6. The special effects team consistently delivers some of TV’s sickest visuals.
Last season, the story’s focus on the back-and-forth universe drama prevented Fringe from showing off its gory effects prowess with as much reckless abandon as in the past, but we’ll always have seasons one and two. During the show’s earlier seasons, episodes begin with cold opens that establish the episode’s primary antagonist, which is usually some kind of mutative germ or disease that causes people’s skin to melt, brains to implode, throats to slit open, and one poor girl to give birth to an elderly man (see the episode titled “The Same Old Story”).
And, despite Fringe’s network TV existence, the visuals never look painfully cheesy. More often than not, the effects impress with eye-gouging imagery that rivals most big-budget movie productions. In the Season Two episode “Snakehead,” for example, a huge worm with long tentacles bursts out of a dude’s mouth, a shocking and nicely rendered sight that’s reminiscent of the infamous chest-busting scene from director Ridley Scott’s Alien. To put it bluntly, Fringe’s sparingly used gruesomeness makes the The Walking Dead’s rampant gore look like Party City makeup work.