I Fought The Law of Conservation of Matter

hijinks-ensue-godspeed-you-fancy-bastard-book-300x300HEY! How about buying a HijiNKS ENSUE bookCheck my Twitter Feed for 15% discount coupons to the HE Store.

If a book ain’t your style but you want to support the comic, maybe make a small donation why not?

Fringe (who’s midseason finale last night inspired this comic) is the best scifi television program being produced on TV right now (unless you count that show about the super religious people with cloning facility). From writing to casting to FX this show is nearly perfect… other than the fact that is has one of the most compelling main plot lines of the last decade which it almost NEVER explores in any fashion.

The overall arch of Fringe is that there are two parallel universes (ours and a slightly more technologically advanced but WAY more fucked up one), which are destined to go to war for their very survival. Agents from the alternate universe have been conducting crazy experiments on our side in preparation for the coming war and the FBI from our side is busy piecing these events together into something they call “The Pattern.” At the center of all of the mysteries seems to be Dr. Walter Bishop and his former partner William Bell. Bishop seems to have lost his memory and mind nearly 20 years ago, so he doesn’t quite remember his part in all of this universe hopping madness though the clues always seem to place him square in the middle of whatever the weirdness of the week is. His former partner, William Bell, was equally brilliant but instead going bat tits nuts he founded to the wealthiest and most powerful company in the world, Massive Dynamic. He also seems to be MIA from our particular universe. Intrigued? Me too. So why the fuck does this plot only make up less than 20% of the episodes over the last two seasons?

The main characters KNOW there is an alternate universe and they KNOW shit is about to get all kinds of explodey crazy, but they manage to put that aside almost all of the time in order to chase monsters-of-the-week and the regular joes that commit unusual murders. If I knew an alternate reality was about to crash into ours at a million miles an hour I would not be able to eat, sleep or shit until I had done everything possible to prevent it from happening. These guys treat the situation like a past-due water bill. They know it’s there, they know it’s important and likely to get worse before it gets better, yet they ignore it hoping it will go away. It’s hard to argue what’s “believable” in a show with genetic mutation, teleportation, and psychic mind control, but in the universe Fringe has established I find it hard to believe that “The Pattern” wouldn’t take up 100% of their attention.

Despite that gripe, I love the show. I just want them to stop teasing my scifigina with the tip of their plotcock. Its been two seasons, so cut out the foreplay already! Give it to me nice and har… ok, that got weird.

SIDE NOTE: John “Denethor” Noble as Walter Bishop is the most unique and enthralling character on TV since Hugh Laurie as House. I could watch that man read the phone book, or rake leaves or eat a whole chicken while a sad Hobbit sings him a song. ANYTHING would be fine. He just pulls you in and hypnotizes you with his crazy only man face and deep, rumbling old man voice.

OH YEAH! I totally forgot to mention that a certain fancy book appears in “Not Invented Here” this week. Thanks, Bill & Paul!

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  1. I had a similar thought watching that Joel… and right after it was over I checked if you'd tweeted about two-heads-in-a-body…. but this was better 🙂

  2. This comic is so unrealistic. Even if he wasn't hungry, Josh would never give you his chips, especially now that you have two mouths with which to eat.

  3. I have to agree with you about the main theme only occupying 20% of the episodes. I just didn't notice it until you pointed it out because I get caught up in even the mundane episodes. Every once in a while they do some stupid things to further the plot, but nothing as severe as other shows. You can easily overlook them thanks to the show just being that good. I don't openly admit to liking it, because thanks to Fox's track record, that's just a death sentence. So, for the record. I hate this show with the intensity of a thousand white hot suns!

      • I'm pretty sure they have about twice as much salty brown powder on them as when they were just called "Taco" in the late 70s (and when they had the limited time Halloween "Zombie" flavors a year or two ago, they brought back something called "Taco" but it was really what used to be called "Taco Bell Taco Supreme"). Apart from the greasier, not-very-tortilla-like chips they use nowadays, they're almost like a mid-80s store brand, or Pow-Wow. But at least they're available.

        I can't tell the difference between beers or wines, but I can differentiate between junk food as though I were a food snob… if a food snob would ever stoop to eat the things I eat.

  4. Lol at alternate Joel flipping off Josh. Awesome.

    I think Fringe is trying to plot the same course as X-Files, which is fine with me as long as they don't drag out out past its welcome.

  5. I've never seen Fringe, but you've totally put me off bothering now. How could any show with a 20% story-arc to filler ratio possibly be any good? It's like the anti-Galactica. It's as though Babylon 5 never happened.

  6. Ever see the episode of South Park where they talk about how the Simpsons already did it? Most of Fringe is like that to me — the X-Files did it. And Gillian Anderson was way hotter.

    That said, I 100% concur with your assessment of the show. I do have a feeling that if they devoted more time to the main plot the show would fizzle out completely by the end of the season. Then we'd be all monster of the week all the time.

    • I guess thats the the opposite end of the spectrum. I dont want them to use up all of their "universe war" ideas and have nothing left. But I think they could just keep going further with that concept. Its a good idea that warrants MUCH more exploring.

    • HAH! Yes I am very aware of that (added a link above). Rest assured that Bill and Paul or horrible peope and can only be doing that for personal gain (no really they are very nice, except for Bill who is actually horrible).

  7. I don't think its too crazy to think that they don't worry about the universes colliding 24/7. I kinda think of the pending disaster of universes colliding like the cold war with Russia. Yeah the end of the world could happen any second but its such an insurmountable, unsolvable problem that they're not even sure is going to happen that they just decide that they can only put resources to problems that are more immediate and solvable. Hell just look at global warming and how huge a problem that is but how little forward progress the government makes on it.

    • Good perspective. I hadnt thought of it in cold war terms. But they keep revealing that Oliva has all these abilities and she doesnt seem to have any interest in exploring them. "Oh I can start fires with my mind? Well aint that a bitch. Whats for lunch?"

  8. Storyarcs are overrated. If you're enjoying the well-done monster of the week episodes, why are you asking them to junk them in favor of "mythos" material?

    Especially since every single series I can think of that focused on their mythos material got worse for it. X-Files, BSG, Lost, Buffy…it seems to me like there's a pretty clear correlation between "focusing on the storyarc" and "disappearing up your own asshole". 🙂 Give me a show like "Doctor Who" or "Leverage" any day. They focus on making every episode worth watching for itself, instead of letting weak sisters coast on the mythology.

    • I guess different shows serve different purposes. If "Leverage" changed format to more story arc driven I would probably stop watching because thats not what its for. Fringe has always been teasing this big story arc and would probably do better with a 50/50 ratio as opposed to 80/20.

  9. I think what they are trying to do… because I remember them saying something like that on one of the comments for season I (yeah, I listen to the comments, I'm that geeky about this show)… is to make an occasional-viewer friendly show, which is to say, something different from Lost. Which I guess it's all right and maybe even necessary for a show to survive… but I'm a storyarch freak, and every single episode that strays from that gets me more and more frustrated. That was what got me away from X-Files, at some point I just gave up, made up my own finale in my mind and stopped watching.
    Anyway, all this time I've been expecting to find out what the AlterWalter has been doing. I mean, it's reasonable to think that he his at least just as brilliant as Walter. Could the AlterWalter be the overarching villain? Maybe he is the one creating those mercury blooded doppelgangers… maybe he is really angry because of is son… maybe he turned the alternate reality in the hellhole it it… MAYBE HE LIVES IN A GIGANTIC ROBOTIC UNSTOPPABLE BODY!.. sorry, I got carried away…
    Two strips in a row that make me break my silence, HE is now officially my most favorite web comic of all timelines and possible realities.

    • I think its safe to say that the Walterganger is going to factor heavily into the plot. Maybe not even this season, but eventually. He might be dead, WalterPrime might have killed him, we have no idea. We saw how shrewd and cold Walter was when he had all his brains back for 30 minutes. Thats a guy you dont want to fuck with.

  10. Thanks for sharing your thoughts about Fringe.

    "I just want them to stop teasing my scifigina with the tip of their plotcock."

    Priceless quote. You should have this review printed and put on your fridge with some fruit magnets. Then you could put your food in your "Frin-dge"

    Good Job!

    • Seriously, "I just want them to stop teasing my scifigina with the tip of their plotcock" might be the best sentence anywhere, ever. Period. In any timeline or universe.

  11. I'm a fan of the show and I have to say that this is the most perfect summation of the plot I've heard yet: "These guys treat the situation like a past-due water bill." I live for the eps that explore "the situation" but instead get weird ex-Nazi mysteries (I'm a few eps behind).

  12. So does John Noble use crazy logic to burn his son alive in THIS story, too? I was really really happy when Gandalf smacks him in the face in Return of the King because that was what I wanted to do to the a-hole for the whole movie.

  13. What is the other show you talked about ("…super religious people with the cloning facility.")? I racked my brain but couldn't think of it.

  14. Why can't Doritos just keep the freakin' Taco flavor? They've had it off and on since the SEVENTIES. They briefly brought it back as the "Taco Bell Taco Supreme" flavor in the 90's. Frito-Lay can sure be idiotic sometimes.

  15. @Thomas: Taco Supreme had a lot more cheese (well, cheeto) flavor to it than the original did, and the current one tastes to me like the original one with twice as much powder stuck to the chip, making them inedibly salty. But I still get a bag now and then, hoping that they'll pull a Pepsi and release "vintage" chip flavors and packaging, and include just-plain-Taco.

  16. I saw this comic last night after 18 beers and 4 bowls of chili consumed while watching the SB. I awoke hours later crying in a corner of my rumpus room. Multiverse Joel haunts my waking nightmares now.

  17. I think the reason that they "ignore" the Pattern in the aside episodes is that they can't tell if the weird crap they are investigating is part of the Pattern or not, until they investigate it. Honestly though, I like the little asides. Reminds of X-Files, you know, back when it was good and every episode wasn't all "OMG ALIEN CONSPIRACY BLARGBLGTHPTH"

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