A Letter to the Cast of Fringe


Dear Wonderful People of Fringe,

I just happened to be reading through hours of tweets to stave off boredom one day and came across a message from Lyn (@runpaceyrun) about going to Vancouver in August for The Fringe Event and bringing along letters of appreciation from fans who don't have the chance to go. I found that there wasn't nearly enough time to write to all of you, especially since I tend to go on and on; and I wouldn't feel right choosing, because every person involved made Fringe what it is, so this is for everyone.

Three days to go and I'm still putting off finishing this. I've had two months now and I was so sure it was going to be easy, but I always find something else to do, such as drawing, blogging, or even just doing absolutely nothing. I have so many unfinished drafts including my Neverending Fringe Post, which I've been working on since January and always avoid because it became an unwieldy monster. There are just so many good things to say about Fringe that I can never seem to say enough. It's kind of an annoying problem. Seriously... whenever I try to edit it, I end up adding another couple hundred words.

This weekend, I went to The Dark Knight Rises. Somehow that meant my entire Saturday was out. Then the next day I continued a search for a new mattress and desk, and that went into the wee hours of the morning. Now it's Monday morning. I did dishes that could have waited, put up my brother's wedding picture, which had already been waiting 11 months, washed a water bottle that could have stood to wait another few days, and took pictures for an item I'm putting on eBay. Every time I busy myself until work comes in and then I say I'll definitely do it later.

Is it because I fear I'll embarrass myself? Maybe, but I should be used to that by now since I've been regularly using Twitter for over a year. Or am I just the absolute worst procrastinator in the world? I certainly have been in the past. Or is it just because I know it will never be read by anyone, so why bother? I'm not sure what it is, but it's not as if you'll ever know who I am, so I really don't have anything to lose. Still, I didn't think I would do this, but my mind kept spitting out things I could say and I decided to not ignore them as I usually do. Since this is the last time you will all be together on TV, I decided to take a chance.

I've written only one fan letter before, but I never sent it. I held onto it for some reason and two years later, when I was thinking about putting it in the mail after all, I found out through a tiny blurb in Entertainment Weekly that Andy Hallett (Angel) was taken too soon by congestive heart failure caused by a bacterial infection, which was contracted after a filling came loose. I still tear up when I think about him. Even if Andy never would have seen the letter, I regret my decision. I don't want to make the same mistake again, even though I'm sure countless others have already told you what you mean to them, so I add my voice to theirs. There is something incredibly special about what you accomplished with Fringe and you deserved so much more.

I'd like to say congratulations on another outstanding finale. It wrapped up so nicely and felt full circle, even without answering everything. If it had been the series finale it almost was, I would have been thrilled. And to think, I wasn't going to watch Fringe; the commercials didn't intrigue me. I only tuned into the pilot because John Noble was in it. I couldn't imagine how someone in one of the biggest movie franchises of all time could have ended up on a little, odd-looking science fiction show on Fox. I assumed it would be cancelled before the season ended, like they did with Firefly. I didn't image it would, by the close of the first season, raise the bar for all of television, so much so that my tolerance for anything disingenuous was ruined.

Now it's hard to get it through my head that this fall starts the final countdown. Though, I am unremittingly happy that Fringe is being allowed to have its perfect end. At least, I hope it's perfect. Damn pessimism, please go away. Sorry about that. I've often been disappointed by certain nonsensical endings or by cancellations that give no resolution. But I am determined to go into this last season for the first time having the confidence, which I hope to keep, that this incredible show will not let me down, because it never has before; a very unusual thing indeed. I would love to have the time to write individual letters to all who made this show so real and wonderful, but that's impossible, so I will just say a few words about those in front of the camera and a few behind. Hopefully, that will be enough.

That most of you managed to play multiple characters and be distinct is an incredible feat. It's kind of sad that Josh couldn't show another side in that way, but I guess that would have messed up the story quite a bit. Even though it may seem to some people that Peter doesn't have enough to do, he was always the linchpin. Besides, he changed in more subtle ways: in the beginning being distrustful and resentful then opening himself to family and love. Josh, your contribution cannot be underestimated. If you didn't make us care about Peter then we wouldn't care about the show.

John, your performance is always flawless. You hold my heart captive every episode, and you don't need to say a word. Even without the challenge of playing multiple versions of Walter, for drawing laughter one minute, tears the next, and for making me sick with worry that Walter was going to die in the second season finale you should have won all the awards and then some. I heard about the show halting production so you could recover from a sleep disorder. I hope you are feeling well soon.

Anna, you were amazing. The way you changed between Olivia's and Bolivia's personalities and movements so perfectly, I was able to tell them apart immediately. And though I'm nothing like either of them, you made them instantly relatable and likeable...and kick-ass and vulnerable. From the first episode you had me caring about what happened to your character.

Jasika, even though you didn't have as much to do as I would have liked, you were always a welcome sight. I have no doubt Astrid's part would have grown had Fringe's fate been different; the tears welled in my eyes this season during "Making Angels." My cousin is autistic. You made me wonder what he would tell us if he could.

Blair, you made me cry for Nina this season, when Olivia lost her memories of their life together. It's such a hopeless feeling. I lost my grandmother to dementia six years ago. Wow, can it be so long already? First she became sensitive to light, then doctors misdiagnosed her. Then the memories started slipping, then they were gone, and so was she.

Lance, at first I didn't like Broyles. It took a little time to realize he wasn't there to be a typical TV boss. Broyles has a soft spot for the team which I noticed in "What Lies Below," where he said they were like family to him. The scenes that revolved around Broyles' love for his son were so affecting and some of my favorites. And your presence on screen always commands attention.

Seth, you made me care for two people I hardly knew. Then one died and the other one left. Damn it. Should have seen it coming. But that's just the thing, isn't it? Fringe always does the unexpected and amazes me every single time with it's depth.

Joel, and writers come and gone, your limitless imaginations and beautiful words brought everything together. With a lesser team, the show would have been ordinary. Maybe then it would have gone on for many more years. An inordinate amount of mediocre shows last a lot longer than makes sense to me. Wait, that's depressing to think about, so I'll pretend that's not how it works. Instead I would like to tell you that without you there is no Fringe. Once in a while people may forget that. Thank you so very much.

I wish you all the best of luck in future projects and quite selfishly hope for new shows for every one of you next spring that captivate me the same way that Fringe did. And if some of you work together again, I will not object. It's a very rare thing that happened here, but is it really too much to ask for another show as well-written, incredibly acted, and emotionally satisfying as Fringe? If I'm also hoping for the numbers to go with that then, yeah, I guess it is.

Please know that even though you worked so hard and were appreciated by so few, those of us who did watch until the end, who understood what it was, loved Fringe completely and will keep it with us for the rest of our lives. For all of the heartbreaking, heartwarming, chilling, thought-provoking, and hilarious moments, I thank you. You made a world so convincing in action and emotion that anything seems plausible and the constrictive "sci-fi" label, which is unfairly always a turn-off for awards, became a distant third to all other concerns. I laughed with you, I cringed with you, I cried with you. I will miss you.

With much love,
Erin Bates


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