While Fringe fans can find solace in the fact that they’ve only scratched the surface of the final season, Anna Torv is dealing with mixed feelings as she crosses the halfway point in filming.
“We’re just about to finish Episode 6, so it’s all a bit, ‘Whew!'” the actress shared with TVLine from the show’s Vancouver set. “You remember how it goes quick and slow at the same time.”
Whereas previous Fringe seasons asked Torv to tackle dual roles and/or play an Olivia who never knew Peter, the nut she has to crack this final go-round involves the navigation of two delicate relationships: Liv’s reunion with her daughter Etta, now a grown woman, and her possible reconciliation with Peter, from who she separated, emotionally and physically, after their toddler daughter was abducted by Observers.
As much as Torv looked forward to getting her own reunion scene with Etta (after sitting out last season’s “Letters of Transit”), playing that coming together of mother and daughter – the two of them practically contemporaries — was nonetheless “tough,” she shares. “I was like, OK, I’ve got to try and find little moments where I can see the little girl in her, but in the same breath I’m still meeting this woman.
“Georgina [Haig] and I at the beginning talked it out a bit, but we didn’t want to overthink it,” Torv continues. Surprisingly humble given the powerful on-screen result – which she had yet to watch herself at the time we spoke — she says, “It’s one of the trickiest relationships I’ve played, and I don’t know that I got it [right].”
And then there’s Peter (played by Joshua Jackson). As established in the season opener, Olivia’s husband, in the wake of Henrietta’s abduction, elected to stay in Boston and continue searching for their little girl, while Olivia trekked to New York City to enlist in the greater fight to bring down those who forced this loss upon her. And while the parents addressed that rift briefly in the premiere, Torv says there remains “a whole bunch of stuff” for the pair to work through. “It runs a lot deeper than that [one conversation], so it sort of has to come up again – all amongst saving the world!” she says. “It’s a complicated situation, because again, we don’t know yet what all happened before ambering ourselves.”
(Speaking of her character’s “frozen” state and emergence from same, Torv is a bit chagrined about bringing the tan she acquired from an extended summer getaway to Maui to her first scenes as Olivia. “I’m now back to my normal color, but for a little while I was like, ‘Uh-oh!'” the Aussie beauty laughs. “I hadn’t gone away for a bit, and you forget how damn white you get…. The crew was laughing about that as well, that the amber had ‘rubbed off on my face.'”)
Turning to the more tangible matters at hand: In Episode 2, airing tonight at 9/8c, Walter, waylaid by his brutal, memory-muddying interrogation by Captain Windmark, will resolve himself to get back to his Harvard lab – which all these years later of course is no longer “his.” Does this mean he’s returning to his former self, as hinted in the close of the premiere? “I would think there’s hope,” Torv teases. “That is what our show kind of holds onto, that there’s always hope.”
Being halfway through filming Fringe‘s farewell run, Torv was extra careful not to reveal any spoilers, but instead promised “a lot of callbacks” to previous seasons, “throwbacks to cases, throwbacks to people,” and futuristic food stuffs even more foul (fowl?) than “egg sticks.”
One thing she was willing to share was her prediction that while “there will be some prices to pay” as Olivia, Peter, Walter at all wage war against the Observers, viewers will come away from Episode 13 with something resembling a happy ending. At least in Fringe terms.
“In film, you can have sad endings – like, ‘Oh well, it could’ve been’ – but with television you put so much time into these people that when you do finally say goodbye, you should be satisfied. Not necessarily happy, but not heartbroken.
“Then again, this is Fringe,” she concedes. “We’ve sort of turned things on their head the whole way through.”