Fringe - I have to admit I found season one of Fringe unfocused and confusing... until the finale. However, this season has been great (Okay, we won't talk about the "musical" episode!), as the storytelling narrowed in on mercury-filled shape-shifting soldiers, a formerly frozen head guy named Newton, and Leonard Nimoy as William Bell.
Fringe has become the true heir to The X-Files legacy, with a vibrant mythology and the Fringe murders expanding past the alternate universe mythology.
The storytelling's gotten better and better (Okay, we won't talk about the "musical" episode!), with a perfect ratio of questions to answers. And the cast has embraced their roles... Walter is one of my favorite characters on TV, Astrid is a delight, Peter's grown on me, and intense Olivia is believable although she really could smile more. Okay, I agree that Broyles (played by the wonderful Lance Reddick) is underused.
In the last few episodes we've found out that the entire alternate universe business started because of Peter, who was taken by Walter as a child so he could cure him of a terrible illness after losing his own son. While he did cure Other Peter, he never returned him. Bad Walter! Oh, that explains so much!
In this week's "Northwest Passage" we finally got a look at what that Other Walter looks like today, and I'm thinking his brain is intact (unlike our Walter). And surprise, surprise, Newton was working for Other Walter (who he calls Mr. Secretary), and it really is all about Peter.
While the episode set us up thinking possibly it wasn't a mythology episode (including a great turn by Martha Plimpton), the story flipped around giving us some big time mythology stuff and a perfect set up for the two-part season two finale, "Over There."
While I doubt we'll ever learn the mystery behind why Newton started off as a frozen head or why the shape-shifters have mercury instead of blood, the emotional essence of a parent doing anything to save his son is something we can related to. And forget Peter's challenge of trying to forgive Walter. How are WE going to forgive Walter for stealing another Walter's son? Powerful stuff.
In Part 1 of "Over There," Olivia and Walter try to figure out a way to get to the other side, and at some point during the two parts someone important will die. I really can't wait to see how this all comes to a "head"... maybe even a frozen head.
Here's the promo for "Over There":