A common through line this season will be that Jennifer has a bead on every timeline, and we started to get a sense of just how overwhelming that is for her in “Primary.” We also found out that Olivia was a master manipulator, not just playing on Jennifer’s mommy and daddy issues and general insecurities, but also baiting her with the promise of a life with Cole, dangling him like a prize and all she had to do was wipe out the planet. Jennifer and Cole’s arc tonight is an extended Moment of Goodness.
In “Primary,” she ends up alone with Cole for a stretch, seeking out a mysterious prime 607 that turns out to be a hotel room that he paid for in 1944. Jennifer tries to explain all this to Cole but it folds in on itself, as she’s wrought with Olivia’s promises and orders echoing in her head. Jennifer pins Cole down on the bed after he stops her while she’s smashing a mirror and it slams her back to their first meeting in the hospital when she threw him down and was a jumble of nonsense.
Once they end up in the right room, she finds a picture of Cassie and Cole from 1944 and realizes Cole is never going to be hers, but she says Cassie and Cole together will end the world, proposing herself as a safe alternative that doesn’t end the world, although technically she herself is still on the boards to do just that. She cuts herself with a shard from the shattered mirror and Cole bandages her up and finally sees that he’s the hold here.
He tells her to forget her parents and whatever Olivia did to him and that her purpose isn’t to kill billions. He tells her to go find her purpose, to leave, that the none of this is on her anymore. He releases her, and she’s lucid long enough to understand it and be grateful.
In 2044, Jones has made the decision to move on from Cole’s participation in the mission, until the Daughters invade and whisk her to their camp. They demand to know where Cole is, and Jones says he’s no longer involved, and the Daughter in charge for an as yet unseen Jennifer says he’s always involved, and integral, and she needs to get him back there.
Cassie blinks into 2016 to fetch him, and he asks what changed her mind and she hands him a piece of the hotel stationery with the words, “I found my purpose,” written on it. In 2044, Jennifer smiles to herself that things are back on track, and she has repaid Cole’s 2016 kindness of saving her life and making her leave by having him brought home to 2044.
I liked the pairing of Jennifer and Cole, and that their interactions evolved very quickly from someone trying to keep her alive even though it was off book from the mission, to exasperation at minding someone with the attention span of a toddler, to empathizing with a woman who has been a pawn in a malicious war, until finally, he was the Cole that she needed him to be to set her free.
And we’re just getting started. 12 Monkeys airs Mondays at 9/8c on Syfy.
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