“Where does the gentleman live?”
– David Robert Jones

Mr. Jones is an asshole. He’s the kind of slimy, hammy villain that viewers just love to hate. He’s arrogant, he’s manipulative, and he’s absolutely repulsive. He’s also extremely fascinating.

The funny thing is, we don’t even meet Mr. Jones until the final few minutes of the episode that bears his name. We start off with FBI agent Mitchell Loeb becoming infected by a parasite that envelops his heart. It turns out that Loeb had conducted a mission in Germany and had had contact with Jones at that time. So, Olivia jets off to Germany to see if she can convince Jones to divulge the cure, while Peter, Astrid, and Walter stay behind to try to save Loeb’s life.

As if to build suspense, Olivia can’t have access to Mr. Jones initially. While Loeb’s life hangs in the balance, she must wait another day to meet Jones, and she’ll only get to see him for fourteen minutes. Yikes. This guy must be something special. And there’s someone whom he wants to talk to in exchange for telling Olivia the cure.

Meanwhile, the FBI suspects that there’s a mole on the loose ruining their operations. Charlie finds a clue that leads them to a man named Joseph Smith. Coincidentally, he’s the very man that Mr. Jones wants to talk to. Too bad the FBI shot him. Uh oh.

So in order to get Mr. Jones to reveal how to make the cure, the FBI must make him believe that Smith is still alive, which is kind of hard to do when Jones wants to ask the guy a specific question. Luckily, with some clever fringe science, Walter can have Peter read Smith’s thoughts. Needless to say, the process is painful and dangerous. And there’s every chance that it won’t succeed.

In the final few minutes, we finally come to what this episode was building up towards: the first encounter with Mr. Jones. From the moment Olivia enters the interview room, it’s clear who has the upper hand. It doesn’t matter that  Jones’ hands are bound; he’s in control. At first, he tries to plant seeds of doubt in Olivia’s brain, presenting a sort of conspiracy theory in which she’s being manipulated by the bureau. Then, he tries to get her to distrust her own team. But Olivia isn’t easily swayed. She stands her ground, and when Walter’s mind-reading procedure finally works at the last second, she gets the cure from Jones.

Thus, everything is back to normal, or at least as close to normal as things can get on Fringe. But there’s something else, something more sinister at work than an arrogant German prisoner’s crazy conspiracy theories. It turns out that the FBI was right about there being a mole. But they have no clue that it’s none other than Mitchell Loeb.

And that raises so many questions. Was Loeb working for or against Jones? What was their relationship to Smith? What does it mean that the gentleman lives at “Little Hill?” The answers to those questions are yet to come, and our favourite asshole of a villain will be there when they do.

Now, just because I can, even though it has nothing to do with this episode aside from its title:

Happy listening! And happy Fringing! (Shut up. That’s totally a word.)

For more information on the Fringe rewatch project, please click here.

 

I’m going to be away for the next week or so, so I don’t know how often I’ll be able to post in the coming days. I’ll resume the rewatch as soon as I can.

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