Fringe Exclusive: Joshua Jackson Talks Tech Twist, Warns 'Peter Is Rapidly Slipping Away'

Fringe‘s Peter Bishop has put himself on the train to “Observerville,” as Joshua Jackson puts it, by installing one of the chrome domes’ piece of tech into his own head — and in doing so has basically betrayed his loved ones.

“He’s not in a good place,” Jackson shares in the exclusive video below. “He’s doing exactly the thing he promised both Walter and Olivia that he wasn’t going to do, to abandon them and be hell-bent on avenging the death of his daughter.”

RELATED | Fringe‘s Series Finale Date Is Revealed!

What’s more, his timing could not have been worse. After a period of estrangement, “Olivia finally decided to reach out,” Anna Torv notes. But with Peter now a bit of a hybrid, “That little journey is going to be a tough one.” As Jackson previews, “You realize that Peter, as we know him, is very rapidly slipping away.”

John Noble says the tragic twist paves the way for Jackson to finally do what all of his castmates have done in seasons past — basically inhabit a second character — and hails his TV son’s performance.

RELATED | Fringe Star ‘Didn’t Want to Die,’ But Praises the Final Season’s ‘Brave’ Twist

Press PLAY below, then tell us: What do you think of Fringe‘s latest final-season wrinkle?

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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  1. Really says:


  2. bamabunny says:

    I know it basically means “screw paradox,” but is it possible Peter is “Patient X,” a.k.a. the original Observer?

  3. fringeobsessed says:

    Excellent article. Excellent video.
    Even more Brown Betty foreshadowing revealed!
    Thanks, Matt :)

    • Sandy says:

      what’s the Brown Betty forshadowing?

      • Joanna says:

        In Brown Betty, Peter had a mechanical heart that nearly killed him. Olivia was there for him and pulled him through it. I guess the foreshadowing is that Peter has some sort of mechanical thing in him that could kill him or make him lost to the bad side and it will probably be Walter and specifically Olivia that will resurrect the old him.

  4. Lindsey Lyons (@lindseylyons) says:

    Are they in make-up b/c they are both sporting some cuts…wonder what they’ve been filming…

  5. The Kaibosh says:

    This show is so good I can’t stand it!

  6. Lovin' it says:

    Aww god! i hope he’s not the first Observer, it would be great for the story, but i would feel quite sad for Peter and the rest of the (good) characters.
    I think this season Josh is going to kill it big time. He’s a great actor, though he hasn’t been able to shine among the others because of his “normal” roll. He was awesome the other day.

  7. 1234 says:

    Was iffy on the last season until this recent twist. I’m now excited to see what Peter will do with the Observer tech in his head.

  8. ohlala says:

    where on god’s green earth is nina sharp? this is some BS! i miss her so deeply it’s ridiculous. i loved her as olivia’s “mom” last season!!

  9. anakl says:

    Don’t forget the tortured Observer’s words to Peter. I’m betting that what he meant was the fact that Peter’s the first Observer and he doesn’t even know it. He lost hope, his emotions give him pain, so he’s going to get rid of them & become more machine like. A soldier, deadliest to the bone… I’m also betting that he will kill Olivia. The director once said that Olivia might die again, and I’m guessing that this time around, Walter’s not the guilty one. I’m honestly not trusting on a happy ending, they promised us a Fringe-ending and we all know how those are…

    • Watty says:

      You’re right, hmmm.

    • B9000 says:

      “He will kill Olivia.” (?!) Not a chance. Besides being sci-fi, this is a show about family; everyone involved always says that in interviews. Walter’s admission to Peter about how he senses that he is becoming his old, bad self again looks to me like that message won’t be lost on Peter and Peter will somehow be reeled back in from the brink from becoming an observer…or if he does, paradoxically, he might set things right anyway…and my other theory, hopeful as it seems, goes even further: that if indeed these characters come to some bad end this season, they will do so only to reboot themselves in a different time line or reality- I’m betting they go right back to the “original sin” when Peter was taken from Walternate, or thereabouts. (When-abouts?)

      I say this hopefully because I want to see Peter and Olivia and Etta and everyone in a non-dystopic observer-ruled future…I believe the Observers coming to rule earth in 2016 was an error, another alternate future that should not have happened.

      Also, as a rule, “TV” loves happy endings, or bittersweet endings, but never likes hopelessly bleak endings..

      I have never liked the fact that this timeline does not include Olivia’s sister or niece. In fact, Olivia as a character has been diminished season after season- outshone by the flashier redhead Faux-livia (who, incidentally, also lost her child by Peter before that timeline/reality got junked by Peter’s disappearance!), having her original family taken away, all she does she does for Peter and Walter, and then to lose her daughter in this future? Somewhere, a science fiction-loving feminist is writing a PhD dissertation on this, I am sure!

      No. I may be wrong and a sentimentalist, but I’m betting this all goes back to “square one” and this time the characters (or their iterations, more succinctly) get a fresh start down a much rosier path.

      PS: I do love this show!

      • anakl says:

        B9000, I agree with you, this should come to a reboot, a fresh start, but I truly believe, since I read one of many producer’s interviews, that Olivia could die again this season, this doesn’t mean however, that somehow she couldn’t be alive at the ending. September also said that in every version of the future Olivia must die. She died at least what? 2 times? In both times, it was Walter who killed her (first Walternative & then Walter) and she came back (reboot by Peter in the machine & cortexiphan effects).

        The producers said we would also know why there isn’t any women Observers, and that made think that maybe it meant that in some version of the future, Peter chose to be bad & eventually in killing the woman he loves, that brings up all the pain, all the good memories & a reboot.

        We still don’t know Walter and September’s plan. I loved this show since day 1 and there was nothing that I wanted more, along with the great & perfect sci-fi episodes, that Peter and Olivia together as happy couple. They’ve always loved each other, they were destined to each other & I still hope they end up happy with each other as a family with Etta. So please don’t get me wrong when I say that maybe Peter will kill Olivia.

        Have you ever wondered who Windmark really is? And why he’s always several steps ahead of his on team of Observers & why is he so thrilled that Walter’s following the plan? There’s more to him that it meets the eye… maybe a connection to Walter or Peter?

        I’m so sad that Fringe is almost ending, they have an excellent cast & a good story to pursue, I wish we fans had more time an a happy ending, but let’s keep in mind that we’re still expecting another death on the team whether it is Olivia or Walter’s, I don’t know but if we’re having a Fringe happy-ending, that means that we’re not going to be fully satisfied by it.

      • va says:

        What about the doomsday machine and some of the remaining Cortexifian subjects Tessa E., Rich N., Annie P., Susan L., Lisa B. & Ken T.. I think there is much more to come. First of all why there is two universes. Or are there only two universes? Was only one at the beginning? From where/when the doomsday machine came from, and where is it now?

  10. GeoDiva says:

    Love this show and the direction that they are taking Peter in.

  11. Liana in San Diego says:

    This all portends for a dramatic ending, with – dare I say it? – no closure for us as viewers. I absolutely love this show, have been riveted since day one, and I’m in mourning that it will be over with soon. Brilliant writing and acting… each week is just so fabulous!

  12. Dark Defender says:

    no closure = a movie? would love that!

  13. M3rc Nate says:

    Love the twist, its so interesting. But of course my first priority is a happy ending for Peter & Olivia. So i hope either he does everything he has to, to succeed at Walters plan and the timeline fixes (bad observers never show up) so they are back together with Etta. OR, after a few episodes Walter and Olivia find out about what Peter did, that they are losing him, and forceably operate on him, removing the Tech.

  14. kholood says:

    did anyone noticed the wedding ring in peter`s finger?

    • Joanna says:

      Yes. Peter’s not wearing it at the moment, he has had it around his neck. So, maybe that’s a good sign that he pulls through, further down the track.

  15. Marta says:

    OK, I don’t want to mistaken for the crazy Josh fan who posts all the time, because I am not her… but I have never understood why the writers/producers of this show were inclined to put him and his character in the background all the time. The sad truth is that the male 18-49 audiences just don’t like to watch genre shows that feature female characters front and center. No slam on the talented Anna Torv; it’s just that she’s female and no matter how sexy they are – young male viewers want to see characters like themselves. Ask yourself why Dollhouse, Sarah Connor Chronicles, and ultimately Alias went out with a whimper.

    Not that I necessarily think Joshua Jackson is the greatest potential action hero ever, but it’s sad that we had to wait until season 5 to see him kick some ass. He kicks ass very well. Maybe the ratings would have been a little higher if Fringe had highlighted **the only well known TV name in the cast** a little better.

    Love the show, love Anna Torv, love Joshua Jackson, can’t really complain… just wondering what might have been.

    • M3rc Nate says:

      Just because something is a certain way doesnt mean you should stick to it or not fight it. Movies with Black leads (that isnt a Madea movie) dont get ticket sales, hence why it was so hard for Lucas to find people to back “Red Tails”, in the end him doing it himself. And i watched it and loved it and didnt care that everyone on screen was black.

      Second i would say the Fringe story has always been mixed. The events and the worlds are revolve around Peter, hes the cause, hes the effect, hes everything. But the show is somewhat from the point of view of Olivia. But so very lightly from her point of view that i would call this a ensemble cast the majority of the time. I think what you said about the other Female leads shows is fact, but that it doesnt really apply here. When people think “Fringe” they dont think “Olivia” or “Anna Torv lead star”. If they dont think “ensemble cast” then they think “Peter and Olivia”.

      This show has way bigger reasons why it isnt watched by enough people. Its smart deep sci-fi, its on a main network, (I bet if this had been a SyFy or USA show, it would be more successful), also its audience are more apt to watch the show online/torrent/DVR it which we all know isnt the same as live viewership. Also this show as “procedural” they tried to make it, really is about the season/series long plots and mysteries…that if i introduced someone to the show by having them watch a season 2-now re-run..i bet their head would be spinning. To get this show you really need to have at least watched the pilot.

      IMO the best way to get more fans to your shows like this, is to put up all the seasons that have been on TV, online somewhere people watch. Like HULU and Netflix. Im a huge TV nerd but even i cant catch every show, and when they pop up on Netflix Instant, i watch it all, get fully caught up, and bam they have 1 new viewer for the live shows. I cant specifically think right now of any shows iv done that with, but for example i have a female friend who is newly becoming nerdy, and i introduced her to Alphas S1 on Netflix, she LOVED it, i gave her S2 torrent eps to watch, and once done, when S3 roles around, she will be live viewing them, a new fan/viewer for Alphas.

      • M3rc Nate says:

        Thought of some, though some not nerdy. Revenge S1 i watched on Netflix and now DVR live. I believe Parks&Rec i watched S1 on Netflix then started live. Doctor Who is all because of the seasons being on Netflix and i now watch Live. Hell On Wheels i watched on Netflix S1 then started live. Those are just a few examples.

      • Irish13 says:

        Amazon Prime has all seasons for streaming

      • Ken says:

        You and Marta both have valid points, I love Anna and Josh and at times would have loved to see Peter a little more in the forefront. However that would have been hard to do because all previous seasons shows foundation was the FBI, hence Olivia.That being said I believed the show is mostly balanced,there are times when each character takes the lead according to the circumstances, so I would say calling it an “ensemble” is not wrong.

        Now that the FBI no longer exist in this 5th season,then Josh(Peter) can really shine as the lead character which is what he is doing so far. Whenever I think “Fringe” I think Peter and Olivia, I believe it is their deep love for each other,their emotions that drive this show,every thing always comes back to Peter and Olivia. After all that have been invested in these two characters i just cannot see the writers not having it end well for both of them been happy together at the end.

    • Wesley says:

      @ Marta
      I don’t really see your point. Most really good genre shows have a life span to them, and that’s around 4 to 7 seasons. I’m sure that there were plenty of reasons why Dollhouse and SCC didn’t take hold but to blame it on 18-49 year old males not wanting to watch women in the lead is ridiculous in my opinion. Your own example of Alias proves it. That show lasted 5 seasons and had a full run to it. Why it didn’t stay strong at the end has more to do with the writing than who the lead was. 5 seasons, over 100 episodes and a chance to end it with a legitimate series finale is about all you can hope for with genre. What about Buffy? 7 seasons and a chance to end on their own terms, which by the way is two more seasons than Angel lasted with a male lead, and even people associated with Angel felt that the end was a little rushed. Xena had six seasons and a solid ending. Also, the show we’re talking about now, Fringe, gets 100 episodes, including a fifth season which was pretty much given because of fan loyalty. We have a chance to see Fringe end on a high and definitive note because fans care and wanted it. If people were apathetic then a fifth season wouldn’t have come.

      I can personally say that you aren’t right because I am one of those males between 18-49 and I love watching genre shows with female leads. Maybe you should ask yourself why networks would green-light genre shows starring women if they didn’t think people would be interested in them?

      Terra Nova got cancelled after ONE 13 episode season and starred a male. Firefly, as great as it was and still is, got cancelled after One 13 episode season and starred a male.

      Chuck, which starred a male, had to fight tooth and nail for about 3 seasons to not get cancelled.

      The bottom line is there are plenty of examples where genre shows starring women have succeeded, and genre shows starring men have failed. Also, there are plenty of genre shows starring women that have failed and ones starring men have succeeded. So what does it all prove? I don’t know! I think that genre shows over the years have hit or miss for a variety of reasons: writing, concept, theme, time slot competition, network etc… And I’m sure that some men want to see exactly what you suggest they want, or don’t want. I’m sure that there is a lot of women who would rather watch a genre show starring a man and not a woman. But I’m also certain, that there are a lot of men out there that want to see genre shows starring women, or at least have a strong woman as a co-lead, and I would be among those who do.

    • fa says:

      joshua jackson fans are limited sexist, racist,this must be the same person who said:”actor gay playing a gay character isn’t acting ” referring to Chris Colfer

      • Sam says:

        This is the stupidest comment ever.

      • Marta says:

        For the record, I am female, and it is not sexist to point out that genre shows with female
        leads *typically* do not get “seven seasons and a movie.” (And I have no idea where racism comes into my comment, but you are free to read in whatever weird things you want.)

        • Ken says:

          Marta- I’m a bi-racial man so I can be totally objective, I read your comment and I have no idea where that person (fa) saw racism in it. It boggles the mind what comes out of peoples mouth at times just to make a point, an invalid point at that.

  16. Ooooooops, rreeeeaaalllly shouldn’t have watched/read this yet! D’oh!

    • Emily says:

      Refreshing to hear you say that. These days it’s all “WTF why did you guys post this I haven’t watched it yet I should be able to read your site without you guys spoiling everything and ruining my life it’s all your fault I hate you forever and ever!” (etc.)

      • cat says:

        I have no sympathy whatsoever for those people. If they are too lazy to watch Fringe when it’s on, or before the weekend is over, TOO BAD. The world isn’t going to come to a stop just because they never got around to watching the episode in a timely manner.

        And for international viewers, also too bad, because they should know very well that the American entertainment media isn’t going to grind to a halt until every last person in Narnia gets to see the episode, which could be years from now. Don’t read these websites. They should read their own country’s entertainment websites.

        • Matt Webb Mitovich says:

          Sorry to jump in here, folks, but what’s the issue? Are we at a point where interviews with actors talking about what’s to come need mega-vague headlines and 10 spoiler warnings in a rainbow of colors?

          • liddad says:

            Don’t worry, Matt! They’re sticking up for you this time.
            It’s just refreshing to have somebody (Juilien) admit it’s their fault it was spoiled for them by readng the article instead of blaming the article for spoilers!

  17. sanford says:

    It’s tech… Olivia can turn it off if she really wanted too…

    • M3rc Nate says:

      Her abilities are gone, and if she could do that to him, dont you think she would have tried that on regular Observers when they were after her, peter and etta?

      • flor says:

        I think they didn’t know the Observers’s skills owed to that tech on their necks… They found out about it in the last episode…. (sorry my english)

  18. James says:

    Pure Awesomeness as always. this show is so ahead of everything else on tv its sci-fi yet so utterly human. i totally agree with M3rc Nate I too am a tv nerd but just don’t have the time to watch everything live especailly on friday’s so i end up watching it online. it is a belabored point but everytime i see stuff on fringe i think of the travesty that it isn’t allowed to run its course, i never pictured it going on for a decade even if i wanted it to because the story would suffer but i did expect what Abrams expected which was like 7 seasons. i cherish the fact we’re getting this last season but its bitter sweet because i can’t help think of what could of been. knowing the writers of this show i suspect peter will go down the rabbit hole and hurt a lot of people he cares about in the process but at the very end we’ll see a glimmer if not vague spec of hope. I really Hope JJ and crew take this to a feature film franchise cuz it would be sweet and id pay whatever they asked to see Walter and the Gang on an Imax screen.

  19. Sandy says:

    “Be a better man than your father”
    That’s what it’ll come down to.
    Peter and Olivia have to have a happy ending. I think Wyman is no the type of writer to end them not together

  20. Joanna says:

    Joel W said that all three characters show’s arcs would be addressed and finalised in this last season. So, I’m guessing “Be a better man than your father”, is that going to happen for Peter, will be the conclusion to Peter’s series arc. I’m really looking forward to seeing how the writers are going to finish this for Peter and if he will in fact make any impact on the observers at all, with the observer tec now at his disposal.

  21. liddad says:

    After defeating the observers in our time, Peter gets sent forward in time and gives the observers the technology by accident. He gets the opportunity to save Etta by stopping the observers from going back, but it would cause a butterfly effect (since the observers have been there at every important point in time). After a large amount of consideration, he then realises about the “Be a better man than your father” and decides not to.

  22. Azul says:

    Fringe season one, episode one, 11/20 @ 6pm, MST, science channel!

  23. AngelMoon Girl says:

    I do NOT want Peter to become an Observer – I hope Olivia can save him! Also hope they are able to somehow bring Etta back! Love this storyline!

  24. Icon says:

    I believe Peter will be the one to save the world and because of her love for him, Olivia will be drawn out of her mourning after funk and save Peter from self destruction.

  25. Emilia Mandaza says:

    after considering all possible conclusions i must say that its obvious we are not gettin a totally happy ending. i almost cried watchin olivia reachin out to Peter too late, but i kno sumthin big is about to happen now. either peter wl destroy th pple he loves but save the world, or hes gonna die trying

  26. AggeSWE says:

    I’m still wondering who that weird t-shirt guy from the cartoon eps was, who Olive said is probably the one who’s going to kill her…

    • Tyk says:

      That was already answered. It was just a manifestation of William Bell.

    • anakl says:

      my guess since that episode was aired, is that X is a future Peter… the cartoon characters even look a like… he must be patient X and the first observer & since X was going to kill Olivia & the producers warned us that Olivia could die again, I say that Peter kills Olivia in S5. By the end of the episode she said that she wasn’t afraid of X and dying anymore. She knows, she must know. Even September was always concerned with Olivia’s future and her most needed death. When she died and came back to life, pregnant with Etta, by her reaction before telling Peter about the baby (even the producers confirmed that there was a pause/doubt), maybe she went inside September’s head (as Peter did before) and was debriefed about the future or some parts of it…

      what do you think?

      • M3rc Nate says:

        Up till yesterday i thought he was still in play. But “Tyk” is right. The showrunner answered after S4 was done, that the emblem (X) on this shirt signified the W. Bell signature on the things (nanites?) in Olivia’s blood that caused her to become over charged and why she was destroying the 2 universes, hence why she had to be killed like she was in S4 finale. So technically it was all correct, the X shirt guy was a manifestation of W. Bell kiling her.