The "Next" Jason Bourne Movie II
Bill Long 1/7/08
Further Scenes on the "Bourne Obscurity"
Scene 3 begins with an aerial scene of one of the most beautiful places in the States: not Yellowstone but...Eastern New Jersey. Billowing smokestacks and spewing pipes will be backgrounded by the music of Diana Krall. Then, we will be brought into the offices of Dr. Pamela Landy. After turning in her bosses at the CIA and being exonerated from prosecution for the secret Blackbriar and Treadstone projects, she has decided to become a psychologist. After all, she discovered that she was good at encouraging Bourne to contact her to discover his "true identity"; maybe, she thought, helping others discover their "true self" was her calling for the "second half of life." But time was of the essence, and so she proceeded to get a mail-order Ph. D. in counseling from an online degree mill, and she set up an office in Weekawken, NJ, just down the road from where Aaron Burr killed Alexander Hamilton in their July 1804 duel. Trying to play on the Burr/Hamilton theme, she opened up her practice--one specializing in helping people deal with "dueling" identities.
Even though no formal charges were brought against her for her Blackbriar participation, there was some grumbling among the Senators about why it took her so long to "fess up" to the shenanigans in her office. Thus, even though they permitted her to return to her private life, they put her on a "short leash," and decided that one way of her doing penance was to have to counsel Noah Vosen, one of the lead characters in Ultimatum. She and Vosen had a quick falling out in that movie, as Vosen's "scorched earth" approach to catching Bourne was quite different from her "Come, let us reason together..." approach. Vosen, in my judgment, was cast wonderfully in Ultimatum. He had just come off a stellar performance as the moral and courageous Edwin R. Murrow of the 1950s in Good Night and Good Luck; in Ultimatum he is portrayed as an amoral, power-hungry, arrogant, self-absorbed, vindictive director who would put all the resources of the government to destroy a person if that is what he wanted to do.
But after his fall from grace, he will, in my movie, be committed to prison for a long time. We will see snatches of his trial, where he looks increasingly pained and lost as the case against him builds. Finally, when a jury finds him guilty of multiple charges, he can't take it any longer. He collapses in shame and humiliation, and is carted off to prison.
Pamela Landy is forced to counsel Noah. She has experienced pronounced success in her fledgling business, and even though it is distasteful to her to have to re-connect with her former colleague, she said she would do so. This scene, then, will focus on several counseling sessions between Landy and Vosen. She will discover him at first to be a man who can only mumble Bourne's name and then sink back into his catatonia. But gradually, through the heroic effort of her new philosophy of counseling known as "identity recovery," she is able to bring Noah back to his senses. He is surprisingly amenable to what she has to say. At first Pam thinks he is joking, perhaps trying to suck her into a scheme he is hatching to make her life miserable. But she plays along with him, and soon concludes that Noah has had the equivalent of a conversion experience. True to his name, the waves had just about capsized the small ark of his existence, but he was going to pull through. The last part of the scene with Vosen shows them holding hands and singing "Kum-Ba-Yah."
Fourth Scene--and Grand Finale. Now that we have seen miracle-worker Pam Landy at work, we are ready for the culminatory scene. Pam receives a text message from Nikki Parsons that Jason Bourne has had some further "episodes," that she is concerned about his continued well-being and that it might be good if they visit her in New Jersey to pursue some intensive counseling. At first Landy is disconcerted by the invitation, since she knows that it will be hard for her to be "objective" in this situation, since she has so much history with both Nikki and Jason. She also doesn't know if they are a "couple" or how she is to relate to them together. Casting these concerns aside, she invites them to New Jersey.
The last scene of the movie is where Jason and Pam shake hands as their session begins. We think we see in their glances more than the friendly recognition of two people who have shared a common path and have come to a greater maturity about it. We know that the story is just beginning....
That, friends, is the end of the Bourne "obscurity." How would you do the next (and final?) movie?