Fringe returned from its winter hiatus this past Friday, winning its time slot with nearly 5 million viewers and kicking off 2011 with one helluva episode guest-starring none other than Doc Brown himself, the inimitable Christopher Lloyd. It is great to see one of the few sci-fi shows on network TV performing well and continuing to set the writing/acting bar very high indeed.
Fringe has steadily impressed me, a notorious television snob, since it debuted in 2008. It has thankfully deviated from the freak-of-the-week X-Files vibe and morphed into one of the most original shows on television. Unique elements include Walter’s boundary-pushing inventions (don’t forget his recipe for the perfect strawberry milkshake), the fun little ways Over There differs from Over Here, the badass room with the typewriter, the red vs. blue color dichotomy (Walter’s glasses this week, hello!), the glyph code every commercial break, and the appearance of The Observer in every episode (whether he has lines or not) have allowed Fringe to create a mythos of its own. This week’s episode, “The Firefly,”showcased everything that is intriguing and fun about the show while furthering the mythology and giving fans something to talk about.