'Fringe' Producers Talk Olivia and Peter's New Connection, David Robert Jones and What's Next (Q&A)

Fringe TV Still: 2/17/12 - H 2012
Liane Hentscher/FOX

[Warning: Some spoilers.]

Last week's Fringe ended with a surprising reveal, but in true fashion, only introduced more questions.

During an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, showrunners Jeff Pinkner and Joel Wyman revisited last week's game-changing episode, "A Better Human Being"; previewed Friday's pivotal hour; and answered (more like clarified) a few burning inquiries -- addressing the fates of Olivia, Peter and David Robert Jones' big move.

The Hollywood Reporter: There are some viewers who believed at the beginning that Fringe was in a completely new timeline, but in recent weeks, that theory has been debunked. Fair to say?

Jeff Pinkner: It's funny because we said that in the beginning. We said that we declared the truth both onscreen and in every interview but people were sort of unwilling to. It's a fascinating study in psychology in how people receive stories. They're just sort of unwilling to accept the answer on its face, partly because emotionally they didn't want to accept it and partly because they're trying to guess what the reversal is.
Joel Wyman: We're both such huge fans of television, we said never in a million years would we do the old, "Oh my gosh, i woke up and everything was a dream." Man, I would throw my remote at the TV screen too. So we would never do that.

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THR: Now that we know there are two Nina Sharps in our midst. Will the "how" be uncovered?

Pinkner: Without answering it directly, if it were a shape shifter, someone would have to die. So you can't have two Ninas if one of them is a shape shifter. It's part of the mystery, but at the same time, we've established that David Robert Jones can pretty much cross over pretty much at will now.

THR: Since Peter is certain this Olivia is his Olivia -- and then she disappeared -- what does this mean for the two of them?

Wyman: Another thing we've said is that no good decent life story is worth telling without a lot of different twists and turns in the road. Jeff and I are both romantics; we both believe in the notion of love and the strength of love. We've been saying since that since the beginning that we both believe Olivia and Peter are destined for each other. Episode 4x15 [airing March 23] is a culmination of all emotional roads and I think it'll be very satisfying for people who have been with the show since the beginning.

THR: Is Olivia a better version of herself?

Wyman: It's funny because that's subjective. If you met a version of yourself you could say she has more money than you have on this side, but she maybe she's not as soulful as you are on this side. She could also have a mother and father that are still alive and you could've perhaps lost one of your parents, but that means you have an even better relationship with the one who survives. They're choices and they mean different things for different people. She would have to be the judge of whether she's a better version of herself because she's experienced both.

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THR: What does this mean then for Lincoln, who had been harboring a crush on Olivia?

Pinkner: You're asking all the right questions. So that's good.

THR: Is this unfair to him, in some respects?

Wyman: Is it? See, that's the thing, that's the notion about love. Life sometimes isn't fair and sometimes you don't get everything that you want but you make it everything that you need. Sometimes by not getting one thing, you realize that maybe that thing wasn't right for you in the first place and there's something else better for you.

THR: What can we expect in coming episodes, with David Robert Jones causing trouble across universes?

Wyman: Certainly by implication what David Robert Jones is doing on our side, he's doing on the other side as well, and his designs are multi-universal in scale and scope. We know, thus far, because of the bridge that we opened last season, Peter sacrificed himself for it before he returned. Both worlds have been healing and now David Robert Jones has stepped into the fray and thrown a monkey wrench into that. As long as this season-long arc plays out, it has implications for both universes. As you say, Olivia's return or seeming return isn't going to be without complication.

THR: We all know that Olivia is aware that she will die. How will that factor in?

Wyman: We can't give you that, but it's a major part of where we're sort of heading. One of the great things about that character is that she's always dealing with things that are crazy and because it's Fringe, we're allowed to handle things in ways you wouldn't expect. We can't really say a lot about that because, don't forget, she actually met the person [in "Lysergic Acid Diethylamide"] who was supposed to kill her so he will come back. You'll have to watch and see how all these things are connected.

Fringe airs Fridays at 9 p.m. on Fox.