Tonight on Fringe (Fox, 9/8c), Astrid finally comes face-to-face with her other-universe doppelganger, but by no doing of her own. Rather, Alt Astrid comes to us, and for a “selfish reason” says Jasika Nicole.
“Something personal happens to [Alt Astrid] and it’s really traumatic,” the actress elaborates. “She doesn’t have anybody else to turn to, so her only option is to come here, which I think is pretty incredible. I think it’s also very brave, because there’s a possibility that [our] Astrid is too afraid to maybe go over to the alternate universe.”
Nicole says that the traumatic event at hand involves Alt Astrid’s family on the other side, “and the main reason that she comes here is to get a little bit of clarity” from her more emotionally available self.
“The alternate Astrid has got Asperger’s, so she has some fundamentally different things about her that make her associate with … the rest of the world [differently],” says Nicole. “I don’t think that she necessarily wants to be closed off or wants to be awkward in conversations and social interactions. It’s just how she is.”
Yet somehow (“Maybe she’s heard other people talking?” Nicole ventures), Alt Astrid has the full 411 on her counterpart, and visiting her “is a really key element in figuring out what her next steps are” in getting through this difficult time. “She wants to see this other Astrid who probably has different relationships with the people in her life… to find out more about the could’ve/should’ve/would’ves.”
Nicole says that getting not just an Astrid-centric hour but one that features two of her was “technically and emotionally difficult,” and took twice as long to shoot versus a typical episode. Luckily, she got pulled aside at one point for some tips from costar Anna Torv, who has the most experience on pulling Fringe double duty. The end result, she says, “was really, really exciting and totally worth it.”
Speaking of Torv, Nicole also is enjoying this Season 4 timeline in which Astrid and Olivia are better gal pals. In seasons past, “You would never see Olivia and Astrid hanging out out, and I’m like, ‘Why wouldn’t they be friends?’ They’re both really smart, they have a very similar, difficult job, and they work with the same crazy people, so that was a really cool part of this season,” she shares. “Now I have this idea that they probably go out for wine twice a month, or go to see a movie!”