Fox has a knack for airing amazing shows and then pulling them off the air. There are exceptions, like House
, where a show has been given a fair run, and taken off in order to prevent one from jumping the shark. But some of their best shows have been cancelled before they could fully develop. Shows like Lie to Me
, Terra Nova
and Prison Break
all had four seasons or fewer and were cut as soon as the going got rough. On the other hand, Fringe
is one Fox show whose creators have been given the space they need.
Fringe is truly unlike any other show I have ever seen on TV. It’s a sci-fi procedural thriller with a tendency to confuse and/or freak out its viewers. Every episode is intriguing and builds on the last. In each episode, a strange phenomena begins to occur throughout the world, and the mysterious cause is eventually uncovered.
The story of Fringe is centered around mad scientist Walter Bishop who kidnaps his son Peter from another universe to prevent Peter from dying from the same disease he had previously died from in Walter’s universe. Peter is called to release Walter from a mental institution some seventeen years later with FBI agent Olivia Dunham.
From there Olivia, Peter and Walter, along with Walter’s sweet-talking lab assistant Astrid Farnsworth go on to uncover some of the strangest occurrences imaginable, from disappearing buildings, slugs growing inside of people and tearing their insides apart, or men transforming into giant porcupines.
Throughout the series, the main characters are never seen without a bald man in a dark blue suit and wearing a fedora. The man September, also called an observer, watches what happens on Earth and manipulates events for new outcomes all while observing mankind.
In the fifth and final season, the show turns from a procedural thriller to a mysterious drama. All the events in the previous seasons seemed to have led up to this final fight for humanity and the preservation of the world as Walter has left it.
Show creator J.J. Abrams, also the director and resurrector of the Star Trek franchise and recently announced director of the next installment of Star Wars films, has done a fantastic job of bringing science fiction to the masses in a way that everyone can appreciate. He makes the geekiest of things understandable and relatable.
The final episode of the series, although I won’t reveal its content, is a great coming together of every pivotal moment in the series, and the emotional impact is unimaginable. Throughout the series, Fringe developed from a science-fiction-focused plotline to one that incorporates the value of love, family, and justice. And there is truly no show to mirror Fringe’s talent in delivering it.
Despite its relatively low ratings, this is the reason why Fringe was allowed to live beyond its expiration date. The fanbase it had amassed for both everyday people and geeks is beyond that of typical sci fi shows, especially for a show airing on Fox. Sure, the show didn’t break 15 million views like House did at one time, but if 4 million views, a ton of DVR’d episodes, downloaded episodes, and purchased DVD boxsets say anything, it’s that Fringe was a hit. Check it out on DVD, or on the Syfy channel where it will live on in syndication. You won’t be sorry.