Thursday, 17 May 2012

Blue, Orange, Red, Grey... The Colours of Fringe.

Fringe ended last night in the UK (spoilers ahead for anyone who hasn't seen it) so it seems to be an appropriate time for me to have a rant about a plot point that they've had this year and how it has irked me somewhat.

As viewers of the show will know, Fringe has featured a number of different 'universes' over the years, with each one differentiated by the colour of the opening titles. Blue was the 'normal' universe, Red was the alternate one, Grey was the future. This season they introduced a new Orange universe which resulted from Peter being removed from existence.

Of course he came back, but he was the only character with any memory of the Blue universe.

The Orange universe continued to be used for the rest of the season, making everything the viewer had learned about the characters and plot from the previous three seasons irrelevant. Sometimes. And sometimes that old stuff had happened. Since Peter had previous dealings with the Red universe, this meant that all the characters from 'over there' were also changed and you couldn't be certain about their histories either any more. Characters who were once dead were now alive, characters who were good were now evil, and so on.

In many ways it was a reboot of the series, in what can only be assumed was a desperate hope to attract new viewers.

I'd assumed that Blue would return after a few episodes, but it didn't. Orange has remained for the entire season, with no indication that it's ever going away. So now I'm scratching my head and wondering what the point was of watching seasons 1-3. Those characters (apart from Peter and Olivia who got her 'old' memory back) are gone, like the series ended and was replaced with something else.

It's the uncertainty that gets to me. I can't be certain what happened previously, and therefore can't be certain of anyone's motives or actions. It's definitely not rewarding the viewer who has stuck with the series since the beginning.

The Orange universe just seems like a convenient way to write off any unexplained plot points, or bits the writers perhaps just don't like any more, from earlier in the series.

Plus the orange credits look no where near as nice as the blue ones did.

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