Fringe: First People, Second Thoughts

The plot thickens…again.

Fringe has been on its game the past two weeks with episodes that have  furthered character arcs, posited some crazy ideas and fleshed out the mythos a bit more. This week brought us closer to what might be some honest-to-goodness answers AND the resolution of something that’s been nagging me since the intro sequence began alternating red & blue.

The opening of this episode really made me smile. It had those people, all around the world, listening in on the same frequency in hopes of deciphering the ghost code. Upon watching seen 15, 8 and 42 pop up on-screen, I seriously thought The Numbers were going to be the cause of this week’s sci-fi calamity. Alas, they were only part of a much larger tapestry of danger. The episode had one of those cold opens that hearkened to the days of the Twilight Zone. It just had a creepy, far-out feeling that isn’t very common on network television these days. I was waiting for the cheesy orchestral score to chime in and Rod Serling to mention something about the ‘Frequency of Evil.’ But I digress.

The frequency left all of its listeners with a serious case of amnesia and set in motion what is the big reveal of the season so far. But let’s roll back the clock a bit. This episode introduced the concept of number stations as a doorway into something very sinister. In OUR world, numbers stations are radio stations of unknown origins. They’ve been known to broadcast numbers, tunes and voices. Eerily enough, these voices tend to be those of women and children. If that isn’t creepy, then I don’t know what is. These stations have been thought to have been used by spies all over the world and have even been linked to the arrest of Department of Defense spy, Ana Montes and the so-called ‘Cuban Five’ spy ring.

With that said, the exploration of this concept alone would have made for a very interesting episode. Alas, the producers of Fringe went a step further and linked it to an even larger concept. That concept? First People. Yes, it’s exactly what it sounds like: the humans that existed before us. It also happens to be what’s been nagging at my little brain since the introduction of the alternate realities ‘Red/Blue’ title sequences. Apparently, in the Fringe cosmology, there was a group of homo sapiens that existed before the tyrant lizards that walked the earth. They were technologically advanced and were probably wiped out by one of the many cataclysms/extinction level events that have ravaged life on our planet from time to time. The scary part? These First People were so advanced that they discovered the secret to creation and destruction. And by that I don’t mean drying cement and bombs. We’re talking about Big Bang-type creation and Big Crunch-style destruction.

These first people found a way to truly be the Alpha & Omega. Unfortunately, by episodes end we realize that the Fringe Division of Earth-2 know all about this and are using it as a way to set up our heroes for a situation that is far less Alpha and a whole lot more Omega. With that said, this week’s events revealed that the agent of the Armageddon-esque goings on, one Olivia Dunham of Earth 2, is slowly coming to like this world.

She snuggles in bed with Peter during a wonderful breakfast in bed and seems genuinely happy; especially so when Peter surprises her with tickets to a U2 concert. Note: I like the fact that U2 is a sly nod to that fact that there are two versions of Olivia running around in this show. During a talk with Peter regarding his duty to protect this universe at all costs, he surprises Fauxlivia with his response. He states that it’s not an easy situation and that there are millions of innocent people on both sides. Upon hearing this it’s obvious that she’s wavering a bit in her belief that the people of this universe are the monsters that Walternate makes them out to be.

By the end of the episode it stands revealed that Fringe Division of Earth 2 is orchestrating the construction of the device introduced at the end of last season. What is that device? Well, it’s the Alpha/Omega machine that the First People created. So, the circle is complete. But it begs the question, is it the end of Earth 1? Earth 2? Or something completely unexpected?

Damn, we’re not even halfway through the season and things are getting intense. Here’s hoping that we get some decent revelations & resolutions before Fringe disappears during the winter hiatus. Then again, don’t give us too much. I need the stimulation provided by these kooky mysteries.

See ya next week.

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  1. […] don’t I feel like an idiot? My earlier column went on and on about the amazing First People and their crazy primordial tech. In the end, the […]



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