Your eyes didn't deceive you, "Fringe" fans -- Etta Bishop (Georgina Haig), long-lost daughter of Peter and Olivia, just died at the hands of the evil Captain Windmark, obliterating a building in the process.
We don't know about you guys, but we definitely didn't see that coming. For Peter and Olivia to lose their child only four episodes after finding her again seems particularly cruel, even by "Fringe" standards, and it's truly impossible to guess where our emotionally battered team might go from here. Revenge is obviously at the top of the agenda, but will it be enough to lessen the pain of such a loss?
To try and make some sense of what we just saw, HuffPost TV caught up with Georgina Haig to learn more about Etta's death and what it might mean for the team, and we're not exaggerating when we say that there were some tears shed on both sides of this interview.
Well, I did not see that twist coming…
Oh god ... I know, it's a sad one, isn't it?
How did [executive producer] Joel Wyman explain it to you -- were you warned before you even started shooting the season?
Yeah, but only just, because when I first got told that I was in Season 5, I knew it was a bunch of episodes. I didn’t know exactly what was going to happen and I was kind of guessing, coming up with scenarios in my head and I finally spoke to Joel and yeah, he explained the trajectory and I was like, “Oh my God. It’s so much to put all those characters through,” and he told me the story and it’s a really brave decision by everyone and brave because now those characters have to deal with the loss of a child on top of saving the world and it’s just incredible that they put them through that, but yeah. I thought it was kind of beautifully done.
Like you said, it’s a huge catalyst to propel the story forward and give everything even higher stakes, but it is pretty bleak. Do you worry that the fans are just going to want to kill themselves after this episode?
[Laughs.] Yeah, I don’t know. The thing is, the fans I think have become really invested in my character quite quickly. It’s really because I was part of the family straightaway; I think you just have to kind of whisper the name "Bishop" and then everyone’s like, “Yep, right. She’s a Bishop. We’re on board with her." It was lovely for me, and it meant they could really invest everyone in my character quite quickly because the family dynamic and everything is so strong, so yeah. I think that gave them license in a way to feel confident enough in everyone being invested enough to feel the impact ... It sounds horrible that they’re just playing with people’s emotions! [Laughs.] We’re bastards, I hate to say it.
Is Etta really, truly dead, though -- no time travel, no sneaky switcheroos?
Oh, man, I know. I was having a great time in Vancouver, you know? I would stay! I had my last day and I was really upset, obviously ... just like, “Oh God. That was final. I could learn to ski if I stayed!” Everyone’s like, “Oh, Georgina, it’s ‘Fringe,’ you never know what could happen.” They were so nonplussed. They’re just like, “Whatever, it’s Fringe.” Whereas I was like, “No. I’ve been obliterated into a million pieces. I haven’t just died, I was like self-combobulated or whatever it was. It’s done.” And then they’re like, “But it’s 'Fringe.'” So who knows? I feel like these guys can get around any corner but I don’t know. I don’t know what’s going to happen.
This is a fairly method question, but what was going through Etta's mind in those final moments? Can you talk about how you approached the scene?
Yeah. It was so funny ... It makes me upset even thinking about now. I was just thinking that someone loved me finally. I was just thinking there was all the fighting with Windmark and trying to get the gun and then all of a sudden I felt incredibly calm and relaxed and was just thinking about my parents and the thought that I was loved and in the end, that was all that mattered to her. So it was kind of like a peaceful moment just before ... [Gets choked up.] It's incredibly sad. I just miss everyone as well -- I loved being there!
Did you get to have any discussions with Anna [Torv] or Josh [Jackson] about how this affects their characters from this point on? Were you commiserating with each other?
Not really, no. Everyone has their own private processes I think and we didn’t really talk about that. We just talked about how it was sad, really. It’d be like, “Oh, baby, you’re dying next week,” and then, "Oh, you’re dying tomorrow,” and I’m like, “I know. I don’t want to go,” and they’re like, “We don’t want you to go either,” and it was kind of like that. It wasn’t profound or anything. It was kind of like, arm around your shoulder, “Let’s go do this,” kind of thing. It was just sad.
Do you know how the series ends, did Joel clue you in to the whole story?
I know vague things but I’m always e-mailing John [Noble]. I’m like, “What’s happening? What are you doing?” And he’s like, “Oh, this happened,” and I’m like “Oh, awesome!” They keep us in dark, we’re just like the fans trying to grovel for any information we can get. Yeah. I kind of know the overall arc but a lot of the detail’s missing, so I’m sort of hanging out for the episodes as much as anyone else.
You did such a great job of really capturing Anna's mannerisms and making Etta similar to Olivia, what was your preparation process like?
It’s so funny. It wasn’t really a conscious decision because I kind of approached it like, “Well, she’s her mother’s daughter but she hasn’t spent time around her.” But having said that, I have an uncle who had a son who he didn’t meet for 20 years and finally they were reunited and I was shocked at how similar they were. Mannerisms and quirks that were impossible to have been there from observation, like they were there from birth and it’s just fascinating. I watched Anna before I even auditioned for Etta. I just watched “Fringe” and I watched her and maybe subconsciously there are certain things that came through and then being around her and dealing with similar information and the way she dealt with information, I’m sure it kind of started to influence how I was talking a bit and all that. But I didn’t really set out to consciously mimic or anything like that. I tried to keep it more subtle I suppose. I definitely wasn’t trying to mimic Joshua Jackson. [Laughs.] I wish I could've, but I don't know if Dad came through! It would have been fun to make her a little bit more cheeky, just make her a bit more like Peter. I think if she hadn’t have died she would have maybe got into the happy-go-lucky a little bit more.
What were your favorite scenes to shoot and what do you wish you could've done more of?
I loved doing the final stuff in that huge warehouse. Because the focus that you need and then being in that space and doing all that stuff is just really intense but really fascinating to do. I loved doing that little scene with John in the market, just one of those small scenes of the episode but it’s really sweet and I don’t know why I just thought of that, but… I guess because there was so much action and so much anger and confusion. Just having that little moment of sweetness was really nice. The action stuff was really fun and that's kind of new to me. And the other guys are sort of old hand at it. It was like, “Am I holding the gun right?” and Anna’s like, “Yeah. Yeah.” And I was like, "Thanks, mom!" and she was all "That’s good, honey." It was a perfect example of that mother-daughter bond. [Laughs.]
Were you shocked by Etta's death? Do you think we'll see her again? Where do you think the team will go from here? Weigh in below!
"Fringe" airs Fridays at 9 p.m. ET on Fox.