In a fascinating article full of interview snippets from Comic Con, we are given many significant hints about the fourth season of Fringe, including how we’ll find Walter and Astrid, how the characters respond to the changed environment and what’ll happen once (if) Peter returns.

For one thing, in the io9 article we are told by exec Jeff Pinkner in very clear terms that yes, the First People turned out to be Walter, and that’s that:

We have a rule in that we never say we’re done with anything. But as far as the First People being a mystery? Yes. Mystery solved.

However, there’ll be plenty new mysteries to keep us occupied when the show picks back up – it’s going to be “dimensionalized” (more than it already is, we presume), which will make the audience – in the writers’ own eloquent words –  go, “Oh.”

We’ll explore next season the “consequences” of Peter not only disappearing from but also returning to the show, and the article hints that Pinkner stopped himself listing “Who Joshua Jackson will be playing” as one of the mysteries surrounding Peter!

For Walter, a consequence of Peter not existing would be that it was Olivia who had to get him out of the hospital. As such, Noble reasons that, he needs her, because “she would still be under a condition of approval.”

Jasika Nicole (Astrid) explains Walter’s condition in a more detailed way:

[Olivia] and Walter have this arrangement that has been made. Walter is so very different, because he did not transition out of the institution into real life, and so because of that, he’s really, really weird this season — even more so than he has been before, which I thought wasn’t possible. But it’s really sad. It’s funny, but it’s really sad… It’s like he’s institutionalized himself, in a way.

What’s interesting, too, is that Blair Brown (Nina) hints that, “there’s a missing piece in these characters’ past. And they don’t know what it is.” This seems to indicate that they will feel like something’s missing, like Peter’s removal wasn’t organic – so we’re not seeing an “alternate world” of sorts, where there was never any Peter, but rather a world where there was a Peter but now there isn’t.

Jackson says that when Peter returns, it’ll be a completely new story and context, because, “The character progression from the Peter we introduced at the beginning of the pilot is finished by the end of season three.”

More details revealed include that Astrid will be out in the field, as she’s not Walter’s caretaker in this reality. When we first see Lincoln it’ll be the glasses-wearing blue-universe version that we don’t know so well, the one that “doesn’t know his own power,” in Seth Gabel’s own words.

Definitely check out the full article here at io9, where the actors delve more into the characters and share their hopes for the season!