Synopsis: The FBI and an increasingly desperate Peter search for the abducted Olivia (who finds herself trapped inside a mysterious lab) unaware that the man heading the investigation is the one responsible for her disappearance.
Below the jump I share my new observations and perspectives, and take a quick look at the unresolved and closed mysteries from “Bound”.
New Observations & Perspectives
1.) Episode 1.19 revealed Sanford Harris to be a mole, but his ‘molishness’ was earmarked early on, with the timing of his arrival at Fringe Division during Olivia’s abduction. Watching this episode again, it now seems obvious that he was in cahoots with Mitchell (and therefore Jones). He was the one who ‘distracted’ Olivia and Charlie so that Mitchell could infect the prospective CDC employee via the glass of water. It was probably Harris who ensured that the spinal-tap warehouse was wiped clean of any incriminating evidence (also giving him more leverage to question Olivia’s sanity) – as he would have been one of the first to know that Olivia had escaped.
Maybe the future rewatch episodes will re-shape my opinion though.
2.) Fringe Division is lax – you’d think they would have a camera trained on, or inside, professor Simon’s room. If they had, they would have known it was Mitchell who infected him – without his poor shoe-care coming into the equation.
3.) It’s clear that Olivia was important to Jones and company, but as the finale proves, she wasn’t the be all and end all for their ambitions. They possibly felt that a Cortexiphan kid could give them the ‘advantage’ in their mission, but “Bound” suggests that they had a larger strategic objective involving viral warfare. Mitchell, Harris and Jones appeared to be on the same page – unleashing biological horrors, in this instance targeting CDC employees. Perhaps with a view to reducing the worlds preparedness to fight an epidemic?
4.) Then there’s the question of WHICH world where they planning to attack? Were they using our world as a testing ground, or was it the target? To be honest, I think it could go either way – we know that Jones wanted William Bell dead, but we do not yet know which world Bellie favors. The ZFT manuscript would suggest that he wanted to protect our world from destruction, but a lot may have changed since those Manifesto writing days – he’s currently over on the other side, after all.
As for Jones, you have to wonder how he could be protecting ‘our’ world by weakening our ability to fight an epidemic (i.e. killing CDC experts doesn’t give us an advantage in such a situation). However, on the basis of this episode alone, it’s possible that Jones and company were experimenting on our world with a view to attacking the parallel reality, since at this stage, Jones didn’t have access to the other side. This may also be why Olivia was initially so important to him, she is able to tap into these other worlds without an energy cell.
5.) Another thought that crossed my mind concerns the very articulate nature of the viral attacks – this wasn’t just showing off (although I’m sure they took pride in the ‘artistry’), in my opinion, it was highly specific. There must be a reason why Jones and his people decided to use biological warfare. I mean, the choice of attack is crucial in any war – you don’t bring a pen to a knife fight, or vice-versa, especially considering the “rules” Mitchell mentioned.
Speaking of the “rules”, I still find it curious that Mitchell expected Olivia to know about them. I’m confident this ties into her past – later in the season we find out, through Nick Lane, that the Cortexiphan kids were given guidelines to follow – blend in, wear blacks and grays, refrain from using Jedi skills in public, and so on. We also know that someone made Olivia forget – which is funny, because in many ways her poor recollection of certain childhood events is similar to the ‘disconnect’ in Peter. I’m not suggesting that Olivia is also from the other reality, since deactivation is enough to explain her obscured memory. But there are certainly parallels there, and who knows which way it will ultimately swing? We’ve only scratched the surface with these two.
6.) Peter has been arrested 7 times. Considering his line of work that doesn’t seem that many.
7.) Harris tells Olivia: “These are the people you surround yourself with (speaking of John, Walter and Peter)..what does that say about you?”. I’m sure I mentioned this first time around, but upon watching that scene again it really does allude to the almost predetermined connection between Olivia and the people in her life, especially now. To my mind, she’s definitely not an FBI agent by choice (rather, design) – when she realises that I want to be there to see it!
8.) Foreshadowing / Suggestion – there were at least three such quotes in this episode:
Walter: “We can always kill it, son. We can’t always bring it back”
Astrid: “Like father, like son”
Walter: “I’m not even sure we all exist on the same plane of consciousness”
9.) When Olivia showed Mitchell the photos of his dead wife, that was just cold. It just goes to show that she has the capacity to do whatever it takes to get answers – contrast that with her general vulnerability and hesitancy in killing Samantha in the first instance. She has a major enemy in Mitchell – I’m sure we’ll see him ‘in play’ in future seasons.
1.) I’ve touched on this above, but we still don’t know exactly why Mitchell believed they were ‘saving’ Olivia by abducting her – that’s a very specific word filled with good connotations. I can only guess that they believed their side was the one to be on, and that Olivia is someone who could ultimately choose either side.
1.) We already knew that Mitchell and Jones were involved in the Olivia abduction, but this episode gave us an indication of why they took her – because they wanted to test her for something. Something we would later come to know as “Cortexiphan”. Looking back, I guess this was a clue that Jones wasn’t currently aligned with Bellie – as surely Dr. Bell would know all of his..children.
Best Performer: Trini Alvarado
Best Moment: The Samantha Loeb/ Olivia Dunham ‘tea party’ – that was a fantastic charade; from the knowing looks behind false smiles, to the whistling kettle, to the bullet through the head, to Olivia’s relief as she thanked her lucky stars Samantha didn’t go to shooting school – excellent stuff. More tension like this in season 2, please!
Retrospective Rating: 8.75/10