Jared Harris, who plays the mysterious Mr. Jones on Fox's sci-fi series Fringe, told SCI FI Wire that (spoilers ahead!) Jones might die or go back to prison in the episode airing next Tuesday.
It will be Harris' third appearance as Jones; in his last episode, "Safe," he teleported himself out of a maximum-security prison in Germany for some unknown purpose.
"I love it that he's out [of prison], but he might be going right back in there in this one," Harris said in an exclusive phone interview Thursday. "He might be going into the ground as well, into a pine box."
Fans have wondered just who Jones is. Is he really William Bell, Walter Bishop's former partner, who co-founded Massive Dynamic? "I think that there are answers to that question in this episode," Harris said cryptically.
Tuesday's episode, "Ability," begins with German authorities questioning FBI agent Olivia Dunham (Anna Torv) about her relationship with Jones. Meanwhile, Peter (Joshua Jackson) and Walter Bishop (John Noble) investigate strange cases of suffocation in which the victims' orifices seal up on their own.
Fringe airs Tuesdays at 9 p.m. ET/PT on Fox. Following is an edited version of our interview with Harris.
Where does this episode pick up with Mr. Jones?
Harris: Well, the last thing he said was he had to get into a hyperbaric chamber, isn't it? So it picks up right from there. Apparently there is a necessity to get yourself into a hyperbaric chamber as quickly as possible when one experiences Star Trek teleportation. There seems to be some kind of necessity to sort of stabilize the molecules or something.
So he's been there for the last few weeks?
Harris: Yes. I have to say he's in pretty bad shape, Jones. He's in pretty bad shape.
Didn't the hyperbaric chamber fix everything?
Harris: It didn't f--king work, man. He's in bad shape.
What does he want to do when he wakes up?
Harris: Well, you know it's not good. It's sort of developing the connection with Olivia. It seems to be quite specific about what that connection is, that there's something to do with Olivia that he's trying to get at.
It's nothing to do with me, but there's an idea that's dropped into the middle of this episode that, when I saw it, I was surprised and absolutely thrilled by it from a science fiction level, because I love science fiction. It kind of opens the door on what all this is about and where it's going. It opens the doors on what's tying all this thing together.
How does Olivia react to Jones out of prison?
Harris: I think she just looks at him as someone who's got answers, which she's trying to get. I don't think it's any more than that. For some reason, there seems to be something that he wants to get out of Olivia, or he's trying to develop in her. So there seems to be, there's a connection. I've not used the word relationship deliberately, because a relationship implies something else. I think there's a connection there. I don't know what it is, because they haven't told me. Whatever his goal is, it involves using Olivia in some way. Whatever it is that he's after, it involves her somehow.
Who do you get to work with in this episode?
Harris: Ah, ha. Well, I've met all of them.
What sets have you worked on?
Harris: Ha ha ha! They're all in the same place, so I've been on all the sets. I've had a good wander around. You're trying to find out what's going to be happening in the new episode. I see exactly where you're going.
How many more have you shot for this season?
Harris: I haven't shot any more. It's just this one. I haven't heard about whether or not. It's sort of left open. That could be the end of Jones.
Or he could become a regular cast member next year.
Harris: That would never happen. Join the regular cast? Could you imagine? You'd have to keep him chained like a dog. You couldn't let him loose. You certainly couldn't let him use his hands. You know what the f--k he'd do.
Did you know that Anna Torv and Mark Valley were an item before their secret marriage was discovered?
Harris: I didn't know that, but I met them walking back from the cafeteria. I was introduced to him as her husband. There's so much of this business you necessarily have to put out there in front of the public, but any little stuff like that that you can keep as a private moment between yourselves, you should. I totally understand they wanted to preserve that between the two of them and enjoy it, before it gets opened up into something else.