Customer Reviews: Fringe: Season 4 [Blu-ray]
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on January 28, 2012
Have Fringe seasons 1-3 on DVD and currently dvr season 4 episodes. This is intelligent television. Plots are unique, FBI cases are super sci-fi in nature, characters are well developed and the dialogue is top notch! John Noble is brilliant as Walter in each universe, as is the rest of the cast. I cannot wait until Season 4 is released on dvd.
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on January 19, 2012
I love this show! From the pilot episode I have grown the love each character hero and villain alike, especially Walter. The action and plot twists are in a league above the rest!
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on May 13, 2012
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!
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on June 1, 2012
I wish I had the heart to watch episodes from Season Four again and give a point-by-point analysis of why I am giving this season only three stars (which I can't since this set is not yet available), but I don't think I would have the heart to do it anyway.
I have adored this show through the first three seasons, (see my review for Season Three) and as someone has already written, even in its diminished form it is still better than the vast majority of shows on TV today. Even so, this is merely damning the show with faint praise.
The only way I can try to describe what happened in Season Four is to compare it to that infamous season of "Dallas." Patrick Duffy departed, apparently thinking that broader fame awaited him once he left the schlocky show in which he'd been mired for so long. His character was killed. Then reality hit--obviously he'd made a big mistake. No new acting opportunities appeared. So they wrote him back in by making the entire previous season a dream.
If I were to guess at why Fringe's numbers turned south in Season Four, I would point first to the move to Friday night--Death Valley--but perhaps even more importantly, I would recall the writing staff's gutsy decision to make Peter literally cease to exist at the end of Season Three. What had happened by then? We fully understood that Walter had literally riven the universe to save the son (Peter) he'd already lost, then created a corps of supposed super-children, Olivia being one, whose task it would be to save their own universe once it began to collapse. Peter and Olivia had both been put through hell. Their relationship, one of the primary raison d'etres for the entire show, had been threatened by almost every conceivable force, and a few inconceivable ones. Somehow they had survived it all. We even see a future in which they are married and discussing whether it would be wise to raise children in the world they have inherited. And then Peter simply winks out of being. The Observers tell us that no one remembers him.
When Season Four begins, all of the emotional capital that had been invested in the Peter - Olivia and Peter - Walter relationships has been dissipated. Then Olivia and Walter are haunted by visions of a man they don't recognize (since he technically never existed). When he inexplicably appears, they avoid him like the plague. Olivia admits to Peter that she has seen him in her dreams, yet remains remarkably disinterested in him. Walter simply refuses to speak to him or help him in any way. Peter even encourages another agent to romantically pursue Olivia since "his" Olivia must be in another universe. These tensions eventually resolve, though in a not entirely graceful or satisfying way. I would surmise that by that time a good chunk of Fringe's already small audience had departed in frustration. In addition, viewers of Season Four really needed a good grounding in the show to make sense of/fully appreciate the contrasts in worlds created by Peter's "erasure." This made it even less likely that Fringe would find new fans.
I hung in there, and am glad I did, but there is no denying that the quality and consistency of the show suffered markedly in Season Four.
I have no way of knowing how far down Season Four's narrative line the writers had already planned at the end of Season Three. But given the erratic writing in Season Four and the underwhelming way in which Peter's reappearance and Olivia's adjustment to it are explained, it doesn't seem like they had thought it all out very well.
There were, of course, some truly wonderful episodes, including an examination of Astrid's double, and a one-off that projects well into the show's future. The acting from the entire cast remains top-notch.
I am thrilled that Fringe will be back for a mini-Season Five, and will be tuned in to every episode. But I hope the writers will be able to deliver a pre-Season Four level of quality. The actors and the fans deserve it.
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on January 18, 2012
I first got hooked on Damages, then Breaking Bad, and was very upset about the amount of time to wait for the upcoming seasons of these to be released.

I reluctantly began watching this with my wife, and now I am hooked! It is a very good show, and one big positive thing is the fact that there is very little bad language and "adult" situations. This lack of questionable material has no ill effects on the story, and allows me to watch this with my young teenage sons.
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on April 22, 2012
I only recently discovered this sci-fi series a week ago. I liked it so much that I found myself purchasing all four seasons on Amazon and watching all within a week's period. I grew attached to the original Fringe team, especially Anna Torv as Olivia. When they introduced the new characters in episode 19 of season four, my first reaction was confusion and a little frustration trying to figure out where they fit into the big picture. Once they revealed who Henrietta was, I felt some relief. It's refreshing to see a few new characters on the show. I could easily become a Henrietta fan as much as Olivia if the story line doesn't stray too much from the original plot. I agree with a previous poster that the Observers shouldn't be cast as the villains. Keep the plot interesting with less gestapo story lines and more personal interaction between Olivia, Peter and Henrietta and I'll continue to watch.
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on December 8, 2011
This episode tore my heart in two. Stephen Root and Romy Rosemont (who are actually married in real life) give stellar performances as a man desperate to help his wife beat the onset of dementia and Alzheimers. Like most of us who have a parent suffering the same disease, we would give anything to help them retain their memories, youth and vigor. For Stephen Root, he believes the only thing he can give his wife is time to complete a formula to keep them living in the year before the onset of her illness. The price of this gift comes at a high cost, causing carnage and inexplicable time anomolies and loops in the immediate area surrounding the couples home. Once the final answer to the formula is found, a heartbreaking decision must be made. This is an excellent entry into the Fringe episode library.
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on December 8, 2011
Imagine being born without any color in your skin so that you are transparent - invisible to the naked eye. Then imagine from the time you are born you are used as a lab rat by the Government, and given no chance of a normal life. This heartbreaking episode was about the need for human connection - a chance to interconnect with humankind and the painful loneliness that results when this does not occur. The ending is incredibly bittersweet.
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on September 14, 2012
I've had the chance to watch the entire season again, and was surprised to find I like it more on repeat viewing. The people creating this show have clearly been paying attention to what they were doing, and the stories and characters just keep getting more intriguing.

Didn't watch seasons 1-3 again first, just plunged right in to season four.
'Previously on Fringe' bits at the start of the episodes always managed to clue me in to what had come before clearly enough that I wasn't confused.

This is such an intriguing show, well worth watching, and watching again.

I'm delighted to know there will be a (shorter) season five to wrap up this fascinating story.

Editing to add:

I realize that other people aren't thrilled with the way things changed beyond the end of the third season, and yes, I see their point(s). On the other hand, I'm mostly just thrilled that extra seasons exist, of whatever length, even if I do sort of prefer the part of the show I think of as "White Tulip World." The show seems to have lost a bit of the whimsy and whacked out humor that characterized so much of the earliest seasons, but the story is a serious one now, and there are only so many hours in a season, so I guess I can understand when certain elements take precedence over others.
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on August 23, 2012
So youre here reading some reviews on the latest season of Fringe. Maybe you watched it in the past or maybe a friend told you about it once. Either way you have made and excellent choice. Now I have watched everything Fringe since Fox brought it on in the fall of 2008. I rememeber a lot of people saying it was the next X-Files and such, but there is a lot more here than some of the other sci-fi you have watched. Unlike Star Trek, X-Files, or even Firefly this doesnt have a lot to do with space and more to do with theoretical science or as they refer to it as "Fringe" science. Better characters and brilliant writing and just a couple of things that make Fringe so good. Anyway you want to know if this is worth it so here I go.

Now season three introduce a structure of episodes that would alternated between our universe and the other universe. With that they were able to tell the story of both sides. This was an idea I was not too fond of to begin with but I figured out what they were trying to do. They wanted to show you how different things were, based on events and people's decisions in that timeline. This continues in season four and it picks up right from the season three finale. Now some people cannot grasp that storytelling style and I get that but people raved about LOST and it did a very similar thing!(and unlike LOST there is no map required here, contrary to some peoples beliefs)

Now the characters and writing have always been Fringe's strong point. Now my rule is if you don't like sci-fi stop watching it and giving it shoty reviews! Criticts keep trying to grasp things and either get frustrated and stop watching or are just not trying. The actors do a superb job, the best I think being John Noble. He ends up playing multiple versions of the same character and does it flawlessly.

Ok so when it comes down to it I love Fringe and I will be sad to see it go. I am also sad on the low scores (there being only 3 below 4 star at the time which tells you something) just because it was getting too old for them or that they didn't understand what was happening. With that being said a lot of the 4s and 5s have hit it on the head, This is a great show. Fox has never had a lot of long running sci-fi series because they don't want to pay for all the effects IE Firefly and Tera Nova. They put something great out and throw it away when it doesnt make them enough money. And yes to those who say it would have been canceled had if not been for us fans! We helped keep this show alive and we want more stuff like this, We don't need another cop drama or another murder mystery. We want things that play with our minds and makes us think. We don't want some repetative cops and robbers tv show that you can rot and drool in front of the tv until they figure everything out for you. As I said stop watching sci-fi if you are always confused, it is obviously not for you. This series is creative in more ways than most could imagine and that is the glory of it! So thank you to JJ Abrams and all the cast and crew for an amazing series and I can't wait for the fifth and final season!
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