For the “Fringe” faithful, tonight’s episode “The End of All Things” is poised to be the beginning of a clearer vision of the sci-fi show’s bigger game plan. PopcornBiz crossed worlds to ask executive producers Jeff Pinkner and J.H. Wyman for a preview – sans spoilers – of what to expect on the alternate reality-bending drama, and a tease of how they hope to satisfy the loyal fan base if the fourth season proves to be “Fringe’s” final.
Jeff Pinkner: It's sort of like the episode was designed to tell a few things that all interacted: the story between Olivia and Nina, and any time Jared Harris as David Robert Jones is on the screen is just fantastic, and allowing Michael Cerveris as our Observer to peel back some layers and reveal some truths about what his agenda has been. And to really use that as an opportunity to revisit the things we've done before in the show.
J.H. Wyman: We always said that you'll find out about the Observers this season and that we're going to investigate them a lot more. So we're excited about it all because the Observers are a highlight. For us to kind of constantly break what you think you know, and sort of reset and have to go, ‘Wow, I didn't see that coming,’ – that's kind of why we get up in the morning. It's to take people on for the ride.
Pinkner: It's definitely, as they say, a game-changer, in that our characters learn a lot more and the audience is going to learn a lot more about the uber-plot of our season and our season bad guy, David Robert Jones. Certainly for Peter and Olivia and Walter this season is going to start to unfold in ways that, hopefully, will be really both satisfying and challenging to our characters. It's the 14th out of 22 episodes and it's very much a hinge episode that's going to launch us into the back half of the season.
Wyman: Obviously, we can't tell anything, but I think that with David Robert Jones, just remember that on Fringe we try to make like nothing is as it seems. That there's always a little more to the story behind the story. He's definitely a large part going forward. I think a lot of things will come full circle, but you'll be like, ‘Oh, wow.’ And it’ll re-contextualize a lot of things that you've already seen.
Pinkner: We did not know that this was going to be a break [until late March]. We thought that the break was going to come after the next episode, which also is a wonderful episode to take a break on – we're sort of in a zone of episodes right now where each one is pretty amazing. Each one either turns the story or resolves something important or leaves a cliffhanger, so each is pretty awesome in itself and also is very important to the overall patchwork of the season. We are very happy that this ended up being one before we went on a little break. But I think the fans are going to be very well satisfied to come back and watch the next one as well.
Wyman: If this is the last season I would feel, obviously, incredibly sad, because I know how much of the story that we have left to tell and that we would love to tell. But in the same breath, I kind of feel like I would feel that I could take care of the fans. That's the most important to us: that we feel like we have an ending that would leave people feeling like, ‘Wow, I feel sad, but satiated. I feel like that was definitely worth my four years of investment. I really love these characters and I can see where it would have gone, but I feel good.’ That's all we're concerned about is to make sure that the fans don't feel like, ‘Wait, what? What happened? I've invested four years of my life and I don't get any kind of resolution that makes sense. That's not what's going on.’ And to be 100% frank, our partners at Fox would never want to consciously allow that to happen. So everybody knows that Jeff and I are very prepared. We're ready for anything.
Pinkner: As far as the season finale, no, we have not written it. In fact, we are talking about it sort of specifically as soon as we get off this phone call. But we do know what it is. We've known the shape of our season before we started.