This Thursday on ‘Fringe‘ (Fox, 9/8c), we’re back in “our” universe, where Fauxlivia’s pursuit of a mysterious box leaves in its wake a slew of icky-dead bodies. That in turn elicits the investigative interest of Peter (played by Joshua Jackson) and Walter (John Noble), oblivious to who anxiously covets the elusive case.
Said box may have a connection to the ominous “machine” for which Peter spied the schematics at the end of last season. As such, Peter’s journey for the early stretch of Season 3 is set in motion.
“This machine is the key to [Peter's] fate,” Joshua Jackson shared on the series’ Vancouver set last week. “The driving theme for him… is to figure out what that thing is, or does.”
As this week’s episode unfolds, viewers may be led to wonder if Peter wants the machine – in which he himself plays an integral piece – to become reality. “It’s like Prometheus with the fire – he wants it built, but at the same time he’s terrified of what it will mean when it is built.” Alas, since the device seemingly represents his destiny, “He can’t run from it,” says Jackson.
Neither can Peter run from the beauty he believes to be Olivia (Anna Torv). Though he and his partner in otherwordly crime-solving seldom got closer than arm’s distance in seasons past, Fauxlivia is just a bit more forward than her alter ego.
“Peter is able to strike up that [intimate] relationship very quickly with the alt-Livia,” Jackson notes. The actor’s theory on why? “I think there’s something to the fact that they’re both from the same universe, that the reason Peter responds to the other Olivia is because [over there] that would be ‘his’ Olivia.”
Jackson’s hope is that Peter’s relatively sympathetic POV on the “other” universe and its denizens leaves viewers undecided as to where and who is good or bad.
“If [by season's end] we can get to a place where you’re morally conflicted between the two sides,” he says, “that would be a high-water mark for our show.”
“Those poor guys worked a 19-hour day yesterday…. It’s been pretty good for me!” he reports with a laugh. “I’m definitely missing out on the fun [of playing a dual role], but I certainly don’t mind having a week off every other week. It’s perfect!”