Fringe season 4 has finally made it to episode 19, and it promises to be an especially out-there and revealing tale. Showrunners J.H. Wyman and Jeff Pinkner have designated No. 19 to be a freaky affair; just look back to previous season efforts “The Road Not Taken,” “The Man From the Other Side,” and of course last season’s animated “Lysergic Acid Diethylamide.” This year “Letters of Transit” will transport viewers to the year 2036, a future where The Observers play a significant role in society. The episode’s logline reveals that 19 will feature a “game changing battle” between the bald-headed scientists from the distant future and our Fringe team. Guest starring in this episode are Austrian actress Georgina Haig and everyone’s favorite Scottish man from Lost–Desmond David Hume himself–Henry Ian Cusick.
What makes “Letters of Transit” especially exciting is that it will contain the seeds for a potential fifth season. “The door to the fifth season is opened in Episode 19,” Joshua Jackson (Peter Bishop) told TVLine. “If you watch that, you’ll have an understanding of where they want to take the series.”
In related news, the Fringe cast also spilled that they’ve shot multiple endings for the current season. One will be used if FOX renews the show for a fifth season, and the other will air if the network ultimately decides to declare the current season Fringe’s last. “The writers have given themselves a device by which we can tell a fifth season story without having to leave this season’s story open,” says Jackson. Add Lance Reddick (Phillip Broyles): “The way [season four] ends could function as a series finale, but there’s one storyline left open that could end up as a cliffhanger for the beginning of the fifth season…We’ll see what airs depending on what [FOX and WBTV] decide.”
As of this writing, FOX and Warner Bros. TV are in discussions about the fate of the show. The two options that are supposedly on the table are these: the network and the studio will either cancel Fringe and the show will wrap at the end of this season, or they’ll renew it for one more shortened 13 episode final season. John Noble (Walter Bishop) is keeping positive. “I hear warm and fuzzy things — but I’ve been hearing them all the time,” he said. “We just picked up [TV Guide Magazine‘s] fan award for Best Drama and so forth, and the fans have always been very supportive… [and] I know the Fox executives actually like Fringe very much. But they run a business. I think we’ll be back, but we’ll wait and see.” Noble is right; FOX execs, including president Kevin Reilly, are vocal supports of the sci-fi series. At this year’s winter TCAs, however, Reilly made it clear that Fringe is in danger due to budgetary and ratings concerns: “We lose a lot of money on the show. At that rating on that night it’s almost impossible for us to make money. We are not in the business of losing money, so we’re trying to figure out if there is a number at which we can continue with the series.” To echo Noble, we’ll have to wait and see. Everyone, cross your fingers. Tight.
With all that said, check out the freaky clue-ridden teasers for what looks to be a stand out episode 19. One teaser is embedded above, and three more are posted after the break. Also, peek in the gallery below to see some stills plucked from “Letters of Transit;” one of them includes a white-haired Nina (from the future?), and the others feature a concerned Walter. How will Lost’s Cusick factor into all of this? Tune in tonight (4/20, appropriate for Walter, yes?) at 9PM on FOX.(Click here for more…)