'Fringe' Star on the Shocking Death: It's Heroic and Peaceful
"Fringe" is not approaching its series finale without a shocking twist. After reuniting the Bishop clan early in the fifth season, the show [SPOILER ALERT!] killed off Etta, the grown-up daughter of Peter and Olivia, in the November 26 episode.
Georgina Haig, who portrays Etta, says she was as surprised as most fans when learning about her character's tragic fate. "Going into it, I didn't know exactly what was going to happen," she says. "When I got the call that I'd be doing the fifth season, I was excited, but I didn't know the trajectory of the character or even how many episodes I was doing. It's so secretive even for us!"
Claiming that she "was blown away" when she was first informed about it, the actress claims she tried to propose an alternative storyline for her character. "I was like, 'Joel [Wyman - showrunner], how about instead of her dying, she just falls unconscious and is locked into a cupboard, and they find her later?' " she shares. "I didn't want to die, because it was so awesome being on the show."
Still, she sees the decision to kill off Etta as a brave move as stating, "And yet it's so brave of them to put these characters through that trauma in episode 4, just a third of the way into the story. It's almost like an inciting incident."
Haig reveals that she didn't discuss with other cast members how Etta's death would affect their characters, but she does regret that there are still many things that haven't been explored in Etta's relationship with her mother Olivia. "I think it's really sad because, of course, a million things weren't resolved," she admits.
She further elaborates, "They got to that point where it had moved from uncomfortable to slightly more comfortable in this dynamic of being reunited. But I think she could see the strain between her parents and there was still so much she couldn't say and was still learning so much about herself. And her own world - her perspective of right and wrong [versus] Olivia's."
"If it was my choice I wouldn't have died and played out the family drama. [Laughs] There was a lot to explore, but there's [also] a lot for the writers to explore with me dying and the characters dealing with that. What happens next will, I'm sure, be very interesting - not that I have any idea what that is."
The Australian star, however, is relieved that Etta's death was not in vain. "If you're going to go, you want a hero's death," she says of the sacrifice that Etta made to kill many Observers. She additionally believes that her character died peacefully, gushing, "Before she dies, there's a moment of peace, almost like a relaxation, as she's thinking about how she has finally been loved - and she doesn't care that Windmark can see that, so she lets her guard down."
She continues explaining, "And while she has had support through her life, and she's had Simon [as a partner], it's just not the same. She never felt really loved until she reunited with [her parents]. And that's what makes her death peaceful in a way. She stops fighting [Windmark's thought-reading ] and let's that contentment wash over her."
Asked if Etta will return in a way or another to the show, Haig says, "It's so funny because I was all emotional, and everybody was just like, 'Ugh, whatever, Georgina, you'll just be back. It's Fringe. Everybody dies about four times.' And I was like, 'Yeah, but I've been obliterated into millions of pieces!' [Laughs] It wasn't just a death, it was a mega-death. It was a death with a full stop. So I don't know. Anything is possible."
"Fringe" is currently in its final season and will return with a new episode Friday, November 2. In the said outing, Peter and Olivia are still dealing with the aftermath of Etta's death, while the Fringe team reels and someone makes a pivotal and shocking move.
"Fringe" 5.05 preview:
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