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The Chicken and the Egg in 12 Monkeys “Resurrection” 

Photo Credit: Syfy
Photo Credit: Syfy

[Warning: Don’t read until after you’ve watched the episode.]

Earlier this season, 2016 Jennifer Goines caught a glimpse of the date of her death on the map at the Army of the 12 Monkeys headquarters, filed it away for safekeeping, and went on with the business of rescuing Cassie.

Tonight, that date came to pass, and Jennifer met it head on, peacefully, initially, burning her papers and photos while her Daughters panicked about the impending storm, until Cole came calling for help, and per usual, she couldn’t tell him no, something she repeats again later in 2016.

She asks him if he’s prepared to let someone he loves die to serve the mission and he says he is, so she and her Daughters accompany him back to Jones’s lab to try to regain custody of the machine so he can splinter to 1957 and stop the final paradox.

Once they get to the lab, Jennifer smiles at the machine with, “Hello, old friend,” only we’ve never seen them in the same room. It doesn’t take long. Deacon and Ramse pop off to each other in a bout of dick measuring and Jennifer is shot in the stomach. Hannah immediately runs her blade across Deacon’s face for the injury and then races to Jennifer as she collapses.

Cassie rushes to help, and Jennifer knows what this is. She tells Cole her they need a resurrection, That if she dies, everybody dies. “My Daughters need a Mother. Find a me that needs Daughters.” She nods and he understands.

He returns to 2016 Jennifer, in the moment right after he left her two episodes back, and brings her forward. He tells her he needs her, and she says, “Have I ever said no to you?” “Self-preservation’s never been your thing,” is his reply.

Photo Credit: Syfy
Photo Credit: Syfy

Her arrival in the machine is a thing of beauty as she’s ecstatic and giddy until she reads the room and the Daughters drop to their knees calling her “Mother.” Cole takes her to see 2044 Jennifer, who greets her with “Hello, egg. I’m chicken.” Young Jennifer moves forward and older Jennifer tells her not to get too close, or they’ll go boom.

Cassie and Cole leave them to talk, and 2016 Jennifer is terrified as 2044 Jennifer lays out for her that she has to take over now, and she has to do the things she couldn’t, for her Daughters and the world, if they’re all to survive.

“Look how pretty I was.”
“Today is September 23rd, 2044.”
“The day my cycle ends, but yours is just rounding the big turn. The women out there…they need a leader now. For years, I promised them a holy resurrection.”
“No, I can’t”
“You can. You do.”
“Listen to me. You are now faced with a choice. There’s a place far from here where the Witness feels safe.”
“You’ve heard the name from the whispers in your head. You know what’s there.”
“The boys out there are fighting over that machine but Otter Eyes needs it to save us all. Stop the paradox…1957. But you, you have a choice. Spit in the face of death. Lead the others to Titan, navigate the storms and lead your daughters to face off against the Army of the 12 Monkeys once and for all.”
“Or take them far, far away from here in the hopes that Cole succeeds and that one day this war will be over.”
“What did you choose when you were me?”
“Not to go to Titan. I wasn’t willing to risk the lives of my Daughters. But maybe, if I was braver, I could have helped save the world.”
“We’re not brave.”
“But you can be a better me than I was.”
“That’s not possible.”
“There are many endings, and the right one…”
“…is the one you choose.”
Both: “Choose your own adventure.”
“I love you. I know that’s a really weird thing to hear, but later, you’ll need to remember that. OK, egg. I’m dying now.”

Afterward, Jennifer goes out and seizes her ranks, with Hannah’s help, and announces they will get Ramse and Cassie and whoever else is game to Titan. Cole stays behind to splinter, and hugs Jones goodbye after she warns him there will be no tether, no machine, no her, unless he succeeds.

He splinters, and just beyond the gate, Cassie and Ramse are driving out when they exchange a look that tells him she can’t come. He stops, she jumps out and bolts back to the lab, and Jones shoots her up and she splinters. Ramse watches for a moment from outside before he drives on.

Hannah begs Jones to come with her, but she won’t, and Hannah runs outside and rides away as Jones holds onto the machine and the storm disintegrates them and the building.

In 1957, Cole walks out into the lobby of the Emerson to find Cassie walking toward him. “I don’t want to be afraid anymore.”

We’ll be back in two weeks to see how that shakes out, which should be really interesting considering that Cassie and Cole came to blows over their respective missions, and now have to join forces again, cut off from everyone.

The scene with the two Jennifers was phenomenally written and scored, and then when you really parse it out that both are Emily Hampshire, it’s amazing work. This is another one of those times you wish Emmy and Golden Globe people recognized Syfy as a network.

She’s so, so good, encompassing all of the knowledge, heartache, history, and promise of both women in the same room at the same time, each with distinctly different frames of reference on their time and place.

So well done.

12 Monkeys airs at 9/8c Mondays on Syfy. “Resurrection” repeats at 1 am/12c and then will be available online.

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