Thank You, Joel Wyman


Dear Joel,

Though you will probably never see this, I feel I have to write it anyway. Fringe is the only show that's inspired me to design a knife, relearn how to draw so eventually I can create fan art, and write a blog post for 10 months, which is still unfinished at over 17,000 words because every time I try to edit it I add more. Fringe is also the only show that has ever made me lose sleep. Now it's the only one that has done so twice.
I was convinced, by the way the commercial for "Over There, Part 2" was edited, that Walter would be leaving. My favorite characters always seem to die, so I had no hope after he said "I never meant for any of this to happen." It felt like a goodbye. I loved this character so much after only two seasons, I was nervous and sleep deprived for the entire week. I've never felt like that with any show before. There was just something extraordinarily special about Fringe, but I knew I wouldn't be able to continue watching after it happened. It actually made me sick. Fun times.
Now I've had Yazoo playing in my head since the season premiere. That last, terrifically done scene kept me from sleeping well for five days. I would awake thinking of it after only a few hours. I kept playing this moment, the best of the series, over and over in my mind (and on the DVR until the damn thing screwed up again and erased it). Here it is, the culmination of everything the characters have struggled with for so long and it's devastating. While so many moments of Fringe have been unforgettable, this one somehow rose above all the rest with its sheer simplicity, deep meaning, peerless beauty, and, as someone said to me, pure poetry.
A broken man in a broken world sits in an abandoned taxi. When things seem at their lowest, when all is lost, music soothes him and a small, determined flower gives hope in the most artful scene in anything I've had privilege to witness. A wordless scene with an actor of endless talent and enormous heart, which maybe was breaking at that moment for the end, for this last chance to finish an exceptional show on its own terms, for gratefulness to the fans who rose up in defiance to give love and voice support. That could have been the end of the series right there...leaving us to assume that Walter regains his memories and our wonderful Fringe team wins, the world wins, and without another loss. Of course, it can't be that way as twelve more episodes follow, but it's a nice thought.
Please stop doing this to me. And please never stop. I am nervous about the series finale, the same way I was with all of the finales. One day I have faith you won't pull the rug out from under us and leave us curled up in the fetal position, and the next I'm sure that it can't possibly end well. I don't want to be moping around the house for days or weeks, spewing discontent on Twitter whenever I get the chance. I want Fringe to remain one of the few examples of beautiful, exciting storytelling that lived up to and somehow became more than everything it promised to be and will go down in television history as an experience not to be missed. I want it to be resilient, like that dandelion. I think it will, because, unlike other shows that I have loved and was ultimately disappointed by, Fringe has never once given me a reason to question that love. In the final moments I hope you give these indelible characters the end - and future - they so richly deserve. I know you will.
Well, I guess this actually turned into my thank you letter. A lot of life has gone by since you started. Thank you for getting me through the hard times and making the good times great.

Erin Bates


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