Looking back, I never did talk about Fringe outside of some RPG wanking. That was because I wasn’t that enchanted with the show. John Noble is a superior being, and his Walter Bishop is a great TV character, but I found Anna Torv to be fairly dull and uninteresting. Her FBI agent was bland and played the victim a bit too much for my tastes.
As of the 11th episode, “Bound,” things changed. Agent Dunham… let’s say she revealed her inner badass rather than claiming her characterization changed, because I haven’t gone back and watched the early episodes to see if I missed something. She is now really interesting, because we’re seeing this vast well of anger inside her, which she mostly has to keep repressed. But man, it comes out sometimes. She is ruthless without being apologetic and without making a big deal of it.
This means I want to see what she does next. It also heightens the importance of the problems she’s facing. Boring characters can’t support epic threats, in the same way that bland villains can’t support epic heroes. So this is all very good.
Meanwhile, John Noble is still awesome, and the plot has taken a giant hiccup forward with “Ability,” the most recent episode. Odd as this may seem for a J. J. Abrams show, we have been provided with a basket of answers. And more questions, because it’s still Abrams, but the outline of the season makes sense.
Oh yeah. And there was a Jonathan Carroll reference in the last episode.
So: if you had been dissing Fringe, it might be worth another look. I’m not saying great, because not great, but way better than it started.