It's been known for a few months now that the upcoming fifth season of FOX's sci-fi series Fringe will be the show's final one. The thirteen-episode season, which kicks off later this month, will see the series jump forward in time to the year 2036, when the Observers have taken over the future and rule with a totalitarian iron fist. The Fringe team, recently released from amber, will band together with Peter and Olivia's daughter Etta to fight the Observer Regime. It's a season that showrunner J.H. Wyman has described as a "13 part feature film," airing over several months.
But if you were thinking that the series would be over before the new year, you're wrong. Despite the season's shorter order, FOX is still planning on spreading the episodes out a bit, with various hiatuses and speed bumps littering the season. That's nothing new for Fringe, of course, but it's a little disappointing to have to wait so long between installments.
Talking to fans on Twitter Thursday night, Wyman revealed that the Fringe series finale would air on Friday, February 1, 2013.
It looks to me like the show will break for Christmas at around episode 10, and will return in the new year for the three-part series finale, which will kick off toward the end of January.
The final episode will be written and directed by Wyman, who previously directed the season 4 episode "A Short Story About Love." It was also recently announced that Wyman will be heading up a J.J. Abrams-produced robot-buddy-cop series following Fringe's end. He laughed off my suggestion of casting John Noble as the robot cops' tough-talking superior, but I'm still holding out hope.
Fringe season 5 will premiere September 28 on FOX.