JJ Abrams’ Fringe episode 15 review

Fringe is back, if anyone cares any longer...

When he heard what Fox had done to Fringe, it sent Walter over the edge…

Fox TV in their infinite wisdom complete incompetence – left Fringe with a two month gap in the running order. Presumably because they took too long to decide they wanted the final six stories in this first (and possibly last) season.

Coming back to the characters and plots this week with Inner Child, it felt so long that I was forced to revisit an old episode just to re-establish in my mind where this series had gone.

Normally in these reviews I like to cover the salient points of the story, perhaps touching on the more amusing, pivotal or anachronistic aspects. But the heart has so obviously been ripped out of this show, that I’m not inclined to bother.

Inner Child is a fine enough story, acted well enough, which starts in typical Fringe fashion where some building workers find a child in a secret room under a building they’re demolishing. He’s been there for many years, and adapted to living in a low oxygen environment with no light or natural resources.

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There’s a curious connection to the watcher character; maybe it’s him in another timeline, but we’re never actually provided with that information.

The child develops an empathic connection with Olivia and, through that, he leads her to track down a serial killer called ‘the artist’.

Nothing here is massively important to the larger story arc, and it’s more of an outing for Walter to be barking mad as usual and Olivia to show her soft emotional side while being a tough-as-nails FBI agent.

The problem is that I sat after watching this and wondered why I’d spent the time and effort on it. Fox have intentionally scuttled this initially promising show entirely because they can. The scheduling executive that decided to put this show on hold for two months at the crucial point in its first season needs taking to the top of a high building to have explained to them the full meaning of the word ‘momentum’. I’m sorry, but Girl Scouts cookie franchises exhibit better business acumen than has been demonstrated here.

So, now becalmed on a sea of uncertainty, I expect Fringe to drift aimlessly towards the end of its only season, before declining viewing figures initiate that regrettable but entirely predictable announcement. What a complete and utter waste of everyone’s time!

I’d love to know, from a psychological perspective, what makes a person, or TV network, fashion such interesting products and then crap on them from a great height. It doesn’t sound normal behaviour. I’ve never been tempted to write a long and complex article and then make it unreadable by turning the font into wingdings before sending it for publication, or selectively removing all the vowels.

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In respect to those fine people who’ve worked on this show, I’ll continue my reviews till they draw the curtain down on Fringe, but I recommend that anyone wanting to float an innovative new series idea take a very large detour around this network.

Check out our review of episode 14 here.