Thursday, January 29, 2009

Fringe "No-Brainer" *SPOILERS*

When Fringe started in the fall, I was interested. They had the requisite weird J.J. Abrams ARG and commercials for Massive Dynamics, the strange little 3 second ads with an apple and two babies instead of seeds, or the hand with 5 fingers and a thumb. To be frank, it was all a little too weird and completely J.J. Abrams, and I loved it thoroughly. I was psyched for the pilot; I mean, a guy literally melts to death on the plane (Jason Butler Harner, who was fantastic in Changeling) and it crashes and now everyone is melted! Freakin' awesome. But then I lost interest, and I don't know why. So I decided, before bed every night, I would watch the episodes I had thought I didn't want to watch. I watched and I fell back into the groove. This show is fantastic! Even Anna Torv's, hopefully, lack-luster acting fits perfectly into the feel of the show. And when the hell did Pacey get hot? I was never one to get into Dawson's Creek or even The Mighty Ducks, but I never thought he was really that good looking. He caught the David Silver-I got into my 30's-hotness, and me likey.

And that little diatribe brings me to today's topic. Tuesdays episode of Fringe entitled, 'No Brainer'. One of the things I like about Fringe is that they don't shy away from almost making you throw up the granola bar you just ate. Like last week's episode, wherein a giant cold virus/slug thing crawled out of people's mouths, this week we get a computer program/virus that literally melts peoples brains out all over the place like so much vomit; yuck! The case begins with a kid who is online and gets this little pop-up that says, 'What's that noise?', which he of course clicks on. Suddenly his screen is filled with a melange of sounds and pictures that cause his brain to liquify. Oh, and Walter gets a letter from some lady who wants to meet with him, but Peter intercepts it because he thinks Walter can't handle some lady blaming him for her daughters death. Turns out that she just wants to know all about her daughter and Peter had nothing to worry about, so his outburst at Olivia was unfounded and he later comes over, drunk, to apologize and continue to flirt with her sister. Now storyline B is out of the way...back to the brain-fryin'.

So as Olivia is tracking down the victims, the kid and now a car salesman, Peter finds out through some melted hard drives, that the computer program was routed through a billion different ports and is currently being downloaded at her house. Her niece is playing with a little pony painting program and on comes the screen and the program and of course, they get there in time to stop her from melting her brain. But, the little webcam is on and someone is watching Olivia, who now knows that someone is remotely accessing it; why it's Andy from True Blood! We don't learn until later that this is the dad of the friend of the kid who died in the beginning. Next up to die is his ex-wife's husband and Olivia finds out that there must be a connection, though the car salesman doesn't fit. Turns out Andy (I don't remember the character's name) was getting back at people who wronged him by killing their loved ones. So the ex-wife and he had a nasty divorce, hence the killing of her husband; the kid at the beginning was killed because his father fired Andy; and the car salesman...I don't remember, I think he fired him or didn't hire him. His stupid son is so stupid he leads Olivia and Peter, who just had the aforementioned tiff, to the warehouse where daddy-dearest is staying in goes Olivia. Alone. Things come to a head and Andy shoots himself.

The ONLY thing that I don't like about the current storyline is the character of Sanford Harris. I don't get him. He supposedly is there to monitor the department that Olivia is now working in, the one dedicated to Fringe science, hence the name of the show. He also appears to have an ulterior motive, because Olivia put him in jail for raping some women he worked with, though he says he didn't rape them or molest them. In the first episode he was in, I think it was the slug one, he was yelling at Olivia saying she didn't know what she was doing and that he'd shut the department down and getting all up in Broyles face. Then he realized that she did, in fact, know what she was doing and laid off her. But in this week's episode he was right back at it! He was telling her that her job was to interrogate people, so get in there and do it! And she had 48 hours (I think he said this last time too) to get the case solved or he'd close it and bury the department...blah, blah, blah. So, I don't get the purpose, maybe there is more to come? But if they keep up with this, it's going to get old.

One thing they can keep up, is the little thing they are insinuating between Olivia and Peter. It's subtle and sweet and they have good chemistry; the kind of chemistry to make a good Mulder/Scully relationship. Since that's what I see this show as: the 'new', but different, X-Files. And that's not a bad thing...not a bad thing at all.

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