After watching The Bourne Ultimatum so many times, I noticed something I didn't really pick up on before. Throughout the entire movie Bourne attempts to keep quiet about what he's doing, trying to be as discreet as possible, when trying to save Simon at Waterloo, or saving Nicki from the assassin, he tries to not let his position be known. And yet, even after revealing to Pamela Landy that he is watching her, they still don't know where he is.

However, when he opens Vosen's safe and talks to him, he gives away his position by countering Noah's assertion that he is in his office by saying "If you were in your office we'd be having this conversation face to face.".

This is the part that confuses me the most. If he wanted to have the most time to analyze the data and escape, why would he deliberately choose to reveal his position to Vosen, therby alerting everybody else? And furthermore, when Vosen asks his underling to check the safe, it's clear Bourne leaves the safe completely open.

3 Answers 3


I just finished watching the first three Bourne films (in preparing for the new one). They provide you with enough material to piece together every sequence of events and their underlying motives, I found, except in this case.

I never found an explicit explanation for why he gave up his location. However, prior to breaking into Vosen's office Bourne saw that Vosen had Blackbriar files stored in his safe when scouting Pamela Landy from the adjacent rooftop. Considering how Bourne openly states that he is searching for the truth about his past - for seemingly emotion-laden reasons - it might be possible to see his reveal as a sort of outburst when confronting someone he perceives to be involved with Blackbriar. Note however that he still hadn't gotten access to the safe, and so couldn't know for sure Vosen was implicit.

That is the only in-universe explanation I have been able to come up with, but a more probable one might be that the director/producers wanted some extra action in the movie leading up to the ending, which is also what made possible one of the last scenes on the rooftop, when it at first is unclear whether or not Bourne survived the fall into the river, which was very much in keeping with the thriller theme. Without a pursuit leading up to Bourne gaining access to the training facility, the last 20 minutes might have just been a mellow tune-out.

  • 5
    "It's not a mistake. They don't make mistakes. They don't do random. There's always an objective. Always a target." Sep 14, 2016 at 23:53
  • 1
    as a sort of outburst i always saw it as more of a flex. He's showing them that he is cleverer than them, he's saying i can walk right in to your safest spaces, I can get to you anywhere. Do not underestimate me. It mirrors the she's standing right next to you and you look tired moments. Feb 19 at 8:40

I think it was to pull the team away from Landy so she could proceed to 41571 without hassle. You'd assume he's already worked out that code and anticipates she would go there. And they want him don't they? Not her. The bit that confuses me is why Vosen chooses to go into the field rather than conduct the operation from his office.

  • I like the idea, but Bourne was surprised to see her at 415, so presumably that wasn't part of his plan? Nov 13, 2020 at 17:17

My theory, after just watching it again, is that Bourne knew Vosen was watching Landy so he wanted Vosen to know that it was at that exact time that he was breaking into the safe and taking the files. This meant there was no way Vosen could accuse Landy of somehow being involved - she couldn't possibly be, because he was watching her in Tudor City the whole time. Bourne did it to protect Landy.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .