Fringe, mid-season break

Confidential to gollumgollum: I don’t know about everybody else, but I only just watched last week’s ep the other night. And man, I could have sworn that opening sequence was about a bunch of changelings taking revenge on that guy for being a tool of the Weaver. Chimerical damage, anyone?

It feels kind of like they’ve been marking time until this ep, waiting to set everything in motion until the mid-season break. Obviously some previous eps were putting pieces in place (like the dude in the German prison, and the walk-through-walls equation), but I hope for some serious domino-falling after the break, after all the piecemeal setup we’ve had.

Peter: continues to please me, though I would really really like some meat to go with all the garnish we’ve been fed — his health problems as a child, Walter’s undefined experiments on him, other things about his medical history, not to mention whoever it is that’s after him. But they’re giving him more to do these days, which is nice. I particularly liked the interrogation — since after all, Peter was doing nothing more than using the very real knowledge he had. He’s best when he uses his brain, although they’ve done a decent job of making him physically effective on a realistic level.

Walter: I want more of what we saw when he went back into the asylum, though I agree with the speculation that at least some of his seeming insanity is him being a dick. (And in some respects I can’t blame him; it’s probably bad habits built up from inside, or else just a reaction to having some freedom again.) What I would like from his portion of the show: some development of why exactly everything seems to link back to work he did in the past. It’s gone well past “plot device” into “this better be a worthwhile part of the metaplot.”

Dunham: I guessed before she ever got to the widow’s house that it wasn’t her own memory; the Marines semi-gave it away (though yes, she could have been a Marine herself). I like the way that’s developing, though you would think Walter, upon hearing her insist that John saw her in the memory, would logically chalk it up to, oh, the cocktail of hallucinogens. (I don’t think that’s the cause, but I’d go there before I’d go to “that’s not possible” as an answer.) From her, I would like more personal development; sure, she’s solitary by nature, but I’d like to see more of her existence outside of work. She has one, even if it’s only family relationships developed before she started with the FBI.

Metaplot: I continue to not particularly care, though I’ll perk up if Massive Dynamic is not the Bad Guy, but rather an untrustworthy ally against whatever group the turncoat agent is working for. It kind of looks that way at the moment, at least, and it would be more interesting than the obvious alternative.

Next episode: I hope Dunham gets to have interesting hallucinations or otherwise do something more than be strapped to a table, and I hope Peter gets to bust out with his less-than-entirely-legal skill set.

0 Responses to “Fringe, mid-season break”

  1. gollumgollum

    Hee. Chimerical damage. I like.

    And to continue the Changeling metaphor, i think Walter might just be a crazy Ailil, whose crazy is half actual insanity and half keep-’em-guessingness. After all, Tony can tell you that people just ignore the nutter in the corner.

    Peter continued to develop; now i’m getting curious about his past. The teaser for the next episode leaves me hopeful that we’ll find out more about the sorts of things he’s done. But i like that he’s useful and yet a total wreck.

    I really liked the bar scene, especially because it showed that Dunham can actually be warm and friendly and open–which we never see her do otherwise. I mean yeah, she’s at work, and she’s just gone through this tragedy, but i like the notion of she and Peter sitting at a bar trading card tricks. And the best friend conversation amused me greatly, but also pointed out a huge character flaw–she’s such a loner that she’s walled people off. I’d say Charlie is probably her best friend at this point.

    Speaking of minor characters, Charlie is probably my favorite character, and i’m not sure why. But i’d like to see more of him. I’d also like to see Astrid be more than just the eternally patient lab assistant, myself.

    And god, i’m bored with Massive Dynamic and the red-headed chick. I also wish Broyles (?–scary boss guy) was either more scary or more awesomely on Dunham’s side; he’s coming across as a nonentity, when he really should have a much greater impact on things, even if it’s just by virtue of looking so scary.

    I think i’m giving this series a B so far. Entertaining, and it’s got me hopeful that they’re actually doing something cool…but there’s a difference between hoping that it’s cool and watching it actually be cool.

    • Marie Brennan

      Dude, Walter is not a sidhe; he’s a nocker. In some stage of Bedlam, probably second. But he still has Mentals out the wazoo.

      I almost commented on the bar scene. It was a great shift for her; of course, that’s Anna Torv doing her craft, but it’s also Dunham showing a surprisingly chameleon-like nature. And it made for a nice, low-key interaction between her and Peter: again, the writers may be (and probably are) aiming for a romance, and the scene would work toward that, but it doesn’t really have to be read as romantic. It’s the kind of interaction the show has not left much time for so far, except occasionally between Walter and Peter.

      I’m with you on Charlie. I think it’s because he’s just a nice, competent, not-special guy, and because he and Dunham seem to have a solid working relationship. Which is something I generally like.

      Ditto with Astrid. The show needs to spend less time reinforcing the things it has well and truly introduced, and more time developing the stuff around those basic blocks.

      If Massive Dynamic is just the Big Bad, then I’m bored, too. Which is why I’m hoping for something more interesting. I hadn’t thought about Broyles that way, but you’ve got a point; lately he’s been something of a nonentity, mostly just telling Dunham what to do or not do, without playing a more active role in the story. (Abrams could learn something from Whedon about juggling ensemble casts.)

      • gollumgollum

        But maybe an Ailil nocker? (; No, you’re absolutely right.

        It’s the kind of interaction the show has not left much time for so far, except occasionally between Walter and Peter. And even that’s only not stale because they’re peeling back the layers between Peter and Walter.

        But yeah, that’s what’s driving me crazy about this show–they’ve got the kinds of characters that i freaking love, and they keep forgoing characterization in favor of Conspiracy!

        And yet they’re doing that poorly, as well. Broyles is a great example; he’d be much more effective if they worried about his character, rather than worrying about the Conspiracy!; ironically, if they paid more attention to the character, and let him be the shadowy boss with questionable morals and allegiances, it would strengthen the Conspiracy! plot. I’d much prefer him stepping out of the shadows from time to time to be annoyingly cryptic than him just being the somewhat annoying yet helpful bossman.

        I think that they’re going for the friends thing with Peter and Dunham (and i think the best friends conversation was a way to strengthen that). I would imagine it being a bit of a Mulder and Scully, honestly.

        And yeah…Whedon should beat Abrams around the head once or twice.

        • Marie Brennan

          But yeah, that’s what’s driving me crazy about this show–they’ve got the kinds of characters that i freaking love, and they keep forgoing characterization in favor of Conspiracy!

          Very well-put. And to some extent I’m not surprised; Conspiracy! is the show’s stated hook, so of course it’s what they’re developing first. Only I don’t think that development is very effective, which makes me pine even more for the characterization.

          I think they’re going very much for the Mulder/Scully level of things — but that one turned into a romance eventually, of course. I think it was Surly I discussed that with at one point, about how the characters’ lives revolved so entirely around the FBI that there was no real chance for them to develop outside relationships, and so if they had any craving for closeness with another person, it pretty much had to be with each other. Dunham’s in much the same position — though I thought they did an interesting job with her friend in Germany.

  2. calico_reaction

    That’s a good summary. Your idea for using Massive Dynamic is a good one too.

    Peter and Walter continue to be my favorite part of the show.

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