‘Fringe’ Series Finale: Producer Unravels Complicated Timeline Mystery Over Five Seasons
It's been a few months since FOX's cult sci-fi drama 'Fringe' aired its moving series finale episode "An Enemy of Fate," but some fans are no closer to understanding the complex time-travel/alternate reality mythology that came to permeate the series more and more as time went on. And even though much of the series finale culminated in history itself being re-written, what does the show's executive producer have to say about the complex timeline fans should follow? Unlock the secrets of 'Fringe' inside!
Shape-shifting androids, time travel and Red Lanterns, 'Fringe' had it all over the course of its five seasons, even if some were left perplexed by the trippy timeline turbulence that came to dominate the series. In particular, most fans expressed a sense of alienation over the latter two seasons, which first saw Peter Bishop (Joshua Jackson) creating an alternate timeline by erasing his own existence, before the final season took fans decades into the future, and back again.
In spite of the show's complex mechanics, co-executive producer David Fury recently had the chance to speak to SFX, clarifying a linear, if complex progression of the show's narrative that unfolded over the final two seasons. Says Fury:
Here is my take on it: we are still in the revised timeline where Peter died as a child. The dystopian future was the future of the timeline of season 4, therefore Peter did die as a child in this timeline. However, we know he reappeared in this timeline in season 4 and became part of this family. Then Olivia regained the memory of the erased timeline, so she remembers seasons 1 through 3 even though she didn’t really experience it in the timeline. The same with Walter after Michael touches him in season 5, so now Walter remembers it. So they have a shared memory of seasons 1 through 3 but the life they are continuing is the life presented in season 4.
As far as what happens when Walter and Michael step into the corridor to the future, our premise is that the change happens – and it’s the part that is inexplicable but go with it – once they step through Walter and September stop existing in the timeline. It’s not that they never existed. They still experience the events of season 4 and still have all the memories of the earlier seasons when the timeline hadn’t been erased, however they stop existing at the moment of the Invasion. It’s not like Walter died. Peter is just going to find Walter missing. He’s not going to be looking for September because he didn’t continue their relationship, just Walter did. When he looks for Walter, he just won’t be there because this corrects the paradox. It’s somewhat nebulous but that is the premise of what we did.
Of course, moving an ending as it was to see Walter's final "White Tulip" presented to his son, that might conceivably leave Peter searching for a man permanently displaced in the future of an alternate reality that never came to pass. Trippy, we know.
What say you? Do Fury's explanations leave you feeling better about the fate of 'Fringe'? How would you like to have seen the series ended? Give us your thoughts in the comments below!