Fringe headed into its finale after a year where it was hyped at the beginning, faded back in the middle, and got addictive by the end. The Fringe finale promised a rare thing for a JJ Abrams show – answers. The ever growing Fringe fanbase got more than their fair share by the time the much anticipated final scene took place. In the end, alternate realities, plugs in the universe and Leonard Nimoy were big developments for the Fringe finale, but about par for the course in JJ Abrams insanity.
Heading into the finale, Fringe already made headlines for casting Leonard Nimoy as the show’s most mysterious figure, Dr. William Bell. But fans knew that Nimoy would only be around for the final few seconds of the finale.
JJ Abrams’ produced shows are getting into a habit of revealing unknown figures, since Lost’s finale may finally show their biggest mystery figure, Jacob, tonight. Yet it was the context of Bell’s debut scene on Fringe – and where and when it was – that fans didn’t know about.
The debut year for Fringe started slowly, but after it got placed in the post American Idol time slot, it became the biggest new show of the year. It was expected to be big when it premiered in the first place, but a slow start set it back a bit. However, the Fringe finale finished the job of putting it into overdrive.
All year, FBI agent Olivia Dunham, insane super genius Walter Bishop, and smart aleck Peter Bishop have tried to uncover weird, fringe science incidents in a mysterious “Pattern.” This phenomenon has had ties to all of their pasts, powerful corporation Massive Dynamics, and its previously unseen founder, Walter’s old friend William Bell.
In the Fringe finale, the team uncovered Bell’s grandest experiment – breaking into an alternate reality. But disfigured terrorist, and former Bell protégé, David Robert Jones was trying to break into that reality too, while Walter was trying to remember how to plug the universe back up.
For her efforts to stop Jones, Olivia finally got the chance to meet Bell. However, the exact location of Bell’s alternate universe office gave fans a final jolt.
Let’s just say it is an alternate universe where 9/11 never happened, which brought the expected complaints of insensitivity.
Before that, an even bigger jolt in themythology came when Walter visited a tombstone with a familiar name on it – suggesting Walter has been very busy in the other world.
Though Fringe didn’t make the kind of big first impression that Lost and Alias did by Abrams’ standards, the show managed to become that rare thing – a new network show that got another season, good ratings, and a decent sized fanbase to go with it. A fanbase that will be on edge until Fringe’s next experiments in September.
Entertainment Weekly- “Fringe finale: Did it go too far? Not far enough? Just right?” watching-tv.ew.com/2009/05/fringe-fox-fina.html
USA Today- “Season finale frenzy: ‘Fringe'” www.usatoday.com/life/television/reviews/2009-05-13-fringe-finale_N.htm