Category: Fringe

'Fringe'-less Friday

With the World Series heading into Game 7 tonight, "Fringe" has been pushed back a week. That means we'll have to wait until next Friday to see what happens now that Peter Bishop has returned from being erased from history. Here's a little taste of the episode we should have been watching tonight to keep your 'Fringe' cravings happy while you dress up as the Observer for Halloween:


'Fringe' recap: The bottomless well

'Fringe' recap: Gus busters

Complete 'Fringe' coverage on Show Tracker

— Andrew Hanson

‘Fringe’ recap: the bottomless well

Season Four has been slowly rewriting "Fringe." By erasing Peter Bishop from existence, the writers gave themselves the chance to change anything they wanted. They could toss out events they didn’t like, alter established relationships, even bring people back from the dead. With any other show, this might have driven the audience crazy, but "Fringe" pulls it off. Mostly by going back to the history and characters and really delving into that bottomless well. 

Right off the back, we know "Subject 9" is a mythology episode because the crazy science event of the week didn’t happen to an unfortunate random stranger, it happened to Olivia. Not only that, it happened before her alarm went off (it’s terrible when a floating, disembodied magnetic cloud won’t even let you sleep in). As the audience, we know the hovering blue light show has something to do with Peter. The fun is watching Olivia and Walter slowly figure it out. 

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‘Fringe’ recap: Gus Busters

"Fringe" always tries to push boundaries. The stories explore the dark edge of science, the level of gory detail often rivals most R-rated horror flicks, and Walter’s liberal use of recreational narcotics challenges television’s standards on drug abuse. You can’t call your show "Fringe" without straddling the line at times. In the last three years, I’ve gone along on the ride just about everywhere "Fringe" wanted to take me without a second thought, but after worms and bugs and multiple occasions of John Noble nudity, "Fringe" finally made me feel uneasy. Twice, in fact. 

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‘Fringe’ recap: How does that make you feel?

Fringe-ep402_4 Why don’t more people watch "Fringe"? Seriously. It’s not a rhetorical question.  "Fringe" is the best science fiction on television right now. I’m willing to argue that with anyone. Challenge me. Bring up any show on the air, and I’ll counter you with "One Night in October." I’m always partial to the Flashback episodes or Singing Film Noir episodes, but "One Night in October" definitely skyrocketed to one of my top five episodes of "Fringe."

Since Olivia crossed worlds to meet William Bell at the end of Season One, ‘Fringe’ has done a good job of utilizing the two universes. They built the other universe as an enemy to ours while making their motivations clear and understandable. They’ve shown us how little changes in history can drastically change the personalities of our favorite characters. They even tease us with the small difference, like who starred in their version of "Back to the Future" (if you read my recaps, you know that’s my favorite detail of the other side). The best tale of two universes, though, has to be "October" and the story of John McClennan.

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John Noble and the 'beautiful challenge' of 'Fringe'

John Noble talks Walter Bishop and 'Fringe'

This post has been corrected. See the note at the bottom for details.

I never pass up the opportunity to sit down and talk with John Noble. His performance as Walter Bishop is arguably the centerpiece of "Fringe." Even with the formidable cast and inventive stories, I’d be surprised if you could find a fan of the show who wouldn’t admit their favorite part of "Fringe" is Noble and the gleefully twisted scientist he plays.

Over the last three seasons, Noble has played Walter as well as his parallel universe self Walternate, the calculating Secretary of Defense fighting a war against our side. “I also got to do two flashbacks and play the character 25 years younger,” Noble noted. “That had different energies as well.”

A less gifted actor might struggle with the concept, but as soon as Noble fills the screen, you automatically know which version of Walter you get. “That’s a huge compliment, “Noble said. “It’s a beautiful challenge.”

Noble and I met up while he was in town for an appearance on "Conan," and even after a week of filming, flying and promoting the premiere of Season 4, he was enthusiastic to talk about "Fringe" and Walter. And as Friday night's opener showed, we have a whole new Walter to talk about. 

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‘Fringe’ recap: In a world without Peter...

Fringe_ep401_2 "Fringe" hath returned. 

It’s been four and a half months since Season 3 came to a close. "Fringe" doesn’t do cliff-hangers like most other television shows. It doesn't leave with one of the characters finding out she’s pregnant or is left bleeding on the ground. "Fringe" wraps up its seasons with grand, rule-changing events: Olivia’s first journey to the alternate universe, Olivia trapped over there and Fauxlivia taking her place, then Peter stepping into the machine to open doorways between the two universes and erasing himself from history in the process. Waiting for the next season to begin isn’t about finding out if your favorite character lived or died, but how the whole show is going to change for the new year.

Right off the bat, we get a taste of what "Fringe" has in store for us over the next 20-odd episodes. Olivia and Fauxlivia face off, while passing boxes of confidential Fringe Division files and trading shots at each other’s lives. You always wonder what it would be like to meet an exact copy of yourself. Would you get along? Or would you see all the things about yourself that you hate? Olivia and Fauxlivia aren’t the exact same people (brilliantly pulled off by Anna Torv), but it’s interesting to see them throw barbs back and forth. Olivia digging into Fauxlivia’s lies and deceit. Fauxlivia calling out Olivia for being untrusting and distant. Top that off with the observation that the cases both sides have been investigating are the results of their evil doppelgangers, and we see just how deep Season 4 is going to get.

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‘Fringe’: Seth Gabel talks Lincoln Lee, Season 4

 317_stowaway_008 "Fringe" returns Friday night after a summer of hanging questions. Has Peter Bishop been erased from history? How will the two universes’ Fringe teams interact? Whatever happened to Amy Jessup, that new FBI agent they introduced awhile back? If any show is good at keeping its secrets, it’s "Fringe." Though one welcome spoiler did slip out over the summer months: Seth Gabel is moving from guest star to cast member in time for Season 4. That means we’ll be seeing more of Gabel’s character, Lincoln Lee.

When I chatted with Gabel about the promotion, I asked if it came with any hazing. Did John Noble make him do key stands? Clean his trainer? “It’s actually the opposite.” Gabel laughed. “John is a very protective person. He realized I was stepping into a new situation; he took a parental approach. Actually, I had to show him after a while that I was OK. When we went to Comic-Con he was introducing me to people saying, ‘This is Seth. He plays Lincoln Lee.’ I had to let him know I could handle it.”

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New and returning shows for the 2011 season


Here's a roundup of some of the highlights of the new and returning series in the 2011 fall TV season.

“Survivor: South Pacific” 8 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 14, CBS: (season premiere) The contestants begin competing for a million-dollar prize. (N)

“H8R” 8 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 14, KTLA: (series premiere) TV personality Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi tries to win over a person who dislikes her; Jake Pavelka (“Bachelor”) faces his biggest hater. (N)

“America's Next Top Model” 9 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 14, KTLA: (season premiere) Fan-favorite contestants from past cycles return to compete; the women reenact memorable moments during the first photo shoot; guest judge Nicki Minaj. (N)

“Operation Repo” 9:30 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 14, Tru: (season premiere) Vehicle repossession pros deal with confrontations in California's San Fernando Valley. (N)

“Up All Night” 10 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 14, NBC: (series premiere) Reagan Brinkley tries to adjust to her new life as she returns from maternity leave to her job as a talk show executive producer to support her stay-at-home husband and their baby. (N)

“Hulk Hogan's Micro Championship Wrestling” 10 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 14, Tru: (series premiere) Hulk Hogan provides little wrestlers with advice, guidance and training; inside all of the insane action, conflict and drama that it takes to create a pro wrestling league from scratch. (N)

“Free Agents” 10:30 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 14, NBC: (series premiere) Two co-workers, both still reeling from their last relationships, try to sort out their relationship after a moment of weakness finds them in bed together. (N)

“The Vampire Diaries” 8 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 15, KTLA: (season premiere) In "The Birthday," Caroline plans a party for Elena's 18th birthday; Damon and Elena search for Stefan; Klaus and Stefan track a werewolf; Jeremy struggles with visions of ghosts. (N)

“The Secret Circle” 9 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 15, KTLA: (series premiere) After her mother dies in a mysterious accident, Cassie Blake moves to a small town to live with her grandmother. After a series of strange and dangerous events, Cassie's new friends reveal a secret. (N)

“Angels Among Us” 9 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 15, CMT: (series premiere) Commemorating the 10-year anniversary of 9/11. (N)

“It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia” 10 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 15, FX: (season premiere) In "Frank's Pretty Woman," the gang attempts an image makeover to uncover the heart of gold that exists deep inside Frank's prostitute fiancee. (N)

“Archer” 10:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 15, FX: (season premiere) In "Heart of Archness, Part I," Archer is finally tracked down in the South Pacific by handsome adventurer Rip Riley. (Part 1 of 3) (N)

“Ben 10: Ultimate Alien” 7:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 16, Toon Disney: (season premiere) In "The Purge," Old George reignites a war against all aliens on Earth. (N)

“Star Wars: The Clone Wars” 8 p.m. Friday, Sept. 16, Toon Disney: (season premiere) In "Water War: Gungan Attack," inhabitants of Mon Calamari are on the brink of civil war; the Jedi realize they need help from a powerful and amphibious ally to drive out Separatist invaders. (N)

“Need to Know” 8:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 16, KOCE: (season premiere) Reports on the economy, environment and energy, health, national security and culture. (N)

“20/20” 10 p.m. Friday, Sept. 16, ABC: (season premiere) Investigative reporting. (N)

“Celebrity Nightmares Decoded” 7 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 17, Biography: (series premiere) Dustin "Screech” Diamond dreams of a faceless butcher; Danielle Staub wakes up hanging out of her bed after a nightmare; Nicole Eggert is tormented by snakes in her nightmares; Too Short dreams of meeting a ferocious dog. (N)

“How I Met Your Mother” 8 p.m. Monday, Sept. 19, CBS: (season premiere) In "The Best Man," Barney and Ted reminisce about Punchy's wedding; Robin considers confessing her feelings. (N) 

“The Sing-Off” 8 p.m. Monday, Sept. 19, NBC: (season premiere) Eight of the 16 competing groups unite to perform together. (N) 

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‘Fringe’ Friday: Chatting with Saturn Award winner Anna Torv

“Was I rude there?”Anna-diner_0045.r_1

I didn’t know what to expect when I sat down to speak with Anna Torv. Would she be cool and serious, like Olivia? Or bold and cavalier like Fauxlivia? For all I knew, the actress’ personality could have been closer to Olivia possessed by William Bell. I didn’t expect her to be so chipper and enthusiastic. And overly concerned about our waitress.

We met in the restaurant of her hotel on a Wednesday afternoon. Torv and costar John Noble (Walter Bishop) were in Los Angeles  for a pair of award shows. Monday, they walked the red carpet of the Critics Choice awards, where Torv was a nominee for best actress in a television series and Noble took the award for best supporting actor. “The fact that John won is still kind of thrilling,” Torv said. “He’s so damn brave. And just the joy he puts into it."

Then Thursday they were off to the Saturn Awards, where Torv repeated her win last year for the top female actor award. Deservedly so.

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Why did so many good people have to die on TV finales?

Margo Any faithful TV viewer is familiar with the end-of-season shocker, which usually comes in the form of a cliffhanger or a horrible violence. But the body count seems to be going up, and going deeper.

This season we lost lovable intern Mr. Vincent Nigel-Murray (Ryan Cartwright) on the penultimate episode of "Bones," "Justified" wonder Mags Bennett (Margo Martindale), "Castle's" Capt. Montgomery (Ruben Santiago-Hudson), not to mention  Sue Sylvester's sister Jean (Robin Trocki) on the penultimate episode of "Glee" and, seemingly, "Fringe's" Peter Bishop (Joshua Jackson).

Read more here of Mary McNamara's Sunday Critic's Notebook on why writers resort to sacrificing so many of their own.

Also in Show Tracker:

Jeff Conaway: "I would like to go to a nice place when I die"

The women of 'Justified'

Full Show Tracker coverage of 'Fringe'

Photo: Margo Martindale on "Justified." Credit: Prashant Gupta/FX.

Fox renews 'Fringe' but cancels 'Chicago Code,' 'Human Target' and more

Chicode The networks don't officially announce their schedules until next week, but word leaked out late Tuesday about the first round of cancellations and pickups over at Fox.

Among the current shows that were "on the bubble" (that is, in jeopardy), Fox is reportedly renewing another season of "Fringe." But all its other endangered shows are headed for the rubbish heap in a massive housecleaning: the dramas "Chicago Code," "Human Target" and "Lie to Me" plus the comedies "Breaking In" and "Traffic Light."

Meanwhile, the network has made series orders for "The New Girl," with Zooey Deschanel as a lovelorn teacher, and "I Hate My Teenage Daughter," with Jaime Pressly. Also, the time-travel drama "Alcatraz" looks headed for the schedule, as does the "Bones" spin-off "Finder."

Reached for comment, a Fox spokeswoman said, "We're not confirming or denying any pickups/cancellations until we announce our schedule on Monday."

Looks like it'll be old news by then.


"Fringe" recap: Season finale

"Chicago Code" creator hopes for season 2 pickup

-Scott Collins (

Photo: Jennifer Beals and Jason Clarke in "Chicago Code." Credit: Peter Sorel/Fox.



‘Fringe’ recap: What the Fringe!?

Fringe_322_055 What the… huh? What? 


"Fringe" doesn’t mess around when it comes to season finales. In Year One, "Fringe" ended with Olivia thwarting David Robert Jones and then popping over to the alternate universe to meet with William Bell in his World Trade Center office for some tea and soul magnets. Season Two ended with Olivia and Walter busting Peter out of the other universe and bringing him home, though unbeknownst to them, the real Olivia is still trapped on the other side and replaced by Fauxlivia. This year, "Fringe" jumps 15 years in the future, destroys two universes, kills off a major character and erases another person from history. 

That’s what I call a season finale!

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