Recap: 'Fringe' - '6:02 AM EST'

Now, before you huff and puff and head to the comments section, let’s take a moment. Deep breaths. Let’s talk serialized narratives for a moment. Let’s talk about what they should accomplish. Networks tend to be wary of them for well-established, economically-based reasons: they want newcomers now and in the future to be able to drop in on an episode and still understand what’s going on. The thought process on high suggests, not entirely incorrectly, that shows such as "Fringe" that are heavy serialized hurt chances for larger viewers by featuring storylines that can be impenetrable to the casual viewer. Nothing revelatory there, but I think there’s something networks miss.

After all, most episodes of "Fringe" subsume or incorporate the larger narrative inside miniature, episode-sized bites. A person sitting down to an episode such as "6B" might have a little trouble following along at first, but the über-narrative of "Fringe" isn’t altogether difficult to understand. (I’d offer this summary to give a friend/family member the proper context: "Two worlds, one machine: WHO YA GOT?") People can latch onto "Fringe" more easily than some executives might think: each episode by and large works in and of itself as a story that has a beginning, middle, and end. They are signposts along the cross-country road that is a season. Season 3 started in metaphorical/metaphysical Boston, and is nearly all the way to the Pacific Ocean. It’s not enough for the season to work as whole, although that’s a noble and laudatory goal. The only way for anyone to agree to a ride that long (either as a hardcore or occasional fan) is to have those individual legs of the journey be entertaining. Then, and only then, can one look back at the long journey and truly appreciate how far they’ve come. Read More...


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