Actor Joshua Jackson recently sat down with Entertainment Weekly to talk about Peter Bishop’s return to the rebooted universes on Fringe and about where the series is headed in its fourth season.
Much of what Jackson says is SPOILER material if you haven’t seen Friday night’s episode. And there are some additional hints about where things are going this year. If you read the interview, be ready for SPOILERS!
Here’s a sample:
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: The new shape-shifters — more human than machine; capable of keeping and utilizing a proverbial wardrobe of identities, not just one persona — have a lot of dramatic possibilities. And the scene in tonight’s episode when Peter spells out their potential for subterfuge got me wondering if we’re headed for another Fake Charlie situation.
JOSHUA JACKSON: Exactly. It’s a conspiracy theorist’s dream. And I also think — and I don’t know yet if we’ll go down this road — it begs other questions, too. When shape-shifters become indistinguishable from human beings, at one point does that machine reach its spiritual age? At what point does it become a person? Right now, we only deal with them as weapons that need to be stopped. We don’t talk about the humanity of the shape-shifters because they’ve been vampires, really. But when they become indistinguishable from human beings, at what point are you killing a sentient being? It sort of ties into early, early Fringe, in terms of exploring the bleeding edge of technology and the ethical implications of the god-like abilities we are giving ourselves as human beings. I think the shape-shifters give us an interesting insight into that here in season four.
There’s a curious line in tonight’s episode that presents the idea that Peter’s existence in the previous timeline was a “paradox” that never should have happened. The implication is that during the first three seasons, Fringe was presenting us with a version of history that was “wrong” and that season four gives us the “correct” version of history. It’s a provocative twist for anyone who is really invested in those first three years of the show and wants to see that timeline restored.
Yeah, I had never heard it phrased like that before, either, and it’s become a big topic of discussion creatively. It’s also the big theme of these Fringe comic books I’ve been writing lately, as well. Peter exemplifies the idea: “One of these things doesn’t belong.” Through no fault of his own, an original sin was committed on his behalf, and the only way to redress that original sin was to sacrifice himself so everyone else can move forward. He was the thing that had to go. So now Peter is as confused as everyone else as to A. Why he’s here? B. What this new ‘here’ is? C. What it means to be ‘here’? Because he senses that his presence is dangerous to the people around him, because he’s the thing that doesn’t belong.
You can read the full interview HERE.