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Showing 1-10 of 1,462 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 2,633 reviews
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 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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on September 12, 2016
This show it great!! What sucks is that Amazon is now charging for it. Yesterday (9/11/16) it was.99 an episode and today it's up to 2.99 an episode! I may rethink this prime thing if I'm going to be charged for shows in this manner.
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on September 13, 2012
Well let's see... I agree with the earlier review saying that the 4th season is a change from the past 3 seasons. It was a little hard getting used to things not being the same as they were. BUT in the end, the love story that is Fringe, was redeemed.This show is about love more than anything else. It's not about the cases - they are secondary to the thread that ties Walter,Peter,Olivia and Astrid together as well as the characters from the other universe not to mention Broyles!
Some of these episodes are so good that each one goes by in a flash. Granted some of this season's episodes were slightly less interesting than in other seasons but overall I had NO trouble staying interested.
The chemistry of this show between the characters reminds me alot of the original Star Trek series between Kirk, Spock and Mccoy - it is that good!
Looking forward to the final season in 2 weeks. I'l be interested to see where they go with the story. I'm wondering if we'll see the characters in the other universe again....will Olivia regain her powers to fight the Observers? Will they continue the story from Letters of Transit? I doubt we've seen the last of Bell either. I have no doubt that there will be a climactic ending calling all characters to overcome the observers and set things right once again.If they do it right the bond between all of the characters will matter the most.
We'll see!
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on March 6, 2012
This show is a one of a kind. The characters are so compelling and the one and only Dad (Walter)is so endearing. I have bit my fingernails, cried, laughted and ultimately can't wait for the next show. I have withdrawel waiting for the next season. My husband thinks I'm nuts but what does he know. Love, love, love this show.
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on July 17, 2012
Letters in Transit is Season 4's odd, "stand alone" episode. I thought it was very well done and offers a VERY different view of the observers than we have seen before. However, you could kind of guess that not all the observers were "good" due to September's ominous yet vague warnings (earlier in Season 4).

This episode introduces a lot of new characters as well as a very different Walter, but I have a feeling that this episode's storyline will be picked up/ explained/ continued/ flashed forward to... in Season 5 (the final season).
I found it to be a really fun look into one of the possible futures for our Fringe Team.
This is not a "standard" episode and if those tend to be your favorites, then this is most likely not going to be an episode you'll love, but it does offer some interesting things to think about and might create some great story lines for Season 5.

Give it a chance, just don't expect to see Olivia or much of Peter.
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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 October 16, 2011
Since the Observers made Peter disappear, all the characters have turned into grim and humorless caricatures of their once vibrant characters, indicating that Peter had a huge effect on all of them by being in their lives. I'm excited to see how they introduce him back, particularly to his badly addled father Walter who doesn't seem able to cope with even the smallest problems in this new universe. And poor Olivia... she's wrapped tighter than a new mummy.
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All shows evolve and sometimes they evolve in ways that are popular with the fans challenging their preconceptions as to what the series is about and sometimes not. In the case of "Fringe: The Complete Fourth Season" producers and showrunners J.H. Wyman and Jeff Pinker decided to do something bold and radical--eliminate one of the characters for part of the fourth season.

SPOILERS:

Peter (Joshua Jackson)ceased to exist, or rather, died as a child once he had established the link between the two universes and provided stability. As a result the relationships and the events of the past three years are altered for Olivia Dunham (Anna Torv), Walter Bishop (John Noble--who still hasn't been nominated for an Emmy--REALY Emmy committee? Have you actually WATCHED his performances?)and Astrid (Jasika Nicole). The Fringe team now includes Lincoln Lee (Seth Gabel) on our side as the team struggles with visions and voices of Peter; it seems that he hasn't entirely been erased by September. Suddenly, Peter returns appearing out of nowhere as a man with no past, no present and no future who knows everybody but nobody knows him.

We also have an episode that flashes forward to the future where Baldos (or the Observers as they are really known)control our world after destroying THEIR future world. This flash forward also gives us the opportunity to see how the 13 episode fifth season may play out.

END OF SPOILERS:

The changes during the fourth season essentially allowed the producers to reboot the show recreating the series again and altering the dynamic of the series. Whether or not you enjoy the changes will depend on how invested you were in the previous three seasons but if you trust the producers/writers and give them a chance, you just might find a fourth season that is challenging and rewarding.

As with the previous seasons of "Fringe" the transfer is exceptionally good for the Blu-ray (I haven't seen the DVD so can't comment on it). Detail is remarkably sharp and we get improved depth as well as better definition particularly during dark sequences.

The lossless audio is presented in 5.1 and sounds marvelous.

I am a bit disappointed in the special features. "Fringe" has always had interesting commentary tracks unfortunately either due to budget constraints for this set or an oversight on the part of Warner Home Video, this set has no commentary tracks. Since these are often among the best of the special features (at least for me--giving new insight and making an episode "fresh" again), I'm a bit disappointed that the producers of this set didn't consider providing this option.

On the other hand we get a number of good featurettes on the series. "The Culture of Fringe" is a roundtable discussion featuring the producers of the show discussing the science of the show. We also get "Have You Seen Walter Lately?" which gathers some of the cast and crews' favorite moments from the show (it's essentially a clip featurette) as well as "A World Without Peter" which discusses the void left by Peter and how it impacted all the characters.

"The Observers" gives us some insight into the Baldos that occupy the world of Fringe. Star Joshua Jackson and the producers introduce "Beyond the Comic Book" discussing the creation of the "Beyond The Fringe: Peter and The Machine". We also get an digital excerpt from this title.

Finally we get the season gag reel as well as the option stream the series via Ultraviolet for laptops, etc. The deadline to use this option is September 2014.

I enjoyed the fourth season of "Fringe" and the risks that the producers took in eliminating a major character for the first third of the season. This altered the dynamics (not in a "massive" sense) of the show (for example Walter can't stand Nina in the new timeline and he rarely leaves his lab; Olivia was raised by Nina)but also allowed the possibility of exploring older characters in new ways.

If you haven't seen the fourth season yet give it a chance--it is DIFFERENT than what came before but, then again, each season has had its differences and that's what has kept the show (to me at least)vital and interesting.

Recommended.
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