Saturday, July 27, 2013

Fringe 1x01: "Pilot"

Next up in my Summer TV Recap Series is Fringe. A long time ago, I watched a few episodes but fell out of it. A year ago, I bought the season one DVD thanks to the enthusiastic praise it received online regarding how it concluded its fifth and final season. And yet, I never found the time nor the inclination to watch it.

Now, thanks to the enthusiastic praises of the completely fictional Ben Wyatt from Parks and Recreation, as well as the fact that I can only turn on the TV and see nothing but reality and talent competitions for so long without going insane, I will be watching and recapping a completely new-to-me series. Which will be a switch from rewatching Downton Abbey and Veronica Mars.

And let me tell you, Fringe had one big, shiny pilot. It all begins on a commercial flight from Berlin when the passengers all start melting and vomiting on each other like they have Super Leprosy.

FBI agents Olivia Dunham and John Scott (a.k.a. that dude from Human Target) are making the down-low interoffice sexytimes at the Squeaky-Bed Motel when they get the call about the plane that landed at Boston's airport full of gelatine-skeletons. They arrive with their FBI pal Charlie Francis (a.k.a. that dude who gouged another dude's eyes out on Oz) and are given their orders by Phillip Broyles (a.k.a. that dude who pushed another dude down an elevator shaft in Oz).

However, while investigating a lead, things literally blow up in John and Olivia's faces and John catches Super Leprosy too - although they've found a way to slow down the process. Desperate to save him, Olivia discovers that all this stuff about melty people and see-through skin and Super-Leprosy all used to be studied by this famous scientist named Walter Bishop (a.k.a. that royal dude who tried to set his son on fire in The Lord of the Rings).

Unfortunately, he's been in a mental asylum for years after one of his assistants was killed in his lab, so Olivia tracks down Walter's son Peter Bishop (a.k.a. the guy in Dawson's Creek who didn't have a creek named after him), who's like this Nomadic Loner Super Genius Con Artist whose only flaws are a crippling gambling debt and acting skills that are not quite up to par yet with the rest of the cast.

After some blatant blackmailing, Olivia and Peter manage to bust out Walter and get him a lab at Harvard University, some super-expensive science equipment, and a cow, because it's not like the government's short on money or anything. And despite being in a nuthouse for more than a decade, Walter's surprisingly up to date on scientific progress. Sadly, he can't concoct an antidote for John without knowing what sort of chemicals he was exposed to and by whom.

Thankfully, Walter has a Mad-Science solution that involves Olivia psychically linking with the comatose John while tripping balls in a hot tub and it works because Mad Science. The perpetrator is Richard Steig, who used to work for this Shady Conglomerate called Massive Dynamic (because Overcompensating Dynamic was taken?), whose representative, Nina Sharp, is responsible for dropping Cryptic Hints in front of protagonists.

Olivia's superior, Broyles, is pretty impressed with Olivia's ability to get high in her underwear and offers her a job with his Super Classified Pinkie-Swear Secret Division. Apparently, events like the Super-Leprosy Plane have been happening all over the world, as if a legion of Mad Scientists have decided to make the world their lab, and it's all fitting into some sort of sinister Pattern.

Olivia says no until her boyfriend recovers, turns out to have been evil all along, kills his accomplice Steig, and dies in a car crash. Then she says yes because, at this point, why the fuck not? Perhaps the only way to fight a Pattern of Mad Scientists is with one of their own - the eccentric Walter Bishop.

Mad Science!
  • Super-Leprosy
  • Airborne Toxins
  • AI-Piloted Airplanes 
  • Homemade LSD
  • Hot Tub Telepathy Machines
  • Robot Arms
  • Conversations with Dead People
Best Death Scene:
  • The German pilot's jaw-dropping demise - as his jaw literally dissolves off of his face. Because it's melting. He dies screaming but I'm sure he'll get the joke once he's in Fictional Character Heaven. 
Mad Science Questions:
  • Some of the gelatine-skeletons on the downed plane were pretty disgustingly cool - yet a disconcerting number of them aren't wearing clothes. The toxin only dissolves organic matter - so who gets shirtless on a plane? 


  1. Rick @ TheDeckledEdge.net4:57 PM

    Fringe is SO GOOD. One of the most under-watched shows ever. Once season one finishes be prepared for your mind to be blown on a weekly basis. Seriously, keep watching it.

  2. AnimeJune9:32 PM

    I will! I'm already recapping the second episode.