Sunday, September 14, 2008

TV RECAP: "Fringe" (Ep. 1)

The series was exacty what everyone was saying it was going to be: "The X-Files" meets "Bones," which isn't exactly a bad thing. I spent the first hour of the premiere feeling annoyed by the fact that Olivia (Anna Torv), who hunted down and blackmailed Peter Bishop (Joshua Jackson) so she could get access to his imprisoned mad scientist father Walter (John Noble) in order for him to cure her mysteriously diseased partner/lover, was already showing signs of flirtation with Peter even while her "true love" was dying slowly nearby. I get that Josh is charming and cute and funny and...well, I get it. But that guy who said he loved you, the one you watched almost you remember him? She even admitted that this was the first relationship she felt good about. I guess that was conditional upon someone cuter and younger showing up.

Aside from that, Olivia was a pretty cool chick. When she was chasing down Stark, the guy who gave her lover the disease (and murdered an entire plane of people by making his twin inject himself with a virus), Peter had successfully detained him, but she still felt the need to put her foot on his neck and demand answers. But that, of course, doesn't top what Peter did in the interrogation room, breaking the terrorist's hand with a coffee mug. How did he get away with that? He's not a cop, so he can pretty much do whatever he wants. This sounds like the beginning of a beautiful friendship...even though Olivia would rather go back to her regular life as an FBI agent.

Unfortunately, even after they cure her boyfriend, the fun doesn't quite end there. In a twist I didn't see coming (mainly because she put him up on such a high pedastal), her boyfriend murdered the terrorist and escaped from the hospital. Both he and the terrorist worked for a secret organization called the Pattern, who use the world as their lab, testing out diseases, cures and God knows what else on random populations. After a car chase where Olivia pursued him, causing his car to flip and him to die, he told her: "Ask yourself why Broyles sent you to Stark's facility?" Why he wanted to make her suspect the Homeland Security official who put her on the job, I'm not sure.

It's going to be one of those shows where you never know which is the right side of the law. Is Broyles trying to protect humanity or is he just after the extensive research that I'm sure the Pattern has amassed. There's one company in particular called Massive Dynamics that used to employ Stark and is presently supervised by a woman with a visually impressive mechanical arm. She owes her life to the machines that the company has designed. She believes in the future and, essentially, that the ends (cures, advanced technology, etc.) justify the means (mass murder, etc.). Then there's also the fact that Walter's former science partner-in-crime runs Massive Dynamics. While that's good for them because Walter can pretty much undo any chaos he wraughts since they worked on the same experiments, it isn't great, because we don't know if Walter shares the same philosophy as Massive Dynamics. For all we know, he could be pretending to be crazy so he can achieve his own agenda.

Overall, I like the chemistry between the leads. I was actually expecting Anna to be rather boring. And I even had lower expectations for Noble, but his character was half the amusement. Josh sets them up the jokes and he knocks them down. There was one scene where Josh was trying to discourage Olivia from participating in an experiment that would involve being half naked and lots of electricity. Peter's main argument is that his father hadn't done an experiment in more than 15 years and that they had just released him from a mental hospital where he was imprisoned for accidentally killing someone in his last experiment. Walter's response: "I'd rather not. I'm just saying I can." Clever little quips like that will keep you interested if the crazy experiments (one of which involved a cow) don't have your full attention.

No comments:

Post a Comment