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Fringe fans, pull out your magnifying glasses: It's time to analyze the cryptic new promotional images Fox has created to help launch the sci-fi saga's fourth season, premiering on Sept. 23. Each shot features a cast member either on a curving pathway or on the steps of some ziggurat-like structure. In the background: a structure (Fringe division's Harvard HQ?) trapped in a bubble embedded with near-subliminal triangles. Above: blue sky and puffy clouds. My Doc Jensen brain whirs with possibilities.
I see encoded allusions to Stephen King's Under the Dome, multiverse or ''bubble universe'' conjecture (also see: chaotic inflation theory), the surrealist paintings of Salvador Dalí and René Magritte, and, of course, the Celestial Sphere of the Great Pyramid. (Look it up! I'm sure it explains everything. That, and The Dark Tower, too.) You'll notice actor Seth Gabel in the mix; look for his once-recurring character, Agent Lincoln Lee, to get more screen time this season. We should brace for a terrifically trippy season that'll play with notions of reality, eternity, and all of Fringe history as we know it. Do you see anything that hints at a resolution to last year's cliff-hanger question: Did Peter Bishop eradicate himself from reality by traveling through time? Post your own oddball observations in the comments!
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Peter Bishop (Joshua Jackson)
Last Seen: Disappearing from existence. The new season begins one week later.
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Dr. Walter Bishop (John Noble)
Last Seen: Confronting his ''over there''-world doppelgänger (''Walternate'') on the Bridge Between Worlds. Peter challenged his fathers to save their respective universes by working together.
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Agent Olivia Dunham (Anna Torv)
Last Seen: Confronting her ''over there''-world doppelgänger (''Bolivia'') on the Bridge Between Worlds. Whither the fate of Bolivia's baby in a Peter Bishop-rebooted multiverse?
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Senior Agent in Charge Phillip Broyles (Lance Reddick)
Last Seen: Wondering WTF is going on? His ''over there'' double died last season.
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Nina Sharp (Blair Brown)
Last Seen: Helping Walter run Massive Dynamics in the wake of William Bell's (latest) presumed death.
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Agent Astrid Farnsworth (Jasika Nicole)
Last Seen: Baffled on the Bridge Between Worlds. In a No Peter-rebooted universe, look for her close rapport with Walter and working relationship with Olivia to be a bit different than what you've seen in previous seasons.
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Agent Lincoln Lee (Seth Gabel)
Last Seen: Leading the ''over there'' Fringe division team, though his clean-cut, bespectacled appearance in this photo suggests we'll be seeing more of his ''over here'' iteration in season 4. Maybe a romance with Olivia, too?