It's as if he was preparing to have amnesia. Also, how did the 'surgeon' manage to find it?

  • 2
    A great deal of the questions here can be answered with a simple "it's a plot device"
    – puk
    Jan 2, 2012 at 1:37
  • Am not sure what you are implying, but I suppose a plot device should still make sense to the viewer.
    – tshepang
    Jan 3, 2012 at 17:24
  • 1
    not necessarily. In Terminator Salvation the Terminators kept throwing their enemies around instead of crushing their skulls. This is a plot device to show 'cool' wrestling scenes. But that doesn't stop people from speculating that the terminators had a beta firmware, and they lacked the capacity to insta kill =P
    – puk
    Jan 5, 2012 at 8:41
  • 3
    Or the Polar Bears in LOST. You know Carlton Cuse and Lindelof got high in a basement one night and Cuse is like "hey Lindelof, you know what would be really cool? Bears". Lindelof: "totally man, and we'll just come up with some paper thin excuse about how they are for, like, experiments and stuff.".
    – puk
    Jan 5, 2012 at 8:45

2 Answers 2


In his line of work it's a lot more likely that he was planning on dying rather than having amnesia someday. The implant was probably intended for his employer's benefit, not his own.

The 'surgeon' found the device when he pressed on the scar and noticed that there was something under the skin. It was a small device, but it would have to be big enough to feel if it contained a working laser and battery. Remember, Bourne had two bullet holes in him at the time, so it stands to reason that he'd get a thorough examination.

  • I don't see how having two bullets would warrant a thorough examination. Can you expand a bit on that. What would the 'surgeon' be looking for?
    – tshepang
    Dec 30, 2011 at 22:33
  • 5
    @Tshepang If you find someone alive with two bullets in their back, wouldn't you look them over for other wounds? Dec 30, 2011 at 22:35
  • Yeah, that makes sense.
    – tshepang
    Dec 30, 2011 at 22:39
  • I think you might be on to something. You would think that it would be bad tradecraft to have that on his body to find, or that the employer should keep that bank information for Bourne elsewhere (like a computer). But, maybe that is something of a dog-tag for the Treadstone agents. The bank info is pretty much useless to anyone but Bourne or his handlers in Treadstone given the bank security and constant surveillance on his account.
    – user1964
    Sep 19, 2012 at 15:12
  • Why would his employer need the information in the implant if the information is provided by the employer in the first place? It doesn't make sense. Isn't it just common sense that the employer was aware of the amnesia problem and tried to solve it with the implant? Jan 12, 2021 at 17:19

I personally think the implant of the laser was to reveal Bourns own identity to himself if any accident happens.

It was likely from the beginning that Bourne may get amnesia due to the drug effect. So if anything of that happens, he can get back his identity easily(Like the movie went on). Maybe they thought, it will create pain in the implanted area and he would eventually find it. But I guess, his employer did not think that after committing to the plan, he would turn against them.

The doctor found the laser because he wanted to examine an severely wounded body thoroughly. So he found the scar, felt something inside it and made it out.

  • I don't understand how this answer has not been accepted. It's evident that the agents suffer from amnesia and terrible headaches. If they lose memory they need access to their bank accounts to get money, documents, and weapon. Jan 12, 2021 at 17:24
  • This is good, but why locate it in the one region he can't reach himself? In every other way, Bourne's been highly trained to be very independent.
    – donjuedo
    Mar 1, 2022 at 20:37

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