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'Fringe': Holiday gift list

December 3, 2008 |  9:42 am

110_safe_162 Wow. "Fringe" brings its first chapter to a close, and it really does feel like the end of a chapter.

What started as the "wacky science project of the week" builds to an episode that feels like a mini season finale. "Heroes" creator Tim Kring might have spoken too soon when he called a serialized show "an absolute bear to do." The "Fringe" team seems to be doing it pretty well.

Now as we head into the holiday season, I'd like to think of the gifts I'd give my new TV friends:

Olivia Dunham -- She's come a long way from giggling in a hotel room to unconscious in the back of a black SUV. Olivia has probably had the most mind expansion since the beginning of the season with the exception of the woman whose head exploded all over the diner. The perfect Christmas gift for Olivia? Bubble bath.

As the driving force behind a lot of the episode, Olivia rarely escapes the "business up front" to the "party in the rear" of her emotional mullet, but her best moments come when she lets her hair down. Like her flirty detective work at the bar -- a nice, smart way to get the information she needs. Much better than her slow realization at Lugo's house that she'd been accessing her dead boyfriend's memories. I thought the music stinger at the end of that scene should have been called "Duh." Anyway, a nice bubble bath could do her good. Like the sensory-deprivation tank without the creepiness (though she might want to keep the drugs).

Peter Bishop -- You see Peter in the interrogation room last night? Add that to Peter beating the tar out of the guy in the street last week and Peter is starting to become quite the tough guy. What would I give Peter for Hannukah? Scrapbooks. Peter needs to go through and start organizing old family photos and documents. Anything that might spark a memory of his childhood. Everything his father brings up, Peter doesn't seem to remember. And wasn't Walter the one who had been taking psychotropic drugs and had a mental breakdown? What's Peter's excuse?

Walter Bishop -- Who knew that "Fringe" could create a mad scientist I'd want for an uncle? If I was related to Walter, I sure as heck wouldn't have missed Thanksgiving dinner this year. So what am I getting Walt for Kwanzaa? A car battery, jumper cables and a monocle. We've heard talk of Walter Bishop's brand of science when he was younger. He was Lex Luthor with a full head of hair. I think I'm endeared enough to the guy to start having a little of the evil slip out of this evil genius. So go ahead, Dr. Bishop. Strap someone to a table, hook up the car battery and see what happens. I won't be offended. In fact, I'm a little curious myself.

Astrid Farnsworth -- Did you know her last name was Farnsworth? Neither did I. Do you think it's more as if she's related to Philo or Hubert? What can she expect for Inti Raymi? A megaphone. I just want to hear more from this girl. She has gotten a little more assertive, even telling Walter she had better things to do than watch him play with a vibrating football game and a jar full of rice. Atta-girl!

Boy, I still have so many people to shop for. Agent Broyles, Nina Sharp, Agent Broyles, Mr. Jones, the Loebs, the electric dude, the Observer, Dr. Fischer, David Esterbrook. They're all probably going to get things I grabbed at Rite Aid on the way to the party. If you can think of any great present ideas, add a comment.

What do I want? If you really want to get me something, don't worry about buying anything. Just go out over the next few weeks and get one other person to watch "Fringe." All the episodes are up on Hulu. You have plenty of time to get them up to date and hooked by the time the next chapter starts. That will be one more person who can help catch all the hidden Easter eggs.

Spot the Observer -- In the bar behind Olivia and Peter as they talk to the bartender. Our bald buddy walks behind him, as my friend put it, "probably on his way to the can." And if he does really eat nothing but sandwiches with tons of peppers, I'm sure he needs to.

Update: As Dwayne pointed out in the comments, I erroneously identified the Observer in the bar behind Olivia and Peter. Our friendly little peeping tom was actually hiding in the surveillance monitor at the very beginning of the episode. But to be fair, he was wearing his hat and "Fringe" should not be allowed to employ any extras with hair loss.

-- Andrew Hanson

Photo: Fox