The following is a spoiler-free perspective, with the time-shifted viewer in mind.
The Fringe finale brought answers on what you might call "multiple" fronts. It did not feel like it was stretched to meet any expectations. It rounded out a decent first season for its maiden voyage on Fox.
When I first saw the Fringe panel at Comic-Con last year, the crowd was thin and the set-up questionable. I panned it out and came away from the panel thinking it was going to flounder.
Did I miss the mark, or what?
When the series started, we saw FBI Special Agent Olivia Dunham (Anna Torv) come on the scene and right up front she loses her fiancee / FBI co-worker. That is, except for that him-hanging-around-in-her-head thing.
Olivia didn't sit well with me in the beginning but as the show progressed, so did she as we started to see just how she fit into this funny puzzle of science tampering.
Peter Bishop (Joshua Jackson) was the reluctant player in this whole ordeal. From being coerced into coming on board, to having to babysit the father he seemed most reluctant to deal with. It was a tragic scenario for Peter as he had to leave his happy life in the shadows and live a life as a consultant for the FBI, assisting Olivia in wrangling his father, begrudgingly.
In the beginning, Peter was a character that interacted with the stories and the scenes. But was it me or in these last few episodes was Peter less integral in the dialog? Peter was getting on my nerves. I loved his sarcastic whit. I really did... he converses much like I do, but it was almost all he ever did - Throwing out snarky quips for conversational bits. I found myself wishing they'd give more depth to Peter's role in this whole picture in the back 1/2 of the season.
Peter's father, Walter Bishop, is played wonderfully by John Noble. Ah Walter. Talk about a well-meaning loose canon who wasn't exactly connected to the here and now. But I don't think he's nuts. He's just so absorbed in his thinking processes that his preoccupation appears as if he's not quite connected. That and being a science nerd, not being socially well-integrated only seemed to make him nuts. He's forgetful. He's obsessive. But I'm just not sure he was really nuts. And the funny part is that John Noble was just like this at the Fringe panel last year at Comic-Con... rambling with subtle undertones of wise and insightful humor led on by years of experience... or read very well into his role.
Walter is a hoot, with his intermittent inappropriate flatulence to his urges for sugar-laden cereals from yesteryear. We've also watched Walter grow and become a working part of the team. Albeit, in his own special way. He has a cow you know! No, really, a cow. Everyone needs a pet.
This nice part is seeing the father-son bond grow with time, as Peter and Walter are slowly coming together understanding each other more and more.
Then the man in charge of this whole thing, Homeland Security Agent Phillip Broyles (Lance Reddick), leads the team as they investigate these patterns.
He's gone from the stoic leader of this rag-tag group of feds and become the stoic leader of this ragtag team that has learned to work together as the season progressed. But now, he's more forgiving and lenient with Olivia's requests unless he has orders that come from high in the scheme of the government.
The rest of the cast is just, well, the rest of the cast that helped or hindered our mystery-chasing good guys.
In the finale, it all comes together. Through different channels the group learns about the deja vu of it all.
And, Olivia gets what she wants with regards to both David Jones and William Bell while we are left with something that's not necessarily a cliff hanger, but one heck of a daring cliff dangler!
I cannot wait to see it all start up again for season 2. Bring it Abrams, bring it.
How do you feel the show has evolved? Does it merit the 2nd season it's been given? How long do you think it will keep this up? Keep in mind that though this article is technically spoiler free, the comments may very well not be!
You've been warned.