Season one of Fringe can only be described as procedural. Sure, each case was connected by the thread that was the Pattern, but for the most part, we were treated to stand-alone cases that were like CSI plus melting brains. That's not a bad thing by any means; Fringe was so well-written and had strong enough characters that each episode was a clear development on the last, making for a brilliant season.
Season two changed up that dynamic, and began to throw in more polarized episodes. Some were more standalone ("Fracture," "White Tulip"), while others were deeply routed in mythology ("Jacksonville," "Over There"), and one didn't even have a case ("Peter"). That's when the series really hit its stride critically, and became one of the best shows on television.
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