Fringe Rewatch: 1.11 Loeb Tapped That


Welcome to our rewatch for Fringe episode 11 of season 1 – “Bound”. In this rewatch we break free from the shackles and gather up new perspectives, before sitting down for a nice cup of Samantha Loeb’s herbal tea. (It’d be a shame to waste it).

We’ve renamed this episode Loeb Tapped That.

New Perspectives

  • I actually think Mitchell Loeb looks better with the mask on.
  • Olivia is turned over on the gurney as her world is turned upside down once again.
  • Olivia is good a getting out from being trapped. I wonder if she’ll fare so well against Walternate? Those who have seen the (spoiler at link) season 3 trailer may know the partial answer to that.
  • Great. The arrival of Sanford Harris – and look, he’s wearing a red tie. To think that he was a mole, baby.
  • I forgot how much rough treatment Olivia received in the first part of this episode. First she gets a needle stuck in her spine, then Captain Cop pelts her with a tranquiliser. (No wonder Olivia ran – she didn’t know who to trust). And to make matters worse she wakes up in bed beside agent Harr-asment. All she needs now is her sister to show up!
  • For me the Olivia/Harris scene is still the standout moment from this episode. For anyone wondering why Harris is loathed by so many, you only have to watch this scene. Even if he’s innocent of those charges, his general attitude stinks.

  • What is really intriguing about this confrontation is that first Olivia’s judgement is questioned, with the reveal that Harris’ charge was overturned. Then he questions her “sanity, loyalty, worthiness to serve.” Olivia is penetrated by this but holds firm, only frantically looking around for an escape route when Harris momentarily turns his back. Interesting that Harris should know exactly which buttons to push (someone has no doubt informed him), surfacing the biggest response from Olivia when he mentions John Scott’s ‘betrayal’.
  • “[Walter's] out of his mind, Ms Dunham. These are the people you surround yourself with.” Harris is trying to tear Olivia down by undermining the very things (and people) that now define her. By questioning Walter’s sanity, he’s doubly questioning Olivia’s sanity. (also worth noting that Nina voiced similar opinions to Broyles in 1.02). I love Olivia’s reaction. She has a tear in her eye but gives a steely response that Harris probably wasn’t expecting, “Am I under arrest?” Eat it, Harris! Your playtime is over. The fact that he bound her to the bed speaks volumes for what they were saying about the character at this time.
  • Wonderful. Harris and R@chel in the same episode. Someone has a sick sense of humor. Olivia looked pissed off when she learned that R@chel was there to see her. She had obviously forgotten that sister dearest was coming to stay, what with getting abducted and all. She soon lightened up – she’s a good actress after all. “Can I pweease have some water?” Oh Olivia, you slay me.
  • “You are just a giant person!” LOL. :) Why is that funny?
  • Interesting how Olivia unloads her questions on Walter and Peter. These are the only people she can really confide in at this time. Even more than Charlie.
  • “Literally millions of organisms feed on us, reproduce within us.” I find that a fitting analogy for the alternate reality concept – “monsters in our skin.”
  • Olivia or Harris. Broyles chooses Olivia. The writers had definitely made Broyles and Harris less BFF-y by this point.
  • “After what happened today, I feel like nothing’s real.” My dear, you may be closer to the truth than you realize.
  • Good to see R@chel couldn’t even cook for her sister after her hard day at work. I don’t buy the ‘I’m not a good cook routine’, she probably cooks badly on purpose.
  • “You’ve always been the strong one.” A soon to be repeated phrase. It always makes me wonder where Olivia’s ‘strengh’ comes from. Is it innate, or did Cortexiphan make her this way? Perhaps one needs to be strong for Cortexiphan to unlock to maximum potential in a subject.
  • Mitchell is either dumb or stupid, it’s a wonder he made it this far in life. Buzzing around Olivia after kidnapping her and failing to clean the giant-ass splodge from his shoe. I guess he was trying to hide in plain sight, but he might as well have come to work with his abduction mask on!
  • I LOVE Samantha Loeb in her scene with Olivia. So much pretense yet they both know the that Olivia isn’t there for tea, scones or anything pleasant. Interesting how Olivia almost drops her guard as Sammy puts on the waterworks, causing Olivia to hesitate and give her an opening which almost cost Dunham her life. Perhaps she’ll put it down to her emotions, but there’s no denying the fact that she has a desire to rescue people, particularly women. That being said I don’t want Olivia to become a robot, even though I call her the Dunhamnator.
  • Given that Mitchell was working for Jones, whose ambition (along with activating Olivia) was to trek over to the alternate universe to murder Bell for not appreciating him. Why was Multitask Mitchell murdering future CDC employees? Was there another bow to Jones’ plan that we never saw come to anything?
  • Olivia can be heartless at times. Showing Mitchell the photo of Samantha with a bullet in her head, and then taunting him about it was cruel. He kidnapped her and injected her with something. She had every right to be furious. But her actions showed that certain situations can bring out the worst in even the best of people. I’m not sticking up for Mitchell, but you can see why Olivia was chosen to watch the gate. I’d like to explore whether having the strength needed to protect the universe requires that one lose a fair bit of their humanity, or whether the opposite can be true in Olivia’s case? Perhaps future episodes will serve as a good base for such a question.
  • Mitchell’s confession about the “two sides” seems to refer to the war with the alternate universe. As I touched on earlier, did Jones have a broader goal that went beyond just getting revenge on Bell? Did he want to ‘protect’ our world against the other side? Of course, it’s interesting to watch Harris during all of this. His actions in this episode alone make it seem as though he’s working for Jones, while it also leaves the Bell possibility open.
  • I love how Mitchell is the ‘insane’ one by the end of the episode, with even Walter concurring. Of course, Olivia knows better. (although he was pretty crazy to go through with the 1.07 parasite stunt). I’m still not sure how Mitchell “saved” Olivia though – unless the spinal tap would eventually enable her to handle her activation better than some of the other Cortexiphan Kids who met gooey ends. Although Olivia being ‘the strong one’ would cover that base on its own.

Sleep, Dreams and Waking

  • Nice shot of Olivia as she wakes up strapped to the gurney, lights flashing past her eyes. Whatever must be going through her mind at this time? The blue ‘energy’ lights flash as if marking the transition between her sleep state and wakefulness.

Quote Terrific

  • “My boy, I’m not even sure that we exist on the same plane of consciousness”

Best retrospective performer: Anna Torv

Best retrospective moment: The first Olivia v Harris face-off.

Retrospective episode rating: 7/10

Useful Links

Next rewatch episode – 1.12 “The No Brainer” – TBA.

Comments

  1. Anjali says

    ” And to make matters worse she wakes up in bed beside agent Harr-asment.”
    Love this line Roco!

    ” actually think Mitchell Loeb looks better with the mask on.”
    Haha.. this got me in fits.

    “Wonderful. Harris and R@chel in the same episode. Someone has a sick sense of humor. ”
    Another round of fits… Oh Roco, I’m assuming you want MORE R*achel in season 3? :)

    “Olivia looked pissed off when she learned that R@chel was there to see her. ”
    I think it’s only me who didn’t think Olivia seemed pissed. I took it more as a ‘Olivia who has been through a lot’ look. I didn’t see any form of resentment on her face.

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  2. says

    “I’m assuming you want MORE R*achel in season 3? “

    Anjali,

    I think I’d blow a gasket if R@chel showed up in S3! :)

    “I think it’s only me who didn’t think Olivia seemed pissed. I took it more as a ‘Olivia who has been through a lot’ look.”

    To me that’s her pissed look :D But I hear ya.

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  3. jophan says

    Someday, maybe, they’ll let us know who Harris was working for. It has to be someone pretty high up in the government to override all the usual conflict-of-interest guidelines. I found him a waste of celluloid from his clunky post-hiatus exposition to his eventual horrible death. (Granted, if he weren’t there, they’d probably have stuck Broyles with the clunky post-hiatus exposition again.)

    Oh, and Olivia had the only pair of pajama pants ever seen with a hospital gown. I presumably it was to reassure us that Harris didn’t take advantage of her unconsciousness.

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  4. FinChase says

    “For me the Olivia/Harris scene is still the standout moment from this episode. For anyone wondering why Harris is loathed by so many, you only have to watch this scene. Even if he’s innocent of those charges, his general attitude stinks”

    Somehow, I don’t think Harris was guilty of those charges; I think Olivia got it right the first time.

    This scene is so disturbing to me. Olivia is tranked (assaulted, in effect) by Harris’ goons, and then wakes up to find herself handcuffed to the bed by a man that she helped put away for sexual assault. Oh, and how Harris gloats over this situation! Check out the way he leans in on her when he says the words “sexual assault.” That just makes my skin crawl every time I see it. My only regret is that Olivia was not the one to torch Harris. Both Torv and the actor playing Harris were excellent in this scene.

    ““You’ve always been the strong one.” A soon to be repeated phrase. It always makes me wonder where Olivia’s ‘strengh’ comes from. Is it innate, or did Cortexiphan make her this way? Perhaps one needs to be strong for Cortexiphan to unlock to maximum potential in a subject. ”

    That’s an interesting question: Did Cortexiphan work on Olivia and make her strong, or did Cortexiphan work on Olivia because she was strong. I tend to think the latter; both Nick Lane and William Bell remember Olivia as already being strong as a very small girl.

    “I LOVE Samantha Loeb in her scene with Olivia. So much pretense yet they both know the that Olivia isn’t there for tea, scones or anything pleasant. Interesting how Olivia almost drops her guard as Sammy puts on the waterworks, causing Olivia to hesitate and give her an opening which almost cost Dunham her life. Perhaps she’ll put it down to her emotions, but there’s no denying the fact that she has a desire to rescue people, particularly women. That being said I don’t want Olivia to become a robot, even though I call her the Dunhamnator. ”

    This was a great scene. I love how Olivia, knowing she’d been busted by Samantha, decided to put the cat among the pigeons and say that she was working on a case involving a double-agent. You could see Samantha’s ears nearly stand straight up. You’re right that Olivia’s compassion almost cost her her life. She really did not want to have to shoot Samantha. I think she actually underestimated Samantha.

    “Olivia can be heartless at times. Showing Mitchell the photo of Samantha with a bullet in her head, and then taunting him about it was cruel.”

    I understand where you are coming from here, but I really think she was only doing what she had to do to get a confession from Loeb. I’m actually surprised by Loeb’s reaction, that he seemed so surprised. He sent his wife to kill Olivia, and knows that she failed because Olivia is alive and well. Could it really not have crossed his mind that Olivia might have killed Samantha in self-defense? That seems pretty naive if it didn’t.

    I really hope they return to Loeb’s story at some point. I’ve always been so baffled by his assertion that they saved Olivia? What did he mean? He’s one of the few villains who is actually still alive, so maybe they will bring him back.

    I really like that scene in the hallway, after Olivia has broken Loeb. She is standing against a wall, waiting for the others to come out of the room. The camera does a full pan around her which I thought was a really nice bit of camera work. I don’t know if we’ve ever seen Olivia as exhausted as she looks in this scene. She looks absolutely drained.

    I love this episode, but I do have an issue with the timeline. We know Olivia was abducted and tranquilized at about midnight in “Safe”. It was apparently early the next morning when she regained consciousness–approximately 6-8 hours? Then apparently less than an hour later, she’s tranquilized yet again, taken to the hospital, admitted into the hospital (that wasn’t an ER room), wakes up to talk with Harris (who was in Washington DC when the episode started), gets out of the hospital, apparently goes home to change clothes, goes back to the office, and is then sent off on a case by Broyles, who remarks in the understatement of the year that he knows she’s “already had quite a day.” Whew! I’m exhausted even writing all this! Why didn’t they spread this action over more than one day? It would have been much more believable to me if they’d had Olivia wake up in the hospital at night or the next day. That would have given Harris more time to slither into Boston, and account for the time it would take for Loeb’s crew to empty that warehouse.

    Anyway, that’s my biggest quibble with this episode. Other than that, it’s always been one of my season 1 favorites.

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    • LMH says

      Just a quick comment on Olivia’s showing the pictures of Loeb’s wife to him: she does pause for a second and there is a brief facial expression that hints toward a consideration as to whether to show them or not; or seeing the picture of Sam made her a little uneasy at first glance (understandably). She then decides to show the pictures to Loeb and puts on her Dunhamator face.

      I adored Anna in this episode, she played the intensity and kick-ass awesomeness of the Dunhamator and the vulnerable side of the Olivia I love dearly, switching from one to the another over and over. That is why this is one of my favorites from s1. That and the action! (though maybe Olivia should have had another day to deal with all that!)

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    • FinChase says

      Somehow, I don’t think Harris was guilty of those charges; I think Olivia got it right the first time.

      Oops, goofed. I meant to say I do think Harris was guilty of those charges.

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    • SF says

      I really hope they return to Loeb too, and the ZFT groups, and what he meant by saying she ruined everything. I’d also like to know how closely Jones and Loeb knew each other, and just when Harris became aware of cortexiphan subjects and Olivia and possibly Loeb and Jones……there are a lot of unanswered questions about this section of the story. I also agree that Harris had to be taking his orders from someone else – he is on the phone in the second to last episode to someone about Nancy, the fire twin. Is it Bell? Jones? God forbid, Nina?

      “That’s an interesting question: Did Cortexiphan work on Olivia and make her strong, or did Cortexiphan work on Olivia because she was strong. I tend to think the latter; both Nick Lane and William Bell remember Olivia as already being strong as a very small girl.”
      Since cortexiphan worked on all the subjects in various ways, strengthening a gift inherent in the mind in each of them, if mental strength is Olivia’s inborn gift, then cortexiphan strengthened what she already had. That’s how I’ve always seen cortexiphan working and being used for, as Walter and Bell have described it, and the results in the cortexitots themselves.

      If this is so, and mental strength is her gift and now enhanced by cortexiphan, then she could survive being in that dark room at S2 ender, and having her sanity/version of reality questioned both by Harris and again by the therapist in S3 (from the promos so far anyway). Interesting ideas!

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  5. number six says

    This one wasn’t as good as Safe, but it was entertaining anyway.

    The good:

    - The totally unbelievable slug. She is beautiful, though :P

    - Olivia taking and hiding the samples. Good thinking there.

    - Every Walter/Peter/Astrid interaction.

    - Broyles confronting Harris and defending Olivia.

    - I love Charlie asking Peter for help and his later sarcasm “Wouldn’t want to waste any of that potential.” On the one hand, hey, Charlie, you weren’t willing to get your own hands dirty to help your friend, be nice! On the other hand, Peter is usually the one delivering the snark, so if he can dish it, he can take it.

    - Olivia confronting the Loebs.

    - Peter’s embarrassment about worrying about Olivia. Too cute.

    The bad:

    - Olivia escaping was only possible, because her captors were utterly stupid.

    - Exposition fairy Harris scene. I hate that character with the power of a thousand suns.

    - Rachel (and Ella to a lesser extent). I see what the writers tried to do there. It didn’t work. Good casting, though, they look very much alike and they make believable sisters.

    - What’s with the incest vibes between Olivia and Rachel? Awkward! Now that I think of it, Olivia only has sexual chemistry with Peter and Rachel. Again, awkward!

    I agree with the rating 7/10, because Walter was so freaking adorable.

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  6. LMH says

    “Why was Multitask Mitchell murdering future CDC employees? Was there another bow to Jones’ plan that we never saw come to anything?”

    I’ve been waiting for more hints about the CDC/starting an outbreak conspiracy they teased us with. I hope they do something with it, continuity is always nice especially with such a juicy story possibility like this. Suggesting that someone wants to start an epidemic or some other conspiracy with the CDC and then not taking it anywhere? That’s just mean.

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  7. fringefan2009 says

    This is the first episode of Fringe that I ever saw, and it is also the episode that got me addicted to the show. There was so much going on, that drew me in. I have to say it is one of my favorite episodes.

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  8. SF says

    I like how Harris says she surrounds herself with a ‘traitor, a criminal, and a murderer.’ This is how these three are each presented to us at first too – John becomes the traitor, Peter is pursuing a deal in Iraq, and Walter is incarcerated for insanity. But then the show goes to great lengths to show this is not who these people are. Our perceptions have been challenged from the very beginning. I think it’s also about how people can change, and can be more than they seem, another perception theme. Peter is capable of trust and caring and being protective, especially to his family unit. Walter is capable of acknowledging some of his errors, which is a sign of return to sanity. And John is redeemed in the eyes of those who knew him – Olivia and Charlie and Broyles, though he never receives full clearance. It’s about perception, and the writers have been very good about all along saying one thing, then presenting another facet that changes the first idea of a person. So I think you are right, Roco, when you say Walternate can’t be all bad, because this isn’t how Fringe operates; we’re going to learn something about Walternate this season that changes our perceptions of him, too.

    “Interesting how Olivia unloads her questions on Walter and Peter. These are the only people she can really confide in at this time. Even more than Charlie.”
    I think of this episode as the one where Olivia begins to pull away from the FBI as her home, and to turn towards the Bishops as her new little work family. She is betrayed first by John, then Loeb, and then Harris. When Charlie is killed and the shapeshifter takes his place, by the time it all ends with Olivia shooting him, I think of it as the final nail in Olivia trusting in the FBI to have her back, to keep her safe. We see her turn to the Bishops here, you are right, Roco, and by Momentum Deferred in S2, other than Broyles, there is no one left at the bureau that she trusts. For me it also signals Olivia’s moving away from normal life, to deeper in to Fringe world.

    I also think of this as the beginning of the cortexiphan link to Olivia – Mr Jones is the official cortexiphan trail beginning, but this is where we realize something else is going on.

    I think those blue lights and the questioning of Olivia’s sanity is particularly well-done because someone ‘normal’ should question what Olivia is doing – it is freaky, and she does have untrustworthy people around her – but then Fringe turns that inside out by showing it’s the normal world (ie the FBI, the normal families, in the world) who aren’t so straightforward, and that her team, filled with the abnormal, is the only one who have her back, that she can trust.

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