One of the things that’s hard about PR/marketing is gauging the timing of the reveal. I do that in my day job, so I totally get it, but when it comes to fandom, I sort of wish there was a way to table reveals while still building interest. Case in point, Cole and Cassie aren’t in the same frame in the season premiere until the last three minutes of the episode, and it’s not at all the reunion you expect (or want, if you’re me), but it’s been the lead image all over the place. Instead, the reunion we do get for most of the hour, is the bromance of Cole and Ramse, which is sweet, but still…
As we begin, they’ve buried the hatched (mostly). They’re underground, literally, and on the run (ditto) from Olivia (Alisen Down) and her crew (led by Orphan Black‘s David Richmond-Peck, Down’s real-life husband) until it all goes to hell on a bridge in Budapest and the boys leap into the drink. They realize Ramse has a tracker so they work on getting that removed (Nikita, anyone?), and then agree to go their separate ways.
Except before Ramse is double crossed by the former (not so much) Army of the 12 doc, Ben, he gets a download from him that the virus is being released in New York on Chinese New Year. Ben then plans to hand over Ramse but Cole kills him. Ramse almost sits on the info, until Cole comes to tell him a heartfelt goodbye and that he’s sorry about his son.
Softened up, Ramse decides to tell him the truth and go with him to stop it, because he doesn’t want Cole to die on his watch (and he loves him). So, they head Stateside. Meanwhile, a severely dissociative Jennifer has been appointed the one to release the virus and she inadvertently sets off a news item that 2044 can track when she wanders into a speed dating event and unloads her story of the apocalypse on one of the participants.
Cole finds her in Chinatown as the New Year’s festivities are in full swing and she sees him and runs. He’s just about talked her down from releasing the virus into the crowd when Olivia’s henchman comes calling to ensure she does as she’s been told. Cole levels a gun at him and then the guy’s dropped from behind. Hey there, Cassie.
On Cassie’s side of the time divide, we’ve learned that she spent eight months locked in the lab with Jones when she sabotaged her machine to take out the Cerulean Blue Boys and Girls Club. During that time, she’s fallen under the tutelage of Deacon–because she sees that he’s ill and offers to treat him if he helps Kat–which is quite the conundrum when he also trained Cole and Ramse. Where they evolved past his vigilante tendencies, she’s still drinking that Kool-Aid.
That opens the door to a fairly serious estrangement in other potential romance not involving bros. After waiting most of the hour (if you’re like me), she and Cole are finally reunited in the same timeline, only with their guns trained on each other. Quite the opposite of what I, an admitted romantic, was hoping for, especially after that epic goodbye where Cassie was pretty sure she was going to die, and Cole was sure she wouldn’t. I expected, at the very least, some sort of warm physical response to each other, but instead it’s a moment of shock followed by immediate defensiveness.
Cassie’s on a mission that Cole’s not part of. He’s been reduced to collateral damage (if she kills him) as he literally stands between her and her goal–to kill Jennifer. She tells him he needs to move, and instead, he steps in front of Jennifer, choosing to protect her. Cassie, while still bonded enough to him to not shoot the hostage, is still pretty damn determined that he move out of the way. And we end with each demanding the other back down at the end of a gun.
On the one hand, I’m completely down with Cassie channeling Ellen Ripley and Sarah Connor (who, it still amuses me, both had Michael Biehn as a partner), but on the other, it immediately sets them off on two different paths. Cole’s on that walkway to save Jennifer and the world. Cassie’s there to kill her and save the world.
He sees something in Jennifer thatÂ neither she herself nor Cassie can see–a potential redemption. Jennifer sees confusion and paranoia and disappointing yet another parent. Cassie only sees the end result–no Jennifer, no virus. She and Cole have swapped roles between warrior and empath.
Ramse, meanwhile, takes a blow to the head from Cassie to slow him down from catching up. His alliance to Cole has rebounded back on him, and his intention to perhaps slip back into an oblivious life free of the Army is moot (again). He’s bonded to Cole, ride or die with his brother.
I loved the little moments of Cole and Ramse trying to find their way back to each other, and the return of their old, warm, trusted familiarity, and Cassie trying to adapt to a new normal she did not ask for. Barbara Sukowa is perfect as a supremely irritated Jones, who already had enough on her plate before she had to deal with the Army of the 12, Deacon, and Cassie crashing her party at the same time.
Where we go from here is complex, complicated, and meticulously plotted. Settle in, y’all. I have missed all of these people and I’m so glad we’re back!
12 Monkeys airs Mondays at 9/8c on Syfy.
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