This Friday Fringe will end its somewhat improbable five season run of exploring alternate universes, time travel, mutant freaks, mad scientists, and pretty much every other fun science fiction trope except for extraterrestrials with a proper two hour series finale. Fringe, surprisingly, was given one final renewal for this fifth and final thirteen episode season. Before that, the show’s status was so tenuous that two different final scenes for Season Four were filmed: one to be aired in case the season finale turned out to be the series finale and one to be aired if the show was renewed.
Season Five has been somewhat divisive among the Fringe fan community. Much like the controversial final season of Lost, the writers have chosen to use the final season to focus on a story set in yet another alternate version of reality with alternate versions of our beloved characters who are (arguably) not the same people who we’ve come to love and care about for the length of the series thus far. In the final episode of the series before the finale, “The Boy Most Live,” the show made a promising move to address some of these concerns and unify the current iterations of the characters with the ones we know and love so to speak. For the finale itself, it looks like the writers are engaging in as much of what critics like to call “fan service” as they possibly can. The final two hours look to have callbacks to virtually every fan favorite character, concept, and episode from the entire run of the series as well as copious references to this really being the end, lots of crying and goodbyes etc.
As ace AV Club TV recapper Noel Murray notes above, Fringe also looks poised to join the ranks of the many science fiction shows that end with a “the Fifth Element is love” type of resolution. (Come to think of it, that’s what the Season Four finale ultimately was as well.) Most science fiction sagas end with some sort of love conquers all message or else some move towards religion or mysticism. And from some hints last week and from this trailer, Fringe looks likely to go a similar route. Still, whatever happens with the finale I think Fringe fans should be happy that they got far more of the show than it seemed likely they’d get at many points, and bask in how far the series has come since it’s humble beginnings as an undistinguished X-Files clone.
Watch, and reminisce, and cry below: