FRINGE Producer Talks Season 5, Flashbacks & Flash-Forwards


J.H. Wyman teases the final season of Fringe in the new issue of SFX Magazine, available this week. Check the quotable below.

Will the season look like the fascist Observer-led future of 2036 glimpsed in the season four episode “Letters Of Transit”?

“Yeah, I think it’s safe to say you will [see that]. Part of our storytelling is about reveals and re-contextualizing what you think you know and what you’ve seen and putting it in a different mind frame for the viewer. It’s good to say that future is important to our storytelling but it’s not the be-all and end-all. The critical question is always why do we do flashbacks or flash-forwards and for us there is always a reason. Does ‘Letters Of Transit’ have further implications? It does. You need to understand what it is, or was, in order to fully grasp the thematic things we want to tell this year.”

Source: SFX


  1. says

    I am very curious for one.
    Granted, i had something completely different in mind of what an Observer would be, but the story has clearly given us the storyline laid out for them.
    I also don’t think that Fringe will ‘end’ in a traditional way. I think it will loop back to S1E1, or leave an ending open, finishing some major plots, but still leave anough open for a possible future spin-off series or a movie.
    Nevertheless, the last 13 episodes will be actionpacked storywise, the rollercoasterride will be steeper and wilder than the previouis 4 seasons have been.

    Wishes? Yes:
    1. Charlie and Gene. Bring ’em back, even for a final scene.
    2. a madder/crazier Walter(nate) than Bell was in the S4 final. Let him be an outstanding madman.
    3. Sam Weiss. That storyplot was dropped so abruptly, i still think there is more to Sam Weiss, so bring him back in S5.
    4. Etta! We want more Etta. For sure.
    5. White tulips and red balloons.
    6. An anti-Observer weapon. Let Walter make up something that can really hurt or kill Observers.
    7. A final glimpse of the redverse. Please? Just a frame or so, not even a full scene, but just an image to let us know they’re doing well; they still exist.
    8. Bell in amber. How, who and why/when.
    9. John Scott. What, how, who?
    10. Agent Jessup. What, how, who?
    11. Where/when Peter was, when he did not exist.
    12. Bring back the BBM. I miss the tech.
    13. The beacon. What, how, who?
    14. September. Of course.
    15. August. Time should not be lineair, so he can still be alive in the Observerse (2036).

    Well, that for starters. More will follow :)

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 9

  2. TW says

    I believe all the clues for S5 were given to us previously, even about the nature of the Observers …. and if you read the digital comic line that is canon (Beyond the Fringe, numbers 1-3, the A series), it will explain much about the S1-S3 turning into the S4 fiasco, and why S5 will be what it will be. We even see what I think are the origin of the stasis runes there.

    * When the loop timeline ended in S3 with Walter and Peter throwing the Machine (along with Peter) into the wormhole, we are told by Walter he needs to figure out a way to bring Peter’s consciousness forward in time, so that Peter can see the choices he is making in the loop, and make new ones. This is done via September, the Observer. September of course doesn’t realize he’s directly serving Walter’s goal … but he ends up doing it regardless. Flashing back to December’s speech with September about “it has always been our responsibility to make sure things play out the way they were intended” tells you right there of the origins of the Observers: they were designed to do the very thing Walter wanted them to do — help bring forward Peter’s consciousness to save the universes. We just have not seen Walter AND BELL design them yet directly. Because remember, Bell also wanted to create guardians … Olivia being one of the chief guardians of the universes.

    Since we know Bell knows about them, and how to stop them …. and he is known for pillaging the work of others … it stands to reason that when Walter decided he was going to create his own universe, out of grief from the loss of the two Peter’s ….. he also found a way to take what was learned from the Cortexiphan trials and create a breed of “angels” for his “heaven” which would guard it and ensure it’s continued existence. However he was afraid of all he could do … and asked Bell to remove his brain bits. Which Bell did, continuing where Walter left off.

    The Observers eventually will branch off into two classes: the 2609 ones we see in the future that have corrupted their planet, and the ones who actually utilize things like stasis Runes whenever they’re needed: the HyBrasilians. In the comic, their culture has ancient Irish mythological names and places, and everything within their society which uses tech has a golden type of hue to it. This is what we see in the stasis Runes. They also understand how to fix the Vacuum Machine, and they know about Peter from both the loop timeline AND the new one we see him in now. Thus, they are “equal” for the moment to the Observers, but completely different. Instead of destroying nature, they understand the circle-of-life aspect of it. And they claim they owe their existence largely to Walter and his work. Thus, it might be said that the Observers we see in 2609 are actually the “rogue” observers who “disobeyed their masters” and turned on them …. going from a created thing to the dominant thing. This might be one reason they view us as animals … because we initially treated them like animals when we “designed” them. Realizing they were more intelligent and capable than their human creators, they turned on them … assuming they could do better at running the world … and decided to travel back through time to understand their origins and fix the problem: they will take the universes away from the ones who actually created them in the first place. After all, it’s their “right”. So that’s what they’ll do. The evil-Bell we just saw will ultimately be one of the crucial pieces to that puzzle: helping to create ways to take over the universe from the humans via the Observers he’s already familiar with. September, of course, will be one of the original “good angels” who fights for the humans freely and willingly, and we will realize at some point that there is a third Peter who is helping to orchestrate much of what we’ve seen thus far in Fringe.

    This third Peter is from Hy-Brasil …. this Peter is the one who helps to decide some of the rewrite and erasure points when Peter gets erased initially in S4. We see him in the comics. We have, thus far, three Peters:

    * The Boy: This is what the Observers refer to Peter as most frequently.
    * Young Bishop: This is what evil-Bell refers to Peter as, as well as one of the Hy-Brasilians when Peter visits Hy-Brasil and has his Machine part fixed.
    * Third Peter: a yet realized version of Peter, a future version that the Peter we now see in the show will “Become”. They are all actually the same Peter, but strewn throughout different points in the causality of Fringe: the past, the present, and the future. The past is “the Boy”, the present is “young Bishop”, the future is this third realization of Peter.

    We may also find out who is responsible directly for the time-wormhole that we see in S3 which allows the loop in the first place from which the “Saviors of the World” will emerge. I suspect perhaps the Hy-Brasilians are responsible for the loop, and that Walter is a key figure in it’s implementation. The wormhole is contained, initially, via the use of amber. And in 2036, what do we see ? Walter and the team encased in amber. I think they are protecting themselves from something they do …. send a wormhole through time and space ….

    Two cents to chew on :-)

    Well-loved. Like: Thumb up 11

    • Tash says

      Hey would you mind giving a link for those comic things as i am pretty bored but can’t find them on google

      Like: Thumb up 2

        • TW says

          Actually (sorry lol) …. that link is for the Tales From the Fringe (non-canon as far as I know).

          This is the Beyond the Fringe:

          And I don’t know if all of them are canon or not, but the first three in the “A” series are. They tell the story of what happens to Peter in 2026 when he and Walter toss the Machine into the wormhole …. and it shows Peter placing the Machine throughout history at different points in time, etc and so forth … on up to him being in the actual Machine and making a different choice finally, thus, creating the Bridge. It’s who he meets whilst in the Machine, and the events there in 2026, which are *very* telling, imo. Josh Jackson participated in the writing of those three, just fyi.

          I don’t know if there are any scans of the comics online, but they’re like a $1 or something and you can view them immediately online of course.

          When I first say the Hy-Brasil reference in the comic, I was like “wtf ? Are they ever going to actually put this up on the screen ?” but then right there in the S4 ender, we see those “magic stasis runes” haha ….

          Like: Thumb up 1

            • TW says

              Sorry …. this post is in reference to a post directly above it where I provide a link that’s “awaiting moderation” … this is why this post seems to not make any sense lol :-)

              Like: Thumb up 0

            • TW says

              No worries :~)

              And on a side note, last night I went ahead and read the other two “A” line stories which talked about Nina’s arm. I don’t know if those are canon or not, but I *think* they might tie directly into the show, the Hy-Brasil stuff, and the episode 4.19 specifically. In other words, perhaps you might check those out also if you end up reading them lol ^_^

              Just to give a quick rundown (spoiler):
              * We see Nina’s original arm being given to her by Bell, which he calls a “temporary solution”. The material he made it from was his own genetic material, not hers.
              * At some point in the future, she starts getting these cryptic messages sent *through* her arm, which she doesn’t totally understand, but with Walter’s help, it leads to a secret room inside of Bell’s lab.
              * In the room, there is a seal over a door which opens only when her arm touches it. Upon touching it, her arm turns into some kind of transformer-looking-thing, to her shock and surprise, and rips off and breaks.
              * A recording comes on of Bell, talking about the new arm he has for her, and there in the secret room is an arm that has been growing, made of flesh apparently, just for her. She has this new arm attached …. much better than her old one now.
              * Bell has a cryptic ending to his recorded message (as he’s now dead as far as they are concerned), and the message states that he next one will be even better …. meaning her next arm. A “third” one possibly.

              Now how this ties into the show and those first three comics in that series with the HB junk …

              * In 4.19, we see Walter fix Nina’s arm, after it’s been acting up. The arm we see there is made of flesh, not the robo-looking arm that is usually covered in a black glove. The flesh has even aged signifficantly, right along with her own aging. So the arm, when she holds it up, looks like an “old person’s arm” lol …. full of veins, old skin, yada yada.
              * I can’t remember specifically, but I think I remember there is a scene somewhere in Season 4 where we see Nina’s arm, and it’s not an old looking arm … it’s a normal looking arm of flesh. It looks the right age for what Nina/Blair’s age actually is in other words.

              When I first saw that old-persons arm in 4.19, I wondered why her arm would age at all ? Like, why make it look old ? It would make sense if you were making it match the other one … but then again I didn’t ever remember her arm being flesh in the first place for that matter. I thought it always had a black glove type thing over it. So it occurred to me that perhaps her arm had been replaced with some kind of flesh looking arm after an accident or something perhaps.

              If I’m remembering correctly, and this S4 timeline showed us a fleshly arm of hers at some point … then I think those comics might line up with this timeline. In this timeline, her robo arm has been replaced with one of robo-flesh at some point. And in the future, Bell had planned an even newer version of an arm for her … which I’m guessing she hasn’t received by 2036, when we see Walter mess with it in 4.19

              Now how this ties back into the Hy-Brasil stuff:

              Dian Cecht, the guy Peter meets there …. as I said in another post somewheres here, he’s a healer type of person in Irish mythology. He healed the King’s arm, by giving him one of silver. Dian’s son eventually makes the arm flesh. Out of envy, Dian kills his own son.

              Now when Peter meets Dian, there is that woman there with a silverly looking arm, that can levitate the Machine part, and it glows “magically”. Perhaps Bell is talking about Nina getting a new arm something akin to the Hy-Brasil “magic” arm ? And the Dian Cecht parallels to Bell are fairly uncanny …..

              Didn’t mean for that post to be that long (-:

              Like: Thumb up 0

              • Tash says

                Oh i always thought that her robot arm was like covere in stuff meant to look like :)
                Not like i ever think about it that much…

                Like: Thumb up 2

                  • TW says

                    Yeah I didn’t think too much about the aesthetics of her arm either (how old it looked or whatever) until 4.19. For some reason it really jumped out at me, how old it looked. I chalked it up to more Season 4 laziness (not hatin’, just sayin’).

                    And I just failed with my post anyway lol … looking again at the pilot, when she first shows Olivia her Vader-arm, it’s covered in stuff meant to look like skin haha ^_^. Soooooo …. so much for that tie-in lol :-)

                    Like: Thumb up 1

                    • Tash says

                      well i guess she must of got one that looked older- it would look pretty stupid if her arm looked 30 years younger than the rest of her :)

                      Like: Thumb up 1

                    • TW says

                      @ Tash

                      Yeah having a part of your body look younger than the other parts would look stupid … and creepy :)

                      *thinks of all the plastic surgery done in the world* lol

                      Like: Thumb up 1

      • Rick Terry says

        Read the comics and you will see.

        It is basically an Island that moves (sound familiar?) to stay hidden. It is also a city of gold, and very Atlantis-like. It houses futuristic tech that is also very ancient looking (sound familiar too?). I need to re-read the comics myself after having read TM’s post, but it seems to fit.

        You can buy the comics for viewing online for $.99 a pop. The A stories from “Peter and The Machine” are the ones considered canon. Those are written by Josh Jackson himself, with help from Pinkner and Wyman (the explained to Josh what the deal was with Peter’s sacrifice), but they are credited to Josh Jackson.

        Like: Thumb up 1

    • Rick Terry says

      Hey Tm, did the Hy-Brazilian guy remind you of Christian Shephard too, like it did me? He did say his name was Christian if my memory serves me correctly didn’t he?

      Like: Thumb up 1

        • TW says

          Ooops …. hope it’s obvious I was typing my response while you were posting yours about the Dian correction ^_^

          Like: Thumb up 1

      • TW says

        The Hy-Brasilian guy said his name was Dian Cecht …. very signifficant name. Keep in mind the following story is based on mythical/god like people:

        Dian was a healer type of individual, and replaced the arm of the Tuatha king, Nuada, with one made from some kind of silver. Eventually, Dian’s own son would work “better magic” and replace the silver arm with one again of flesh.

        Also, in the comic, we see there is a red-headed woman (Hy-Brasilian) who fixes the piece of the Vacuum Machine for Peter rather easily. She appears to have some magical type of arm, which even levitates the object.

        Now William Bell ….. replaced red-headed Nina’s arm, yes ? And tbh, I haven’t read the rest of the Series A comics (about Nina’s arm) so perhaps I should … but as far as we know in the show, Bell is the one who designed and replaced her arm, even in this timeline. Thus there is a connection to the healer Dian Cecht and this red-head girl with the magical arm, as far as I’m concerned.

        Furthermore, when William Bell (on screen) gets DRJ to speak the words “sacrifice *the Bishop*” … the first thing I thought of was “Dian Cecht referred to Walter Bishop as “the Bishop”. And I wondered if Dian and Bell are even more connected somehow. Although the show reveals to us that “the Bishop” is supposedly DRJ himself, there is still the interesting connection to Bell. Finally, Bell, in the season finale, he calls Peter “Young Bishop”. This is the same thing Dian calls Peter in his visit to HyBrasil.

        So I see some connections to Bell. As far as Christian Shephard …. I’ve never seen LOST … sorry lol :-)

        A couple more things on Hy-Brasil …

        Arguably, there are a few key pivot points while Peter is in the Machine which allow him to make a different choice finally, instead of repeating the same loop over and over again … or worse, getting a one-shot-one-kill chance to make his choice and choose poorly

        * The wormhole is convenient. Without it, there would be no loop. It’s not the Machine, it’s the wormhole which allows the opportunity for Peter to make the same choices over and over again to hopefully one day “get it right”.
        * September giving Peter (an old Peter that we have not seen on screen, except this old Peter is the same as the 2026 Peter) a tour of his life and the consequences of repeating the same choices. Without September doing this, Peter would arguably keep making the same choices.
        * Key factor: Peter’s visit to Hy-Brasil. His Machine part, which is broken … get’s fixed. Furthermore, Dian seems to indicate that if he had left Peter to die in the storm, and the Machine piece broken …. that they *would not be there*. In other words, if it weren’t for Hy-Brasil … the loop would stop, the Machine would never work, September would not speak with Peter, and there would be no Bridge formed. Thus, HB seems to be crucial to the existence of things as we know them now, and things as we knew them then.
        * The “heaven” symbology in Hy-Brasil is everywhere. Streets of gold, harmony with nature. The little “garden” we see has a sort of Observer-like statue in the middle of it. Reminds me of the “snake in the garden” … and since it was originally the mistake of an Observer which seemingly lead to so much insanity between universes, perhaps this is “making peace with them” or something. It’s a place hidden, secretive, the stuff o myth. Peter got there by “dying”, making a sacrifice, etc.

        If Bell is the devil/false god trying to create his own “world”, and the Observers are the “bad angels”, trying to escape from the hell of 2609, and the universe as we knew it was/is “purgatory”, stuck on loop, people trying to escape … then Hy-Brasil is arguably the “destination” :-) And thus, we now have “stasis runes” and such lol. Elements Bell perhaps stole “from the gods” … like prometheus stealing fire.

        Which reminds me … Massive Dynamic was originally going to be called Prometheus Corporation before the pilot was filmed and aired. They changed it to MD later.

        Okay I’m veering off now lol …
        [/dot connecting rambling]

        Like: Thumb up 1

        • Rick Terry says

          Awesome! Since you haven’t seen LOST, let me fill you in on a few things that jumped out at me.

          In LOST, (arguably the most well known Bad Robot works to date) There is an Island that has people trapped on it via a plane crash, trying to survive, but later they realize they have to “Save the World”. This Island, among other things, is invisible and moves to stay hidden. It also houses an evil entity in the form of black smoke. Christian Shephard is the main character’s dead father who sort of guides him to his island destiny as leader of the plane crash group in the beginning of the series. It is later revealed that Christian was really just a persona of the Smoke monster that lured Jack and other characters to mess with then and keep them off track from the big task at hand (which was to keep the smoke monster thus evil trapped on the island). Though not directly related to Fringe LOST has many themes that we see in Fringe such as; Time Travel, (possible timeloops) Us versus them, “The Others” = Observers (good and bad) DHARMA initiative = a sort of 1960’s/70’s Fringe type team.

          The main theme in LOST was that its main characters spent the time on the island doing what would seem like a fools errand but in hindsight was necessary to bring closure to them each as individuals, and all of them collectively as a group. Although it was never really revealed as to WHAT exactly the island was or why those particular people had to be there, it was hinted at briefly that the island was like a cork in a bottle, and that bottle contained evil, that if let out would destroy the world.

          So these people end up saving the island and killing the Smoke monster. This sort of parallels Fringe but slightly different. In Fringe the main character know that they are trying to save the universe, and they realize all the crazy stuff that goes along with it. Such as time travel alternate realities, time loops, and a host of other fun stuff…In LOST the characters had a vague idea at best about all these things and just went for the ride blindly.

          Like: Thumb up 1

          • TW says

            Yeah …. one reason I’ve not watched LOST, or Alcatraz, etc and so forth … is because of the variations on a theme that they share with Fringe :-(

            I want to still think Fringe is “special” and not cheating on all of us by merely copy and pasting a formula from other Abrams and Bad Robot shows lol …. but I digress ….

            Some of the parallels are definitely interesting. But from what you’ve described, it seems like LOST is much more of a “self contained” type of mythos. The good/evil, time travel/alternate timelines etc are there, but there is a mythos that is separate from the players in LOST verses the rest of the world, so to speak.

            In the Stargate series, for example, I would say the mythos isn’t self contained at all, rather, most of the show takes existing mythos arcs from around the globe and tries to offer a “key” solution which links them all, and plays this out on screen. In Stargate, the key is “ancient aliens didit”.

            I think Fringe is a bit closer to the Stargate type of formula … where it sort of plays off of pre-existing mythologies, paranormal phenomena, conspiracy theory types of situations, and links them to each other via the central core of charcters we are familiar with thus far. So when we see “Hy-Brasil” …. a mysterious island which is invisible and perhaps moves around and is involved with time-travel and wormholes, etc … this is speaking directly to mythos which already exists, and is saying, “this is what those myths that people have pondered for centuries are really talking about”. LOST, from what you describe, is “it’s own thing”. It’s not trying to tie into Atlantis, or real-world ideas of Hy-Brasil, or something like that.

            I don’t even know where I was going with all of that ^_^ lol …

            Like: Thumb up 1

  3. TW says

    Oh and would someone PLEEZ photoshop out that spit on Windmark’s face. Makes me want to puke everytime I look at it :-)

    ^_^ lol

    Like: Thumb up 2

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