Fringe Season 3: Exploring the Multiverse
This article I’m focusing on the grander idea’s and themes that are present in season 3 of Fringe. If you’re more interested in my thoughts on the plot and some episode discussion check out the previous post. Also Spoilers.
So on the alternate universe:
Aside from the obvious and head-scratching blimps and bronze statue of liberty there are smaller pretty cool changes. First of all Fringe is not a nobody branch of the FBI that struggles for funding, no quite the opposite; everyone knows what Fringe is and the implications are for their visit.
That is the amber.
The substance that allows tears in the universe to be plugged, as it were, to slow the decay of their universe that started when Walter first crossed over. The amber is a really cool device because although it saves lives it takes them as well, being that there is never enough time to clear an area before the amber is released. It’s these sort of hard choices that the characters have to make continually that push Fringe to being really awesome sci-fi in my book. Again more on that later.
Theres a bunch of stuff that bugs me about the alternate universe. There’s all these changes that seem arbitrary in that they’re there simply to show difference. For example why does the alternate universe have the tech to bring someone back to new from a full body third degree burn, but not have a remedy for the bird flu. Now I’m no scientist but I bet that science wouldn’t develop like that. Then there’s just stuff like U2. All of this wouldn’t bug me that much, except for the fact that none of that stuff matters. In the end there more or less the same, I mean NY is NY, there’s taxi’s and vans.
Now that’s something I do like. The alternate universe characters are given different looks and tweaked personalities. Plus there’s Lincoln Lee as your Peter stand in on the other side who I kept wanting to call Lucas Lee because of the Scott Pilgrim character. Poor Lincoln I hope he gets to be recognized in the coming seasons.
So just to break up my praising of elements I’m going to talk about the “First People” thing. Kinda cool idea and I do mean kinda. Then we discover that Sam, the bowling guy is connected to all of this and that’s about the time I went, OK Fringe enough bullshit your a better show than that.
I suppose this is more about my problem with prophecies and crap like that.
Now I’m OK with prophecies in something like Angel for example because it makes sense. Were dealing with Magic(with a capital M) there, in Fringe were supposed to be dealing with science. And again spoilers you guys, it does turn out to be through time travel.
BUT only like some of it is explained that way. We don’t know who originally built the machine or who made those papers, plus if Walter had the pieces of the machine sent back then why are there pieces in the alternate universe too? Man fuck time travel right guys?
Which brings me to an important point. Unlike the previous seasons in which terrorists created fringe events to terrorize or shape shifters messing things up and trying to bring things/ people over from the other side with no real motive in Season 3 there are in my opinion no villains.It’s simply a conflict between two opposed factions who see no other option than to fight each other. Now we perceive Walternate and Brandarnate(?) as the villains here as they are orchestrating everything to make their strike at our universe but episodes like Subject 13 give us insight into what he’s feeling. Branarnate doesn’t get the same treatment so we just see him as a crazy scientist who loves messing with the universe which is ironic because that’s exactly what started the whole conflict.
I like that they expanded the cast as Broyles and Astrid are not strong enough characters to maintain interest. Plus I don’t understand why Nina Sharp is a star . Why she is credited in every episode? It makes little sense as although she is an important character she is far from being in every episode or even having a meaningful role in every episode she does appear in. Anyway that’s probably some TV thing.
Not to beat a dead horse but I can’t stress enough what an impressive feat it was that the Fringe writers created a conflict with two sides who you can feel for. Both sides have qualities to like about them and both sides have made mistakes, very real rooted in human emotion mistakes.
And that to me is the most impressive accomplishment of this season.