1.07 ‘Mr. Jones’ Review – The Good & The Bad


Here’s our short and sweet good and bad review:

THE GOOD

1) Some important back-story developments and reveals – notably with Olivia showing more sides to her character, Peter’s recollection that his father went all B.F. Skinner on his ass as a child, and Broyles becoming more 3 dimensional.

2) Pattern-events are still happening in Olivia’s back-yard, but finally she got to get out of Boston and fly to Germany (on-board a Massive Dynamically engineered plane, no doubt), where her Observer friend was waiting for her.

3) Brilliant casting – the actors portraying Agent Loeb, his wife Samantha and especially the fantastic Mr. Jones, were, well, fantastic! Jared Harris (Mr. Jones) has something of the Michael Emerson‘s about him, and that is a very very very good thing. Please can Jared be recurring? Pwretty please? Oh, and that “tick-tock” noise that he made with his mouth as Olivia ran out of time, genius!

4) An incredibly intricate yet delicious plot. Yes, thinking was required in this episode, but this is why we love serialized shows from the JJ. Abrams stable.

5) The parasite. So cute, I want to buy one.

6) Walter Bishop. The man is crazy, he places scientific wonder over the lives of human-beings (his son included). He was devastated when the parasite died, he was closing the curtain on a piece of engineering that he respected more than he abhorred. This allows us to get inside his head-space a bit, he is able to brush aside the evil intentions of the science he comes across due to the genius of the creation.

7) The fringe science. Sure, the way in which Mr. Smith got shot in the head was a bit too convenient in allowing for the clever stuff with Peter’s horizontal lines thing, but the improvisation crafted by Walter and the subsequent deciphering of the “Little Hill” answer was amazing, and in a “Fringe” sort of way, it actually made sense. I mean, getting shot in the head would surely damage certain brain functions, just as it would a computer’s functions. Therein also lies an important comparison (or parallel) that we might see played out over certain arcs - the human brain and the computers made by man.

8 ) Astrid. OK, OK, she’s still as useless and Gene, but she’s just sooo cuuute. She also has the patience of a saint dealing with Walter and Olivia barking orders at her, and did I say she’s sooo cuuute? We like Asteroid.

9) Olivia’s hair. Yikes! It’s such a mess! That’s a good thing though, she’s been through hell and she’s an intense FBI agent who’s not so vain. Thing is Torv still looks fantastic (that’s for you, haters!). Great casting JJ, we tip our Observer hats to you.

10) Plenty of mythology and overarching story-line potential. This is how we like it.

THE BAD

1) Continuity. As Page 48 pointed out in the comments, where exactly was this ‘punishment’ that Broyles promised Olivia in the last episode? Broyles doesn’t strike me as someone with a short memory, so why no reference to her “not getting away with it that easily” thing? Seriously, why put it in the last episode if there’s not going to be any follow up to it? We had the same thing when Walter attacked Astro, and I fear we might experience similar ‘forgetfulness’ with Peter not angsting over his father’s experimentation on him (both as a child and in this episode!).

2) Did Charlie Francis die earlier in the season or something? I could have sworn I saw him in this episode, but it must just be the result of a waking dream or some such. Yeah, more Charlie, please.

3) Love Broyles, love Lance Reddick, but some of his delivery wasn’t to his usual high standard. Then again, perhaps it’s because we’re not used to seeing Broyles’ feathers ruffled, or maybe there’s something else afoot regarding his allegiance? Mostly, I just wish they re-shot that telephone convo with Charlie, it didn’t feel authentic somehow. 

4) Astrid. OK, OK, we think she’s cute but we wouldn’t be doing our job as Fringies if we didn’t put her in this section. Lets just be clear, Astrid is an FBI Agent, yes? I think it might have been better to have made her a lab tech. Seriously, this girl has skills (like, for real) so why is she being wasted in the FBI? No wonder their agents are working for Pattern-folk if they don’t receive recognition for their work. Make her a spy or have her do some field work, or something. Sheesh!

5) So Olivia, we’ve defended you on FringeBloggers since the beginning. We think you’re pretty hot, fearless, vulnerable and pretty engrossing. But if it wasn’t for the wonders of modern technology, you would’ve given Mr fancy-pants a piece of that wouldn’t you? How does that work exactly, when you’ve got the living part of John Scott’s brain inside your head? Or is this some sick fantasy of yours? Tsk tsk, we’ll see you in the morning.

Comments

  1. Peanut says

    What was the point of infecting Loeb with the parasite? Very risky—Loeb barely survived. I would have thought that David Robert Jones could have gotten the info about Little Hill through his lawyer from Smith unless the point was to involve/test Olivia—a very convoluted plot otherwise—lots of dots had to be connected for it to work.

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    • Peanut says

      I am thinking (probably overthinking) what is going on in this episode. If anyone can help me reason through this, I need all the assistance that I can get because it seems pretty complicated to me. In “Fringe,” the “villains” (Jones & the Newt spring to mind, for example) often tell the truth while the “good guys” are either lying or concealing critical information (yes, Broyles, I’m talking about you—among others including Walter & the inscrutable Nina). In examining what Jones says, we know that, at least some of the time, he is telling the truth. Is he completely truthful? That I don’t know. But what if we consider the possibility that he is?

      Is Jones right about the meeting between Olivia & himself being engineered by someone else & that he was not responsible for infecting Loeb (but Jones knows the cure); if so, who was responsible? He claims that there were people who were manipulating both of them to obtain information. When Olivia wonders why Smith would help Jones after Jones was responsible for having him arrested, Jones says that his people are loyal to the end & questions whether she can say the same—and he was right about the FBI mole, who turned out to be Loeb (& Sanford Harris, a consultant for Homeland Security who was reviewing the Fringe division, was another ZFT mole) while she thought that he might be talking about John Scott (apparently later exonerated through one of Olivia’s dream states—heh).

      “Where does the gentleman live?” is the question that Jones poses to Olivia. Smith possesses knowledge of where the gentleman lives (Little Hill); where did he get that information? Who wants/needs the answer? If it was Jones, then Smith could have passed the information to the lawyer. If it was Loeb, then Smith could have called Loeb or passed the information to him in person because Smith lived in the Boston area. The “Little Hill” answer is the information that Samantha Loeb conveys to her husband, Mitchell Loeb, at the hospital. Samantha finds out the answer because she is in the lab when Peter gets an answer while hooked up to Fringe-dead (sort-of dead) Smith. Presumably, this was so that Loeb would know where to set up to transport Jones out of the German prison. Jones himself, of course, finds out the answer through Olivia; however, I don’t see why he needed to know where he was going—he just had to apply the sun-tan lotion & stand in a corner of his cell so that he could be zapped elsewhere. Was the whole point to involve Olivia?

      This episode sets up the later events in “Ability,” 1.14, in which Jones forces Olivia to undergo the light-box test to prevent a bomb from detonating. Apparently, he was right about her ability to pass the test although she was highly skeptical. Perhaps somebody else (Broyles-Nina?) besides ZFT wanted Olivia tested? There were supposed to have been 10 tests—Olivia took 1. What were the other tests, & why hasn’t ZFT continued testing Olivia? The ZFT has apparently lost interest in Olivia—who was so important that Jones had her kidnapped to do a spinal test on her & later turned himself in to the FBI to test her.

      Jones also indicates that he had known of Olivia for some time because he mentions that he could have hurt her long ago if that had been his intention. Did Jones know about Olivia because of his association with Bell? As Roco pointed out, Jones puzzlingly mutates from ZFT zealot to someone engaged in a personal vendetta against his former mentor, William Bell (“There’s More Than One of Everything,” 1.20).

      There are people at higher levels in the ZFT than Jones if we are to believe Loeb who says that Jones is just another soldier in the ZFT army.

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      • Peanut says

        Jones was also right about Olivia’s being treated with Cortexiphan although Nina Sharp originally (devious Nina!) said that Bell’s drug trials had been conducted only in Ohio.

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