If you’ve read me before (thank you!) you know I draw lines on what I watch based on the abundance of torture porn. When it’s sustained and becomes the focus of a show, I’m OUT. Tonight’s 12 Monkeys was brutal across the board, with a John Wick-ish body count, but because I’ve seen the back four episodes that follow it, I can measure this episode against where we go next.
In “Tomorrow,” we find out that Jones truly will stop at nothing to regain her daughter and fetch Cole, who’s trapped in 2017 and trying to get to Cassie at the CDC.
In 2043, sheÂ pep talks her troops into a mission to go get the flux capacitor. Whitley convinces his dad to help them while Ramse tries to get Elena and Sam out. They run headlong into Foster, and he locks them up. Foster soon finds himself face to face with Jones, who gives him one more chance to say yes, telling him she’ll take it if he won’t give it.
He tells her he has created a world there, and that while he’s sorry for their losses, it’s still no. He says he mourns who she would have been. They talk Shakespeare and all they’ve lost and the voices that linger. He tells her they were better times and they were better people. She was the most brilliant womanÂ he’d ever known. She tells him she was something else, too, a mother. And then she shoots him where he sits andÂ says, “Goodbye for now.”
Then she leads a massacre of everyone in their way until she and Whitley–and precious few others–reach their core.
In 2017, people clamor outside the CDC Baltimore compound, including a batsh-t Jennifer who’s rousing troops with “We shall make from 12 what men cannot–an army.” Cole gets inside to Cassie, who summoned him with a press opportunity and a military escortÂ . They embraceÂ warmly, holding each other for a little while,Â and you can see she’s not well.
He asks her what happened in Chechnya. She tells him she thought it was over and that he was erased. She tells him it’s like he said–they can’t stop it–that he doesn’t remember everything because he hasn’t done it yet. And she drops one tantalizing clue that he doesn’t really grasp in the same way I did with, “A lot has happened since then with you and me.”
“Tell me. I need toÂ know everything,” he begs. Before she can say more, she collapses in his arms and he calls for a guard. He tries to wake her and she rouses a little. She calls him James. She asks if he found the red forest and then she realizes he doesn’t know it yet. She says she wants to tell him but she can’t take him off his path.
She puts a piece of paper in his hands, telling him it’s an address that he has to keep on him because it will save his life. She starts to falter and says she doesn’t want to be alone. He tells her she’s not. She says he’ll find the answers he’s looking for, to keep on, and he says he wants to, but she always dies. She looks at him and with, “I’ll see you soon,” she’s gone, dying in his arms. He calls her Cassie and closes her eyes, stroking her face and kissing her forehead as he quietly cries.
Interspersed in there are 2041 flashbacks to how Ramse and Cole ended up with Jones. There are severalÂ scenes of Whitley smacking the sh-t out of Cole until Jones intervenes. She tells him she’s been waiting for him. She plays him the tape, andÂ lays outÂ her plan, and he responds with “So what?”Â She saysÂ fate has chosen him, and shows him the machine and he’s still not feeling it. She explains that their time will cease to exist and be sacrificed for a brighter one, meaning they will disappear as well. She voices all of this over theÂ scenes of the 2043 Spearhead bloodbath and its aftermath until she closes with, “They will never know what we have done.”
She asks him to help her and he tells her to go to hell.
Back in 2043 proper, Jones apologizes to Whitley for the loss of his dad. Elena tells Ramse that Foster had the right cure, that Jones lied, and she makes him really look at what Jones would do, telling him she’s only out for herself. Then we see Jones torching Foster’s paper that showed he did have the right cure.Â Jones standsÂ before her machine and slams her hands on the controlsÂ until it comes online.
Cole sits with Cassie’s body and then he blips out. Cassie’s watch resets and the scratch disappears.
In 2043, Cole comes through and Jones rushes up to him,Â telling himÂ she never thought she’d see him again. He tells her it all happened again and he lost Cassie. She strokes his face.
In 2041, Ramse talks Cole into staying–telling him to take the shot because they need it and they have nothing else. Then he forces his hand by getting them caught. “I’m saving your soul, brother,” he tells him.
In 2043, Cole learns whatÂ Jones did, and Ramse says she murdered half of Spearhead, and they had a cure. He tells her Jones lied and they argue about Cole’s determination to complete the mission and Ramse’s determination to save his son. Cole says he won’t let Ramse hurt Jones. Cole makes the point that he watched everyone–and Cassie–die. Ramse says he’s not going to let Cole erase his son. When Cole says his son is already dead, Ramse punches him.Â Cole wipes the blood from his face and leaves Ramse with, “There is no future. Get it through your head.”
And that sets us up for the final four as Ramse and Cole’s paths diverge, for a while. It’s hard to watch them tear each other down, and this is just the beginning. On the face of it, if I’m going to get really basic and crass here, it looks likeÂ a hos over bros situation happening as each of them choose their women over each other, but the larger story there is that each of those women represents a very different path–for themselves and the world.
Where we go from here becomes a much larger discussion of saving the world, and whether to save it, and fate.
Again, I loved Sukowa and Berkeley together. I hate that he was two and out, but it was an effective two. I love Acevdeo and Stanford as Ramse and Cole. I believe that they’ve been lifelong friends. The dissolution of that bond is awful to watch because they’ve been family since boyhood, through the onset of the plague, and in its aftermath. It’s a huge sacrifice for them to walk away from each other.
On the other hand, I also like how invested we’ve gotten in Cole and Cassie as friends (and the dot-dot-dot that may follow). I’m OK if we don’t see either one of them die for a while. Just saying.Â I also really, really want to know what “A lot has happened with us” means.Â There are some conversations I’d love to see that we’ll have to wait for a second season on. Thankfully we know for a fact that’s happening.
12 Monkeys airs Fridays at 9/8c. You can catch reruns throughout the week and online at syfy.com. I’m chatting with Aaron Stanford on Monday–hit us up with your Qs in the comments.
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