Fringe finally went where I had hoped it would never go on "Os", an episode that crossed a line and, frankly, let me down.
As a show that I always believed was meant to explore scientifically unusual cases, often including the unexplainable, it has still always managed to keep those cases concisely within the grounds of scientific possibility, no matter how remote. Every single incomprehensible event has fallen just shy of the realm of the supernatural.
But now that Olivia Dunham has been taken over by the soul of William Bell, I'm sorely disappointed. It feels like a cheap stunt, the type of storyline I would expect from one of The CW's dalliances with the occult, not from my beloved, science-based Fringe.
I choose to avoid anything that dabbles in the paranormal and having Walter ring a bell which suddenly calls the soul of William to inhabit the body of another certainly qualifies as such. It bothered me when Smallville followed a similar, far-fetched path on several occasions.
Sure, there have been previous displays of reanimating the dead on Fringe, but never in such a way where the person is completely brought back to life, as if by some method of enchantment, or in a normal state as if nothing ever happened. It has typically involved tapping into a person's brain, reminiscent of trying to retrieve data from a damaged hard drive; it has never come across like any form of mysticism was involved.
Perhaps my stand seems a bit hypocritical to some, given that I am a superhero fanatic. Admittedly, most superheroes are capable of unimaginable feats, but I am only fond of characters who either have no real superpowers (Batman, Green Arrow) or came by those abilities based on some scientifically explained, if still unrealistic, method, such as being bitten by a radioactive spider or molecularly influenced by the rays of the sun.
If a character, such as Zatanna or Hellboy, achieves their abilities via magical or demonic sources, I'm out.
I realize I'm in the extreme minority here and that most found this latest Fringe event exciting. I'm not here to rain on anyone else's parade but to express my feelings on what I personally feel is a copout move from a usually brilliant show. Honestly, this the first time the series has ever let me down, and I can only hope that once Bellivia is a thing of the past, this is a topic that never, ever finds itself reanimated.
Jeffrey Kirkpatrick is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow him on Twitter.Tags: Fringe, Commentary, TV on My Terms