A few days ago I shared my thoughts after watching the pilot of Fringe for the first time. Back then, I promised I’d keep you up to date as the season progressed, so here I am, to report back after watching the first six episodes of the show.
Now, I will say, after six episodes, I like – if not yet love the show. It’s interesting, I haven’t had to force myself to watch, and I have had moments where I have alternatively really liked Olivia and Peter, but I have yet to have one moment where I want to reach through the TV screen and just protect these characters.
This is probably because the show has taken a very procedural style in the first six episodes. For some people, this might be a drawback, but I’m perfectly fine with it. I love me some procedurals, and this type of case-of-the-week setups make it much easier for the show to actually develop not just the characters, but the dynamics they want us to care about.
Of course, it does have its issues, like the fact that I have no idea about the overall arc of this season, much less this show. I’m not too impatient to learn this yet, because the episodes have been mostly interesting, if not out-of-this-world, but there will come a point in the season where I will surely need more than what I’m getting.
And I’m not just talking plot-wise. As fun as seeing Peter react to Walter is, there’s a lot of baggage there that I wish the show would actually, you know, deal with. Or hey, at least admit. I don’t expect their problems are something that can or should be truly solved in a season, but at some point we gotta start at least acknowledging them.
That’s without even going into the Olivia of it all. Strangely enough, six episodes in, it feels like we know a hell of a lot more about Peter and Walter Bishop than we know about Olivia Dunham. This might be a choice, as there have been hints about who she is and the reasons for that here and there, but I hope season one gets to establish that much more firmly.
Oh, and that it gets to establish the relationship between Olivia and Peter too. I don’t expect it – or want it – to be more than platonic in the first season, but we can at least stop pretending the sustained glances are normal, right? Right?
I’ll take the slow burn, as long as we all agree that it needs to go somewhere.
All in all, the show is interesting enough and the possibilities are not just intriguing, they feel sort of infinite right now. Absolutely anything could happen, which isn’t really the normal setup for a TV show. That makes it both a very scary journey to go on, and admittedly, a very interesting one.
Will I continue watching? Yes. I’ve seen nothing to turn me off the show, and I’ve seen a lot that could be developed into a show I love. I’m a little less enthused than I was after the Pilot – which I think has been the strongest episode so far – but not at all deterred. Six episodes isn’t enough to expect payoff, and I’m willing to wait it out.
There are worse ways to spend my quarantine time.
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Fringe is available to stream on Amazon Prime Video.