Almost done. I’m going to flip the days this time.
One of my favorite books was The Firm by John Grisham. This was the book that put Grisham on the map. We heard it was going to be a movie so I read it first. The movie was changed some from the book but both were satisfying products. The movie is one of our favorites. The complete package. Great sound track. Amazing cast. One of my favorite Gene Hackman performances. And it has Tom Cruise running and breathing hard. Most of his movies have him running and breathing hard at some point in them.
Anyway we were excited to learn they were making a TV series out of it, the Tom Cruise character, Mitch McDeere, and his family. Ten years later, come out of witness protection to reclaim their identities and get on with their lives. It’s a case of the week with courtroom scenes (they seem authentic). Ongoing is the possibility that the mob is after them. Also they are caught up in a case involving a murder, another law firm, and an insurance company. Their lives may be at risk on many fronts.
This started on Thursday night. Apparently the rating were abysmal so they moved it to Saturday. The rumor is that they will run out the episodes filmed so far then cancel it. I don’t understand. I don’t know how many good shows have been cancelled out from under me.
I’ve said before how much I like J. J. Abrams stuff. Fringe is one of his. A top secret team of FBI agents along with a strange scientist from the sixties and his son. Fringe science. Weird stuff going on. The most strange was the existence of an alternate universe populated with alternate versions of the main characters. This season there appeared to be three universes. It was getting just a little too weird.
I want to turn this into less a supposed reality and more allegory. I made that mistake with LOST. LOST may work at some level as allegory but there was just too much thrown into it. It’s been long enough now that I can say the ending was less than satisfying. They tried to do too much. No way they were going to bring it to a satisfying conclusion.
So what about Fringe as allegory? How would that work? First of all there are no alternate universes. There are alternate personalities, personalities twisted and stunted by the things that have happened to them. Dr. Walter Bishop is filled with regrets from the things he did in the arrogance of his youth. His alternate is filled with anger and bitterness because his son was stolen from him. Olivia lives in shell, emotionally stunted by the issues of abandonment, the emotional pain and suffering of her childhood. Her alternate is free, open, happy. Almost too much so when compared to our Olivia. There appears to be only one Peter and everything seems to revolve around him.
So what does that say to us? We can be changed by the things we suffer. We can become bitter or angry or closed off and stunted. We can be controlled by the mistakes and regrets of the past. And we can become less than our best selves, our true selves. We like to think that it’s all about God. We give God all the credit for who we are. But God has given us the power to choose. We can choose whether or not to be changed by hurts or anger or bitterness or regrets. When it comes down to it I can’t say there is another me in another universe who is my best self, who has not been changed by the things I have suffered. When it comes down to it there is only one me.