Release date: September 26th, 2011
Creators: J. J. Abrams, Alex Kurtzman, Roberto Orci
Cast: Joshua Jackson, Anna Torv, John Noble
There are a great many things I wish I could change with this world if I could. Given the chance though, I don’t think I’d know where to begin. It’s much easier then to imagine a world where those things just never happened. A parallel universe, for example, as described in Fred Alan Wolf’s Parallel Universes: The Search for Other Worlds (1988) or by Michio Kaku or Brian Greene.
I suppose the creators of Fringe knew this would be the case for many of its viewers and just what kind of emotional and visual impact the final shot of its Season 1 finale would have.
It’s where we see in a parallel world, not only that the World Trade Center towers are still standing, but that William Bell (Leonard Nimoy), one of the show’s pivotal characters, is working within them, on what appears to be the 106th floor. It’s a jaw dropping moment that takes us back and in that time, as the camera pulls back for the full reveal, this feeling washes over us with one thought only – “they’re still there!”
How wonderful would that be, to live in a world where such a horrors never took place. Yet the parallel world that Fringe depicts is not one that’s free of war, corruption and other festering evils. It’s just as fraught with danger as our Twin Tower-less world is.
In Season 3 of Fringe, the danger is heightened to a level that has no precedence here as one world seeks to destroy another for its own survival. The team; Olivia (Anna Torv), Peter (Joshua Jackson) and Walter (John Noble), continue to investigate cases of strange phenomena that exist on the fringes of science, but they have so many other things to contend with at the same time.
The Olivia from the other side has crossed over and has hijacked our Olivia’s life in an attempt to learn more about Peter and the device they have which can destroy worlds. Walter tries to rebuild has brain so he can figure how the device works because he knows Walternate would do the same. Peter is finally starting to see Olivia in a different light, but that’s because it’s Fauxlivia (as Walter refers to her), the “fake Olivia”.
The episodes also help us learn more about Fauxlivia’s life through Olivia’s experiences there. It’s taken me a couple of seasons to finally start getting into Fringe and even though at first I hated it, Season 3 surprisingly delivered a much stronger set of storylines. The characters seem to finally be coming into their own, especially Olivia – both versions of her. Walter as well seems to have become a much more endearing character and I didn’t feel as annoyed with him as used to.
The Firefly was a particularly interesting episode where we got to see the lengths an Observer would go to correct the timeline after Walter disrupted it in the past. Subject 13 is without a doubt, one of the standout episodes as we revisit Peter and Olivia’s childhood. We learn very quickly what it was for Olivia when Walter was conducting experiments on her and how her pyrokinesis and dimension-shifting abilities manifested at such an early age.
As strong as those episodes are, I was left blown away by the ingenuity of Lysergic Acid Diethylamide which takes us right back to those beloved World Trade Center towers, albeit in animated form. It’s with this episode that I finally came to fall in love with the series. Perhaps my own feelings about the towers and my own personal affection toward the idea of parallel worlds has swayed me a bit here, but as I see them standing there as if they’ve always stood there, my first thought is always followed by the second…”what else is on the other side?”
The founder of Static Mass Emporium and one of its Editors in Chief is a composer and music producer with a philosophy degree. Static Mass is where he lives his passion for film and writing about it. A fan of film classics, documentaries and World Cinema, Patrick prefers films with an impeccable way of storytelling that reflect on the human condition.
You can find his music on Soundcloud .