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'Fringe': Did It Live Up To The Hype?

September 10th, 2008 11:35am EDT
FringeLast night J.J. Abrams' eagerly anticipated show Fringe premiered on FOX. Did it live up to the hype? Warning: spoilers ahead, so you may want to skip this if you haven't seen the episode.

An airplane lands at Boston's Logan Airport where the crew and passengers are mysteriously killed. FBI special agents Olivie Dunham (Anna Torv) and her partner John Scott (Mark Valley) are called in to investigate. During the investigation John is hit by an explosion following a suspect and is infected by the same substance that killed the plane's passengers, leaving him in a weird state that turns his skin transparent. Since Olivia has been sleeping with John, she has added incentive to find out how and why these people died on the plane and to save her partner/lover from dying.

Olivia's research leads her to Dr. Walter Bishop (John Noble), who has been residing in an institution for 17 years and is known for dabbling in "Fringe" science - reanimation, mind control, and so on. With the help of the doctor's estranged son Peter (Joshua Jackson), some other team members, and a cow, Olivia tries to find the source of the infection/virus.

Dr. Bishop recommends Olivia undergo some sort of mind meld to connect with her dying partner/lover to find out who he saw the few seconds before the explosion. The connection is successful (and for some reason involves Olivia sheddding all clothes except her underwear to lie in a tank of water), and Olivia is able to identify the perpetrator, Richard Steig.

Fringe TVWhile hunting down Steig, they find a connection with the company Massive Dynamic, a multi-billion dollar company whose slogan is, "What do we do? What don't we do?" VP of research & development Nina Sharp (who sports a pretty nifty bionic arm) concedes Steig once worked for them but was fired for stealing classified information. Oh, and Dr. Bishop? He once shared a laboratory with the man who built Massive Dynamic, William Bell. Coincidence?

Eventually, the FBI catches Steig, who after some physical coercian by Peter reveals the ingrediants to the synthetic compound that killed the people on the plane and is killing Olivia's partner/lover John. This information helps Dr. Bishiop create an antidote and save John's life.

The twist? Steig didn't act alone but was threatend by the FBI - specifically Olivia's partner/lover John! John kills Steig, flees in an SUV, is chased by Olivia, and dies before telling Olivia who he is working for. But is he really dead? At a facility that is likely a Massive Dynamics building, Nina Sharp sees John's "dead" body on a gurney and tells an assistant to "Question him."

Meanwhile, Olivia, Dr. Bishop, and Peter decide to keep their newly formed team together to investigate "The Pattern," a codename for unexplained events that are happening around the world. The Logan airplane deaths are not an isolated event.

Episode Pros:
-Good to see Joshua Jackson in a role far removed from Pacey (who sees an Olivia/Peter hookup sometime soon?)
-Unexpected twist with Olivia's partner/lover


Episode Cons:
-A little slow in the first hour
-Olivia mourns little for her partner/lover
-A cow for comic relief? Really?


So was "Fringe" worth waiting for? Will it be another hit like Abrams' Lost or Alias? Leave a comment!

- More Fringe pictures

Noelle Talmon
Story by Noelle Talmon
Starpulse.com contributing writer