SFF Weekend Breakdown : FRINGE

I am so glad I don’t have a real social life. This allows me to indulge in science fiction and fantasy shows and for the last few weekends, it’s been heaven. Fringe Fridays, Doctor Who Saturdays and Game of Throne Sundays.

Unfortunately, this past Friday marked the end of the season for Fringe so I guess I’ll have to do something else that night now.

*****
Spoilers Ahead
*****

So lets start with the season finale of Fringe. From what I’ve read on the intarweebs, this was to be a series finale had it not been renewed for season four. Had it been the former, I would have broken all the glass items in my living room, including my TV. I’ve never been so upset with an ending since the Twin Peaks series or the false earth episode of BSG. Those two masterpieces illicited an amazing emotional response. Fringe was the same.

Losing Peter to an inter-dimensional abyss on the premise that he never existed made my blood boil. “He served his purpose.” What? I can possibly understand him disappearing after connecting the two worlds, but to never have existed doesn’t make any sense. It creates the ultimate paradox. Granted, I know it’s a TV show, but really, I spent my three years with this show only to be told the entire product was a lie? There was no payoff. If Peter had never been born, how did Walter start the events that lead them to where they are today? Is the season opener in September going to show Fauxlivia, Walternate, Walter and Olivia staring at each other witnessing the very first fringe event? If Peter never existed, how did Walternate start the machine if he and Fauxlivia’s baby never existed. Not to mention why bother having the observers prepare Walter to let go of a son he would never remember. It’s so messed up.

Stupid.

The only thing that could possibly make sense is a really interesting theory that states we create yet another world when we time travel. An off-shoot of the multiverse theory, every choice leads to a time line branch. No paradox is created because we start each world with a blank slate. So while Peter is erased from these two worlds, perhaps he exists in another.

What I would probably guess is that we’ll be spending a lot of time in the future with our cast, possibly with a Peter who still exists but who is not Peter. Hello, mind games. Regardless, I am very curious as to how they’ll solve this one.

Massive world-changing plot holes aside, John Noble needs an Oscar. I know, they don’t have Oscars for television, but he still deserves one. At the very least, he should get an Emmy and a Golden Globe for best ensemble cast. He plays what, six versions of himself now? The range of that man is incredible. We also saw very strong performances from Joshua Jackson, Anna Torv and Jasika Nicole. although, I will confess I was a bit taken aback at the aging. Joshua pulled off an older Peter, but the believability factor was just not there with Anna as almost 50 year old Olivia. Unless of course, there is just fantastic Oil of Olay products in 2021.

One of the more interesting questions the episode was whether or not I would procreate in the face of certain death. My initial answer was that if I knew the world was ending in my lifetime, I would not have children. It would weigh too heavily on my heart to know they would not have a full life and it would constantly be tinged with fear and imminent danger. Yet, this morning as I write this, I think my mind has changed.

A lot of the world complained we were offering so much media coverage of the Royal wedding a week ago. Even I rolled my eyes, but as I watched the union of two people who actually look as though they love each other, it softened the horrible things that have been plaguing the news headlines of late. It actually brought a happy tear to my eye. I’m not saying we should forget or push tragedy under the carpet, but its in those moments of happiness and joy that hope springs forth and propels us to continue.

Having children in the future world of Fringe would be a comfort and a continual driving force to try to change the future for their benefit. It also makes the strong point that as bad as we think this real world is right now, things can be exponentially worse. We create fear and are a fatalistic race of beasts. Imagine if there was certain proof that world was to actually end in our lifetimes.

Regardless, I will be tuning in come September to see where JJ and the crew decide to take me.

Dear FRINGE – You Have Been Put On Notice

On Facebook, I posted brief thoughts on my initial WTF reaction to Fringe last Friday. The majority of the episode was entertaining, but the last five minutes of the show made me cringe.

Warning: Spoilers ahead.

I’ve read in various places that the show finally jumped the shark.  I don’t view it as such. Fringe is the type of show where if you have any intelligence what-so-ever, you realize the science behind the plots is pretty bad. Sure, there are stable concepts on which things are built, but you pretty much have to take anything with a grain of salt. If I wanted a show based on real science, I’d watch Discovery or the Science Channel. I don’t tune into Fringe for the educational value. I faithfully watch every episode because it’s fun. It’s a great story.

It’s a show that relies on its viewers to suspend belief in reality, while still utilizing their core intelligence.  I admire it for that purpose. I wouldn’t know what the hell Walter was doing or saying if I wasn’t a well-read individual. Sure, it would look cool, but if I weren’t a fan of those basic and much expanded on theories of science, I would miss half of the show.

Where the writers ruined it for me was Bellivia. If you’ve watched last week’s episode, Walter is desperate to bring William Bell back. He feels stunted in his current role to help save his version of the universe. Long story short, William worked on a project called ‘soul magnets’.  According to the ‘conservation of energy’ theory, energy can neither be created nor destroyed. Working upon those principles, Bell and Bishop theorize that human souls are made up of that same energy. Therefore, when you die, your soul remains somewhere in this universe. They then hypothesized that if there were some way to draw that energy back to an object, you could re-awaken the consciousness of said person, technically bringing them back from death.

See, the concept based on scientific principle and yet stretched for entertainment purposes. That’s what I love about the show.

Bishop rings a bell and he and Nina wait patiently for William to show up. Meanwhile in Olivia and Peter land, Olivia pauses as Bell’s consciousness is drawn into her body. Again, one of those, “He must have set this up when she was a child,” moments. I could have lived with this. I knew what was happening. I am not stupid. Yet, the writers felt they had to take it a step forward and have Anna Torv act out Leonard Nimoy’s voice as well, just so that the audience was sure it was his.

I could see this as a necessary step in a radio play. You don’t want to confuse the listener. However, Anna Torv is a pretty versatile actress. She could have pulled it off without resorting to vocal histrionics. My bullshit detector immediately went off. It was something I wasn’t willing to forgive. For everything that Fringe relies on me to believe, this was one thing I just couldn’t. Pulling in a floating consciousness would probably result in odd mannerisms, but the voice is part of the body. A body which no longer exists. Speech patters would definitely be there, but the voice really bugged the shit out of me.

Perhaps it comes down to one simple fact — Since Fringe relies on me to be intelligent to fully enjoy the show, why did the writers think I wasn’t smart enough to get that Olivia was instantly transformed into Bellivia? Please don’t lump me into the same demographic that finds Jersey Shore appealing.

Anyway, I usually give forms of entertainment a three strike policy. That episode for the reasons explained above was the first disappointment. Hopefully, it’s the last.

Japan

My heart is breaking with each story, picture and video coming out of Japan. I feel helpless as I hear the tales of those who could not heed the warnings. Tragic reports of the elderly who could not get out of their homes in the 25 minutes from earthquake to tsunami. Hospital workers who had to abandon patients as the wall of water came crashing through. Children ripped from the arms of their parents.

The devastation is horrifying.

I do hope we hear more stories of survival and rescue as the days continue. My thoughts and prayers are with the brave people of Japan. I also hope the world can pull together and help however they can.

When Size 22 Is Too Small

As I write this, I am staring at a picture of myself that I took just this morning. Fresh out of the shower and naked. Boy, have I been lying to myself. Drooping breasts meet the first of two rolls on my stomach forming some sort of grotesque Muppet eyes and a smile. Following it downward, I can’t see between my legs. A tuft of hair is swallowed by two gigantic thighs. Turning to the side so I could judge my rear end, it just gets worse. I am amazed that I was able to squeeze into an airplane seat this past weekend. The buckle barely fit. I am also astounded that I haven’t knocked over more small children when I suddenly turn around.

Size 22 jeans don’t fit anymore. In fact, none of my clothes do. As I stood there waiting for the timer to expire on my camera, I thought how horrible it would be to have to go buy, bigger clothes. The thought makes me sick to my stomach.

I am fat. I am gigantic. I am the heaviest I have ever been. I am scared. I am fed up. I am angry with myself. I wanted to type the word, “depressed” there for just a moment, but it’s not depression anymore.  I have been making excuses for myself for far too long and it’s time that they fucking stop.

I’ve attempted weight loss before and have been successful, but I usually stop as soon as progress is made. It is a hangup I can’t quite seem to understand. My first week of Weight Watchers yielded a seven pound loss. Seven pounds! I gave up the next week, perhaps thinking I was Supergirl and I could see those results without really trying. As with any yo yo diet, I go down and then get even heavier than I was to start with. Four years ago, I was hovering around 285.

My weight today is 320 lbs. You may throw up now in disgust. I already have.

So what’s the plan? I’m going to treat this like any 12 step program. Today I have truly admitted that I have a problem. I have rejoined Weight Watchers. I am planning out my meals for the week. I have rid the house of anything tempting. I am going to the gym tonight and tomorrow night and the next.

I have always been able to fight for things that I believe in. It’s high time that I starting believing in myself.

Bathroom Remodel Update

Things are progressing well and I think we’re still on target. Toilet was re-installed last night (Thank GOD), rest of the tiles on the wall were done this morning and Evan is now grouting. Once that’s done, a little bit of painting, drilling and hanging.

Weekend Bathroom Remodel

Some random person (a.k.a My Father): “You’re going to remodel the bathroom in a weekend?

Me: “Yep.”

SRP(AKA: MF): “But, how?!”

Me: “With the super powers of my contractor brother (a.k.a Your Son).”

Fade to black. Open on Kate’s bathroom at approximately 6:30 p.m Friday night.

Insert music montage of demo here.

I particularly like Chloe’s pose upon the bathroom floor as we took out her drinking fountain (a.k.a. the sink). She was very confused.

So we’re up early today and I will update with new pictures. Wish us luck!

Looking Out the Window of My Mother’s Hospital Room

Mom was admitted into the hospital on Sunday of last week, with what we thought was pneumonia and a coumadin bleed. After some concern by Pulmonary experts, she has undergone a few scans and procedures. She took a turn for the worse last night when her oxygen dropped and the threat of a respirator lingered. She has since calmed her coughing and bleed and today but the threat of intubation remains should she have another spell.  She’s asked me to transcribe her thoughts and update her condition when we can and the first post is below. I have instructed her to try and stay positive as you’ll see below.

(Copied from her site)

Frozen In The Snow Lie Roses Sleeping

January 12, 2011 | Filed Under Life | Leave a Comment

(Mom’s own words as transcribed by me)

I am about to enter surgery with some possibilty of relief or possibility of being scared to death. We are in the middle of a New England Blizzard and I am lying here in an ICU bed, meeting and greeting with doctors. My window is open and I am seeing furious wind-driven snow. Last night I was told I would be silent and I called my daughter and she drove through this, so she could hear my voice in person. She sits with me now typing my thoughts.
I face this procedure with fear, but also surrounded by great love.

I am confident that in the spring the roses will bloom and I will be here to witness and photograph them. There will be no picture today because the white screen perfectly expresses my feelings. The white screen is a picture of hope, love, and empty space to write the rest of my life and the future that I have. There is pure light and pure love.

Addendum for Kate:

The last twenty four hours have been an emotional roller coaster. There has been uncertain speculation coupled with moments of fear and then minutes of relief. Luckily in the past 14 hours, those minutes have been expanding.  The one thing that is of any certainty however, is the in-pouring of prayers and love. Thank you. She needs all the positive thoughts in the world right now, and I know we can give them to her.

Please feel free to leave her comments of support. Once we have some confirmed prognosis, or if she wants to talk a bit more, I will update the site.

An Open Letter to Those With a Voice

I don’t care who you are. I don’t care on what side of the political spectrum you stand. I don’t care about what network you utilize. Anyone of you who has ever spouted hate or misconceptions is partly at fault for this tragedy in Arizona. Sure, I realize you didn’t pull the trigger. You weren’t even there. Or wait, maybe you were. Maybe you attended in the thoughts of an unstable individual who after listening to such poisonous rhetoric couldn’t discern reality from fiction.

See, normally in the wake of such horrible news we shed our fear and disagreements only to identify which each other on a human level. We take care of each other.  Yet there is  small contingent of the populace that does not want to lay down their anger and fear of the other side. They’d rather spout more hate and confusion.

I am also not saying you are directly responsible for those thoughts and feelings, but take in mind that like any hunger, fear needs fuel to grow. Anger needs sustenance. You need to realize that because of your position, you help guide the feelings of this nation. My plea to you is that you start utilizing this immense power to start feeding hope.

If you are a voice of this nation in the media, politics, or talk show host, you need to think. If you know that people will follow you to the ends of the Earth, then I beg you to plead calm and reasoning. Evoke change in our systems through healthy debate and discourse. Challenging your readers/viewers/listeners to fight intolerantly instead of using their brains to solve problems sets the lowest common denominator back down to Neanderthal. We are better than this as a people, as a nation, as individuals. You are better than this in guiding us with your words.

It’s time to start showing it.

—-

Update: I had an interesting conversation with a friend about personal responsibility. While I am a strong advocate for that principle, I think it applies to everyone. For instance, I agree that stating the shooter was responsible for his actions. But I also would agree that people who have a world stage unto which they spout hatred and inflammatory statements are responsible for those words and how they are consumed.