Synopsis: German agents question Olivia about her “relationship” with David Robert Jones, an escaped prisoner questioned months earlier now living in the U.S. Meanwhile, the Fringe Division investigates a threatening case where victims die faceless from their orifices suddenly sealing. With few leads and many questions, German authorities turn to Olivia, Peter and Walter to help makes sense of the return of Mr. Jones and the foreboding mysterious occurrences. As the investigation unfolds, Olivia is put to test.
Below the jump I share my new observations and perspectives, and take a quick look at the unresolved and closed mysteries from “Ability”.
New Observations & Perspectives
2.) I’m still not sure what to make of Olivia’s puppy dog eyes when getting Peter to do her a favor. It seems out of character, more Rachel’s thing. Perhaps Rachel and Peter’s ‘connection’ in 1.13 made Olivia lose her mind?
3.) Harris’ ZFT-ties seem really obvious in retrospect – when he asks whether Jones had said “anything else?”, he stumbles his words nervously, as if he has something to hide. As we eventually find out, he may well have been working with Jones (or at least working in the same circles). This is tempered by the fact that they don’t appear to ‘know’ each other when they’re alone in the interrogation room – were they playing for the cameras, or was Harris recruited later by Jones?
Harris literally handing over his ‘watch’ to Jones reinforces this possibility. Alternatively, perhaps Harris was part of a rival faction? All three possibilities would make sense. I guess I’ll focus more on this in the 1.19 rewatch post.
4.) Jones’ mention of the “unadvertised side-effects” indicates that he was unaware that using the teleporter would cause him to gradually disintegrate. I’m really glad about this, because at least in my own mind I can put Jones’ sudden arc-turning ambition to kill Bell down to his personal race against time. If he had more time he probably would have focused more on recruiting Olivia as he was doing in this episode.
5.) Some foreshadowing, noticed first time around, but worth mentioning again:
Peter: “I think I’ve got a weird connection”
Peter (to Olivia): “Using all of you magic powers, I guess”
6.) I enjoyed seeing the first light test scene again, especially when Olivia’s concentration is broken by her phone ringing – the telephone, of course, invented by Alexander Bell is probably coincidence but you have to love how it can work in your favour.
7.) Interesting how Olivia refers to the light test as “the flashing lights” (they don’t even flash), seeing as that description is closer to the term we used to described the blue lights (which do flash).
8.) I have to wonder why Nina didn’t tell Olivia about her Cortexiphaned past straight away. More mind games or just wanted an excuse to call Olivia after dark? Who knows..
9.) Interesting that Jones should hold Walter in such high regard (he was in awe) yet despise William Bell to the point of wanting to murder him.
10.) Looking back at it, the light box is a nice metaphor – not only did is serve as a warm-up to Olivia’s real test with the bomb, but we can take it a step further and see that the entire first season is a test or a prologue in itself.
11.) During the bomb scene – I love how Olivia appears as though she’s about to out of dodge, everyone follows her lead, until Peter realises she’s only taking her coat off. Funny in itself, but what makes me laugh is Charlie - dude just keeps on rollin’! I can picture him thinking: “I loves ya Liv, but I don’t wanna die tonight!”. LOL, Charlie, it’s the things you don’t say that make you a winner.
12.) For a long time I’ve wanted to know why (or how) Astrid could forgive Walter for basically attacking her in Arrival. Although I still believe this needed more explanation at the time, one particular scene in “Ability” made it clear to me that Astrid is fascinated by Walter, and she probably loves him just a wee bit. Don’t we all.
13.) Not at all important, but I’m curious – rewatching the season I’m surprised at how often there’s an Olivia/alcohol reference. Almost as many as Walter’s food references.
1.) Olivia was kidnapped so that Jones could test her for Cortexiphan.
2.) Cortexiphan is a drug designed to prevent the undoing of the unlimited potential displayed in children.
3.) ZFT was written on Walter’s typewriter.
2.) Who defused the bomb? I have my ideas on that, which I might as well stick with for now.
3.) How did Jones escape from the hospital? Again, I have my ideas, some of which are still relevant post-finale.
Best Performer: Anna Torv & Jared Harris
Best Moment: Jones’ “Hello you!” to an out-foxed Olivia. That is up there with his “tick-tock” in episode 1.07. Did I ever say how much I love Jones?
Retrospective Rating: 9/10