Fringe Update: Episode 2 Ratings Up + Review

Fringe, the new mystery genre show created by JJ Abrams, Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman, got a big boost in the ratings for its second week, with a little help from Fox’s hit show House. We have details and a mini review of episode 2 "Same Old Story" below. 

 

4 million more tune in to Fringe
Last week’s premiere of Fringe brought in OK numbers and so a big test for the show was going to be week two, and the good news for the Abrams team is that it passed the test. Fringe won its time slot in both overall viewers and those in the key demographics bringing in a total of 13.4 million, four million more viewers than the premiere. An obvious help to the show was following Fox’s hit medical drama House, which brought in 14.4 million viewers, and together Fringe and House helped Fox win the night. 

Review – Fringe episode 2 – "Same Old Story"
While the $10 million 90 minute pilot for Fringe felt more like a film, the second outing settled in and felt more like series television, which is actually a good thing. You can start to see how the show is going to work, with a scary opening teaser introducing a mystery, a meeting of the ominous ‘committee’ that oversees the investigations into ‘The Pattern,’ flowing into a procedural show with our main characters solving the case, but at the same time hinting at the larger overall mythology.

Forgoing a ‘previously on Fringe’ the post-credits segments went long on exposition and review of what happened in the pilot, which dragged a bit, but were probably very useful to first-time watchers (and as the ratings shows, that was probably a good call). It has been a stated goal that the show will not be one of those that require you to watch every episode (like Lost or Heroes), but hopefully the show doesn’t end up having to repeat itself too often.

The mystery of the week involving super-rapid aging and a serial killer was interesting, but a bit predictable. What was promising is how ‘the monster of the week’ plot was actually tied into the mythology of ‘The Pattern’ and the Massive Dynamics Corporation. There were just enough Lost-style hints and new mysteries introduced (including the shows final image) to keep mythology-obsessed fans going and wanting more. Also the ‘fringe science’ of the week (recapturing images from a dead body’s optic nerve) provided a nice gross out moment for horror genre fans.

As for the character relationships, there was improvement across the board in this area from the pilot with some poignant scenes between all the shows main cast with John Noble (Walter Bishop), Lance Reddick (Phillip Broyles), and Blair Brown (Nina Sharp) so far pulling most of the load. However, the chemistry between Anna Torv’s Olivia Dunham and Joshua Jackson’s Peter Bishop is starting to shape up nicely and we can see the beginnings of an arc for the two (let’s hope they don’t take this into romance and ‘will they / wont they’ territory too soon). Also the cow made a brief cameo, but Noble continues to provide most of the show’s comedy.

So far so good with Fringe. The challenge for the show going forward will be to balance the procedural mysteries of the week with the overall mythology as well as continuing to develop the characters and give them arcs for the audience to want to make the show ‘must see TV.’


Death doesn’t stop Fringe team from questioning people

Watch episode and extras online
If you missed it, you can watch the show online at Fox.com, in HD. Plus Fox has a full recap and also a bonus feature of ‘Walter’s lab notes.’ It is worth touring around the official site as it is clear that FOX is using the web in a very proactive way to both extend the Fringe experience as well as help fans catch up with the show if they miss something.


[CLICK to watch FRINGE online]

 

 

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I'm dead Jim
September 17, 2008 1:33 pm

WOO HOO!

Energize
September 17, 2008 1:34 pm

It was even worse than the pilot. This show has good potential, but the characters and situations are too far out. At least LOST worked.

AJ
September 17, 2008 1:37 pm

I was a bit underwhelmed, but le’ts all remember TNG’s wonderful “Code of Honor” as a post-pilot masterpiece.

Fringe can be great. Just keep John Noble CRAZY.

Sisko Is The Prophet, Peace Be Upon Him
September 17, 2008 1:41 pm

I thought the pilot was just OK, but the second episode was more intriguing. I am a bit worried about the show falling into the monster of the week mode and sappy romance between the stars. So Orci if you are reading this…please don’t do that. Lets see more mythology, less sap.

September 17, 2008 1:48 pm

Who cares about Fringe…. BRING ON THE TREK!!!!!!!!

Trekkie16
September 17, 2008 1:54 pm

I liked it better than the first episode and I thought the writing was wittier. I like the humor and I LOVE Lance Reddick. I wish he was in every scene. Still thoughts part were a bit unrealistic and some of the writing was still predictable. Still not WOWING me like LOST did but I enjoyed it enough to tune in next week.

montreal paul
September 17, 2008 1:55 pm

I loved the show last night… more so than the pilot… and I thought the pilot was good. I think the characters show some real promise and I love the relationship between them all. Anna Torv’s character should really develop over time. She seems to be a mix of both Mulder and Scully. I actually like Jackson in this.. I hated him in everything else he has done.

I tend to agree with the people who mentioned to stay clear of any romance between the Torv & Jackson’s characters… that would be a huge mistake! I think the chemistry between them right now is great. I like the FBI guy too (the friend she called in a favour from).. although I don’t remember his name.

Keep up the great work and this will be a hit!

ensign joe
September 17, 2008 2:02 pm

The pilot seemed a little to “pop” for me.. I will give it (Fringe) a couple more looks though as it does show promise..

I also found it hard to believe that.. well… here you have this guy.. this agent.. who’s skin is going bonkers.. and he’s in a basment of a Harvard building.. not at, say, some sort of official medical facility under quarantine.. or AT LEAST under guard.. just saying.. too nit-picky?

Dr. Image
September 17, 2008 2:02 pm

Peter Bishop comes off as an irritating tool. All wink-wink, “aren’t I clever” lines. It’s like he’s from another show- of the type I avoid watching.
I’ll take Lost over this any day.

Energize
September 17, 2008 2:09 pm

If they recast Joshua Jackson’s part for a more likeable guy it would be a lot better.

star trackie
September 17, 2008 2:15 pm

Good episode last night. My only complaint is that it doesn’t follow The Sarah Connor Chronicles on Mondays…that way I could knock them both out with one sitting. Oh well. Fun show so far.

Adam T.
September 17, 2008 2:23 pm

Some of you people drive me crazy! Good TV is very nearly an oxymoron these days. There are stills tons of shows that are insipid and bland, yet get tons of viewers. So the masses will always crave fluff and garbage, fine. At least this show is adding another hour of enjoyable viewing to the crowded schedule of crap. Lighten up a bit folks, its good Sci-Fi the likes of which we haven’t seen in a while.

September 17, 2008 2:25 pm

Sorry OrcSter, I wasn’t able to catch it – I was riding the wings of the Lunesta© butterfly after a highly stressful day. However, I shall torrent this episode tonight, burn it to dvd for me and the child and let you know your brilliance once again. as the case may be.

THE WOMEN!!

=h=

montreal paul
September 17, 2008 2:40 pm

# 13…

Question for you I have been meaning to ask… when you write “THE WOMEN” … are you referring to the new movie coming out by that title?

Arthur Simone
September 17, 2008 2:56 pm

TREK TREK TREK TREK TREK TREK TREK TREK TREK TREK TREK TREK TREK TREK TREK TREK TREK TREK TREK TREK TREK TREK TREK TREK TREK TREK TREK TREK TREK TREK TREK TREK TREK TREK TREK TREK TREK TREK TREK TREK TREK TREK TREK TREK TREK TREK TREK TREK TREK TREK TREK TREK TREK TREK TREK TREK TREK TREK

Arthur Simone
September 17, 2008 2:57 pm

In Brazil we cannot watch FRINGE yet…

J_schinderlin56
September 17, 2008 3:03 pm

Sorry, I think that this show is gross.

J_schinderlin56
September 17, 2008 3:04 pm

People dieing and melting on airplaines, and newborn babies becoming Aliens is just too disgusting for my taste.

The Enterprise
September 17, 2008 3:06 pm

The first episode had such a great opener, but the rest of it was crap or hard to believe, This show won’t last.

zan
September 17, 2008 3:13 pm

I watched the pilot on Sunday and I thought to myself that “Spock’s Brain” was more realistic

Thorny
September 17, 2008 3:19 pm

I TiVo’d “Fringe” last night while watching “Eureka”. Partly because I was eating dinner and that was a serious mistake while watching the pilot last week. Yuck.

Mr. Orci, we’re not going to have any face-melting or see-through skin in Star Trek, are we? :-)

I’m about to give up on “Sarah Connor”, the writing is just awful (what’s with that nuclear power plant having worse security than your average Walmart?), so I hope Fox leaves “Fringe” where it is on the schedule.

“House” and “Fringe” back to back after “Eureka” departs on its mid-season break. That’s entertainment!

The Enterprise
September 17, 2008 3:33 pm

Really? I think Terminator has been great. The writing on that is better than Fringe, I think. I like the action of Terminator.

montreal paul
September 17, 2008 3:39 pm

babies turning into aliens????? what show was that? Um.. it was the rapid acceleration grown of the baby turning it into an old man.. not an alien.

for the rest of you thinking that the show is unrealistic… umm.. yes.. IT’S A SCI-FI TV SHOW. Not a documentary on Discovery. LOL

To quote the show. “When did you lose your imagination?”

zan
September 17, 2008 3:41 pm

“IT’S A SCI-FI TV SHOW”

yeah one that forgot about the “science” in “science-fiction”

September 17, 2008 3:45 pm

yo Montreal Paul®, no Montreal Paul®. Most certainly not and I would never do this. While I celebrate women in general, and am a major fan of womanhood. It can mean many things to many people. As it should like any Pearl Jam lyric and Eddie Vedder won’t tell us the meaning. Make your own meaning, make the song your own he says. However.

I am of course referring to the classic “Dr. T and the Women” starring Richard Gere. Insert gerbil joke anywhere. I know Richard Gere and he’s OK with that old chestnut. That dude’s just an American Gigolo – has had more tail than Chaz Sheen and Bill Clinton combined. So it’s all laughs to him, all the way to the box office bank. In Texas we have an old saying about that.

THE WOMEN!!

=h=

Cyberghost
September 17, 2008 3:52 pm

why all the complaints, Fringe is a good show with a lot of potential. What would everyone here want to see? All American Idol -yuch- or reality shows. It’s different, and I think that most of us can agree we need that!!

Give it time, all shows need time to gel, the writers, the viewers and the cast, need time. If it’s not your cup of tea, that’s fine, but my TiVo is set to “season pass” for this one.

Years ago fox had a show on tv about space marines, written by Chris Carters co creator of x filed, it didn’t get a chance, does anyone remember the name of the show? You know, back when fox tv was a young, daring, netwok, and the simpsons was still funny. Pre 1999 timeline.

montreal paul
September 17, 2008 4:01 pm

24 – Zan….

you forgot the FICTION in Science Fiction. Otherwise, it would be Science Non-Fiction. ;)

25. rehabilitated hitch1969©

Thanks for clearing that up! lol. I just didn’t know what you were referring to and it was driving me nuts! lol. Oh, and say hello to Rich for me.. love his movies.. I think he’s a great actor.

Spock
September 17, 2008 4:22 pm

The show is boring. The characters uninteresting, and the stories are just re-used X-files episodes.

Thomas
September 17, 2008 4:24 pm

I wound up missing most of last night’s episode due to school, so I’ll catch it online. I think this will be another big hit for JJ, et al. And yes, please stay away from delving into the romantic angle too soon, if at all. It would be such a jump-the-shark moment.

September 17, 2008 4:46 pm

It warms your ass……………….LOVE WALTER

ster j
September 17, 2008 5:20 pm

Walter Bishop has all the good lines. As for his son, I keep seeing Ray from E.R. (the intern that lost his legs), but he had some sweet moments with his dad this week.

Capt Mike From the Terran Empire
September 17, 2008 5:23 pm

I liked it. I thought it was great. Not as good as the Termanator the Sarah Connor Chronicles. But still good. Some people don’t like fringe and thats ok. If it is not your cup of tea then don’t watch.

Chuck Watters
September 17, 2008 5:29 pm

Lighten up all —- If this was the first si-fi show everyone would think it is spectacular . We are too spoiled with what came before. Sit back and enjoy and stop be such demanding and comparing pains in the ass .

Thorny
September 17, 2008 5:35 pm

22. The Enterprise… “Really? I think Terminator has been great. The writing on that is better than Fringe, I think.”

I think the writing is very weak on Terminator. This week, we had a ludicrous storyline about infiltrating a nuclear power plant, and on top of that, after having their previous house blown up, car totaled, etc. John Connor just walks right on back into his High School like nothing happened. No precautions about Terminators there waiting for him. No police on the lookout for him. Nothing. Nada. And then the Connors & Co. just rent a fully furnished house (evidently in the same community, since John still goes to the same school), no questions asked by the lessor.

Whatever.

Sorry, I liked Terminator at first, but the writing staff seems to have had a lobotomy over the summer.

montreal paul
September 17, 2008 5:37 pm

31 – Ster j
That was a different actor (Shane West) that played Ray in “ER”. Joshua Jackson was on “Dawson’s Creek”

33 – Chuck Watters

Thank You!!

Jai1138
September 17, 2008 6:04 pm

26. You’re thinking of Space: Above and Beyond by Glen Morgan and James Wong.

And it was a really good series. Good performances characters. decent early digital space combat effects, and more than a few exceptionally memorable episodes; it should have lasted more than one season. I think Ron Moore and David Eick’s Battlestar Galactica owes more than a little to it.

Xai
September 17, 2008 6:16 pm

I liked it and will continue to watch. It’s not Lost… but for all but a few apparently in the dark…it’s not supposed to be.

15. Arthur Simone – September 17, 2008

grow up

Doug L.
September 17, 2008 6:22 pm

re 26 & 36…

Dead on 36, I remember it too. Always thought of it as a nod to BSG in some ways at the time.

re Fringe, I’ve been a big fan of these creators, but Fringe leaves me a little flat so far. I don’t by Pacey’s character or his motivation for being there. Seems to me a bit forced to give up whatever all he was doing to hang around with his dad in the basement.

Doug L.

AJ
September 17, 2008 6:34 pm

Xai:

I think the idea behind “Fringe” is to get out of LOST territory, and get to the ‘magic’ 7-season number for syndication without worrying about episode order.

Let’s face it, the show’s premise is sound. I see Denethor and his friends every day on the Long Island Railroad’s platforms. Fringe has cash behind it. “Bash” it nicely, my friends.

Kirk's Revenge
September 17, 2008 8:09 pm

Space: Above and Beyond rocked!
I remember a great episode in which a veteran pilot (an old salt type) is training the crew and keeps using the phrase, “Easy as pancakes.” After the guy is killed, the crew pay tribute to him by blowing their breakfast (pancakes) out the airlock. Very poignant and a bit surreal.

Anyway, too bad Fox blew the show out with the flapjacks.

Nigel
September 17, 2008 9:22 pm

I gave Chez Fringe another chance. If I were Gordon Ramsay, my message to Head Chef Abrams, Sous Chef Orci and Chef de Parti Kurtzman would be “Your food is cr@p!”

The writing is awful and acting not too far behind. I hope my corporate masters put a bullet between the eyes of this dying beast straight away indeed.

September 17, 2008 9:25 pm

It’s not really curdling my cream…I’ll give it one or two more weeks to tickle my fancy. The first two episodes were kinda stupid.
I didn’t like Terminator/Sarah Connor at first, and now I love it, so I’m trying to keep an open mind about Fringe so far and give it another look next week. But I’d much rather do without the gross out-scenes like the eyeballs hanging out and the brain surgery while awake…that’s more horror than sci fi. The characters don’t excite me and the science part of sci-fi is sometimes ridiculous….like let’s take some LSD and stick an electrode in our head while floating in water in the dark and we can communicate to the dead. sheesh. I do have an imagination….I just think Fringe mucks it up too much!

Charles H. Root, III
September 17, 2008 10:18 pm

I don’t know who the Fringe series science advisor is (none is listed on IMDB) or if they have one, but it’s insulting.

I am legally blind in one eye due to a retinal detachment. I can tell you from personal experience what happens when the eye tissue dies.

The eye is the only part of the brain that is externally visible. We all know what happens when you cut off oxygen to it. The optic nerve and rods and cones of the retina will degrade rapidly. My fiance and cousin, who are both medical doctors, laughed at the premise that you can extract the last images someone saw before death from their bodies.

It’s like saying you can plug your USB webcam into a special CSI sniffer/hacker computer and extract the last images it captured…. Right.

Nope, sorry. That’s not how it works.

Even if you willingly suspend disbelief, the bridge is not the last thing she saw prior to death. Unless of course they expect us to assume that the human eye has a Borg memory buffer in it.

Next thing you know they are going to have an episode where they recover dinosaur and Neanderthal DNA from some French cave, then Jurassic Park it into two living creatures, extract their memories and try telling us people and dinosaurs roamed the planet together.

Fringe? Fringe Science? More like Junk Science. Maybe they should have named the series “Junk” instead.

Cyberghost
September 17, 2008 11:30 pm

#36

Exactly, thanks for jogging my memory!! I thought the show was good, and b4 the age of the Internet, at least in the form it is today. Shows were on for a on for a while, then gone. At least now if you have fair warnig the show is done, u don’t have to waste your time getting into a show and poof, it’s gone.

September 18, 2008 12:44 am

Damn.

This whole time I thought Hitch was referencing Spock’s line in the “The Cage”.

September 18, 2008 6:22 am

I realize the show’s “superscience” plotlines are going to border on “supernatural”, meaning, don’t think about them too much.

But you know, I can accept a rapidly aging person (the baby at the beginning).

What I can’t accept is one who gains mass without eating anything.

tbh
September 18, 2008 9:11 am

nobody has a problem with joshua jackson reviving the dead girl with two metal rings attached to a generator … i don’t know why, but that part irritated me the most.

sean
September 18, 2008 9:35 am

So I assume you folks that are complaining about the ‘science’ of Fringe can never sit still during an episode of Star Trek, The X-Files or LOST, either? Because honestly, nothing portrayed in Fringe so far is any more absurd or far-fetched.

Charles H. Root, III
September 18, 2008 10:18 am

Much of it bothered me. Writing and acting… Not just the eye thing, the home made defrib or the rest of the junk science.

If you want me to buy the fact that you are extracting memories from the dead then wave a Harry Potter magic wand or perform some supernatural ritual on the corpse. But please don’t insult my intelligence by doing it with some fancy laser unit.

And sure, Lost, Star Trek and many shows all have moments of scientific inaccuracies. But remember that Star Trek is in the future. The technological advances between now and then help explain some of the absurdities. Fringe is in our era so the writers don’t have that luxury.

September 18, 2008 10:43 am

The Rootster™ is very upset.

And why not with the bum eye and all. I don’t know, I didn’t really read it too closely. Thats a shame, too, because I have 2 pretty good working ones. Eyes that is.

Much illiteration in that sentence o’ mine. Do I still have it, or what??? Can a homie get a hollaback?

THE WOMEN!!

=h=

wpDiscuz