Fox’s Fringe, which for four years now has traded in dual universes, doppelgängers and shape-shifting body doubles, is fittingly prepping alt versions of its Season 4 finale, as Fox and Warner Bros. TV continue to negotiate the possibility of a Season 5.
“We’ve shot two [endings],” John Noble told TVLine at the opening of the Beverly Hills Paley Center’s “Television: Out of the Box” exhibit, which was created in conjunction with Warner Bros. TV.
Noble says many “big questions” will be answered in the season finale airing May 11 — including the matter of Olivia being fated to die (and whether the animated episode’s “Mr. X” figures into it) and Walter shouldering the burden of responsibility for the warring universes. Viewers also can expect a surprise on the villainy front (David Robert Jones plays “a very big part, but not as big as you think,” Noble teased. “There’s something bigger.”)
But as Joshua Jackson told us Thursday night, “The writers have given themselves a device by which we can tell a fifth-season story without having to leave this season’s story open.”
Although Lance Reddick, who plays Broyles, could not elaborate on the alternate endings, he did affirm, “The way [Season 4] ends could function as a series finale, but there’s one storyline left open that could end up as a cliffhanger for the beginning of the fifth season…. We’ll see what airs depending on what [Fox and WBTV] decide.”
If Fox does pull the trigger on some semblance of a Season 5 – be it a truncated 13-episode order or what have you – viewers will get a clue as to that new storyline much sooner than they may think.
“The door to the fifth season is opened in Episode 19 (airing April 20),” Jackson told us. “If you watch that, you’ll have an understanding of where they want to take the series.” (Possible clue/spoiler alert: Episode 19 takes place in the year 2036 and features a “game-changing battle” between the Fringe team and the Observers.)
But as for where things currently stand with the renewal order…. “I hear warm and fuzzy things — but I’ve been hearing them all the time,” Noble said. “We just picked up [TV Guide Magazine‘s] fan award for Best Drama and so forth, and the fans have always been very supportive… [and] I know the Fox executives actually like Fringe very much. But they run a business. I think we’ll be back, but we’ll wait and see.” (With reporting by Vlada Gelman)