Fringe: Season 1, Episode 14

Ability (10 Feb. 2009)

TV Episode  |  TV-14  |   |  Drama, Mystery, Sci-Fi
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The team investigates a number of people who died faceless after their orifices are sealed while German agents investigating David Robert Jones' escape question Olivia.



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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
FBI Agent
Philip LeStrange ...
ND Agent #1
Paramedic #1


The team investigates a number of people who died faceless after their orifices are sealed while German agents investigating David Robert Jones' escape question Olivia.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


TV-14 | See all certifications »

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Release Date:

10 February 2009 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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Did You Know?


Referring to the de-materialization/re-materialization technique that Jones used to escape from a German prison to a Boston warehouse, Olivia says, "the man was clever enough to Star Trek himself out of a maximum security German prison." This is a reference to the fictional "transporter" technology, the concept of which was introduced on the TV series Star Trek (1966). Fringe creators J.J. Abrams, Roberto Orci, and Alex Kurtzman also made the movie Star Trek (2009). See more »


Besides the fact that the German guards speak the language extremely poor, some words and/or articulations are not commonly used in German language and sound extremely cliché (i.e. the translation of 'Sir' to 'Mein Herr'). See more »


References Star Trek (1966) See more »


End Title Theme (Composed by Michael Giacchino)
Written by Michael Giacchino
See more »

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User Reviews

The Author of ZFT
3 May 2012 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

We always assumed the guy who wrote ZFT was a pimply, gangly crazy terrorist with nasty habits-Well, the category "crazy" fits, but not the rest of it

The sad thing here is that a cool old-guy selling papers and rags, who was a real Movie buff (He knew about "Charade" with Cary Grant and Audrey Hepburn)-Gets killed horribly when every orifice on his body gets overgrown with excess skin after he accepts a 2-dollar bill from a faceless customer. One moment this guy is pretending to be Robert Osborn from TCM, the next, Horror and Murder! Also, Homage: When the skin grows over the guys face, he looks alarmingly like some X-Files "Rebel Aliens" who had deliberately sewn up all of their orifices to keep from getting infected by the "Black Oil" - One of the forms of Aliens from The X-Files, if the stuff got into your eye, mouth or nose

  • Then it takes over your body and exposes everyone around you to

massive radiation.

Here, we need to remember the stuff that causes this excess skin growth is on a 2-Dollar Bill, which is just to show how easily and how fast it can spread to the general population.

After Jones "Trekked" himself out of German Prison, he vanished. Until Now. He just walks right in to the FBI Building - And Immediately asks for Dunham. It is a "no-brainer" that Jones is responsible for this Skin-Growth toxin/hormone, so the FBI should not waste time, eh?

But of course, Sanford Harris plays his game of domination, which utterly fails almost immediately and causes several hours to be wasted
  • And one more FBI Agent killed because Harris refused to just let

Jones talk to Olivia. A Team is sent to investigate the warehouse where Jones spent time decompressing after being transported - And they find more drawings of Olivia made by Jones.

There had been talk of a substance called "Cortexiphan" in previous episodes, made by Massive Dynamic-Used by Walter and William Bell in "The Cortexiphan Trials" - And Olivia had never lived in any of the cities where they had the trials, so she thinks it a given that she's never had the drug.

But once Harris steps out of the way and lets Olivia do her Job, she talks to Jones, and he asks her to pass a "test" after which he will tell Fringe Division how to disarm a Bomb he has set up which will shower the Skin Growth Hormone all over a City.

When Jones starts getting sick, Harris allows Walter to bring him to the Lab so Walter can treat him. It is there where Jones sets up his "test" - He wants Olivia to shut off some lights in an array using her mind! Peter gimmicks the test box, so that it appears Olivia had passed the test, But Jones knew he had been Faked Out, because when Fringe Div gets to the Bomb Site, the Bomb can ONLY be disarmed by Olivia, shutting off the lights with her mind!

Which she tries, and succeeds. When she asks Jones about this, he recites a quotation from ZFT that says something to the effect that the "Recruits" will be unwilling to participate - Just like Olivia.

Jones Treks himself away again, but in the Aftermath, Nina Sharp calls Olivia and tells her that indeed, there were Cortexiphan Trials at the Military Base in Jacksonville, Florida - Where she lived as a Child.

But the real kick in the pants happens when Walter, reading the ZFT Manuscript, notices that the word "AbilitY" has the letter "Y" off from the rest - Just like the Typewriter that used to belong to William Bell. And this makes a direct connection from Jones straight to Walter.

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