A few thoughts on season 1 of Fringe:
Walter Bishop (John Noble), the mad – or maybe not so mad – scientist who has done research for the defence dept. then being in an asylum for about 17 years. His specialty was – and is – fringe science, all outside the reach of science, though a bit of it may be possible. Not quite stable, but brilliant when allowed in his best moments.
Peter Bishop (Joshua Jackson), son of Walter also, high IQ, has been operating as a con man for a while.
Olivia Dunham (Anna Torv), a very good FBI agent, has photographic memory, among many other abilities. She has been working well with her partner John Scott. Yes, they were lovers, too.
Astrid Farnsworth (Jasika Nicole) assists the trio, mainly taking care of Walter,
Those are the main characters, Some more of the ensemble cast are:
Philip Broyles (Lance Reddick), takes Olivia into the Fringe Division, an unofficial part of Homeland.
Charlie Francis (Kirk Acevedo), most often assisting agent Dunham in the investigations.
Nina Sharp (Blair Brown), executive director of Massive Dynamics, a very large corporation formed by William Bell, Walter’s old partner in fringe science research.
In season 1 we encounter a number of fringe events, in the beginning they appear unrelated, but as we progress there seems to be a pattern emerging – the term “Find the Pattern” is literally stated a few times.
One thing that appears in every episode (if you can spot it) is an Observer. Those are mysterious characters, invariably dressed in suit and hat, to me looking like 1930s style. When they are first noticed by Olivia it turns out they they have been seen throughout history, appearing at significant events. In addition they seem to have an almost non-existent sense of taste, as seen in one episode. In season 1 they are still a total mystery.
We learn that Olivia appears to have some unusual abilities that look like telekinesis. It turns out that Walter and William Bell experimented with children a few decades ago, and Olivia was one of them. That is when it gets interesting.
One more aspect that appears in this season is the concept of a parallel universe, of course in an episode titled “There Is More Than One of Everything”.