27 of 32 people found the following review helpful
A Bit Uneven, But Still Better Than 99% Of Television Fare Today,
This review is from: Fringe: Season 4 [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
For its first three seasons, "Fringe" gave sci-fi junkies the type of show that had gone longing since "The X-Files" left the airwaves. It is cerebral, it is emotional, it is at times funny, and (most of all) it is well thought-out. Essentially, it is all the things that 99% of television programs these days are not. While this fourth season of the show is a bit uneven and doesn't quite live up to its previous cannon of work, it is still a quality show that provides some much-needed scripted drama to a TV market over-saturated by reality and competition shows.
(Minor spoilers ahead)
Like many TV show seasons, this fourth season of "Fringe" is broken down into three primary plot-arcs:
1. The search for Peter Bishop (Joshua Jackson), gone missing after the activation of the machine that brought the two universes together.
2. The Peter/Olivia Dunham (Anna Torv) relationship, further complicated by the sheer number of universe-related possibilities that could be at play.
3. The return of David Robert Jones (Jared Harris) and the havoc he wreaks in trying to control the grand scheme of things, necessitating some brilliant thinking/actions from Dr. Walter Bishop (John Noble) to (hopefully) set things straight.
Where this season primarily succeeds is in its ability to (once again) tell stories from a completely different angle than one might think. For example, one episode jumps years into the future to see what may happen to our protagonists. Simply put, there is never a lack of creativity on the part of the show creators! Also, it never ceases to amaze how far the characters in "Fringe" come in any given season. There are some incredibly poignant scenes towards the end of season four that one would not have even dreamed of during the season premiere.
The reason for the one-star dockage? Perhaps because of the threat of cancellation, this season is more up-and-down than its previous three installments. The action & character development occurred in fits and starts instead of a intelligible pattern. One week would promise a "slow burn", while the next week would bring quick resolution. Perhaps the writers cannot be blamed for this, what with the "Sword of Damocles" hanging over their heads, but either way it just isn't as air-tight as the writing of seasons 1-3.
Overall, I am incredibly excited that Fringe is getting a final mini-season to wrap up its many plotlines and character arcs. With a defined length of time with which to end the show, there is no telling what the writers will give us next!