In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Fringe showrunners Jeff Pinkner and J.H. Wyman tackled more Season 3 finale questions and offered a few clues as to what Season 4 might hold.
Head past the jump for the quotables. (mild Season 4 spoilers).
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: The finale was filled with glimpses of the Fringe future – or possible Fringe future — from a mysterious, maybe tragic event in Detroit to whatever happened Broyles’ eye. How invested should we be in that version of 2026? Should we be keeping these bits in mind moving forward, or were they just fun ways to flesh out the episode’s possible future?
J.H. WYMAN: It’s both. We loved the idea of going into the future and back again, because it allowed us to inform the present of the show with some thematic elements. So if we feel that we need an element of that future to enhance the drama in the present, we’re going to tell that story. Going forward, that glimpse of the future will be part of the tapestry of Fringe, but don’t expect to [go] there a lot. But what we know now — and this is the important part — is that our world is going to break down. That’s what’s waiting for us. I think the fans should be like: “That’s not a future we should be interested in getting to.”
JEFF PINKNER: To further that, one of the things we love to play with is the notion of choice versus fate/synchronicity. Clearly, what Peter did at the end of that episode is that he fundamentally changed the future. Our team is [now] on a separate path. It is unlikely that we’ll get to that specific outcome in 2026. But are events like what happened in Detroit inevitable in any version of the future? TBD.
WYMAN: And we do want people to invest in those questions. We know what happened in Detroit. We know how Broyles lost his eye.
At the end of the finale, we were left to believe that Peter’s consciousness came back to the 2011 present and that he made a different choice than the one that led to the 2026 future. It also appeared that his new choice affected all of history — past, present, and future. He may have even eradicated himself from existence. Can you shed any light on how we should be thinking about the ramifications of all this? Should we be debating tricky concepts like Grandfather Paradox and how they may be relevant to the story?
PINKNER: Absolutely. The most telling part — the most meaningful part — as it relates to Peter is when Walter in the future looked at him and said: “Bringing your consciousness forward in time will have consequences.” And there was a very meaningful, pregnant look between Walter and Peter. Much of the season was about Walter getting comfortable with the notion that he may really have to sacrifice Peter to undo all the damage he has done to the universe. He wasn’t ultimately faced with that choice until 2026. That’s what that choice was supposed to represent.
EW: Is William Bell (Leonard Nimoy) gone for good?
PINKNER: TBD for sure.
WYMAN: For sure.
In the episode “Lysergic Acid Diethylamide,“ our heroes saw a mysterious, menacing man aboard a blimp. Later, Olivia declared that this man would one day kill her. Are we ever going to return to Blimp Guy and that idea?
PINKNER: It’s definitely still in play. Without being too spoilery, there are things you think you have time to explore in any given season, but don’t. But yes, we are very interested in that moment and the implications of that.
WYMAN: A lot of people are wondering: “How did she know he will kill her?” We have an answer for that.
EW: What was the significance of Future Olivia’s fiery water burial?
PINKNER: The idea there was that based on deteriorating conditions of the world at that time, bodies are buried at sea or burned.
The opening credit sequence included a new black and silver color scheme and several new words, like “HOPE” “WATER” and “BIOSUSPENSION.” How were those words pertinent to the season finale?
WYMAN: They weren’t so much pertinent to the finale but for the introduction of the future of the show. In the past, we used words in the credit sequence as signposts for the episode. But this is a new paradigm.
You can find the entire interview at EW.