Hey folks, Valkor here. With season 2 of the Fringe series kicking off, the folks at Warner would like to get those not into the series, to start checking out season one. Believe me I’m one of those people and I can honestly say that first season… wow just wow.
Fringe is all about a division made up of Department of Homeland Security and the FBI. Their job is to investigate strange occurrences, which all link back to experimental works that took place in the 70’s of one Walter Bishop and his partner William Bell. The first strange occurrence was a commercial from Hamburg to Boston, which landed safely, however everyone onboard died a gruesome death by some guy who injected himself with a strange liquid. Olivia Dunham (Anna Torv) and her lover Partner John Scott (Mark Valley), begin investigating the crime after they were brought in by Phillip Broyles (Lance Reddick, I freaking love this guy in everything he does). All roads lead to a storage facility, where the two find the perp but the guy initiates an explosion that catches John, covering him in some type of liquid that causes him to literally disappear. Because all roads leads to Walter Bishop (John Noble), who is currently in a mental facility for killing (accidentally) his lab assistant, Olivia must first get the son, Peter Bishop (Joshua Jackson). Peter is reluctant at first, but with some convincing finally decides to do as ask. This leads to the release of Walter, the reopening of his old lab and weird experiments that lead up to who the perp might be and John Scott’s cure.
Now that’s only the pilot! Things get even stranger as the series follows a “Freak of the Week” motif, where each show revolves around different character(s) either with strange abilities or links to strange occurrences. Teleportation, hallucinations, pyrokinesis, even vampirism are just a few events you will see in each episode. Each incident leads to experiments that were held in Walter’s lab, but why also do the roads lead back to Massive Dynamics? Who are the ZFT? Who’s after Peter? Is John Scott Dead? What's the link between Olivia and Walter? All these questions, more or less, are answered and there are a few surprises in store as well.
First I must say the level of suspense the series packs in each episode, I’ve never seen in any series before. The show really draws you in and doesn’t let go until the end of each episode, especially when things get really dramatic. The story doesn’t weave about in all directions; merely following a set course, branching off if you will into other areas to kinda throw you off the trail. Yes just when you think you know, you find out you don’t know anything at all. The acting is top notch not just from the main cast but supporting cast members as well, which includes Agent Charles Francis (Kirk Acevedo), and Nina Sharp (Blair Brown). Oh and I can’t forget Astrid Farnsworth (Jasika Nicole), just because Walter forgets her name doesn’t mean I have to. Overall the series has enough twists and turns to keep you interested, making this an exceptional watch.
Three things happen almost consistently in each episode that makes Fringe… a kinda fun drinking game. First, Walter will always request some kinda food, especially when investigating a gruesome scene. One in particular, after a woman’s head explodes killing everyone in the room, Walter looks into a bowl and asks for “onion soup”. And two there’s always an Olivia/perp foot chase. And you can always tell when it will happen too.
The set is screaming with extras, all of which enhances the viewing experience. First you have “Evolution: The Genesis of Fringe where the creators discuss the series. Behind the real science of Fringe, A Massive Undertaking: The Making of Fringe (which you will only find on select episodes), Fringe Deciphering the Scene (I think this is on most episodes), three commentaries and a Gene the Cow montage.
Overall I’m sold on Fringe, thanks to having watched the entire first run. With twists, turns, and a high level of suspense, plus great characters, performed by great actors, should be enough to anyone on board. Out of TOV 5 stars, I give Fringe The Complete First Season DVD 5 stars, TOV Perfect, and it’s been Valkor tested and TOV approved.