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In preparation for watching Jason Bourne, I'm binge re-watching all the Bourne films since it's been many years since I've seen the earlier ones in particular.

Something just struck me in doing so. On the off chance it might be a spoiler to someone, I'm hiding it here:

Bourne Supremacy ends with the scene of Bourne observing Landy and telling her she "looks tired". Then this exact scene plays out roughly 75% through Bourne Ultimatum.

This seems to make it quite clear that the first 3/4 of Ultimatum, actually overlap with the events of Supremacy. But I'm having a hard time wrapping my head around how that's possible since in Ultimatum we see Bourne go through all kinds of stuff that we didn't see him go through in Supremacy.

So what gives with the overlap?

  • I appreciate your question (I just re-watched the trilogy like you, and the same detail puzzled me), and the fact that you took care of hiding the potential spoiler, which ironically was revealed to me in plain sight as a "Featured Snippet" in the Google search that brought me here. – cjauvin Jan 18 at 2:45
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As I understand it, there isn't much overlap at all. That scene is effectively a "flash forward", a teaser to the events of the sequel, shown well out of chronological order. If you remove that final scene, then the movies take place in sequence, one almost immediately after the other.

At the end of Bourne Supremacy, Jason escapes from the assassin the CIA sent after him (Kirill) and goes to find the daughter of one of his victims, who lives in Moscow. When Bourne Ultimatum starts, Bourne is still in Moscow, still wounded and running from the police.

There is then a roughly 6-week jump to the point where Landy divulges the contents of the tape, and the journalist writes his story about Treadstone. By this point, Bourne has mostly healed, and has traveled to Paris to tell Marie's brother about her death. He then goes to London to meet the journalist. As far as we know, he never returns to the United States until after he hooks up with Nicki in Madrid.

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    Yeah this is what had me so confused, I thought Ultimatum picked up right on the heels of Supremacy, but then that final scene replays so near the end of Ultimatum. I guess the first 3/4 of Supremacy must be the section of time immediately after he leaves Moscow, until that scene observing Landy. Yeah that's making more sense now that I replay it in my mind, thanks for pointing this out! – Jonathan van Clute Sep 12 '16 at 0:44

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