Comic-Con: Anna Torv and Joshua Jackson Talk FRINGE, Saying Goodbye to the Show, the Possibility of a Happy Ending and More

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Fringe cast members basked in an outpouring of fan love during their last appearance at Comic-Con on Sunday, in recognition of the show’s fifth and final season (comprised of 13 episodes), which will begin filming next week.  Unlike previous years, the cast members have been told more details about the season’s storylines and how their characters will be affected.  The premiere episode will be set in 2036, and Olivia (Anna Torv) is alive, but not pregnant.

The cast has been coming to Comic-Con since the show began, and its increasing popularity was acknowledged by organizers who moved the panel from Ballroom 20 to the 6,000-seat Hall H.  After the panel, co-stars Joshua Jackson and Anna Torv sat down with members of the press to talk about the show’s success and how they hope to make the final season their best yet.  Check out what they had to say after the jump.

Question: How is it, as an actor, to finally know, for the first time, where your character is heading?

ANNA TORV:  It is the first time.  We’re also going into the fifth season knowing this is our last, and that’s exciting too.  It’s a really luxurious position that we’re in, and I don’t think anybody is going to squander that.

How are you mentally preparing for when you go back to shooting?

TORV:  We start next week, and I think my focus is just going to be doing the best job that I can, to finish the game well and end strong.  I’m not thinking about goodbye.  It’s the journey that you want to focus on.  The end is the reward.  It’s the journey you want to make count.  I know this is the end, but we haven’t even started shooting this season, so I’m still in motion.  I’m not reflective yet.

Are you ready to say goodbye to Fringe?

JOSHUA JACKSON:  Yes, I’m ready because the opportunity we have to properly finish our show is maybe the rarest thing that can happen, in the television world.  The last two years, there has been a contingency plan to end the show, and we could have put a reasonably satisfying ending to any one of those seasons, but you still would have had to jam the ending in.  Now, we have 13 hours to tell a whole ending to this story, and I couldn’t be more excited about that.  It’s a gift for us, who make it, and it’s a gift for the fans, hopefully, if we don’t screw it up.  It’s the nice version of the story.  It’s the non-Firefly, non-Millennium version of the story, where everybody who has put in the time gets the chance to walk away.  Not everybody is going to like the ending because it’s an ending, and that’s the way endings are, but everybody who has put in the time is going to have the opportunity to go with it through its entire life cycle.  It’s just the opportunity for us to properly say goodbye to the people who have come on the journey with us.  That’s just beautiful.

What are you looking forward to, in this final season?

TORV:  Being able to put all of my heart into Olivia.  It’s the first time, in a couple of years, that I’ve just had her to play with.

What science fiction topics are you excited to tackle, given everything that has already been covered?

JACKSON:  The colonization idea is something we haven’t done.  I think the humans as rebels is something that’s new to us.  What’s most important to me is the emotional core of the show.  It is what has carried us through all those left turns, alternate universes and alternate characters.  What I’m most interested in tackling, at the end, is the final chapter of these characters’ story, and figuring out what the emotional dynamic is and where we want to leave it.  We get to choose now where all of those characters finish.

Anna, how was it saying goodbye to Fauxlivia?

TORV:  That was hard, tough and sad.  I loved the alternate universe and Fauxlivia.  We’ve said goodbye, but I’m still hoping she will pop back, in some incarnation.  But, I don’t know.

Do you think it’s possible for Olivia to have a happy ending?

TORV:  That’s what I’m going to think about and work on.  At the moment, no, I don’t.  I’ve said that a lot to the guys.  Some people just aren’t meant to be happy.  Sometimes they are just loners, and I have a feeling Olivia is just that.  In saying that, I am an advocate for Olivia and Peter.  Olivia is a loner, and I wonder if she needs to go to that extreme and come back.  I think that’s this season, for her.

Assuming you know what the direction will be for this season and where it will end, are you satisfied with what it could be, and do you think the audience will be satisfied?

JACKSON:  Am I satisfied?  Yes.  Do I think the audience, as one monolithic block, will be satisfied?  No.  That’s never the case.  Not everybody will be satisfied, and I actually think that’s good.  Part of the beauty of a long-format story is that the characters become as much yours as they are mine, and you dream of them in a different way than I do.  So, when we do get to an end, we are making a choice.  I’m hoping that not all the characters die, so there’s a possibility that, even though the cameras stop rolling, those characters live on.  There will be some hard feelings, I’m sure, at the end, but I’m still happy that we get to tell our end, for better or for worse.

If you could create the ending for the show, how would it end?

TORV:  That’s something I’ll answer after.  I don’t want to say because I don’t want to allude to what’s happening.  This is the first time we know what we’re doing for this season, so therefore I don’t want to be imagining things that I want.  I want to be totally committed to what we are doing.

What is Fringe’s greatest accomplishment?

JACKSON: [Fringe] is not unique in this because I think all good science fiction can accomplish this, particularly in the television format, but its greatest accomplishment is having human characters at the center of a huge, epic story, really having a believable heroine, and this beautiful father-son dynamic that is a very rare thing to put into a story.  John [Noble, who plays Walter Bishop] created this beautiful, human, broken, tortured, funny, witty, scary character that is totally unique and instantly relatable, which is the hardest thing in the world to do.  Maybe that’s our greatest accomplishment:  John Noble.

To catch up on all of our Comic-Con 2012 coverage, click here.





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  • Shaun

    Well, I admire their honesty in saying this may not satisfy everyone, and that it may not be a happy ending (for everyone on the show) either. That beats all the lies a certain couple of showrunners fed us about a certain other Bad Robot production that end (piss poorly) two years ago.

    But it also worries me, given how (IMO) Fringe seemed to drop the ball at end of last season. What’s the connection what Bell was doing and the Observers? Is there a connection at all?

    The Observer invasion has kinds of intriguing possibilities, but this still needs to maintain a certain logic based on what’s happened previously on the show. That logic seemed to fail at the end of season four, so I hope they can get things back on track.

    I hate to see Fringe go, but at least it’s going out on its own terms. Now just make it great! And bring back the alt-universe!

  • CocaineHeart

    awww I’m really gonna miss all these guys… great show!

  • Scurvy

    While I am excited to see what they cook up to end the show, I think they could have easily ended the show last season without the Observer invasion.

    September was there to correct his mistake and make sure the Olivia/Peter baby gets born. That was enough of an explanation for me.

  • Elliot

    I want Olivia and Peter to have their happy ending. I know part of what they say is to throw us off so we are surprised and engaged, but dammit, I want them to have a happy married life, protecting the universe in the daytime and ~making a few more kids to preserve the universe in their off hours. A whole tribe of Bishops.

    And I am very excited to see the humans as rebels thing, and the Observer invasion! We never got that War they promised (they do/did tend to drop the ball…) and this looks like it will be exciting.

  • Masshuu il Thulcandra

    I wish they would have given more clues that the coming war was against the Observers. They used the conflict with the ALTUNIVERSE as a great deception. We were warned in that one episode about the military people used as bombs. Can’t remember the name of it though.

    • Sarah

      2×03 Fracture. And it’s what I always am happy to point out to people when they say “Oh this Observers are actually evil things is such bull.” A) Not 100% of the Observers are, duh there’s our boo September. B) EARLY SEASON TWO. THEY KNEW. A tiny seed grew and bloomed at the end of S4.

  • FT

    the important thing is not to make everyone happy, but rather the majority.

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