Commenter Shout-Outs: Your Recent Thoughts on Mad Men, Fringe, and Once Upon A Time

Howdy folks! It’s time once again to unlock the commenter vault (we keep all of your feedback in a high-security, low-moisture strongroom) and carefully pick the most valuable specimens to feature under the display cases in our lobby. That’s right: It’s Commenter Shout-Outs! Did any of your comments make the cut? Read on to find out.

It was unavoidable, we all knew it. Between the product tie-ins, newspaper features, blogs, and cocktail conversations, there was no way you'd get through this week without hearing something about Sunday's Mad Men premiere. Sure, I was excited to see it, despite the fact that Jessica Pare's rendition of "Zou Bisou Bisou" has now cemented itself in my brain (*waves fists in the air*). But the questions our own Seth Abramovitch had for you were:

1) "Did the premiere live up to inevitably huge expectations?"
2) "Do you think Don and Megan will survive the season?"
3) "Was a Betty-less episode a welcome change, or was something missing?"
4) "Which characters would you like to see return this season?"

charliesmom4 thoughtfully answered all four of Seth's questions:

1. I wrote a bullet-point review of the episode. I'm so used to Bam! Pow! season premieres that at first I thought, "This is it." I've been hearing, seeing, reading, smelling—well, maybe not the last one—nothing but Mad Men for the past couple weeks, so I was a filly at the gate come premiere time. But then I remembered what I love about MM: It's simple, understated. It needs no dramatic cliffhangers or surprises. It's simply a character study, and I welcome back my old friends with open arms.

2. They won't survive the season. The divorce/separation will end as quickly as their engagement began. But as I've stated in my review, Jessica Pare's name in the opening credits may clue in to lots of Megan-centered storylines.

3. Betty is not one of my favorite characters, and I don't really like January Jones, but I missed her and indeed felt a little empty.

4. I want to say that we'll see Faye again this season. Even though there was closure between her and Don last season, it just ended way too depressingly for Faye. Faye was such a poignant person in Don's life, and as much as he wanted to be rid of someone getting too close and serious for him, I see her coming back, requesting of Don, "Youse gots some eesplainin' to do.

tylenol2k7 thought the premiere was less than all that:

This episode of Mad Men was just okay for me. It seem liked the writers focused too much on trying to make the audience laugh. (Admittedly I got a good chuckle or two, but I don't watch Mad Men for laughs) The actors were great but, the writing was so weak. The dialogue between Don and Roger was especially weak, which disappointed me the most. And don't even get me started on Megan (they need to get rid of her quick, her character is doing nothing for me). So I'm gonna have to agree with [fellow commenter] NateDogTheGreat: "Blah, bring back Breaking Bad."

FabianVanDerS disagreed, and was thankful for not only for the humor but for a Betty-less episode:

I laughed throughout most of the episode, even thought Megan was gonna jump off the balcony at some point. This is Mad Men after all. Anything can happen! I hope they survive the season, although I don't think they will. Thank god there was no Betty in this episode. It was a welcome improvement, although I expect them to bring her back next week, which is a shame. I'd love to see more of Burt this season. He's been dwindling around the last few seasons and episode. He's a great character addition to the show and they should really do more with him.

ResEv is unsure about Megan and Don's prospects, and curious with regard to what will happen to Betty this season:

It's hard to tell if Megan/Don is going to last. This season is obviously going to be about the two of them getting to know each other. She young. He's old(er). She wants to live out her fantasies about marriage. He's more than used to getting whatever he wants. There will definitely be some head-clashing there. From what I saw however, she might be trying to manipulate him or it might just be her naivete from being thrown into that kind of environment so fast.

I absolutely hate Betty, but even I admit I'm curious to see what has and what will happen to her this season.

But you know what I'm curious about? Why the low number of comments people? There's still time to share your thoughts on the Season 5 premiere of Mad Men. Got something to say? Chime in below.

Moving on to last week's return of Fringe, Tim felt thusly about the first new episode in weeks, "A Short Story About Love": "There are such things as happy endings that aren't necessarily satisfying endings, and that's what I got from Friday's episode of Fringe." Did you agree with his slight disappointment? Let's find out.

buildam2005 felt similarly:

I think the problem is that it's not that Fringe "complicated" things with a scientific explanation, but essentially gave no explanation whatsoever except a flimsy, "It's because you're in love!" reason. It just seems weak in comparison to the complexity and tight writing of the last three seasons. For example, think about everything that played out with the machine: There was great build-up, a complex (but still followable) plot, all of which created a very tense, exciting last few episodes. Here, though, we were just told, "The reason we super-smart, super powerful, scientific creatures who can travel through time couldn't keep you out is because you're in love with Olivia."

Now, as Tim said, I expect that things are more complicated than September made it sound, and, just like Tim, I'm willing to wait for the pay-off that I know Fringe consistently offers.

FringeFanatic, as you might expect from someone with such username, was straight-up thrilled with the episode:

YES! YES! YES! That's what I'm talking about! I loved this episode guys! WHAT AN ENDING! OH MAN, IT WAS AMAZING!

*clears throat* ... Sorry about that. I got a little carried away.

I may not be the most subjective commenter (have you read my username?), but I completely disagree with this episode being disappointing. I knew all the physics majors would be hootin' and hollerin' over the explanation for Peter's return. I've heard arguments for both sides (is this Peter's universe or not?), explained through such convoluted science-babble that it began to be too much. I'm sure everyone will be like: "Oh, I knew the whole time." ----------> B******!

There have been two distinct camps for this fourth season of Fringe, and I'm sure the wrong camp will all of a sudden become a desolate wasteland of broken beer bottles and half-eaten marshmallows. EVERYBODY did not think this was Peter's universe and his Olivia. I'm not going to say I knew from the beginning (though I suspected), but once Olivia started getting memories from her other life, I knew Peter wasn't going anywhere.

What the hell did you want, Tim? Did you want Walter to get out a chalkboard and baby us through a lesson on quantum physics to how this is possible? What's wrong with love being the force that brought Peter back? Remember Broyles' line about how certain people can leave an indelible mark on your soul? I, for one, admire Fringe for not finding the need to complicate everything with a scientific explanation. Love is powerful, dude. Deal with it.

JustinJohnson9 also argued that love is a powerful force, and something that science cannot explain:

I loved the episode, including the poignant Peter/Olivia reunion at the end. Look, there's really no scientific way to explain love, so I'm glad that Fringe didn't attempt to go there. Love is simply a powerful force that can't be quantifiably explained. Also, so what if it seemed September gave Peter his "blessing" that this is HIS Olivia? Given what he's capable of, who better for Peter to get justification from?! I do agree with you though, that this might just be the tip of the iceberg, given how Fringe operates.

RebeccaDemers echoed that sentiment:

The case-of-the-week's point was that Olivia saw in herself the willingness to give up on being in love. She was willing to settle with someone she had feelings for but wasn't madly in love with until she saw the life that woman had. She realized that while loving someone is nice it is not the same as being in love with someone. It made her realize that she wants to keep trying for Peter even though she may end up alone.

Also, I knew all along that this was his world and his Olivia. I did not mind the non-scientific explanation, the point was that it didn't make sense, that even the most advanced scientists in the world cannot quantify or duplicate the power of love. The case of the week showed that the villain could not duplicate love for himself even using what he knew of science and such. September tried everything and still couldn't erase Peter because human beings are more than just organisms, we have souls and that is something that science cannot explain. I love how Fringe accepts the fact that while science is a great tool it cannot always explain everything. Great episode and I LOVE this series.

Finally, headclub settled one of the Tim's most important episode-related questions, which was, "Pugs: cute or not cute?":

Pugs are always cute. ALWAYS.

For our last trick, let's talk about Sunday's episode of Once Upon a Time, which Lily positively LOVED, even if it left her with some new questions about Henry. Did it make a bigger fan out of you as well?

Liex thought it was the show's best episode yet, and posited a theory regarding the Red Queen:

Have to say: Best OUaT episode ever! By far! And that's not only because I love Wonderland-related things, this episode was inherently great. The story moved on (with real surprises), Emma got a little bit smarter, we got some interesting new characters, we even got some Mary Margaret action!

About the Red Queen, perhaps she's that woman in the basement of the hospital (I recall Regina giving her a red rose, and she appears to be the overseer of what appears to be the Hospital's psychiatric division; it'd make sense).

techtitedotcom listed several reasons why the episode was "epic":

Loved this episode on so many levels. We never really knew what made Hatter mad. One can imagine Alice from "our world" found her way to Wonderland and met a strange man desperate to share tea with his "daughter" again. Intriguing.

I can forgive the unintentional (?) salute to Lidsville. A hat that grows and grows and leads to other worlds. Was the original hat owner Hoodoo?

Regina burning her way through a hedge maze to cheat her way through it? Epic.

Henry has aged in normal time because he was not cursed and was just a normal kid from our world. Sure; seeing him age while everyone else does not would seemingly lead to him needing a psychiatrist. Which he does. It would also mean he would quickly learn something is nutty here. Which he did. The only way townsfolk could not see something "wrong" is if they were under a spell. Which they are.

I agree Hatter's map will be of use later, as will Emma's hat, since for purely amusing reasons to be explained sometime later, she took the hat with her!

OuAt thinks Henry deserves more credit:

Henry also tried to make that point to her earlier in the season (perhaps first episode). Her response was something like, "Just because you believe something doesn't make it the truth." She thought Jefferson truly believed in his fairy-tale life, but that he was just crazy. Same word she used to characterize Henry's belief in the book.

Going in, amelie88 was skeptical due to the lack of quality in previous episodes, but she LOVED it:

I was afraid this episode would be a terrible one (like "Dreamy," ugh...) but I loved it!!! It gave us so much, and finally some development with Emma happened, not just her non-belief toward the curse and all that.

I think Henry came to Storybrooke when he was a baby, and he has been the only one who has noticed that no other kid but him aged. I guess that's why he started thinking about the curse.

Didn't you think that the knights of the Queen of Hearts resembled the Black Knight from Monty Python and the Holy Grail???? Awesome!!

I hope the next ep is as good.

ToddMurray was immediately eager to see the next new episode:

This was the first episode that left me wishing it was already next week!

Henry was born of Emma's loins, outside of Storybrooke, and brought in via adoption, so yes he would age when others would not and should have noticed, but I'm not sure why he wouldn't be able to better articulate this to Emma. This has me wondering, though, why would Regina adopt from outside Storybrooke in the first place? And didn't Mr. Gold help facilitate and procure the baby (Henry)? So he went out and found the one thing that would draw Emma to Storybrooke to break the curse. Keeping that in mind, there's no way he's on Regina's side—unless it's to get something he wants (Belle? Setting up Regina to fail? More curios for his antique shop?). Anxious for next week!

And that’s all folks! Thanks again for your amazing insights—you make this place an awesome place to hang out. See you next week!

Comments (9)
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Mar 31, 2012
love is really just an emotion that can cause chemical reactions and can be felt due to chemical reactions. what i understood from fringe though is that those who loved him wouldnt forget him and that's why he came back... he existed in their minds therefore in real life?
Mar 31, 2012
Just out of the blue,,,I LOOOOVE Bent.
Mar 30, 2012
Is this the dark ages? Love is not a mystical force. It is well understood and largely chemical. Also, you do not have a soul, so you can stop storing your appendix in a jar.
Mar 31, 2012
The ladies must love you. Maybe you should put that in a Hallmark card.
Mar 31, 2012
I'm like you. I demand my fairy tale based programs adhere to STRICT science!
Mar 30, 2012
No not a mystical force, more a mysterious emotion.

'Largely chemical'? Not sure where you got this idea, but surely the idea of love is nothing to do with how the body reacts to someone, that is simply a product of love not a cause. Im assuming here that your chemical reference is to do with pheromones and the such?

Mar 30, 2012
Everything is chemicals... We are all star dust, after all.
Mar 30, 2012
If we are going that way with it, then everything is Quarks not chemicals.

'Love' however is the name we give to an emotion/feeling, it is not definable as a chemical reaction.

All just my opinion obviously
Mar 30, 2012
fringe was great as always and i was also pleasantly surprised with mad men