Season 1, Episode 11
Air date January 20, 2009
Written by Jeff Pinkner
J.J. Abrams
Alex Kurtzman
Roberto Orci
Directed by Fred Toye
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"The No-Brainer"
Cast | Transcript

"Bound" is the eleventh episode of the first season of Fringe.


After shifty FBI Agent Mitchell Loeb orchestrated David Robert Jones' otherworldly escape from a German prison and Olivia's alarming abduction, indications of a larger threat begin to emerge. Adding to the intense circumstances, one of Olivia's former adversaries is called in by Internal Affairs to conduct a formal review of the Fringe Division, and Olivia's sister, Rachel Dunham, pays a visit. The timing couldn't be more inopportune, as Olivia Dunham, Walter Bishop and Peter Bishop race against time to solve the wildly grotesque murder of an esteemed epidemiologist - which may link to Olivia's own abduction - before a catastrophic epidemic is unleashed.


In his laboratory, Walter Bishop doses caterpillars with LSD, while Peter Bishop comments on this sort of thing being the new normal. Astrid Farnsworth enters and asks if anyone has heard from Olivia Dunham, as she didn't show up to work.

At a warehouse in an undisclosed location, Olivia is strapped to a gurney being wheeled down a corridor by two men. She demands to know who they are, but the men remain silent. A masked man, apparently the ringleader, ignores Olivia's protests and pulls a mechanical lever on the gurney that abruptly flips Olivia face down.

Back at the Boston FBI Office, Phillip Broyles briefs the agents on Olivia's abduction and announces that Agent Charlie Francis will be his second in command. This has now become a search and rescue operation.

While Olivia hangs face down on the gurney, the restraining straps holding her in place, the masked man gives her a spinal tap and she loses consciousness, but not before she notices her captor's shoes, including a white spot on the right shoe. Moments later, in another room, the man removes his mask and reveals himself to be none other than FBI Agent Mitchell Loeb.

Olivia is now right-side up and conscious again. She pleads for some water, but with the restraints on her head it is difficult for her to drink. Taking pity on her, the guard allows her to sit up -- and in a flash Olivia smashes the glass against the guard's head. She quickly releases the other strap, knocks out the other guard, and looks for an escape.



Back at the FBI, Broyles receives a phone call from an old friend, Sanford Harris. Harris says that he will be conducting a formal review of the Fringe Division. Meanwhile, Olivia makes her way through the warehouse and finds evidence of strange experiments. She grabs some samples in test tubes from a rack and places them in a stainless steel thermos. Once outside, Olivia uses the keyless remote she took from one of her guards to find a car and takes off.

On the road, Olivia calls Broyles. She tells him she has escaped, she is in Watertown (west of Boston) and the location of the warehouse that needs to be raided. Before her rendezvous with the requested agents, she pulls over and buries the thermos in a vacant lot.

When the FBI agents arrive, Olivia is shocked when they pull weapons on her. One of the agents shoots her with a tranquilizer. When she comes to in a hospital room, she finds Sanford Harris sitting in a chair next to her bed. She is handcuffed to the bed. As Harris discusses Olivia's situation, we learn that he is the former Marine officer Olivia helped prosecute for sexual harassment. Homeland Security has assigned him to review Fringe Division. He cites Olivia's history of questionable judgment, including her romantic involvement with John Scott and her recruitment of known criminal Peter Bishop and the insane Walter Bishop. Harris forbids Olivia to investigate her own abduction and tosses a handcuff key to her prior to leaving the room.

At the Boston FBI office, Charlie reassures Olivia that he had nothing to do with the way she was picked up and tells her they raided the warehouse and found nothing. The car and the cell phone she took are also clean, meaning they have no leads. As Charlie leaves, he also tells her that her sister Rachel is downstairs waiting for her. Displeasure registers on Olivia's face, but she greets Rachel Dunham and her daughter, Ella Blake, cheerfully. Olivia has to rush off, but confirms to Rachel that she and Ella may stay at her home.

Olivia, Peter, and Walter go to the vacant lot where Olivia hid the thermos. Walter sets up a laboratory in the back of Olivia's vehicle and uses a microscope to examine one of the specimens Olivia had secreted. He identifies the specimen, but does not elaborate.


Super Slug

In a lecture hall at Boston College; a biology professor gives a lecture about viruses, bacteria, protozoa, and fungi -- the "four musketeers" of the pathogenic world. In mid-sentence, he suddenly begins to choke and falls over. His teaching assistant yells for someone to call 911, but there is no immediate indication that anyone complies. The professor dies. The teaching assistant Tara Coleman, who tried to give him artificial respiration, watches in horror as the professor's throat becomes enlarged and what looks like a massive slug crawls out of his open mouth. As the slimy creature slithers across the floor, students flee the hall in mass panic.

Later, the lecture hall has been sealed off by the FBI as the team investigates the scene. The dead professor is identified as Dr. Miles Kinberg, a renowned immunologist. As Peter calibrates a thermal imaging device to try and track the slug, Walter examines the dead professor. Peter locates the slug, which Walter ultimately traps under an empty trashcan.


Worries About Olivia

Back in the lab, Walter takes a tissue sample from the slug and confirms that it is connected to the material that Olivia stole from her kidnappers' warehouse. Meanwhile, Broyles defends Olivia to Harris, but it is clear that Harris is now in charge and remains unconvinced that Olivia is the exemplary agent Broyles claims she is.

Olivia questions the professor's teaching assistant, Tara. Her guarded answers give Olivia a hunch, and she deduces that Tara was having an affair with Kinberg. Tara reveals that Kinberg was going to take a job at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to coordinate national response to biological threats.

Olivia briefs Broyles on Kinberg's top-secret assignment. Another scientist, Dr. Russell Simon of Cambridge, was slated to co-chair the committee with Kinberg. Olivia believes that Russell may also be a target and that the people who kidnapped her are behind the latest attack, her thinking being "Why kill an epidemiologist unless you want to start an epidemic?"

On her way out of the office, Olivia talks to Mitchell Loeb, who says that he will be heading up the investigation into her abduction. As of right then, Olivia has no idea that Loeb is a double-agent.

Afterward, Olivia and Charlie pick up Dr. Simon. However, Harris comes in and interrupts them in the middle of Charlie questioning Dr. Simon. He is upset that he was not informed about Olivia's decision to place Simon in protective custody. Olivia appeals to Harris to set aside his feelings about her and do the right thing, and he grudgingly assents.

Peter calls; Walter discovered how the slug-like creature works. The powder that Olivia stole from the warehouse is like eggs, which are activated by water and stomach acid. Meanwhile, Loeb pours yellow powder into a glass of water, and then delivers the water to Dr. Simon. Simon thanks him and takes a long drink. When Charlie returns to the room, he finds Simon beginning to convulse. Another slug emerges from his mouth, and Charlie pulls his gun and shoots it before it can escape, but Simon is already dead.


Young Visitor Solves Case

In the lab, Walter has made another breakthrough. The slug is in fact a single gigantic specimen of the cold virus. Someone is killing epidemiologists with the common cold.

At Olivia's apartment, Olivia and her sister catch up over a glass of wine. Rachel and her husband have recently separated, so Olivia tells her that she and Ella can stay as long as they want.

The next day in the FBI office, Loeb tries to cheer Olivia up by playing with the magic eight-ball that Ella gave her. He accidentally drops it, and as Olivia retrieves it, she spots a white spot on Loeb's black loafers -- and flashes back to when she was captive and saw the masked man's shoes, realizing they are the same and that Loeb was the kidnapper. She tells Charlie her suspicions, but she needs Charlie to tap Loeb's phone because Harris is watching her every move.

Meanwhile, Olivia stops by Loeb's house. But just as she is about to pick the front door's lock, Loeb's wife Samantha Loeb arrives.

Charlie goes to Peter and asks him for a favor that would be illegal for an FBI agent to do without a warrant, a wire tap on Mitchell Loeb.

Olivia pretends she was just checking in on Samantha to see how she is doing - after the events that hospitalized her husband with a heart parasite. When Olivia excuses herself to use the bathroom, Samantha calls her husband. Loeb tells her that she needs to kill Olivia.


Drawing a Confesion.

Olivia picks the lock of a desk in Loeb's study and finds evidence of the supersized cold bug. Just as Loeb tells Samantha where the gun is hidden, Peter's phone tap kicks in. He calls Olivia and tells her she's in danger.

Samantha and Olivia play a game of cat and mouse, until finally Olivia gets the drop on her. Samantha knocks Olivia's gun away, leading to a brutal fight that leads to Olivia shooting Samantha in the head.

Broyles and the team try and figure out how to track down Loeb, who has disappeared. Peter realizes that Loeb doesn't know his wife is dead, so they use her cell to text Loeb a rendezvous location. Loeb arrives and Olivia arrests him. When Loeb gives her an evil smirk, Olivia punches him in the face -- a small bit of retribution for her kidnapping.


Olivia and Ella Taking a Nap.

In interrogation, Olivia asks who Loeb is working for. Loeb is giving up nothing, just asking to see his wife. So Olivia pulls out the crime scene photos of Samantha dead. At last Loeb loses his cool, admitting to killing Kinberg. And then he starts raving about a plan that Olivia has ruined, that there is conflict with two sides in a war, that they were going to let Olivia go, that they were saving her, and that she has no idea what she is up against or what she has done.

After getting the confession, Olivia still tries to make sense of what Loeb was talking about. Peter surmises that Loeb was just playing head games, trying to confuse her. Olivia's not so sure. Back at home, Olivia falls asleep reading a book to Ella as Rachel turns out the light and tucks them in.


Allston; Boston College; Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; Federal Building; Flight 627; Harvard Laboratory; Iraq; Little Hill Field; Lysergic acid diethylamide; Mutated cold virus; Westford

Notable Quotes[]

Peter: (to Olivia) You're talking about a man who infects people with giant viruses. If you hadn't escaped, who knows what they would have done to you. Listen to me, you just told him that you killed his wife. He said that to you to try to get a reaction out of you. To get to you. Let it go. You got his confession. Go home.
Walter: I was worried too. When you were taken.
Olivia: Thank you, Walter.
Walter: (looking at Peter) Not as much as him, of course.

Walter: (as he examines the overgrown cold virus) Spirited, isn't it?
Peter: Well, have you considered, oh, I don't know, killing it?
Walter: We can always kill it, son. We can't always bring it back.
Astrid: You... probably could.
Walter: That is... true.

Peter: Walter, what are you doing?
Walter: I'm dosing a caterpillar.
Peter: Dosing? As in LSD?
Walter: It's a special blend.
Peter: I see. Hey, guess what just happened? Finding out that my father gives drugs to bugs, somehow just became a typical moment in my life.
Walter: Wonderful, isn't it?

Peter: Is that LSD?
Walter: LSD? Why would I...? It's a decongestant. She is a giant cold virus, after all.
Peter: Right.

Charlie: Olivia may have a lead on who abducted her. Only she can't pursue it without some help. I can't help her.
Peter: Why not?
Charlie: Suffice it to say, that sometimes the problem with being in law-enforcement is that you got to obey the law yourself.
Peter: And you think I'm the guy to break the law for you.
Charlie: I'm sorry, I didn't...
Peter: No, look, you're right. I am the guy to break the law for you.

Peter: They supersized the common cold, which as it turns out, is disgusting.
Olivia: Obviously somebody's playing with us.
Peter: Yeah, they're showing off. Killing epidemiologists with the common cold.

Walter: Do you know what I could go for?
Astrid: Don't say food.
Walter: A cheese steak.
Astrid: Uggh. How can he even think about eating?
Peter: I know, it's disgusting, right? And yet…
Astrid: Ha. You want one too?
Peter: Extra provolone, please.
Astrid: Like father, like son.
Peter: Oh, come on, don't say that.

Rachel: Hard day?
Olivia: I honestly wouldn't know what to tell you. And if I did, it would be a felony.
Rachel: You have a crazy job.


  • The Observer can be seen at Harvard walking across the screen as Olivia emerges from her car.
  • In the final scene, Olivia is asleep with her niece and a book called "What's that Noise", which is the name of the file the boy opens on his computer in the next episode (S1E12 No Brainer)


  • The slug used to kill the professors was an enlarged virus. Viruses are not considered organisms, in part because they do not use energy and cannot move on their own. Despite this, the viral slug moved very fast on its own, an impossibility for something that does not use energy. (But perhaps since this is fringe science, we could have "fringe viruses" here.)
  • The campus shown before Olivia Dunham talks to Tara Coleman is Boston University, not Boston College
  • When Agent Dunham visits the Loeb residence, she looks through a window into a room. The venetian blinds on the window are fully down but open. In the reverse angle shot from inside the room, the venetian blinds are half-raised.


  • "Just Like Heaven" (Cure cover) by The Watson Twins