Fringe

Fringe Check In: Season 2 (2×16)

Well, that’s what I call progress. Or TV progress, I guess, as things took a step forward and then, seemingly, two steps back (at least when it comes to Peter and Olivia). But hey, Fringe gave us a bunch of answers re: Walter and Peter, so I’m not going to complain about this last batch of episodes.

Not too much, at least.

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Because there’s one thing to nitpick on, and it’s not a small one, either. I’m usually a shipper. I watch shows that have good OTPS for the OTP. That doesn’t mean that’s the only reason I watch must shows, but I have stuck with shows just for the couple, more than once.

Fringe isn’t that show, there’s a lot going on I’m interested, and it often feels like the family feels are more important to what the show is about than the relationship or possible relationship between Peter and Olivia. Which doesn’t mean that I’m above being upset at how badly this show set up that possibility between Peter and Olivia.

I remember, back in my The X-Files watching (suffering) days, there was someone who did a list of “X times Mulder and Scully should have kissed” covering like, every episode. That’s how bad Chris Carter was at seeing what was right in front of his face. Now, I’m not going to say JJ Abrams is that bad, but he’s certainly not perfect either.

There are multiple occasions in season two that could have – and probably should have – been used to set up the idea that Peter and Olivia had romantic feelings for each other, and were instead played off as friendship. Many unfinished conversations, many times where words would have been preferable to a look.

And maybe, maybe, if those had been played right, I would have felt about that almost-kiss in “Jacksonville” the way I felt about basically every time Sydney and Vaughn looked at each other in Alias season 2. And I didn’t. I was happy to see it, yes, but I wasn’t screaming and I wasn’t even all that disappointed the kiss didn’t go anywhere.

Not because I don’t like them together, but because it, absurdly, felt too soon in their relationship.

So yes, that’s a setup problem, and the one thing I didn’t like about this stretch of episodes. It’s a pretty big thing, though, and I had to get it out of my chest first, because the rest …the rest was *chef’s kiss*

Especially the thing about Walter. The backstory helps, so much, because with every second of knowing Walter Bishop it’s gotten harder and harder to believe that he would just steal Peter out of malice. But that’s not all the backstory does, the backstory also makes you think: what would you do?

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If that was you, how would you react? Can you really blame Walter or Elizabeth? Logically, the answer is yes. They stole a child – and from themselves, no less. They made the other versions of themselves feel the same pain they felt. And yet …that’s also just, common sense. That’s higher thinking. That’s not what’s going through your mind in the moment.

Emotionally, at least in the family aspect, the plot behind it all, it seems like Fringe has hit its stride in the last few episodes, and I can’t wait to see how they emotionally compromise me even more. As for Peter and Olivia, well …some setup would be nice. We know it’s coming now, so, like, make me desperate to see it.

Please.

Fringe is available to stream on IMDBTV.

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