08 December, 2012

Review - FRINGE 5.08: 'The Human Kind'

As Peter turns into a logic meat puppet, Olivia pines for a bloody bullet, and Walter worries about Peter's ability to cry.

And we get yet another episode of FRINGE, in a season of only 13 episodes that are supposed to close out the series, whose story could have been told in one act of a much better episode. Proving, yet again in an endless proving of yet-again, that 13 episode arcs are in no way superior to television story telling.

When writers get lazy, they run out of quality ideas NO MATTER HOW MANY EPISODES THEY HAVE TO WRITE.

Anyway, so Olivia's mission to find a magnet did feel at some point like a story element that could go somewhere interesting. The character of Simone, the woman who had been waiting for a couple of decades for the blond monotone ice popsicle, as foretold by a gray-haired granny from the past, was one of those LOST type story-lines that always intrigue me. But then a couple of things happened. Things of total mindfuckering stupidity.

First, Olivia decided to school this very kind and helpful sweet lady about her delusions of hope. Yes, darling Olivia, there is no better time to shit all over someone than after they spent TWENTY YEARS waiting for your robotic personality to show up, point a weapon at her, refuse her kind gestures, accuse her of trying to poison you, and then SHIT ALL OVER HER as you try to leave in the vehicle she kept safe for you and just refueled so you could go on your merry stiff way.

And second, while on the road to your clandestine destination, with your super important cargo, in a world where you are one of two MOST WANTED PEOPLE ON THE PLANET and being hunted by super-human beings who can manipulate time and space, you fall for the oldest trick in the book (not kidding, I looked it up, it is on page 1) of highway robbery.

Meanwhile, Pacey Poof's Matrix agent fight take 2, while cool, was so unoriginal and predictable that it didn't do much for me. While his injury and subsequent scene with Walter made me somewhat curious enough to pay attention, in the end it just led us to a half-assed scene between Olivia and Peter where he ends up cutting out his super power for the sake of love.

Wow. Awesome...

The best part of this is that Jackson won't have to channel ice-queen Olivia in any more scenes as a way to pretend to be turning into an Observer. Because there were times I couldn't tell the two apart. Well, other than Torv's less curly hair. Otherwise, it was very difficult... they were like twins.

If I had to rate this episode, and blahblahblahblahblah, I'd give it:

61 out of 100

This probably could have been a good episode if it had different writers, producers, director, key grip, and editors.

So what did you think? I am very interested. And please be respectful in your idiotic responses in the comment section.

Keep it classy.


  1. It is refreshing to read your take on the show when every other reviewers I see wants to blow the actors and writers. What the fuck happened to the show I loved?

    1. I think what happened was they started to believe the fanboy crushfest and actually thought themselves infallible.

  2. LOLOLOL! I was reading every other review and wondered what those people have been smoking. Are they being paid to praise every episode no matter what? I don't understand. I can't believe the drivel that was this episode. Sorry, I can, what I can't believe is that people are shitting rainbows about having BAMF Olivia back and that makes this installment super-special. The fuck are those people on? BAMF Olivia has been present every episode except the previous one. What I saw in this episode was a unreasonably shitty Olivia, who was unnecessarily harsh with a very nice and helpful lady right until the end of their encounter and a supposedly brilliant FBI agent being duped by the oldest trick, since roads were invented. Good thing her captors were even more idiotic than her!

    Ripping off The Matrix isn't going to make this season cool, enough with that!

    "This probably could have been a good episode if it had different writers, producers, director, key grip, and editors."

    Change "episode" for "series" and I'll agree with you. What this show could have been, my Dog!

    1. I haven't even checked out any other reviews but from previous episodes, I'd say that it just comes down to only fanboys being left watching.

  3. I just checked Ryan McGee's review at HitFix, because he is the only one (other than yours truly) who doesn't kiss this show's ass. And he was more positive about the episode but also pointed out many of the same problems.

    So, if you want to follow someone else who isn't insane, follow what he has to say about FRINGE.

  4. Ha, ha, OMG you always make me laugh with your reviews of Fringe...
    Last night I was so desperate while watching what has the show I knew and loved turned into so I simply relaxed and willed myself to laugh at all the silly things writers have done... I decided to be positive rather than noticing every little thing I didn't like because there were many of them. So here are the funniest moments:
    1-Teabagging of Windmark
    2-Windmark pressing the elevator button thrice like a regular irritated human. We're not so different, you and I... :)
    3-Olivia falling for the oldest car trick in history while being paranoid to a nice psychic lady... Say what? The Dunhamator kicked ass in 1x11 Bound, and was taken so easily by two skinny scrawny guys... Nah.
    4-What happened to your face? I just got a little banged up. :)
    Comic Con: What is your greatest lesson
    Anna Torv: I think my greatest lesson is to come. :)
    See the Pattern?
    5-Walter stitching up Peter's shoulder:
    Shirtless Peter! Whoooa!
    Thank you J.Wyman for Joshua Jackson's bare chest.
    6-Bow before the ElectroMagnet! Magnets in Olivia's tea? Ring the Bell, anyone? ;)
    -You're not one of them, Peter, you're one of us... Emotions are our strength not our weakness... She lives in us... Poor and cheesy.
    I was bothered by the self-performed surgery, partially because the improbability of anyone surviving something like that, and partially because I was eating a sandwich at the time.
    -Who would've thought that watching the guy cut the back of his own neck and bleed copiously onto his palm can be so romantic? That's Fringe for you!
    -When Olivia handed him the bullet I seriously thought he was going to say: Oh, thanks and stick it in the back of his neck instead of the tech. :)
    -Pacey Poof won't be losing his lustrous locks! (a fangirl in me swoons) :)
    -They LOVE each other! Awww.... Liv will now give Pacey a human kind of love aka they totally did it offscreen... :) Since Etta's place has finally been compromised, Walter and Astrid won't be getting much sleep in the FORMERLY HARWARD LAB (gotta love those letters suspended in the mid-air) because of their primal screams. Is there a new baby on the way?
    And that is how you turn the show into comedy and life is good again. :)
    Oh, and in the next week's promo for 5x09 Black Blotter: They're off to see the wizard, the wonderful wizard of Oz. Walter needs brain, Peter needs heart, Astrid needs courage and Olivia needs ruby slippers. :)
    Even though I can't bring myself to stop watching until the end, I have to admit that my Fringe isn't that cool. :( If it were it wouldn't be on the verge of cancellation.

  5. Agreed- this episode didn't do much for me either and I usually give Fringe a lot of leeway. This one just felt like it did nothing and dragged out everything it was doing for far longer than necessary. Plus, drone Peter was really starting to grate on my nerves, glad normal Peter will be back next week! And when Olivia got jumped by those highway bandits it really felt idiotic, and like they were pointlessly trying to elongate this episode- especially with the ease with which she orchestrated that escape. What kind of idiot criminals leave someone tied up with rope in a room full of rusty machinery and sharp drill bits!

    1. You touched on something I meant to shit on but forgot. Why would anyone leave someone tied up OUT OF SIGHT?

    2. Out of sight in a room where virtually everything could be made into some kind of homemade weapon- dumbest kidnappers/bounty hunters? ever!

  6. The thing that gets me is how Olivia loves her daughter more as a concept than as a human being. I've had the hardest time buying her grief over Etta's death, because while she had the opportunity, she didn't give a rat's ass about her. She was the passive receptacle of Etta's attempts to connect with her, to which she would respond with her trademark constipated expression of pain, but she did nothing to reciprocate. Seeing that behavior, I had no trouble believing her, when she said she felt conflicted about being a mother and that she didn't really appreciate Etta, while she had her. Then she made the same mistake, when she had a second chance with her adult daughter.

    However, ever since Etta's death, she has been invoking her name at the slightest provocation. "Etta would want this", "Etta would want that", "We're fighting for Etta", blah blah blah... and it gets on my nerves, because she didn't know her. She didn't care to get to know her in the first place and now she's using and abusing Etta's name to get what she wants.

    She's not the only one, because Peter has been doing it too, but Peter's relationship with her was different. He behaved like a father, utterly happy to be back with his daughter and going out of his way to show his love for her. So, as douche-y as it is to invoke her name for his own needs, at least he earned it.

    I wish the writers tried to please more people than the shippers, but maybe they make the largest chunk of the audience at this point and it would be unwise to piss them off if they don't want to end up with even more ridiculous ratings. That doesn't mean I didn't hate that last scene. It's not so much that they ended that arc (although I was enjoying it), but how they ended it. The sappiness of it all. I'm trying to cling to the idea, that it was his love for Etta, that brought him to his senses, the fear of losing his feelings for her and that it wasn't about Olivia. That's the only way I can find it more acceptable. Slightly.

    I wish it had been Walter, who brought him off the ledge and not Olvia, but he has become a non-factor in this love story ever since S4. This was a lost opportunity to show that the Bishop Boys still matter.

    1. One of my biggest problem with Olivia this season is that she talks about her daughter in the way you would expect someone who had murdered their kid, is lying about it, and is pretending to care about them would.

    2. That's actually a very good analogy, LOL!

    3. TO Geek Furious:

      That is how Peter is reacting with his silly Observer Tech and revenge, all to make certain that Josh Jackson does not have to act, better to be a robot, easy for him.

      Shocking that Jackson actualy moved his head like an Observer? Well an Observer is an Actor, every extra on the set moves like an Observer.

      Olivia Dunham is the only one who actually did the grieveing for a child she did not even know, watch.

      And thanks to Wyman who loves his Josh, Anna was forced to play the caring wife , and not allowed to do a thing woth the death of her daughter.

      Or did you miss the lousiy writing Olivia gets, to busy basging Anna,

      I wonder what she did to you, or are you being paid by Josh Jackson?

    4. Do you know what's the best of this? That I know how butthurt you are by all the praise Joshua Jackson is getting. I can see an ulcer in your near future :D

    5. Since you want to trash josh and the people who appreciate him, let me tell you something

      Do you really think that because Anna wears a red wig and smile more that she is Emmy worthy? Any actor can do that.

  7. This is what Walter had to say to Observer Peter this episode:

    - Peter! You made a promise! You have a duty to me!
    - Peter, your brain is changing! (- Peter: Duh doy!)

    That's it? From the man that failed to save his son, so he destroyed universes to try and save an alternate version, but caused his death instead? The man who has struggled for years with his own hubris (crap, how I hate that word), who has unique insight into what Peter is going through right now and he had nothing to offer? No piece of wisdom? This is why Fringe fails, the writers forget every time what's important. Maybe it wouldn't have worked either and Peter would still need Olivia to bring him off the ledge, but at least it would have been an amazingly meaningful scene.

    1. Yeah... the writers clearly went into this season with a very tiny bit of story to tell and were going to tell that story even if it didn't make much sense when you considered all that had happened before.

      Much like the CHUCK writers in season 5.

    2. When the Fringe show began on TV four years ago, many people were complaining about scientific inaccuracies and illogical things that were happening, plot holes and all that. The Fringe writers and the actors reiterated: Fringe is about science, but is essentially about love, about romantic love and family love and how humanity and human emotions are above science...
      Up to the end of season 3 they were good with showing that love on the screen.
      Here, in season 5, I just don't feel anything anymore.
      Jackson and Torv are so out of sync... The scenes that are supposed to be emotional look awkward and leave me cold. They haven't been able to create the Peter Fauxilivia magic since season 3. I don't know why but it's awful seeing them struggle with their lines and facial expressions.
      WALTER! Not to mention Walter. Bishop boys were one of the main reasons I watched the show, those touching moments between father and son... You are completely right. Their scenes are right down meaningless and painful to watch. I actually cringed couple of times at what was happening on the screen in this episode.
      What a bad writing...

    3. To Evelyn,

      The writing is bad, for Olivia, all the time was spent on writing for Josh Jackson and John Noble, Olivia has not had a storyline since midseason 3, only Peter.

      If you have that as only storyline, and in the case of Olivia being lied to by Peter and humiliated by Peter and every time being the one that has to forgive him, and offer herself to him,
      see s3 with the shapeshifter thimg
      see S4 with the memory thing, in 3 episodes Peter rejected Olivia, but she still has to give up her life for Peter,
      and this season Olivia has now had 4 episodes in a row with the same lines over and over ,

      Wyman said that S5 would be about Olivias feelings, that should have been about Olivias backstory,
      but instead is again about Peter,

      and it seems that Olivias arc is to say as many times as possible I love you, I need you and I do not want to lose you to Peter,
      I feel very sorry for Anna Torv, who is brilliant, but has to do all the hard work for Jackson.

  8. Olivia Dunham is a great character thanks to Anna Torv, who is amazing. The writers never gave her decent material, not to develop the character, but this season is the worst.

    Olivia has been forced to do all the grieving, Anna Torv has been doing all the ungrateful work with 4 episodes the same lines , as she has to keep running after lying and deceiving Peter, 4 episodes the same I do not want to lose you, I need you I love you,
    that is an insult to the character Olivia and to the Actress Anna Torv.

    Meanwhile all the writing goes to Wymans favourites Josh Jackson and John Noble, see his recent inetrviews and twitter.
    So Noble needs his Emmy, for what, for playing the same poor feel sorry for me Walter, and I am losing my brains Walter.
    What about some guts Noble and play the nasty Walter that used chilren , like Olivia,
    would have given Olivia a great story arc, but thanks to Noble blocking that , Olivia is now Peters wife.

    Jackson has had so many great story arcs, and has been cebtral with Noble so much, but he did a spin in the media complaining when finally Anna got some decent material in S3.

    Josh Jackson is a mediocre actor, his Peter Obeserver is ridiculous, he gets compliments because for once he moves his head, and for talking monotome, he alwaus talks monotome.
    This is the same Jackson who had to bash Anna for Bellivia, well if he manages to play Nina Sharp, he can talk.

    Anna Torv is aesome she has created multiple versions of Olivia with little backstory, and this seson has been forced to play the emotional wall only without getting the writing for that,
    every scene she had, deserves an Emmy, watch her greeting Etta, the scenes with Etta and the loyalist , with Broyles, with Nina, her pain in epi 4.

    1. Anna Torv was great in season 3. So-so in season 4. Shit in season 5.

  9. to GEEK FURIOUS Saw you tweet at IGN, how pathetic.

    Everyone knows your pals with Josh Jackosn and bashing Anna is your fave occupation.
    Wich is sad if you pretend to be a reviewer.

    Maybe you should just watch and learn to value great cting , instead of rehashing your prejudice over and over again.

    Every second on screen Anna Torv is brilliant, she plays Olivia Dunham, within that character you react, but you want her to be a hysterical housewife.

    Olivia Dunham is great character, solely because Anna Torv is awesome actress.

    1. How does everyone know I am pals with Josh Jackson when I shit on his fanboys last year for complaining about his screentime?

      And I wrote a glowing recap of season 3 where I proclaimed Anna Torv a "revelation!" But since then, she's gone deeper and deeper into the tank of stiff, boring, and uninspired performances.

      You are nothing but a loopy apologist for Anna Torv. And anyone who thinks she has been "brilliant" during "every second on screen" isn't worth debating. You have no taste.

    2. uh dude you somehow managed to call her a revelation without actually praising her because you still wrote a ton of crap about her at the same time. negative compliment.

      i dont think she is at her best this season but she is definitely not the worst actress ever if she has proved herself on a few occasions. i think you sometimes go out of your way to bash her.

    3. I praised her where she earned it. I trashed her where she earned it. See, unlike you I'm not an apologist. I call it as I see it. Not the way you see it.

      And I never called her the worst actress ever. Not even close to it. But her character is a mess this season and Torv isn't making it any easier to watch the mess the writers are making of her. And that is why I took IGN to task for nominating her. It's ridiculous. Are they even watching the show this season?

    4. hey, i am not the troll who is saying she's brilliant every second on screen so no need to call me an apologist.

      i am also not a fan of the way they are handling the character right now. so the material is bad and torv just isnt one of those actors who can make bad material work. but if people still want to nominate her because you know for now it is her last chance or they havent quite lost the respect they had for her like you then so what? it wouldnt irk me so much to see someone get any sort of appreciation unless i really hated that person.

    5. You can nominate her all you want, and I'm going to ask you how high you are when you do it. It has nothing to do with hate. It has to do with legitimacy.

    6. it's a little poll on a website that is mainly for gaming anyway though. if she wins (emphasis on the if) she is going to get nothing out of it. if she had been nominated for an emmy or an actual award you would have been welcome to react in this way.

      it really isnt a big deal.

    7. Mainly for gaming? Do you even know what IGN is? They are a massive entertainment media group owned by News Corp.

      MASSIVE being the operative word.

    8. yes, i do actually and i know they're big. i happen to be a gamer who has been visiting the site regularly for years. you are only going to find gamers there. no one goes there just to check out their tv or film reviews, you know.

    9. of course. as always your word is final and the rest of us are just plain idiots. i bow down to your greatness!

      over and out.

    10. When you say dumb shit, it is easy to feel superior.

  10. OMG the real Anna Torv troll finally made it here! Now we have both Patty and this disturbing individual on this blog. HGF, your life is complete now :P

    1. Really, if you compliment Anna Torv you get this?

      If you read the comments of GeekFurious, HGF is the biggest troll, and this is under the < I am a reviewer> pretence.

      Everything that is being said on this page by HGF is trolling and bashing, no foundation,
      and on twitter as well,

      That is truly pathetic and sad.Even more if he gets paid for it.

    2. The only troll is you. I am very fair with my criticism. Torv is shit right now. Simple as that.

    3. HGF doesn't contaminate as many reviews as he can find with a disturbing obsession for an actress, while bashing her costars with some sick shit he invented. You do that. You have formed this idea in your head about the imaginary injustices Anna Torv has been suffering in a show THAT HAS MADE HER INTERNATIONAL KNOWN. HGF doesn't think the other actors and the world owe her deference and that they should go out of their way to express how wonderful he thinks she is. You do. YOU are the troll. Get it in your head.

    4. Also, even if I am best friends with Josh and the godfather of his secret love child, that doesn't mean I would trash Anna Torv just for the hell of it. I gave her the respect I think she earned in season 3. I also stuck up for her at times in season 4 when some people were bashing her (and if you go back through those comment sections, bashed Jackson for bitching about his role in season 4).

      But I refuse to pretend someone is doing a good job when they aren't. And she isn't. Simple as that.

      Though, I liked part of her performance in that freaky-skin-people episode.

  11. Think it is missing from passion in her acting it must be due to his character being decreased since the third season in favor of Joshua Jackson. i think that as if they thought a strong female character didn't could carry the show - or that a stronger, more in-charge male would improve ratings.

  12. The best actor on Fringe is and forever will be the one and only John Noble.
    There is no Fringe without him.

  13. It's kinda pathetic that John and Anna gets so much love and admiration but the moment Joshua Jackson gets praise, some annoying ass Anna fan has to complain about it. And please, so josh gets praise and people automatically accuse those people of being FRIENDS with josh?

  14. I'm always surprised when people have more problems with Torv's acting than they do Jacksons.
    Joshua has been good this season but for most of the show he's been a wooden face non entity. Go back and watch some of his important scenes and he brings nothing.
    Anna brings it usually when she's required to. Has she been great this season? I wouldn't say so but I wouldn't say she's been terrible either. She's brought some emotion to Olivia when she's needed to. That's basically all she's been asked to do so far this season.
    What's the problem?!

    1. The fact that you ask "what's the problem" makes responding pointless.

  15. As a person who has never seen an episode would it be worth taking a look at? PS please don't get angry at me because I have not seen an episode.

    1. This particular season of Fringe, just like season 4, hasn't been very good... However, the best episodes are in the second part of season two and in the first half of the season three... You could watch the first and the seconds seasons in their entirety and then see the first 7 or 8 episodes of season 3... Those are the best ones on Fringe... I wouldn't recommend you to jump into season 5 all of a sudden... It would be very confusing for you, and the quality of the plot and acting isn't so good now as it used to be.

    2. Watch seasons 2 and 3 and skip the rest.

  16. Start watching the last 2 episodes of S1, but skip S4 and S5.