Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Fringe - the Pilot

Can the acting skills of Joshua Jackson and Anna Trov hold up to the potentially exciting plotlines Fringe has to offer?
Photo from

Previously on LOST…oh wait a minute, this is the premiere of Fringe, not LOST. Then what’s with the plane? Seems vaguely familiar J.J. Abrams. Well, anyhow, we see a plane under duress in the middle of an electrical storm and passengers strapping into their seats.

The first passenger we see has his face between his knees and is sweating profusely. He takes out what looks like an insulin pen and shoots it into his belly. Next thing we know he and the rest of the plane become zombie-like and their faces start falling off. What are we getting ourselves into?

Next scene flashes to John Scott, who used to play Jack on Days of Our Lives, in a hotel room with his blonde partner. In the middle of a hot make-out scene, Blondie gets a phone call and the two have to leave.

Blondie, who we find out is Olivia Dunham, is apparently also John’s FBI partner and they were both called to Logan Airport where the airplane from the opening scene has landed. Enter: Cedric Daniels formerly of The Wire. I am so excited to see Lance Reddick, who plays Homeland Security agent Phillip Broyles on Fringe, he’s by far my favorite casting choice. I also enjoy the fact that he keeps calling Olivia “honey” because at this point, I want to do the same, as you can see by the fact that I’m calling her Blondie.

There’s a plane that landed itself on autopilot full of zombies and Olivia and John get sent to a warehouse that may have some clues. Amidst the calamity, Blondie and John manage to share an I Love You heart felt moment – very awkwardly placed if you ask me – just before John is practically blown up and subsequently infected with who knows what (hopefully J.J. Abrams won’t make us wait six seasons to find out).

Enter: Pacey Whitter. I question this choice in casting, but I will go with the flow for now. Pacey…errr, Peter Bishop, son of scientist Walter Bishop who may have a connection to the craziness on the plane and whatever John has, is found in Iraq. Blondie pulls the “I have your file” card and is able to convince Peter to come back to the U.S. with her. I wish I could use that line when I wanted someone to do something for me. Much to his chagrin Peter and Olivia go to the mental hospital where Peter’s father is and bring him back to the hospital where we see John and his translucent-skin condition for the first time.

The mighty doctor returns to his Harvard lab with a new purebred cow and manages to get the lab back up and running in no time flat. Ah, the magic of television. Amidst all the evidence sorting we see that I was indeed correct about the insulin-dosing pen – should I be afraid that, as a diabetic, I could get the crazy translucent skin disease?

To save John, the doctor tells Olivia she must take a dose of drugs and have a metal rod inserted into the base of her skull and be submerged in a tub of water. Sounds easy enough. Enter the brain of John: of course we get some lovey-dovey cheesiness, but we also find the identity of the man who blew up the warehouse. Turns out the offender had a twin (man with the insulin pen) and worked for Massive Dynamic whose head scientist, William Bell, used to work with Dr. Bishop – interesting.

At Massive Dynamic, Olivia meets with executive director Nina Sharp who takes off her skin glove to reveal a robotic arm built by personally by Bell. Creepy. Sharp leaves Olivia with a warning to be careful.

In the end, Olivia tracks down the man behind the spread of the chemicals, Dr. Bishop is able to infuse healthy blood into John’s system in time to save him and everyone seems to be happy…until we find out that John is really involved with the chemical release and made a threatening phone call to the man responsible.

John kills the man, is chased down by Olivia and seemingly dies after his car crashes but the show ends (as we could expect from anything coming from J.J. Abrams) with John’s body being wheeled down a corridor where Nina Sharp asks the orderly how long he’s been dead. Five hours. Question him, she says.

In the 1st episode we learned:
  • Every guy on the show has a thing for Olivia. Obviously they haven’t noticed her horrible acting skills.
  • Cows are just a few DNA strands different than humans.
  • The show needs to veer away from opening scenes and music that remind viewers of LOST.
  • There are a lot of characters involved already and just blogging about them it was hard to keep their names straight.

Time to breath again. I want to like this show, but I was highly distracted by the acting skills of Olivia, played by Anna Trov. I will return next week, but hope that she gets her act together. I don’t want her lack of skills to ruin this possibly exciting show for me.

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