Fringe Fringe

Goodbyes are hard. Saying goodbye to a show as wondrous at its peak as Fringe would have been a lot harder if Fox had gone the normal network route and cut its run short several seasons ago, which given its fringe ratings would have been understandable if not forgivable (and many still can't forgive Fox for having wielded the ax so mercilessly in the past to other shows of a fantastic ilk, most particularly Firefly).

Fringe's miracle fifth and final season, focused on a future-shock war for survival against the coldly oppressive Observers, was by no means my favorite. But Friday's two-hour finale brought the show back to basics, with action, sacrifice, clever nods to Fringe's freaky past, many flashes of humor and wit — "Because it's cool" (oh, how I'll miss the childlike awe of Walter Bishop) — and, most crucially, the emotional expressions of familial love and deep devotion that not only distinguished Fringe from its genre peers but, in the form of Anomaly Boy/"child Observer" Michael, would ultimately save humanity.

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