Homeland Security agent Phillip Broyles is trying to get FBI liaison agent Olivia Dunham to join his team, investigating what they call “The Pattern,” a system of mysterious but apparently linked events. Dunham has just experienced some of this herself, but she’s having problems accepting it all.
Broyles: You’ve seen it. Now you know. . . . Look around. You see all these people going about their lives, no idea what’s happening around them. What they’re in the middle of.
Dunham: I just want to go back to before.
He looks at her for a moment.
Broyles: I don’t think you can.
This is what I love about the work of J.J. Abrams (creator of Alias and Lost, among other television series), though I’m not sure he’s ever spelled it out so bluntly in any of his series before. While I’m thinking Fringe may not be his best work (it's a co-creation with Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci) this theme is a constant in his stories—the discovery of something larger than us going on around us and how that discovery changes everything. And that resonates with me, because encountering kingdom-ness can leave me with a sense that life will never be the same, that it is both more dangerous and yet oh-so-much-more magnificent than I ever imagined.