Fringe 1, A-
A near-perfect first season of a contemporary sci-fi series is almost unheard of, but Fringe delivers by focusing on the monster-of-the-week.
Quick overview of Fringe: Walter Bishop’s son Peter Bishop died and from conducting previous child experiments, particularly on Olivia Dunham, Walter decided to steal Peter Bishop from an alternative universe.
The kidnapping is a catalyst for the major plot points in season 1 (ZFT, The Pattern, David Robert Jones) along with setting the stage for entire series. Now, Fringe expands on what made The X-Files and Twin Peaks successful: weaving in monster(s)-of-the-week between an overarching narrative that our main characters are pawns in. That’s great! The problem is the apparent lack of chemistry between our star and her ensemble. It get’s better going forward, but relatively jarring during the season when Anna Torv interacts with John Noble or Joshua Jackson.
To say any more would spoil the series.
Another pain point: Unearthed (Episode 21) was apparently produced for season 1 and was not aired until season 2. Why? Because unlike every other episode of season 1, it did not deal with The Pattern or ZFT and it did not lead toward William Bell or the alternative universe. It’s basically a sidestory that shouldn’t exist in either Season 1 or 2 of the series.
Re-watched first 2 weeks of February 2022 on HBO Max.