Fulvue Drive-In.com
Current Reviews
In Stores Soon
In Stores Now
DVD Reviews, SACD Reviews Essays Interviews Contact Us Meet the Staff
An Explanation of Our Rating System Search  
Category:    Home > Reviews > Action > Crime > Detective > Science Fiction > TV > Fringe – The Complete Fourth Season (2011 – 2012/Warner Blu-ray)

Fringe – The Complete Fourth Season (2011 – 2012/Warner Blu-ray)


Picture: B+     Sound: B     Extras: C     Episodes: C+



Loved Season One, was disappointed by Season Two, and watched Season 3 fizzle instead of keeping me on the fringe of my seat.  As mentioned in my previous reviews of Fringe I had high hopes for this series, seeming to be a good candidate to fill the void X-Files left behind; sadly this has not happened.  Fringe, whereas interesting enough, lacks the sophistication and suspense X-Files had, often times feeling disjointed and irregular.  With a no holds, everything including the kitchen sink take on science fiction Fringe has managed to include an insane amount of elements that leaves the viewer asking, what’s next?  In some cases I found this interesting and endearing, but mostly since there are no constraints on the series almost anything can be explained away by alternate universes, time travelers, aliens, and shape shifters.


In Season 4, Fringe has become so deep-rooted in its own mythos and story structure that it is starting to appear jumbled; and whereas I enjoy reckless abandon it may have become too abstract for its own good.  That is to say the layers and layers of mystery that the series has added has in truth isolated itself from new viewers and left some long time viewers lost in the mix.  Some have compared Fringe’s story structure to that of LOST with the mysterious plot points that will be revealed as time goes on, but in this reviewer’s opinion Fringe does not execute nor answer its secrets nearly as well.  Though in the end LOST didn’t do so great either.


Fringe opens in Season 4 as if the events that ended Season 3 are just a “matter of fact;” that is to say, that is the way things are now and everything must move forward.  That is the writers taking a big risk and an audience having faith that answers will eventually be given.  It is nice to see that Season 4 didn’t chicken out and write off the cliff hanger finale of Season 3, but concurrently if concrete answers were not given throughout the season (at least to some degree) it may have pushed viewers away.


From here we are delivered a season that showcases an alternate universe within a universe (not to mention the other alternate universe we already know exists) where certain characters ‘never existed,’ which has totally changed some events and in turn the personalities/actions of the other characters.  It is an odd, admirable, interesting take on the ‘what if so and so never existed’ story arch, but again it becomes convoluted and hard to follow at times.  Not that you have to be a genius to view Fringe, but it is hard to remember ever event and the writers never come out and give an answer; the viewer must be very conscience of what is going on and take visual cues.  Personally I find the series more and more frustrating, but there are hardcore fans out there (perhaps smarter than I) that find the series to be perfection.  So for long time fans continue watching, but newcomers start with Season One for sure.


The technical features of this season are in line with the previous Blu-ray releases.  The picture is a 1080p, AVC Encoded 1.78 X 1 Widescreen presentation that has nice inky blacks, bright colors, and an overall solid clarity.  The skin tones are admirable, but I found texture to be lacking or even washed at times.  The sound is a 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio (a clear upgrade from previous Dolby Tracks) lossless mix that is very nice though I didn’t find anything too special about it.  Rears are mildly active, but most sound comes from the front.  I found the musical scores to be pleasing as they added suspense to episodes with their booming bass and pulsating design, along with the few jolting moments here and there.


The extras include the following:

·         The Culture of Fringe (round table with the creators/writers of the series, along with some scientist)

·         A World Without Peter Featurette

·         The Observers Featurette

·         Excerpt from Behind the Fringe & Beyond the Comic Book (Joshua’s Jackson ideas for the comic series)

·         Gag Reel

·         Have you seen Walter Lately?



-   Michael P. Dougherty II


 Copyright © MMIII through MMX fulvuedrive-in.com