For a lot of people, Fringe is that weird show that the guy who made Lost did a few years ago, and maybe it got canceled? I’m not sure? Oh it’s still on? Weird.
Well those people are ignorant, or hate risky, great sci-fi that took chances with its audience’s expectations by having characters die, come back, re-die, be erased from existence, will themselves back into existence, change existence, change reality, and then die again but in a different universe where they’re not themselves until they suddenly are because of love. It’s a complex show in the best of ways, and while a lot of fans have said this last season has been uneven, I’ve loved every single minute of it so far. What may not make a lick of sense to most people I often find intriguing and worthy of speculation rather than anger and confusion, and Fringe is like crack for addicts of confusion like me. Even thinking about the nature of time-lines and who is who or what events actually literally transpired according to the shows multiple time-lines is a fascinating discussion to me, and is something I will continue to do long after the show ends.
Some may argue that the show is disjointed, poorly written, or relies to heavily on deus ex machina, but it does it in such a way where the frame of reference is inherently based on the fundamentally shifting nature of reality in the show, rather than relying on a previously unexplained or introduced macguffin to solve all the narrative problems and wrap up the story, (ala Battlestar Galactica’s “God” ending), Fringe embraces the idea that all of reality in every plane of existence is constantly in a state of flux, and that applies to the narrative as well. You could say that’s a half assed explanation for what some could see as sloppy writing, but I find it all intentional. It’s a show that has balls. It does things differently, and it did it all on its own terms and told the story it wanted to tell and lasted longer then it every should have while doing so. Watching the preview of the series finale is as intriguing as it is heartbreaking for me, because holy hell, when are we going to get another show like this?
I remember when Lost ended, ABC went on a nutso search for any kind of sci-fi/fantasy show to replace it to retain its audience, but failed miserably and now we’re stuck with also-ran shows like Once Upon A Time in its wake. What will the dregs of Fringe be? Will we end up with a bunch of lame, piss-poor sci-fi shows to fill the void made by Fringe’s departure? How will it end anyway? Will we get another Lost, (Brilliant and perfect, F the haters) or a miserable failure on every level? (the aforementioned Battlestar Galactica)
Considering its pedigree, I’d bet on the former. I’ll miss you Fringe. You crazy, amazing, ridiculous, silly, funny, heart-wrenching, tear-jerking, wonderful show, you.