Torture. Emotional family reunions. A bleak picture of the world’s future. Strange foods. Yup, Fringe had all the makings of a classically great season premiere. Of course, there’s a lot more to come.
So when EW hit the set of Fringe earlier this week and got a chance to chat with actors John Noble, Anna Torv, Joshua Jackson, and Jasika Nicole, there was no holding back all the burning questions we were left with after getting an early peek at the episode fans saw tonight. (Note: Jeff Jensen’s full recap is in the works!)
Burning Question No. 1: Will Walter get his memory back after being Observered?
In short, it doesn’t sound like he’ll get it back any time soon. “[He had regained] a lot of his skills, now he’s kind of shattered again, which creates a problem” says Noble. Specifically, Walter lost all memory of the plan they needed to lead the fight against the Observers. But while that’s certainly a setback, there is a plan B. “I think the fascinating thing about this season as it goes forward is that Walter has set this up by planting a series of clues. It’s like a treasure hunt in a way,” says Noble. “And the genius thing that the writers have done this year – because we didn’t want to do monsters of the week – is that we have to chase a clue [per] week. So that creates the internal story of each week because we go after these bizarre clues in really strange places. Walter being Walter, he’s hidden them in weird, weird, weird places.” (See video of Noble chatting about his torture scene below!)
Burning Question No. 2: Will we learn what happened to Olivia and Peter after Etta was taken?
Yes, but in pieces – and the conflict will likely strike home with anyone who has been in an established relationship, says Jackson. “The loss of the child clearly did something to them in the off camera portion that we don’t get to see between season 4 and the beginning of season 5,” he says. “And it’s less, maybe, simply dramatic but probably more understandable to anyone [over] 25 years old [who understands] relationships are tough and you go through bad phases. Clearly something traumatic happens like this – losing a child – puts it under unbelievable strain. So their story is, over the course of this year, putting things back together that would have been torn apart by that – and World War III.” Look for episode 2 and 3 to be especially full of some background on this subject. (Also: Watch Anna Torv talk about her relationship with her daughter below!)
Burning Question No. 3: How will everyone cope with being in the future?
In some cases, not well. Walter “hates the food,” jokes Noble. “He still eats it, but he thinks it’s a rotten future because the food is really bad.” Considering “egg sticks” are a thing in 2036, we can’t blame him. But the biggest challenge, according to Nicole, is their life on the lam. “Now that they’re all wanted, [Astrid] doesn’t have the freedom to leave unannounced – nobody does,” she says. “They’re basically living undercover.”
Burning Question No. 4: Where was Astrid during the invasion?
Working, of course! “There are some lines alluding to the fact that Astrid wasn’t with Walter when the invasion was going on. She was out in the field helping, I’m assuming, the FBI trying to keep things together,” says Nicole. “And she got back to Walter in time to be frozen in amber. That’s why Walter had all this time to devise this plan on how to save the world. No one else had any idea that was going on because he had no one guarding him.” But in retrospect, Nicole jokes that it may have been helpful to have someone else around Walter during that time. “If Astrid had been around while he was making all these tapes, there would only be a couple of episodes in season 5.”