Post Mortem: Fringe Boss Talks 'Quiet' Finale, the Final Season's 'Huge Payoff' and [Spoiler]'s 'Fate'

Warning: The following contains spoilers from the Season 4 finale of Fox’s Fringe.

Fox’s Fringe on Friday night served up a season finale that wrapped a rollicking-good yarn involving William Bell, his God complex and his elaborate plan to lord over a new (dino-mite?) dominion fashioned from a third universe. By the hour’s end, said scheme was snuffed by the extinguishing of Belly’s power source – that being Olivia the Cortexiphanatic, who then was revived thanks to Walter’s icky-gooey inventiveness [Shudder] and Liv’s heightened healing ability.

In the coda, a recuperated Olivia revealed to Peter that the nursery she spoke of the week prior was going to be very much needed — she’s pregnant! – before we cut to the actual dropping of shoe: September the Observer materializing in Walter’s lab to report that “they” are coming. “They,” as anyone who watched the time-trippy Episode 19 knows, are the aggressive pack of Observers hell-bent on ruling Earth all while wearing jaunty hats.

TVLine spoke with executive producer Joel Wyman about that season-ending hook and what it’s teeing up, and the excitement he and EP Jeff Pinkner feel about wrapping the show on their own terms come fall.

TVLINE | The “button” for this finale, the final moment, was one of the quieter ones the series has had to date. Is that a trade-off you made by revealing what you did in Episode 19?
Exactly. It was quiet. Whereas the seasons that came before, it was always such an accelerated, “Let’s jam you to watch next season!” thing, this was more of an emotional crescendo. Traditionally we end the seasons with chapters, and this was a gentle closing of the chapter.

TVLINE | But as much as may have been revealed in 19, is it safe to say we don’t have a true grasp for all that’s coming?
September [in the final scene] was referring to the Observers [coming], to the events of 419. But going forward, it’s a who, what, where, when and why, for sure. It’s also a crescendo of everything that has come before it. Season 5 is designed to be very important, a huge payoff for loyal fans. They will feel like, “Because I invested in every single episode, and I have so many questions, I want these questions answered. And I want everything to be made sense of, but taken on a journey that just can’t be stopped. I want it to end in a place where I feel like everybody kind of belongs where they are and got what they’ve earned.” There will be a sense of satisfaction for those long-term viewers that go, “Wow, I really feel good. I feel OK about what has transpired, what I have watched. But I also can imagine life after that for our main characters.” So that’s what Season 5 is — and it’s a big responsibility! [Laughs]

TVLINE | Along those lines, are you and Jeff pretty excited to have that final season order, to march toward the finish line you’ve always had in your head?
Oh my god…. Look, if not for you guys [in the press] and the fans, there’s no way we’d still be here — so a big thank you for that, for caring enough to recognize that we’re trying really hard here. We’re always amazed that [Fox] went forward with this, because it’s no secret the ratings were what they were. But we stuck to this point of view that we’re never going to change the storytelling based on anybody’s input. This is going to be a story we tell 100-percent from our hearts, authentically, good or bad — and if we’re fortunate enough to get where we want to go, that’s a small miracle. So when got the 13[-episode final season order] – which we knew about maybe an hour before everybody else – it was like, “Finally, I get some canvas to finish this picture.” And truthfully, I was more relieved for the fans.

TVLINE | I, as I know you do, think the world of John Noble. For years he’s be an outstanding ambassador for your show. But he did tell us a few weeks ago that something a little bit extra or different had been shot in case this was the series finale. I know you rebuffed that idea when I asked you about it last week, but can you then clarify what John might have been speaking about?
I think we’re talking about two different things. These guys [on our cast] are doing their best given what they know, since traditionally we’re very secretive. We had talked about a couple of ideas, Jeff and I – “Well, maybe we could take it this way, or take it another way” — but we still wanted to be true to the main idea. So there was a thought there that maybe we should do a whole different thing if we get picked up or if we don’t. We felt, ultimately, that we weren’t going to film anything that we thought would be completely different. We talked about it, and there was something shot that we used in a different context that nobody could have possibly imagined. So that’s where the confusion lies with John. We just basically said, “Know what? We found a way to cover both angles, and we’re OK with it.”

TVLINE | How much time will have passed when we pick back up in the fall?
Let’s say this, without being too spoilery: Episode 419 is obviously crucial, and I can say that everything that you’ve watched for the first four seasons is very important to what is going to happen in [Season] 5. Episode 419 is an absolutely imperative part of that story.

TVLINE | But what I was getting at is, in the Season 5 premiere is it, for example, five months later? Is Etta maybe a six-year-old… ? Or is that the question you were answering?
That’s what I’m trying to not spoil. [Laughs] But it will make sense. It’s fair to say… that you were really, really right on the money when you were saying that 419 sort of took away the need for some huge hook at the end of Season 4. Take what you will from that!

TVLINE | It hit me right before this call that Olivia’s announcement to Peter about the baby came right before September showed up to warn Walter. Can we draw a correlation?
Interesting…. What do you mean?

TVLINE | Meaning, are the evil Observers now on their way because of the baby Olivia is having?
Um…. [Laughs] Let’s say that yeah, we saw in 419 what the result of that is, that Etta is in the future a major thorn in the side of the Observers. So it’s definitely all a part of fate.

What did you think of the Fringe finale? And any forecasts for the final season?

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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120 Comments
  1. ScrubsGuy says:

    I love Fringe but I was really disappointed with the season finale. It felt way too rushed, Bell didn’t really have time to mature into a proper villain, the whole Astrid gets shot thing was anti-climatic (why did someone want her to live?), Bell just disappears, and still no answers about the First People. There were good moments, but it didn’t feel up to par overall.

    • Scott says:

      In last season’s finale, Peter clearly stated that it was them (Walter, Astrid, Ella) from the future of that particular timeline who sent back parts for the machine and were the “First People”. I think that’s all the answer we’ll get (or really need) on that one.

      • Matt Sladen says:

        WHEN did they go. WHY did they go. HOW did they go. HOW did they originally make the machine? What about SAM WEISS? The question of the First People wasn’t answered in the slightest!

    • John DeMayo says:

      Yeah, the first people storyline was wrapped up tightly LAST YEAR. Walter and co. were the first people, who went through the time wormhole thing and built the Machine. Remember?

      • ScrubsGuy says:

        You guys are right – it is mentioned explicitly last year. I had expected there would be more of a follow-up to it, i.e. maybe see them actually send it back, more about Sam Weiss, etc. I believe one of the EPs mentioned it was one of the plots they would tie up in the finale, which was why I had such expectations.

        • Juan says:

          The only answer I wish we got was the guy from the LSD episode who Olivia said is the guy that would kill her, hopefully that’s answered the next season. Besides that, the finale was a solid episode for me!

          • matt says:

            I think that was just one of many references to the idea that Olivia “has to die.” The best explanation we may get as to who is Mr. X from the LSD episode is that that Mr. X represents Walter since he shot Olivia in the season finale.

          • Ken says:

            Juan- These writers are smart.the Mr x,Olivia’s supposedly killer,that x means unknown,which could have been anyone.It so happens that Mr x turns out to be Walter,and his actions turned out to be quite logical.

          • Seamus says:

            Wyman and Pinker covered this in an interview with TV Guide. Than nanites had the same X logo. Bell created the nanites. Her brain interpreted it has the X, but it’s really Bell’s logo/signature and Bell is, in short, the man responsible for her having to be killed.

          • Darren says:

            Hi. The guy from series 3 who Olivia thinks will kill her (the animated episode) has a cross on his chest. In series 4 when Walter is examining the nanomites, from the escalator, under the microscope you can see the same cross design on the nanomite as you do on the man in Olivia’s mind. Therefore, it’s made apparent that William Bell will play a significant role in ‘killing’ Olivia and it is he who is referred to when the cross design is seen!

    • W says:

      good gracious, First People!? are you kidding me? pay attention! that story was done a year ago.

    • JohnDoe says:

      No way is Bell gone for good, there is plenty of more villainizing for him to do, I’m guessing.

    • kyle says:

      umm… the first people were walter, astrid, etc – the fringe team. we learned this a year ago.

    • Victorious says:

      I think they needed Astrid to tell Olivia and Peter about the warehouse so that can discover the Observer and that Olivia can continue to be activated.

    • katherine says:

      the first people were walter and peter and whoever else helped bury the machine in the penultimate episode of last season. i’m pretty sure that was the answer to the first people mystery.

      • Josh says:

        ah but were there not pieces of the machine in the other universe which at that point was destroyed…. so how do they get the pieces to the other universe or maybe they just chuck them in the wormhole and it all sorts it self out?? who knows!

    • JunLun-no says:

      The first people question has been answered.

    • YowzaPowza says:

      Um, did you watch the first three and a half seasons of this show?

    • Jack MeHoff says:

      You also have to realize why it was rushed a bit. They didn’t know if they were going to have a season 5.

    • Producer says:

      Sorry to say that the ‘First People’ scenario was answered. It was them but then the time line changed and Peter disappeared and all was forgotten.

  2. steve says:

    Very Boring Finale as the Cliffhanger didnt really pack a punch like the 3 before it because they gave us what we already new.

    • Viola says:

      There won’t be a real cliffhanger as they made this episode which can be served as a series finale in case the show did not get picked up.

    • Ken says:

      What is wrong with you people,the finale was not ment to be a clifthanger,it was written to serve as a series finale or season finale, and this they achieved.The ending was perfect,and as layed the foundation nicely for season 5.
      This is what i love about Whyman and Pinkner, they write the show to satisfy their hard core base fans,fans who as been with the show since season one, and not cater to those who watch occasionally and then make stupid comments.

  3. wmcc520 says:

    Another fantastic finale! As they said, a quieter one but still satisfying and had it indeed been a series finale it would have worked. But I am so happy the writers/producers get a chance to end the story they way they wanted. They have done such a marvelous job of answering questions but keeping us hooked and engaged with new avenues….I can’t wait to see where they end up.

    Not sure if it works into their plan but I really hope we get to see the alt universe again. We need more Lincoln and more Faux-livia! yes, I said it…hated her in the beginning but grew very fond of her. It’s amazing how Anna Torv awas able to make them two such distinct characters. She and John Noble truly deserve some Emmy love! Also have to say the effects on this show are pretty damn seamless.

  4. erinrose says:

    The season finale was filmed before the knew it was picked up for a fifth season. If it had not without that last part with Walter, it would have given us closure for the series. So don’t blame the produces or writer, u can blame Fox for not giving us a renewal earlier. The only thing they did not give us was the answer about the “first people”. Then they also give us a great platform for a final season. It is brilliant if u think about it. They were backed in ti an impossible corner. This way we would have been happy if it was the end, and since it is not, we have the hook at the end to give us even more. Look at it as a wonderful way to make sure we were happy as fans. So blame Fox for us not having a crazy, sitting at the edge of r seats finale and thank the writers for being the best on tv by giving us an option either way.

    • John DeMayo says:

      The “First People” answer was given in LAST YEAR’S finale. Walter/Peter/Ella were the First People. They traveled back in time through the wormhole (or whatever) and built the Machine. They were the First People. It’s definitely not a question left unanswered.

      • matt says:

        Agreed! The First People are no longer a mystery, however they never do explain how the Fringe Division in the alternate timeline would have been able to activate the machine if it only responded to Peter…

        • They’ve said throughout this season that when Peter was erased, it wasn’t done perfectly. That’s why after Peter disappears, Walter’s standing in the bridge between the two universes, but then days later hasn’t left the lab in years. There are paradoxes throughout, things don’t line up perfectly, because they don’t make sense without Peter. The original timeline exists under the surface, that’s why Olivia could retrieve memories Peter didn’t have of her, and why certain little cracks have formed — half of David Robert Jones burning away like it did the first time Peter killed him.

          • matt says:

            Good points! In that sense, it’s nice to know that all the events of seasons 1-3 were’s pointless as “the original timeline exists under the surface” as you said. I do hope that’s something they touch on or explain in the final season 5 as it would be nice to have it confirmed that this was intentional. I continue to cling to the hope that EVERYTHING the writers/producers has been for a specific purpose and not just “because they can.”

          • Rick says:

            Matt,

            You wrote: “I continue to cling to the hope that EVERYTHING the writers/producers has been for a specific purpose and not just “because they can.” ”

            Ever watch Lost? Expect to be disappointed after next season.

        • jen d says:

          They used the DNA from Faux-livia and Peter’s son Henry.

    • CR says:

      I agree completely that the writers and producers were aiming for a episode that if necessary would have been the series finale since renewal came so late in production. I thoroughly enjoyed the episode, but I agree it would have been nice to have a little more time with Bell as a villain, but considering Leonard Nimoy is supposed to be retired, I’ll be grateful for the time we were given.

  5. Nathalie says:

    Well I really liked the finale. Fringe has been known to throw everything up in the air in season finales, leaving us to wonder: how could this be? what does this mean? that’s not possible! And I loved all those episodes, but this finale was great because it’s part of the series finale. It’s like a pre-season finale, because the table has been set, we know the bulk of what’s coming, we got closure on some stuff and we got the bridge to the next, last 13 episodes. I’ve been an avid fan since the beginning and I love that the EP’s feel strongly about rewarding fans with answers to all the mysteries. One of the things that infuriated me about Lost (a show I loved), was that TPTB said, “Look, we won’t answer every little question that the fans have, that’s impossible, there’s just too much to cover, we’ll make a fitting finale which will hopefully be open to interpretation and everyone will take away what they will.” That was frustrating because as brilliant as the show had been, it meant that the writers had basically thrown a bunch of stuff out there, not really knowing what it was gonna be about. And it’s not like they were cancelled before they could tie up all the loose ends, they decided themselves to end the show when they did. And now I’m just really grateful to the Fringe team for making an effort to reward the fans who have invested so much into this show so they can feel like they have watched a journey with a logical beginning, middle and end.

  6. Scott says:

    I thought it was a very good finale, but I rather wish the Cortexiphan wasn’t used as an “out” so much.

    Also… “something shot that we used in a different context” – I bet this was in reference to the scenes with dozens of Observers coming out of some landmark buildings. I read reports that they filmed this happening, but it didn’t get put in the final cut…

    • W says:

      i know what you mean, but to be fair, the word cortexiphan literally means a drug that can strengthen the cortex to increase mental ability if you will. they’ve basically made Olivia into a superhuman over the seasons, so it’s easy to go along with it.

  7. Angie says:

    I enjoyed the finale even if it was on the quiet side. The best part for me was when Walter and Peter put their heads together over Olivia as she healed. These three characters are the glue that holds the show together. I also thought this could have served as an acceptable series finale (although I’m really glad that’s not the case). I do hope that we don’t jump too far ahead in the future at the start of the next season. I wasn’t completely enamored with 4×19 and don’t want to go there too soon.

    • JoshJacksononOnceuponatimefan says:

      My favorite part was the father/son moment too. I love that bond so that moment along with the quiet moment of Astrid/Walter bonding and Peter/Olivia starting their family felt so perfect to me.

    • Ken says:

      Angie- I wish those people who want to see this person and that person, come to realization that the core team (Peter,Olivia,Walter)is what make this show works. As you put it they are the glue or the nucleus that hold this show together.

  8. Walter'sLabPartner says:

    Loved the finale. It had everything: emotion, action and answers. It would have been a satisfying series finale, if it had come to that. I’m thrilled we’ll get a bit more.

    Kudos to Wyman and Pinkner and all the cast and crew for bringing such a big experience to the small screen every week. They’re just amazing.

  9. Meg says:

    Fantastic season finale!!!!! FRINGE IS AWESOME… Anna Torv, Joshua Jackson and John Noble are AMAZING!!!!

    • Denver Military Dad says:

      YES! well said ! I thought it was the best episode – so much ground covered, it was on the level of Lost in it’s heyday. Give us more of that and we may see season 6 when some of the fall 2012 shows on Fox peter out.

  10. Ryan Dietz says:

    Loved it. Can’t wait for next season!

    One thing I hope they address is the kid they found in a collapsed tunnel way back in Season 1, as well as John Mosely and his interest in the beacon and why Nina swiped John Scott’s body.

    • forrest says:

      Good Point Ryan. Also what of the mysterious “Mr. X” from the blimp back from Season’s three – episode 19 where Olivia says, “I think that’s the man who’s going to kill me.” How does that fit into the finale? Or is that something also rewritten in the new timeline?

    • Amanda says:

      I actually heard that the producers said they will address that kid (who actually will become an Observer).

      • Zaki says:

        I wonder the kid that will grow up to be observer from season 1 is actually September?

        • garbro says:

          No, September was also in that episode. I remember how, at the end, when the boy was being driven away, the vehicle passed by September. He and the boy looked startled at a sort of “shared awareness” as they spied each other.

    • Seamus says:

      Excellent. After Transit I started watching the show all over again. I am convinced the boy is September. Since they don’t experience time like us.

      • Amanda says:

        Wasn’t it September that came to get him though?

        • Seamus says:

          Actually no, Ryan. I just saw this one a week ago. It ends with Olivia sneaking the boy away to a safe, foster family. On his way there, their car passes September watching on the road, and their eyes meet. My guess is September was part of the first wave of sleepers sent back. Due to his encounter, and connection with Olivia he began to care, much like August did in Season Two.

      • josh says:

        I agree that he is September because of his connection to Olivia. Maybe he saved Peter because of his connection to Olivia and not the machine. I had never thought about the kid I I season one until today

        • Seamus says:

          Watching Season 1 again, so close to the end of 4, it becomes crazy apparent that they planned all of this out from the beginning. There are so many episodes from Season 1 and 2 that tie directly into the back half of Season 4. I had some complaints this Season, but I didn’t care enough to mention them. It’s their show, and I’m just watching their story. I’m glad I didn’t, because it is amazing how tied in Season 4 is to the other seasons. And they’re saying that Season 5 will be about Seasons 1-4. I totally believe it.

      • Becka says:

        I made that connection right after that episode. We hadn’t seen that much of September, but I really really think that the boy is him. So he has a soft spot for the team, especially Olivia.

  11. matt says:

    I’m really intrigued by the quote in the article above that says “I can say that everything that you’ve watched for the first four seasons is very important to what is going to happen in [Season] 5″ and other similar comments made in the interview. I had heard that the season four premiere doubled as a quasi-reboot in an attempt to get more viewers, and for me that’s resulted in the alternate timeline feeling contrived. What they’ve done with it has been neat, but Peter “discovering” mid-season that this really is his home just feels like a cop out, an attempt to justify a weird and random change to the show, and a dismissal of the events in seasons 1-3. The producer’s comments in this article give me hope that this was all done for a reason and that everything we’ve experienced watching faithfully through ALL FOUR seasons comes into play in the final story they plan to tell. Others, please offer your thoughts via reply if you have any insight into this!

    • jen says:

      I too felt it was a cop-out for Peter to suddenly realize this was his universe afterall, however the writers of the show are brilliant given that I easily would have been satisfied had this been a series finale yet it still works as a season finale as well so I have high hopes that this will be discussed in season 5

  12. Liked the ‘quiet finale’.

    In our finale recap, we highlight Olivia’s shooting and the resurrection of Jessica as highlights. There’s also a heavy amount of speculation about what next season could look like. Our prediction: equally divided time between the present and the Observer-Dystopian future with a brief stopover to the ‘Other’ world to see Lincoln, Fauxlivia and grab Bell.

  13. JoshJacksononOnceuponatimefan says:

    I really LOVED the finale. It was so good. I loved the Oliva/September/Peter scene, Astrid/Walter, Olivia/Peter moments. Walter shooting Olivia shocked me. Joshua Jackson did such a great job with his reaction and then the father/son head touching moment was so beautiful. I was so freakin happy with the finale. I really hope the final season doesn’t go to far in the future but even if it does, Olivia needs to be there and Olivia/Peter/Walter/Astrid family needs to be the focus/heart of it.

    • Ken says:

      Josh/J: I do believe they will end season 5 with the family in tact (the way i want it) Peter,Olivia,Walter and Astrid, along with Etta (Peter/Olivia’s daughter) they may even have their wedding at the end, with Etta being bride’s maid to her mother.That would make my day.

  14. M3rc Nate says:

    LOVED IT! Though im still confused as to where the guy with the X on his shirt will come in that Olivia:”He will kill me” comes into play. I thought i read that the mystery revolved around him would be answered this season, and considering Olivia was killed this season (finale) i figured somehow he would be involved.

    But like many said, this finale was before they knew they had a 13 ep final season, so it being quieter and wrapping things up i loved. They were right that had the show ended, i would had been extremely satisfied. (I feel the climax of Peter and Olivia and the pregnancy is what people wanted with Chuck, and even what Zachery/Yvonne wanted on Chuck).

    I cant wait for season 5, but i hope however they have it…Olivia is in at least 12 of the 13 episodes…and that they dont skip over the love and romance and chemistry and pregnancy and birth and raising of the daughter…i love the shows sci-fi storys and all that, but what i love most about Fringe is Peter and Olivia and them in love. Cause really the story is about them, hell at one point how the universe worked out depended on which Olivia Peter chose.

    • Patti says:

      I love mystery and scifi but I can only stick with those shows if the characters are the focus. Fringe sold me from day one with the Walter/Peter/Olivia dynamic. Those three together with their chemistry and emotional bond is what the show is all about. The Dunham-Bishop’s need to be together and at the center of the final season.

      • M3rc Nate says:

        Yup. I might just be a romantic or something..but im that way about all my favorite shows. Some really satisfy me in regards to the couple department (Fringe, Chuck, Flashpoint, Nikita, Psych, NCIS: LA [unless they never get Deeks And Kensi together]) and others fall short (Vampire Diaries, NCIS, Bones [skipping everything], House w/ cuddy, Castle the past season until the Finale).
        All in all i watch the shows at heart for the relationships, the chemistry and coupling. It can make watching a show suck when all there is in terms of good writing is the relationship and even that isnt going well (Castle up until the finale) and it can be great with amazingly written shows like Fringe, in which even if the romance is on the back burner or Olivia doesnt remember Peter, at least the Sci-Fi story lines are amazing.

      • Kaa says:

        This is a science fiction show but it is totally about the Bishop family. That is why it’s not cornball to have Olivia be pregnant. We’re going to see the continuation of the Bishop family and that is a big part of Fringe. Bishops forever!

    • Ken says:

      M3rcNate: I am a total romantic, and i too want to see what you have stated,to enjoy the love, the chemistry of these two (Peter/Olivia) the pregnancy and birth of their child, and the raising of their daughter.No matter how you looked at it,the heart of the show is the great love of Peter/Olivia,which i enjoy most,along with Walter and Astrid.This is what make Fringe what it is,love and family.
      Let’s face it,no two does it better than Peter/Olivia.

  15. W says:

    i think my favorite line was Nina’s exposition-heavy dialogue when she was mentioning something about Olivia from the “original timeline”. how meta of Fringe! it’s funny they remind us of that because the show doesn’t seem to be going back to that original timeline anytime soon, so does events happening there still matter?

  16. Christina says:

    I loved the finale. It was a lot of fun to watch. I’m kind of curious where Seth Gabel/Lincoln fits into this. They said in the other interview that they wouldn’t reveal whether the actor was coming back because it would spoil the finale one way or the other. I’m hope at least we get to see him every now and again along with the rest of the alt-verse. I love that universe…dare I say better than the original. I know they will be limited though with only 13 eps. I guess I trust them, like I have since the beginning.

  17. Rick Katze says:

    I thought the end was perfect. Closure of the Season’s story with a question to start the action in Season 5.
    Lots of people mentioned thing from the first 4 seasons which have not been answered. Hopefully they will answer many of them.
    Looking forward, with Bell dead, has the reason to close the bridge been resolved? Episode 19 did not show any hint of the alternative universe. Looking outside the show, there was no secret that costs were an issue in the renewal. If the bridge remains down, it is one way to eliminate Seth Gabel but in a way that gives him a hopeful future. Of course, Is Bell dead? As someone said in another movies, “have you seen the body?’ He faded out, possibilly going to another universe
    Seeing April as the kid in the tunnell would explain his actions to a large extent. He bonded with Olivia and remains loyal to her, not to the other observers. However I expect that this is too simple an answer based on the complexity of the writing.
    Hopefully Fox will begin the fifth season in September and not delay it until January.

    • Ken says:

      Rick Katze: I concur,monetary cost was definitely the main factor for season 5 renewal.I will go a step further about something i have voiced before;They should have closed the bridge much sooner than they did,this would have lowered cost, including what they had to pay to Seth Gable.
      Granted the story line that led up to the closing of the bridge was nicely done. These are great writers,so they could have found ways to moved up the bridge closing timeline. If they were showing a lower budget cost much earlier in season 4,then there’s a possibility that we may have gotten a full 5th season (22 episodes).
      Just a thought.

  18. Yash Lucid says:

    QUESTIONS about the season finale

    1. Where did Bell go when he struck the bell?
    2. How did Bell turn into such a monster in this timeline, whereas he was good in the previous one?
    3. In the first timeline (Where Bell was good), what was David Robert Jones’ motive?
    4. We’re there different creators for the shapeshifters in each timeline?

    • Ryan says:

      We’re there different creators for the shape shifters in each timeline? – No it was always william bell, in the first timeline he created them for the other universe; and no doubt he created them not David Robert Jones in the alternative timeline.

      Personally I think Bell has been indirectly behind everything including the alternative timeline, when talking to David Robert Jones about his chess board he said he had taken 40 years to plan his next move which if had reference to his diabolical plans then it would have started prior to the split in the timeline where Peter dies as a child.

  19. Johnk says:

    Uggh posted message on wrong board so just the gist of other post here.
    1 not even remotely a scifi fan
    2 I do love fringe
    3 am grateful to the fans that kept the show going you guys ROCK!
    4 I hAte typing on this garbage iphone with my big fingers
    5 so excuse my typos
    6 1 more time thNk you to the fans that kept the show going as I understand it Fox loses money but the fans were great so 1 more season!!! You guys rock!!

    Ok I think I covered it all again disregard my other post :)

    John

  20. Aaron says:

    Come on guys it seems pretty simple to me. Olivia didn’t have to die to save the world for the current human race. Olivia had to die for the observers to have the future they want. If Olivia didn’t die then Bell’s plan would have screwed over the observers plan to take over this timeline. Bell isn’t gone. We know this because he is frozen in amber in the future and Walter willingly and almost happily removes his hand. Next season focuses on stopping the observer takeover and fixing the universes. I believe Bell is going to play a big part in this but I don’t know how yet.

  21. Liz says:

    I nearly had a few heart attacks in one episode alone.
    When Olivia got shot again by Walter (last time by Walternate).
    And Olivia’s telling Peter she’s pregnant, heart attack in a good way due to difficulty in breathing.

  22. brendan says:

    I thought it was great. It was still unexpected and it was a worthy episode.
    Does this show really lose money? It’s hard to believe something so creative and unique can’t draw a crowd. I will truly miss it.

  23. Thomas says:

    What struck me in this episode was the true reason behind Walter’s brain-‘surgery’.
    Bell said Walter found out how to create a new universe, and this knowledge scared him, thus leading him to remove a part of his brain. However, he wanted to create this new universe because he had lost both his own son and Walternate’s son.
    In the original timeline, Walter had part of his brain removed too. Though this time, he did have a son: Walternate’s son. So the question is, did he then curse the gods too? Was the brain-surgery performed for the exact same reason in the original timeline?

  24. Kaa says:

    This episode was a bit clunky (the whole two-parter I mean) but the way it wound up was INFINITELY more satisfying than last season’s finale. Last year’s finally just simply pulled the rug out from under everybody and left them confused. This finale has a sense of “We’re getting near the happy ending now, but there’s more story to tell and we know basically the direction it’s going” – so it’s a really good way to leave us for the summer.

    Don’t get me wrong, I thought Season 4 was pretty good, but that cliffhanger last year was just awful.

    • I hated last year’s cliffhanger, because like you said, it was really confusing and I found it unsatisfying. I was worried they would make us wait all summer to find out if Olivia is really dead or if she would be brought back, and I am really glad they didn’t do that. As a Polivia fan, I am all for baby Etta, I just hope that they are able to raise her and are able to avoid the evil Observers world from happening. They have been warned by September, and now they can try and stop that future from happening in the next season. Sounds like it will be a good one to me!

  25. Sibby says:

    Oooh! An “observer trap” (like the ones in supernatural).Will be brilliant for the observer hunters or the resistance. It will be a long wait for next season, even though I know what baddies are coming….

  26. Just An Observation says:

    So, in a loop, is Olivia the birth of the Observers? Not so much that “they are coming” but their Eve?

  27. cjeffery7 says:

    this may sound completely bonkers, but could Etta be a sort of immaculate cortexiphan baby?? could that be where all of Olivia’s leftover cortexiphan went? thus why Etta can shield herself from the observers?
    OR
    when Olivia became pregnant and passed on some of that cortexiphan to little fetus Etta, as she started to grow, she multiplied Olivia’s cortexiphan levels exponentially, thus setting up Olivia to be the harbinger of death (if i may use a Battlestar reference) of both universes?
    EITHER OR NEITHER WAY
    this season 5 pick-up means more Etta, so I’m happy.

    • I was also thinking that the cortexiphan and the fact that Olivia died briefly while carrying Etta has to do with why Etta has super mind powers, so I think you make a good point.

    • katy917 says:

      Walter actually expalined it, when he was talking to Peter at the end. He said that the energy required to heal her brain would have used up most of the cortexiphan, but the very nature of the drug was that it worked on a biological level, so Olivia would always have traces of it in her, which then goes on to explain how Etta has powers, they were passed on to her by her mother, they may remain dormant in Olivia, but somehow are active with Etta, possibly because it is part of her genetic makeup.

      • Ken says:

        KATY917: What you have stated is correct. Also we now know where that bullet that hang’s around Etta’s neck comes from,that is the bullet that Walter took out of her dead mother (Olivia) head. So it is safe to assume that one of her parent or Walter gave it to her as a child,as a good luck piece.

  28. Roberto Cabanis says:

    I’m disappointed : they didn’t explain who was shot on the outrigger.

  29. Georgina says:

    I love the ‘quiet’ finale, had it been the series finale I would have been really satisfied. Now I’m really excited for season 5, I’m thinking they might do a time jump about 4 years into the future when Etta said she last saw her parents and alternate that with year 2036 where we left off in 4×19. I really miss the alternate universe though and I hope we get to see them again at some point though I’m not sure how.

  30. davej says:

    Enjoyed the finale – glad no wild cliffhanger like last year. Also enjoyed readin so many comments on the show.

    Going forward, I hope we revisit the alt Universe and help them heal some more. It has to be resolved some way. If The Observes are taking over this Earth, could they also try to take over the alt Universe Earth? Can we reconnect the bridge so the alt Universe Earth can help this Earth fight The Observers?

    I also wonder if it would be a smart idea to re-introduce some sort of cortexiphan use in a controlled way. I think Olivia is showing what it can do and maybe the scientists and doctors can work the kinks out to be able to apply it to kids.

  31. tala says:

    loved the last few episodes including the season finale. can’t wait for next year.

  32. josh says:

    Call me old fashioned nut in the end I believe they will all live happily ever after Peter,Olivia Walter every body ant when Olivia dies it will be of old age. That is my hope

  33. Brian says:

    I really enjoyed the finale because of how it opens up all kinds of questions about the events of the 4/19 episode (which for all intensive purposes is the future). We know from that episode that Bell will be back (he was in amber in episode 4/19). We also know that Etta’s parents disappeared when she was young. I also want to know who cut Walter out of the amber in that episode. So many questions! I can only hope that 13 episodes is enough time to close out this story and I LOVE how the writers always stay committed to there science fiction roots.

    • What happened in 4.19 is only a possible future. I am thinking that season 5 will be spent preventing that future from happening, or at least I hope that it is. I want Peter, Olivia, Walter and Astrid to live happily ever after, and I want Etta to be raised by her parents.

  34. bruce says:

    Walter is always the person who kills Olivia. remember last season when peter went to the future. Walternate shot Olivia in the head.

  35. Rachel says:

    Loved the finale, but it wasn’t Joshua Jackson’s best work. I kind of giggled at his reaction when Olivia died, it was so unbelievable. He’s much better when he’s angry!

  36. tvdiva says:

    Matt – thanks for the great interview and trying to get them to spill the beans on the questions I had abut season 5. My guess is that it will start much like the first episode of Ghost Whisperer’s final season – we may see the birth in the labor room, a quick montage and then we see Henrietta as a four year old. I also think the 13 episodes will flip back and forth between present day Fringe and 2036 and then end the series in 2036. FYI – I think 2036 would make for a great spin-off show.

  37. Maris says:

    What a fantastic season finale! I also would have been happy had that been the series finale. I’m proud to say I’vebeen here since the beginning, trusting the writers, the story they wanted to say, and all the mind-boggling experiences they offered. A big THANK YOU to the loyal fans that come back every week and to those who fought to help save Fringe! #ThankYou

    • Maris says:

      Btw I’m SO going to re-watch seasons 1-3 this summer!

      • Ken says:

        mARIS:This summer? are you kidding;i have been watching season 1-3 almost every month between current shows. To say i’m addicted to Fringe is a mild way of putting it. I find that no other show even come close to Fringe to hold my interest.

        • Maris says:

          I wish I could say I had the time between school, work, and home I don’t have the time but now that the semester is done I’m free and will be privileged enough to watch it ALL over again.

    • Maris says:

      P.s.s no one commented on Walter slapping Peter. Was I the only one that died laughing at this scene?

      • Ken says:

        Yes Maris,it was a fantastic season finale,i could not ask for better, and i too as been here since the beginning,going along for this great ride these marvelous writers as presented for us, with mind boggling story plots that make’s you think.Also to present us with the most epic love story (Peter/Olivia)to enjoy.This is a ride you wish would never end,bur alas we know it will.So like you i would like to thank the real Fringe fans for coming back each week, and their voiced solidarity which helped to give us season 5.

  38. katy917 says:

    I have loved this show since the pilot, it’s so original and fresh. Loved the finale, yes quiet, but had it been the series finale, it would have been incredibly satisfying, as you would assume that 4:19 showed how it ends – with the gang reunited in the future to fight the Observers. I would love it if season 5 started with Etta being sent back to the present to warn her parents of what has happened and the rest of teh season is all of them fighting to stop it before it does.

  39. Johnny Cage says:

    Anyone else notice that Linkin was not in the finale? In fact, now that the bridge is closed, and linkin on that side is dead, and this sides linkin went over… my guess is that season 5 will deal more with “time” based episodes/ paradoxes and that the events involving the other universe have been fully wrapped up. We probably won’t ever see linkin again.

  40. Cortexifan says:

    The ending was perfect. Anyone complaining anything about the season finale should watch from S1 EP1 AGAIN!

  41. JCR says:

    I thought that the finale was too crazy, over the top and rushed…and I’ve been on board 100% since s1 / e1. Can anyone say the last couple seasons of Alias? I also don’t like how abruptly they wrapped up the alternate universe. As for next season, I really hope that our favorite characters get to live “happily ever after” and not be stuck however many years in the future fighting for their lives with crazy Observers in charge. What about their families? Their lives? That would be a terrible ending for such heroic characters who deserve a nice wrap up to this series.

  42. Ken says:

    JCR: You are a completely asinine,stupid,idiot to come to the conclusion that you did, about a brilliantly written script, with a perfect ending for the finale.Only an ignoramus fool like you would think that the finale is “too crazy”.
    If you have the need to insult a brilliant show like Fringe, take your insult else-where

  43. JCR says:

    KEN: AAaaaawwww….what’s the matter? Lose your pocket protector? Only a pathetic loser would get so worked up over a honest critique of a TV SHOW. It’s not real Ken! Get out of your parents basement and get a life.

    • Ken says:

      JCR: How can anyone who lack’s intelligence give a honest critique about anything that is relevant.You also showcase your ignorance by stating “the show not real” how stupid do you have to be to say a thing like that.I do not have to get worked up over a show to respond to nonsensical comments.Oh by the way,you may have swallowed my pocket protector,this should enhanced you thinking ability.

  44. Dan says:

    I love Fringe. Fox sucks for not renewing to 7 full seasons!

  45. AngelMoon Girl says:

    I LOVED the season finale, and I’m so incredibly excited for season 5 (though sad that it is in a way the beginning of the end for Fringe, sniffle!). I just hope that at some point, through flashback or otherwise, we get to see Olivia and Peter (and Walter^^) as a happy family with a little Etta (pregnancy/baby scenes would be even better hehe!). But I’m eager to have Georgina Haig back to finish what episode 19 set up. She was so great! Also, what the heck happened to Olivia!?

  46. Lisa says:

    Does anyone else think that we are really in the original timeline? All of the changes could be explained by the absence of Peter until he reappears. Peter not being in the characters lives could dramatically change them and the events around them Then we don’t have to emotionally reinvest to a new timeline. And all can continue .

  47. Scott says:

    Or, all five seasons have been a dream, from when Olivia fell asleep in the Motel in the pilot episode.
    (Please God don’t make this be the actual ending.)

  48. Jose Navarro says:

    When a series has such a hughe success with an audience (remember the X Files?) Why is it that they take it off the air? In 2012 don’t we have some more sophisticated surveys than the Neilsen ratings?

  49. Greetings! Very helpful advice in this particular article!
    It’s the little changes that make the biggest changes. Thanks for sharing!

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