Review of Fringe (2008 -2013)

How was it I totally missed out on watching Fringe (2008 -2013)? Before my google search for FBI shows to review, I don’t recall ever hearing about this procedural sci-fi series created by JJ Abrams. I loved and viewed every episode of Alias and Lost, so why not Fringe?

Here’s the premise:
FBI Special Agent Olivia Dunham is assigned to the bureau’s Fringe Division, in which she investigates unexplained phenomena. Assisting Olivia in her investigations are once-institutionalized scientist Dr Walter Bishop, his jack-of-all-trades son, Peter, and FBI Junior Agent Astrid Farnsworth. As the team investigates cases of science gone awry, they discover connections to their own past and to a parallel universe. As the team explores life and solves cases in these interconnected worlds, new discoveries and complications continue to arise.

With plots featuring shared dream states, rapid aging, radioactive weaponry, alternate earths, genetic experiments, and mutation, the series made no attempt to follow FBI policy and procedures.

Fortunately, the show’s writers did not try to straddle fantasy and reality, which meant I could just sit back and enjoy the show without having to yell at the TV monitor, “That would never happen!” Because none of it would.

Just like with The X-Files, which I have also enjoyed watching but didn’t review for FBI accuracy, I can’t critique Fringe for not being what it never tried to be.

The show stars many well-known actors. Anna Torv, who most recently portrayed FBI consultant Dr. Wendy Carr in Mindhunter, played SA Dunham. Veteran actor Lance Reddick played the role of her superior (Reddick was the LA Police Chief in the Bosch). Leonard Nimoy played Dr. William Bell and even Meghan Markle showed up in a couple of episodes as a junior FBI agent.

Do you remember Fringe? Perhaps I missed it because I was away on assignment in an alternate universe.

That’s not too far from the truth. I confess to bingeing the first season and several episodes from the other seasons, before time traveling to the series finale.

I streamed Fringe for free on Amazon Prime, but it’s also currently available on HBO Max.

You can watch the official trailer for here.

Check out FBI Myths and Misconception: A Manual for Armchair Detectives to read more about how the FBI is portrayed in books, TV, and movies.

Jerri Williams

View posts by Jerri Williams
Jerri Williams, a retired FBI agent, author and podcaster, jokes that she writes about the FBI to relive her glory days. After 26 years with the Bureau specializing in major economic fraud and corruption investigations, she calls on her professional encounters with scams and schemers to write police procedurals inspired by true crime FBI cases in her Philadelphia FBI Corruption Squad crime fiction series featuring flawed female FBI agent Kari Wheeler. Jerri’s FBI for Armchair Detectives nonfiction series enables readers to discover who the FBI is and what the FBI does by debunking misconceptions about the FBI in books, TV, and movies. Her books are available as ebooks, paperbacks, and audiobooks wherever books are sold. She’s also the host of FBI Retired Case File Review, a true crime podcast with more than 250 episodes available for free on all popular podcast apps.

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