Why You Should Be Watching 'Fringe'
This article is a spoiler-free review of the sci-fi series, Fringe.
My best friends and I had just finished binge watching Travelers and we were looking for a “new” show to binge together (I am a TV junkie so basically I’m always rewatching and they’re watching for the first time). I remembered that I had the entire series of Fringe tucked away in my mixed collection of DVDs and BLU Rays. Fringe remains in my top 10 shows of all time list and will probably be there forever, and while in the middle of my binge I thought it was a PERFECT time to revisit this show in a spoiler free article for our first Throwback Thursday (TBT) feature here at Truth Bee Told.
I’ll set the tone without getting too much into plot details:
In the pilot episode, FBI agent Olivia Dunham (Anna Torv) and her partner John Scott (Mark Valley) are called in by their boss to investigate a suspicious occurrence: a plane has landed on autopilot with everyone inside arriving as dead, crystallized zombies. It starts a chain of events where Olivia needs to see Dr. Walter Bishop (wonderfully played by John Noble), the scientist who created the biological agent responsible for the crystal-skinned plague that infected the plane and now her partner, Agent Scott.
The problem? Bishop has been in a mental institution for nearly 20 years. To speak with him she needs the person who holds Dr. Bishop’s power of attorney: his adult son, Peter Bishop (played with great sass by Joshua Jackson), who makes a living by conning people and utilizing his 196 IQ. Olivia tracks him to Iraq and their introduction is straight out of a Jane Austen novel with all its sass and verbal sparring.
From the pilot forward the audience is thrown into a very complex and intricate story that at first feels like your usual “murder of the week” cop show with a twist—but hold onto your lab coats, because the Season 1 finale takes everything you thought this show was going to be and throws it out the window. LITERALLY. And it just keeps unfolding this epic sci-fi tale for four more seasons where they deal with everything from man made superbugs to illegal child experimentation to alternate realities and wild time jumps.
But enough about the plot! The real beauty of this show is the characters and their relationships. Olivia Dunham is the feminist hero you didn’t know you needed—cool headed but emotional, strong but soft; she bears the weight of the world with pure grace. Peter Bishop is this sassy man/boy that you peg as a jerk at first but boy, oh boy, his character development is a thing of beauty. He sacrifices everything for the people he loves on more than one occasion. And finally, Dr. Walter Bishop is one of the most unique characters to ever come across a TV screen. He is one part lovable grandpa, one part remorseless mad scientist, and Noble plays both sides like a fiddle.
There are also great side characters like Nina Sharp, the president of a huge tech company you are never sure you can trust; Charlie Francis, Olivia’s loyal coworker; Astrid Farnsworth, the sweet and caring lab assistant that knows how to wrangle Dr. Bishop; Olivia’s tough but fair boss Phillip Broyles; and later, one of my favorite character additions, Agent Lincoln Lee. There are multiple facets to most of these characters; I can’t get into details because of spoilers, but trust me, it’s a truly unique viewing experience.
Despite the fact that this show is so grimdark and often violent, it is also very hopeful. It showcases the beauty in humanity along with the ugly, and you never feel like you’re about to suffocate under the heaviness like a lot of currently airing shows.
It is also a great redemption story for fathers and sons. Peter, Walter, Charlie—almost all the men in Olivia’s life, really—trust her with their lives and protect her, but they never do it because they think she can’t handle it. Oftentimes she’s the one that ends up saving all of them.
If you are a fan of FBI dramas, sci-fi, or you just love shows about found family taking care of each other, this show may become your new old favorite.
Tidbits and final thoughts:
If you have a weakness for shipping serious blondes with sassy brunettes...welcome to your new slow burn hell, my friend.
If you love biblical and spiritual parables tied into plots and characters you will love this show.
If you love random science theories that are a bit too far fetched, this show is for you.
You will not believe how much you will come to love Walter.
You will recognize elements from Stranger Things, The Flash, and Travelers, to name a few current shows, woven throughout this show.
JJ Abrams can make a show about anything and it’s gonna be good.
This show is from 2008, so its special effects get better each season.
Peter and Olivia PeTeR and OliViA PETER and OLIVIA
Fringe isn’t currently available on streaming platforms such as Netflix and HULU, but here are some other ways you can watch it:
Available on Verizon’s go90 streaming app and website (U.S. only)
Available on Amazon for $0.99 an episode to purchase digitally*
Available on BLUray for around $14.99 per season*
*U.S.-based pricing and websites may not reflect pricing internationally.
And that wraps our first TBT here on TBT! Share your feelings on Fringe with us in the comments.