As far as we've always known, Fringe's Walternate is an evil genius, and original-flavor Walter is a big ol' softy. But what if that's not really the case? We just caught up with the incomparable John Noble and chatted about tonight's season-three premiere, why Walternate is actually "good" (whaaa?!)—and while we were at it, we kinda wrote the plot for season four together:
"Walternate is a good man," John gushed about his alter ego. "He's saving his world. If our world was disintegrating, we'd want someone to step up; that's truly what Walternate does."
Kind of makes you think, right? "He's cold and manipulative and wounded, so all those things when you first meet him make you think he's a hard man," continues John. "But he has reason to be. Someone stole his son, for goodness sake. I'd be furious. I have some affection for Walternate, even though he's not a crowd favorite."
True, the inclusion of Walternate into the world of Fringe has been a difficult one for fans to accept, and it obviously hasn't gone unnoticed. But John actually believes that unease may benefit season three.
"We've got to play on both sides, which is the radical change to this season," he explained. "And I want to see the audience's response to us playing two universes. If we can do it [right], it'll be magical. The characters on the other side are going to have to make themselves likable."
And here's where things get interesting: John has his own plans for the future of Fringe. A plan that involves peace and love and the coming together of both Walters.
Laughs John: "What's got to happen is that there has to be peace made. If this breach is indestructible, what if the two great minds of each world got together and said, 'We know how to fix it.' They could. And if we want a fourth season, they better. I just thought of this! Wouldn't it be cool if Walter and Walternate put their heads together and said 'Let's do this'?"
So cool! And a coming together of the two worlds wouldn't mark the end of the show, because as John puts it: "What about all the other universes that we haven't even looked at? There are many things to discover. We've still got to work out how many men Nina has slept with!"
See? Lots more Fringe to come if we just give Walternate a fair shot.
Love him or hate him, Walternate and the Fringe gang are back tonight at 9 p.m. on Fox, and you need to be there.