With the fourth season of Fringe heading into the final straight, we thought it would be a good idea to update our original recommended ‘mythology episodes’ guide for those who need to get from zero to mythology.
In the time since we did our original guide, the Fringe mythology has expanded with new episodes adding to and recontextualizing the show’s mythos. With that in mind, not all the episodes from our original list have made the latest cut of 16. But our newly updated guide should provide a handy roadmap for those looking to get up to speed on the show’s central mythology.
Check out the list below, where you’ll also find handy links to watch the episode. If you’re completely new to Fringe, fear not, we’ve tried not to reveal too much information in our descriptions.
FRINGE: Zero To Mythology In 16 Episodes
If you want to get into the mythology of Fringe, you need to know the origins of the story. While later episodes add greater context, this is where the seeds are buried and where the hero’s journey for Olivia Dunham and her assembled team begins. But be warned, once you go down this rabbit hole, there might not be any going back to before..
Look for: “The Pattern,” Massive Dynamic, Olivia’s dreams.
Watch: Pilot (Amazon)
1.04 The Arrival
The enigmatic Observer known as September is formally introduced along with a cylindrical object referred to as the Beacon. The Observers are central to the past, present and future of the story. This episode gives you hints at their relationship with Walter and Peter Bishop. As for the Beacon? Well, hang in there.
Look for: Observer, Beacon, John Mosley.
Watch: The Arrival
1.19 The Road Not Taken
The larger story hinted in the first season becomes reality when the show goes down “The Road Not Taken.” The episode raises philosophical questions and uses them to inform the larger conceit. Watch this episode as it will put you in good stead for what’s to come.
Look for: ZFT, Olivia’s abilities, ‘parallel events’.
Watch: The Road Not Taken
1.20 There’s More Than One Of Everything
Picking up where TRNT left off, major insight into the origins of “The Pattern” and its unmeasurable connection to Walter and Peter is revealed. An overarching foe is slain, and Olivia’s journey takes her to a whole new world of understanding. A must watch for mythos-heads.
Look for: The Observer, Dis-rey, Bishop backstory, David Robert Jones, a ‘near-miss.’
Watch: There’s More Than One of Everything
2.04 Momentum Deferred
If you’re unable to watch the Season 2 premiere, “Momentum Deferred” will condense much of what you need to know, while introducing a new overarching enemy.
Look for: William Bell, Peter, Thomas Jerome Newton.
Watch: Momentum Deferred
2.21-22 Over There (Parts 1&2)
For many, this is the moment Fringe finds itself; where it finally embraces the mythology it has been laying down throughout two seasons of story. Across these two hours, the character drama is played out alongside mythology, concepts are realized, wounds are ripped open, and there’s a twist in the tale.
Look for: Universal dynamics, natural/unnatural abilities, a sacrifice and a switcheroo.
Watch: Over There
3.06 6955 kHz
You’ll want to dial into “6955 kHz” as it links together several important mythology threads and opens new channels of exploration connected to the main story. Follow the team as they investigate a strange frequency that unearths the ‘First People’ mythology, before ultimately leading to one of the series’ central mythology items in the Machine (aka The Boom-Boom-Machine) and the mystery surrounding its origins.
Look for: Numbers station, ‘First People’, Boom-Boom-Machine, ‘Projection Peter’.
Watch: 6955 KHz
The first part of Season 3 draws to a climactic close as Olivia embraces her purpose in a bid to save both sides of the battle. While, on the other side of the story, the larger mythology is put on notice when a seemingly important item is retrieved.
Look for: A forced exchange, quantum entanglement, the return.