Fringe Catch-All - You Are My Favorite Thing, Fringe. My Very Favorite Thing.

Paradox/timeline stuff

Spoiler:
I can't recall for sure, but didn't they establish that there isn't just one single timeline that's being messed with. Just like there is an alternate world, I thought there were branches of time. This Peter the last couple seasons was from a different timeline than the timeline we're in now because at first Walter and Olivia didn't even know who he was. Then Olivia started merging memories from the other timeline. So I was thinking if anything all they did was create yet another branch of time where the invasion never happened, but the Peter and Olivia from our show were left standing on the street wondering why nothing happened and their timeline will just continue on with the Observers still there.

If we're talking about a single timeline then if anything things should have reset back to pre-Season 1 with Olivia just being an FBI agent and Fringe division not even existing. They could have shown her working a case where maybe she runs into Peter, they make googly eyes at each other, he asks her out for a drink, then roll credits.

I probably shouldn't have watched Primer recently.

Spoiler:
If they reset back to pre-Season 1 with no Observers, then Walter would have never taken Peter from the other universe.

muttonchop wrote:
Spoiler:
If they reset back to pre-Season 1 with no Observers, then Walter would have never taken Peter from the other universe.

Crap you're right. Actually...

Spoiler:
Then it could have been faux-Olivia meeting Peter because the only reason Walter went over to try to take him was because Walternate missed curing him when the Observer distracted him. So Peter would have survived in the alternate world.

D-Man777 wrote:
Happy Fr....

Damn.

That hurts...

I've let all the paradoxes breeze by me without complaint. They're a given for almost anything time travel related. If they choose to reset the timeline from the moment of the invasion, who am I to argue.

But one thing has bugged me that was left hanging on this show. In the animated episode where they enter Olivia's dreams, it ends with Peter questioning who was the guy on the blimp in her dream and Olivia says in a matter of fact tone "I think that's the man who's going to kill me." It was such an odd and ominous way to end that episode that it has lingered in the back of my head and I've been dreading the plot point being brought up again. I guess I should be happy it was dropped, but then it just irks me that it was mentioned at all.

Well she did end up getting shot in the head, remember?

Stele wrote:
Well she did end up getting shot in the head, remember? :D

Not by the guy in her dream though...

muttonchop wrote:
Spoiler:
If they reset back to pre-Season 1 with no Observers, then Walter would have never taken Peter from the other universe.

Spoiler:
See?? That's why I hate time travel in stories! They said the reset would get Etta back, so we assumed (and it ended as such) that it would reset back to when they first arrived for takeover.

But a HUGE turning point was when the first observer saved Walter from drowning...

While some of the rest takes some wankery, it's important to note:

Spoiler:
The plan was not to eliminate the Observers, Donald specifically said the hope was that seeing Mike would encourage the future scientist to look down different avenues of augmentation--making Observers who wouldn't become Invaders.

Timeywimey:

Spoiler:
Maybe Walter left a note for the would-be Emo-Observers.
"Whenever you invent time travel, please go back in time and do a few things for me. Otherwise a paradox will kill you all. Thanks.".

Tscott wrote:
Stele wrote:
Well she did end up getting shot in the head, remember? :D

Not by the guy in her dream though...

Spoiler:
The man in the dream carried Bell's mark on his shirt, the same mark that was on Bell's nanites. He was a representation of Bell, or of Bell's agency.

The whole thing can be explained quite simply.

Spoiler:
In order for the plan to work, they needed to bring the kid to the future in order for them to show the scientists that they could develop their intelligence without sacrificing emotion, and thus possibly stopping an invasion. That however isn't the only thing Walter could do. Walter could have set up a plan for the future people to still go back and observe just like they did in the now non existent future. He could have made sure that someone still appeared at the right time and interrupted Walternate so that all the events leading up to Peter and Olivia happened, and thus fall in love and have Etta.

In fact this was probably why Walter felt it was imperative that he be the one to go into the future with the boy, he wanted to make sure his boy had the life he was meant to have.

Could they have explained this better? Possibly, but it would have probably come out as horrible exposition which would have ruined the pacing of the show.

From this weeks TMQ:

TMQ wrote:
Beyond the "Fringe:" Last week, Fox's "Fringe" took its final bow. "Fringe" was a fun show that overstayed its welcome, veering from spooky, to inventive and clever, to absurd. Its finale leaves television painfully short on sci-fi.

In the series, historic events in multiple universes -- see below -- revolve around a handful of characters. Walter Bishop, an eccentric scientist, invents a time machine, a teleportation beam, three different kinds of doorways into another dimension, a drug that confers superpowers, an antigravity serum, a device that lets a person enter another's thoughts, and a machine that is described as able to create or destroy an entire universe. Yet he's so scatterbrained that he inherits controlling shares in the world's largest corporation, and a few episodes later he -- that is, the scriptwriters -- forgets all about this, and is depicted as hard up for money.

In the first season, FBI agent Olivia Dunham was the lead character; as the show evolved, she became second fiddle to Bishop and his son Peter. Actress Anna Torv, who played Dunham, is a fetching woman. The show gave her a severe, cold persona devoid of sensuality. Gorgeous actress blends into the scenery -- this really must be science fiction!

Plots of the first four seasons hinged on a mirror universe with an Earth/B similar but not identical to ours. When the show was unexpectedly renewed for a fifth season, just after the mirror-universe story wrapped up, the writers had our world invaded by soldiers of a terrestrial dictatorship 600 years in the future. Future humans were described as incapable of emotion ("This thing you call love, what is it?" one asked in a line that has appeared in about 10,000 sci-fi movies and shows) but super-intelligent. Yet they made comments like, "The chances of success are 99.994562," which only an idiot would say.

Evil people from the future invaded today's Earth in order to -- actually, viewers never found out. The future guys made cackling references to a plan to render today's humanity extinct, but if they did that, then how would they themselves later evolve? Coming from the future, they should have already known their sinister plan would fail in the series finale, since from their standpoint the events of the show happened in the past.

Time-travel plots are rife with paradoxes, but "Fringe" took them to another level. The future guys are constantly trying to figure out what's going on in the present. They should already know! What to us is the present would to them be the stuff in history books.

In the finale, the cranky old scientist travels into the future to stop the event that caused emotions to be outlawed and the evil society to form. He succeeds, and the last reel is a happy ending. But if Walter Bishop stopped the development of the future dictatorship, there never would have been any bad guys sent back to attack the present, and thus never any reason for Bishop to travel into the future to stop them.

Oh well. At least we learn that in the future, Harvard University is a short walk from Battery Park in downtown Manhattan. Current distance: 218 miles.

Here is a guide to the "Fringe" realities.

Universe/A: Ours, at the beginning of the series. A malevolent terror group called ZTF, funded by the world's richest man, is causing horrifying bio-attacks. Agent Dunham has visions of the coming obliteration of Boston. Also, she can travel to other dimensions just by willing it.

Universe/B: A parallel dimension where the Twin Towers stand, because 9-11 did not occur. The world's richest man has fled there, and doppelgangers of the show's characters exist as well. Back in Universe/A, all mention of ZTF, focus of the first season, has vanished.

Universe/C: Twenty years into the future of Universe/A, decay of the barrier between these two realities is causing horrifying destruction on both sides. If the mirror universes touch, both will be crushed out of existence. On the upside, Olivia Dunham can now control objects with her mind.

Universe/D: An astonishing machine built by unknown beings first was sent backward 250 million years in time, then buried by other unknown beings, then the pieces were dug up by the FBI in the present, then assembled into a device that can seal the rift between Universe/A and Universe/B. This stops the decay but renders the two realities forever separate and unable to communicate. Peter Bishop, now a heartthrob character, must control the machine, with the complication that controlling it causes him to cease to exist. His disappearance is watched over by kindly time travelers who are trying to prevent the universes from touching.

Universe/F: Peter returns to existence in some unspecified way, creating an all-new "timeline" in which characters who died are alive again. In this timeline the observers from the future are starting to act creepy, but so far there are only a few. The last kindly future guy can travel spontaneously all the way to the Big Bang and back. Yet he has no clue what will happen the following day.

In Universe/F, Olivia has lost her superpowers. Characters talk about the other timelines -- how do they know other timelines existed? At least continuity problems are solved. In the first season, Peter and Olivia had never met; by the third season, they are depicted as childhood sweethearts. In the first season, Walter's weekend house is on Cape Cod. In subsequent seasons it is the same house, but on a lake in upstate New York. New timeline!

Universe/G: Exists only for a few moments. Leonard Nimoy appears in a cameo as the world's richest man, this time possessing a machine that will vaporize all previous universes, replacing them with a single, serene universe in which there are only -- ready? -- talking, herbivore, herding animals, who view Leonard Nimoy as their god. Walter Bishop thwarts the Universe/G plan, and Nimoy vanishes into the air.

Universe/H: An army of time travelers from the year 2609 invades the present to enslave humanity. As luck would have it, not a single one of the future soldiers can shoot straight. Suddenly it's easy to go back and forth into the parallel dimension, which was supposedly forever sealed off. Over on the parallel Earth, there has been no invasion from the future. Maybe pop music is better, too.

Universe/H.5: Walter Bishop creates a tiny "pocket universe" to hide a valuable item from the time-traveling bad guys. And they are all guys. Apparently centuries in the future there will no longer be women, making this book prescient. The pocket universe resembles an Art Deco apartment building suspended in a cloud of computer-animated special effects. Creating an entire universe, albeit tiny, requires flashlight batteries, tin foil and some wires. Seems about as likely as this.

Universe/I: The aging scientist propels himself centuries into the future to prevent a gene researcher from making the mistake that caused the evil world of 2609 to come into existence. The instant Walter Bishop steps into the time vortex, he has already either succeeded or failed. He succeeded, because everything becomes Universe/A again. In the show's final scene, Peter Bishop receives and contemplates a letter from his vanished father, who is marooned in the future and now to outlive his son by centuries. So: Across multiple universes and 600 years, the United States Postal Service still is in business.

Third-best "Fringe" line: "I don't feel at home here. I'm from another dimension."
Second-best "Fringe" line: "I took this device from the future long ago."
Best "Fringe" line: "The man I fell in love with would not try to destroy the entire universe. That just doesn't sound like William."

Some of the criticisms can be explained with careful viewing. (e.g. ZTF was fully explained and their leader killed, IIRC.)

Looking back, I think Fringe clearly hit the high-water mark in the third season. Unfortunately, that season ended with the TV trope I hate more than any other in a serial show. They spent much of the following season semi-undoing the continuity reset for one character, but the coherence of the show never recovered.

That said, I enjoyed the run all the way through, and even the shenanigans post-s3 didn't kill my viewing. (A similar event did kill Eureka for me.) It was the creepiest show around for years, and what a great ride. (The butterflies still make me shudder.) In the end it did come down to loving the characters. Mad, desperate Walter. Driven, abused Olivia. Stalwart Astrid. Gene. Having a tight plot was never really the intent, so even as it drifted further away from solid ploting, the characters held it together.

I wouldn't mind a properly animated Fringe spin-off from the perspective of September as he was sent back or some other characters with events that happen before, after or parallel to the original series plots.
I just love that universe so much (or should I say universes?)!

I have been catching up on this show via Netflix. I am up to episode 20 of Season 4. There are so many good actors on this show it is not even funny. I am not sure that thus show would be even half as good as it is if they were less skilled at playing their other universe doubles.

Just watched the thank you video...

Lance Reddick sounds a lot less intimidating than his characters. More like a normal guy than some kind of badass. Kinda funny.

You know the entire way I kept wondering "when is Fox going to screw this up?/take it away from us without warning?" but they made it to the end for once, confidence slightly restored.

krev82 wrote:
You know the entire way I kept wondering "when is Fox going to screw this up?/take it away from us without warning?" but they made it to the end for once, confidence slightly restored.

I wouldn't tell Joss Whedon to make a show there or anything... but yeah, maybe FOX isn't "the worst" anymore. I believe that's NBC now. :p

Stele wrote:
krev82 wrote:
You know the entire way I kept wondering "when is Fox going to screw this up?/take it away from us without warning?" but they made it to the end for once, confidence slightly restored.

I wouldn't tell Joss Whedon to make a show there or anything... but yeah, maybe FOX isn't "the worst" anymore. I believe that's NBC now. :p

I still hate fox.

Just because they couldn't cancel one show doesn't make them better, I'm sure they really tried. So far it's 1 for 10?

liquid wrote:
Just because they couldn't cancel one show doesn't make them better, I'm sure they really tried. So far it's 1 for 10?

Agreed, they are just as awful as they have always been, and every other network is pretty much the same.

I'll say again: They're the only network that bothers to even try stuff like Fringe, or, yes, Whedon stuff.

Oh, I miss this show.

SpacePPoliceman wrote:
I'll say again: They're the only network that bothers to even try stuff like Fringe, or, yes, Whedon stuff.

Most likely because of the Abrams name attached to the project. Without him I doubt we would have gotten to a 2nd season, maybe not even a pilot.

Without a lot of people's names, a lot of shows wouldn't get anywhere. Abrams has a bunch of shows out there on other broadcast networks, but none of them are/were as weird as Fringe--detective procedural, spy thriller, whatever the hell you want to call Revolution. Fox ends up canceling a lot of sci-fi-ish things because they're pretty much the only broadcast network that has them in the first place.

They didn't need to "try" to cancel Fringe, they could have done it whenever they wanted. Hell, the helped pioneer measuring DVR and Hulu ratings, which they used to justify keeping it.

IMAGE(http://i.imgur.com/sKbrkcY.jpg)

That's cool.

Just got my shipping notification for September's Notebook from Amazon.