"Fringe's" 100th episode is also its last
Cast members credit the fans for keeping the show going, against the odds
Memorable guest stars for the cast included Leonard Nimoy and Christopher Lloyd
Jasika Nicole calls the finale "beautiful and perfect"
After 100 episodes of alternate universes, monsters and shape-shifters, Fox’s “Fringe” is coming to an end on Friday night.
It’s set to receive a proper send-off, too, thanks to the efforts of fans who fought for the show through five seasons of time slot changes and dwindling ratings.
Members of the cast, who had been with the show from the first episode, spoke to CNN about their favorite “Fringe” moments, their favorite guest stars and those final days on the set. Plus, that all-important question: Will fans be satisfied with the series finale?
On filming the finale:
Anna Torv (“Olivia Dunham”): “We knew it would be our last season, and part of that meant that we were able to appreciate it as we were doing it. There were lots of little moments of reflection throughout the last couple of months.”
Lance Reddick (“Phillip Broyles”): “What caught me by surprise was how emotional I got (shooting the final episode) – not about the show, per se – but about the people. So that was kind of intense.”
Joshua Jackson (“Peter Bishop”): “For me it was a feeling of joy – when they called that final wrap and you see the faces of the people you did four or five years with, you think this is something we all did together. There’s what I hope is a really good scene between John and myself in the finale, in the lab, fittingly. And there was a feeling like, ‘Wow, that’s the last time we will play father and son, in this room that has been such a part of our lives for these last five years.’ “
Torv: “I went down to see John Noble’s last scene. He was doing a scene in the lab that I wasn’t in. I got to sit back and watch Walter for the last time and that kind of made me sad, because John and Walter were such a beautiful fit. Just to think ‘Ah! John is never going to breathe life into him again,’ was kind of sad.”
John Noble (“Walter Bishop”): “It’s unbelievable to go out on our own terms. Unheard of in this industry to be able to finish a story off in the way that we have. I’m just seriously grateful to the network and studio for giving us the chance.”
Jasika Nicole (“Astrid Farnsworth”): “I have watched way too many shows on television that started out wonderfully and then seemed to continue on a downward spiral once it reached its peak. I am thrilled to have taken part in a show that knew what both its ending and beginning looked like, and never tried to overextend itself.”
On lessons learned:
Jackson: “The whole experience of ‘Dawson’s Creek’ was new to me. I knew intellectually it was a big deal to have a show run for five-and-a-half years. But this time around, I think I had a much deeper understanding of just how difficult it is to get a show to run. This show, in particular, kept on defying all the odds.”
On their favorite moments:
Noble: “The most fun (version of Walter) to play was the simple old Walter who was just a scattered genius with no social graces and completely inappropriate. That was the most fun. I had a lot of affection for ‘Walternate,’ who was originally very hard to get accepted by audiences and ultimately was.”
Nicole: “My favorite episodes were the ones when all the doppelgangers got to meet each other. I loved how each character had a different experience when they saw their ‘other’ for the first time. They were beautifully written and beautifully performed.”
Torv: “I was so grateful that they really stuck it out with the different universe. It was so fun, it was like a different show. It was great to play this lighter character (Fauxlivia) after being with Olivia for two years at that point.”
Reddick: “My most memorable scene – Well, there was the scene where Nina kisses Broyles. That was pretty cool. Blair Brown’s a good kisser so that was great – But my most memorable scene was this season, the reunion scene under the bridge. That moment when I see Olivia again and she calls me by my first name.”
Jackson: “The thing I will miss the most is that father-son dynamic with Walter and Peter.”
On the guest stars:
Noble: “To share the floor with (Christopher Lloyd and Leonard Nimoy) was amazing for me, because they’re such iconic figures in themselves. And Orla Brady is an amazing actress, she played my wife.”
Reddick: “The second season, I walk in the makeup trailer and John Savage is right in front of me. I stopped and my eyes bugged out. And Christopher Lloyd, he’s done so much brilliant work over the years. With him, it was like having a walking icon on the set. In this business, you often call people by their first name. But for him, it was always ‘Mr. Lloyd.’ It’s funny because he’s been on enough times that I forget, but of course, Leonard Nimoy (was a favorite).”
Torv: About Nimoy’s response to Torv’s impression of Nimoy’s Spock in one episode: “He was very, very kind. Very kind.”
On how the fans will receive the final episode:
Jackson: “A lot of TV, you can just turn off your brain and watch, but ‘Fringe’ always asked its audience to be more engaged than that, and at our very best, challenged the audience to think about the core ideas that (executive producers Joel Wyman and Jeff Pinkner) were putting into the show. There are experiences along the way that are things that I will probably remember for the rest of my life.
It is the passion of the fans that kept it going. Long, long past the time when it made economic sense, and certainly past the time where my cynical-actor-who’s-been-around-self looked at it and went, there’s no way this show is coming back. If it wasn’t for that passion, the show would have died and it wouldn’t have the proper ending that it’s going to get this Friday. It’s because of those experiences and because of those fans that we were able to finish up the show on the right note.”
Nicole: “I think that the ending is beautiful, and perfect, and it couldn’t be written any other way. I was surprised at the ending, but even so, I thought it was absolutely excellent. It’s a roller coaster ride, and let’s just say the ending doesn’t exactly bring you back to where you decided to climb on.”
Jackson: “I don’t think it’s possible to satisfy everybody. I hope that people find the finale satisfying and a just reward for their dedication over the course of the last five years. I was very impressed with the script when I read it. I hope that episode does justice to the people who have been with us from the very beginning. I hope we finished on a strong note. That’s the best gift we can give as the people who make ‘Fringe’ to the people who watched ‘Fringe,’ is not to go out with a whimper but with a bang.”