There's More Than One of Everything

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"There's More Than One of Everything"
Fringe episode
Episode no.Season 1
Episode 20
Directed by Brad Anderson
Story by
Teleplay by
Production code3T7669
Original air dateMay 12, 2009 (2009-05-12)
Running time47 minutes
Guest appearance(s)
Episode chronology
 Previous
"The Road Not Taken"
Next 
"A New Day in the Old Town"
Fringe (season 1)
List of Fringe episodes

"There's More Than One of Everything" is the finale of the first season of the American science fiction drama television series Fringe . The finale followed David Robert Jones' (Jared Harris) attempts to open a doorway to the parallel universe, while the Fringe team tries to stop him. It ends with FBI agent Olivia Dunham (Anna Torv) discovering a startling secret about Massive Dynamic founder William Bell (Leonard Nimoy).

A season finale is the final episode of a season of a television program. This is often the final episode to be produced for a few months or longer, and, as such, will try to attract viewers to continue watching when the series begins again.

<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 speculative fiction

Science fiction is a genre of speculative fiction that typically deals with imaginative and futuristic concepts such as advanced science and technology, space exploration, time travel, parallel universes, and extraterrestrial life. It has been called the "literature of ideas", and often explores the potential consequences of scientific, social, and technological innovations.

Contents

The episode's story was co-written by Akiva Goldsman and Bryan Burk, and the teleplay was co-written by Jeff Pinkner and J. H. Wyman, while Brad Anderson directed. The episode marked the first appearance of guest actor Nimoy as William Bell. Co-creator J.J. Abrams, having worked with Nimoy on the 2009 film Star Trek , begged the actor to join the series through a series of phone conversations. Nimoy signed on for three episodes and found playing the character to be a "unique experience" after so many years portraying Spock.

Akiva Goldsman American film producer

Akiva J. Goldsman is an American film and television writer, director, and producer known for his work on blockbuster motion pictures and adaptations of popular novels.

Bryan Burk American film and television producer

Bryan Burk is an American film and television producer.

A teleplay is a screenplay or script used in the production of a scripted television program or series. In general usage, the term is most commonly seen in reference to a standalone production, such as a television film, a television play or an episode of an anthology series; in internal industry usage, however, all television scripts are teleplays, although a "teleplay" credit may be subsumed into a "written by" credit depending on the circumstances of its creation.

The episode first aired on May 12, 2009 in the United States, and was watched by an estimated 9.28 million viewers. "There's More Than One of Everything" received mostly good reviews, with many critics praising the revelations concerning the parallel universe. Many critics offered opinions on the depiction of the Twin Towers, with most reactions being positive.

World Trade Center (1973–2001) Former skyscraper complex in Manhattan, New York

The original World Trade Center was a large complex of seven buildings in the Financial District of Lower Manhattan, New York City, United States. It opened on April 4, 1973, and was destroyed in 2001 during the September 11 attacks. At the time of their completion, the Twin Towers—the original 1 World Trade Center, at 1,368 feet (417 m); and 2 World Trade Center, at 1,362 feet (415.1 m)—were the tallest buildings in the world. Other buildings in the complex included the Marriott World Trade Center, 4 WTC, 5 WTC, 6 WTC, and 7 WTC. The complex contained 13,400,000 square feet (1,240,000 m2) of office space.

Plot

The concluding shot of the episode, a pull-back to reveal the still-standing World Trade Center in the parallel universe, was considered an iconic shot of the series, and one that the cast has stated that they have never "had a better visual or a better cliff-hanger". World Trade Center, New York City - aerial view (March 2001).jpg
The concluding shot of the episode, a pull-back to reveal the still-standing World Trade Center in the parallel universe, was considered an iconic shot of the series, and one that the cast has stated that they have never "had a better visual or a better cliff-hanger".

While Nina Sharp (Blair Brown) recovers from the gunshot sustained in the previous episode, [note 1] the Fringe team's investigation reveals that the man in white bandages is David Robert Jones (Jared Harris). Olivia Dunham (Anna Torv) and Phillip Broyles (Lance Reddick) discuss locating William Bell for questioning, whom they believe is behind all the fringe events that have been occurring all season.

Blair Brown American actress

Bonnie Blair Brown is an American theater, film and television actress. She has had a number of high-profile roles, including in the play Copenhagen on Broadway, the leading actress in the films Altered States (1980), Continental Divide (1981) and Strapless (1989), as well as a run as the title character in the comedy-drama television series The Days and Nights of Molly Dodd, which ran from 1987 to 1991. Her later roles include Nina Sharp on the Fox television series Fringe and Judy King on the Netflix series Orange Is the New Black.

"The Road Not Taken" is the nineteenth episode of the first season of the American science fiction drama television series Fringe. It centers on the death of a young woman, who spontaneously combusts in the middle of a street. The Fringe team's investigation leads them to learn more about the drug trials Olivia experienced as a child, as well as other revelations.

Jared Harris British actor

Jared Francis Harris is a British actor. His roles include Lane Pryce in the television drama series Mad Men, David Robert Jones in the science fiction series Fringe, King George VI in the historical series The Crown, Anderson Dawes on the science fiction series The Expanse, Captain Francis Crozier in the AMC series The Terror, and Valery Legasov in the HBO miniseries Chernobyl for which he was nominated for the 2019 Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited Series or Movie. He has also had significant supporting roles in films such as Mr. Deeds (2002), The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008), Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows (2011), Lincoln (2012), and Allied (2016).

Meanwhile, Walter Bishop (John Noble) is at a graveyard, where he solemnly stares at an unknown gravestone. Olivia, Peter Bishop (Joshua Jackson), and Astrid Farnsworth (Jasika Nicole) begin searching for Walter. Nina tells Olivia that an energy cell was stolen from her mechanical arm by Jones, and that he was formerly a Massive Dynamic employee who had looked up to Bell as a "father figure" until they had a falling-out. When Olivia demands to speak to Bell, Nina explains that she does not know where he is, as Bell has been communicating these past few months "strictly electronically". Nina believes Jones is trying to confront Bell, and promises Olivia that if she stops Jones, Nina will arrange a meeting between her and Bell.

Walter Bishop (<i>Fringe</i>) fictional character on the Fox television series Fringe

Walter Harold Bishop, Ph.D. is a fictional character on the Fox television series Fringe. He is portrayed by John Noble. Noble also plays Walter's counterpart in the show's parallel universe, who is referred to in the show as Walternate.

John Noble Australian actor and director

John Noble is an Australian actor and theatre director of more than 80 plays. He is best known for his roles as Dr. Walter Bishop in the US Fox science fiction television series Fringe, and Henry Parrish in the Fox action-horror series Sleepy Hollow. His most high-profile film role was as Denethor in Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rings trilogy. He also provided the voice of the DC Comics supervillain Scarecrow in the 2015 video game Batman: Arkham Knight, where his character served as the main antagonist. In 2015, he joined the main cast of the television series Elementary as Sherlock Holmes's father. He was also cast as a doctor in the Australian TV series All Saints. In 2012, Noble was diagnosed with osteoporosis. His charity, Noble Bones, helps to raise awareness for the disease.

Peter Bishop fictional character in the television series Fringe

Peter Bishop is a fictional character of the Fox television series Fringe. He is portrayed by Joshua Jackson.

On a busy New York City street, Jones and his team use the energy cell to open a doorway into a parallel universe and bring a truck through, but are apparently unsuccessful, as Jones complains he used the "wrong coordinates". Having previously observed Walter at the graveyard, The Observer (Michael Cerveris) arrives with Walter at the Bishops' beach house, and gives Walter a coin, telling him to remember what he has to find. Walter goes on alone into the house, while Olivia and Charlie interview witnesses who saw Jones extract the truck from the doorway. They discover that the truck's VIN numbers do not exist, which implies the "truck was never made". A further interview with Nina reveals to the Fringe team that the truck is from another universe, and that Jones is using the stolen energy cell to travel to that universe.

New York City Largest city in the United States

The City of New York, usually referred to as either New York City (NYC) or simply New York (NY), is the most populous city in the United States. With an estimated 2018 population of 8,398,748 distributed over a land area of about 302.6 square miles (784 km2), New York is also the most densely populated major city in the United States. Located at the southern tip of the state of New York, the city is the center of the New York metropolitan area, the largest metropolitan area in the world by urban landmass and one of the world's most populous megacities, with an estimated 19,979,477 people in its 2018 Metropolitan Statistical Area and 22,679,948 residents in its Combined Statistical Area. A global power city, New York City has been described as the cultural, financial, and media capital of the world, and exerts a significant impact upon commerce, entertainment, research, technology, education, politics, tourism, art, fashion, and sports. The city's fast pace has inspired the term New York minute. Home to the headquarters of the United Nations, New York is an important center for international diplomacy.

Michael Cerveris American actor

Michael Cerveris is an American actor, singer, and guitarist. He has performed in many stage musicals and plays, including several Stephen Sondheim musicals: Assassins, Sweeney Todd, Road Show, and Passion. In 2004, Cerveris won the Tony Award as Best Featured Actor in a Musical for Assassins as John Wilkes Booth. In 2015, he won his second Tony Award as Best Actor in a Musical for Fun Home as Bruce Bechdel.

Peter finds Walter and chooses to meet his father alone, as he believes Walter is upset from the past several days. Now at the beach house, Peter and Walter search for and retrieve a device that can seal shut the doorway into the other universe. Walter explains to Peter that he once lost something very dear to him and that he had to go and bring it back from another reality; the device was created to prevent something from following him.

After Jones makes another unsuccessful attempt to open a doorway at a soccer field in Providence, Olivia searches through old case files related to science and unexplained phenomena, and discovers a geographic connection between the soccer field, the city street, and several of their past Fringe cases. Olivia and Walter come to the same conclusion, that Jones is going to use a site at Reiden Lake to reopen the doorway, the epicenter of these Fringe events. Olivia, Peter, and Walter intercept Jones while he is opening another window and is halfway through it. Peter triggers Walter's device, killing Jones by sealing the doorway.

At the end of the episode, Walter again goes alone to visit the graveyard; he tearfully observes a gravestone marked "Peter Bishop 1978-1985", suggesting that Walter's legitimate son died. Nina Sharp later calls Olivia and implies to her that she can meet William Bell in Manhattan. On the way to the hotel she almost gets into a car crash, at which point she is transported to the parallel universe. After no one shows up at the hotel restaurant. Olivia leaves, as she assumes that she got stood up. However, when in an elevator to leave the building, Olivia is teleported to another location and is directed to an office. After reading a newspaper headline indicating that President Obama was preparing to move into the "new" White House, she is greeted by William Bell (Leonard Nimoy) and inquires where she is. The final shot pans out the window revealing that they are standing inside the South Tower of the World Trade Center.

Production

Casting

Guest actor Leonard Nimoy said Fringe would be his final acting project. He described his character William Bell as "somewhat [of] a blank slate and therefore attractive, because there is an opportunity to build an interesting and unpredictable character". Leonard Nimoy.jpg
Guest actor Leonard Nimoy said Fringe would be his final acting project. He described his character William Bell as "somewhat [of] a blank slate and therefore attractive, because there is an opportunity to build an interesting and unpredictable character".

The character of Massive Dynamic founder William Bell was originally meant to be revealed earlier in the first season, but the writers changed their minds as the show progressed. [3] In early April 2009, Entertainment Weekly announced that Star Trek actor Leonard Nimoy had been cast as Bell. [4] He and Fringe co-creator J.J. Abrams already had a relationship after working together on the 2009 film Star Trek ; Abrams stated in an interview that he called Nimoy and begged him to join Fringe, explaining the show and the character. Nimoy sounded interested but wanted to become more familiar with the show, so Abrams and the other producers sent him as much information as they could about Fringe, until Nimoy agreed. This exchange of phone calls, in which Nimoy responded with interest when pitched the idea, was also how Abrams was able to cast him in his Star Trek reboot. [5] Nimoy later explained "When they contacted me about working on 'Fringe' -- the same people, the same attitude, the same creativity, the same creative team – it was very enticing". [6] According to Abrams, "The idea that he will play the mysterious, much-referenced William Bell is a thrill. I know I sound like a goofy fan boy, but I can’t help it: Leonard is an icon of the genre and such a wonderful actor. To have him come on board Fringe is a mind-blowing honor". [4]

Nimoy was hired for three episodes, [7] beginning with the season finale. [8] Fringe co-creator Roberto Orci described Nimoy's character as "a mix of Howard Hughes and Bill Gates", [7] while Nimoy referred to Bell as a "master of the universe" who is "brilliant, wealthy and very powerful". [2] Nimoy's part of the final scene of the episode with Olivia was very brief. Nimoy described the scene as "interesting, entertaining" and "that you'll want to see more of this relationship and what it's all about". [9] Actress Anna Torv described the final scene as calm yet threatening, "That's what's kind of cool about working on Fringe, is everything seems kind of calm and lovely, but there's always something going on underneath". [10] While shooting, Nimoy commented that the character "was a unique experience," as he had not acted outside of the Spock character for a number of years. [11] Nimoy has stated in multiple interviews that his Fringe role will be the last project in his acting career. [12] [13] [14]

Writing and filming

Co-creator J. J. Abrams called the finale "a huge turning point" for all three main characters. J.J. Abrams speak at the Apple Store SoHo.jpg
Co-creator J. J. Abrams called the finale "a huge turning point" for all three main characters.

The episode's teleplay was co-written by executive producers Jeff Pinkner and J.H. Wyman, while consulting producer Akiva Goldsman and executive producer Bryan Burk co-wrote the story. Producer Brad Anderson served as episode director, [15] his fourth credit of the season. [16] [17] [18] J.J. Abrams called the finale "the end of one chapter and the start of another", [3] and believed it was "a huge turning point" for all three main characters. [19]

Co-creator and executive producer Roberto Orci explained in an interview that the big reveal at the end of the episode, in which Olivia meets Bell in the parallel universe, was actually planned for a fourth season, but the writers decided "let's actually answer something instead and not get, not just rely on that mystery forever. And so we actually chose to give kind of a big answer and have to come with a different show than we ever intended". [20] The writers wanted to use an iconic image for the scene, leading to staff writer Andrew Kreisberg's suggestion of the Twin Towers. Wyman first thought it was "the greatest idea in the world" before having doubts that its use would "sensationalize" it. He explained, "But then, when we started thinking about it, we thought collectively America really understood 9/11 is such a monumental moment so we felt it wasn’t exploited but indicative of the times we’re living in right now. We used it and that was the end of the first season and then we were all really thrilled with where it was going." [21] The cast would later recollect on the series, and for Jackson, considered that the show has never "had a better visual or a better cliff-hanger" as this finale. [1]

To create the scene where Jones brings a semi truck from the parallel universe, the special effects crew took a smaller truck and dressed it enough so that it seemed like the longer semi with the help of CGI; the result was that in the episode, the viewer is led to believe that the truck had been "cut" in half after unsuccessfully entering the prime universe doorway. It was rigged so that it appeared to be on a tilt, and cables linked it to smash into a passing car. [22] As the production crew considered William Bell to be a "Renaissance man", they filled Bell's office with "things that inspire him," such as a prototype of Nina's mechanical arm and other items that "evoke images and stimulate thought". [11]

Cultural references

In the final scene set in the parallel universe, a newspaper states the (presumably recently inaugurated) Obamas are moving into the "new" White House, indicating that the traditional presidential residence had been recently rebuilt. Another headline has former President John F. Kennedy addressing the United Nations. Another part of the newspaper depicts Boston Celtics player Len Bias winning the MVP award, when Bias in fact died in 1986 in the prime universe. [23] [24]

Reception

Ratings

"There's More Than One of Everything" was season one's finale. [23] The episode was watched by an estimated 9.28 million viewers in the United States. [25]

In between the first two seasons, Fox aired repeats of the first season featuring Twitter comments about the episodes from executive producers Jeff Pinkner and J.H. Wyman, and actors John Noble and Joshua Jackson. [26] [27]

Reviews

The episode received generally positive reviews, with multiple critics lauding the performances of actors Anna Torv and John Noble. [23] [28] [29] In his review for Entertainment Weekly , critic Ken Tucker wrote this his "mind was blown not once, but twice" due to the many revelations about two universes; Fringe "has vaulted to the upper reaches of current television". [8] In a second review, Tucker praised the "beautifully, startlingly executed" special effects when the "hole" in the universe closed. [28] Writing for The A.V. Club, critic Zach Handlen gave the episode an A, and felt the episode made him want to go back and rewatch season one because the finale had "so many references and back story nods that I wanted to have everything in my head together". [30] Andrew Hanson from the Los Angeles Times thought the finale "leads to a wealth of possibilities... The déjà universe was a bold move. I can’t wait to see what our friends at Fringe do with it". [31] Writing for the Chicago Tribune , critic Maureen Ryan heaped praise on the "excellent" episode, and complimented "the quietly creepy atmosphere, the slowly building tension in the dual Walter/Olivia stories, the way those stories were skillfully woven together, the suitably tense lakeside encounter between Olivia, Peter and Mr. Jones". [29]

"This episode is the epitome of the unpredictable and remarkable first season for Fringe. It gave us lots of surprises, some missteps, a few answers, and a few new mysteries. And for good measure, it ended on a surprising and controversial image. The finale was an appropriate ending for this chapter of the series, and a great sign of what's to come"

IGN reviewer Ramsey Isler [23]

Though some critics appreciated how Fringe chose to end the finale with a shot of the World Trade Center, [23] [28] others disliked it. [32] Jeff Pinkner defended their decision by explaining they chose it because the building is "obviously very iconic" and it best displayed that in the parallel universe, "things are both better and in some ways worse. It's just different choices, the road not taken". [20] Leonard Nimoy also defended the writers, commenting that when he received the script, he thought it "was very interesting and really kind of daring contemporary television to pull in that story... You know, it's not easy to use that kind of stuff without seeming somehow exploitive. But I thought they did it very, very well". [33] Many critics expressed that because of the episode, they couldn't wait for the following season to begin. [23] [30] [31] IGN's Ramsey Isler rated the episode 9.2/10, [23] while website blogger io9 listed "There's More Than One of Everything" as one of the "crucial" episodes new viewers must watch to get into the show. [34]

The Futon Critic listed it the 16th best television episode of 2009, explaining "J.J. Abrams and company know all about big reveals... but this one, in which William Bell reveals himself as living in a parallel universe where the Twin Towers weren't lost, was one of their most indelible". [35] In a comparison of "There's More Than One of Everything" and The X-Files episode "4-D", UGO Networks columnist Alex Zalben wrote that the Fringe episode won "by a landslide. This episode kicked the show into high gear, while '4-D' was The X-Files winding down." [36] Jeff Jensen of Entertainment Weekly named "There's More Than One of Everything" the seventh best episode of the series, calling it "the episode that changed everything... With that, the most hyped show of the 2008-2009 TV season produced a moment that finally earned it buzz." [37] Den of Geek ranked the episode as the fifth best of the entire series, [38] while IGN ranked it the ninth best. [39]

Awards and nominations

Bryan Burk, Akiva Goldsman, Jeff Pinkner, and J.H. Wyman submitted the episode for consideration in the Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series Category at the 61st Primetime Emmy Awards. They also submitted two other episodes, "Pilot" and "Bound", [40] but did not receive any nominations. [41]

Notes

  1. Nina Sharp had taken precaution of having body-armor implanted under the skin of her torso.

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References

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