[WARNING - THIS POST CONTAINS FRINGE SEASON 4 SPOILERS!!!]
The battle will soon be upon us in Fringe season 5. As the Observers make their way into our world, will the Fringe team be able to prevent the events depicted in 2036 from occurring?
Speaking with TV Guide and TV Line, Fringe executive producers J.H. Wyman and Jeff Pinkner reveal what's in store for season 5, how the impending battle will seamlessly fit into the series' overall storyline, the huge payoff that's waiting for fans at the end of the series, and much more.
While there's no talk about the potential return of William Bell in season 5, one should never discount Fringe's ability to surprise its audience. Things are dependent on Leonard Nimoy's decision to return, and it is not currently known whether or not he will reprise his character once again. Though, after his tremendous performance in the Fringe season 4 finale, hopes are high that he will.
Heading in to its final season, the focus is now on the Observers and what eventually occurs in 2036. Despite the season 4 finale having some fans worrying that the impending Observer battle will set aside many the series' original storylines, the producers promise that Fringe's fifth and final season will be a "huge payoff" for its loyal fans:
Wyman: Well, let's say that basically 2036 is extremely important to Season 5. It's crucial, but having said that, everything that you have seen in Fringe from Season 1 all the way to 4 is really, really, really, really important to what's going on in Season 5, and 2036 is part of that.
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.”
Given the limited amount of episodes, fans shouldn't worry about unnecessary episodic stories. Fringe has an end date, and it's now a direct line to the finish:
It's a 13-episode sprint; there's no filler episodes. It answers some very bold questions. It culminates with a very satisfying type of crescendo that really is so important for the fans, that's the biggest thing. That's the only thing that's really important is to make sure that they feel absolutely satiated.
Thanks to Walter, Olivia fulfilled her death prophecy – and thanks to the Cortexiphan, she was able to eventually heal herself. Though still having the abilities to do so, don't expect to see Olivia walking around season 5 constantly regenerating herself:
Olivia healed because of all the Cortexiphan. At the end of Season 4, as Walter said on the screen, because of the wildly activated Cortexiphan in her body, this experiment to heal her brain tissue would work. Because that's not constantly the case, because that's just a fleeting condition, absolutely, she could be killed.
In the finale, Olivia revealed to Peter that she is pregnant. Accompanying the announcement, many fans noticed that Olivia slightly paused before telling Peter the news. The pause was not without meaning, and we'll soon find out why:
Wyman: Let's just say you will understand the hesitation.
With only 13 episodes in Fringe's final season, typical television storylines (i.e. pregnancy) will need to modified in order to maintain the core characters, while also progressing the overall story. That being said, fans of the series shouldn't worry about Olivia's pregnancy preventing her from being in the field, or that Peter is going to become overprotective of Baby Bishop.
You'll probably understand that a lot more when you see Season 5, without spoiling stuff. That's not something that's going to be examined in the way you just laid it out. But keep in mind that in Fringe, when we say, "There's going to be a love triangle," it's a weird show, so you can have a love triangle with two people, like two Olivias in the love triangle. So we can do some pretty freaky things, but it's not going to be a big issue.
Though the Observers are coming, don't expect to see this battle make its way into the alternate world. For all intents and purposes, the chapter on those characters has been closed indefinitely:
Pinker: We had a conversation with Fox earlier in the season while we were closing the door, one of our Fox executive partners said, "I was so sad. I had tears in my eyes when we closed the door, and we said, "Yeah, these were characters that you never wanted us to introduce in the first place because you were afraid that nobody would care about them." She said, "I was so wrong."
Now, with a significantly enhanced budget, the Fringe Division will be expanding – though we'll have to wait to see how, excactly:
Pinker: You will see changes, but you will see things that are familiar, as well. I know that's a terrible answer, but the truth is, I just can't say in specificity what exactly is going to happen.
Of course, if it were not for the series' boisterous fans, Fringe would not have made it this far. Something that the producers are absolutely aware of, and are completely thankful for:
Wyman: We're so thankful. Four years of everybody working incredibly hard, people have put their heart and soul in this show, and by some amazing miracle, we get a chance to get more canvas to paint on, and it's like the biggest thrill and honor, and we're just going into it knowing that we're very fortunate.
Though some fans were appropriately concerned with the abrupt direction that Fringe took with its one-off 2036 episode, it's hard not to be intrigued about what's to come. While the Fringe season 4 finale concluded many of the series' storyline, there's no doubt that viewers will be pleasantly surprised with what occurs in Fringe season 5 – especially with the "huge payoff" promise.
Fringe season 5 will premiere September 2012 on Fox
Follow Anthony on Twitter @anthonyocasio