In Season 4 (premieres Fri., Sept. 23, 9PM ET on Fox), our universes are dealing with the vanishing and complete eradication of Peter Bishop. How soon will they start to remember him? Can they save Peter? And how much longer will fans have to wait to see more Josh Jackson?
I caught up with star Lance Reddick to find out how things have changed for Broyles in this new Peter-less world, and to try to decipher if, in this new reality, Alt-Broyles might still be alive.
He also teased this season's big arc, the shift in Broyles' relationship with his team, the "overlapping" of the universes and who, exactly, is in charge of Fringe Division.
What an amazing last season, but now there are so many questions about this season. For one, Alt-Broyles died getting Olivia back to our universe, but Olivia never would've had to go there if not to save Peter so ... with Peter out of the picture, is alt-Broyles still dead?
Yes, everything you say is true, but ... well, it depends. When is this running? [Laughs] All I can really say is ... oh man. [Laughs] This is such a great question. I can't say, but I can say you'll know soon.
It's a testament to the writers and you all as actors that fans are along for this crazy ride, no matter what. Because last season was crazy. How much do you know before it happens?
For me, it's a little different because my character isn't in it as much as Anna Torv's, John Noble's and Josh Jackson's, so for me it's more as a fan reading it. And I never know ... I didn't know Broyles was going to die last season until I read it. [Laughs] I did have some idea that there was going to be some big heroic story arc, but I didn't expect that.
Thank god there's two of him!
Yep! [Laughs] Although, to be honest, because he was different, Alt Broyles was fun for me to play. I have to admit, when I read that season finale, I didn't know what to make of it. I was like, "Hmmm ... I'm not sure what this means, but maybe that's just this version of the script." So when we actually shot Peter disappearing, I was like, "What?"
For Broyles specifically, I feel like Peter changed him over time. His relationship with Peter made him a different boss, a more thoughtful person. How is Broyles different now that Peter never existed?
That's interesting. I don't feel like it's so much Broyles' relationship with Peter that changed him -- it's more that Broyles' relationship with Olivia and Walter changed him. But Broyles' relationship with Olivia and Walter changed him because of their relationship with Peter. So Peter not being there really has changed the whole ... there's this kind of ... I believe it was Season 2 when Peter and Olivia were trapped in a building that had the organism causing that infection ['What Lies Below,' Season 2, Episode 13], and we found out that Olivia was immune, so she was able to come out and go back in. There's a line that Broyles has when the head of the CDC comes out -- Broyles says to him, "Please give me 10 more minutes because there are people in there that are like family to me." I feel like with Peter gone, that's not quite the case with Broyles anymore. They're still his people, but they're more trusted employees than family.
Is that because they haven't been put in the same life-threatening situations together this time?
No, it's just that Peter factor. There's something that happened, particularly over the course of Season 2, and then continued over Season 3, where it became ... well, it's funny. That was the first episode where Broyles called Walter "Walter" too. It was always Dr. Bishop up until that episode. It's pretty much back to Dr. Bishop now. And Walter is very different without Peter there.
John Noble has gotten to play Walter and Walternate in so many different ways, and now we'll see a Walter who was never released from the institution by his son but by Olivia, and who is very likely still crazy. And Broyles is OK with her running around with him?
Remember that the time isn't different. It's still been approximately the same time, about three years, so we won't get to see Broyles' initial response. The timeline is different, but the time isn't different. So it has more to do with Broyles relationship with Walter, because now Walter is kind of this crazy guy that he's got to worry about. Is he going to stay balanced enough to keep getting the job done from case to case? And it's a pain in the ass.
We see glimpses of the genius and the crazy with Walter, like last season when he was tripping on acid and took his pants off in front of a room full of Massive Dynamic scientists, which I was there for. Is it safe to say the crazy outweighs the genius with him this season?
You will see more of it, yes, without Peter there as a balancing influence.
Alt-Broyles had a family. Will we be seeing them this season?
I don't know ... I don't know yet. We still don't know if we'll be seeing Alt-Broyles, so without knowing that, we can't know the answer.
But now there's a scenario where our Broyles could meet Alt-Broyles' family.
Oh you mean because the universes seem to be ... I don't want to say overlapping, but working together at least in some capacity, however guarded it may be? Yes, it's entirely possible.
Overlapping is an interesting word. Is that what you all have been using?
Well ... I don't want to give away too much, but it's not like there are rips in the universes, like one's moving into the other one, the way it was starting to happen last season. I think we kind of averted that for the moment, so we haven't been dealing with that so much. But there's definitely ... hmmm, how do I put it? There's definite interaction between the two teams.
So who's in charge? You're the boss over here, and Lincoln Lee is running the show over there?
Basically on my side, I'm in charge. On their side, whoever's in charge over there is in charge. The two Fringe Divisions are still separate.
With such amazing season finales, how do you imagine this series ending? What questions do you have?
Oh my goodness. Wow. Given the way they ended Season 3, I can't even imagine how it's going to end now. With the mystery of where's Peter? And if Peter shows up again, how are we going to integrate him back into our world, if we do re-integrate him into the world? Is it going to re-set everything back again? Or is it going to be integrating him into the reality as it is now, and everybody else starting from ground zero? He's got a history that doesn't exist for anybody but him, you know? I'm wondering how that's going to work out, and what that's going to mean for the two Walters. Peter's kind of starting from scratch. He's got memories of his past, but who's his loyalty going to be to? Which Walter? Those are questions that I've got. I don't have a clue.
And you somehow found time to do an episode of 'It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia'...
Yes, the episode is a story of Danny [DeVito] telling a story, and you know those stories are always somewhat apocryphal and theatrical [laughs], and so I'm one of the characters in Danny's story. It's funny though -- it's the same thing with 'Lost.' I'd never seen 'Lost' until I was cast, and then went back and watched and got hooked. So I knew of 'Sunny,' but hadn't watched too much, so I went back and watched some. It may be the most twisted comedy I've ever seen. It's definitely in its own category! [Laughs]
Tell us: Are you excited for the new season of 'Fringe'? What are your questions or theories?