[Warning: Spoilers for “Blood Washed Away.” Do not read until after you’ve watched the episode.]
Tonight’s 12 Monkeys finally, finally (finally, ahem) went there with Cassie and Cole. Of course, everything went to hell on the other side of the time divide, so there’s that. When I chatted with Aaron Stanford and Amanda Schull last month, we talked about shooting this episode, and both said it had a very specific independent film vibe, and was actually the last thing they shot before they wrapped production on the season.
While fans may have been a little twitchy (guilty) about dragging out the reconciliation, Stanford says he was happy with the timing. “I think for a big payoff like that at the end, I think the longer you drag it out, the better. The longer you postpone joy, the bigger the payoff is,” he says.
“It totally worked for me. Who wants season 2 to begin and have them run into each other’s arms and then they’re in love, and everything is great, and where do go you from there? You need to have the tension and have them starting in opposite places so they can eventually find their way to each other.”
After Cassie’s hurt, Cole leaves her and embarks on a life of solitude, by choice. “He thinks that he’s helping her by leaving her. He blames himself for everything. He’s very quick to take on any burden you put on him,” he explains. He decides that the continuing failure of the mission and his inability to save mankind, and getting her involved and ruining her chance to have a few more days before the plague…he feels like he’s poison to her, so he removes himself from the picture.”
“I think [before she finds him], he’s just waiting to die. He’s not in a particularly positive place. He begins a projects that’s going to keep him busy, building this house, and he’s trying to put one foot in front of the other and live one day at a time.”
Both Stanford and Schull discussed the idyllic nature of shooting all the scenes with the house. “The last couple of days [of Season 2’s production], we shot the whole story of Cole and Cassie in the house together. From her showing up and he’s cutting wood and they finally find their way back together [to when they] finally allow themselves to fall in love,” says Stanford.
“It was really interesting to shoot all of that because it was do different from anything else we had shot over the course of the two seasons. Everybody remarked that it felt like we were shooting an independent film within the TV show. It was such a different vibe, and a lot of fun to do.”
“We shot those scenes over a fairly long period of time, because they were building the sets and the interior of the house. The bedroom scenes were the last scene I shot,” says Schull. “They clapped me out at the end and I was half naked. Aaron thought it was hysterical. I wanted to take a picture but I couldn’t possibly. Aaron kept saying it felt like an independent film, because it was just the two of us. They had built this very comfortable, quaint little home for them.”
“Everything about it was a different show, and our director for that was David Grossman, who we’re very comfortable with, he’s our producing director. A lot of people had already finished working, so it was just a small group of people, and it did feel like an independent film.”
“It was sort of the culmination of everything the audience had wanted for these two people distilling down to a series of moments. We shot the exterior about three weeks prior. It was all kind of out of sequence and dreamy and surreal, kind of the way it ended up being [onscreen].”
Schull also points out that the relationship only finally happened because they thought that was it, there was no “other” anymore. “The only reason that any of that is possible is that they think there is nothing left for them to do. They think there’s no way to get back and they finally have time,” she says. “The whole season has the element of a ticking time bomb. It’s a train going forward, there’s no stopping it, there’s no slowing it, and suddenly it just pauses.”
“[When she first] finds Cole, she’s obviously hurt and frustrated and confused. When he tells her to look around, she suddenly realizes she can come up for air from this nightmare. That’s the only reason the two of them could have this. And if that were possible in another time and in another existence, who knows what could come from their partnership?”
12 Monkeys repeats tonight at 1 am/12 c on Syfy. The Season 2 finale airs next Monday at 9 pm/8c. At this time, there is no marathon scheduled ahead of that.
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