Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Getting caught up: Fringe and Pushing Daisies

With a new episode of "Fringe" on tonight -- and don't forget, "House" is scheduled to run about 8 minutes long tonight (which means pad your recording for at least 15 minutes) -- it occurred to me that I never got around to writing about last week's episode, or about last week's "Pushing Daisies." (I was too busy talking about the latter's apparent cancellation instead.) After the jump, very brief thoughts on both, and then you have a chance to express whatever thoughts you've been holding in (or expressing in other forums), if you still remember at this point...

I wish I could have gotten to "Fringe" sooner, because that was the strongest episode they've done since the introduction of The Observer (or The Watcher, or whatever bald guy's code name is). Not coincidentally, it was an episode that was heavy on Walter -- not just for wacky non-sequiturs and mispronunciations, but one that took his mental illness seriously and gave Walter a window on how he must appear to the rest of the world. (The scene where he asked Peter if that's what it's like to have a conversation with him was perfect.) And because there was so much Walter, there was very little Olivia, to the point where I briefly forgot she was even on the show. At this point, other than J.J. Abrams' love of the (allegedly) strong heroine archetype, is there any reason to keep her around? Would the show suffer in any way if it was just about Walter and Peter, with Asteroid around to help requisition supplies and occasionally draw her weapon?

I really liked last week's "Pushing Daisies," too, and not just because it gave Kerri Kenney-Silver her first opportunity in what seems like forever to look like a woman. The magic setting fit in perfectly with this show, and seeing Ned finally throw off the shackles of his anxieties and try to be active for the sake of his half-brothers was a moment long in coming. (Of course, he's had that type of epiphany in previous episodes, only to revert to being a passive dweeb at the start of the next, so maybe this one won't take, either. But it felt like a more dramatic change.) And Emerson's line ("Where did I put that rat's ass I could give?") was one of his best barbs to date. Oh, sarcastic paisley man, I'll miss you most of all.

What did everybody else think?

20 comments:

Anonymous said...

Can someone explain the apple scene at the end of fringe?

Tracey said...

Maybe I'm reading too much in, but...

When Ned brought Herrmann back from the dead, there was a line that made me think he knew more about Ned's father than he let on. Ned said he brought Herrmann back to life by magic, and Herrmann took that at face value and said something like "you got that from your father." Of course, Herrmann certainly knew that Ned's father did magic tricks, but I thought there might be something more to it, and made me wonder if there might be a reason (other than mere fear of committment) why Ned's father abandoned two different families after 10 years.

Oh Pushing Daisies, how I will miss you...

Bobman said...

That episode of Pushing Daisies was like a B-list celebrity showcase. Paul F. Thompkins (who's mired in basic cable TV), Stephen Root (always awesome), Fred Willard, and of course Kerry Kenney.

dez said...

I thought there might be something more to it, and made me wonder if there might be a reason (other than mere fear of committment) why Ned's father abandoned two different families after 10 years.


I posted something similar in another thread here (whilst chompin' at the bit for Alan's PD post to go up). Not sure it could work because I can't recall if we've seen Ned's dad touch him right before he went to boarding school, but I was wondering if Ned and his half-brothers were actually dead and his father brought them back to life, then took off to ensure he'd never "kill" them. That might also mean Ned's power comes from being dead, which would mean Chuck could raise the dead, too. Of course, I'm usually wrong about these things, FWIW. I loved the ep regardless.

I agree that "Fringe" had its strongest outing to date, too. More Walter, less Olivia, please!

R.A. Porter said...

@dez and @tracey, I've been thinking along the same sort of lines. I think Ned's dad is *something* more than human and that Ned's powers might also have been transferred to Chuck.

You know, we know there's a one-minute limit to how long someone can stay alive-again before someone else dies. What we don't know is if there's another threshold sometime after that - longer than Ned's mom was alive-again - after which the change is more permanent. Maybe the final scene of the final PD (which sadly, is going to be far too soon, now) is going to be Ned, Chuck, and Digby in a big loving embrace.

Beyond that, I thought this was a really fun one, with some very interesting movement on the season-long mystery. In my review here, I actually praised the MoW which I rarely find that interesting. This one I found far more compelling

Stopper474 said...

"Can someone explain the apple scene at the end of fringe?"

They locked the apple in a safe, and they had a contraption which they attached to it, and using the equation that the kid solved, they were able to reach their hand through the metal and pull the apple out.

So the equation gave them the ability to reach through solid metal.

Pamela Jaye said...

i just popped in to make sure you had the overage on House covered :-)

Adele said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dweller said...

I loved this episode. John Noble should use this episode as his Emmy submission in my humble opinion. The scene in the car, his face a myriad of emotions was beyond heart wrenching.
My review is more in depth about what I thought of the episode but if anything I want the rest of the reason to use this as an example of what they should be doing each week.

dez said...

Maybe the final scene of the final PD (which sadly, is going to be far too soon, now) is going to be Ned, Chuck, and Digby in a big loving embrace.


From your lips to Bryan Fuller's ears, R.A. Porter!

LA said...

I, too, will miss Emerson Cod the most. I wonder if he finds his daughter by series finale?

Anonymous said...

Just finished watching this week's episode here in Canada. I really hope the 13th episode doesn't end on a cliffhanger because that would kill me.

Also, loved the play this week on "the facts were these..."

Jennifer J. said...

Loved last week's Fringe and Pushing Daisies. My hearts breaks every time I think of it as gone.

I will so miss Emerson Cod....

No spoilers at all, but I thought tonight's Fringe was really good. Alan, I'll be curious as to what you thought when you have time. :)

Jennifer J. said...

Alan, I don't think of this as a spoiler for tonight's episode of Fringe, but I just wanted to let any fans of the show know that you might recognize a supporting player in this week's episode...he played "Bob" on Seinfeld ("who doesn't want to wear the ribbon?!)

Master Prudent said...

I believe Fuller has said that PD will end with a cliffhanger but that he plans to finish it in comic book form.

Tracey said...

@R.A.: Interesting thought! As a life-long pet owner, it breaks my heart that Ned can't touch Digby.

@Dez and R.A.: It's good to know that I'm not crazy. Or at least, if I am crazy, I'm in good company!

dez said...

@Tracey, even crazier thought: What if Digby has the power, too? I'd imagine we'd find out if anything every happened to Pigby....

Why does this show have to go off the air? :(

daveawayfromhome said...

If Chuck had the power to raise the dead, she would have found out by now, there are too many natural (and now dead) things around for her not to have inadvertantly reanimated something.

R.A. Porter said...

@daveawayfromhome, that's true, assuming she's been alive-again long enough for the power to manifest itself. But if that's the way Bryan Fuller wants to go, the threshold will be exactly one second before the moment he wants to reveal that power.

jazzfan360 said...

Olive's "Ohhhhh, yeah, that's all the way up in there, he's dead" was hands down the line of that week's ep.