Now that Fringe has been renewed for a fifth and final season, our brains can turn from that “will they or won’t they” to the myriad of actual questions that always snowball this close to the end of a Fringe season. To that end, executive producers and Fringe emissaries Jeff Pinkner and Joel Wyman recently discussed the show in celebration of the renewal and to pump everyone up for the two-part season finale that starts this week. As usual, Wyman and Pinkner are coy and cryptic in answering questions, but we do get a few interesting chunks of information.
The last couple of episodes have raised some pretty big questions and concerns in the fanbase having to do with casting. Seth Gabel’s Lincoln Lee decided to stay in the redverse after the bridge was shut down in hopes of making time with Bolivia, prompting some concern about Gabel’s future with the show. While the executive producers praised Gabel in their chat with TVLine, they refused to say anything about Lincoln Lee’s continued presence on Fringe (or the fate of the alternate versions of the other characters) for fear of spoiling the surprises to come. Pinkner did hint that the bridge closed because of David Robert Jones’s shenanigans so, “if our team can somehow dispense with Jones, there is absolutely a possibility of that door being open again.”
Similarly, Pinkner and Wyman didn’t have anything concrete to share on the questions raised by William Bell’s cameo in episode 19. Pre-renewal, Joshua Jackson suggested that episode is the “key” to the story that a season five would tell and Pinkner and Wyman confirm that “[t]that future is important to our storytelling”. Does this mean that there’s a chance for William Bell to be released from his amber encasement and become a larger part of season five? Despite rumors that he’ll be returning for the new Star Trek film, Nimoy is “retired” from on-screen work. Wyman and Pinkner are hopeful, though, that Nimoy will find it in his heart to come back for part of the final season: “We basically erected a sign outside of Leonard’s house that says, ‘Please come back to Fringe,’ and we are hoping that by Season 5 he says yes.”
One definitive (and somewhat disappointing) bit of information the executive producers revealed concerns the alternate ending John Noble spoke about before Fringe‘s renewal was finalized. Wyman put to bed that rumor, saying that no such alternate ending exists: “We thought about it, but we did not [film it].” I suppose it shows that the creative team had faith the show would in fact be renewed all along, but it is a bummer that we’ll never get to see how the episode would have functioned as a series finale.