Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Living On The Fringe...

In my push to catch up with the currently airing episodes of Criminal Minds, I had fallen a little behind on my other shows. Not much, because most were/are on their winter breaks, but some. I'm catching up with the shows, and I just caught up with Fringe. And for all my gushing on the show, I had no idea they could accomplish the impossible!

See, a few posts back, I wrote about my increasing frustration with television shows having the romantic entanglements of their characters take over the storyline of the show. Now, these shows are about people and people fall in or out of love, so romance is going to be involved. That's fine with me. I have no problems with that, so long as it's balanced with the overall story of the show.

In the post linked above, the biggest offender was Bones. But, another offender was Fringe. Starting with the startling revelation that Agent Dunham had feelings for Peter Bishop at the end of Season 2, the developing romance between Dunham and Bishop began taking over a larger portion of the show. Unlike, Bones, it never got to intolerable levels on Fringe, but given that producers of TV watch each other to gauge what's "hot" and trend towards that, it was worrying me.

When I watch a tv show, I always put myself in the universe of that show. So, right now somewhere in this country, Olivia Dunham and Peter Bishop (and the rest of the Fringe team) are running around doing what they do, trying to keep my sorry ass from dying in some weirdo experiment related to "The Pattern". So, I watch to see how it's going. When they start focusing on who's hooking up with who, I lose interest because it has no bearing on my life. Catching murderers or serial killers, or stopping the nuclear bomb, that affects me. Two people on the team deciding to "bump uglies" doesn't. That's their business. NOT mine. Until, I saw last Friday's episode of Fringe. That's when they did the impossible...

That's when Fringe made the romance between Peter & Olivia pertinent to my continued existence.

There's been an ongoing storyline this season about Peter and his connection to a machine that has some mysterious purpose. And that purpose is tied to Peter Bishop. For the bulk of this season, they've also focused on Peter's relationship troubles with Olivia, mostly because he was in love with the Olivia from the alternate universe, while thinking that it was the Olivia from THIS one. When the indigenous Olivia returned, their relationship got.... complicated.

In last Friday's episode, they revealed that the machine can destroy either this world or the alternate world depending on how Peter's mind is tuned. So, dear readers, you're probably asking how does Peter's mind get tuned? Well, there's the rub: Peter gets tuned by which Olivia he's in love with.

Nice, right?

And then just to twist the knife a little bit more, they also reveal that Peter still has feelings for the other universe's Olivia! So if Peter gets in that machine right now, we're all going to die! I didn't think it was possible, but now I care about who Peter ends up with. Since the me in the Fringe Universe is going to DIE if Peter picks the wrong one!!

J.J. Abrams, I salute you. You made me care about a romantic relationship between two fictional characters. You have accomplished the impossible. Touche, good sir. Touche.

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