A quick review of the "Fringe" season 4 premiere coming up just as soon as I need to erase someone from time...

As I've said before, "Fringe" is a tough show for me to write about regularly because it airs on Friday nights (weekends are family time) and I only get to see a handful of episodes in advance each season. Fortunately, Ryan McGee will be continuing his exhaustive episode reviews at our Monkeys as Critics blog, and his take on "Neither Here Nor There" is already up. I'll pop in when I can, sometimes maybe several days late, but Ryan does such a great job - and he and I are usually so in tune - that I'm comfortable leaving the show as his turf.

And as for the premiere, I think this current iteration of the series is off to a very bumpy start. Pinkner and Wyman seem terrified that viewers won't notice the differences between the old timeline and this new Peter-less one on our own, so they keep beating us over the head with it, either bringing out the Observers to explain stuff(*) or having characters recite one on-the-nose line after another about the theme of loss and absence: "I don't think there's anything sadder than when two people are meant to be together and something intervenes," or ""Can you imagine what that would feel like? To have a hole in your life?" to name just two that had me groaning.

(*) The worst of those was their initial appearance, where they began talking about how traces of Peter were still showing up in the timeline before we'd gotten any significant examples of that. Drop a few big clues first, fellas.

John Noble's great, as always, and Anna Torv did a good job of portraying what seems to be the 57th different version of Olivia so far, but this one was kind of a mess. If the producers didn't feel confident in their ability to sell this story and keep Joshua Jackson (mostly) off-screen for a few weeks, I'd rather they have just done something else altogether. This is likely the final season of the show, and I'd rather they not waste part of it on an idea no one's comfortable executing.

What did everybody else think?