This is the post I am sure you have all been waiting for. As this was my first Comic-Con experience, it was also my first (and last) Fringe panel.
To say that it is bittersweet is an understatement, it was something that I will never forget and will always cherish. I will review the parts I find the best of this panel, not the panel on a whole. For me, some parts hit home more than others and those are the more important ones to me.
I have NEVER in my life camped out for anything; not concert tickets, not movie lines, not even to get a glimpse of a rare meteor shower, let alone camping out for a panel at a major entertainment convention.
The Fringe panel remains the ONLY thing that I did end up camping out for.
I along with thousands (literally) of Fringe fans braved the elements to camp out for the infamous Hall H at the San Diego Convention Center, the mother of all Halls! For those who many not know, San Diego Comic-Con 2012 is nicknamed often “SDCC” either for for the initials of the event or the San Diego Convention Center.
Fond Memories of SDCC Fringe:
As I contemplated my fate, I was quite anxious, even worried that I would not make it inside the great hall at the San Diego Convention Center for what has been billed as the very last Comic-Con Fringe panel ever!
Why? The line for admittance to the Fringe panel was already to the water, thousands deep winding towards San Diego bay when I placed myself in my space at 5:00am Sunday July 15, 2012!
I took my place and waited, with my heart pounding, my camera poised and a smile on my face recalling fond moments of John Noble in the vendors room and around the convention including my exclusive interview with Mr. Noble about Dark Matters!
When the lights dimmed, every Fringe fan was treated to a teaser trailer for the upcoming season…and boy what a teaser it is. It contained ‘extra’ footage that was not originally seen in the first teaser (see full panel video below).
When asked about it, Joel Wyman had said that he had asked the actors to do a little extra for this last convention appearance and all said they were happy to oblige!
When the cast came out (sans Blair Brown who was sick) every Fringe fan (I hope) held up their white tulips that we had all carried with us that day. It stunned the cast and made Joel Wyman and Joshua Jackson both take pictures with their phones!
It humbled Joel; he said that those white tulips mean more than we will ever know. That makes me very happy and sad at the same time.
It will be hard to not feel both emotions as I recall that day in July. I was not lucky to see the Fringe panel in previous years, so I this is my ONLY memory of a Fringe event at SDCC.
Damian Holbrook from TV Guide was the moderator of the panel and he did a great job. I liked his questions and he kept things going. The roar from the crowd was deafening, the love for our beloved Fringe cast and each member evident.
The final Fringe panel started with Joel asking the crowd to shout “We Miss You Blair!” and he was going to tweet it to her. As any good fandom would, we did it with lots of love and conviction.
John Noble “the eternal optimist” as Anna Torv dubbed him had faith that Fringe would see a Season 5. The trailer was, as Joel mentioned, a tool to try and sell the powers that be on a fifth and final season…all the hard work paid off.
This year is the only year that the cast actually knows their fate. I do not know how I would feel about that, as an actor knowing how my character would end up, especially at the beginning of the season. All the actors had been relived to finally know and had no problem with making the most of it.
Joel is very sincere in all his heart-felt thanks to the fans and the media. I am sure the cast echoes his sentiment as they will be finally be able to bring closure to their characters and pen that love letter to us fans as Joel said.
The absolute love and admiration that each of them have for their fellow cast mate is clear and perfect. Jasika Nicole talks about how her real life friendship with John Noble translates to the screen seamlessly is wonderful.
It is so great to know that this cast DOES get along and does have a great time together and do have a deep connection that will NEVER be broken.
He made a great point about how when you are on a show, week after year and year after year people expect you to be that character. He is right, when you as a fan invest in a show as Fringe fans have you do want to see Phillip Broyles, but we are just as happy to see Lance Reddick!
Josh Jackson was asked about what he has learned about himself playing Peter Bishop over the course of the show. His answer is typical Josh! He wanted to aspire to the nobility that Peter has developed over the years. Peter’s sacrifices are on an epic scale as Josh states, not thinking he can do it himself. I think he is short changing himself, Josh has become leading man material and he has grown as an actor and a man. Take it with pride Josh, you deserve it.
When Damian says to John “and I think we will miss you most of all Scarecrow” he is speaking the truth…awards do mean nothing. This man has and always will be a force of nature in the acting world, his grace, humor, humility and gargantuan talent will live on in wherever else John’s work take him.
The crowd agreed with a roar of acknowledgement when Damian stressed that awards mean nothing. For him and Anna Torv, Joshua Jackson and the rest it has been an Emmy-less run and to the Emmy voters, I, and all of Fringe fandom say shame on you!
John Noble mentioned how the cast is a family and he the father figure. He looks after the younger cast members as if they were his own children and that is another reason why he is such a brilliant human being. He had said that this cast will ‘watch each others back’ and that is a real sign of solidarity.
John also mentioned that as a family they do not always see eye to eye, but that connection is there. “What holds Fringe together is the power of love” as John had said at the panel and it is the truth, plain and simply.
Now comes the part that made not only me cry, but I am sure a whole lot of fans and some panel members as well. Damian asked the panel their favorite scene but not one they are in.
Gorgeous Jasika talks about the scene when Walter can’t remember Peter’s number to call him. That was a great scene, but the one that made her cry was a scene Anna did. At first when Jasika read the scene she just skimmed over it, but when she watched it she cried…as did I.
The scene in the Marionette episode when Anna takes all her clothes and just starts purging them from her life. It was one of those scenes that you have to watch over and over, because of how astonishing Anna was and you can hear Josh agree with Jasika as to Anna’s talent.
How Anna conveyed the utter heartbreak, pain, anger, rage and every other emotion that was coursing through her. That scene alone should have garnered Anna an Emmy nod, but again…no nod, Emmy’s loss is what I say!
The reactions of the other cast members to the floodgates that Jasika and Anna opened are wonderful, powerful and special to everyone involved. Watching the answers again, I am reliving the emotions and the laughter from that particular part of the panel. To see Lance tear up is priceless.
The mention of Seth Gabel and his incarnations of Lincoln Lee was great by Josh. It showed that even though he wasn’t there with them and that his character will not be seen again, he is still very much a part of the lexicon that is Fringe.
Joel Wyman was so great all the times he thanked FOX and rightfully so. Without it and Warner Brothers, Fringe would not be having a fifth season. So thanks to everyone that has stuck by the little show that could.
Toward the end of the panel the floor was opened to questions from the fans…some were great, but the answers were even better…one in particular. Joel was vague (as he should be) when a fan asked if Henry Ian Cusick will be seen again. He did say it was the end so he did not want to reveal too much, we would have to wait and see. The same with when he was asked about female observers being a part of the show.
A mention of a potential (let’s all pray for this!) Fringe movie was maybe in the future, made the fans scream louder! Then comes the moment that makes Josh lose it, laughing giddy like school boy…when Anna says that the lesson Olivia still needs to learn is to come…well, that’s all I am gonna say.
It wrapped up beautifully with the cast taking bow a walking off into the sunset. I can honestly say that when the time comes to say goodbye for real to our beloved show, and yes I have used that word many times, it will be gut wrenching. Fortunately, I will always have my Fedora barring a cat “Fringe hat” event!
Seriously, when you have lived and loved a show like this for five years of your life and invested in the characters as if they were part of your life, it will be the hardest thing to do.
For your enjoyment, Included below is the entire panel, including promotional trailers, courtesy of the great folks over at Warner Brothers.
I want to personally say thanks to Kenn for giving me the wonderful opportunity to experience Comic-Con as a press representative, to be a part of history, and since I had trouble getting good pictures, for image selection and audio video staging in my report.
Who knows maybe in ten years we can all look forward to a Fringe reunion? Until then, remember “you belong with me”!
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Until next time,