Season 1, Episode 12 – “Paradox”
Air Date: April 3, 2015
Last week 12 Monkeys’ fans everywhere had their minds blown when they learned that Ramse was The Witness and was responsible for the apocalypse arriving on schedule. The series has been unfailingly good in keeping people hooked with its various twists and turns. While I find myself getting bored with filler episodes on other shows, “12 Monkeys” just doesn’t appear to have any and that is a pretty darn good accomplishment.
Truth be told I was a little apprehensive before watching “Paradox” because what could possibly follow all the craziness we’ve just seen? Thankfully, it wasn’t disappointing in the least. In the aftermath of “Shonin,” Cole, Cassie, and Jones’ resilience comes to surface in a way we haven’t seen yet. In the 2015 timeline, Dr. Railly shows up at the doorstep of the much younger German doctor and convinces her to help a dying Cole (she finds Jones via the address 2017 Cassie gave Cole). She is careful not to reveal too much because that could potentially alter things in the future. Meanwhile poor Cole is still experiencing visions and goes through a seizure with only Aaron there to help him. For a moment it seems the former political aid is going to just let him die, but he finally calls Cassie who instructs him to administer an adrenaline shot.
The two women figure out that the only thing that might save Cole is for his body to undergo a paradox explosion that could undo the damage caused by time traveling. The idea is to get a sample of blood from young James and then inject into old James. I don’t really get that science part but that’s okay by me. They drive to a garage shop in Pennsylvania and meet Cole’s father Matt. At first he thinks they’re crazy and threatens them with a shotgun, but then Cassie mentions the Army of the 12 Monkeys and the man asks if Marianne sent them. This was Cole’s mom, who disappeared some years ago saying that Matt had to protect their son because she couldn’t. The virologist pleads with him to just come with them to look future Cole in the eye and if he didn’t believe them then they would never bother him again.
So Cole got to meet his dad again and we all got the feels because who knew that this reunion was going to happen?? But it was short-lived because Pallid Man shows up with some goons. And it’s no thanks to Aaron who decided that the plague was unstoppable and had to protect Cassie because she wouldn’t do it herself. He calls Olivia and asks for a deal to ensure that the two of them survive the plague. The guy even tries to take Cassie away before PM gets to Cole. But the virologist hits him and runs in to warn Cole, Jones, Matt and young James. We find out that Cole’s visions were a memory of this moment, when young James dropped a glass of milk in surprise after Cassie burst into the bookshop. His father tries to stop PM and his men and is killed.
Cole waits for Pallid Man and then injects his younger self’s blood into his chest. He rises from the ground and beams of light begin to emit from his body before a brilliant blast occurs (as we’ve seen in other paradox explosions). It’s likely that PM will survive it (since he doesn’t age and may have amazing healing powers, or I’m just making that up). Cassie returns to find a naked Cole, who is now stuck in 2015 with the time travel serum completely out of his system. Along with Jones, they take young James to a foster center where he meets young Jose. It only makes the events of last episode all the more tragic to see the two meet for the first time.
The former time traveler tells 2015 Jones that he could explain to her everything that they knew to give her a head start this time. She declines, saying that being given more knowledge could potentially make things worse and not better. While in the present timeline the German doctor still smokes her cigarettes and is just as blunt, she is a younger, softer and more idealistic version of herself despite already challenging circumstances. Her husband had apparently only stayed married with her for six days before leaving and now she was pregnant with Hannah, whom she initially was planning to abort. We also find out that this was when she actually first met Cole and so she had already known who he was in 2041. Jones saying that she had been waiting for him for a long time makes so much more sense now.
Seeing two versions of Jones in “Paradox” is great fun to watch. In 2043 she’s not alone after all! Dr. Adler and some of the other scientists are still there and she tasks them with rebuilding their knowledge on all plague’s timeline. Even though they can no longer get Cole back, she is determined to move forward by re-examining the past. With Whitley gone however, their security is greatly lacking and by the end of the episode, he appears with the head of one of his men and says that they’re coming. We then meet a new group of men with extremely pale skin. Could these be mutated humans, perhaps the next step in evolution that Olivia was espousing? Helping this band of hooded brothers is the West VII leader Deacon. The Scav King is back!
In the aftermath of last week’s episode as well, Ms. Goines enacted a hostile takeover of Markridge in true Jennifer style while wearing a pair of killer heels. So at this point it would be safe to assume the 12 Monkeys control the company. From patient, hostage, daughter and then leader, Jennifer’s role in the storyline continues to be just as unpredictable as she is and it is an aspect of the show that keeps me guessing.
While Cole and Cassie are set up to be the main heroes of the series, the other characters truly hold their own as complex individuals. But speaking of the duo, shippers of Team Casserole can rejoice that the pair seem to be on their way to an actual romantic relationship. After Aaron’s betrayal and Cole’s near death experience, Cassie holds his hand at the end of “Paradox.” But things are certainly far from a happy ending for them as Aaron is unlikely to give up and the 12 Monkeys are still going to try to kill Cole. I wonder how Ramse is feeling knowing that his ex-best friend is actually alive?
With the season finale coming up next week, what kind of hair-pulling cliffhanger do you think we’re going to get? Whatever it may be, it’s gotta be real good.
“12 Monkeys” airs Fridays 9/8 central on Syfy.
Follow Nicole on Twitter: @niixc.
Images courtesy of Syfy.