'Fringe' finale: Did it go too far? Not far enough? Just right? Some further thoughts...

The final moments of last night’s Fringe were so startling — and please read my earlier post on them before reading this, thank you — that I neglected to comment on a few things.

1. How cool (if rather impractical) was it that the energy cell David Robert Jones needed for his alternative-reality-piercing was hidden in Nina Sharp’s artificial arm?

2. I see on the message boards that some of you think the New York Post cover shows a corner-picture of Ted Kennedy referred to as a former president. My TV freeze-framing isn’t great, but to me it looks like a gray-haired JFK: In other words, I think in this alt-world, Kennedy wasn’t assassinated.

3. All three stars’ performances were superb. Anna Torv has turned Olivia Dunham into an intense but sensitive agent; her mixture of doggedness and acute awareness of the moods of others make her a first-rate herp. Joshua jackson’s Peter has evolved from mumbling wiseguy to a cagey but humane skeptic. And John Noble has moved walter’s comic eccentricity into the realm of serious poignance.

4. In my previous post, my closing question should have been, Where in physical space (not “time”) is Olivia now? Fringe has made it clear it’s not a time-travel show like Lost, but rather an alternate-universe show. this appeals immensely to me as a DC Comics Silver Age fan who enjoys the notion of parallel-but-different worlds and characters.

5. For a show that must be on a tight budget (they’re moving the production to Canada for next season), the images of the torn-asunder bodies, ripped when caught between the closing of “holes,” were beautifully, startlingly executed.

6. I also notice in some of your comments that a few of you think it was a little insensitive of Fringe to use the Twin Towers as its final-shock image. Does using 9/11 imagery still feel premature to you? I thought it was handled very well, but since others have mentioned being put off by it, I thought I’d throw it open to discussion.

In conclusion, I echo what I said last night: great season-ender to a terrific series. Now, please tell me what you think. Thanks.


Comments (81 total) Add your comment
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  • Brady

    I thought that the final shot of the episode was absolutely brilliant. The reveal that Olivia was in the top level of one of the World Trade Center towers was excellently done. It was not exploitative in any way, shape, or form. It only served to hammer home the fact that Olivia had truly traveled into an alternate universe.

  • Jen Penny

    I thought it was pretty ballsy using the WTC towers at the end, but honestly anyone who’s getting bent out of shape about it I think is seriously overreacting. Are we supposed to completely wipe this horrific incident out of our collective memory? Does prohibiting cultural references to it, even in a sophisticated way such as Fringe did last night, do anyone any good? It can’t erase what happened and serves only to eliminate any discussion. I thought the final scene was well done and thought provoking in a good way for the future of the show.

  • Chrissy

    I do not think it was premature either. As a New Yorker, the twin towers will always hold a place in my heart when thinking of the New York skylines. However, nothing drove the point of being in a parallel world than seeing those towers still standing. Bravo to J.J.Abrams, Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci for taking an artistic chance on a network. That chance has now hooked me for next season.

  • Ryan

    Yeah I agree. Don’t think it was exploitive. It’s a hard plot for somebody to follow. Showing her in the most famously destroyed building ever (Which I still think we should rebuild in the ultimate F U to the terrorists), does drive home the point of an alternate realm and shows all the possibilities that this can open up

  • Susan (SK)

    I knew some people would be disturbed by the twin tower images, but some people are disturbed by anything and everything (nipplegate, anyone?) I myself was a teeny bit upset about how much J.J. ripped off the master Stephen King (Talisman and Dark Tower, anyone???) LOVED the finale however, was not disappointed one bit! BEST SHOW ON TV!

  • Erika

    Showing the WTC at the end was bold. I don’t think anyone was supposed to feel comfortable with it; it was a edgy scene that mimicked the nature of Fringe itself–cutting a balance between two things. In the case of the Towers, it was whether it was right or wrong to show them in a situation like this. I don’t think we’re supposed to be able to answer that question. I don’t know how I feel about it yet, or if I ever will, but I do know that I appreciate they took the chance. It means they’re consciously thinking about those issues too, and hopefully it will translate into a bold, strong show for future seasons.

  • John F

    Has anyone else noticed that i the final pann-put from the WTC Tower that there is no Statue of Liberty?

  • dave

    Anyone who claims to be offended by the images of the Twin Towers is overreacting. It has been almost 9 years since 9/11. Using 9/11 imagery should no longer be considered premature. That scene was very well done and there was nothing distasteful about it.

  • jb

    Who cares that the twin towers were shown. its a tv show. get over it. it was a terrible tragedy does that mean it can never be spoken of again?

  • Exodus

    I have to say this show is shaping up to replace X-files and then some. Absolutely loved the ending.
    Id argue that this show IS about time travel thou, just not backwards or forwards in the traditional sense, but rather sideways.
    Also one thing that struck me was the constant reference to the “other side”, as if there is just one.
    If u can postulate that there is one other paralell reality, it is just as likely that there are more then one. After all the ZFT are all about gearing up for a coming war, with a paralell reality, which one, and why ?

  • Arlo Flores

    Actually John F I think the Statue of Liberty is there. I’m sure I noticed it on tv last night. It’s hard to make out on the small you tube screen but I’m pretty sure it’s there.

  • abby

    I’m from NYC and I found nothing wrong with that scene. It made the alternate reality seem not all that bad. That finale was awesome.

  • Rasha

    The image of the towers was so unexpected that I got goosebumps and audbily gasped. It was very well done.
    And Boo! to moving the show to Canada. It won’t look the same. :(

  • 3reddogs

    When an episode has a title like “There’s More than One of Everything”, what more iconic image of two of something could there be than the Twin Towers? It was tasteful and just plain mind-blowing. I am SOOOO looking forward to season 2.

  • Kaiulani

    I was not offended by the WTC final shot, but my husband did wonder out loud if they went too far.

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