(S02E02) "We're all victims of our own gene pool. Someone must have peed in yours." - Walter to Sheriff Golightly
Creature feature? Or relevant to the alternate universe storyline? Those were the questions running through my head as I watched this episode of Fringe.
What I believe -- at the moment -- is that all of the creature features we had during season one are somehow relevant to the overall storyline. Since things are slightly different in the alternate universe, perhaps there are creatures there who've evolved or avoided extinction that have somehow made their way back to this universe. Of course, it appears that this episode's creature was created right here.
Read my Fringe theories, and follow me after the jump for commentary on tonight's episode.
(S02E01) "I went somewhere." - Olivia to Peter
I can hardly contain my giddiness that Fringe is back, so ... yay! ... Fringe is back! More mystery! More intrigue! More Walter Bishop! More Jean! More jump-out-of-your-seat moments!
It's been a long summer since we last left the crew with Olivia in another dimension, Walter visiting Peter's grave, and the mysterious William Bell played by the mysterious Leonard Nimoy. Follow me after the jump to explore how the season is shaping up so far ...
Well, well, well. How interesting to see the purchase of the nail gun we saw in the first episode of season four of The Wire come back around to bring everything together. "It's a tomb," says Freamon in "A New Day," and it all makes sense to me. Well, some of it makes sense anyway.
And then there's the teetering decision of whether Freamon will keep getting crap from the higher-ups about going out and looking for Marlo's bodies, using up manpower, and upping the murder rate of the city, or whether they'll do the right thing and actually do their jobs. Oh, the bodies that rolled in.
I'm well into season four of The Wire (just finished "Margin of Error"; read my other Jane After Dark installments), and getting into the guts of the Baltimore political scene and how it's all interwoven with the cops and drug business.
Oh, those kids! It really makes you see how they've gotta be extremely driven to get out of that life, because a lot of the adults are just priming them to continue the drug business into the next generation. Not only their parents -- which is really sad -- but people like Marlo, who has his minions handing out back-to-school cash to build goodwill with the kids. At that rate, those kids don't have a shot of clawing their way out of a life of crime.
It will take me another run-through or two to really fit all the pieces together, but I'm digging how all of the characters have evolved ... or not ...
Well, holy cow. I did not see that coming, although from what you've all said, I was prepared for just about anything to happen on The Wire. Except that!
I feel like season three ended on a high note. Well, sort of ... at least for McNulty, now walking the beat in the Western Division. Even though he's wearing a uniform, which is just weird for him, he's talking and laughing with the residents, and that's really what it's all about. And Rhonda and Cedric are together (oh, that chiseled butt of his!).
Even with all the busts, though, the drug business sails onward, with Marlo moving up in the hierarchy and Dennis' boxing gym virtually deserted, all the kids lured back into the streets. But mostly, season three was all about Episode 11, "Middle Ground"; in particular, a few penultimate scenes...
After a brief break to watch season four of Weeds last week, Jane After Dark is back with The Wire. I'm half-way into season three, and while there are definitely parts of this show that put me to sleep (ducking and running for cover), it's still a brilliant drama. My teenage son popped in for part of an episode, decided it was too "real," and promptly lost interest.
To help me organize my thoughts, let's take a look at a few characters:
Stringer Bell. I'm really digging Idris Elba dressed up in his fancy suit, running the real estate company, working with government officials, and holding drug meetings using Robert's Rules of Order. It's fascinating that there's this whole hierarchy within the gangs that most of them respect and follow.
As John Howard noted in the comments in last week's Jane After Dark column, I really haven't talked much about Omar yet. I just finished season two of The Wire, and to be honest, most of my thoughts right now revolve around the Sobotka clan.
First of all, how stupid was Ziggy? The guy's always been a live wire, and you could see the bad karma building throughout this season, with him flashing money around, showing off his Italian leather coat, and going a little bonkers with the stolen Mercedes. Things were bound to go bad for him, and they did just that when his deal with Double-G went oh so wrong.
I'm three episodes into season two of The Wire. I tried watching it online as Usama suggested in last week's Jane After Dark comments (thank you for that awesome site!), but decided to just buy the DVDs, because I stop and start a lot and need easy access to it. So I looked around town and found a fairly reasonably priced season two at FYE. It's new; no one seems to have any used sets, which makes me think - as you all have suggested - that no one ever gets rid of their DVDs of The Wire. They keep them around to watch again and again. I'll probably just buy each season as I work my way through the series.
And speaking of starting and stopping, The Wire does not get any easier to watch while doing something else at the same time. Whenever I try to do that, I end up replaying those parts again, because there's way too many subtleties to be only half-paying attention.
As in last week's Jane After Dark column, I'm still a bit lost on exactly what's happening, but that doesn't seem to really matter. The characters are so interesting to watch. It's almost like you're watching a documentary about the real thing, rather than a scripted TV show. I took the suggestion of some of you and started watching with the subtitles on. It really does help!
I noticed that Alan Sepinwall is also blogging on The Wire -- and writing a masters thesis on each episode. He even has two different versions -- one for newbies and one for veterans. I'm the anti-Sepinwall, just trying to grasp the storyline and get the basic gist. But I did read his newbie editions and found them helpful.
I never intended to watch The Wire next in my Jane After Dark pursuits. In fact, I planned on watching Veronica Mars, as many of you suggested. But a good number of you also recommended The Wire, and I had season one sitting here, so I popped it in one night.
I'm not gonna lie to you. It's been slow going. Here's how it went down:
Episode 1: I was completely lost, so I watched it twice to see if I could grasp it the second time around. Then I read the detailed synopsis on The Wire's official HBO site. Clearly, this show is not meant to be watched while you're doing something else. You need to sit down and focus on what's going on.
(S01E18) We're definitely getting closer to some sort of revelation on Fringe. Last week, we heard Leonard Nimoy's voice on a videotape as William Bell, talking with Walter about a young Olivia in the room with them. This week, we learned that William Bell, founder of Massive Dynamic and the richest guy in the world, is the person funding ZFT. But it's not all that shocking. We've pretty much known all along that he's involved, unless ... there's some big, new twist about his involvement yet to come.
It's starting to reach a lot of the potential that fans had for it, given its J.J. Abrams pedigree. So why am I not more engrossed with the show?
(S01E06) "Where can I get one of those white suits?" - Walter, asking for a hazmat suit
Let's start at the end of this episode. Did you feel a little spark of something when Olivia and Peter were talking? At one point, he almost looked like he was going to lean over and kiss her. If so, I hope they don't go there -- at least, not quite yet.
The story follows the theme that someone is out there experimenting on people, with clues leading back to Massive Dynamic. Nina was only too happy to hand over the Intrepus intel to Peter, only now he's indebted to her, so we'll see where that leads in the future. But it's good for Nina, because the Intrepus' stock plunged, which gives Massive an edge.
Wow, I really like this show! But darn, I'll have to wait to see what happens next, because FOX only sent us the pilot episode. I hope the continuing episodes are just as good. I expect nothing less from writer/producer J.J. Abrams, who already has a slew of hits on his IMDB page, including Lost and Alias (and I have high hopes for the upcoming Star Trek feature film, which he's directing and producing). Also on board for Fringe are the writers of Transformers: Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci. Good combo there.
Let's see ... what can I tell you about Fringe without giving away any spoilers? The first scene hooked me and wouldn't let go until ... well, it still hasn't let go, because I can't wait to see what happens next. The show is equal parts Lost, Heroes, CSI, and The X-Files, and the pilot episode covers a lot of ground in the set-up, but also ends with lots of questions.
I watched the two-hour season premiere on Thursday evening. The pilot I saw was unfinished, but according to the publicist for Fox, the network is so psyched about Fringe, they couldn't wait to show the press. He referred to it as Fox's "tent pole series for the fall."
After the jump, I tell you about the pilot and the characters. Consider yourself warned though, there will be a few spoilers.