The No-Brainer

Last updated
"The No-Brainer"
Fringe episode
Episode no. Season 1
Episode 12
Directed by John Polson
Written by David H. Goodman
Brad Caleb Kane
Production code 3T7661
Original air date January 27, 2009
Guest appearance(s)
Episode chronology
 Previous
"Bound"
Next 
"The Transformation"
Fringe (season 1)
List of Fringe episodes

"The No-Brainer" is the 12th episode of the first season of the American science fiction drama television series Fringe . The episode was written by David H. Goodman and Brad Caleb Kane, and it was directed by John Polson.

<i>Fringe</i> (season 1) season of television series

The first season of the American science fiction television series Fringe commenced airing on the Fox network on September 9, 2008, and concluded on May 12, 2009. It was produced by Bad Robot Productions in association with Warner Bros. Television, and its showrunners were Jeff Pinkner and J.H. Wyman. The first season introduces a Federal Bureau of Investigation "Fringe Division" team based in Boston, Massachusetts under the supervision of Homeland Security. The team uses unorthodox "fringe" science and FBI investigative techniques to investigate a series of unexplained, often ghastly occurrences, which are related to mysteries surrounding a parallel universe. FBI agent Olivia Dunham is portrayed by actress Anna Torv, while actors Joshua Jackson and John Noble play father-son duo Peter and Walter Bishop. Other regular cast members include Lance Reddick, Jasika Nicole, Blair Brown, Mark Valley, and Kirk Acevedo.

Science fiction genre of fiction

Science fiction is a genre of speculative fiction, typically dealing with imaginative concepts such as advanced science and technology, space exploration, time travel, and extraterrestrial life. Science fiction often explores the potential consequences of scientific and other innovations, and has been called a "literature of ideas".

Drama artwork intended for performance, formal type of literature

Drama is the specific mode of fiction represented in performance: a play, opera, mime, ballet, etc, performed in a theatre, or on radio or television. Considered as a genre of poetry in general, the dramatic mode has been contrasted with the epic and the lyrical modes ever since Aristotle's Poetics —the earliest work of dramatic theory.

Contents

It first aired in the United States on January 27, 2009 on the Fox Broadcasting Company. It also marks the first appearance of the 'ad-beginners' the glyphs that appear before each act break and at the end decoded they spell BISHOP

Fox Broadcasting Company American television network

The Fox Broadcasting Company is an American commercial terrestrial television network that is a flagship property of Fox Corporation, a subsidiary of 21st Century Fox. The network is headquartered at the 20th Century Fox studio in Los Angeles, with additional major offices and production facilities at the Fox Television Center also in Los Angeles and the Fox Broadcasting Center in New York City.

Plot

The trio investigates the deaths of a teenager and a car salesman whose brains have been liquefied after watching a video sent to their computers. All of the victims are connected to a computer programmer (Chris Bauer) who has lost his job. The murderer then sends the video to Olivia's laptop, almost killing her niece Ella, but Olivia bursts into the apartment and is able to intervene. In order to catch the suspect, Olivia defies an order from Agent Harris, and Broyles puts his friendship with Harris on the line to defend her.

Chris Bauer American film and television actor

Mark Christopher Bauer is an American film, television, and theater actor. Bauer's work includes roles in 8mm, The Devil's Advocate, Face/Off, The Conspirator, and Snow White: A Tale of Terror. Bauer has also starred in television shows The Wire, Third Watch, True Blood and Survivor's Remorse. He has appeared on Broadway in A Streetcar Named Desire and has originated roles in plays by David Mamet, John Patrick Shanley, and Jez Butterworth.

Production

The episode was co-written by co-executive producer David H. Goodman and co-producer Brad Caleb Kane; it was Goodman's fourth of six episodes he wrote for the series, and Kane's second of three. It was directed by John Polson, his only directing credit for the series.

David H. Goodman is an American television writer and producer.

John Polson Born 1965; Australian actor and director

John Polson is an Australian actor, director and founder of Tropfest.

To achieve the effect of the arm reaching through the computer monitor, an actor wore a green screen sleeve on his arm and reached through the computer monitor which had also been fitted with a green background. In post-production, visual effects supervisor Jay Worth replaced the green portions with a computer generated animated arm that interacted with the character on-screen. [1] One crew member commented that rather than use all special effects, they wanted to "get the articulation of an actual arm. We get the physicality which is pretty hard to fake of a hand striking somebody, so that helps us sell that contact." [2]

Computer animation art of creating moving images using computers

Computer animation is the process used for generating animated images. The more general term computer-generated imagery (CGI) encompasses both static scenes and dynamic images, while computer animation only refers to the moving images. Modern computer animation usually uses 3D computer graphics, although 2D computer graphics are still used for stylistic, low bandwidth, and faster real-time renderings. Sometimes, the target of the animation is the computer itself, but sometimes film as well.

Reception

Ratings

"The No-Brainer" was first broadcast on the Fox network in the United States on January 27, 2009. It was watched by an estimated 11.62 million viewers, [3] an improvement over the season's episode average of 8.8 million. [4]

Reviews

The episode received average reviews from television critics. Noel Murray of The A.V. Club commented on how familiar the episode felt to others, and that it was a step back from the previous episodes in terms of quality. He did however like the opening sequence of the episode, and scene involving Olivia running back to her apartment to save her niece from looking at the computer monitor. He said, "I was literally yelling at my screen all through the latter scene", and "It's that kind of offbeat action that has me enjoying this show more and more." He ultimately gave the episode a "B" grade. [5]

IGN's Ramsey Isler gave it a similar review, calling the episode "passable," "average," and "decent". He also noted the episode was a step backwards after the two-part episode "Safe" and "Bound". Isler was negative about the character Sanford Harris, calling him a "stereotypical, completely unlikable villain", and that his character "is dragging the show down". Positive comments about the episode included Walter's comic relief, and the end of the episode which included a flirty moment between Peter and Olivia's sister. He gave the episode a 7 out of 10. [6]

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References

  1. Christoper Scollard (2009). Fringe: Deciphering the Scene: "The No-Brainer" (DVD). Fringe: The Complete First Season: Warner Bros. Television.
  2. Philip Gleason, Michael Kirlyo, Fred Toye, Jared Burke, Jake Braver (2009). Fringe: Visual Effects (DVD). Fringe: The Complete First Season Disc 7: Warner Bros. Television.
  3. Seidman, Robert (February 3, 2009). "Super Bowl XLIII and American Idol lead weekly broadcast". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved February 3, 2009.
  4. Jensen, Jeff (2009-09-11). "Fall TV 2009: Fringe". Entertainment Weekly . Retrieved 2011-06-22.
  5. Murray, Noel (January 27, 2009). "The No-Brainer". The A.V. Club. Retrieved January 17, 2013.
  6. Isler, Ramsey (January 28, 2009). "Fringe: "The No-Brainer" Review". IGN. Retrieved January 17, 2013.