Anything that can go wrong will go wrong, at least that was case for our heroes in this week’s “12 Monkeys.” This episode has left me baffled, worried, and feeling much like Cole at the end of it thinking WTF.
Things pick up in 2043 after the West VII attack with the time machine being repaired. Though its functioning enough to send Cole back to the past again the following morning, we find out that it’s core is degrading rapidly so that each jump gets riskier. Cole invites Jones to have a few drinks with Ramse, himself, and Max before he splinters the next day and we get a little bit more info on the German doctor, namely that had been married and that Jones was actually her husband’s name.
Back in 2015, Cole and Cassie storm the Night Room and from there everything goes wrong. The Army of the 12 Monkeys beat them to the lab and they attempt to open the vault. Turns out Jennifer Goines had led Pallid Man and his gang to the Night Room but she had a trick up her sleeve, a failsafe in the vault that only she can deactivate.
Her scenes were the most riveting because she reveals so many interesting details:
- She has all the Markridge codes in her head.
- She is super attached to Cole and is willing to do anything for him, possibly because the voices in her had quiet down when he talks.
- She says doctors always call her Jennifer but never refer to which one. Does she have a sister or is this a split personality thing?
- She’s happy that Cole killed her dad.
Yes, Pallid Man tells Jennifer that Cole killed Leland Goines, but she’s actually ecstatic about it. Speaking of which, PM also reveals to Cassie that the chrononaut killed Henri. Whoops, his bad.
Cassie is appalled and freaks out about how she had such a great and normal life before she met him. Cole in the meantime gets real upfront and honest with her and says yes he killed Henri because if he didn’t the Army of the 12 Monkeys would get him and then they would find the Night Room (which they did anyway of course). She tells him that he might have to find someone else willing to do whatever it takes to prevent the apocalypse because she just wants to heal people. Cole agrees that she shouldn’t become like him and tells her a story of how he and Ramse killed an old couple when they raided a farm house once and that before the elderly lady died, she gave him a look of forgiveness. That’s what this mission meant to him, a way to redeem himself.
In a turn of events, it seemed that PM and his troops were retreating now that the Markridge commandos were on their way after triggering the failsafe alarm in the vault. Cole sees his chance and asks Jennifer to disable the red beam of death so that he can destroy the source of the virus. The source turns out to be the preserved partial carcass of a human being. But PM and his goons were simply pretending to leave knowing that Jennifer would indeed disable the alarm for Cole. The time traveller asks her not too but because she didn’t want him to get a bullet in his head, she does.
In a genius move however, Cole and Cassie manage to flip the two switches that activate “the big burn,” a mechanism that destroys all the biological material in the lab at 1800 degrees, preventing any virus from getting out. Cole grabs Jennifer and they hide inside the vault while the virus carcass and PM’s goons get incinerated.
But here’s where things get troublesome. If the source had been burned to a crisp, why was Cole still there? Looks like stopping the apocalypse is way more complicated than he or Team Splinter realized.
PM decides to take Cassie hostage as they leave the facility with Cole and Jennifer running after them. But just as they make it outside, Cole splinters back to the future leaving Jennifer completely in shock.
In 2043, Ramses snoops around Jones’ room after Max tells him that she had heard stories about a German doctor that performed horrible experiments on people. He finds a file with pictures of a much younger Jones and the failed trials of the Splinter Project. There were numerous men that died on the chair because the science was still imperfect. Jones enters and Ramse once again finds himself trying to take the moral high ground. The doctor argues that she was doing this for the mission and what was sacrificing a few lives when it would save all of humanity if they succeeded? She didn’t want those poor men lost in time to have died in vain (ahem this is likely an important clue). While both she and Deacon felt they needed to do what was necessary, Jones justified her actions by saying her work was not for her own gain but that it had become the only means for their entire race to thrive. In their timeline, humans were simply floating in the ocean with no shore in sight.
When Cole reappears in the future, we don’t know what year it is but something is definitely wrong. The machine room looks like a really shabby laundry room and most of the equipment is destroyed with weeds growing out of them. He opens a door calling out for Ramse and encounters a large group of people and the “VII” symbol on the wall. Uhhhhh what the heck happened??
After watching the episode I felt like someone pushed me off a cliff with no parachute because seriously now what?? There’s been so much build up to the Night Room in the past timeline that now that they’ve accomplished destroying the virus, things seem to be even more screwed up in the future. Obviously the Army of the 12 Monkeys still managed to start the apocalypse, but how they do it is the question. More corpses? Perhaps some from *cough* the future *cough*? Still, there were lots of great gut-wrenching moments, particularly when Pallid Man stuck bamboo under Cole’s fingernails (you actually see it and it was so gross that I couldn’t look away) that made for entertaining television.
Keep it coming Syfy, I must find out what happens next!
“12 Monkeys” airs Fridays 9/8 central on Syfy.
Follow Nicole on Twitter: @niixc.
Images courtesy of Syfy.