My biggest criticism of the show right now is that it is becoming more and more like a carbon copy of The X-Files. Now this doesn't bother me too much because The X-Files is my favorite TV show of all-time and why not get more of a good thing? My problem is that I thought Fringe had the potential to be BETTER than The X-Files. The whole ongoing plot involving alternate dimensions, the Observers and Massive Dynamic is what makes this show unique and compelling. Last night I kept feeling that I was watching Mulder and Scully investigate a strange town as they've done several times before on The X-Files. I feel that we've had too many recent standalone episodes that feel too much like the spooky mystery-of-the-week episodes that The X-Files patented.
These standalone eps are well done and entertaining, but I find myself wanting to know more about Nina Myers, William Bell and the overall conspiracy surrounding the earlier works of Walter Bishop. I'm hoping that the writers have been taking it easy over the holidays and are just giving us a break from the meat and potatoes of Fringe. I would love to see season three contain less standalone episodes and focus more on the overall story arc. What makes Lost such a good show is that we don't really see any standalone episodes. Each episodes furthers the global plot and presents answers (sometimes) and questions that the audience craves.
I am so intrigued by the main themes of Fringe that the small episodes that take tangents like last night seem to take away a bit from the overall enjoyment of the show for me. Fringe started off so well this season with Olivia waking from her coma and we had a recent revealing Observer-centric episode. These gems are too few and far between that I'm concerned J.J. Abrams' sci-fi masterpiece will never amount to more than an X-Files clone. Hopefully once Abrams wrings his hands clean of Lost after this final season, he can concentrate more on steering Fringe to a new level that realizes the full potential of the show.