Fringe, it turns out, is not about the stuff that used to hang off my mom's clothes back when she was a dirty hippie. Instead, it refers to fringe science, AKA license for J.J. Abrams to do whatever kind of crazy shit he feels like doing on this new hourlong drama.
Fringe begins, like Lost, on a plane. But this isn't Oceanic--this is Face Melt-a-Thon Airlines, and viewers are treated not to a crash but an extremely graphic, Cronenberg-esque tableau of passenger's faces falling off. Yumm-o!
We segue to our heroine post-coital with her boyfriend. I call them, respectively, Poor Man's Cate Blanchett and Bland Blond. Honestly, both of them are so unremarkable that I can't recall their actual names. And, of course, they're both FBI agents, a population that TV wants us to believe is consistently, stunningly attractive. In reality, FBI agents look more like this:
Of course these two are on the Face Melt-a-Thon case, and Bland Blond, in pursuit of a suspect, is exposed to the same chemicals that treated us to the visually scrumptious opening scene. His doctors are stymied--if only they knew to summon Gregory House--and PMCB takes it upon herself to find the one man who just might know how to save BB.
First she needs his son, Pacey. Since leaving the Creek, he seems to have fallen on hard times and gained a lot of IQ points, but I have trouble buying him as a jet-setting bad boy. Probably because he looks exactly like all the smart-douchey boys I went to high school with, who are now waiting for their bar exam scores. (Good luck, guys! Hope living your fathers' lives works out for you!) She and Pacey boost his father, who I will call Frank (for Dr. Frankenstein) from a mental institution, and he does the typical TV crazy guy ramble, interspersed helpfully with clues about how to save BB's life. Then he pees himself. Yumm-o!
They go back to Frank's lab at Harvard, which the university kindly left alone for the past seventeen years, and through the power of a cow, a sensory deprivation tank, special K and acid, and the increasingly-transluscent BB, the team (for they are now a team, you see) finds the man who poisoned him in the first place and saves his life.
But wait! It turns out BB was actually in on the whole thing, and they probably shouldn't have wasted their time experimenting and tripping balls to keep him alive. However, there was one positive result of their efforts: Lance Reddick, who serves as the token black guy and their boss, convinces PMCB to continue to work with Pacey and Frank on other mysterious cases, which apparently there are a lot of. "It's like someone's experimenting, only the world is their lab," Lance says. Whoa! And something tells me the team will get one mysterious case per week, and resolve each one in an hour's time, but probably no sooner than 9:54 p.m.
You might think from my sardonic tone that I didn't like the show, but I did. I am a huge sucker for this brand of nonsense. Check back here weekly for my thoughts on our endearingly ragtag crew, and hope with me for more gratuitous shots of PMCB in her skivvies.