeah, the episode by episode review stuff is great, I look forward to people warming up to Walter. The same happened to me; for most of season one I saw him as this meddling annoying old man who had nothing to contribute to the show, and now he basically is Fringe to me.

...of SCIENCE! posted:

Another upside of the switch in tone from pilot to series is that for once you have a show like this where the protagonists can actually get poo poo done without wading through red tape or fighting against their bosses and the government. Compared to Mulder and Scully being undermined every step of the way by the conspiracy or Sam and Dean Winchester alternating between being fugitives and FBI LARPers it's a nice change of pace.

I love when a show does this too. Inept and obstructive bureaucracy is a tired cliché at this point. Have the characters face real challenges and dangers instead.

Sulphagnist fucked around with this message at 13:28 on Dec 10, 2014

bobkatt013
Oct 8, 2006

You’re telling me Peter Parker is ...... Spider-man!?


Metal Loaf posted:

I think he was sort of morally ambiguous in the same way Walter was in the flashback episodes. Not evil, but not exactly a good man, either.

I would say that his time in Universe B in the original timeline and Walters influence on him made him into a decent man. He was not good, but not a complete douchebag either.

Hard Clumping
Mar 19, 2008

Y'ALL BREADY
FOR THIS


bobkatt013 posted:

Universe B

Metal Loaf posted:

red universe

Okay let's do some consistency work here, we all need to start using the same vocabulary. The Curry Shits Universe is where the Twin Towers never fell, their dark knight is Mantis, and Olivia's hair resembles the color of curry shits.

The Maxi Pad Commercial Universe however is the universe we come from, the title sequence for this universe being the color of the liquid which will eventually be used to snuff out my miserable existence.

I AM GRANDO
Aug 20, 2006



bobkatt013 posted:

I would say that his time in Universe B in the original timeline and Walters influence on him made him into a decent man. He was not good, but not a complete douchebag either.

In the season 2 finale it seems kind of like his time having to help save a world destroyed by Walter's hubris has humbled him. He actually spent a lot of his life trying to clean up Walter's worst transgressions.

In season 4 he's just totally nuts from having cancer or whatever.

mobby_6kl
Aug 9, 2009



I started watching the show before this thread popped up but only it got me to push through to the finale of S1. It's not bad, but I didn't like it all that much... otherwise I wouldn't take me a year to finish the season.

Pretty much every episode starts off with a great promising cold open, but sadly in most cases the rest of the episode just can't deliver. A lot of them being anagrams of X-files cases is one of the reasons, but it's hardly the most serious one. The characters come off a bit stereotypical (there's a literal mad scientist!) and them working together at all is kind of ridiculous, but whatever.

The real issue for me was that this season just wasn't very engaging to watch, so I often found myself browsing on the phone or otherwise taking a break. A big part of this, I think, was Walt being responsible for literally everything outright, or at the least building a contraption to solve the MOTW, whether it's teleportation or psychics or biochem. Peter then asks him to repeat everything in English, the end. This is kind of explained by the end of the season, but a) It doesn't really explain it and b) it doesn't make things more interesting retroactively anyway.

I AM GRANDO
Aug 20, 2006



mobby_6kl posted:

I started watching the show before this thread popped up but only it got me to push through to the finale of S1. It's not bad, but I didn't like it all that much... otherwise I wouldn't take me a year to finish the season.

Pretty much every episode starts off with a great promising cold open, but sadly in most cases the rest of the episode just can't deliver. A lot of them being anagrams of X-files cases is one of the reasons, but it's hardly the most serious one. The characters come off a bit stereotypical (there's a literal mad scientist!) and them working together at all is kind of ridiculous, but whatever.

The real issue for me was that this season just wasn't very engaging to watch, so I often found myself browsing on the phone or otherwise taking a break. A big part of this, I think, was Walt being responsible for literally everything outright, or at the least building a contraption to solve the MOTW, whether it's teleportation or psychics or biochem. Peter then asks him to repeat everything in English, the end. This is kind of explained by the end of the season, but a) It doesn't really explain it and b) it doesn't make things more interesting retroactively anyway.

Really? I think it perfectly explains why Walter seems able to figure everything out so easily (because another version of him cooked it up before Jones stole it), and in a way that radically opens up the narrative. Although part of that is how long it takes between the time you know that Walternate is out there and the first time you see him. All that weird science is like him striking out, but you can only imagine how sad and angry and dangerous he must be. The anticipation is amazing. The show handled the introduction of Over There absolutely perfectly.

Open Source Idiom
Jan 4, 2013


Do people feel like talking about The Arrival? I wanna talk about The Arrival.




(Hope Hard Clumping 'aint too mad with me for kickstarting this week's episode)

howe_sam
Mar 7, 2013

Creepy little garbage eaters



Open Source Idiom posted:

Do people feel like talking about The Arrival? I wanna talk about The Arrival.



(Hope Hard Clumping 'aint too mad with me for kickstarting this week's episode)

Those Oxford shirts are a really good look for Olivia :swoon:

Astros (my autocorrect was apparently created by Walter Bishop) being ticked off at Walter at the end of the episode broke my heart.

Peter being "gently caress ya'll I'm out" was a dumb plot line because of course he's not.

The thug searching out Olivia's mentor after finding the warehouse empty was a strange bit of coincidence that the episode didn't explain very well at all. But his torture gizmo was suitably Fringe. He was ZFT right?

What was not dumb was Walter. The Arrival was a great showpiece for his range. Though a lot of it is just a put on as he tries to protect the Macguffin of the Week.

This was a solid episode that moves forward the show's mythology in a big way.

Hard Clumping
Mar 19, 2008

Y'ALL BREADY
FOR THIS


Open Source Idiom posted:

Do people feel like talking about The Arrival? I wanna talk about The Arrival.




(Hope Hard Clumping 'aint too mad with me for kickstarting this week's episode)

Not at all! Sorry, I had a bad cold kick in on Saturday night and it totally slipped my mind.

Oasx
Oct 11, 2006

Greetings from Asbury Park



Open Source Idiom posted:

Do people feel like talking about The Arrival? I wanna talk about The Arrival.

I think this was the first example of Fringe going from being a good X-files clone, to something really great.

Regy Rusty
Apr 26, 2010



The Observer opening of this episode was the moment I truly fell in love with the show.

SpookyLizard
Feb 17, 2009


The ZFT goon (whom i tend to think of as Mark Snow, from Person of Interest), has a future episode reference on his hat, namely the green-green-green-red pattern used later as part of a hypnosis gizmo. There's also his gun, which will you will think of when you see the observers firing some of their guns down the line. Most notable in S2, when we get to meet the first non-september Observer.

I really like the way it sets up so much stuff. ZFT having a bigger picture of what's going on, the observer being more than a background presence. And so much Walter. Walter, who has forgotten more than he knows, but who remembers the motions of what to do or who to talk to, even if he can't think of it.

Open Source Idiom
Jan 4, 2013


What they thought:

* "What arrived?" "Lens flares."
* They weren't happy with the show calling it's "cylinder" a cylinder (and I agree, it's doesn't look anything like a cylinder), leading to this exchange:
"It's not a cylinder."
"No, it's more of a cone."
"Or an egg."
"Yeah, like it's designed to be slipped in and out of holes of some kind."
"Oh, God, and it vibrates. It's a giant vibrating rear end egg."
"I think I know where he hid it."
* No glyphs on the DVD copy of this episode. Strange.
* Some speculation as to what Robert Bishop has to do with anything. (As I recall, absolutely nothing, but this episode makes a big deal of out him for some reason).
* They loved (AKA, hated) the nostril wires. Lots of cringing from one or two of them.
* Strangely no reaction to the sandwich. Probably would have been more effective if that had been caught all in one shot, and we'd actually seen the poor actor put eleven jalapeños and half a bottle of pepper in his mouth.
* They linked the sound gun to the magic egg (which I'd never considered before, but there's a link there). They also suggested that maybe the weapons being used by serial killer Stamper were more primitive versions of the Observer's abilities and technology... which is entirely possible, now I come to think of it.


What I thunk:

I don't think this episode benefits from coming so soon after 'The Ghost Network', given that they largely cover the same sort of material. In both episodes our cast gets embroiled in a conflict between two anonymous forces. Though our heroes are able to stymie the interests of one of these parties, nothing is resolved, and our heroes leave the episode with little more knowledge than when they came in. This is, by design, unsatisfying -- though it doesn't help that the episode's villain is shot in the back while trying to run away, despite his superior fire power (what exactly was his plan here?)

What works about this, and what didn't work about 'The Ghost Network', is that the episode is largely about Peter's increasing frustration with the wacky world of Fringe, and all the sci-fi mystery conflict is largely left to play out in the background (at least until the episode's climax). There's a few bits and pieces here I don't buy: Peter's mounting frustrations haven't been modulated particularly well over the last few episodes, so it's not clear why this week of all weeks would be the one where he'd be threatening to leave. Joshua Jackson makes the choice to play all his tension at the same level, so the moment that Walter insults Peter's mother doesn't hit home the way it should. The episode also has to grind its gears a little to have Peter wander off to the last place the cylinder was seen, when he knows that there's someone on the loose who's obsessed with the thing. He's supposed to be smarter than that.

But I do like the interactions we're privy to here. Anna Torv does good supporting work in the scene when she's trying to convince Peter to stay, and it's fun to see her run through various different tactics (flirting, flattery, emotional blackmail) in her play book. John Noble is fantastic, quick and mercurial in his emotional shifts in a way that's at once both endearing and dangerous. And I like that Astrid gets pretty fed up with Walter at the end of the episode, which is the first real character we get from her. (It probably would have been more effective if we'd have seen more from her earlier, but at this stage of the show I'll take what I can get).

Also separating this episode from 'The Ghost Network' is that 'The Arrival' is significantly weirder than anything else we've seen yet. Previous episode settled into a formula of mashing two different sci-fi concepts together to make an episode: sped up ageing and dead eyeball camera; goo bombs and magic dream tank; psychic network and amber bombs. This episode takes four or five concepts and makes the episode very much about them, instead of letting that weirdness pepper the margins of the episode. It goes a long way to recapturing the sense of inexplicable what-the-fuckery that characterised the oddest moments of the pilot.

It's largely low-fi episode to boot. Outside the opening crane destruction (a slightly ridiculous CGI spectacle that, regardless of its incongruence, is well done) all the effects in this episode are largely practical. The explosive effects of the pulse gun are achieved using stunt performers jumping out of the way, the cylinder is never seen to leave or arrive, and there's a cute moment where the serial killer of the week mimes pushing wires up an actor's nose (which are, nonetheless, still up there, and still gross). Of course, the episode's most spectacular effect is John Noble's ability to sell a monologue, which is just killer. He's got a fantastic Twilight Zone-esque timbre that helps sell the sixties- and seventies-inspired nature of the material, and a commanding stage-presence. He's magnificent.

Hard Clumping
Mar 19, 2008

Y'ALL BREADY
FOR THIS


(Been out of town this weekend, hope I'm not pissing anybody off by being late two weeks in a row)

1x05 - Power Hungry

A stereotypical poster at The Something Awful Forums accidentally kills his stalkee but gets kidnapped before he can ask a bunch of internet strangers for pity, and Liv is disappointed to find that her dead bae's secret stash is not of the hooch variety.

After The Arrival, the show dives back into normy-boring territory in terms of the MOTW plot, but yet again Walter is delightful enough to not make you hate yourself the whole time you're watching.

Dis cuss

Hard Clumping fucked around with this message at 20:51 on Dec 22, 2014

I AM GRANDO
Aug 20, 2006



I was shocked at what a little poo poo this week's victim was. He killed tons of people and only cared slightly that his crush died, but not that much--and he never really seemed to have been held even slightly responsible. After the charming nerd last week, this guy came off looking really nasty: a victim of his own selfish needs for validation and control, unlike the guy last week who just wanted help and found himself brave enough to help when pressed. This guy lives through a bunch of crazy poo poo and runs from all of it.

On the other hand, he got swept away by the Fringe Science Secret Police and never showed up again, so maybe he ended up an experimental subject for Nina's science dungeon or something.

Hard Clumping
Mar 19, 2008

Y'ALL BREADY
FOR THIS


Jack Gladney posted:

I was shocked at what a little poo poo this week's victim was. He killed tons of people and only cared slightly that his crush died, but not that much--and he never really seemed to have been held even slightly responsible. After the charming nerd last week, this guy came off looking really nasty: a victim of his own selfish needs for validation and control, unlike the guy last week who just wanted help and found himself brave enough to help when pressed. This guy lives through a bunch of crazy poo poo and runs from all of it.

On the other hand, he got swept away by the Fringe Science Secret Police and never showed up again, so maybe he ended up an experimental subject for Nina's science dungeon or something.

He just came off like a cartoon, as if whoever wrote him took all the textbook traits of "empathetic vulnerable character who has bad luck" and shoved them in the script without a hint of subtlety. We can't even give the character the benefit of the doubt that it was the experiment he had done on him that made him all whacked out, because in his story to his mom (also a cartoon) he made it clear that he's always had terrible confidence.

Also, his phone apparently only displays that one picture of the girl? Even after he shorts out all the electronics in her office? It's like they just wanted an excuse to have a carrier pigeon sequence or whatever :allears:

Hard Clumping
Mar 19, 2008

Y'ALL BREADY
FOR THIS


Oh, one more comment on The Arrival I forgot to make:

Open Source Idiom posted:

* They loved (AKA, hated) the nostril wires. Lots of cringing from one or two of them.

Pacey was actually hospitalized due to this bit, apparently one of the wires hit a vein in his nose. I doubt it's a television injury he brags about.

howe_sam
Mar 7, 2013

Creepy little garbage eaters



Hard Clumping posted:

He just came off like a cartoon, as if whoever wrote him took all the textbook traits of "empathetic vulnerable character who has bad luck" and shoved them in the script without a hint of subtlety.
His name is literally meager. They were not going for subtle. Then again he never really abused his powers either.

quote:

Also, his phone apparently only displays that one picture of the girl?
He had multiple pictures of her on his phone. Either way, I would never want to give up the scene with the pigeons and tesla coils :science:

Watching the episode again I was convinced Meagher was going to be a Cortexiphan subject but I guess they were holding off on introducing that.

Open Source Idiom
Jan 4, 2013


The Newbs:

* For some reason, when tv elevators fail their counters still work.
* Someone suggested that Astrid probably only exists so that Walter has someone to explain things to that isn't always Olivia or Peter (so the two can look competent).
* Ongoing debate over whether Charlie's gay or not, continues. For all that the group rags out Astrid for being useless, Charlie contributes far, far less to the narrative.
* They recognised Hoon Lee as Job from Banshee, proving they're got decent taste.
* Impressed by the arm gore (as was I).

The Me:

Honestly, it's hard to say very much about this episode. It's paced well, and there are a couple of decent shots (I love that someone seems to have dragged a camera up into the control cabin of a trashcompactor during the chase sequence), but the direction's nowhere near good enough to punch up a pretty workmanlike script.

Meagar, as has been pointed out, is a pretty unlikable character -- not for lack of intention. The character bounces from one notionally sympathetic encounter to another, but it's hard to feel like the character develops between each appearance. And I say, notionally sympathetic because these scenes, beyond the beleaguered underdog aesthetics, don't really portray the character in a remotely positive light. When the guy's overly belligerent boss chews Meagar out for failing to be a punctual worker, it's clear that the dude has perfectly decent reasons to be angry (and certainly doesn't deserve his subsequent hospitalisation).

More problematically, though Peter continues to sport bruises from last week's interrogation and capture, it seems as if the previous week's events have had absolutely no effect on Astrid and Walter's relationship. If the show wants us to take her seriously as a character, its got to provide some sort of integrity to her emotional states. Given all we've seen of her so far, it's hard to argue that she'll develop into a decent character -- as a friend put it, "she's not really a person. She's inventory."

PriorMarcus
Oct 16, 2008

ASK ME ABOUT BEING ALLERGIC TO POSITIVITY


Open Source Idiom posted:

Given all we've seen of her so far, it's hard to argue that she'll develop into a decent character -- as a friend put it, "she's not really a person. She's inventory."

And she remains this way for the entire series. I've no idea why she was even in the future series, or the alternative reality. She's such a nothing character.

SpookyLizard
Feb 17, 2009


Unrelated to the current discussion: i finally learned where the thread title comes from. good choice.

Taffer
Oct 15, 2010




PriorMarcus posted:

And she remains this way for the entire series. I've no idea why she was even in the future series, or the alternative reality. She's such a nothing character.

She was a good character, but like many things in Fringe, she didn't have enough airtime and was usually eclipsed for unimportant fringe thing of the week. She could have been good but as it was she was basically the "go get/do something so an important character doesn't have to" person. Which was a shame because I really liked her. The few moments when she actually got screentime that wasn't "yeah I'll go shopping!" were usually really good.


...Which sadly describes a lot of Fringe. It's a half-good half-bad show. So many things are done well. The incredible characters of Olivia and Walter and their even more impressive acting performances as the various versions of themselves, the amazing portrayal of the two universes, the whole mythology/backstory., the unsettling nature of a lot of the fringe events, etc. Then there's the things that... are not done well. Peter was really boring even though he was basically the linchpin of the plot, especially in later seasons, the episodic nature of a huge portion of the show was laborious and far far too long, the season 4 reset and the season 5 tone shift were jarring and very questionable, Astrid and Broyles didn't get enough screentime even though they were good characters, Nina was a very flat character even though she was really important to the backstory... I could go on.

I love Fringe in a lot of ways but man it is a frustrating show with all its shortcomings.

Open Source Idiom
Jan 4, 2013


06. THE CURE

I'm coming to find you, if it takes me all night



Can't stand here like this any more



For always and ever is always for you



I want it to be perfect like before



I want to change it all, I want to change

howe_sam
Mar 7, 2013

Creepy little garbage eaters



Other than the villain of the story being actually villainous, and not an out of control mad scientist, The Cure is quite possibly the most generic episode of Fringe ever. I also really enjoyed it because Walter is just fantastic, and the cold open is just :stare:

HUGE SPACEKABLOOIE
Mar 31, 2010




Open Source Idiom posted:


I want it to be perfect like before



I want to change it all, I want to change

RIP Mr. Papaya

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I AM GRANDO
Aug 20, 2006



I really like the teaser in this episode because it really humanizes the victims for us in the audience, so that we see that they're all people with lives and passions and relationships that get snuffed out. I think almost everyone in that diner has a line of dialogue that opens a small view into their world in the moments before that lady explodes and kills them all. And then the next scene after that one is Walter being all irreverent and callous about their corpses and walking over them like they're all nothing, and we don't see any attempts to their families or acknowledge what happened in any way. I thought that was kind of an interesting touch in how it makes the Fringe team look a little lovely in their casual disregard of all the people who die on the show.

I also found the scenes with the exploding woman really uncomfortable for some reason, like moreso than the electric guy or the visions guy. There's just some special horror for me in the idea of somebody dying alone in great pain while fighting really hard to remember who they are and failing while also understanding their situation well enough to be horrified that they can't remember. There's just this futility in it all that makes me really sad. It's like that scene in Deadwood where Powers Boothe mocks Veronica Mars by offering her a knife after he's smashed her skull and she's not able to see it clearly or move fast enough to get it, but she's so messed up she doesn't know and keeps trying with no chance of success (I know this is a weird comparison). And again, it's not really something that the Fringe team engages with at all: they just kind of solve the case and save some people without really seeing any of that or thinking about it, although I guess Olivia gets invested in saving the lady at the end.

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