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Fringe, Season 2

Fringe, Season 2

By Patrick Samuel • September 29th, 2010
Static Mass Rating: 2/5

Release Date: September 27th 2010
Certificate: 15

Produced by: J. J. Abrams
Cast: Joshua Jackson, Anna Torv

Fringe seeks to take up the spot left vacant by The X-Files. Starring Anna Torv as Special Agent Olivia Dunham and Joshua Jackson as Peter Bishop, they investigate cases which are classed as fringe science. The kind that Agents Mulder and Scully would have taken on if they weren’t busy with actual cases. Together with Peter’s father and scientist Walter Bishop, played by John Noble, they unravel a series of conspiracies and experiments which reveal the existence of a parallel universe, one where the Twin Towers still stand.

Consisting of 23 episodes, series 2 delves deeper into the parallel universe which Dunham has just returned from. We find out more about Walter Bishop’s involvement with William Bell (Leonard Nimoy) and we learn about shapeshifters from the other side. Peter’s life is shattered by the realisation that he is not from this world and the bond he shares with his father is destroyed by this knowledge.

At times moving at a snail’s pace, Fringe is a frustrating show to watch, made all the more so by Walter Bishop; one of the most annoying television characters I have come across in a very long time. Bumbling and incoherent, he is not a joy to watch or listen to, nor his doppelganger, dubbed the “Walternate”. The storyline with the truth about Peter’s origins is dragged out beyond interest and by the time Peter realises he’s from the other side, any kind of impact on the viewer is long gone. The character of Agent Dunham also poses a few problems. Dunham is as joyless and uncharismatic as a piece of cardboard and as a viewer I couldn’t care less if she was stuck in a parallel universe or anywhere else, I would be happy in fact.


1. A New Day in the Old Town
2. Night of Desirable Objects
3. Fracture
4. Momentum Deferred
5. Dream Logic
6. Earthling
7. Of Human Action
8. August
9. Snakehead
10. Grey Matters
11. Unearthed
12. Johari Window
13. What Lies Below
14. The Bishop Revival
15. Jacksonville
16. Peter
17. Olivia. In the Lab. With the Revolver
18. White Tulip
19. The Man from the Other Side
20. Brown Betty
21. Northwest Passage
22. Over There: Part 1
23. Over There: Part 2

This leaves us with Peter and there’s not much to say about him because the character is so thinly put together. As a show dealing with the possibility of a parallel universe, what I find most disappointing with Fringe is the lack of insight into the physics and philosophies required for a parallel universe to exist, even plausibly. What would be required for a universe like this one, not only to exist, but for each of us to exist in it as well? The idea is a fascinating one and something I am personally intrigued by, but the way in which the stories are executed in each episode doesn’t really build my excitement or anticipation for what might happen next. Nor does it provide any real insight which hasn’t been covered in everything from X-Files to Scooby Doo as far as alternate realities are concerned.

Suffice to say, I have not been terribly impressed with Fringe. It doesn’t inspire anything in me and as a result of its rather cold appearance; I have dubbed it “Fridge”. While episodes like Brown Betty tried a different narrative approach and placed the characters in a pseudo-1920’s setting in order to highlight Walter’s heartache over Peter’s disappearance as he tells a story to Dunham’s niece, the result was hammy and done with better in effect in countless other shows like Bones, Buffy, Angel and yes, X-Files (yes, they’re all Fox, including Fringe!).

Overall, I’m pretty sure I won’t be as eager for Season 3 unless there are some serious character reshuffles in the direction of Walter and Dunham. They can reshuffle them down an elevator shaft.

Patrick Samuel

Patrick Samuel

The founder of Static Mass Emporium and one of its Editors in Chief is an emerging artist with a philosophy degree, working primarily with pastels and graphite pencils, but he also enjoys experimenting with water colours, acrylics, glass and oil paints.

Being on the autistic spectrum with Asperger’s Syndrome, he is stimulated by bold, contrasting colours, intricate details, multiple textures, and varying shades of light and dark. Patrick's work extends to sound and video, and when not drawing or painting, he can be found working on projects he shares online with his followers.

Patrick returned to drawing and painting after a prolonged break in December 2016 as part of his daily art therapy, and is now making the transition to being a full-time artist. As a spokesperson for autism awareness, he also gives talks and presentations on the benefits of creative therapy.

Static Mass is where he lives his passion for film and writing about it. A fan of film classics, documentaries and science fiction, Patrick prefers films with an impeccable way of storytelling that reflect on the human condition.

Patrick Samuel ¦ Asperger Artist

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