Fringe Scenemaker 112: The No-Brainer

      Email Post       1/31/2009 01:48:00 PM      



Scenemaker is a behind-the-scenes look at the making of Fringe. This episode shows the making of the brain-melting scene of Gregory Wiles from the Fringe episode The No-Brainer.

You can watch previous episode's scenemaker videos here.

What Would You Ask: John Scott?

      Email Post       1/30/2009 11:31:00 AM      

I'M IN UR DREEMZ, GIVIN U CLOOZIn a few hours, I'll be interviewing Mark Valley, who plays John Scott on Fringe.

The interview will be the same format as the John Noble Conference Call interview, which mean I'll likely have the opportunity to ask only one or two questions.

The question I have for John Scott:
"During the Synaptic Transfer, some of John Scott's memories have moved out of John's mind into Olivia's mind. Are there any memories that Olivia may be missing any that are trapped in John's brain?"
What would you ask John Scott?

Fringe Episode Review: The No-Brainer

      Email Post       1/29/2009 08:36:00 PM      

Adam Morgan is a writer for both the page and screen in Chicago, and blogs daily on writing, film, pop culture, and strange news at Mount Helicon.

I wish I could write glowing reviews for every episode of Fringe, reviews like the one I wrote last week. Bound showed us just how great this story can be when everything clicks into place. The No-Brainer wasn't bad, but it was certainly a step backwards. Obviously, the task of writing even one full season of television is a daunting one, and the kind of brilliance we saw in Bound can't be constantly sustained over twenty-something hours. And production-wise, The No-Brainer was still top-notch. But the script left me underwhelmed.

Click here to read more...


Should've Used Norton Antivirus
The first victim.
The cold open was the creepiest yet. I liked the spooky cyber-hand, despite the fact that in reality it would only look three-dimensional from the victim's eyeline. This week's mystery probably asked for the most suspension of disbelief thus far on Fringe: a web video that liquefies brains. And the video's 657 megabytes, nonetheless (what kind of compression rate is that, I wonder?). I was content to accept this potentially cheesy plotline, so long as it justified itself.
But for the first time on the show, the mystery had no overt ties to the Pattern. The villain was just a criminal with his own agenda. Which bothered me, because it's considerably less compelling from a narrative standpoint. Why should the audience care about a bitter, deadbeat Dad? From a logical standpoint, if he's angry at a few people, there are ways to seek revenge more efficient than designing an impossible virus to liquefy their loved ones' brains. I just didn't buy it. I kept hoping the picture would get bigger, and it never did.
Family Matters
The Dunham Family
Ari Graynor was great once again as Dunham's sister, and little Ella impressed me too. The three actresses feel like a family, but their role on the show also disconcerted me here. Making Ella a target felt like a heavy-handed attempt at incorporating her and Rachel into the main storyline. Obviously the writers introduced them for a reason, but why would this week's villain target Ella? He didn't have a vendetta against Olivia, unless he was angry about her investigation. But even in that case, targeting someone close to her would only further compel Olivia to find the culprit.
Speaking of, I was shocked at Olivia's lack of conviction after Ella's incident. From what we know about her, she should've been furious and hellbent on finding whoever threatened to harm one of her own. Instead, she was calm and inquisitive in the following scene. Wouldn't the natural response be anger? Paranoia? Especially given the way Olivia's emotions have driven her in the past.
The Other Kind of Chemistry
Is it just me, or was everyone googly-eyed in this episode? Peter and Rachel. Walter and Jessica Warren. Maybe even Peter and Astrid. After Walter made his comment on male-female relations, Astrid's eyes went straight to Peter. But maybe she was just intrigued by the letter. I'm hoping her character gets fleshed out by the end of the season; right now she's just a plot device who conveniently has a degree in whatever the script calls for.
Non-chemistry also abounded in The No-Brainer. Peter and Olivia had their first fight, and it just didn't come across as authentic to me. I saw no reason for Olivia to push Peter on the subject of his father, and I saw no reason for Peter to get defensive. As a result, their quibble (and their reconciliation) felt forced and flat, like most of the inter-character drama in The No-Brainer. I could almost hear the writers: "We need to drive a wedge between Peter and Olivia. We need to involve Olivia's family directly." The results were a little tedious and predictable, like that whole spiel at the end with Walter and Warren.
And please, please get rid of Sanford Harris soon. An antagonist should be a natural obstacle, but his one-note villainy seems to exist solely to frustrate Olivia ("We need an obstacle for Olivia..."). It was nice to hear Broyles tell him off, though. I got the impression Philip's more powerful than he lets on.
So in the end, not much to theorize about this week. The story was self-contained, as far as I can tell, with no new insights into character or mythology. I understand that Fringe isn't a completely serialized drama like Lost; it's a procedural hybrid. That's fine when it works, but frustrating when an episode feels like it's stalling. Or maybe that's not the problem. I'd still enjoy a completely stand-alone episode if the mystery was believable and the drama compelling, but The No-Brainer didn't quite work for this fan. Luckily, next week's outing, The Transformation, looks gripping!
So what do you think? Does Fringe work as a procedural, or as a serialized drama? Do you want to see any more non-Pattern mysteries? Do you buy the introduction of Olivia's family? Sanford Harris? Let your voice be heard in the comments.
Stray Observations
  • Best Line of the Night: "I hope she doesn't notice the $2,000 for the baboon seminal fluid I ordered."
  • Worst Lines of the Night: "Why would he protect a murderer?" "Because it's his father."
  • Am I the only one who enjoyed Peter's visit to Akim? I wouldn't mind seeing him again, in a tech-advisor role. Maybe I'm just that desperate for information on Peter's past.
  • What was with all of the pop music? It didn't sit well with me. You've got one of the world's most talented composers on staff. Use him. The Killers and Beyonce dilute the show's tension and sincerity.
  • Chuck fans: Did the virus video remind you of Chuck's first encounter with the Intersect database?
  • I counted at least two of those unexplained lens flares.
  • John Polson did a great job in the director's chair. I loved all the long tracking shots, and Olivia just looks great when they shoot her at a low frame-rate.
  • Speaking of Polson, he was the chopper pilot in Mission Impossible: II.

Storm Delay

      Email Post       1/29/2009 10:36:00 AM      

My house
As you may or may not know, I live in Lexington, KY, which was hit hard by an ice storm. Almost 500,000 people here are without power, including myself, so needless to say, I have been without internet or TV since Tuesday. This of course means I haven't even seen this week episode of Fringe yet (or Lost!) ;(

Edward and Adam and been nice enough to help out during this time, but as soon as I get power back, I will try to get everything caught up, hopefully before next week's show! Thanks for understanding! Dennis

Fringe: The No-Brainer - HD Screencaps

      Email Post       1/28/2009 06:02:00 PM      


High-Definition screen captures of Fringe Episode 112 "The No-Brainer", are now available in our Galley section.

Some of the most interesting screenshots are already up in our Screencaps / Easter Egg section, but if there's something you can't find there or in our Gallery, you can request a screenshot here.

TVGuide Interview: Jared Harris’ Theoroes About Fringe’s “Mr. Jones”

      Email Post       1/28/2009 05:40:00 PM      

TVGuide has an interview with Jared Harris who plays David Robert Jones.
Like most J.J. Abrams shows, Fringe is characterized by mysterious characters and dense, intricate plots. Fringe's mystery man of the moment is the elusive Mr. Jones (Jared Harris). When Harris sat down with TVGuide.com, we couldn't help but ask him how he thinks Jones is involved in "the pattern," how long he thinks he'll be around and what his creepy fixation with Agent Dunham (Anna Torv) is all about?

Walter's Lab Notes: Fringe 112 - The No-Brainer

      Email Post       1/28/2009 05:09:00 PM      


Walter's Lab Notes from the The No-Brainer along with two photos of the victims and a sample of brain goo. One interesting thing about this week's notes is a significant portion of the last paragraph is obscured by one of the pictures.

Click here to read the text of Walter's Notes

- Project 1091 - Exploration 1 -

A terrible thought: sitting down to a daily routine that by day's end causes one's brain to melt! For most that terror is merely metaphorical -- but for these poor souls, quite real. Myelin sheathes dripping right of the axons! Neural lipids reduced to bacon grease! It reinforces my dedication to the lost art of flipping through a nicely bound tome. No threat of losing my mind there, unless I have to plow through more nonsense by that peanut-brain Chomsky.

One wonders what they saw in their final moments; sadly, that is knowledge acquired only in death. They came face to face with a real Ghost in the Machine -- a phrase hijacked by Ryle and Koestler for long enough. For what other phantoms might haunt the halls of the cyber realm? What will happen when the silicon pathways we take for ordinary gates of calculation spring to life and feel the same abandonment and pain that course through all sentient beings? That will be a day of reckoning I do not wish to see.

The computers are not alone. I, too, have a ghost in my machine. I envy his ability to walk through walls and take a respite in the locked chambers of my memory. The last time I followed him and slipped through the sealed bolts, he left me trapped. I spent what felt like days wandering through the stacks, hearing only echoes of the world outside. I think it was when the orderly hosed me down with cold water that the bolts loosened and I repaired to my safe and familiar neural paths. We all get lost in thought, but rarely so literally. Maybe these victims were lucky, for their pain lasted only an instant. If the computer program had locked them into a continuous loop without cooking their melons, they might have remained trapped forever -- zombies enslaved by a ghost.

That is, of course, the motivating f...
Insurmountable odds faced by those...
-- but such will not be my fate if...
Never! Behind every swinging door...
Into the breaches, dear friends, once...
Our pattern-seeking minds, searching...
But not to be found in a college te...

Fringe Comic #2 - Excellent Soap / Strangers On A Train

      Email Post       1/28/2009 04:37:00 PM      

I received an email from DC Comics letting me know that Fringe Comic #2 was released. They also sent me an official preview of Fringe Comic #2, which you can view below.

To get your own copy of Fringe #2, head out to your local comic shop.
Fringe # 2 (of 6)

Written by Mike Johnson, Alex Katsnelson, Matthew Pitts and Danielle DiSpaltro; Art by Tom Mandrake

The secret history of Walter Bishop and William Bell continues in this exclusive tie-in to the hit Fox show Fringe! Witness their first attempts at pushing the boundaries of science and reality!

Fringebusters: The No-Brainer

      Email Post       1/28/2009 04:29:00 PM      

For each episode of Fringe, Popular Mechanics asks experts to analyzes the science of Fringe, and separate the science fact from the science fiction.

For "The No-Brainer," PM turns to Brown University neuroscientist John Stein for the skinny on the real makeup and consistency of brain matter.

PopularMechanics.com: Fringe Fact v. Fiction: Could Your Brain Actually Turn to Goo?

Fringe Episode 112: The No-Brainer

      Email Post       1/27/2009 09:00:00 PM      


Olivia, Walter and Peter are called in to investigate the death of a car salesman who was found in a pool of "goo," exactly like another man across the country. When Walter discovers that the "goo" is brain matter, the trio tries to figure out how the killer can liquefy human brains...

Who Is This Guy?

*Redshirt
**Background Cast

Interview: Fringe Comic Book Writer Mike Johnson

      Email Post       1/27/2009 12:42:00 PM      

The second issue of the Fringe comic comes out tomorrow, January 28th.

According to the Wildstorm website:
The secret history of Walter Bishop and William Bell continues in this exclusive tie-in to the hit Fox show Fringe! Witness their first attempts at pushing the boundaries of science and reality!
Comic Book Resources has an interview with one of the writers, Mike Johnson, who reveals what will be happening in Fringe #2, and the rest of the Fringe series:
Johnson revealed the next chapter in Bishop and Bell’s early history is explored in “Fringe” #2, on sale on this week. “Things get even weirder for them,” laughed Johnson. “By this time, [Bishop and Bell] are sharing a lab and starting to experiment with things that the university would probably not approve of, if it knew about them.”

"Fringe" artwork by Tom Mandrake The budding relationship serves as the plot thread stringing the six-issue miniseries together. A series of backup features, telling done-in-one mysteries, are also included. “Each issue in the series is divided into two parts: the first half, or A-story, will continue the story of Bell and Bishop, while the second half, the B-story, will be a self-contained short story with unconnected characters that plays on a different Fringe-y concept, with subtle ties to the show itself,” Johnson explained. “The A-stories with Bell and Bishop form one over-arching story that culminates in both ‘Fringe’ #6 and the pilot for the show, so make sure you watch it again. And the B-stories are each self-contained short stories. We are all huge fans over here of ‘The Twilight Zone’ and ‘The Outer Limits,’ the classics, so our B-stories are homages to sci-fi parables like the ones in those shows.”
"Fringe" artwork by Tom Mandrake

Johnson said Walter is an interesting character to write because in the “Fringe” comic stories, he’s a “different guy” than the one we see on the show. “He’s young, he’s just starting his career, and most importantly he’s not crazy,” offered Johnson. “At least not in the conventional way, but we put hints in there that all will not end up well in his world.

“As for Bell, we’re playing with the idea that he will end up the richest man in the world one day, in charge of the biggest corporation in the world, Massive Dynamic, but he starts as an idealistic young scientist.

”While he said we may see Olivia and Peter at some point in the comics, Johnson added, “Just not in the way you might think.”

Readers will also be introduced to some new supporting characters in “Fringe” that play important roles in the shared history of Bell and Bishop, but they have not yet been introduced on the TV show proper. “Or have they?” Johnson teased.
You can read the full interview at ComicBookResources.com

J.J. Abrams Interview: iF Magazine

      Email Post       1/27/2009 11:13:00 AM      

iFMagazine.com has an exclusive interview with Fringe co-creator J.J. Abrams, discussing the role mythology plays in the show, the dynamics between it’s characters, how to keep viewers week after week, and how Anna Torv is like Fringe's Clint Eastwood.

Click here to read the interveiw:

Exclusive Interview: 'STAR TREK' DIRECTOR J.J. ABRAMS GOES OUT ON THE 'FRINGE' WITH HIS NEW SERIES

The creator gives iF the scoop on his new series and tells us why Anna Torv is his Clint Eastwood in the new series

By CARLOS DELGADO, Contributing Writer
Published 1/27/2009

With Fox's new hit series FRINGE currently hitting mid-season, it was about time we caught up with co-creator J.J. Abrams to talk about the role mythology plays in the show, the dynamics between it’s characters, how to keep viewers week after week. And if you're expecting some big scoop about STAR TREK, well, that's a whole other article down the road.

iFMAGAZINE: When people talk about FRINGE, a lot of times they talk about the mythology, but also, they talk about the father/son relationship between Walter Bishop and Peter Bishop [Joshua Jackson]. Did you realize how important that was going to be or did that just sort of develop?

J.J. ABRAMS: I’ve always been obsessed with the father/son dynamic, or parent/child. In FELICITY, ALIAS, or LOST. Mostly that’s been [co-creators] Damon [Lindelof] and Carlton [Cuse]. That relationship is always a primary one, and in a weird way, Olivia’s character [Anna Torv] is just now finding her real connection to this world. Not just what her job is but [emotionally] why this world of FRINGE science is intrinsically connected to who she is.

iF: What about Anna Torv’s character, Olivia Dunham?

ABRAMS: Here’s what’s cool -- not only do the next episodes start to connect things that are out there, but it also reveals that this experience is not the first time she’s crossed paths with "fringe" stuff. And again, you have to be careful, because you can get too mythological. But like I was saying, a lot of mythology storytelling, it’s just about doing the job to make it palatable for people who don’t study your show. You can’t expect someone, given a week of busy life, to come back next week and be like, “I’m back.” Some people will, but most won’t. But you just have to say, “Okay, if I’m new to this, I don’t want to get into it.” Which is why [last week's] episode… it [began] with a woman who’s been kidnapped. To me it’s like, I’m compelled to watch that episode. Like "who is she? Why was she grabbed? What does that mean?" It’s cool.

Also by the way, another little stupid secret. I think Anna, Olivia, who are a little adrift -- who is she? When I start to think of her as Clint Eastwood, when I start to think of her as the typical, as the relentless woman of few words but driven to… it’s like a weird thing where I started to like get a sense of who she is. Because she’s pretty great at being tough and dark. And then when she has moments of levity, you love her. In this one episode, her sister visits, and at like the worst f*cking time. And she’s got a little daughter, so it’s this great counter point and it makes me feel like, “Oh my God, she’s like me!” Like a crazy day, but when it comes to the important stuff, family, you have to turn all that off. I think Anna’s terrific playing that driven thing with moments of sweetness. But she’s a very different person to write for than Jennifer Garner, Evangeline Lilly or Keri Russell. It’s been interesting.

iF: But she didn’t seem that tied to John Noble’s character, Dr. Walter Bishop.

ABRAMS: Well, she wasn’t . And now she just comes to depend on him for the… you’ll see that there’s a connection that goes far deeper than her job.

iF: Since FRINGE is a new show, how hard has it been to find the show’s voice?

ABRAMS: It’s been hard because I was finishing STAR TREK. It’s Alex [Kurtzman], it’s Bob [Orci], it’s Jeff [Pinker], it’s me. It’s a little bit broken up in that way. But I feel like we’ve started to find the voice of the show a few episodes ago. And the ones that start to air now makes me, for me, feel like… like I can tell you what episode of FRINGE isn’t, where before I was like, “Well that could be our show!”

iF: What isn’t it?

ABRAMS: Well, it’s not one that is so mythology based that you have to go, “I don’t understand what the plot is.” It’s that weird balance of what’s the story you’re telling. It’s so obvious. Once you figure it out and you go, “Oh my God!” you’re like, “no sh*t.” But it’s what that personal story, that little baby step of the character, and how does this connect to the weirdness of the week. How does that reveal that thing? How does that become and it’s all about externalizing that internal step. But it’s that thing where every time you talk about it, people talk to me, it seems cheap but when it works, it’s exciting.

Joshua Jackson Interview: Regis and Kelly

      Email Post       1/27/2009 12:29:00 AM      


Joshua Jackson was on Live with Regis and Kelly, talking about Dawson's Creek, theater, hockey, and of course Fringe. During the interview, they played a Sneak Peek clip from the FringeThe No-Brainer episode , which I have edited out and placed in the Fringe Spoilers section.

Exclusive Fringe Scheduling News

      Email Post       1/26/2009 11:15:00 AM      

The FringeTelevision.com exclusive inside source checked in this weekend and revealed some interesting Fringe scheduling and director news. I don't really consider any of this to be spoilery, so I have posted them here, instead of in the Fringe spoilers section.
  • Fringe 115: directed by Fred Toye, air date 4/7/09
  • Fringe 116: directed by Brad Anderson, air date 4/14/09
  • Fringe 117: directed by Akiva Goldsman, air date 4/21/09
  • Fringe 118: directed by Bobby Roth, air date 4/28/09
  • Fringe 119: directed by Nelson McCormick, air date 5/5/09
  • Fringe 120: director TBD, air date 5/12/09
  • Fringe 121: directed by Fred Toye, air date 5/19/09
Notably absent is Fringe 122, however JJ Abrams indicated that he was interested in directing a season finale...

One big revelation that comes out of these air dates, is that there will be another big block of repeats coming soon. Fringe episode #112 airs on Jan 27, #113 airs Feb 3, and #114 airs Feb 10, which means there will be another seven weeks of re-runs until #115 on Apr 7! The reason for the break, of course, is they need the time to shoot the episodes. However, once it comes back, it looks like it will run straight through until the end.

BTW, We've created a new Google Fringe Air Date calendar, in addition to our Fringe Birthday calendar, which we will update with the episode dates and names as they become available.

Fringe at NY Comic Con 2009

      Email Post       1/26/2009 09:06:00 AM      

FRINGE will be making an appearance at the NY Comic Con on Sunday, February 8th at 1:45 PM. The event will feature "a Q&A with cast and producers, and an exclusive video presentation created specifically for the NYCC audience."

Scheduled to appear at the show will be FRINGE executive producer Jeff Pinkner, and cast members Anna Torv ("Olivia Dunham"), John Noble ("Dr. Walter Bishop"), Lance Reddick ("Phillip Broyles"), Kirk Acevedo ("Charlie Francis"), Blair Brown ("Nina Sharp") and Jasika Nicole ("Astrid Farnsworth").

Admission to Sunday's show is $30, and tickets can be purchased online at NYComicCon.com.

UPDATE: Here is some more info on the FRINGE appearance.
Note: If you are planning to attend, and would like to report for FringeTelevision, send me an email.

LOL FRINGE: Caption Contest for Bound

      Email Post       1/23/2009 01:45:00 PM      

Welcome to the first LOL FRINGE Caption Contest!

Make a funny LOL caption for this image, or pick your own from the Fringe Gallery for Bound. The best entry will be featured on the website next week.

What do you win? Love and respect from your fellow Fringe fans. :)

Rules:
  • Please make your entry "family-friendly"
  • Post your captions in the comments and/or links to your image with captions
  • Captions can be added to photos using the LOL Builder at ICanHasCheezburger
Click here to see current entries:


Fringe Scenemaker 111: Bound

      Email Post       1/23/2009 10:59:00 AM      


Scenemaker is a behind-the-scenes look at the making of Fringe. This episode shows the making of Olivia's escape from the spinal tap warehouse scene in Bound.

You can watch previous episode's scenemaker videos here.

Fox Fix: Kirk Acevedo Interview

      Email Post       1/23/2009 10:14:00 AM      


Fox Fix has a new interview with Kirk Acevedo, who plays Charlie Francis on Fringe. Host Jessica Holmes asks Kirk if his character is a good as he seems, does he know more than he lets on, and does he have feeling for Olivia? He also shares his interesting theory on how he thinks Fringe and Lost might be related.

Fox Fix also has an interview with J.J. Abrams and Roberto Orci, which we have posted in the Fringe Spoilers section.

Fringebusters: Bound

      Email Post       1/22/2009 06:10:00 PM      

Each week, Popular Mechanics brings in experts to analyzes the science of Fringe, and separate the science fact from the science fiction.

For the latest episode of Fringe, "Bound," they bring in two experts: Scott Gardner of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln's Manter Laboratory of Parasitology, and Carol Post, Purdue University professor of medical chemistry and molecular pharmacology, to discuss:
  • Should you be scared of a spiny slug growing in your stomach?
  • Could an overgrown common cold virus "cell" turn into a vicious killer?
PopularMechanics.com: Cells Skirt Reality and Supersize on Fringe: Hollywood Fact vs Fiction

Fringe Promo Photos: Bound

      Email Post       1/22/2009 04:52:00 PM      

Here are the Promotional Photos for Fringe episode 111 - Bound.
(for those that avoid the Fringe Spoilers section.)


FRINGE: Ari Graynor (L) guest-stars as Rachel, Olivia's (Anna Trov, R) sister, in the FRINGE episode BoundWalter (John Noble) creates a makeshift lab in the back of the team's car in the FRINGE episode BoundFRINGE: The Team sets up a roadside lab in the FRINGE episode BoundOlivia (Anna Torv) finds herself trapped in a mysterious lab in the FRINGE episode BoundOlivia (Anna Torv) finds herself trapped in a mysterious lab in the FRINGE episode Bound
Olivia (Anna Torv) finds herself trapped in a mysterious lab in the FRINGE episode BoundOlivia (Anna Torv) searches an abandonded warehouse in the FRINGE episode BoundAri Graynor guest-stars in the FRINGE episode Bound
FRINGE: Olivia (Anna Torv) chases a suspect in the FRINGE episode Bound

Fringe Episode Review: Bound

      Email Post       1/21/2009 11:29:00 PM      

Is Walter watching Fringe in an abandoned theater?Hi Fringe-philes, Adam Morgan here, a newcomer to FringeTelevision. I'll be posting weekly reviews for the rest of season one, sharing my reactions, thoughts, and theories with you. Feel free to disagree with me in the comments!

After a listless seven-week hiatus, Fringe stormed back last night with its best episode yet. Bound was like a shot of adrenaline into the show’s ongoing narrative, filled with action, suspense, mythology, and considerable character development. I was a fan before tonight, but I think in a few years I’ll look back and remember Bound as the episode that hooked me for good.

From a production standpoint, everything worked. The dialogue was crisp; Michael Giacchino’s score was perfect; the location shots were gorgeous; the direction was compelling (especially the low-frame-rate action sequences); and most perhaps importantly, the chemistry between cast members hit an all-time high.

From a narrative standpoint, Bound covered a lot of ground...

Click here to read more...


Dunham Done ‘em

Who's next?One of Bound’s greatest strengths was its focus on Olivia Dunham. We met her sister, her old rival, and learned a few new things. First, that she is lethal. My jaw literally dropped when she single-handedly took out half a dozen men and escaped from the warehouse. Second, that she can be vulnerable, too. Anna Torv did a marvelous job conveying conflicting emotions in this episode, oscillating between fear, distress, and anger. I was worried that her sister’s appearance would become subplot fodder, but their scenes together were nicely tied into the main theme of the episode: Olivia’s struggle to persevere under any circumstance.

Mystery of the Week

She's beautiful, isn't she?Of course, I chose to eat dinner while watching this episode, on a night that features gastrointestinal slugs and spinal taps. Per usual, this week’s scientific mystery seemed tangential at first, but wound up connecting right back to the ongoing story. Two renowned epidemiologists were poisoned with giant single-celled cold viruses that grow to maturity even faster than Lorraine Daisy Alcott’s baby in The Same Old Story. The biggest question here, as usual, is why?

In the Pilot, Phillip Broyles theorizes that someone is using the whole world as their lab, with human beings as test subjects for bizarre experiments. But as the show progresses, this explanation becomes less and less relevant. If you wanted to experiment with a weaponized parasite, why on earth would you target two prominent epidemiologists? It doesn’t add up. Unless it’s more than an experiment. A demonstration of power, perhaps? A cunning move in a worldwide game of human chess? More on this later.

Mitchell Loeb and the Big Tease

Mitchell Loeb drops a bomb on DunhamAs Walter might say, Mitchell Loeb gives me a case of cutis anserina (goose bumps). First he was just another agent the team saved from a parasite (a tentacled fellow that looked like the villain from Monsters, Inc). Then he was a double-agent who used that incident to get information out of a dead man. Then he was a wall-phasing bank robber. The guy gets around.

In Bound, Mitchell is revealed to be even more than he seems once again. We all assumed he was a villain since the end of episode 107, In Which We Meet Mr. Jones. But Loeb’s seemingly genuine confession to Olivia in the interrogation room makes him sound like a misunderstood protagonist. JJ Abrams is up to his old tricks. See Benjamin Linus and virtually every character from Alias.

They weren’t kidnapping Olivia to kill her, but to save her. Who is “they”? And who or what were they saving her from? Loeb’s next lines were the highlight of the night for me: “Do you not understand the rules? What we're up against? Who the two sides are?” Talk about a can of worms. In just a few seconds, Loeb revealed a huge, fundamental layer in Fringe’s mythology.

We were initially led to believe the Pattern was some kind of experimentation by Massive Dynamic. I think we’ve moved beyond that now. To make a Lost analogy, I think that’s like “the Monster is a dinosaur” or “they’re all in purgatory”. Now it appears as though there are two competing factions contributing to the Pattern, both of whom aim to achieve still-illusive objectives that somehow directly involve Olivia Dunham and the research of Walter Bishop. Brilliant. It hints at so much yet to come.

Overall, this was a huge breakthrough for the show. Almost like a second pilot. I’ve enjoyed Fringe from the beginning, but was waiting for an episode to launch the story into the stratosphere with the greats like Lost and The Prisoner.

I think the wait is over.

Stray Thoughts
  • Not much Walter this week, but he still shined when given the chance. His coy remarks about Peter’s feelings for Olivia were cute, and a great way to create tension between two stoic characters. Also, his cavalier slug-trapping maneuver got the biggest laugh of the night from me.

  • Not much Peter either, but Josh Jackson continues to do a great job establishing Peter as a level-headed, resourceful go-to guy. The man gets stuff done, and I like that. I was worried at first, given his Dawson’s Creek pedigree, but Josh has won me over. I’d like to see him get more physical in the future, and can’t wait to learn more about his past. And the man certainly dresses dapper for a globetrotting-opportunist-slash-black-market-entrepreneur, what with the pea coats and scarves from the Gap and all.

  • Broyles was a thrill to watch this week as well. Lance Reddick is so…severe. I’m hoping he gets to do some physical stuff too sometime soon. I’d like to see him take down Sanford Harris, for starters (who didn’t impress me, acting-wise).

  • That was an extremely long cold open.

  • Between her more-than-palpable good looks and her more-than-capable resourcefulness and intelligence, Dunham is becoming the best female lead on television.

  • Lost fans: did Loeb’s speech on “rules” and “sides” remind you of the dynamic between Ben and Charles Widmore?

  • Kudos to Michael Giacchino for that beautiful variation on his main Fringe leitmotif at the end of tonight’s episode. I want a Fringe soundtrack later this year.


Adam Morgan is a writer for both the page and screen in Chicago, and blogs daily on writing, film, pop culture, and strange news at Mount Helicon.

Walter's Lab Notes: Fringe 111 - Bound

      Email Post       1/21/2009 06:04:00 PM      


Here are Walter's Lab Notes from the Fringe episode Bound. Also pictured are a cheesesteak sandwich, a slug virus, a photo of some sort of organism, and Betty's slug tracks. In the notes, Walter mentions:
  • Ouranos, also know as Uranus, and Cronos are from Greek mythology
  • Buri and Borr (Bor) are from Norse mythology, the Grandfather and father of W┼Źden (Wotan), also known as Odin.
  • The quote is about "The Kraken", from Snorri Sturlson's "The Prose Edda"
  • ROUS - Rodents Of Unusual Size, a term from The Princess Bride
Click here to read the text of Walter's Notes

- Project 1087 - Exploration 1 -

First an overgrown protozoan wrapped 'round the heart; now a mommoth virus grown in the belly. How difficult it proves to separate myth from fact, and fact from myth! Gigantism abounds in legend. The giant Ouranos begat Cronos, also a giant; and from his belly burst the Olympians, themselves giants in the eyes of men. And likewise did Buri beget Bor who begat Wotan...

Straightway the Allfather cast the serpent into the deep sea, where he lies about all the land; and this serpent grew so greatly that he lies in the midst of the ocean encompassing all the land, and bites upo his own tail.

So said Snorri of the overgrown serpent. Always giants within giants within giants — of course! This gorgeous creature is not, in fact a giant virus. The rhinovirus takes the form of an icosahedron, not a slug. No, she is a gigantic human cell — from Dr. Kinberg's own intestinal walls — mercilessly overtaken and supersized by the giant virus that infected her.

SUPERSIZED! A new word in my lexicon. Such a brillian concept: to order a tasty meal and, with one simple command, expand it in all dimensions. The wonder and horror of it; for how could I not observe the astounding synedoche between the consumers and the consumed? Giants within giants again. To What othe purposes might this remarkable technique be applied? Squashes that will squash the county fair records? In class mammalia, order rodentia, the rise of the ROUS's? Even we hominids might take part. More than a few females might wish to grow thier assets; men, too.

But, caution is essential — for the pace of protien production must have been astonishingly rapid to sustain both cellular growth and .. oh, my. This volume of cytoplasm could only have one purpose: large-scale viral production. Within this slug-like sack, there could be millions of copies of its pathogenic parent. Extra care must be taken to contain her. No more afternoon walks for Betsy, I suppose. Wait... where did I see her last?

Fringe Episode 111: Bound

      Email Post       1/20/2009 09:00:00 PM      


After shifty FBI Agent Mitchel Loeb orchestrated David Robert Jones' otherworldly escape from a German prison and Olivia's alarming abduction, indications of a larger threat begin to emerge. Adding to the intense circumstances, one of Olivia's former adversaries is called in by Internal Affairs to conduct a formal review of the Fringe Division, and Olivia's sister, Rachel (guest star Ari Graynor), pays a visit...

How would you cast the yuck-factor (aka Gross) on Fringe?

Tonight on Fringe: Bound

      Email Post       1/20/2009 08:06:00 PM      


Finally! After seven week of waiting, FRINGE IS BACK! Tonight's episode is Bound to wrap up a few loose ends:
After shifty FBI Agent Mitchel Loeb orchestrated David Robert Jones' otherworldly escape from a German prison and Olivia's alarming abduction, indications of a larger threat begin to emerge. Adding to the intense circumstances, one of Olivia's former adversaries is called in by Internal Affairs to conduct a formal review of the Fringe Division, and Olivia's sister, Rachel (guest star Ari Graynor), pays a visit. The timing couldn't be more inopportune, as Olivia, Walter and Peter race against time to solve the wildly grotesque murder of an esteemed epidemiologist - which may link to Olivia's own abduction - before a catastrophic epidemic is unleashed.
After the show, you can discuss the episode here in the comments, or over the Fringe Television forum for Bound. Also, check out what you might have missed in the Fringe Easter Eggs section. Did you spot The Observer? The Fringepedia Wiki will be hard at work organizing all the Fringe facts, and screen captures from the entire episode will be available soon in Fringe Gallery.

The preview for next week's episode - The No-Brainer, can be found in the Fringe Spoilers section here.

Funny Fringe Fan Videos

      Email Post       1/20/2009 12:35:00 AM      

Here's a little shout out to obsessive Fringe fans Kevin Nalts and Caitlin Hill, for creating these funny Fringe videos. Enjoy!

Kevin Nalts: I Love Walter (Fringe):


Caitlin Hill: I'm going to be on Fringe!

Fringe: Next Episode Clue #8

      Email Post       1/19/2009 11:47:00 PM      


In addition to an appearance by The Observer, each episode of Fringe contains a hidden clue (Easter egg), that foreshadows something that will happen in the next episode. Over the next few hours leading up to the spring premiere, I will be posting videos of the clues from each Fringe episode.

Here is the "Next Episode Clue" from Fringe episode 108: The Equation

Previous Clues:
For more hidden clues, check out the Fringe Easter Eggs section.

Fringe: Next Episode Clue #7

      Email Post       1/19/2009 10:02:00 AM      


In addition to an appearance by The Observer, each episode of Fringe contains a hidden clue (Easter egg), that foreshadows something that will happen in the next episode. Over the next two days leading up to the spring premiere, I will be posting videos of the clues from each Fringe episode.

Here is the "Next Episode Clue" from Fringe episode 107: In Which We Meet Mr. Jones

Previous Clues:
For more hidden clues, check out the Fringe Easter Eggs section.

Fringe: Next Episode Clue #6

      Email Post       1/18/2009 01:16:00 AM      

In addition to an appearance by The Observer, each episode of Fringe contains a hidden clue (Easter egg), that foreshadows something that will happen in the next episode. Over the next five days leading up to the spring premiere, I will be posting videos of the clues from each Fringe episode.

Here is the "Next Episode Clue" from Fringe episode 106: The Cure

Previous Clues:
For more hidden clues, check out the Fringe Easter Eggs section.

Fringe: Next Episode Clue #5

      Email Post       1/17/2009 02:37:00 AM      


In addition to an appearance by The Observer, each episode of Fringe contains a hidden clue (Easter egg), that foreshadows something that will happen in the next episode. Over the next five days leading up to the spring premiere, I will be posting videos of the clues from each Fringe episode.

Here is the "Next Episode Clue" from Fringe episode 105: Power Hungry

Previous Clues:
For more hidden clues, check out the Fringe Easter Eggs section.

Change is coming... to Fringe Television

      Email Post       1/16/2009 09:33:00 AM      

Over the next few days, I'll be making some minor changes to FringeTelevision.com - mainly updating the look, and moving some stuff around.

This is your opportunity to let me know what you like about the site, what you don't, and what you think might be missing that should be added, or any other ideas you have. For example, do you like the content separated into different sections - news / episodes / Easter eggs... or would you prefer everything on the front page? (The Fringe Spoilers section will always remain separate.)

I'm also looking for a few good men (or women), preferably with blog experience, who want to help contribute to the site, especially the news and Easter eggs sections.

Fringe: Next Episode Clue #4

      Email Post       1/16/2009 09:29:00 AM      


In addition to an appearance by The Observer, each episode of Fringe contains a hidden clue (Easter egg), that foreshadows something that will happen in the next episode. Over the next six days leading up to the spring premiere, I will be posting videos of the clues from each Fringe episode.

Here is the "Next Episode Clue" from Fringe episode 104: TheArrival

Previous Clues:
For more hidden clues, check out the Fringe Easter Eggs section.

Fringe: The Whole Series In Five Minutes

      Email Post       1/15/2009 10:56:00 AM      

FOX has created a 5-minute recap video of the first ten episodes of FRINGE. If you are new to Fringe, or need a quick refresher course, this excellent video will get you up to speed with all the player and major plot points.

For some reason, FOX don't let people embed their videos, so jump over to Fox On Demand to get ready for the premier of Bound on Jan. 20th.

BTW, If you've missed any episodes, you can watch them for free online, in our Fringe Episodes section.

Fringe: Next Episode Clue #3

      Email Post       1/15/2009 01:54:00 AM      


In addition to an appearance by The Observer, each episode of Fringe contains a hidden clue (Easter egg), that foreshadows something that will happen in the next episode. Over the next seven days leading up to the spring premiere, I will be posting videos of the clues from each Fringe episode.

Here is the "Next Episode Clue" from Fringe episode 103: The Ghost Network

Previous Clues:
For more hidden clues, check out the Fringe Easter Eggs section.

Joshua Jackson Interviews: Craig Ferguson & BuzzSugar

      Email Post       1/15/2009 01:53:00 AM      


Joshua Jackson was on the Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson Tuesday night, talking about Fringe, living in Paris, and "stroking the slug". Craig showed a sneak peek from the upcoming Fringe episode Bound, which I have removed and placed in the Fringe Spoilers section.

Buzz Sugar also interviewed with Josh at FOX's TCA after-party. They discussed:
  • Coming back for a new batch of episodes
  • Learning Peter's secrets
  • Peter and Walter's relationship
  • Working with JJ Abrams
  • Giving Peter a reason to stick around:
...He may not like to admit it, but he's human and he wants to take care of his dad. At the core of it all there's a very simple emotional story going on: Peter is an abandoned child who has a chance all these years later to build some sort of relationship with his father. If you took away all of the science fiction, that's a workable story in and of itself."
You can read the full interview at BuzzSugar.com.

Fringe: Next Episode Clue #2

      Email Post       1/13/2009 11:53:00 PM      


In addition to an appearance by The Observer, each episode of Fringe contains a hidden clue (Easter egg), that foreshadows something that will happen in the next episode. Over the next eight days leading up to the spring premiere, I will be posting videos of the clues from each Fringe episode.

Here is the "Next Episode Clue" from Fringe episode 102: The Same Old Story.

Previous Clues:
For more hidden clues, check out the Fringe Easter Eggs section.

American Idol Tonight

      Email Post       1/13/2009 07:51:00 PM      

Tonight is the premiere of the eighth season (!) of American Idol, which means no new Fringe. However the wait is almost over, because Fringe will be back next week with an all new episode - Bound.

But don't turn off the TV quite yet... because it's possible we could see an appearance from our good friend The Observer. No, not hiding on the sidelines like on Sunday's NFL game, but actually singing. Don't believe it? Check out this video featuring the bald one himself, Michael Cerveris, singing in Sweeny Todd (@ 2:30):

Fringe Will Return For Season 2 This Fall?

      Email Post       1/13/2009 03:17:00 PM      

The Hollywood Reporter, covering the 2009 TCA Winter Press Tour, is reporting that FOX entertainment president Kevin Reilly "heavily hinted" that Fringe will return in the fall for a second season!
It's a keeper ... They've really found the storytelling model now ... what you're going to see in the second half in the year, if you follow the serialized story you're going to find [satisfying content each week and yet] the stories really do re-set themselves each week I would not expect it to take off after 'Idol' but I do think it will tick up another level.
Perhaps he meant the second-half of the First season? Either way, it sounds like he is a big Fringe fan, and the show will be sticking around for a while.

Reilly was also asked about the Remote-Free TV experiment used on Fringe:
Will the RemoteFreeTV experiment continue? If Fox has its way, yes, but the model that uses half as many commercials for shows like "Fringe" and "Dollhouse" remain a tough sell for advertisers. When asked if RemoteFree was a success, Reilly says, "For the most part, yes. Viewer feedback was great ... advertisers were very happy ... studies showed retention was high ... but not every advertiser wants to pay that premium." Plus, there's an additional production factor of doing shows that are slightly longer than usual.
 

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