FRINGE: J.H. Wyman Teases 'The Bullet That Saved the World' - Give Me My Remote : Give Me My Remote

FRINGE: J.H. Wyman Teases ‘The Bullet That Saved the World’

October 23, 2012 by  

For someone who normally has an awful lot to say about a lot of things, I find myself at a loss on what to say about this Friday’s episode of FRINGE, “The Bullet That Saved the World.”

As much as I love doing “You Ask, I Answer” or teaser posts, this episode really does feel like it would be better without too much being ruined. So for now, I’ll leave you guys with this: a specific aspect of the hour feels like a love letter to long-time fans; I’m not sure Joshua Jackson (Peter) has ever been better; and damn, this show is going to be missed when it’s gone.

So with my blathering out of the way, how about some teases about what’s to come from FRINGE showrunner J.H. Wyman?

What can you tease about “The Bullet That Saved the World”? Joshua Jackson teased the episode specifically is a big turning point for him
J.H. Wyman: I think it will put things into perspective. My goal was that we’re not going to be sitting watching the characters from above, but actually be down with them and the same struggles they go through and the same experiences they go through. I think all three characters are engaged in odysseys, the depths of which I don’t know they’ve all been made clear yet to the viewer. But they will. I’ve always said it. Those odysseys, that’s what I was really concerned with.

It’s funny, because some people say episode 3 wasn’t as fast as 1 and 2 were, but thematically, that’s where it’s at. These things are important. The emotional stories that you’re learning, you’re collecting, are all a part of a whole, if that makes sense.

It does. For me, I’ve felt like this season — more than ever — you guys are telling one large story that’s just being spread out in 13 weeks. It’s very cable-esque in many ways.
JW: That’s really cool. I really appreciate that you recognize that, because it’s so hard to communicate. A lot of people, I think, are forgetting this is the end. There are certain things that while you may be really interested in, but they’re not as important to the resolution of the characters we’ve loved for so long, at least from our perspective.

But you’re right. That’s how we’re looking at it in terms of movement. Different episodes may have different paces, but by choice. Not every episode can be a rip-roaring race from beginning to end. Sometimes they’re smaller, and there’s a reason to sort of allow them to sit. And choose the pace. And I know some people may not like that, but that’s how we’ve designed that.

Mostly, it’s very fast. But I think there are times when you want to take a breath and pay attention to the emotions that are going on.

With a title like “The Bullet That Saved the World,” is that referring to Etta’s bullet that she’s been wearing since we met her in “Letters of Transit”?
JW: You’ll have to tune in and find out.

Will we at least find out before the series is over how Etta came into possession of that bullet?
JW: 150% yes.

In speaking of the smaller moments, one of the more prevalent comments I feel like I’ve seen from people is the question about why Peter and Olivia haven’t really talked with Etta on-screen, whether it was about the day she was taken or about their time apart. They do know some things, because, for instance, they were able to use Simon’s name after his head was discovered, but will there be a more in-depth conversation coming?
JW: I think what has happened — and you’re going to understand a little bit more about her history from conversations, yes, for sure. If you look at the timeline, I assume they’ve had conversations off-screen, but it’s a matter of what is absolutely necessary versus what some might want to see. And I agree, that conversation could be very interesting, but you’ll be able to hear more about it as the series goes on.

In “Letters of Transit,” Etta really did have a relationship with the characters we knew who weren’t ambered, specifically Nina. Will we learn whether she had any part in guiding Etta as a young adult? Because Etta certainly knew a lot about her parents given that she didn’t know her parents for most of her life.
JW: Right. Um, yeah, I think you will get the answer to that.

JW: Soon enough. [Laughs]

We know that Etta has some sort of abilities. Will we be seeing her use the abilities we’ve witnessed and find out more about what she can do?
JW: You will find out what she can do. You’re calling them abilities, but I don’t know if…maybe you’re implying something deeper?

Well, she’s able to block the Observers from reading her, which is a massively helpful trait right about now.
JW: She is!

That’s the kind of ability I was thinking of. She may have other skills I have no idea about yet.
JW: Right. But yes, that is an ability, and that is something that is very useful for somebody that is working both sides of the street. That comes in very handy for her.

Is it important Etta was wrong about how much time had passed between the last time she saw her parents?
JW: The truth is, it’s so funny, because when people are running for their lives and you’re in a place of occupation, imagine you’re stuck in the war in Berlin, you lose your identity to an extent; you don’t know what’s going on, you have no paperwork, nothing. So, the truth is, going around from kind person to kind person and depending on the kindness of strangers and having people take care of you and moving from one refugee camp…you’ll learn a little bit about that, but the idea of that was you can lose your identity.

That’s what’s so important about “In Absentia,” that’s what I was trying to get across: it’s all about what’s missing. She looks like she’s been okay and she seems like a strong woman on the outside and it seems like she’s gone along by some miracle to create herself into an incredibly strong woman against the odds. But if you look inside, her parents weren’t there to figure out things morally and tell her you can’t be like that. You have to hold on to your morals and your integrity, your compassion, because that’s what makes you different from these people. Her parents weren’t really there to stop that. And that’s the kind of message I was trying to get across. You really need to show up for your children and sometimes it’s what’s not there that counts. And that nods to the larger theme of the season.

Well, it’s good it’s nothing sinister. Maybe my brain is prepared to fear the worst with this show.
JW: It’s so funny, everyone’s like, ‘It always ends bad!’ But that wasn’t part of the thinking. Part of the thinking was she grew up understanding who her parents were. Ultimately believing they were alive. Ultimately followed through that destiny to find them, and free them, and reunite everybody. And that’s kind of really cool. So you can understand the long-term destiny and fate at play here.

Fair enough. What can you say about the return of Broyles?
JW: When Broyles comes back, He will sort of be made — I think it will clarify where he’s been, what his attitudes are, what kind of a person he is. How viable he finds the team. He loves everybody, I do believe. That’s how I feel about it.

On a scale from 1-10, how much will we be sobbing our eyes out when this is all said and done with the series? I feel like not all of our main characters are going to survive and I know you’ve teased there will be deaths. So, is this going to be one of these things where it’s a level 10 trauma, requiring junk food, tissues, and locking ourselves away for a week, kind of thing? Or are we going to have a little bit of hope, a la the ending of “Transilience Thought Unifier Model-11”?
JW: I mean, that’s a good question. I feel it’s all part of wanting to really take you through this journey with the characters that you love. And I really want you to feel what they feel. And I really want you to be involved. Because for me, that’s good television. It may not be for somebody else, but to me that is. If I can make you feel something, if I can make you care and fret and hope for the best and be looking for a sign that everything is going to be okay and our characters…this is what I think is successful, with any story, really. The people that want more laser guns, I think you missed the point.

Are you writing the series finale now?
JW: Yeah, we’re basically doing the last few [episodes]. We’re really excited. And like I said, we’re trying to include a lot of things for the fans that are kind of cool post-FRINGE. Embedding certain things and trying to make it interesting and show a little love back. Fans have been so cool, making all these videos, doing all these mysterious things, and we thought, we can give them something, too. So we have a couple things cooking we think will show our appreciation in a very meaningful way.

I love how much you guys clearly care about the fans.
JW: Well, without them, we would not be here. We all know that. That’s why it’s so important for us that people understand what we’re trying to do. Most of our fans understand this is about our core characters and that’s what’s really important.

I know you also have a pilot in the works at Fox. Is that going to impact your involvement with FRINGE in its final days?
JW: Oh, no. My priority is always FRINGE. We have plenty of time to do the pilot, any old time.  A good idea is a good idea. And when it’s ready to get made, it gets made. But no, FRINGE is — barring a fire, I don’t think there’s much that could get me away from FRINGE.

Make sure to come back later this week for more from the cast on Friday’s big episode, plus next week I’ll have more from my interview with Wyman!

FRINGE airs Fridays at 9 PM on Fox.


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14 Responses to “FRINGE: J.H. Wyman Teases ‘The Bullet That Saved the World’”

  1. Donna on October 23rd, 2012 3:30 pm

    Sigh. I don’t know why some fans are obsessing over every last detail this season. I do not need to see an hour of “Peter and Olivia Have a Long Talk with Etta About Her Life.” It isn’t necessary.

    In general, I can’t stand it when fans of any show talk to the showrunners like they’re short-order cooks. (“I want to see THIS scene and THIS scene and THIS scene…”)

  2. Terry H on October 23rd, 2012 5:21 pm

    All I want is a “happily ever after” ending for our characters. I have not missed a single episode since season 1 episode 1 so I think we deserve this. Please??? I just want to come away after the last episode with a good feeling, even though I will miss those crazy characters LOL

  3. ollie on October 23rd, 2012 5:44 pm

    thank you for asking the question that so many of us have been wondering; why haven’t polivia and etta had so much as a single conversation together? i didn’t much care for his answer, however.

  4. Sandy on October 23rd, 2012 5:56 pm

    But Donna don’t you think that is an IMPORTANT aspect of the story??

  5. Aimee on October 23rd, 2012 6:24 pm

    I can’t stand it when people comment on an article and the first thing they do is gripe. It’s been really annoying this season, so now I’m griping. This season is a gift — a second chance- — and I’m going to take it. Fans worked darned hard to make it happen, so be grateful we even have Fringe at all.

    We can respectfully suggest things that we don’t like about the show without being rude or bashing characters, like is seen on so many articles these days.
    Part of the exchange via social media involves telling showrunners things we’d like to see. But there must be the understanding that this is the writer’s story, so they can either agree with those ideas or not. Come on… fans wanted to see Gene and the Bishop’s station-wagon again. There they were the past episode. Fun stuff like that, and the shout-out to fan creative works, is part of what makes Fringe special as a genre show.

    Deep down, I’m hoping for a happy ending complete with Wizard of OZ rainbows… but if it doesn’t happen that way, as long as there is some sense of hope, I’ll be satisfied.

    For this week’s episode, I’m hoping maybe we’ll learn exactly for certain why “the boy is important.” Or was at least considered to be. There’s lots of interpretations based on events in the series, but I don’t think the true answer has been revealed. Or why the heck he had that terrible genetic illness. What caused it? Or why Bell was surprised at how well he was “holding up,” and not due to universe hopping… All of these things add up to something about Peter, and I can’t wait to finally find out.

  6. Sandy on October 23rd, 2012 6:26 pm

    I’m guessing Peter may be an Observer

  7. were123 on October 23rd, 2012 6:52 pm

    Fringe is ending on a high note. Sure, The Recordist isn’t among my top ten, but it wasn’t half bad, while In Absentia and Transilience Thought Unifier Model-11 were just plain awesome! I have high expectations not only for the next episode, but for the entire season, and I have no fear of being dissapointed, because the show remains strong in it’s core, the characters; the show is mainly about the relationship they forge mixed with all the twists and surprises that makes it fun, and I see that Fringe hasn’t lost that so I’m positive that I’ll be satisfied with whatever the season throws

  8. Mighty Mouse on October 23rd, 2012 7:08 pm

    I love this show, but they kinda ruined the series when they pulled peter out of his timeline and threw him into this one. They brought Olivia back by rewriting her memory, but its sad that they just kinda left the other characters in the past. As if Walter, Astrid, Broyles and so on aren’t important enough to keep one conscience throughout the show. These new characters were just forced on us, I felt so lost last season.

  9. Dixie on October 23rd, 2012 8:37 pm

    Every time I read an interview with Joel Wyman, I love Fringe, and him, a little more. Every episode has moments that are better than anything else on tv, and most episodes have more than one.

    We’re seeing an incredible story unfolding – have been for the last 4 years. I’ve liked some parts of it more than others, but it’s all been amazing. The love that Joel, the rest of the writers, the cast and crew, have for this story is evidentto me in every episode. I can’t ask for more than that.

  10. Trent on October 25th, 2012 1:02 am

    I will say this: I’ve been a devoted fan since the beginning, following the viral campaigns, the extended universe on the web and in comic book, attending the comic-con panels, theorizing with the best of them on various forums.

    So when Mr. Wyman says, “The people that want more laser guns, I think you missed the point,” I might would suggest that “more laser guns” is precisely one of the tools they gave us from the beginning. They did focus heavily on drawing us into caring about the characters on deep levels, and the power of things like hope, destiny, and love. However they also threw mystery/clue after mystery/clue at us, all shiny and sparkly and luring around every corner. They gave us beacons, and Walter’s Lab Notes, and September’s Notebook, and Observers at baseball games, and Massive Dynamic and cortexiphan. So for those of us who “want more laser guns” … don’t crap on us if you choose to tease us with both steak and lobster from day one, and here we are at day finale and we are still expecting BOTH a steak AND lobster payoff. You chose to tease us with some of the coolest laser guns we’ve seen. They WERE and *are* part of the point, because you embedded them *into* the point yourself, and teased us with it.

  11. Admirer on October 25th, 2012 6:38 am

    What I like about interviews on this side is the fact that the interviewer asks musk better questions than the others.
    Normally, all interviewers care about is Peter and Olivia. This side really shows interest in the story as a whole, the past, little details and characters like Nina and Broyles. I like that!

  12. Donna on October 25th, 2012 12:40 pm

    Trent, what payoff haven’t we really gotten? Are there REALLY people out there who will trash the finale if it doesn’t finally reveal who Big Eddie was? There isn’t a show on the air that hasn’t had dangling plotlets that never got revealed, or storylines that got aborted.

    Besides, I think Wyman was literally talking about laser guns, because there was some criticism that some episodes this season were “slow” or not action-y enough. He’s just saying that it’s about character.

    Fringe wouldn’t be Fringe if it didn’t have a sense of experimentation and “what if.” It was never going to be a hugely popular show for that reason. People don’t like things to change very much. Some fans simply could not make the leap to embrace an alternate Walter as being just another facet of Walter Bishop. (I personally don’t understand how you could not care about ANY Walter, but that’s just me.) While the timeline switch in Season 4 was perfectly valid as drama and actually was necessary to wrap up Season 3’s universe war (there would have been no prospects for peace otherwise), it confused some people and bored others, although I liked it just fine. But that is why Fringe has been a different show. You can turn on any other channel on any night of the week and find more conventional shows that will make you feel more comfortable and never challenge you. When Fringe is gone, that’s likely all we’re going to get on TV. Then in ten years people will wish there was another show like this.

  13. Donna on October 25th, 2012 12:43 pm

    PS: There was one TV show that perfectly plotted out everything over all five seasons. It was Babylon 5 and it was boring as hell.

  14. Yawn on October 26th, 2012 5:47 pm

    Speak for yourself. Babylon 5 was incredible.