Fringe Rewatch – 1.11 Bound


Fringe rewatch - Bound

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

"Compared to this, Walter's rambles aren't so bad"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.

Unresolved Mysteries

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.

Closed Mysteries

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

Next Episode Rewatch: The No Brainer – This episode can be viewed for free on the Fox Fringe player, or on Hulu (also free) – US restrictions.

Comments

  1. jkyarr says

    I’ll have more to say later but for now the only part that was non-seguitar for me was that Mitchell Loeb would go to the trouble to “save” Olivia to then only hours later instruct his wife to kill her. Der… come on writing team! Wasn’t there any other way to further the plot? Why not have his wife walk into the study on a cordless phone while Olivia is bent over the desk looking at slug pictures? Then she could have acted of her own accord and attacked Olivia to save her husband’s identity as the mole. To have Mitch actually instruct her to kill Olivia flies in the face of all the abduction / saving plans of the last 1.5 episodes! This leaves me believing that it must have been deliberately written that way to fit circumstances that will only be revealed later. That I can’t fathom or contrive them on my own makes them feel all that much more ridiculous, but I suppose time will tell. I may yet eat my words and forgive this criticism.

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    • says

      I can see where you’re coming from. I’m also struggling to understand how the two actions marry. However, I’ve come to the conclusion that the writers wanted to make a point of showing that Olivia was important, but indisposable. Having Mitchell make the call to kill Olivia, helps solidify the no-holds barred/high stakes game that Olivia has found herself in.

      Another aspect that could help makes sense of Mitchell’s motivation, is that Jones was the one who really wanted Olivia – it was his idea to abduct her, Mitchell was just doing the dirty work.

      But yeah, it’s not as clear cut as it could be.

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  2. says

    what bothers me in the episode is the whole à la Alias thingy at the beginning: come on, isn’t it bad writing or what? i can understand the whole Fringe for beginners Harris’s speech, but not the convenient escape. no way.

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    • FlashWriter says

      Ummm. I was going to include what I’m going to say (and probably will restate it when I submit my other comments) but, really, Xeen. Think back and remember that this was the first episode after the hiatus and it needed to start with a bang. Olivia’s abduction was the perfect peg to hang that on. They had to deal with it somehow, and this was just a grand sequence to open with–and actually quite in the character that the production/writing staff have continued to discribe her. She’s a female Clint Eastwood. NOTHING stops her, and if she can hoodwink one of the guys who are holding her into making a mistake, then she’ll hoodwink. Frankly, the opening sequence is one of my favorites in that it shows how tough Olivia can be. I loved the way she dropped that one guy by throwing the scalpel and hitting him in the back. The guy dropped like a sack of beans. Her tray move where she beat one of the guys back, the way she “eliminated the oposition” while getting a gun and a set of keys. Fantastic stuff. Not to mention the way they shot the scene once she got out into the alley, that hurkey-jerkey frame rate(?) increased the tension of this part of the sequence and I thought it was really, really great.

      Actually, of all the things I thought I’d read here, it wasn’t a complaint on the opening sequence. As usual with “Fringe”, I sit back and say to myself, “Okay, if I don’t like whatever scene, think of something better in this time in the season and in this episode, that would amp up the kind of tension and interest the sequence managed.” Really, I’m trying and it’s just not coming. Nothing better. Nothing more in character. Quite the contrary, I think it was fantastic writing. Anna Torv was amazing in the scene, along with any production value I can think of.

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      • says

        what can i say? i totally disagree. i know about the hiatus and the necessity to rephrase the series for possible new viewers, i can understand that. but the fact that Olivia was abducted pre hiatus and that it was solved within the first 5 minutes, it’s a tad hard for me to swallow. the same scene any time else, i would accept. here it seemed a bit farfetched.

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          • says

            I think you both make fair points.

            Personally I enjoyed the scene, but I was definitely conscious that the ‘fast’ escape (although she was captured the night before) was written to fulfill the writers goal of wrapping every episode up in its own individual capsule.

            That said, it was great to see Olivia kick-ass – not quite as good as the Samantha showdown, but it was good to see her desire to be free, and on the whole, the scene worked pretty well.

            I was disappointed with the stooges though – I mean, the ‘water’ trick is the oldest one in the book. Perhaps they’ll stock PAPER cups next time?

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  3. mlj102 says

    Very interesting view of Harris’ actions and how they could indicate that he had been working together with Loeb and Jones. I had never viewed it that way but what you say makes sense. My only difficulty with that is that when Harris meets Jones in Ability, the way they act makes it seem as if they’re actually enemies, rather than working together. However, that could just be good deception on their part. I suppose we can address that further when we get to the rewatch for Ability.

    I also was intrigued by your question of which world is under attack. I guess I’d just automatically figured that anyone in our world was wanting to protect our world and attack the other world. But you make some good points – there are several things that seem to indicate that it could be our world that is under attack. I think I kind of prefer the idea that it’s people in both universes working to destroy the other universe, but it may not be that straightforward. I’ll definitely have to pay closer attention to that one.

    I’m not quite sure I understand how what Harris said about the people Olivia associates with alludes to those associations and other choices she’s made being predetermined. Can you elaborate on that?

    Yes, it was cold of Olivia to show Loeb the pictures of Samantha like that, but you have to admit, he sort of asked for it. And besides, he was obviously not cooperating and seemed to be enjoying rubbing it in their faces that they wouldn’t get a confession out of him. And it was obvious that Olivia had had enough of his attitude and wasn’t going to take it anymore. Poor thing – she had a really rough day – I’m not surprised that she didn’t have any patience or concern for him or how he’d react. So if that’s what was required to get him to finally open up and admit to things, then I say go for it. Also, he had to have some idea that Samantha was dead, or at least captured, since he realized he’d walked into a trap. So if he was at all good at piecing together the facts, he had to have at least considered that it was a possibility that she was dead. I don’t sympathize for him at all. But yes, there is no doubt that Loeb had a deep hatred for her now and that if he gets the chance, he’s going to do whatever he can to make her pay.

    I have to wonder if they did more to Olivia than merely run a couple of tests to see if she was indeed one of the cortexiphan subjects. When Loeb went into the other room after doing the spinal tap, one of the assistants asked him if “it worked”. It doesn’t really seem to be an appropriate question if all you were doing was performing a spinal tap. I would ask “Did you get it” or “How long until the results come back” but asking “did it work” doesn’t seem right. And then there’s Loeb’s response of “I hope so”. If he was just getting a spinal tap, I wouldn’t think there would be any uncertainty in that – he wouldn’t need to hope because he’d know that he’d successfully performed the procedure and they just had to wait for the results. So that whole conversation made me think they had not only performed a spinal tap on her, but also did something to her that would hopefully show up over time if she was actually a cortexiphan kid. Maybe they gave her something that was meant to enhance her abilities or to help her be able to switch universes or something.

    I had also noticed the irony/significance behind the conversation with Walter and Peter when Walter says “You can always kill it, but you can’t always bring it back to life.” Walter knows that all too well in that he couldn’t bring Peter back to life – he could only look for a way to replace him. Very neat to find comments like that in rewatching the episodes and to be able to realize that they were more significant than they initially appeared to be.

    In response to the conversation about the opening sequence, I have to agree with FlashWriter. I really liked the opening sequence. Sure, it does seem somewhat anti-climactic, considering she got away so soon (and, some might say, conveniently), but maybe that’s what makes it so neat. As viewers, we’re used to characters being in a dangerous situation, and the show drags it out for the whole episode until they are somehow miraculously saved. But I certainly wasn’t expecting her to get out so soon – so it was a nice surprise and I liked that it didn’t follow the usual, predictable pattern. And I loved the whole opening sequence – everything Olivia did to get out was incredible. It was awesome to get a look at just what she was capable of. She’s a fighter, that’s for sure. It was so awesome to see her in action. I loved the way Anna Torv acted those scenes – she was fierce, she was tough, she was determined, but we also got to see her vulnerability and how she was affected by the events that had taken place. I thought it was brilliant. And it was exciting – because I didn’t think it was possible for her to escape in the first ten minutes of the show, I kept expecting someone to catch her off guard and manage to capture her again. So it added to the tension and it made me that much more caught up in what was going on. And I loved that, essentially, she did manage to escape on her own. And I thought the scene with Harris in the hospital was done very well – especially considering that it was a scene meant to bring others up to speed with the first half of the season. At least for me, it was done so well that it didn’t even seem repetitive or like it interrupted the flow of the show. I even found it to be rather helpful and entertaining. So while I can see why some people could have a problem with various aspects of the opening of this episode, I personally thought it was extremely well done and I consider it to be some of the best parts of the entire episode.

    Other thoughts:

    I know that there are mixed feelings towards Rachel and Ella, but I really quite enjoy the times when we see them. They don’t show up too often or for very long, so it’s not like they take up much time that could be used for someone else. And I love watching their interactions. I like that they allow us to see another side of Olivia – that we get to see her away from work, happy and relaxed. And we see this softer side that doesn’t come out too often. So I don’t really mind having them around. I am curious if there is greater significance to Rachel and her sudden arrival – if we’ll come to find that she’s not as ignorant as she seems. I do get the impression in this episode and in others that there’s something she’s not saying.

    Okay, so I found it somewhat odd that Olivia specifically went to the trouble of getting Broyles to approve of her action to bring the man into protective custody, yet when Harris asked her if Broyles had approved of it, she said no. Why would she purposely get even further onto Harris’ bad side (if that’s even possible – he really seems to hate her) when she could have shown that she had indeed gone through proper channels? I can’t think of any reason why it would be better for her and Broyles for her to claim that she’d done something without his approval. Maybe she thought she was protecting Broyles, but even then, why would she think that was necessary? And, ultimately, I don’t think that it would be any better for it to look like Broyles has no control over what his agents are doing than it is for Harris to be aware that Broyles is relatively supportive of the things Olivia is doing. So I had this random idea that maybe we actually saw two different realities there: one where Olivia had gotten permission from Broyles, and another where she had neglected to do so. I don’t know – it’s probably not what happened, but it is at least possible, right? It would be interesting to know that we had actually been getting glimpses into the other reality throughout the whole season, and not just in the last two episodes. But I do acknowledge that it’s important to not start assuming all the little discrepancies or other odd things that happen are actually events happening in another universe. More often than not it’s likely just another random occurrence that means nothing.

    I love that Olivia refuses to be intimidated by Harris. He is so terrible to her and is constantly trying to stand in her way, discredit her, ruin her career, etc., but she doesn’t give up. I think it’s so great that despite all that, she sticks to her convictions and isn’t afraid of standing up to Harris and putting him in his place. She stands by what she believes and I really like that about her.

    I am curious of what would have happened if Olivia hadn’t escaped. What was Loeb’s plan for her? In Ability, Jones indicates that they would have tried to get her to do the tests and convince her of her abilities. So, what, they were going to try to win her trust and convince her to see their point of view? I really don’t see that going too well. And if that was the case, I can think of better ways for them to try and get her to cooperate than for them to abduct her. That’s not necessarily the way to start on the right foot. So I think there’s got to be more to it than that – there’s got to be a reason why they felt it was necessary for them to approach the situation in the way that they did. Also, if their intentions were innocent and peaceful, why would Loeb be so quick to tell Samantha she had to kill Olivia? That just doesn’t make sense unless they planned to kill her in the first place.

    Loeb’s plea at the end was almost enough to make me believe he might’ve been good, after all – almost. But I can’t overlook his previous actions – they just don’t seem like the kinds of things a person would do if they had good intentions. He had no problem killing Joanne Ostler and the two scientists. And the way he looked at Olivia when they caught him – that look was full of hatred and evil intentions. Maybe he thought he was doing good things, but I still don’t think that excuses him handling things the way he did (it’s the same thing with John Scott, by the way. If someone is good, it tends to show in their actions or what their overall goal was – and Loeb and John seemed to be constantly getting involved in things that don’t seem incredibly good-natured). So I agree with Peter – I think Loeb was just desperate, angry, and messing with Olivia’s mind.

    Reflections: We see Olivia’s reflection in the window when she looks into the Loeb’s home. There’s also a reflection of Samantha in the large window (sliding glass doors? I can’t quite remember which it was) while she’s talking to Mitchell on the phone. And again, later, there’s a reflection of Samantha in the bathroom mirror when she goes to look for Olivia. There’s a reflection of Loeb in the rearview mirror as he’s driving. And there are reflections of Peter and Broyles in the window while they are observing the interrogation.

    Favorite Moment: I really liked the hospital scene with Olivia and Harris. I thought that was so well done! The tension in that room was so thick you felt like you were there. They both did a fantastic job at conveying all the emotions of that scene — the disgust, the distrust, the arrogance, the caution, the confidence, the desperation — the whole stand off between the two of them was just so neat to watch. And Olivia’s reaction after he left was just one of those moments that makes me feel like I can understand her character even more and made me feel so bad for her having to go through all of that. I just thought that whole scene was brilliant.

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    • says

      “I’m not quite sure I understand how what Harris said about the people Olivia associates with alludes to those associations and other choices she’s made being predetermined. Can you elaborate on that?”

      You’re right, I didn’t really make that clear. In my opinion, Harris’ line about ‘the people Olivia has surrounded herself with’ was innocent enough in itself, but it also seemed like the writers wanted us to stop and question ‘why’ this group of people are together, and whether it’s purely coincidence or whether there’s some kind of reason they were together – a prior connection. We later discover that their coming together certainly is no coincidence, with Walter experimenting on Olivia when she was just a little girl. From this we can see that Walter (and Bellie) helped shape her path. She’s an FBI agent because she’s great at connecting things and getting results – but how much of this is down to her, and how much of it is down to Cortexiphan, and what was done to her prior to ‘deactivation’? To my mind Walter and Bellie had a very specific objective when they ran these clinical trials on children – they wanted to prepare for the coming war, to create soldiers, who would be recruited to become “warriors” – “thus the solder to come is both natural and, fairly, unnatural”. So I kinda have a feeling that Olivia is in the position that she’s in (i.e. an FBI agent, now working for Fringe Division), because that’s where they need her to be – this is her ‘training day’, her preparation for what was written.

      That’s not to say that Olivia has no freewill – indeed, she has made choices that has created ripples in both Universes – her ability probably gives her more choice than most. But I think that her world is largely based on what was done to her as a child. Having unlocked these abilities during childhood, is similar to a kid who loves to draw and goes on to become an artist or graphic designer. Olivia has ended up pitting her rather unique abilities against the cutting edge of science, which I find quite fitting as who else would have the capacity to deal with such things so effectively – other than Walter and Peter, of course? So there’s a mixture of fate and freewill there – the later is yet to be truly explored, I feel.

      I could be wrong, of course, but that’s how I see it so far. :)

      You’re right, Loeb did ask for it – there’s a fine line between being smug and working for a perceived ‘greater good’. I still feel bad for him though, I mean, I can’t really think of anything more cold than what he see whilst he was chained to a chair, bound with his own despair.

      Yes, I feel you might be on to something – it seemed as if they did more than test her for Cortexiphan considering their conversation. I initially believed that they gave her something as it would have tallied well with the opening scene of Walter dosing the caterpillar with LSD. That said, I guess testing Olivia for Cortexiphan is not a straight-forward procedure, as Loeb is not — as far as I know — a skilled technician/spinal expert, and he may have been concerned that he didn’t get enough (or something along those lines) – hence the “did it work” conversation? Although I did find it strange that Olivia reported having “electrodes” stuck on her head – so maybe there was more to it..were they also reading her brain activity?

      The great thing about Walter’s line is that I don’t think he realized — at this point — that Peter was a replacement. The writers have a great device in Walter’s cloudy memory, which they can turn on or off at their convenience. So I believe that Walter said what he said out of experience/knowledge, without consciously relating it to Peter at this time. The moment Peter’s death resurfaced in full effect, seems to be during the finale – but I agree, it’s great catching little moments like this.

      Regarding Olivia denying that Broyles had given her the go-ahead – for me this was a great little moment and it was purely about Olivia having Broyles’ back. Earlier Broyles came through for her by taking her side over his ‘pal’, Harris. Olivia basically paid it back by covering for Broyles, keeping Harris off his back so he could do some more digging. For me, this was one of the high points of their growth – what a turnaround from the Pilot, where Broyles had Harris’ back. I don’t think we got a look at two realities here – I think they’ll save that for a more ‘important’ scene (if you know what I mean?), but you’re right in that it’s worth considering whether we have seen the alt. reality without realising it.

      Re: What would have happened had Olivia not escaped. I happen to believe Loeb (to an extent) – I think they would have let her go — after trying to win her over. It would have been interesting to see what they would have told her. I believe that everything changed once Loeb realised that he had been compromised – despipte thinking that she knew the “rules”, Loeb was also aware that Olivia didn’t have all of the facts and would have done everything possible to bring him down. Self preservation or protecting the larger objective? It could be either one of those things, but I can just about buy the idea that Loeb would want Olivia dead once she had gone down an unintended path (from his point of view).

      Great work on the reflections, btw – I know there are some goodies coming up!

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      • mlj102 says

        Thanks for clarifying. I can see what you’re saying now, and it makes sense. Essentially it’s just like it is for anyone — who you become is largely determined by the experiences you had as you were growing up. That being the case, it is reasonable to expect that Olivia’s experiences with cortexiphan influenced the choices she made. I agree, it will be interesting to see further connections of how the cortexiphan affected her.

        I don’t know — I tend to believe that Walter is more aware of things than he lets on. Certainly he is crazy and he does have memory problems and such. But I think he’s known and been aware all along that Peter is not his Peter — just from the way he acts around Peter and the comments he makes, it makes it sound like he knows and like he’s working hard to keep that secret to himself. So it’s my opinion that, if nothing else, he’s at least fully aware from the very beginning that Peter died and he went to extreme measures to replace him.

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    • FlashWriter says

      Abduction. I should have talked about that in my ramblings, but it was long enough as it was. The question “Did it work?” was a VERY weird thing to ask and let me add my “yes” vote to the question of did they do anything else to Olivia. If you notice in the scene, he has more than one syringe. At the beginning of the scene he has one that just looked like he was giving her an injection, then he unlimbers the big pig-sticker of a syringe for the spinal. Yep, you are totally right about that something else.

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  4. FlashWriter says

    There’s so much doing in this episode, so please excuse me if I ramble on a bit.

    MY LOVE-HATE RELATIONSHIP WITH OLIVIA DUNHAM

    Since I’ve already commented on that completely great opening sequence with Olivia fighting her way out of ZFT’s clutches, I think I’m just going to x-out that part of my comments and instead substitute an aside regarding Anna Torv as/is Olivia Dunham. There has never been a scene in any of the episodes where Olivia Dunham wasn’t totally believable. Even in the most incredible storylines, there is never a time when I don’t completely swallow whatever scene she’s in. To cast someone that is such a great physical actor, yet who can be vulnerable and sexy and tough and wise from scene to scene is an act of genius (or maybe incredible luck) of the most profound nature. I would love to see Anna Torv as an Indiana Jones sidekick. Man, wouldn’t that be something? (As a contrast, watch “Warehouse 13″. I love Joanne Kelly, but sadly, she simply doesn’t fit—or maybe the writers just can’t get their arms around—the Myka character.)

    Onward. Another real badge of honor for this episode goes to the introduction of Michael Gaston as Sanford Harris. I just hope we haven’t seen the end of old Sanford, one of the best villains to hit the screen (TV or movie) since Alan Rickman brought Hans Gruber to life in the original “Die Hard”. Oh, Sanford, you just shouldn’t have gone head-to-head with Olivia. We hardly knew ya, but your demise was just so great I still can’t get over it.

    Within the story line, Harris’ appearance certainly suggests that there are people—very powerful people way up in the command structure who are working for the “other side” (whoever and whatever that really is). Knowing Olivia the way we do, there’s no doubt that she wrapped Harris up in his indictment and delivered him to the prosecution like a Christmas present. There’s no doubt his conviction was air-tight. The question remains, who overturned the conviction? Who re-hired him and placed him into a position to threaten Dunham? Who, who, who? To paraphrase Broyles, “Someone so high up you can’t say no to”? Who’s THAT, the President? Stay tuned…

    The Boston Hospital scene had some parts in it that I really loved. The way Harris was strutting around like some kind of rooster, trying to impress her with his new found authority, listing the ways he could get her, then Olivia’s steady gaze up at him, “Am I under arrest?” There was a beat that suggested that the sheer guile of Olivia Dunham suddenly hit home to one Sanford Harris. He actually didn’t know what to say as he threw the key onto her blanket. This scene, without the fabulous work of both Gaston and Torv, could have been incredibly stupid. But instead, we get to meet this sleaze bucket who’s going to be Olivia’s boss (in the process we get a review of the major characters thus far), and we get to see first-hand Olivia’s total refusal to knuckle under to him—cuffed to that bed or not. As a bonus, we get to see a case-in-point where two great pros save a scene. I’m running out of superlatives here…

    In this episode JJ and friends also introduced us to Rachel and Ella. As of this writing, I still have no idea what Rachel was actually doing in this story and the eps to follow. I rate her as one of the few complete misfires of season 1. Unless it was an incredibly complicated way to start a string within this particular episode that would eventually lead to the arrest of Loeb? Maybe afterwards they didn’t know exactly what to do with her? I’m in complete ignorance here. Ella is fantastic and I’d like to figure a way to keep her around without the Rachel character. To me Rachel has been a false start, a dead end, and the question remains: where’d she and Ella go? Seems like they just evaporated (and the episodes after didn’t suffer without them—a very bad sign).

    Now, on to Olivia’s interview with the TA at Boston Collage. Anna Torv has given Olivia a particular nod, a kind of “Okay, got it now, let’s rock-and-roll” kind of a thing and when she does it, you know Olivia is going to lower the boom on somebody. In this case it was the way she swooped in on this freaked-out coed and cut straight to the heart of the matter, “OK, how long have you been seeing him?” If there was a roadblock (which, of course, there wasn’t because little miss TA was no match for Olivia) that roadblock was blown into toothpicks and now we’re going down under the surface and uncovering the next layer—the one that scares you. Suddenly we’re talking epidemic here…

    Cruising along past the Broyles/Harris confrontation and the second murder, just a passing word on the Samantha/Olivia confrontation: Brilliant. On every level. Again, we see Olivia cross swords with another female, but this one is pretty close to her own level. From the cuts to the teakettle building up pressure, to the ones where the two were verbally circling around each other like predatory cats, I realized that the Hitchcock type of mounting suspense scene is still alive! Hitch himself couldn’t have done any better here. (I suspect that somebody in that production team is a Hitchcock fan.)

    There have been some comments concerning Loeb’s instructions regarding his kill order to Samantha. I think what Loeb did was to try to cut his losses. These ZFT people seem to be “True Believers”/Fanatics who will do things under orders but who view their various murders and experimental deaths as collateral damage in a war that is already going on. I think Loeb (correctly) viewed Olivia as a profound threat both to his position and to his organization’s anonymity. Hence, his turnaround from ‘savior’ to executioner. I think Harris revealed this same attitude in the “Road Not Taken”, where obviously it was either deliver or die. Jones obviously liked Olivia personally, but he dumped her into the same position of deliver or die vis-à-vis disarming the bomb in “Ability”.

    When Loeb was captured, I thought Olivia’s reaction to Loeb was so profoundly human. When he gave her that very strange grin (what was he doing there, trying to find out if she could possibly be supportive?), and then Olivia’s reaction where she belts him in the mouth with the gun butt. I let out a “Yes!!” when she did it. It was such a catharsis for both Olivia and the audience and it couldn’t have happened to a nicer guy. Peter’s remark: “Nice work.” And Olivia’s answer, an out-of-breath “Thank you.” Perfect.

    A word about Fringe’s interrogation room scenes. We’ve seen a few of them now, and, personally, in any other crime show, these scenes usually fall flat for me. But not on this show. Stuff really happens in there—big time stuff. I agree with Rocco on this point: Olivia’s hitting Loeb with the pictures of his dead wife, and then getting right into his face with “and do you want to know who pulled the trigger? Mitch ” (Loeb looks up, Olivia’s now eye to eye with Loeb) “You’re lookin’ at her.”—man, that was COLD. Really cold. Anti-hero cold. It sent shivers up my spine. It did, however, give a hint as to her capability to wreck a perp when, a few episodes latter, she “assaulted” Walter in the Delicatessen scene in “The Road Not Taken”. That was a remote interrogation scene and I still get tears in my eyes when I see it.

    As I said in my ‘Title’, I guess there are times when I fall out of love with Olivia Dunham…

    To end this diatribe, all I can say is WHAT AN EPISODE. Going through it all again exhausted me with the sheer data rate of the thing. I’m sure I could watch it another ten times and come up with something new on each pass. Phew! 9.75/10.

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    • Page 48 says

      Re: “Warehouse 13″

      I’ve been enjoying “Warehouse 13″ this summer. It’s the type of show in which I don’t worry too much about whether an actor is perfect for the role or not, because, to me, it’s just good-natured summer goofery. If I had my druthers, I would prefer any show of that ilk to roll out as a dead-serious life or death SERIAL affair (the road I wish “Fringe” would have chosen), but going the ‘dramedy’ route lets the air out of that scenario right from the opening bell and changes the scale I use to judge both the series and the players in it.

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      • FlashWriter says

        I watch “Warehouse” and enjoy it on some levels. I think the addition of Allison Scagliotti as Claudia was a very good move. Claudia has great chemistry with Artie. As for Joanne Kelly, I say again I really like her and have seen her in much better parts, my problem is that her fit is so bad in THIS PART that it keeps pulling me out of the story and that’s where I draw the line.

        Hmmm, good-natured summer goofery. I gotta disagree there. Nobody, no record producer, no movie producer, no TV production company sets out to make good-natured summer goofery. Everybody breaks their tail to make the best damned product they possibly can (within budget, “money, there’s never enough money.”). Everybody in the industry judges them on the same scale as every other product (goofery or not) and, what’s more, they’re signing their name to it every week on TV. So, in my book, “Warehouse 13″ is being judged using the same scale as “Fringe”, so writing, music, set decoration, special effects, direction and whatever else get the magnifying glass–especially when I feel perfectly free to go to bed before the show is over. Try doing that while watching “Fringe”…

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        • FlashWriter says

          I just finished the latest “Warehouse 13″ episode. The problem here is not with “fit”, it’s with the writing of the character. And–oh yeah–I wouldn’t have gone to bed if I was watching this ep at my normal time. :-)

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        • Page 48 says

          I agree that Allison Scagliotti is a nice addition to W13.

          W13, while a fun show, doesn’t have the gravitas of a “Battlestar Galactica” (despite some shared DNA). That’s what I mean by ‘good natured summer goofery’. I would stop short of calling it outright fluff, but it’s lighter in weight than an “X-Files”. This isn’t about the level of craftsmanship that goes into bringing the show to air.

          Must the same scale be used to judge all shows? Maybe by industry insiders, but not by viewers. The shows that matter most to me get judged much more harshly than those which I might enjoy, but which aren’t a necessity of life. While I enjoy watching W13, I can live without it, and that’s why W13’s imperfections may be a minor irritant to me while certain aspects of “Alias” still burn my ass so bad that I can hardly sit down 3 1/2 years later.

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          • FlashWriter says

            Yeah. I can quite understand what you’re saying–and mostly agree. I’ve got problems with Star Trek (The Next Generation) that still gripe me to this day. Anyway, points well taken.
            :-)

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    • mlj102 says

      Regarding the way Olivia handled Loeb: I know I mentioned it before, but I thought I would try to better explain my view on the whole situation. Yes, it was a little extreme, I’ll admit. And for anyone to find out about something that serious in that way it would be rather heartbreaking. But really, I can’t blame Olivia at all. I mean, I put myself in her situation and think “Would I have done anything differently?” Think about it: She was forcefully kidnapped, she was given a spinal tap — a procedure I personally haven’t experienced, but I hear is extremely painful — and shortly afterwards she makes her move and manages to escape (though it’s far from easy), only to be taken down again by the people who were supposed to be the good guys. She wakes up and who should greet her but one of her greatest enemies — probably the last person she’d want to see after all that she’d been through up to that point. And, even better, she finds out that he’s now in charge of leading an investigation into her work and that he’s looking for any reason to take her down and prevent her from doing her job. And after all that, she’s still given another case to investigate. And she discovers that a man she had gone to great lengths to save — someone she thought was on her side — is actually the person responsible for her initial kidnapping. That kind of betrayal hurts. Then she gets into a fight where she is forced to kill his wife and barely manages to avoid being shot herself. And after all that, the guy is still being smug, self-righteous, and refusing to cooperate. I definitely would’ve snapped. So yes, while it was a little heartless of her, I can’t really think anything bad about her or hold it against her because, given all that had happened to her in a short period of time, it’s pretty understandable. (And the same goes for “the attack in the pastry shop”, though I’ll save my commentary about that for the official episode rewatch).

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      • FlashWriter says

        I hope I’m not being read incorrectly. I really wasn’t criticizing her. There is vey much to admire in Olivia Dunham. In fact, she’s my absolute favorite character. I do understand all that had gone on with her in this episode and the one before and I completely sympathise. HOWEVER, (said Siamon Cowell), let’s just look at Loeb after Oliva got through with him. 1. She shot him in the arm. 2. Pistol whipped him. 3. Tore his emotional guts out in the interrogation room. Hey. Fine. He deserved it. But it was simply the way she did it. Let’s replay it: “and do you want to know who pulled the trigger? Mitch…”(- translation: “Look at me, you bastard.” (Loeb looks up, Olivia’s now eye to eye with Loeb) “You’re lookin’ at her.” The fact that she was right in his face and all her hate and frustration poured through her eyes and went straight into his. Frankly, I’m vaguely surprised that there was enough left of him to throw into prison.

        What I’m saying is this isn’t what you see in your standard, straight-up hero. And yes, I’ll say female hero here because win, loose, or draw that fact is part of the audience’s (translate: my) fascination with the character.

        We saw that same aggression in the delicatesson with Walter. And I’ll probably be blow torched for saying this, but what she did wasn’t warranted. Not in that situation and not digging at what I consider to be Walter’s mental disabillity. And what still bothers me is that when she went back to the SUV she wasn’t sorry–just plain frustrated. Not to mention that, in the standard Olivia Dunham style, she left the object of her “interrogation” sitting alone in a deli booth an emotional wreck.

        Then we see her with Ella, and all the other people in her life and she’s the one they lean on to help them get through. I fall in love with her all over again when that happens. I start rooting for her again, cheering for her again.

        Olivia. Ahhh, Olivia…

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    • Page 48 says

      Re: Indiana Jones

      One connection between “Fringe” and Indiana Jones is already in place in the person of Shauna Duggins, the stunt co-ordinator on “Fringe”. Duggins (I don’t know if she’s Torv’s stunt double), was also a stunt double on “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull”.

      I’ve always maintained that, post-“Alias”, Jennifer Garner had her career set up for a seamless transition to an Indiana Jen (or a Jen Bourne) with her obvious athleticism and experience with action roles, but sadly she’s opted to be a hard-core rom-commer. Irrelevance is in the house and obscurity is banging on the door.

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      • FlashWriter says

        Interesting about Shauna Duggins, I didn’t know that. You know, it’s interesting but there seems to be a real darth of good, female physical actors around these days. I agree with you regarding Jennifer Garner. When I think back, maybe the best female physical actor that I can think of is Karen Allen (although I’ll never forget her in “Starman”–what a fantastic job she did). Of the latest crop let’s see, there’s Charlize Theron, Keira Knightly was great in the “Pirates” trillogy, of course there’s our girl Anna Torv… What’s interesting about this is that none of these actors is from the US of A…

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    • FlashWriter says

      I don’t think that that’s what Page 48 was saying. There are other shows beside “Fringe”, and I was using WH 13 as a contrast to certain aspects in casting. Remember, just breeethe and concentrate on something! You can do it!

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