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'Fringe:' The beginning of the end

"Fringe” is one of Fox's provocative sci-fi series. Credit: Fox

"Fringe," one of TV's classic series, begins the final season run tonight (WNYW/5 at 9), with an episode entitled "Transilience Thought Unifier Model — 11."  And if you're still reading this post, be assured that the title is something of a broad wink to the audience, with producers having a bit of fun over "Fringe's" not-unfairly deserved rep as an impenetrable sci-fi encased in a puzzling mult-layered mythology that's all but impenetrable to the most devoted of Fringiacs.

In fact, "Transilience" — there is such a device, by the way — is a surpringly rich, emotional ride that recaptures everything everyone has really loved about this show from the beginning — notably the emotional ties that bind this superb cast (Anna Torv, Joshua Jackson, Jasika Nicole and of course John Noble.)

And tonight you'll meet a fifth key member: Georgina Haig, who plays Etta, Peter and Olivia's daughter in the future .?.?. This is the first major U.S. TV screen credit for the Australian newcomer, and I think she nails it. By the way, "Fringe" is an Aussie magnet — Torv and Noble are both from Down Under.

The quick overview: Set in 2036 when the Observers have subjugated surviving elements of the human race, though a rear-guard action is about to be fought by those who were preserved in amber. This episode does have a direct tie to last season's closer, but is more directly tied to a 4th season episode called "Letters of Transit." Go here for greater detail.

Tonight's episode is excellent, and — not to worry — easily accessible to Fringiacs and casual fans alike. What's interesting, though, is that emotional resonance. Show co-creator J.H. Wyman spoke about this at the recent press tour, and what he's looking for in the final round up .?.?.

 When you start to be too clever and go off on different things, you can hurt yourself because, you know, you’re really not focusing on what’s really important. One of the lessons that I keep actually one of the great things he ever said to me is I love this, and I think every writer should hear it, is he said, “You know, being clever is not really an emotion.” And it’s true, you know. So I think that now, we’ve done so much work to bring up so many possibilities to have the end of these characters be beautiful and touching and just meaningful, but I really want to focus on those. So for me, it is a metaphor. I’m definitely drawing a metaphor for how difficult it is to have a family in this day and age, that it’s very hard to find time for each other. It’s very had to keep things together, and it takes an extreme amount of effort, and I want people to watch the program and say, “Yeah, I can identify with loving something more than anything and loving someone in my family, and I want them all to be OK.”

  OK, and here's a nice promo that offers a decent overview.


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