“Why I Love Fringe” Entries
Several weeks ago, we asked fans to submit stories, artwork, poems, or videos expressing why they love Fringe. Here are the masterpieces we received.
Written by Kayla
Why I love Fringe
I joined Fringe when it began. I was that wide-eyed twelve-year-old who watched with her mother and spent most of the allotted hour with her eyes shielded from the hook ups, exposed eyeballs, and strippers; but I loved it. The storylines were complex and interesting and all the actors were good looking, even if my untrained eyes didn’t notice Polivia until they were practically on top of each other. It was my first fandom, and only through my obsession with Fringe that I found other great things, such as Doctor Who and Firefly.
Fringe has become my constant companion through the turbulence of pubescent change. My middle school was new to me when the show began and it continued until high school was familiar. I’m a sophomore now that it’s ending, and it feels like I’m losing a friend – a friend who’s been threatening to leave annually for as long as I’ve known her, regularly disappears for long swaths of time, and sent me an invitation to her going-away party ten months in advance. I’ve got nothing but dread for February second, and I know everyone else feels the same, but September twenty-eighth sings a different tune. The beginning of the final season fills me with the same hope as the beginning of every season; only my latest hope is intensified by desperation. I want my friend to get the send-off she deserves. I want our final stint together to be our best yet.
It takes trust to hope for things like that. Never have I trusted strangers like I trust Fringe’s showrunners, now showrunner. Although they, like the fandom, have been slowly decreasing in numbers, my faith has only grown as they continually prove themselves. I know JH Wyman will wrap up our show nicely because I can’t afford to believe he could ruin it. (If he ruins my show I’m kidnapping his alternate to clean up his mess.) We’ve survived so much that a sour end could be worse than premature cancellation.
Our fandom has accomplished so much, too, with such small size. How anyone could not love Fringe is beyond me, but our numbers have only shrunk over the years. Sure, we rise a few points on special occasions, but only social networking gives any hint that Fringe fans exist in this universe. We’re dragging the forerunners of a new ratings system behind us, and we can only hope to leave a brighter future for science fiction shows when we go because FOX saw us. They didn’t see it with Firefly ten years ago, but they saw it with us. More importantly, they listened, because whenever we shrank in numbers, our enthusiasm expanded to fill the gap, and we shouted. The network invested in Fringe from the start, they heard us, and they kept us going. If we had remained individuals, our show would’ve only had two seasons, but our fandom is more than the sum of its parts. We’re few but proud, and above all we’re loud. The Sherlockians may be The Fandom That Waited, and Potterheads can keep The Fandom That Lived. We are The Fandom That Grew, and that has to be enough.
Created by @GodsGirl1989
Written by Elizabeth Koepke (@antapae)
Walter Bishop, Or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Fringe
When I first watched the pilot for Fringe when it aired live, it was not born out of my own desire. Certain family members were interested in the show and cajoled me into joining them. Back then I was only interested in the glyphs used to transition into commercials (I have to admit, here and now, that I did not know the glyphs were a code to be broken until the second season, long after someone else had deciphered them.)
So I sat dutifully with my family, reserving judgment for the show, and then we, the audience, were formally introduced to Walter Bishop. A man institutionalized for years, a man estranged from his own son, a brilliant man who had been labeled insane and dangerous.
I found myself thinking of my father.
Let me back up a bit. When I was nine years old and living with my family, my father suffered some sort of break while we were living in Hawaii. When we returned to Colorado, our true home, he was diagnosed paranoid schizophrenic. His passions were mathematics, physics and astronomy but he worked in engineering and surveying to support his family (my mother, my two younger sisters and myself). I spent most of my youth frustrated and angry at my dad.
The unkempt beard shot with gray. Nervous tics visible in his shaking hands. The halting speech, easy distractions that kept him from staying on task. The similarities kept me watching the screen, but I couldn’t tell you exactly why. My father and I weren’t close at that time and I wasn’t even sure when I had spoken to him last.
Because of Walter Bishop I continued to watch Fringe, week after week. I kept coming back to the show because of him. I found more and more similarities. Besides the obvious passion for science, there were many other things: his love for the strange and absurd, his mood swings between outbursts of impatient anger and apathy towards anything at all. My father was also passionate about music; in fact I would say he and Walter had the same taste. Psychedelic rock, jazz, classical music were all their favorites. His scientific mind also harbored a similar fear and respect for God, something that we argued about constantly, as I was an atheist in the making.
On his good days, my dad was just as mischievous as Walter. He loved satire and outrageous examples of irony, but he also enjoyed anything that was nonsensical for its own sake. There was also a common lack of shame and a predilection for running around the house in his bathrobe and tighty whities (or worse). I found Walter’s high expectations for Peter to also be quite familiar. And picture this: being a twelve year old girl, going to Walter and asking for help with your math homework. It went about as well in real life as you can imagine. My dad’s good intentions often morphed into rambling tangents that had nothing to do with my assignment.
When Walter volunteered to go back to St. Claire’s and suffered as a result, I wept. My father only went to an institution once voluntarily, but I had long departed for college, and my mother was long gone with my sisters, living elsewhere and already divorced from my father. I cannot pretend that I understood much of what was going on back then, but it is only now that I can try to understand what it was like for my dad and the horrors he suffered because of his symptoms. It wasn’t until I was in college that I educated myself on my father’s illness and understood what the diagnosis really meant. Even now it is worrisome as my father struggles to manage his symptoms and his doctors try different medications to help him.
By the time I had seen the episode “Ability” I was hooked forever on Fringe. Besides the wonder and awe I felt, and my sneaking suspicion that there was much more than met the eye, there was dear old Walter. I never missed an episode afterwards, and found myself entirely devoted to understanding Fringe. As the show continued, I realized this was a story about Walter’s past crimes and his redemption. Subconsciously I started analyzing my relationship with my father. Surely if so many people found themselves able to forgive Walter for his past deeds, I could forgive my dad for something out of his control. Right? There wasn’t much in my childhood that was easy, and my dad and I had argued so many times I had lost count. But I was finding it harder and harder to be upset with my dad. I wasn’t sure if I was mad at him or if I was mad at the circumstances that ruled our lives.
In the episode “Snakehead” we see Walter struggling to be independent and function in the world without assistance. It made my heart ache (as I am sure it did for others) to see him struggle. It constantly reminds me of the struggles my father is going through and all that he has lost. It also reminds me that I can be there for him, and though we are not as close as we could be, I would say that our relationship has evolved for the better. And without giving away too many spoilers I have to say that the white tulip always serves as a reminder that forgiveness can come from anywhere and can be freely given at any time, and that it is a powerful gift indeed.
Tell us why you love Fringe in the comments section.
Happy Fringe Friday everyone!
-Mary and Louise