Fringe

Season 1 Episode 1

Pilot

25
Aired Friday 9:00 PM Sep 09, 2008 on FOX
SUBMIT REVIEW

Episode Fan Reviews (88)

8.7
out of 10
Average
1,221 votes
  • Full with stereotypes and plot goofs = disappointing pilot

    5.0
    I suspected this to be like a TV movie because of its overlong runningtime, but director Alex Graves managed to make this look like a longsome introduction to the characters and I thought that was good. I also really enjoy the whole look of the show, that is to say cinematography, score, editing or the way they show the locations of the particular scenes. This and the mystery style of the show are enough to keep me watching it, at least for the 1st season. We'll see if it gets better or worse (both is possible).



    So, I think the 3 leads are quite interesting and I'm curious how John Noble did not get a nomination for an Emmy as Best Supporting Actor in a Drama Series. I also enjoyed the beginning of this pilot very much and I had great interest in where the story would go. But after watching the whole thing, I think this show (or at least the pilot) is overrated. There were really a lot of goofs in the storyline and J. J. Abrams has never proven better that he adores to fill something that would otherwise be quite good with stereotypes. I mean, the love story? It seemed fake as hell and was totally unnecessary to the storyline. Furthermore, I really wanted to believe the supernatural parts of this, but it was just impossible regarding the illogicality and stupidity of some scenes.



    Despite all my criticism, I've got to give this pilot its due for entertaining me for the whole running time - I actually think it passed quickly. The mix of action, crime, sci-fi, mystery and drama (yes, it really are that much genres in one) worked rather good, but overall it just doesn't fulfil its premise. The writers focused on the false stuff because even with this long run-time, I still didn't really get to know the villains and the way they've done it.



    Usually I wouldn't rate an episode to which I've got that much to criticize about that good, but I like the style of the show very much and I'm just hoping that this was nothing more than a false start.
  • man's face comes off on plane. people dead. FBI investigates. Guy gets injured in explosion Woman desperate to save him. creepy genius scientist. smart (smart aleck) son with daddy issues. evil corporation. paranormal cases. there's

    8.0
    Off to a pretty good start. Right away it grabs you and doesn't let go. It has the makings of a series classic. The underdog versus the evil corporation. Many are comparing it to the X-Files. Since I never saw that show, I can't make that comparison. However, I did see a comparison between Angel. Vampire detective versus evil law firm (Wolfram and Hart)

    The Bad: hmmmmm, I guess one thing I didn't like was the fact that they put the words of the city in huge block letters. And it was kind of slow at some points

    However, I am going to give it a far chance. Hopefully this show will be on for a long time. My Tuesday nights are going to be full this Fall. 8pm House 9pm Fringe 10pm Law and Order SVU.
  • Pilot

    8.5
    The first major hurdle of the "Fringe" will be to get rid of comparisons. What is difficult to guess, since the series show they have enough points in common with "Alias" and "X-Files," too obvious to avoid any parallels. (MINOR SPOILERS)



    When an international flight lands at Boston airport and discovers that the passengers and crew mysteriously died aboard the plane, the FBI Special Agent Olivia Dunham (newcomer Anna Torv) is called to investigate the case. After his partner and lover, John Scott (Mark Valley, "Boston Legal"), almost dying during the investigation, a desperate Olivia searches for someone to help save John, which leads to Walter Bishop (John Noble, "Lord of the Rings"), the Einstein of our generation. Only one problem: he has been hospitalized for about 20 years and the only way to reach him is through his son Peter (Joshua Jackson, "Dawson's Creek"), who wants, above all, keep well away from father.



    "Fringe," the new JJ Abrams series, explores an area of science that is done within the limits of orthodox, which is based on unusual scientific theories and models, and addresses topics such as telepathy, invisibility, astral projection, among others.



    The pilot episode of about 80 minutes, although weaker than the previous two Abrams, "alias" and "Lost" (note that it was just written by Abrams, unlike the examples mentioned have also been performed by himself, while Alex Graves have an exemplary work in the pilot) is full of excitement, suspense, fantastic elements, a few scares, and even a little comedy and romance.



    The cast is competent enough. The three protagonists manage to create a good dynamic between them. Anna Torv, which debuts on American television shows have been a good choice for the role and John Noble gets a great job with your Walter Bishop on the border between madness and sanity. The same is true of the secondary elements, especially in relation to the always enigmatic Lance Reddick.



    But the big problem is that the series falls easily into comparisons.



    Inevitably, we are tempted to compare it, for example, the "Alias" and "X-Files", known in Portugal as "Alias" and "Files" respectively. We have FBI agents investigating the paranormal, a blonde version of Sydney Bristow, a leading technology company shrouded in mystery and, most likely the basis for future plots, and the episode begins with an incident aboard a plane.



    Nevertheless, "Fringe" is certainly a series to follow next season and possibly the most addictive. The question is how far in life to allow FOX has the same, but the fact that the channel to be placed initially at the "House" and later in the season, along with "American Idol" allows you to good prospects success.
  • Great Start

    9.0
    The Fringe pilot was a good start to a promising show. I loved Lost and wanted more of J.J. Abrams great imagination. In this episode the Fringe team is trying to solve a case about a crashed airplane. All of the bodies on the plane have clear skin and you can see the inside of their bodies. This is one of the many cases featuring Fringe science. A crazy science where basically anything can happen. This show has some very nice sci-fi elements. The pilot was interesting and shows a promising start for this show.
  • Looking forward to seeing more

    9.0
    This show is very unique an has promise so I'm looking forward to seeing more. From the author that made "Lost" JJ Abrams, which I enjoy very much. I hope this show will give me that same type of belonging that Lost did, the greatest part of Lost is that you can ever stop watching it. It was like a very long movie, its not what happens in the end or the beginning. It's the journey getting there that makes for a great show and the experience.
  • Reminds me of the Alias pilot.

    8.5

    I'm a big fan of Alias and I can't help but compare these two. Both shows has a strong female lead who works as an agent (FBI, CIA), fiancee in trouble, a possible new love interest and a lot of back and forth, twists and turns.


    This pilot is very strong and one of the best I've seen, it introduces the characters in a great way and builds a firm ground for the future. I'm usually not into science fiction but I find this very interesting, I like when shows twist the reality just a little bit.

  • Pacey Witter's all grown up in this sci-fi thriller series by JJ. Abrams.

    8.0
    Watched the first few episodes of Fringe season 1 last night with the wife and she liked it. She doesn't usually like the shows that I watched Anyway, the pilot episode is pretty neat with the decaying-while-alive scene, that's the one that got our attention. That's exactly what the pilot should do, grab the viewer's interest so they will watch the next episode.

    I also love the ending of the pilot episode, exactly what the viewers should feel at the end of any show... "What's going to happen next?" This is when John Scott, very dead, was taken and to be 'question'.. "Question him"... I will continue with the marathon of season 1 before I start with the sophomore season... Fringe is good.
  • This was the start of possibly the best tv show ever made. If it continues like this it will even surpass the standards of 24

    10
    This was the start of possibly the best tv show ever made. If it continues like this it will even surpass the standards of 24. I heard many people say that LOST was so successful because it did something that no show had ever done, but it never really impressed me and I stopped watching at the end of the 2nd season. Fringe on the other hand is utter perfection. The great cast and writing simply just work. the problem with most sci fi shows for me is that they are completely unrealistic, fringe on the other hand is based on science ( fringe science). I know it is also unrealistic, but they was they manage it just gives it an air of credibility.Spoiler: the walter stealing peter is one of the best story lines ever created. If you came here wondering if you should watch this show, my answer is simple: Just do it
  • THE must-see pilot of the 2008 fall season.

    9.5
    I was lucky to see the screener version of the pilot, so obviously only continue reading if you don't want to be spoiler.

    OKAY; wow. JJ Abrams did it again. Alias, Lost and now Fringe - 3 amazing shows by him, 3 amazing pilots. The opening grabs the attention of everyone, Naturally. It's pretty violent and definitely makes you ask the question: What the hell's going on?

    Everyone on a plane dies in a very violent way and it is, obviously, up to the FBI to study the case. Terror attack? Virus? What is it?

    Loved how quick the plot was established. Even after the incident the episode only "idled" with character development for 10 minutes - then came the warehouse scene which I think is classic JJ. Instantly puts one of the main characters in danger. Well, at least we think he's a main character - we're led to believe that he is.

    Now Olivia is amazing. I love how, once again, classic JJ, they casted a somewhat unknown actress for the lead (Anna Torv). This makes her more original and fascinating to watch. I loved her acting in the episode and her character is very well written and defined.

    Kind of like Sydney Bristow just a little more down to earth given the show's nature.

    Her motivation to save her boyfriend was clean and that was the "backbone" of the pilot. The show soon introduces the other leads, Joshua Jackson's character, Peter Bishop and Walter Bishop.

    Daddy issues? Really, JJ? I mean, it's a good thing, but for the 3rd time in this review alone: Classic JJ. Olivia blackmailing Peter was great and actually, the whole introduction to Peter was great. Somewhat comical, and at that point of the episode, comic relief was welcome.

    Peter and Walter scenes were great. I'm really interested what made them so keep distance so badly, what is it exactly that Walter did before.

    Speaking of which, Walter's a good character too. Though, I expected a little more from the "scientist" of the show(as in, more mysteries around him), he turned out to be a 99% good guy by the end of the episode. But probably this is just temporarly.

    Another major character, Philip, portrayed by the awesome Lance Reddick, at first doesn't do much but near the end it's revealed he knows more than what we think. Not really a shocker, because, well, Lance Reddick always plays shady characters. He's intriguing but obviously we'll have to wait a few episodes to learn about him, knowing JJ's previous projects and his way of storytelling.

    The episode was long and yes, it did drag a little. Probably the scenes where Olivia and Peter are getting Walter out of the facility so he can examine John were a bit too long... but soonly after that the pacing got better.

    The dream scenes were very well done. Great cinematography and just really intriguing. The science of the show - belivable. I'll say that I can actually believe what the characters are saying, however it seemed to me that the writers revealed a bit too much of the "Fringe science" side of the show in the pilot.

    Near the end of the episode the "villain" is introduced; Massive Dynamics, the big and evil company who is way ahead of everyone. We almost got to see the head of the company, but we did not, only a representative. Now this makes me think that the master mind behind everything will be a huge reveal later in the show and probably someone more famous will be casted for that role.

    I was a bit disappointed 5 minutes before the ending; so is this it? Everything gets solved, bad guy gets caught, all is going to be good and happy forever?

    But, god. I forgot it's a JJ Abrams pilot! Of course the guy who's been saved IS a bad guy! The main character nearly died, turned out to be bad.. and then he died! Fantastic car chase at the end that was really spectacular. I can definitely believe that the show's pilot was $10 million. It was worthy every penny.

    I mean, wow. The setting of the show... the snowy enviorments really set the mood of the show. I hope they can keep the snow for the episodes to come.

    The cgi? top notch once again. Same for the action scenes as I mentioned above.

    The episode's cliffhanger sent chills down my spine, obviously. It was great "-How long has he been dead? -5 hours. -Good. Question Him." LOL, I mean how many shows can have dialogs like that? Fantastic pilot. I want the 2nd episode now!

    Not only did it establish the show's storyline and characters, it also managed to entertain me for every single minute it lasted. It was like a mini movie ; and it's up to you if you want to see the continuation. Apart from minor mistakes, this was a flawless pilot.

    Well done JJ and co! May this be the next LOST!
  • Weird Science

    7.4
    After all the buzz, the awesome poster campaign, the promise of a new X-Files, Fringe was actually pretty disappointing. What makes it even more disappointing is that this wasn't just an ordinary pilot (I could excuse some of its failings if it was), it was a JJ Abrams pilot. And while I'm not exactly a member of the "JJ Abrams is a huge giant God" community, I have to admit that he makes amazing pilots. Alias, Lost, Felicity, all had gorgeous pilots that featured deep characters, great dialogue, and (in the former two, at least) amazing special effects and action sequences. Fringe had none of that, which made the 90-minute pilot a little aggravating.

    The storyline itself was average. I didn't exactly get bored by it, but nothing really grabbed me either. I found it all a little implausible, but not because it was all about melting folk and weird science, just the technicalities of the twin brothers and all that hoodoo. Plus, I didn't feel much sadness for Mark Valley's character, or Olivia's desperation to save him, as we barely got to know the guy. I also had some problems with the dialogue. Anna Torv didn't sell some of Olivia's threats, while the comedy moments ranged between "weirdness for the sake of it" (Gene the cow) and "overused and obvious" (SpongeBob references).

    Unlike JJ Abrams' other 'discoveries' (Jennifer Garner, Keri Russell), Anna Torv doesn't exactly pop in the role. She's got a wonky accent, about three different facial expressions (pained, squinty, frown) and doesn't exactly infuse Olivia with much personality. Compare her to Garner's intense yet vulnerable introduction to the world as Sydney Bristow on Alias, and she looks like a bad high school drama major in comparison. I also didn't like Joshua Jackson as the male lead. He's one of those actors that have absolutely no range, playing Pacey Witter in everything he's in, and he doesn't change it up here either. Plus his character was on the "just fall down a well, Juno" side of snarky smart-assery. Of course, disliking the two leads of a show doesn't necessarily destroy the whole thing, and the rest of the cast is actually pretty good. Really loved John Noble and, though we barely saw them, Lance Reddick and Kirk Acevedo both looked promising in their roles. I also liked what I saw of both supporting ladies, Blair Brown and Jasika Nicole. Obviously they all need a whole lot more to do though.

    Visually, the show was great. Great direction, loved the main titles, and the make-up effects in the opening sequence were hilariously gross. A lot of attention (for some reason) was given to the floaty lettering accompanying every change of location but, c'mon, Heroes has been doing that for two seasons already...

    The only part of the pilot that I really loved was Olivia's meeting with the representative of Massive Dynamics. I honestly did not see her robo-arm coming, and Blair Brown really nailed the whole "mysterious-and-likely-homicidal-boss-lady" vibe.

    So far, Fringe hasn't blown me away. Sure, there are some nice ideas floating around inside it, but it's buried deep beneath cliché after cliché. And I'm not so sure I can be intrigued by yet another huge conspiracy from JJ Abrams, with vague codenames like "The Pattern". Eh, for a show so heavily promoted and coming from such notoriously great writers, Fringe really wasn't that great. But, since I ordinarily love monster-of-the-week shows like early X-Files, I'll keep tuning in.

    Director: Alex Graves
    Writers: JJ Abrams, Alex Kurtzman, Roberto Orci
    Rating: C
  • That should have been SO much better...

    7.0
    Some shows grab you right away... Some you get to know and love in a few episodes. This is the kind you just leave alone. Here's why:
    1. Really good shows rely on writing, actor ingenuity and good camera work to shine. This show uses a lot of money/effects, musical score to ram drama down our throats, cheam one-liners and Shalayman-like terror.
    2. Casting can make or break a show; no one here was particularly good in the pilot (not that they had roles that stand out from the typical ONE bit - crazed scientist, angst-filled genious, vengefull boss...)
    3. Story; X-files has been there, done that, and with a lot more to show for it, a lot more class and a lot more enginuity. This was just - borderline boring.
    4. Finally, logic. When, in the scene of the old doc's lab he, the crazed scientist, calmly yet passionatly explains the process of a mind meld, and the supposed 190 IQ genious throws "he's crazy, don't listen to him" routine, I gave up. To have stereotype AND don't even follow up on that is just trash writing and Abrams should have known better. I imagine this is the kind of a reason why Whedon put the brakes on Dollhouse.
    Anyhow, nice try and I'm really really sorry it wasn't better - but it wasn't, period.
  • Wait & see.

    7.5
    Much ado about nothing?
    The buzz about Fringe was phenomenal, for what?

    Yep, it's nice to see Joshua Jackson again, the acting is good, blah blah blah.

    But what about the originality? I feel like watching X-Files with a better definition: conspirations, facts that can't be explained, a special department of investigation, attraction between the two co-stars, etc...

    It was only the pilot so I'll give it a go to the second one. I hope the writers will prove me wrong and will be entertained more next time. Maybe 90 minutes was too long. I thought the opening scene would never end... The episode is getting good after 40 minutes or so.
  • Illogical writing

    6.0
    After reading many reviews and comments, I have concluded that no one else noticed the bad logic that my husband and I discerned. Can anyone clear this up for me?

    Late in the show it was revealed that John was in on the conspiracy, as he was the one talking on the phone to the guy who was at the storage unit (the twin of teh guy on the plane). Why then, when John and Olivia found the guy at the storage unit, would John not have: a) shot the guy down to shut him up, or b) let him get away? Olivia was out of view, on her cell phone, so John could have done either one. Instead, he behaved as though he really did want to catch the guy (which he couldn't have, since he was in on it with him) and stood there and got blown up.

    Smells like bad writing to me.
  • The Pilot shows great promise as being the spiritual successor to the X-Files.

    8.0
    A passenger flight is suddenly stricken with a devastating plague that leaves no one on board alive. But what perplexes the investigation is how did this plague come to be? One that can dissolve human tissue?

    So starts the series of Fringe, the newest brain child of J.J. Abrams. Right off the bat, the whole premise of the show just speaks "X-Files." But fortunately for the series and for us, the comparisons really end there. For one thing, the characters portrayed are very well written with great dialogue as well, which actually ends up being the episode's saving grace.

    "Pilot" really centers around Agent Olivia Dunham who's your regular FBI agent until she gets called into the investigation. Suddenly, she's thrust into a downward spiral when her partner, and lover, becomes afflicted with the same plague in pursuit of a suspect. Not knowing what to do when no answers are presented, she ends up doing anything to save her partner, which ends with gaining the help of Dr. Walter Bishop and his reluctant son Peter.

    While the episode has a fantastic plot, with the human tissue dissolving disease and especially watching Agent Dunham turn almost to hysteria in trying to save her partnet, there are a couple of moments when things go wrong. When trying Dr. Bishop's method, which ultimately saves the day, the entire scene doesn't seem to be as well done as the others. It almost seems as if the creators themselves were hesitant as to whether the audience would believe the scene for being way out there, and it shows in the actors, providing for a bump in the road. But luckily, the ending helps regain the speed that the start began. And in conclusion, "Pilot" is a very good start to Fringe, one that should not be missed.
  • An FBI agent investigates a mass murder aboard an aircraft, leading her to a mad scientist, his skeptical son, and a vast web of conspiracies.

    7.5
    This new series has an intriguing premise - stories based on the fringes of science, leaning toward science fiction. Hope it succeeds.

    The pilot starts with an international airline flight, in a storm with fakey strobe lights simulating lightning, and an agitated male passenger who pulls out a large syringe and injects himself with something - dramamine? Next, he's out of his seat while all the aircraft lighting starts flashing and the camera jerks around to simulate severe turbulence, but he's getting very nasty looking, and the passengers are panicking. The crew opens the cockpit door, in violation of all company directives in cases of cabin disturbances, such as hijacking. In moments the entire load of passengers is affected by a grotesque skin condition with falling flesh and all.

    The opening credits and music are well done, if awfully reminiscent of "X-Files," listing some of the story elements - telekenisis, precognition, nanotechnology and the like. I still want to believe.

    The producers then try to hook into our baser instincts with an obligatory opening sex scene, so they look desperate already. In a cheap motel, our lead FBI agent Olivia Dunham, played by Australian actress Anna Tov, is bedded down with fellow employee John Scott (Mark Valley), both knowing they must hide their relationship, so they're already not models of integrity. Of course, her phone rings and she's off to an incident at Boston Logan Airport, an interruption used frequently in "The Closer."

    On arrival at Logan on a snowy night (it's admirable that they take the trouble to film outdoors in actual bad weather), Olivia breezes right through the ramp security entrance in her Buick SUV, but not to worry, the real world doesn't work that way. I.D. isn't enough, you have to prove a reason for wanting to enter, or be escorted by someone with escort privleges.

    Since the entire aircraft crew and pax are dead, they have to explain that Logan is one of the first airports with a type of "autoland," system, which indicates that the "Fringe" production crew has no aviation advisor. An "autoland" capability is a function of the aircraft's navigation and autopilot equipment and has little to do with the airport. With the crew dead, the hard part would be getting the aircraft to the ramp, which would require a tug. Getting a real 747 (in the livery of "Interflug") and lots of lighting equipment took some doing, so the production team gets some compliments for going to that much trouble; maybe it's the screenwriters that are just making stuff up as they go.

    Fellow agent Charlie briefs Olivia on the way, literally shouting at her - guess that's supposed to show they're on a noisy aircraft ramp, but it comes off jarring. Another van pulls up to the Security gate, turned away, the driver looks just like our sick passenger. Olivia, Charlie, and John Scott become part of an interagency team led by Dept. of Homeland Security agent Phillip Broyles (Lance Reddick). He's portrayed as a self-important, unnecessarily harsh and stern leader, pretty much ordering everyone around in a loud voice, and apparently he has little or no administrative support.

    The entire aircraft is a quarantine area until the cause of the disaster is found, but our lead gal is contamination-qualifed, too, and checks over some grisly corpses strewn about in the aircraft, all looking like they dissolved. In a very noisy Federal Building in Boston, the task force scurries about while Identification of the bodies starts. We can tell how busy they are because the director and film editor has the camera crew jerking the camera this way and that, panning in and out, throwing in numerous half-second cuts, and generally annoying anyone who might be interested in seeing what's happening. Just as irritating - an overuse of the film fad which has extras constantly passing between the camera and the actor on screen. All this is distracting and a poor substitute for actual activity by the actors.

    Broyles then throws a dumb assignment at Olivia, referring to her as "Honey," a form of sexual harassment that, in the real world, would instantly get him transferred back to D.C. for a couple weeks of human relations training. Olivia just knuckles under; meanwhile we see footage of the aircraft burning at the behest of the Center For Disease Control.

    Next, Olivia and John are at a self-storage center in Chelsea, discussing who said "I love you," and other details of their growing relationship. Bad policy, mixing business and romance. How did they know to search the dumpster? Why does it contains tanks of ammonia? So they start an illegal B&E search of storage units, just like the FBI does all the time, until they find one loaded with creepy hairless rats and other strange vermin, and lots of unattended computers, power-on. Just then, the opposite storage unit door flies open and our airline passenger look-alike looks out, and runs, chased by John. But passenger 57 turns and sets off an explosion with his cell phone, throwing Olivia into the air against some pretty hard metal. Much better staging of this chase scene - John was closer to the explosion, so he takes the brunt of it. Olivia wakes up in a hospital.

    Scott was exposed to chemicals in the blast that causes his skin to become transparent, and he's in thermal stasis while they try to figure out what happened. Some time later, Olivia's back at work researching skin infections in an FBI database, finding a medical archive by Dr. Walter Bishop on dissolved flesh and nanorobots. Sensing a "eureka" moment, Olivia brings the news to Broyles, still the cold and uncooperative manager. Somehow she finds a detailed file on Bishop, already put together with a full personal history. Guess they brought the entire DHS file system to Boston for the investigation. Bishop has been confined for 17 years on a manslaughter charge; he was found mentally unfit for trial. Oliva mentions her experience as a "US Marine special investigator," a job where she was involved in an investigation which was a career-ender for someone, perhaps someone Broyles knew. He consents to Olivia visiting Dr. Bishop, if she can find his next-of-kin.

    Next stop, Baghdad. With some pretty good scenery as a backdrop, and realistic street scenes, Olivia goes on a search for Bishop's son Peter (Joshua Jackson), and we get his high-school dropout, I.Q. of 190, bio via a voiceover. He's wheeling and dealing with Iraqi businessmen, proposing himself as a construction overseer on 600 miles of pipeline. Olivia strides right up and introduces herself to Peter, explaining to him that only he can get in to see his father, who can save a friend's life. Bit of a stretch here - the FBI can't see someone in a State of Mass. institution while in the middle of a biological crisis? A bit of coercion, a couple lies, and she has him convinced to return to the US, and his father. A few hours later, they're over the Atlantic in a business jet, without even a wardrobe change.

    They discuss his father, a chemist who worked out of a basement lab at Harvard. Peter has not seen him for many years, and does not want to, either. She clues him in that his father was actually working on classified projects for the Army; fringe science covered everything. In a nice snowy winter scene, they head out in a Chevy Malibu to the institution in a remote area of Massachusetts. Dr. Bishop (John Noble) looks pretty seedy, and a bit off his rocker. He does understand the skin disease, however, and says it can be reversed. He wants to see son Peter, who addresses his father as "Walter." More coercion, and Peter agrees to sign out his father.

    Walter Bishop cleans up real nice, and acts more rationally, too. His early work has been shared with William Bell, founder of Massive Dynamic, a multinational that probably will turn out to be an evil corporation. Bishop and Olivia check over Scott, who looks ghastly in his plasticized state, but apparently is not considered to be contagious. Now Bishop needs a lab.

    No prob. Homeland Security seemingly has an unlimited budget, just get the ok from hardhearted Broyles. The Harvard lab is resurrected, with the FBI agents taking orders for equipment, and a dairy cow. All in a day's work for the agency.

    At this point in the pilot, the camera jerking has ended, making the scenes and dialog much easier to follow. Scott has only about 24 hours of life expectancy, but Bishop still insists he can help because Scott was exposed only to lab chemicals, not the biological weapon that probably caused the aircraft passengers to perish. Only Scott saw the guilty party, so another "fringe" science comes into play - a synaptic transfer system (think Vulcan mind meld, but with electrodes) that Dr. Bishop explains could reveal Scott's thoughts and memories, including a description of the perp. Olivia is the volunteer, just get her into a drug-induced coma in a sensory-deprivation tank (reference - "Altered States," the 1980 movie with John Hurt, also playing a Harvard scientist). "Excellent," Bishop says gleefully, "let's make some LSD."

    Scott's rotting body is brought to the lab, where our FBI agents also continue serving as chemists and lab assistants. Charlie has been unsuccessful trying to get Olivia an interview with Massive Dynamics honcho Bell. So Olivia gets half-naked for her tank time, while the steadicam operator makes us dizzy with the camera spinning around the actors for no good reason, just because they can do it. Laying in the tank, Olivia has an interesting ethereal back-lighted appearance, much like the elf Galadriel played by Cate Blanchett in "LOTR."

    Some hours later, we have brain-synch, and Olivia's mind is in a strange place of memories and images, calling for John. Pretty well-conceived special effects for this scene. John's mind recalls the explosion, and the face of the perp, so they quickly pull Olivia from the tank, mission accomplished.

    With some facial-construction work, and a passenger photograph, the perp is identified, but he was in seat 13B, a corpse. Aha, his emergency contact was RIchard Steig, a twin to the victim, and an employee of Massive Dynamic. The plot thickens. But in another implausible scene, Olivia goes to MD alone, no assistant, no corroboration, she's just a one-woman investigative team. MD rep. Nina Sharp (Blair Brown) says Steig was fired some time back on suspicion of removing classified documents, and she demonstrates her impressive prosthetic arm (See the "Terminator") developed by the company. Nice ominous scene.

    Back to the camera jerking for an action scene, with Olivia in full SWAT gear, which puts her right up there with James Bond in terms of doing absolutely everything - a generalist with unlimited specialties. Just as silly, too - she'd look better in the command vehicle. She finds Steig's spider hole, he makes a run for it, but our team runs him down with some pretty good stunts on Boston rooftops. Then she gets to do the interrogation by herself, too, but when she gets nothing out of Steig, Peter steps in. Gee, FBI security is really loose. A little more coercion, and they have the list of chemicals in the storage area blast, and they go to the lab to spin the steadicam around again while concocting an antidote for Scott.

    Broyles tells Oliva, "we're impressed," (by her work on this case) revealing that other strange incidents have taken place all over the world, and he wants to recruit her, offering unlimited resources. Is she hooked? The chemical brew is now being pumped into Scott, and it's a miraculous recovery. End of story. No, wait, Steig is there, too, claiming to have been threatened by someone in Olivia's office, sending her on a search for the recording. Finding it, she hears the voice, it's Scott's. Betrayal, and Steig is Scott's next victim, and Scott drives off from the hospital just as Olivia arrives. This start of a very well-staged car chase, Olivia's Malibu versus Scott's Explorer, ending in a big wreck, and injured Scott saying, "Ask yourself, why Broyles sent you to the storage facility," then dying in her arms. All that work to save him, lost.

    Back at Harvard, she pitches a deal to Peter and Dr. Bishop. Looks like there's a vast conspiracy, good for continued scripts and seasons. We can see they're in. The final scene - Scott's body is wheeled into Massive Dynamic's lab (how did they get the body?) He's been dead five hours, but MD rep. Sharp says, "Question him." "Fringe" has a lot of good ideas, lots of plot possibilities, a capable cast that doesn't overact, excellent photography (except camera fads), a willingness to film on location even in bad weather, and a potentially large fan base. It should be rated higher; let's hope the producers get some aviation advisors, drop the silly idea that one FBI agent does everything from SWAT to solo interrogations and everything in between, and adds a bit of reality to go with the unreality. Will I watch it regularly? Oh sure, it has more potential than many other new shows, so we'll stick with it for awhile and hope succeeding episodes are rated in the 9s.
  • an okay pilot

    8.0
    This pilot, excluding brief commercials, ran for ninety minutes. Oddly, during all this time, nothing really happens. It never really gets to a point. Pilots with less time have gotten to the point quicker. Bionic Woman's Jamie Sommers was turned into a cyborg in less than thirty minutes. Whole movies run for ninety minutes. Given the length and the budget of this pilot, thanks to JJ Abrams, I assumed it would be getting to do more stuff and explore more options than regular pilots get to. Nope. The pilot is extremely slow. The usual setting up the show takes into effect, of course it just takes longer. Sometimes the pilot could be about the story or it could be about introducing the character's backstory. Whenever it focused on one, the other was pushed to the back. There were some neat shots in there, Olivia (Anna Torv) getting plunged into a septic tank and mindsharing with her comatose boyfriend, a whole bus of people being glued in with what looked like green amber, were a few of them. However, a few shots, like the explosion, didn't look complete. The story was moderately interesting, Fringe is not unique since X-Files, the 4400 (especially in regards to people being kidnapped and experimented on) and miscellenous shows already covered similiar material, and it's no sense that the cases in Fringe are in any way unique. I never understood the explanation for what happened to the people on the bus. Olivia having an FBI boyfriend that was her boyfriend, tuning out he's a traitor, and dies warning her about what could come. . .how many other shows have done this? There are a few enjoyable moments, mostly coming from John Noble as slightly insane, brilliant Fringe doctor Walter Bishop and Joshua Jackson as estranged son and sceptic Peter Bishop. Walter provides some badly needed comedy relief, increasing watching Spongebob, sitting near a cow in a lab. Joshua Jackson also provides his own sort of humor as being the snarky skeptic. And that's where Fringe messed up. Olivia is the main character and she is the believer. It would have better if she were the skeptic or at the very least, have it explained why she believes in this unusual science. Lance Reddick is perfectly cast as FBI captain Philip Broyles and has the correct amount of quiet intensity and authority. There is plenty of globe-traveling, sometimes just for the heck of it. The story veers in many directions, often just explaining Fringe science basics, until finally it comes together at the end to warn of the creepy but obviously mysterious company that is involved somehow with the fringe and shows the start of the stories. The pilot wasn't terrible. The production was incredible and some of the special effects were breathtaking. It could have been better if the length was cut to sixty minutes, where more of the backstory and introduction could be handled quicker. This show won't replace the X-Files anytime soon and it shouldn't but it might just stick around for awhile.
  • The best episode so far!

    10
    The pilot of a series is the beginning of it, and this is the beginning of a great series. Fringe is awesome, cleverly written with incredible actings. This episode shows the beginning of the series. We still dont know John Scott is a traitor, we see the beginning of the whole sci fi in the show, we can see the best of it. The episode is the best episode in the seires so far, and I wish there were more episodes like that, but is too hard to beat this episode up. The episode is thrilling and amazing, and I couldnt keep my eyes off the screen. This is the beginning of a great series.
  • A really good start to what looks like a great show.

    9.0
    A really good start to what looks like a great show. I really enjoyed this episode, it really set in motion the start of something very interesting. I like the charters, they are very interesting! The crazy scientist, Walter, has a unique sense of humour as well this crazy/insane personality which makes him a delight to watch. He did look more insane initially, but he starts to come out as we get to know him a bit. Overall a lot of stuff happened in this episode and I am curious to see how it pans out during the rest of the season.
  • For pilot, very good

    9.0
    I think this worked out to be brilliant pilot. It caught the viewers attention, offered many questions and unexpected turns, brought the chars in nicely and in the end, left me wanting to see next episode of that show. So, I can say it did it's work.

    I most say, that in some level, the idea does not sound very original. Even the musical usage to create tension reminds Lost.. and somehow.. it's between the genres but that may work towards this show.

    The story of the pilot was strong. Everything seemed to be well thought trough and well build. Having enough time to get us into the chars, enough time to learn the world around and see what it is going to be. Some surprises on the way, and the result is something strong. I hope the manage to keep it in coming episodes.
  • Great Pilot

    9.0
    This show started out with a bang. I'm just sad someone, I won't say who, left the show so early. This was a nice pilot to get people into what has been a great show. It introduces you to all the people you will need to know and some of the freakiness that they will experience. It was subtle yet dramatic and kept me guessing. I have enjoyed this so very much and that it will continue to have the same grab me effect that it started out with. The main characters work well together and are all just the right amount of craziness, or copness, whatever they need to be to balance each other out.
  • Story: great German: bad

    9.0
    I do love how the show starts off here. No big character introduction: just right into the action.

    What I did not like and I dislike in about any Hollywood Movie or TV Production: German. Can it be that hard to get some people who can actually speak the language to at least teach the actors, extras, etc to create some sentences that are not sounding like babelfish went text-to-speech?

    Camera work is great. I always feel like I am standing in the Episode, observing everything.

    My favourite character of Walter Bishop is perfectly portrayed by John Noble. Highly enjoyable playing the nutty Professor, the mad scientist who is longing for redemption for his sins of the past, aching to have a normal life with his son, Peter.

    The son, Peter, a highly intelligent but sort of torn between caring about his dad and hating him for the things he has done to him in the past.

    Olivia, out heroine, driven to help her lover / colleague John Scott.

    Big surprise as some called the sequel to the X-Files.
  • When flight 627 lands after a cross Atlantic journey at Logan field in Boston it is discovered that the passengers and crew died in flight and a gruesome scene is discovered. A multi-task force of Homeland Security/FBI are brought in to investigate.

    10
    Wow, people who know me have told me I have to see this show. Being a science fiction fan I have enjoyed many shows of this type in the past. This sort of reminds me of the X-Files in a way so far. I have to be honest that show never really caught my favor. Not so with this show. It grips you right from the beginning. I'll have to see more to come to a real decision though.

    The cast is terrific. Anna Torv as Special Agent Olivia Dunham is great. I have heard people call her performance stiff but I don't agree with that based on what I saw. Mark Valley of Boston Legal among other shows is also great as Special Agent John Scott. Also notable this first episode are John Noble and Dr. Walter Bishop and Joshua Jackson as his son Peter Bishop. I also enjoyed Lance Reddick as tough guy Homeland Security Agent Phillip Broyles.

    The story would be hard to describe but lets just say that it was full of wonder, action, suspense, and was peculiar to say the least.

    John Noble as the supposedly crazy Walter Bishop who has been away in an asylum for seventeen years especially did a good job. His son who is supposedly a genius by over fifty points in the scale obviously has been living a life below his capabilities. I think Dunham will cure him of that problem!

    I am very interested to see if this show can maintain its quality over the whole season. I now understand what everyone who is hooked on this show sees. Thanks for reading...
  • Have potencial.

    8.0
    I am not a great fan of shows that have a case per episode, I like a story that is connect to the entire season, with some mystery, revelation and plot twists.

    This show is not exactly the struture I like, but have great potencial to be a great show. You have mystery, and it seems that you will discover every piece of the puzzle following the episodes and every case.

    The producers used two episodes for the pilot and it was better this way to allow the audience get used to it. Fringe is very similar to "X-Files" but all this cases are connected and it seems we have patterns.

    It is premature to say if this show will be great, but have potencial, so I will be waiting until episode 5 to see if this show have what it takes to be special.
  • A plane lands in Boston via automatic pilot. When the doors are opened they find everyone not only dead but just skeletons. Is this a new kind of terrorism? Olivia Dunham of the FBI investigates whilst trying to save the life of the man that

    8.0
    This is a typical J.J. Abrams pilot episode. High in budget, visually fantastic and ready to draw you in within minutes of it starting.
    Whilst it works well as an opener you are left wondering what J.J. has against plannes. First Lost and now this.
    Unlike Lost, this has a smaller cast and I think it will benefit from it. I wanted to like the main character Olivia Dunham, but I don't and I'm not sure why. Is it that her character has been done to death now? Yes it's good for women to have strong roles blah, blah, blah, but when the roles are interchangable with so many other roles on TV at the moment it does start to get and feel very oh, it's that character again.
    Despite her FBI status she comes across as a character from Abrams' other show Lost.

    The other main character Peter Bishop is equally a typical Abrams creation and again seems like a character from Lost. It's almost like watching Sawyer and Kate all over again. How long will it take for them to kiss? You now they will, it's that predictable.

    The only really interesting character is Dr. Walter Bishop. As he has been institutionalised for 15 years, is he mad or a genius?
    Hopefully as the show progresses he will get more to do and his dreary stereotype son will get less.

    This has potential as long as it doesn't start to take itself too seriously and be too clever for it's own good and thus start to alienate viewers.
  • A great pilot, but I have a feeling the whole will be better than the sum of the parts.

    8.7
    From the mind of one of the greatest television shows ever (Lost) comes another show similar in tone and mystery, but not quite as good in initial impact. I must say, watching this episode for the first time, I was intrigued by much of the stuff going on, and especially Walter Bishop's character, but it just didn't have the same feel as Lost for me. Lost just grabbed my interest right from the get-go, so I guess I'm being a little harsh in judging the two shows.

    Don't get me wrong: Lost and Fringe are two different shows. VERY different shows. In a way, Fringe is almost like Supernatural and X-Files. A lot more focus on sci-fi stuff. The show does a great job introducing characters, creating some minor backstory to keep us interested, and letting the episode flow.

    The one thing I really didn't like is how easy Olivia was able to convince Walter's son to come to America and come onto her team. It seems as if the writing was a little sketchy in certain parts.. almost formulaic and forced. But still, JJ Abrams is known for providing some incredible television, so I have complete faith.

    Overall, the pilot was very good. A lot better than most pilots, actually. Plenty of twists (not overdone though) and a lot of interesting moments. Seems we're in for another great show.
  • Well this happens to be a good episode the only thing I did not like was the Olivia acting

    9.5
    Well this happens to be a good episode the only thing I did not like was the Olivia acting, I found it a little dull, on the other hand I love the Massive Dynamics lab reminds me of the Dharma initiave, also I hope to see some cool accidents like the one on the plane, that was pretty awesome, this is really the first time I hear or see this show, so I think I'm gonna star dowloading this episodes asap!!

    But as a last line I really recomend this show, is really intersting hope they have more coll twist to come on the next episodes!
  • There's a lot of potential to be seen in this pilot, and while it never meets the intensity and warmth of Alias' pilot or the mysterious engagement of Lost, it's a solid start to the show.

    8.0
    Having been threatened with a boot by a certain user on this site who will remain usernameless ;-), I've managed to finally catch the Pilot of Fringe, created by Abrams, who also made one of my favourite TV series, Alias.

    Starting off with what has to be one of the coolest opening sequences of any TV series, the production values immediately jump off of the screen; it were as though I was watching a film. A really cool, twisted film. The special effects and prosthetics were fantastic!

    Having said that, the best moment in the episode is also the pilot's worst enemy - it's something I like to call the X-men 2 effect. Remember that film's opening sequence in the white house? That stunning attack which, quite frankly left me breathless? Well, while that film was all sorts of awesome, it played its best hand first, and everything else, while solid, never quite matched up. That's how I felt about this 2 hour pilot.

    Nevertheless, I enjoyed it very much. The acting is solid all round, and while I unfortunately have to agree with those commenting on Anna's uneven performance, she manages to whip it out when she has to. I just think that her delivery is a little too monotonous, and scenes that require more emotion, I find she plays rather stilted. Having said that, I buy her as a leading lady, and that's a good thing in my books.

    This all looks fantastic, and the various set-pieces throughout, from the explosion to the car chase, just looked stunning. Likewise, the set design was truly something, not that that is anything new on an Abrams show - both Lost and Alias are exceptionally slick looking.

    Speaking of one of his old shows, there are quite a few similarities between Alias, believe it or not. The entire scenario involving Olivia's loved one in jeopardy and the whole forbidden relationship somewhat mirrors Syd's situation with her fiance, although I was not expecting the twist that he was the bad guy, so kudos to team Abrams. I was expecting him to die from the virus, to be perfectly honest.

    Again, the relationship between Peter and Olivia is being set up in and around the same manner as Vaughn and Syd. Don't got me wrong, these are different circumstances, but they feel rather familiar. I could be entirely wrong on these two, but I thought there was some sexual tension you could cut with a plus-six sword. Oh, and Massive Dynamics = Sd6? Anyone? Olivia's boss also reminded me of a mix between Sloane and Jack.

    These, of course, are by no means bad feats. I just thought I'd mention some overly familiar settings.

    It's a finely crafted, although hardly perfect pilot. There may be some minor issues on Anna's performance, if only because Abrams' other shows have such emotionally vulnerable, yet strong women as their leads. I just didn't get that at certain times throughout with Olivia.

    It's funny, it has a great pace and fine production values. They casted an interesting ensemble, and alhough I've never watched Dawson's Creek before, Joshua does a bang-up job as the comic relief.

    In a nutshell: I'm sold. I may not be a fan of the weird location fonts that appear everywhere, but other than that, I think I may just have to become a member of the Fringe club (don't ask!).
  • When all the passengers and crew on Flight 627 Hamburg-to-Boston die in a hideous manner, FBI agent Olivia Dunham investigates the event.

    8.5
    After hearing about this new shoe through a youtube video, I am pumped up for future episodes. I am a little disappointed that a great show like this can be out there, and get very little publicity. I enjoyed this episode, and thought the characters did a great job. Fringe is really going to be a great show if FOX can get more people to watch this show. I enjoyed watching Olivia Dunham and John Scott's relationship really develop throughout the episode, but was sad to see John Scott working undercover and playing the whole thing out. But, I believe that John Scott will be back, and want more from Olivia Dunham.
  • A great start to the nbest new show of the year.

    10
    When all the passengers and crew on Flight 627 Hamburg-to-Boston die in a hideous manner, FBI agent Olivia Dunham investigates the event. While following up a lead, her partner and lover, John Scott, undergoes life-threatening chemical contamination. A desperate Olivia looks for help and finds Dr. Walter Bishop, who cannot help her because he has been institutionalized. The only way to even question him is with the help of his son Peter.

    I found the pilot episode of Fringe to be vey entertaining it sucked me in straight from the begining, it was just fantastic. The mysteruy behind all this is compelling. The three lead characters are great in there own speacil way. It can have is chilling moment and action moments and funny moments. I just plian loved it. Gonna watch this show for a good few years I can see that. 10 out of 10.
  • Weird but cool...

    7.5
    Even before watch it, you expect many great things from this show, especially because of the fame of its creator. After the pilot, it's not well clear how the show will develop, but it is definitely a show with a lot of potential. The character of the scientist is misterious and hilarious at the same time and all those experiments are incredible. Out of the world because they are weird and also too much theoretical, but interesting and funny. Action, science, and science fiction are well mixed. There is also the investigation part which is well written and act. A good show that I'm sure will reveal many interesting things in the next episodes.
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