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'Fringe' ratings improve; Fox ties CBS for Friday win

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Author Topic: 'Fringe' ratings improve; Fox ties CBS for Friday win  (Read 225 times)
Atlantean King
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« on: May 03, 2011, 03:04:12 pm »

AP Photo/Fox, Mark Ben HolzbergActress Anna Torv, lead on Fringe, could not explain the plot even with the help of electrodes.

 Friday is the season finale of "Fringe," the best sci-fi series on television. Though "Fringe" is entertaining, yours truly was hoping the show would be canceled. The writers clearly are desperate for material -- they've introduced time travel, always a bad sign. Producer J.J. Abrams has promised that when "Fringe" ends, everything that's happened actually will make sense -- unlike when his "Lost" ended. That's why I was hoping the series would end now, while it was still vaguely conceivably the action could be wrapped up in a coherent manner.
Instead Fox renewed "Fringe" for a fourth season. This leaves it increasingly likely that what to J.J. Abrams qualifies as "makes sense" will mean the series slams to a halt amidst blazing special effects with most loose ends unexplained. Late in the current season, for instance, action centers on a 250-million-year-old device, capable of destroying the world, that can be controlled only by the show's two leads -- whose DNA sequences were encoded into the device 250 million years ago. What are the odds that head-scratcher ever will be explained?
The premise of the series is that there is a parallel universe in which a second Earth is similar, but not identical, to ours. History there is somewhat different, though fast food tastes exactly the same in both universes, the show's best joke. Each character has a similar, though not identical, doppelganger on the other side. With a season finale airing Friday you'd assume, in cliffhanger fashion, that the shocker will be the death of a beloved character. But on "Fringe" a beloved character could die -- then next season be back, replaced by her mirror image from the other universe.
Here was the nuttiest line from this season's "Fringe," spoken by a Harvard scientist wearing a lab coat: "The human body is held together by magnetism. If a person experienced a strong magnetic charge, that person would become incapable of dying." The statement -- the show oozes pseudo-science, and even has a "science" web page -- is gibberish, or else everyone who's been through an MRI would be immortal. The tiny amounts of electrical current in our brains and nerves produce weak magnetic fields, but these have nothing to do with "holding the body together," which happens via chemical bonds. "Fringe" can assume anything it likes about the "science" of interdimensional teleportation. But references to known science should be accurate.
Here was the nuttiest subplot: A scientist played as an occasional character by Leonard Nimoy (the original Mr. Spock) discovers a way to come back from the dead. He does elaborate research and builds the necessary equipment, which must be activated by a living person. A year after the Nimoy character's death, the good guys discover and activate the resurrection system, which they find only by chance. Why? Facing death in the presence of his best friend in the finale of Season 2, the Nimoy character forgot to mention there was a device that would bring him back from the dead. And he left no notes or instructions.
Obviously, the scriptwriters cooked up this subplot as a way to get Nimoy back into the show. This kind of "I suddenly remembered that ..." filler is the reason I wish "Fringe" would just wrap it up and end.
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