Fringe has finally dropped onto a streaming service — no paying per episode. It’s now available on HBO Max, and if you’ve never seen it, you’re missing some of the best sci-fi TV out there. Period.
Here’s a rundown. Agent Olivia Dunham works for the FBI. There’s a series of X-File-ish events going on called “The Pattern,” and she thinks only one person can put the pieces together: a scientist named Walter Bishop. The only problem? Walter Bishop’s been in an asylum for years, with only family allowed to visit. But somehow, she twists his sketchy son, Peter, into letting her visit, then springing him out.
Peter’s brilliant. He once faked his way into a professorship at MIT; he’s on the run from some crime syndicate unknown, and when the show begins, he’s negotiating a backroom deal in Iraq. And he absolutely loathes his dad, who’s not only a mad scientist, he’s also… not quite right. Think obsessive rootbeer cravings in the middle of a case.
But in the world of Fringe, he can also science up dead people’s thoughts, so it’s sort of a toss-up.
This unlikely trio’s thrown some serious X-File-y craziness that would send Mulder running and Scully giving up her skepticism. Meanwhile, a scary corporation’s lurking. Olivia’s boss is hiding information. And Peter has to stick around to corral the dad he hates.
Fringe really gets going around its fifth episode. Watch out for David Robert Jones (easter egg: David Bowie’s real name). As its science gets more and more… fringe, the show becomes more and more fun. There’s a cow, Walter concocting his own LSD, Peter confronting his demons, serious tension between Olivia and Peter… yikes.
It’s a total must-watch — so much so that it’s hard not to ruin it for new viewers. Fringe ranks right up there with The Magicians as one of my favorite shows of all time (and while The Magicians has some magic moments with the Library, Massive Dynamic beats it out for sheer terror).
And if you’re in it for the looks factor, both Anna Torv (Olivia) and Peter (Josh Jackson) bring the hotness to Fringe. John Noble, nerd-famous for his role as Denethor in The Lord of the Rings trilogy, is Walter. There’s some serious acting chops here.
Nothing out there’s more binge-worthy right now. Promise.