The Altered Timeline
- "You understand what you're saying? Those families are going to spend the rest of their lives wondering what happened to their loved ones, looking for answers. Can you imagine what that would be like? To have that... that hole in your life."
Portrayed by Seth Gabel
A minor character in the original timeline, where his first experience with Fringe division was solving the case and mystery behind Dana Gray's apparent immortality. Despite his inexperience with dealing with the strangeness that Fringe Division deals with daily, he quickly demonstrated himself as a brilliant investigator and ally, establishing a close friendship with Peter.
In the amber timeline, he joins Fringe Division after the death of his partner.
Tropes associated with Special Agent Lee:
- A Day in the Limelight: Season 4 episode "Everything in Its Right Place".
- Back for the Finale: After being Put on a Bus near the end of season four when he decided to stay in the alternate universe with Fauxlivia, he returns for the first half of the two-part series finale.
- Badass Bookworm: The glasses certainly qualify him as one.
- The Comically Serious: Has shades of it. It's really played for laughs directed at him however - going into Fringe division, he believes it's best with a fully opened mind, which includes accepting all the strangeness with as little personal bias as possible.Lincoln: Agent Broyles, if you don't mind my asking, what exactly is our plan to kill Gus?Broyles: (Beat)Olivia: ...That's Walter's name for the organism.
- The Determinator: Especially when it comes to investigating his partner's death.
- Dogged Nice Guy: To both prime Olivia and Fauxlivia, having more luck with the latter.
- Doppelgänger Replacement Love Interest: A two-way street with Fauxlivia, with him filling the hole left by alt-Lincoln's murder and her taking the place of an Olivia with her original timeline memories restored in his affections.
- The Drifter: Like Peter, he tends not to stay in one place too long unless he finds people he belongs with. Turns out he belonged with Fauxlivia.
- Happily Married: To Fauxlivia!
- Heartbroken Badass: Joins the Fringe team after his best friend and original partner is killed by a shapeshifter.
- Heroes Want Redheads: Ends up with Fauxlivia.
- Nice Guy: A genuinely caring, humble and kindhearted person.
- Odd Friendship: with Canaan the shapeshifter.
- Promoted to Opening Titles: Has become a main character as of Season 4.
- Put on a Bus: After the universes are separated again to protect them better from Jones, Lincoln decides to stay in the alternate one.
- Romantic Runner-Up: Looked like he was getting somewhere with Olivia, then some guy wiped out of the timeline comes roaring back into existence.
- Smart People Play Chess: He's Walter's favored chess opponent.
- "We create technology. How it is used is not our concern."
Portrayed by Blair Brown
The CEO of Massive Dynamic following William Bell's death. She is close to Olivia, and has raised the Dunham sisters since they were children, but has a stormy relationship with Walter.
Following Jones' downfall and Bell's disappearance...again, she has been offered an executive position in Fringe Division by both Broyles and Senator Van Horne. What happened between then and 2036 that landed her in a wheelchair is a mystery.
Tropes associated with Nina:
- Ambiguously Evil: She's not.
- Anti-Hero: Nina has no qualms about conducting experiments on Observers and her ethics are... questionable. But she's definitely one of the good guys.
- Army of Lawyers: Nina's response to being accused of dosing Olivia with cortexiphan. It made her look remarkably guilty.
- Better to Die than Be Killed: Instead of allowing the Observers to kill her for information, she ends her own life.
- Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Walter believes her to be this. By 4x14, Peter, Lincoln and Broyles don't trust her either. Ultimately, subverted.
- "Meana" (alternate Nina) is definitely this trope.
- Cosmic Retcon: She's presumably okay after the reset.
- Dark Is Not Evil: She's a pretty shady character, but definitely a good guy.
- Defiant to the End: See "Reason You Suck" Speech. Nina was surrounded, defenseless and in a wheelchair. Rather than quiver in fear, she more or less tells Windmark to go screw himself and performs one of the more Badass heroic sacrifices in the series.
- Driven to Suicide: Shoots herself in the head so Windmark can't read her.
- Good Is Not Soft: Nina's ethics take second priority to saving the world.
- Go Out with a Smile: She gives one last Grin of Audacity as she moves the gun towards her head.
- Ignored Enamored Underling: Walter accused Nina of being this to William Bell but the trope is Played With. He did love her but that didn't stop him from completely screwing her over.
- Handicapped Badass: Earns her stripes in 5x10.
- Hidden Heart of Gold Treats Etta like crap in their first scene despite the fact that Etta is all but her granddaughter. The moment they're on their own, she apologizes and points out that she can't hide her thoughts from the Observers like Etta can.
- I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: The platonic mother-daughter version with Olivia.
- La Résistance: Post "Letters of Transit."
- Manipulative Bitch: Seems to be a lot more shady than her original incarnation, even from the first season. Ultimately subverted.
- Morality Chain: For William Bell. It wasn't enough.
- Obi-Wan MomentWindmark:Why?
Windmark: Why are you not afraid?
- Only Bad Guys Call Their Lawyers: Except she's only pissed off because they're interrogating her instead of looking for Olivia.
- Parental Betrayal: Subverted. Nina wasn't dosing Olivia with Cortexiphan, it was her alternate.
- Parental Substitute: Following the deaths of their parents, Nina raised both Olivia and Rachel herself.
- Portal Cut: She lost her arm this way.
- "Reason You Suck" Speech: Dishes out an absolutely epic one to Windmark. The guy was fuming, then right then and there she kills herself both to prevent compromising the Fringe team AND to strip Windmark of the satisfaction of torturing and killing her as payback. Ouch.
- Red Herring: For a while, it was built up that she was working with Jones. Truth is, there were two Ninas the entire time.
- The Scapegoat: Was almost framed by William Bell as the person responsible for dosing Olivia with Cortexiphan. Ouch.
- "She bought my ignorance with baked goods while she carried out her plan to steal pieces of the machine with the — it was that damn Portuguese sweet bread!"
Portrayed by John Noble
The brilliant scientist who once worked with William Bell, Walter has spent 17 years maximum security mental institution but now he works with Fringe Division. The death of his son (and the subsequent death of alternate Peter) has been eating away at him for decades, and he has now become something of a paranoid trainwreck who refuses to leave the safety of his Harvard lab.
Tropes associated with Walter:
- Amnesiac Dissonance: Even more of an issue with this version of Walter. See Evil Me Scares Me
- Evil Me Scares Me: Terrified of turning into the man he was before he lost his those parts of his brain. Considering that man considered destroying two universes, he's got a point.
- Fatal Flaw: Hubris.
- Hikkikomori: He is a complete shut in.
- Heroic Sacrifice: Lives permanently in the year 2167.
- I See Dead People:
- He has been seeing hallucinations of Peter all over his lab. As a result, he tried to lobomize himself.
- After taking "Black Blotter", he's haunted by visions of Carla Warren.
- Kick the Dog: Telling Nina that William never loved her was a bit of a dick move.
- Sanity Slippage: Walter is already pretty crazy. Season 4's Walter cranks it Up to Eleven. Olivia mentions that he isn't particularly high-functioning because he "doesn't have anything to tether him to the real world."
- 4x19. He gets even more brain damage. And the he gets better... and arguably worse.
- Shipper on Deck: Eventually.Walter: Look... there's my son and his girlfriend!
- Odd Friendship: With Fauxlivia.
- Papa Wolf: Harm Olivia and he'll leave you sealed in amber with one hand less.
- Properly Paranoid: Seeing his dead son pop up from another timeline has freaked him the hell out. Because of his past mistakes and guilt, he utterly refuses to have anything to do with Peter.
- The Revolution Will Not Be CivilizedWalter: Resistance must take place at any opportunity. We are insurgents and this... is anti-matter. You're smart, you do the math.*cue the entire Massive Dynamic building and the Observer and mooks inside disintegrating*
- Took a Level in Badass / Took a Level in Jerkass: He gets his brain back in 4x19 - his whole brain. At that point, he stops being our loveable crazy Walter, and turns into Walternate 2.0, essentially.Simon: I think you're just what we've been waiting for— someone to show people that we don't just... have to accept our fate... that we can fight back, that we can use our will and our imagination to make a better world, a better life.
- Voice with an Internet Connection: He makes Astrid do all of the field analysis while he looks through a camera.
- We Used to Be Friends:
- Loathes Nina Sharp because he blames her for alternate Peter's death. They made up at some point between Season 4 and 5.
- Has a major falling out with William Bell.
- Yiddish as a Second Language: He much prefers Yiddish to Sumerian. Apparently, Bell's father taught him Yiddish, whom he found to be a "charming man."Walter: Megif avagin frim dim Tish.Lincoln: Excuse me?Walter: It's Yiddish. It means "May I please be excused from the table?" No. You. May. Not!
Secretary Walter Bishop / "Walternate"
- "Well, the outcome is still the same. I couldn't save our son then. And I can't help him now."
Portrayed by John Noble
The current Secretary of Defense, the alternate Walter Bishop is the direct head of Fringe Division. He has begrudgingly accepted cooperation between the two sides to fix the problems of their worlds, but he still seems to be keeping some secrets...
Tropes associated with Walternate:
- Combat Pragmatist: The way in which he exposes and disposes of Brandon was downright efficient.
- Consummate Liar: Peter was rather impressed by his ability to lie through his teeth to his wife."I must say, that was a brilliant performance. You almost looked genuinely surprised to see me, which we both know is not the case. "
- Enemy Mine: He feels Peter is the only person he can trust because he is truly neutral, and as such, wants him to be the rope that binds the two universes against the new shapeshifters.
- Manipulative Bastard
- Properly Paranoid: He has a gut feeling somewhere that his men were slowly being replaced with human-based shapeshifters.
David Robert Jones
- "Im sure you have an abundance of questions. But I doubt I'd answer any of them. Besides which, we don't have much time. I imagine you'd like to avoid unnecessary deaths."
Portrayed by Jared Harris
Jones again, and back pulling Big Bad duties once more for the fourth season. A biological terrorist extraordinaire, not much is known about him except that he is the one behind the human based shapeshifters, and that he is slowly replacing high-clearance individuals with his copies.
Tropes associated with Jones:
- A God Am I: His goal is to be the god of an advanced race, the Fringe Agents presume.
- Affably Evil: As much so as his counterpart from the original timeline, with his affability serving as an especially unnerving contrast to his ruthless character in this universe, where he is allowed more leeway as an antagonist due to its altered circumstances.
- Back from the Dead: In the displaced timeline, Peter was never there to kill him, hence his spree of terror continues.
- Body Horror: Oh, he's still a big fan of it - this time using a gas that melts people alive. But at the same time, is somewhat a victim of it. While still healing, his teleporation from Germany has left him quite scarred.
- Big Bad: Of Season 4.
- Creating Life Is Bad: Is growing his own shapeshifters in test tubes.
- Demoted to Dragon: In favor of William Bell
- Didn't See That Coming: Didn't see Peter coming. And Peter knows it.Peter: You're not from here, are you?Jones: Did the accent give it away?Peter: No. Actually, it was the scars.Lincoln: Did you see that? His pulse just went up.Peter: The last time I saw you, you were completely falling apart — molecular disintegration due to transporting out of a German prison. They had to wrap you in bandages just keep you from turning into a puddle on the floor. It seems like you figured out a way to heal yourself. Do you mind if I ask? What was it — some sort of... DNA graft?Jones: (visibly nervous) I've never met you in my life.Peter: No. But I've met you.
- The Dragon: To William Bell.
- Even Evil Has Loved Ones: He claims to love his shapeshifter creations. It doesn't stop him from killing them, however.
- Immune to Bullets: Disintegrating and reintegrating has a few "fringe benefits", as Olivia finds out.
- Laser-Guided Karma: That's what you get for inflicting all that Body Horror on those poor innocent people.
- Mad Scientist: The guy was making upgraded shapeshifters without anyone knowing.
- Omnicidal Maniac: Is trying to destroy both universes in order to create his own.
- Spot of Tea: He expresses and shows his affinity for the beverage frequently, at one point musing that "Matcha is one of the few things I'm going to miss."
- "Maybe confusion's an unforeseen side effect?"
Portrayed by Monte Markham
Jones's right-hand man, and occasional grunt for the alternate Nina Sharp. He handles most of their dirtiest work.
- The Dragon: To Jones.
- Electric Torture: A preferred method. Subverted in that he was "torturing" their own Nina Sharp.
- Hoist by His Own Petard: Activating Olivia's abilities definitely comes back to bite him in the arse.
The Shapeshifter / "Nadine Park"
- "One man shouldn't stand in the way of progress, not even William Bell."
Portrayed by Michelle Krusiec
An agent of the new human-based shapeshifter force. She was shot and killed by Peter after Jones made his grand debut and escape.
Tropes associated with the Shapeshifter:
- Charles Atlas Superpower: The new shapeshifters seem even stronger than Walternate's.
- Consummate Liar: She's damned good at lying about her family and daughter to get a bio-chemist to repair her.
- Shapeshifting: Is able to change into anyone she kills. Unlike the earlier shapeshifters, she's a complete human and not bio-mechanical.
- "I needed to be more than I am. Something unique. Doctor Jones understood that. He promised to make me like no one else. I was to be the first of a new breed of human beings. But I was a disappointment."
The first human-based shapeshifter created by Jones. He was, essentially, a failure - he can't hold a single form for too long, nor can he survive without a form. After he was tossed away by Jones, he survived by preying on rapists and serial killers as they were preying on their victims - rescuing them, and taking on the offender's form in the process. Following a nice lecture from Lincoln after he was captured, he completly defected and helped apprehend "Meana". He's currently working with Walter and Peter to find a way to stop Jones.
Tropes associated with Canaan:
- Broken Bird: He's always hated himself for "not being special". Being dubbed a failure by Jones hit him hard.
- Crisis of Faith: He seriously starts to question his standing after Meana sends Maddox to kill him.
- A Form You Are Comfortable With: He constantly has to change forms in order to survive, meaning he has to kill. He tries to justify this by doing away with serial killers and rapists.
- I Just Want to Be Special: invoked almost word-for-word.
- My Species Doth Protest Too Much: The first shape shifter not to be a bad guy.
- Not So Different: he and Lincoln.
- Odd Friendship: with Lincoln.
- Serial-Killer Killer: Considering he can't survive in a single form for too long, he really doesn't have any other choice.
- Shadow Archetype: To Lincoln. They both lost someone they loved and they both feel as though the world has passed them by. Canaan's story helps Lincoln figure out what he needs to do with his life.
- Sheep in Wolf's Clothing: Takes the form of Maddox and deceives Nina Sharp.
- What the Hell, Hero?: Lincoln calls him out on his blind faith in Jones right after Maddox was sent to kill him (And ended up killing the alternate Lincoln...).
Philip Broyles / "Dopple-Broyles"
- "I buried an agent today. A good man. And Im also well aware that Agent Lee isn't the first casualty of our... collaboration. Some day Ill have to account for what Ive done, but..."
Portrayed by Lance Reddick
The head of Fringe division on the alternate side. In exchange for curing his son, he acts as a mole for Jones.
Tropes associated with Broyles:
- The Dragon: To Jones.
- Subverted. As Meana put it, "he's just another pawn".
Brandon Fayette / "Evil Brandon"
- "Ive identified a signal that we might be able to trace. If Im right, it should lead us to whoever's responsible for these new shapeshifter prototypes."
Portrayed by Ryan McDonald
The chief scientist of the Department of Defense. Or would be, if he wasn't replaced by a shapeshifter. Is rather quickly disposed of and dissected by Walternate.
Tropes associated with Brandon:
Nina Sharp / "Meana"
- "You really have no idea. Philip is irrelevant. He's just another pawn. This changes nothing, Agent Dunham. I know Jones, and he will come for me."
Portrayed by Blair Brown
Nina Sharp from the alternate universe. For some reason, she has allied herself with David Robert Jones with the goal of activating Olivia's unique abilities, pretending to be the real Nina who was kidnapped by Jones. They succeeded, but at the cost of pretty much all of their men and one of their hideouts.
In the end however, she was betrayed by Canaan and arrested.
Tropes associated with Meana:
- Artificial Limbs: Has the same bionic arm as Nina.
- Big Bad Duumvirate: With Jones.
- Determinator: Was willing to go through a lot for a place in the new universe. She took a drill to the mechanical arm, was subjected to Electric Torture and then there's the subtle fridge horror of how she got the mechanical arm in the first place...
- Evil Costume Switch: Wears her hair darker and straighter than the other Nina. She wears red, while her alternate always wears black.
- Hoist by His Own Petard: This is why breeding Shapeshifters is a bad idea.
- Jerkass: Sure sounds like one.
- Unwitting Pawn: She's starting to get the hint.
- "It's done, Walter. The final piece has been set into motion. I couldn't stop it now if I wanted to. And I don't! As scientists, we're taught that fate is nothing more than the convergence of a set of probabilities into one potential outcome... that there's no such thing as Divine Intervention. And yet Id be lying if I said that the circumstances that brought you here to witness this with me, my trusted colleague, my dearest friend, didn't feel like the Hand of God."
Portrayed by Leonard Nimoy
Walter's old partner. He was thought to have died seven years ago of Lymphoma (or rather, chose to die in a car crash instead), but is revealed to be very much alive, and in charge. David Robert Jones is revealed to be truly working for him in an effort to collapse the two universes to create a new one. ...Or so he thought. Knowing William, he has has something bigger in store. He also bears an interesting connection to The Man In The X T-Shirt...
Tropes associated with Bell:
- Aborted Arc: A connection between him and The Man In The X T-Shirt was hinted at during the fourth season finale. Due to Nimoy's unavailability for the final season, nothing came of the connection (with the mystery man abandoned altogether).
- A God Am I: "If we are capable of being Gods, it is our destiny to do so."
- And I Must Scream: Ends up sealed inside Amber with what's left of the Fringe team. When Walter gets out twenty years later he leaves him behind and chops off his hand.
- Badass Boast: "Even if you deny it now, you've always been Playing God. I am."
- Big Bad Friend: He was Walter's best friend once upon a time.
- The Chessmaster: Quite literally. He compares his schemes, and all of the people involved to a game of chess."The art of chess...the art, is knowing when a piece is most valuable. And then, in that very moment being willing to sacrifice it. For in the vacuum created by the loss of what is most precious, opportunity abounds."
- Cult: Has his own cult dedicated to creating a new and superior species through guided evolution and mutation by design. Just one of his schemes.
- Chekhov's Gunman: His appearance was enough of one alone, but he also seems to know something about the impending Observer invasion. He's already designed weapons capable of harming them - such as the gun which Jessica shot September with - and also has developed some sort of "stasis runes" which are capable of trapping them. September remarks that humans should not be capable of this methodology yet.
- Even Evil Has Loved Ones: He loved Nina Sharp. Just not enough.
- Evil Former Friend: To both Nina and Walter.
- Gambit Pileup: Has several schemes executed near simultaneously: Dosing Olivia with cortexiphan, infecting people with nanites, hijacking satellites, breeding a mutant army, collapsing two universes together, etc etc... It probably doesn't even come close to ending here.
- Karma Houdini: With the Observer future never happening, he is never encased in amber and remains at large by the end of the show.
- The Man Behind the Man: The one behind everything.
- Nanomachines: One of his master inventions are self-replicating nanites that are designed to overheat and cause spontaneous combustion in their victims. His "soul magnets" are also possibly nanite technology.
- Interestingly, his nanites bear the same marking as the one The Man In The X T-Shirt wears...on his t-shirt.
- Non-Action Big Bad: While Jones has no issues whatsoever with beating Peter Bishop up with a crowbar, Bell mainly gets others to do his dirty work for him.
- Omnicidal Maniac: A strange aversion. He's more of along the lines of Humans Are Bastards. He wants life to thrive, but of his own design, and without humans.
- Pragmatic Villainy: He sends Astrid to hospital after his Mook shoots her but considering his willingness to terrorize innocents (and ya know... rip apart universes), this may have been him trying to placate Walter.
- This Is Unforgivable!: Sometime before 2015, he did something to Olivia which has made Walter absolutely, terrifyingly furious with him. Astrid didn't seem too forgiving either (then again...one of his mooks did shoot her.)
- Odds are good that it was having her dosed with Cortexifan, activating her, and then using her as the power supply for destroying two universes. Thus forcing Walter to shoot Olivia to save two universes.
- Token Evil Teammate: At some point before the Bad Future, Fringe Division apparently required his assistance. He double crossed them.
- Trademark Favorite Food: Almonds.
- You Have Outlived Your Usefulness:
- Jones was the "bishop" in his game, his most valuable piece. As such, he was meant to be sacrificed from the start.
- Nina Sharp also gets this treatment from him.
- Gets a taste of his own medicine when Walter leaves him sealed in amber after taking what he needed from him. A hand.