"Pilot" (1.01) - series premiere

The pilot episode of Fringe is, by far, one of the absolute best pilots I have ever seen and therefore easily receives ten falling kayaks; it instantly draws you into the world of Fringe and the mood that comes along with it. So much happens right in the first episode that leaves you desperate to watch more to find out what's going to happen, and I think that that is a rarity in a pilot episode. In the pilot episode of the X-Files, for example, barely anything happens besides the establishment of Mulder and Scully's partnership, and it's not really until the show's third season that it becomes somewhat clear where it's going. It is most definitely, no questions asked, better than the LOST pilot episode. I can, without any hesitation, give it ten cups of butterscotch pudding. The special effects are incredible, for starters, and the complexity of the characters, especially Peter and Walter, are already presented in the typical J.J. fashion; here are the characters, and along with them, here are hundreds of questions. If you have not yet seen Fringe, by the way, but would really like to see it, then please, don't read any further.

Where I was initially drawing comparisons to Alias, I still do want to establish these comparisons, because they were my initial thoughts about the show, so I still want to incorporate as much as what I was thinking at the time into the entry as I can without it being the primary focus of the entry. Olivia reminded me a lot of Sydney in the episode; she carries herself physically in a very similar fashion such as the way she crosses her arms when she's talking to someone, and there were certain scenes in which I thought she resembled her somewhat as well. In addition, the mental link that Walter made between Olivia and John is a very similar procedure that was conducted quite frequently on Alias. Also, the very basic plot-line is very similar as well; a highly driven and intelligent young woman who works for the government's boyfriend is killed, and as a result, she is empowered to seek for the truth behind the mysteries that are inevitably a part of her profession. I instantly fell in love with the series just from watching the pilot episode, because I had drawn so many comparisons to Alias, and I'm a huge fan of Alias. You all know how much I love Fringe, I'd assume, based on my obsessive tendencies regarding the show, but Alias is the only reason I started watching Fringe to begin with; it's the only reason I started watching LOST.
Anyway, I am going to do the best that I can to talk about the episode itself; it's just a little bit difficult, because it's hard to theorize, because since the show is in its second season as of now, any theories I could possibly have to offer in regards to the pilot episode would quite possibly be irrelevant and non-helpful at this point. However, I know that I do have some thoughts to share, and I'll begin with the question that pressed me at the time and still presses me to this day, because I haven't been able to figure out what he is talking about. Right before John dies in Olivia's arms, he says, "Ask yourself why Broyles sent you to the storage cell," and correct me if I'm wrong, but to this day, that question has not been answered unless I'm missing a key component. My guess is that he wanted Olivia to know that he was really good, but I'm not sure how what he said to her has anything to do with being on her side. The only theory I really have to offer is that Broyles knew that John was a "traitor," or at least, he thought he was, and so since he knew what was going to happen when Olivia and John went to the storage cell, he orchestrated it, because he knew it would end in John's exposure. One problem with this theory is that it is drastically far-fetched, but I don't know what else to think. However, if you think about it, it could account for what Broyles tells Olivia at the end of "The Transformation" (1.13); he tells her that for all intents and purposes, John Scott was a traitor to the country and will remain so on file, which I found to be strange considering the fact that he was buried as a hero. It's possible that Broyles didn't want to be exposed.


Another possibility, of course, is that it will later be revealed in the show that Broyles is the traitor, and that that is what he didn't want exposed, but that's a flavor of Kool-Aid of which I can't really say that I'm very fond. Broyles is one of my favorite characters, so the show, for me, definitely wouldn't really be the same without him, and you know what shows typically do; they kill the bad guys off, so I don't think he'd last very long if he were revealed as a traitor. To be honest, though, I can't even really see it. Broyles has proven time and time again that he is devoted to his country and that Olivia is very important to him. At the bar in "A New Day in the Old Town" (2.01), when Peter tells him that they were too late for Olivia, the look on Broyles' face is one of pure self-loathing and pain, for example. So, unless he's an excellent actor (a lot better than the "fake" Charlie, anyway), he can't possibly be a mole; he has me thoroughly convinced.


Another topic upon which I really want to touch is the "incident" that Broyles tells Olivia about right before he asks her to join Fringe Division. He tells her that forty-seven (one of the situations that I initially talked about briefly due to the number) children had gone missing for years and then later came back not having aged a day, and I'm really hoping that that is something that will be explored later in the show, because it seems to be too big of an issue to just leave as it is. It seems to me that the most likely answer to the question is time-travel. The children went missing, because during that time that they were gone, they didn't exist since they jumped over that time frame, but even if this is the case, I would still like for this to be revisited, because that's not enough for me. I want to know why they traveled through time and what it has to do with ZFT and the rest of the Fringe mythology. Now, the reason why that's so important to me is because first of all, as I said, to me, it's a pretty big issue to just drive by, and second of all, this is something that Broyles tells Olivia to get her to join Fringe Division, something that he hopes will motivate her to join, so it seems to me like it's pretty important, if not in general, then at least to Broyles.


The next and ultimately final topic that I want to discuss is Peter's past, which is heavily presented in the pilot episode (yet another example of what I was previously talking about when I said that the pilot episode has so much to offer). We know that Peter has become involved with some dangerous people, but we don't know how or why. Olivia knows this too, but likewise, she doesn't know what exactly he has involved himself in. In the pilot episode, she takes a stab and uses his past to manipulate him into coming to the states with her to help her solve John's case. He does not want to go with her; he has no interest whatsoever, but all she has to do is tell him that the FBI has a file on him, and with one phone call, she could get him into a lot of trouble, and he responds by asking when they're leaving, so something scared him enough to make him do something that he had no interest in doing whatsoever, and his past comes back every now and then throughout the first season but only with more questions and no answers. I honestly have no theories, because not much is given to us to help us come up with one, and I don't think that it has much to do, if anything, with Walter killing the original Peter and then replacing him with the alter-Peter, but I do think that since it is one of the major issues that are presented in the pilot episode, it is worth mentioning. Anyway, be on the lookout for more, fellow Fringies, and in the meantime, stay on the fringe.

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