The question of whether Peter does indeed need to find his way home — or, as some theories have suggested, he's already there — will finally be answered in this week's episode of Fringe.
With eight episodes remaining before the season finale — and hopefully not the series finale — what will Peter's journey now look like? TVGuide.com turned to executive producer Jeff Pinkner and J.H. Wyman to get the scoop. Plus: The "X" man returns!
Peter (Joshua Jackson) decided to stay away from Olivia (Anna Torv). What will his journey look like now?
Jeff Pinkner: He's ultimately decided to stay away from her in that episode. This next episode, the one that Joel directed, is going to be a very powerful one and a very gratifying one for the 'shippers. The end of that story is by no means written.
Olivia is destined to die in every timeline, as September (Michael Cerveris) said. Will Peter be able to stay away from her? And with the whole death premonition out there, might we finally meet the man with the "X" on his shirt that Olivia thought would someday kill her?
J.H. Wyman: We never like to put anything into the air that we don't readdress. There was a reason why she said that. You'll definitely get an answer to that. As far as Peter goes, what's terrifying is that when somebody tells you everything that happens, you're going to start looking at life in a different way, like you won't cross the street the same way, would you? You'd constantly be looking extra carefully at everything. It's not the first time she's faced this kind of this dilemma.
Could the man with the "X" on his shirt be somebody we've met before?
Wyman: Don't forget, when that happened, which Olivia remembers, it was a very strange episode that took place in William Bell's mind, so it could be somebody who William Bell (Leonard Nimoy) knows or has experience with.
Pinkner: The short answer is: For people who remember that moment fondly or threateningly, it will get paid off.
Olivia is remembering things that Peter didn't even know. So maybe he's not imprinting his own memories on her? Will that be addressed in Friday's episode?
Wyman: It will. That was the thing that was on purpose, when you realized that something didn't make sense. Sometimes you feel you know what's going on, and then all of a sudden it flips and we're trying to make you look at it from a different perspective, but you will definitely get an answer. [Friday's episode] "A Short Story About Love" is definitely a culmination of all the things we've been working towards and it's definitely a must-see because of that. It delivers on promises and even poses a couple of questions you didn't think of. It's definitely one to see for resolution.
Pinkner: People who like scares, people who like intrigue, people who like romance, people who like answers, they're all well-attended in that episode.
Wyman: It definitely has one of the most terrifying bad guys that we've had. As far as our freaks-of-the-week goes, he's definitely the most terrifying.
Poor Lincoln (Seth Gabel): He's the James Marsden of Fringe, where he never gets the girl. How will he feel about this new turn of events with Peter and Olivia?
Wyman: The episode is called "A Short Story About Love" for a reason. Any great love story worth telling needs to have a lot of obstacles in its path. You have to fight for love because then it means something. It's not always fair. That's what Lincoln would understand, that Olivia feels that she's connected to Peter in a way that she can't explain, but it's there. That obviously causes a great deal of pain and frustration. But if he was given the chance, if Peter wasn't there, if there was another way and Peter would not interfere with what Lincoln feels that they had the beginnings of... but that's life. You don't get to choose who you fall in love with.
Pinkner: And you can't control whether they fall in love with you back.
Wyman: It's just bittersweet.
The whole season has been building up to whether Peter can return home, or whether he already is. How will that be addressed this week?
Wyman: You're going to find out what he has to do and what he's going to do in "A Short Story About Love." It definitely comes to a head, and answers will be coming.
If we're getting the answer to the season-long question in Friday's episode, what will the following seven episodes look like? Should we be looking forward to a face-off with David Robert Jones (Jared Harris)?
Pinkner: It's definitely part of it. Friday's episode will make you go, "The things that I was concerned about, I need not be concerned about anymore, but now there's other things I should've been concerned about all along."
Will the news that the other universe Broyles (Lance Reddick) has been working with them finally come to light?
Pinkner: It's an explosive situation that's going to come to a head.
In the last episode, in which Peter went into September's mind, is it important to remember September's comment that "they are coming"? Will we find out who "they" are?
Wyman: It's going to be a direct correlation to what we see this week.
Does that have anything to do with who shot him?
Wyman: In a roundabout way. It doesn't really. It introduces us to something else.
Check back to find out what the executive producers have in store for the finale. Fringe returns Friday at 9/8c on Fox.