Synopsis: Every second counts when a strange, almost-otherworldly parasite mysteriously attaches itself to the internal organs of a dying FBI agent. With a life on the line and strong suspicions of a Pattern connection, Agent Dunham rushes to Germany to meet with an imprisoned man who reveals disconcerting details of a much larger threat. Meanwhile, Peter and Walter attempt to help Olivia by tapping into a dead man’s brainwaves.
General Thoughts: An episode filled with twists, turns and deception – rewatching was so much fun, especially knowing the role David Jones would go on to play in the rest of the season. Oh Jones, tell us it wasn’t all daddy issues!?
Below the jump I share my new observations and perspectives, explore the unresolved mysteries, highlight the mysteries closed by information gained in this episode and cap it off with my final thoughts on this episode retrospective.
New Observations & Perspectives
1.) The episode confirmed that Walter experimented on OUR Peter, as the younger Bishop remembers Walter shocking him with electricity when he was a child. I find this interesting because it suggests that after original Peter died, Walter was desperately trying to do..something. Perhaps he was running tests on our Peter – trying to find ways to communicate with his dead son (similar to what we saw with Peter and Joseph in this episode)? Or maybe he was trying to ‘perfect’ his replacement son in an attempt to make him more like the son he had lost?
Personally, I think it’s a fairly important marker to know that whilst Peter can’t remember the bird flu or the lake incident, some of the crazy stuff that happened between Peter and Walter did actually happen to this version of Peter, adding another layer of explaining that Walter will have to do! If the producers do it right (and I have no reason to doubt), it’s going to make for some explosive storytelling further down the line!
Or, here’s a crazy thought..perhaps alter-Walter ALSO experimented on our Peter before he was transported over to our reality!?? (hey, just putting it out there).
2.) Throughout this re-watch we’ve seen many hints to Peter being able to read people – well, he got to do just that in this episode by reading the thoughts of the deceased Joseph Smith.
3.) Two of Phillip’s so-called “friends” turned out to be exactly the opposite – Mitchell Loeb, and later, Sanford Harris. What does this say about Phillip? Too trusting, perhaps?
4.) There seemed to be several nods to the fans in this episode, namely David Jones telling Olivia; “you’re very serious, do you know that?” – a possible *wink, wink* moment to those who bemoaned that Olivia never smiled.
5.) Major foreshadowing when Broyles asked Olivia if she has “superpowers you’re not telling me about?”. Olivia: “Yeah, maybe”. Aww!
6.) Walter tells Broyles that he once had a fruit cocktail in Atlantic City, despite the fact that he’s “not the fruit cocktail sort of guy”. Are these actually the memories of an alternate-Walter, or just an example of Walter struggling to recall who he used to be prior to St. Claires?
7.) Walter says that the human brain is like a computer – that it just needs electricity to function. As I mentioned in previous rewatches, John Scott seemed to contact Olivia via electricity (cellphone, computer, drinks machine..) – is there a connection there? Does the consciousness remain reachable through electricity?
1.) So we know that “Little Hill” was the secret code answer to Jones’ question and also the location where he made his eventual escape. That much makes sense, but we’re still in the dark as to who Joseph Smith was working for? Seeing as he was the holder of such valuable information, I would think he was connected to a major player.
Was he a colleague of David Jones, or a member of a rival organization – pushed into a corner due to the “rules” of engagement?
2.) What “state secrets” did Jones steal from Germany, and is this in any way related to the suggestion that Bell was ‘supposedly’ on business in ‘Germany’, or flight 627 from Hamburg?
1.) The question “Where does the gentleman live?” (answer “Little Hill”) was code for the location where Jones would make his escape from the Wissenschaft prison via teleportation (1.10 – “Safe”).
When I look back at the first season of Fringe, “In Which We Meet Mr. Jones” is always one of those landmark episodes. It had a sense of tension rarely seen in the previous episodes – the classic race against the clock was used to good effect. Yet my investment wasn’t in the ‘victim’ and whether he’d live or die – Loeb was a just another face at this point. What connected me to the episode (including the second time around) was watching Olivia, Walter, Peter, Astrid and Phillip respond in their own unique ways to the problem at hand, whilst pulling together to find a solution. This may be the structure for most of the episodes but this was one of the first where they truly resembled a team – perhaps one of the few teams equipped to deal with such strange events, and this makes them immensely relevant going forward into season 2.
Their ability to pull together was brilliantly illustrated by Peter, who despite being outraged at remembering that his father used to experiment on him as a child, was able to suck it up, put it to one side and risk life and limb to save a man he didn’t even know! Now Peter isn’t exactly God’s gift to humanity, but he was motivated enough to save another person, and clearly doing something good meant a lot to him. The other members of the team also showed their range – Broyles softened, Astrid shared another skill-set, Walter experimented on his son (again!) and Olivia broke down walls to get an impossible answer. I really need to get their business card!
So whilst we got to meet Mr. Jones for the first time — as fantastic as he was (and boy was he fantastic!) — what I most appreciated this second time around, was how we also got to explore the team and their dynamics. And a little word for Astrid – I’m finding new appreciation for how calm she is under pressure. She may have been underutilised in season 1 (understatement of the hiatus), but my goodness, she’s a diamond. Everyone needs an Astrid in their team!
Best Moment: David Jones making the “tick-tock” sounds with his tongue. Hilarious and totally inappropriate!!!
Best Performer: Jared Harris
Retrospective rating: 8.5/10
You can find our original In Which We Meet Mr. Jones Eastereggs here.
Next rewatch: The Equation – Sunday (time permitting)