Sci-fi dorks, rejoice - "Fringe" is back! I say "dorks" because I can - I am one. "Fringe" is the genre's best series since early seasons of "The X-Files."

Sci-fi dorks, rejoice - "Fringe" is back! I say "dorks" because I can - I am one. "Fringe" is the genre's best series since early seasons of "The X-Files."

Being a huge fan of that alien conspiracy series before it became too convoluted in alien conspiracy, I was immediately intrigued by "Fringe."

It reminded me of the best parts of "X-Files" - a talented cast and sharp writers who bridge standalone episodes with a broader arc. But it has little of what ruined that show - a forced romance between the leads and elaborate storylines that confuse even loyal viewers.

Late last season, "Fringe" started to delve into those pitfalls. Agent Olivia Dunham (Anna Torv) and Peter Bishop (Joshua "Pacey" Jackson) started falling for each other, and a parallel-universe storyline added new mysteries and characters or evil versions of characters, that is. My immediate reaction was, "Here we go again."

Thankfully, "Fringe's" creators (J.J. Abrams, Roberto Orci, Alex Kurtzman) seem to have learned from their predecessors' mistakes and have incorporated these concepts flawlessly while keeping the overall tone intact.

Season 3's premiere - appropriately breaking from the typical episode structure given last season's cliffhanger - is one of the series' best.

The Olivia we know and love (still rocking the sexy haircut) is stuck in the "other" universe, while bad Olivia (aka Bolivia) makes fiendish moves in "our" universe. How this plays out is monumental and sets up what I expect to be a marvelous season.