Which Fringe Universe Do You Prefer?

It may be too early to talk about this, but sooner or later we're going to have to start forming opinions on which Fringe universe is better: the "over there" universe or the "over here" universe. Obviously the correct answer is neither, as both work in concert for the show as a whole, but that's the safe answer and I like to stir things up. Thing about it—we'll get back to this question later in the article.

"The Plateau," Fringe's third episode of Season 3, was the second so far this season that highlighted the alternate universe (producers will be bouncing back and forth between universes with each episode). It was also the first episode of this season to move the alternate universe (let's call it the Red Universe, after the color scheme of the title sequences that comes with these episodes) into case-of-the-week territory. If there were questions of whether Fringe would go 100 percent mythology this season, they were squashed last night with a very entertaining episode focusing on a creepy guy who would absolutely destroy Bobby Fischer in a game of chess.

But that part of the episode, as good as it was, isn't what we need to talk about because, as with most cast-of-the-week episodes, the case was open and shut by the time the closing credits rolled. The good guys got the bad guys, and we can all sleep safe (except for those of us who went nuts on spicy food at a Southeast Asian restaurant last night... oh, how it burns!).

The talking point here is how deftly the producers weaved the mythology into the episode. Whether your prefer the long-running storyline or the self-contained whodunnit, "The Plateau" pleased all. Old-livia is undergoing an identity crisis that would even make The United States of Tara's lead uncomfortable. The question isn't whether Olivia will snap out of it, but when. And given the final minutes of the episode, it won't take long. Things are moving fast in Season 3; there hasn't been a single minute of filler yet.

I guess I have to bring up the romance-y stuff at some point, so I may as well do it now. Olivia has her hands full, with three potential suitors in two universes. There's Altlivia's boyfriend, Agent Lee (who is healing quite nicely when he's not out of the oven for too long), and our knight in shining armor, Peter. Obviously Peter is the frontrunner, but if any of you have a theory about how either of the other two can become her main squeeze, sound off in the comments section below.

Now it's time for the main event: Do you have a favorite universe yet? "The Plateau" made a great case for the Red Universe, or as I like to call it, "Canada." The slight and major differences never get old for me, whether it's something small like an Aruba war vet (I'd enlist for that paid vacation!) or Olivia's dead sister (and as a result, no niece). The tears, the depleted-Oxygen pockets, the weird movies, they all keep my attention. The Alternate Universe has become a new character, its nuances clearly affecting the actions of the flesh-and-blood characters.

The Red Universe Fringe agents have quickly made themselves at home as well. Agent Lincoln Lee is a nice X factor for the other Fringe division, and I'm very excited to see his other-universe counterpart turn up and blow our minds. The new Charlie is also a more likable Charlie; I never thought I'd be glad to see him back.

But then we have our beloved "over here" universe, the Blue Universe, where we grew up. The instant wow factor doesn't exist for the Blue Universe like it does for the Red Universe, but the Blue Universe boasts the two things that got us into Fringe in the first place: Peter and Walter. Fringe without Walter is like, as my man Oran Juice Jones said, Corn Flakes without the milk.

There is no right or wrong answer here. I'm leaning toward the Red Universe simply because it's taken the show to the next level and done so splendidly. I get a little more excited for Fringe every other week just knowing we'll be headed back there. But jumping back to the Blue Universe is like seeing your old friends, and that never gets old. It's Biggie Smalls vs. Tupac.

Question of the Day: Which universe do you prefer at the moment?

Alter-Notes

... Do the producers of Fringe love The Wire or what? They have Lance Reddick as a regular, have brought in Andre Royo for guest appearances, and now they name the monster of the week Milo Stanfield, a nod to The Wire's Marlo Stanfield! I'm looking forward to the appearance of a duster-wearing shotgun-toting gay man.

... Anna Torv is really dealing this season. She's come a long way from the actress we saw in Season 1 and is handling the double duty expertly.

... Alterna-Astrid scares the pants off me. Watching the bubbly Jasika Nicole play cold just doesn't seem right!

... Next week, I appear as an extra in Fringe! Look for me walking behind Blair Brown and Joshua Jackson!

... I'll say it: Fringe is the best serialized sci-fi drama on television right now. But will I say it's the best network drama on right now? Sci-fi or not? Maybe!


Follow TV.com writer Tim Surette on Twitter: @TimAtTVDotCom

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Jan 01, 2011
The RED! - all the characters are so much cooler! -(especially Walternate)
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Oct 22, 2010
Oh shut the hell up czrn! you are **** annoying!
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Oct 22, 2010
I'm on the blue side. But I gotta say, Peter is PISSING ME OFF! I mean, he freakin' kissed Olivia before!!! How could he kiss that...that...CREATURE, and not know that it's NOT Olivia?!?!?!
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Oct 14, 2010
I am in the blue side , the true blue. blue Olivia is way hotter and smarter
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Oct 12, 2010
Thank God for Fringe - the only drama besides Sons of Anarchy worth watching right now, with Breaking Bad and True Blood on hiatus (I classify The Event as a comedy). And thank you, Tim, for peaking my interest and getting me to watch it.
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Oct 12, 2010
Personally, I like the Red Fringe world better because it is a more dystopian, terrifying and all-around interesting world (because it is not ours). Also, it has a bad-ass Charlie Francis (who I believe the show-runners are going to let save Olivia to make up for the ridiculous decision to leave Kirk Acevedo behind after being awesome all S1). Also, I really can't wait to see BizarrOlivia get killed (she is a real piece of crap).
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Oct 12, 2010
what a concept.. its certainly a interesting new way to tell the Fringe story. I am just waiting patiently for the time where the story of both the universes will come together and cross paths.
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Oct 12, 2010
Red vs. Blue. And Fringe is on Fox. God, I think this is further proof of the Machiavellian machinations of Rupert Murdoch's diabolical ploy of creating a Republican-Democrat civil war to further boost ratings. Don't you see it? The red universe is obviously Republican with its out in-your-face paramilitary stance, ie. the amber (alert) zones, excessive pro-defense agenda (the Statue of Liberty is the headquarters of the Department of Defense) and nearly the entire city of Boston is encased in amber, including parts of Harvard, that bastion of intellectually liberality. Hell, there are oxygen-free danger zones. Don't tell me the EPA isn't out to lunch, or doesn't even exist. This universe, the blue is basically just ours, the one Republicans and those of their ilk would like to destroy. Sure, it's pretty bad, but at least the only things encased in amber are a hundred million year old mosquitoes atop an old geneticist's cane. You have been forewarned. Eat all your M&Ms, blue or red. Stay away from the greens,though, they are truly here to hurt you.
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Oct 11, 2010
RED!
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Oct 11, 2010
I want to love the blue universe but i do get way more excited every time the red universe has an episode.
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Oct 11, 2010
i like both it its nice to know what has happen and such with the other universes for now
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Oct 11, 2010
I like both universes!
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Oct 11, 2010
It's compelling to see more of the red universe, to understand how similar and not the two are since we already have a grasp of what we think the blue (possibly our) universe is . . . please don't go the Sliders route and have a "yellow" universe as the real culprits.
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Oct 11, 2010
i love fringe and i prefer the red universe mainly because OUR Olivia is in it!!!and anna torv kills it this season!!!
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Oct 11, 2010
This season is definitely the best so far. The subtle yet profound differences of both universes is captivating. Every episode in this season has progressed the plot and I completely agree that there has been not one minute of superfluousness. Can't wait for the next episode!
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Oct 11, 2010
Fringe is the best of both worlds. Blue or red is not a question of better or worse, both universes are fascinating. Alternate realities always are interresting, just because of the small differences. But (there is always a but), I don't like the brainwashing storyline. It's boring, because we all know that she eventually will snap out of it. I'd like to see both Olivias, Walters and the others to work together, to find a solution to the impending destruction of Red. And I'd like to know more about the amber stuff and how it works.
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Oct 11, 2010
i loke both universes but if stuck with having to choose the original blue if to make it easier ..its just that the red universe might have a lower death count but that has to do with their advancements in tech so on the blue side we have a higher death rate but better living yet freaky stuff happens i choose the blue pill....
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Oct 11, 2010
After watching last Thursday's episode, I thought of something potentially awesome. If neither universe takes over the other, and somehow they both combine, will the opening credits become green and stay that way for the rest of the series? :O
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Oct 11, 2010
I'm loving the red verse more than I thought I would. Things like they haven't used pens for decades is amazing to me. Love it.
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Oct 10, 2010
I stopped watching Fringe halfway through the first season, but I must say that I'm really interested in what I've read about the alternate universe. I will probably try to catch up at some point since I've read such positive things about it lately.
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Oct 10, 2010
I'm not playing it safe by choosing both, it's just that one without the other doesn't make sense, at least for the moment. And really, everyone knows that we'll win or there will be a tie of sorts...
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Oct 10, 2010
Oh yeah and "There's Altlivia's boyfriend, Agent Lee" Really? What happened to her boyfriend Frank? The guy with the matching tattoo? I thought he and AltOlivia were living together?
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Oct 10, 2010
I adore both! I'm loving this season so far and am on the edge of my seat each week to find out what happens next. Each universe has its own unique interest. I will enjoy seeing how Olivia makes it back home and hopefully Peter and Walter figuring out the truth and seeing Peter/Olivia back together - but I'm enjoying the journey to there for now. BTW, small correction to AngeliaJones. The Red Universe DID experience 9/11. We were told that the Pentagon and the White House were hit. So the event did occur, it was just that the targets were different.
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Oct 10, 2010
That's a really hard question to answer. By now I'm more into the Red Universe, just because I wanna know more about it, what happened there, how different are the characters from the ones we already know from the Blue Universe. For example, I'm amused by Walternate, he's so different and at the same time similar to the Walter from our universe... besides, I want to know how Olivia will overcome this situation.
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Oct 10, 2010
Blue is better, just because I like Walter and all his crazyness. Also because Peter is there and not in the red universe.
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Oct 10, 2010
I don't like the other universe. It's boring to me, and it's making the show go down with it in my opinion. As someone said already, in my opinion it's the worst season thus far for this show. I hope they change it back.
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Oct 10, 2010
I'm a sucker for alternate realities, always have been. The small details of the differences could entertain me enough to watch. Rarely in any medium has there been such an opportunity to explore that universe in such detail.
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Oct 10, 2010
I prefer the original universe personally, not a fan of alternate realities in general. Would not say fringe is the best sci-fi on tv atm, but its watchable.
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Oct 10, 2010
I like the Red Universe simply because I enjoy watching Old-livia try to find her way back to her own universe. I still like the Blue Universe episodes, but they make me want to slap Peter in the face for not realizing that it's not his Olivia that he's with. Oh well. I guess we'll just have to wait and see what happens... :)
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Oct 10, 2010
Absolutely love where this season is going! I definitely like the Red Universe better though because how seamlessly they put it together and make it feel so similar but yet so different! The attention to detail is just awesome! Fringe has only gotten better over the last few years!
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Oct 10, 2010
I love it! But I am a little sad that it is taking the REAL Olivia (the one stuck in the Red Universe) and Peter so much time to FINALLY get together. (sorry I don't consider the Olivia in the Blue Universe the REAL Olivia) But I love both of the universes. I love the Blue because I love Peter and Walter and I want to know what is gonna happen over there. And I love the Red because Charlie is there and he is MUCH more likable then before. And also the REAL Olivia is there and I love her story. I am curious as to when she snaps out of thinking she is the Red Olivia and when is she gonna go home. I love this season and I loved last season. It is such a good show....I can't wait for more. (Let's just hope that when they end it they don't make it a stupid ending like LOST....sorry that was just REALLY disappointing.
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Oct 09, 2010
I like the Season 1 Fringe best, actually. Then there was mysterious stuff going on and you didn't know what was going on (the pattern) or who were the real good guys or who the oberver was, etc. I'm not crazy we've jumped so quick into having all the answers and this alternate universe stuff.
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Oct 09, 2010
I was worried that the Red Universe would be a bit boring for me, because my favourite character by far is Walter, but I've loved the two episodes we've had in that universe, Olivia gets more interesting by the minute and finding the differences between universe is quite interesting.
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Oct 09, 2010
Like you said, I like watching the Red Universe episodes beter but i do miss peter and walter and all the original characters from the Blue Universe. It was nice that they put some Peter into this one so it wasn't so different. Oh and these actors are doing an amazing job with the alternate roles, especially Jasika, Anna and John. I LOVE FRINGE
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Oct 09, 2010
I like the Red Universe, mainly because I can't get over the fact that Fringe is the big dog-division over there. Everyone knows about the two worlds because they are falling apart and it fascinates me. I also love it that Broyles and Charlie are really concerned for their Alt-livia and they will get it too, I think, pretty soon.

But I love Walter and Peter, although Peter is down a few notches on my scorecard since he can't tell sweet Olivia from scary Alt-livia. If it was my soulmate, I'd know. The biggest difference seems to be in the two Olivia's, since our Blue Universe Olivia even tries to fit into the Red Universe. Can I just decide on loving this show and leave the rest?
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Oct 09, 2010
" Fringe is the best serialized sci-fi drama on television right now." I second this!!! And I would even say that for me it's the BEST ever!!!
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Oct 09, 2010
I hope to god the writers are not trying to make us stop caring about Peter, Walter, Astrid and Broyles on this this side!
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Oct 09, 2010
"But then we have our beloved "over here" universe, the Blue Universe, where we grew up"? Tim: You do know Fringe is fiction, right? No need to sound dramatic. Which universe is more preferable based on the portrayal of it in a TV-show is taking the question a step too far. This is like comparing the mating habits of horses and unicorns, which one do you find less gross. It is a non-question, the image of one of the options is based on fantasy.
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Oct 09, 2010
I like the Red Universe because it's more SciFi. tThey have gadgets and bugs and stuff. So more weirdness all around. It makes the Blue Universe look ...normal?
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Oct 09, 2010
marioni211, no offense, but I think it wouldn't be bad for you if you were in the same experiment as Milo...
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Oct 09, 2010
The other universe looks cool and stuff, but I mean, come on, they need freaking oxygen masks in certain parts of cities? And a large part of the world is quarantined in that golden amber stuff? Not for me.
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Oct 09, 2010
well, it isn't fair to compare the two universes. The other side didn't deal with the stuff that the our side went throught. There was no 9/11, Charlie didn't die, Walternate wasn't in a mental hospital (as far we know LOL) , Olivia wasn't emotionally drained from all the experiments, losing Charlie, losing Peter, etc. So I hope this doesn't become a competition because it isn't fair.
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Oct 09, 2010
What I would like to see is the characters of both universes coming together to fight a common enemy, one that perhaps threatens both universes. Remember in season 1 when Olivia was hopping between realities and she arrived in one where the city was in flames, and someone had written "He is here!" in graffiti? Perhaps a yet-to-be-introduced character that others must unite against.
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Oct 09, 2010
while i really hate the whole our-olivia-thinks-she-other-olivia plot and wish they'd get that over with, i really loved seeing a 'mission' on the "other side" and seeing the differences from here. i hope they do more with that as long as we're "over there". alternastrid seemed like she had asperger's or something. i like both sides for different reasons
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Oct 09, 2010
if fringe dose not get emmys this season im gonna be pissed. the first 3 episodes alone are award worthy.
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Oct 09, 2010
@kwoods184 If you honestly don't care, what are you doing on a Fringe forum? Other than being rude.
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Oct 09, 2010
I hate Walternate! Walter is supposed to be awesome with just a dab of insanity. He tried getting the Cow to make chocolate milk! Walternate would never do that!
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Oct 09, 2010
GREATESET SyFy thriller ever. Love the show. The new verse is beter and more entertaining. Just cool
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Oct 09, 2010
Fringe is a such a high quality show, that it's a shame its ratings aren't much higher. Everyone delivers, the writers, John Noble, Anna Torv, Joshua Jackson... the secondary actors are also really good. To answer your question, the blue universe wins hands down. The red universe is not without charm, it has Charlie, but it doesn't have Peter and Walter, who are among the best characters on television right now. I hope Olivia can make it to the original universe soon.
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Oct 09, 2010
Fringe is a great SyFy thriller, drama series. It touches upon the rim of our own reallity and glimpse into the power of the human mind. This show has great writing and superb acting!!!
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