SAN DIEGO - Comic-Con is a good place to say good-bye. In recent years, I remember final Comic-Con panels for shows like "Lost" and "Chuck," which ended up being emotional farewells for fans and stars alike.
On Sunday (July 15), Comic-Con faithful will be able to bid adieu to "Fringe," as the cult favorite holds its last panel, this time taking over Hall H.
Who will laugh? Who will cry?
Click through for the full live-blog...
10:04 a.m. We were given "Fringe" fedoras when we entered. Me in my "Fringe" fedora.
10:06 a.m. The exclusive reel has been approved for "All Members of the Resistance." It concentrates very extensively on the events from the "Letters of Transit" episode. As it would, I suppose. I hadn't been watching any of the early teasers for this season, so... This is what the fifth season is going to be? Hmmm. It's a very good teaser reel. Great, even.
10:10 a.m. Our panel includes Joel "J.H." Wyman, Joshua "Pacey" Jackson, John Noble, Lance Reddick, Anna Torv, Jasika Nicole. Only Joshua Jackson is wearing a "Fringe" fedora. A white tulip sign of "Fringe" solidarity was somewhat quashed by Comic-Con organizers, but the panelists are touched by the effort.
10:12 a.m. Blair Brown is absent, so we record a "We Miss You Blair" video.
10:13 a.m. "It's gonna pick up exactly where we left in 2019," Wyman says. So yes, the fifth season of "Fringe" will take place in the future. [I heard 2019, I thought, but "Letters of Transit" took place in 2036, so that's probably what he actually said.] The teaser reel we saw included "Fringe" that wasn't in the "Letter of Transit" episode. It was their sales tool to pitch the season and the actors did it on faith.
10:14 a.m. "John is the wise old sage, but I think generally everybody was happily surprised," Jackson says, calling the renewal, which Noble predicted, "a good shock."
10:15 a.m. How long have the producers known where the ending was going? "I've had ideas since Season 1, but those change, to be honest," Wyman says. "Truthfully, I had two-and-a-half versions of what we should do for the end, but I sorta decided three months ago," Wyman says. And did he tell the cast? Yes, apparently. "Because it's 13, we want to write the scripts early to make sure that everything is absolutely perfect and the way we want it," Wyman says, explaining that he's going to be concentrating on working with the writers, so he had to tell the actors the direction of things.
10:17 a.m. They going to do an Observers book, done through the prism of September's impressions of what he's seen. And there will be a contest where if you sign up early to receive it, your name could be mentioned in the book as a person of interest. "This is the little show that could and I can't believe we're here and I appreciate it so much," Wyman says.
10:18 a.m. When did Jasika realize that fans loved Astrid? "In Season 1 when she didn't even have that much to do," Nicole says. "The relationship that John and I have in real life translated on camera," she says. "I didn't die! I made it to the fifth season and I'm still here," says Nicole, who admits that she expected Astrid to die early.
10:20 a.m. Are people intimidated by Lance Reddick in real life? "People are always surprised when they see me smile... When you're in people's living rooms week after week and year after year and it's a particular way, they think that you're that guy," Reddick says. Nicole does a funny Lance Reddick impression recalling that Reddick thought he was going to go incognito at Comic-Con by wearing a "Breaking Bad" hat. He was wrong because, "He is the tallest, darkest, handsomest man at Comic-Con," Nicole says.
10:22 a.m. "I would like to aspire to the nobility that Peter has developed over the course of five years," Jackson says, referring to the sacrifices he's made over the course of the show. "I don't know really how much I've learned about anything, but the process has been a pleasure," he says.
10:23 a.m. What is the greatest lesson Olivia has taught Anna Torv? "The biggest lesson? I think it's to come..." Somehow this become a dirty joke. And by "somehow," I mean "predictably."
10:25 a.m. Is Noble prepared to say 'good-bye' to this family? Noble loves the cast's sense of solidarity and he doesn't think it will go away. Noble says that what's holds everything together is the power of love, both on-camera and off, apparently.
10:28 a.m. Jackson does a spectacular job of summarizing the "conventional" plot that "Fringe" has followed. I couldn't type it quickly enough. Does anybody know if Olivia and Peter will get their "happily ever after." "I think that these two will get the final chapter of their story," Jackson says. "I concur," Torv adds. "The fun part of watching and making the show is the process of discovery," Jackson says, explaining why he won't spoil anything. A former "Fringe" DP is on "Breaking Bad" and Jackson is a huge "Breaking Bad" fan and he won't talk to the DP during the season to avoid being spoiled.
10:30 a.m. Favorite scene they're not in? "Does it have to be in 'Fringe'?" Jackson asks. "Yes. Or 'The Mighty Ducks,'" responds the moderator. Well played, Damian Holbrook. Jasika's favorite is when Walter is at the phone booth and he can't remember the number to get in touch with Peter. She also loves Olivia going into her house and ripping the clothes out of her dryer after realizing Fauxlivia had taken over her life. Awww. Jasika becomes the first person on the panel to cry. And Torv joins her in sniffling, saying, "We're girls and they put us together and it rubs off and that's the way it goes." Torv returns the favor by mentioning last season's big All-Astrid episode and this makes Torv even more emotional. This is very sweet. Can we get Lance Reddick crying? Yes! Reddick says that he doesn't usually watch "Fringe" because he doesn't watch most of his shows, but he watched the Astrid episode and this does, indeed, make him get emotional, recalling Astrid having the conversation with herself. Awww. Reddick is, indeed, bawling. He tells us not to tell anybody this happened. "I too am sensitive... I loved it when Peter chopped that guy's fingers off," Noble says. "I'm not gonna cry. Your turn," Noble says. "I feel like an abusive father right now. I apologize that I don't have tears for you guys," Jackson says. Jackson praises Seth Gabel for his worth in his doppelganger scenes.
10:37 a.m. "Let's go with a different bodily function," Jackson says, recalling the scenes that nearly made him lose his lunch. First he references a Season 1 scene with a girl without her eye. And then he references the "Snakehead" episode with the pulling of worms from the bodies. They all recall the scenes where they lost track of real people and dummies. "Yes. They're all very moving moments," Noble cracks.
10:40 a.m. Another exclusive clip. "It's not saying good-bye. It's saying we're successful," Wyman says. He's ALSO crying. Wyman thanks the fans, but he also thanks FOX for sticking with them when they're numbers were "middling at best." There's the typewriter... "Year after year... Case after case" the video begins. "Across time... Across universes..." It's an emotional recap of the entire series. "You've believe in the Unbelievable." The animated episode! The LSD episode! "You've seen... The Unimaginable." "You've Experience... The Undeniable.." "You've Become... Part of our Family." "You've Become... Part of Our Team." "You Have Been Our Observers." "One More Season." Fantastic video.
10:45 p.m. Weird. "Fringe" is a show that only occasionally makes me a emotional, but this panel has left me pretty consistently emotional.
10:47 a.m. We've got a running joke about how it's going to look like Joshua Jackson pissed his pants. He insists he didn't.
10:48 a.m. Our first audience question is from a Vancouver resident. She wants to know what advice they'd gotten on their first day on set? "Get a good night's sleep," Jackson says. "At least it wasn't fire your agent," Wyman tells him. "I would have loved someone to take 'Take a breath, Anna. TV's fluid,'" Torv says. Nicole remembers her first day on set in Toronto with Gene the Cow. Noble refers to his first line, "I knew you'd come" and this gets a call-back to Torv's double entendre earlier. Lance doesn't remember his first day on set, though Torv is able to remind him. Reddick had done a lot of TV before, but he hadn't done a lot of network TV before, but he wishes he'd been told to relax.
10:51 a.m. Will Henry Ian Cusick be back? Wyman wants fans to experience the show, rather than having things be spoiled. "Henry was an astounding performer last season, let's see if he makes his way into this season," Wyman says.
10:52 a.m. Is Jackson jealous that he didn't get to play multiple versions of his character? Partially, he's relieved because it looked hard. "I was happy with those days off," he says.
10:53 a.m. A fan from Australia asks if there's any possibility of the series continuing in another format? "Yes, I'd be happy to keep the story going in my own head. It would be very different from what you've seen the past five seasons. It would be called 'The Adventures of Astrid,'" Nicole says. "I would think a film is very possible down the track," Noble says. "Of course, it'll be shot on this," Jackson says, holding up his phone. "Don't discount yourself. Fan-fiction is a part of this universe as well," Jackson says. "If there were a superhero called The Fringe, what would she or he look like?" Noble asks. "You guys are scandalous," Nicole says, noting that she and Torv have been reading fan-fic.
10:56 a.m. Do they have favorite Walter-isms? "I think 'Vagenda' still has to be tops," Jackson says. Reddick's favorite is "I think I just pissed myself." "Just a squirt," Noble adds. Reddick's got more. He loves all of Walter's nicknames for Astrid. "I love it when she calls him names that don't begin with 'a,'" Nicole adds.
10:58 a.m. Are we going to see any actual female Observers this year? The question is asked by three female Observers. "I think that the answer to your question will become apparent this year. There's a reason and you'll find out the reason," Wyman teases.
10:59 a.m. Last question. Already... What was their favorite version of their characters to play? Noble's favorite is the initial Walter with no boundaries and his no sense of appropriateness. "He was beautiful, because he was random and he was without filters," Noble says. Reddick liked Alt-Broyles, because he was so conflicted. "I wish he'd lived a little longer, third season, but he definitely died with a bang," Reddick says. Torv said it was more enjoyable to play Alt-Olivia, because she was lighter, but she still prefers regular Olivia. She's glad that we've said farewell to the alternate universe. "I think that Alt-Astrid was more of a challenge for me," Jasika Nicole says.
11:03 a.m. The "Fringe" folks stand up to take a bow. And the audience stands up for them. "Thank you so much!" Jackson yells.
That's all, folks...