Spoilers for last night's "Fringe" coming up just as soon as I go out for a root beer float...
Hmmm... we love J.J. Abrams shows when they aren't giving us answers, and complain about them when they do. Does that say more about him or about us?
"The Arrival" was easily the most interesting post-pilot episode of "Fringe" to date, and possibly my favorite altogether. There's still a lot of clumsiness on the margins -- lines like "We don't know who he is. He just stands there and watches, observes. We call him The Observer." -- but this one created a sense of dread and surprise and excitement that's been sorely lacking in the earlier, more self-contained episodes. Whether it's simply because nothing was resolved (leaving our imaginations to conjure up explanations more satisfying than what would be in the script) or because Abrams and Jeff Pinkner's script was simply better than the previous three, I can't say. But after being more than prepared to give "Fringe" That's It For Me! status going into the episode, I enjoyed the strangeness of it -- The Observer's hairlessness and diet, Capt. Patterson from "Generation Kill" toting around a futuristic-looking ray gun and a retro-looking mind-reading machine, Walter casually injecting whatsername with a sedative -- that I think I'll be sticking around for a bit.
In the end, the answers may not be any more satisfying than what we got at the end of the more procedural episodes, or that we got at the end of "Alias." But if I can brace myself for the probability that this will all lead to nonsense, I can groove on all the atmospherics along the way. And, if nothing else, Abrams is great at atmosphere.
What did everybody else think?