Olivia Dunham
Photo Credit: Everett Collection

Olivia Dunham

Fringe

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rating 9.8/10 (11 users)
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About Her

Grew Up… with an abusive stepfather. At merely 9 years old, she shot him to defend her mother and herself. When he recovered and disappeared, Olivia became determined to spend her life bringing criminals to justice. To that end, she attended Northwestern University and obtained her undergraduate degree in Psychology and Criminology. Olivia served as a United States Marine Corps special investigator before joining the FBI.

Living… alone in Boston, Massachusetts. Olivia’s younger sister and niece, Rachel and Ella respectively, move in temporarily after Rachel and her husband enter a rough patch in their marriage.

Profession... an FBI Special Agent working with a Homeland Security task force called the Fringe Division. After her partner (and lover), John Scott, was exposed to a mysterious flesh-disintegrating bacteria, Olivia was thrown into the world of pseudoscience – with cases involving unexplained phenomena such as teleportation and mind control. Along with Dr. Walter Bishop and his son, Peter, Olivia has been charged with investigating “The Pattern” – a string of fringe events (intentional crimes?) that have left the government befuddled and worried.

Interests... justice, her family, and her job. Olivia is wholly dedicated to work, particularly after John’s death. While her dedication impresses her boss, little time is left for anything else. 

Relationship Status... firmly single, now. She had been secretly dating her partner, fellow FBI agent John Scott. Right before he was killed, they admitted that they loved each other. Olivia later found an engagement ring engraved with “Always” – sadly, it appears that he was ready to propose. John’s loyalty to the FBI comes into question after his death when evidence surfaces that John knew about The Pattern and might have been involved somehow. Olivia is devastated by his death and is wary of dating.

Challenge... determining The Pattern’s origin and keeping Walter Bishop on track. Early on, Peter tells her, “You wanted my father and now have my father, which falls into the category of be careful what you wish for, sweetheart.” After the initial case with Walter, their small team begins dealing with unimaginable and deadly cases. Olivia is constantly faced with situations that seem to test the realm of reality. She tells her boss, "I've been trained for a lot – hostage crises, terror campaigns, suicide bombers, chemicals attacks. But you know the things I have seen since I started working for you... If I'm gonna do this job, I need to know what it is I'm dealing with."

Personality... determined, focused, brilliant, loner, workaholic, reserved, and has a strong moral compass. Olivia does not let many people in, and is slow to open up about her past. Eventually she lets Peter and his father into her heart – even putting Peter on speed dial along with her sister and Mr. Iyer from the Indian take-out place.  

Olivia Dunham's popularity ranking on CharacTour is #1290 out of 5,300+ characters. See our top-ranked characters and read their profiles.


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