Olivia Dunham

Fringe: Season 2

Fringe 2

Fringe DVD season 2

Tonight I finished watching the second season of Fringe. Its difficult to say how this season ranks with the first season – I enjoyed both quite a bit. I don’t know that I could pick which one is “better.”

This season has several “reveals” in it, so if you don’t wanna know… don’t read any further. Once again, Walter and Astrid steal the show, but during this season Olivia and Peter became far more interesting, as well. There was one episode that is “flashback” to 1985 when Peter dies and one episode that is like taking an LSD-trip with Walter (“Brown Betty”).  The latter is very weird and not at all like any other episode. I don’t know if that makes it good or bad. I guess I just don’t know what the writers were thinking with that one.

Not all the episodes in this season were part of the “over there/second dimension” storyline, which is nice. I think its a good thing that we see other odd cases as opposed to only ones dealing with the parallel universe and Walter’s exploits there.  In some of these episodes we learn more about the Observers, as they are called, and we also get a lot of our backstory questions answered. People who watched season 1 will definitely want to watch season 2 for all the answers. Most of the answers we get are regarding Peter.

The season ends not so much with a cliffhanger, but with Olivia in a bad spot, so to speak.

Walter:  “You know what? You know what you’re putting into our bodies? Death! Delicious, strawberry-flavored death!”
4 stars


Fringe: Season 1

Fringe 1

Fringe DVD season 1

Last night I finished up Fringe Season one.   I had gotten the season on sale on Black Friday for $10.  It stars Anna Torv as Olivia Dunham, an FBI agent who ends up drafted into the “Fringe Division” to investigate bizarre cases that are beyond the norm of known empirical science.  She is assisted by Peter Bishop (played by Joshua Jackson) and Walter Bishop (John Noble).

The Pilot episode was not very good. I’ve learned, though, that pilots are not usually good.  I hate flying and so the chaos on the plane crash to start the show left me uneasy.  But putting aside my fear of crashing, I have to say that the characters seemed dumb, confused, and a bit retarded. The story was only so-so average.

Thankfully, the storyline gets a lot better. Walter is a fascinating “mad scientist” and Peter plays a good antagonist to Olivia and Walter.  I like the concept of Walter getting his laboratory back and I love the crazy things that go on in his lab. I also like Walter’s randomness.  The supporting character of Astrid Farnsworth, an FBI agent who is on Olivia’s personal team and hangs out in Walter’s lab is one of my favorite characters. She’s fun and cute and interesting and rounds out the group in a nice way.  Olivia’s FBI partner, Charlie Francis, annoys me, but not too much. Its just that his voice grates on my nerves and his character is merely an enabler because he always lets Olivia do whatever she wants to do.

I have to say I was not impressed at all with Anna Torv’s acting skill. In the first few episodes, she barely hides her Aussie accent. Also, it seems the only facial expression she is really good at is looking confused.  In the latter half of the season, however, her character develops and she gets a better handle on not talking like an Aussie. One of the things that I do appreciate about her character is that Olivia is not another screamy-whiny-female character, prone to tears and flowers.  (A good example of this is in the episode “Bound.”)

Olivia’s boss, Phillip Broyles, isn’t really developed much. Its hard to ascertain what his rank in the FBI hierarchy is.  We know he has kids and is divorced, but that’s about it.  Also, the actor (Lance Reddick) who plays him has definitely got to eat some serious fat and protein. He’s way too thin!

One of my favorite quotes from Season 1 is, predictably, from Walter, who is speaking to a nurse at a hospital:

“Unless your IQ is higher than mine, I don’t care what you think.”

4 stars