With its third season ‘Fringe’ became my uncontested preference out of the TV series choices currently offered on the not-so-small-any-longer screens. Sure, one may say that the offer is not great at this moment in time, but I need to say that Fringe does get better and better. What started like a series of investigations on scientific, retro-scientific and most often para-scientific subjects, with a triangle of heroes (father – son – platonic girlfriend) certainly too naive and too ingenuous to be true, but unfit enough to the real world in order to solve unreal mysteries developed gradually into something completely different.

 

source http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1119644/

 

Comparing ‘Fringe’ with ‘The X-Files’ is one of the preferred games for critics, fans and haters. It may actually be a fact that many of the followers of Fringe are recruited from the audiences that were following agents Mulder and Scully 15 years ago, and that the relation between Peter Bishop and Olivia Dunham almost plagiarizes the sexual tension between the other FBI guy and girl. But then the universe or better say the universes where the two series happen differ radically. I believe that ‘Fringe’ owns much more to the creator of the series J.J.Abrams and it resembles more and more to his huge success ‘Lost’ although frankly speaking it did not yet reach the depth of the ocean around that island. The third season gathers and provides logic to many of the facts prepared in the first two seasons, with its story of two parallel universes which are doomed to clash because the rules of separation were at some point in time broken. It also blurs the good vs. bad system of reference, providing an ambiguity which is not deprived of a certain sense of humor. Not only is the clash of the Universes originating in actions performed by one genius scientist on this side, but also the other side politics where the Towers never fell and the Kennedy’s are presidents cannot be that bad, not to speak about the fact that the FBI was dismantled and Fringe police is the one that took its place.

 

(video source ZonaFringe)

 

For a TV series (or a film, or a book), even for a science-fiction or fantastic one, in order to be really good it must have a human dimension that the viewers or readers can identify with. To its credit, this never lacked in ‘Fringe’. When emotions are let to run the show it gets much better than when moralistic or mystic explanations are called in help. One of the best episodes of the season involves a couple of old people who have lost each of them the other in the alternate universes. He appears to her and she appears to him as ghosts, and never did a ghost stories seemed so true and so moving to me. The relation between Walter and Peter Bishop goes through the ups and downs that any relation between father and son can go for almost two seasons, to be amplified and to receive a very different perspective in the third one. Supporting characters around have each their own stories (sometimes more than one as we have the characters in this universe (‘ours’) the ones in the parallel one). One memorable such character is Phillip Broyles, acted by Lance Reddick which was also wonderful in ‘The Wire’ also in the role of the big-heart chief of the police unit. John Noble, Joshua Jackson and Anna Torv are playing the main roles in the triangle around which the whole series is being built.

 

(video source FRINGEPROMOS)

 

Can it get better? I certainly hope so. We have again a disppearance to solve in season 4, and another central character to bring back. There are certainly many science, retro-science and especially para-science mysteries waiting to be brought into light. Dr. Walter Bishop did not probably run dry on the tool-set of tricks of the 70s, and certainly not on the nostalgia or appetite for candies. The Watchers will certainly continue to play a role in making sure that the equilibrium of the universes is being preserved. And beyond all I hope that the moments of real human emotion will not be missing.