If nothing else, it’s safe to say that Syfy’s original series 12 Monkeys is not messing around. This show came to play with the big boys and now that we have seen the penultimate episode of the freshman season, fans should be chomping at the bit to see what happens during the finale next week. This week “Paradox” saw some incredible interaction between Cassie (Amanda Schull) and Jones (Barbara Sukowa) as well as Cole and his father, and established some pretty important mythology for the series. Let’s dive into our recap of one of the most busy and complicated episodes yet!
It’s 2043 and Jones and Dr. Adler are discussing Cole’s final splinter. She knows that he made it to 2015 successfully but since the tether is lost, he’s now a part of the past and they can no longer reach him. They know the jump was physically hard on him; Cole barely survived the previous jump to 1987.
In 2015, a younger Jones sits across from her father in a cafe in New York City. They are discussing her decision to move to the states and work in a lab instead of staying in Berlin and trying to heal people, something Jones has no interest in. We learn that she was rather accomplished physicist and that she is divorced, regretting marrying her ex-husband. Even 40 years earlier, Jones had little bedside manner. As Jones is dropped off in front of her house, Cassie emerges from behind some bushes and tells her that their mutual friend, James Cole, is very sick and needs her help. Jones has no idea who he is but Cassie forces her to listen at gunpoint.
As Cole lays sick on a cot in Cassie’s place, he has a nightmare which Aaron awakes him from. As they talk, Cole begins to shake and eventually passes out. Aaron calls Cassie and she instructs him how to give him an injection to pull him out of cardiac arrest. Side note, anyone else think Aaron had poisoned Cole trying to kill him? Anyhow, Jones returns with a knife and confronts Cassie; she doesn’t understand how she got her work and Cassie pleads with Jones to help her. After Cole comes to, Cassie explains that the address that she gave Cole in 2017 that was super important was Jones’s. Wow! She knew the whole time! This is crazy! As Jones heads upstairs to begin to analyze Cole’s blood, we learn that Cole has given up but Cassie hasn’t. They also have different feelings about what is fate and what isn’t. Meanwhile, also in 2015, Jennifer Goines storms the Markridge board meeting and initiates a hostile takeover of the company.
Jones breaks the news to Cassie that Cole is, in fact, dying. They talk for a minute and break down the concept of a paradox and decide that they might be able to regenerate adult Cole if they have access to the blood of six-year-old Cole. Alright, this plan might sound a little crazy but I don’t care. The fact is, I can’t help but be giddy about seeing these two incredibly smart, proactive women who are brilliant scientists solving these major problems using their brilliant scientist minds. They are the ones who are determined to save the world. Sure, Cole is the vessel or the messenger, but they are the brains setting him in motion. It’s pretty amazing and, really, where else are you seeing that on TV?
All that said, Cassie still has a very sensitive Aaron to deal with. She follows him outside and he’s fed up. He’s also freaked out about her safety — oh no! Remember what Olivia asked him about keeping Cassie safe? — but Cassie isn’t hearing it. She goes back inside and Aaron makes a call: he wants to make a deal. Next, he meets with Olivia in her office. She won’t reveal details of the deal but he agrees to work with her on the condition that he and Cassie will be safe.
Jones and Cassie are driving to find young Cole. On their way, Jones gets sick and throws up. She’s pregnant (baby Hannah!) but has an appointment to terminate the pregnancy, still reeling from her husband leaving her six days into their marriage. They arrive at the garage looking for Matthew Cole, James Cole’s father but they find someone else, Anderson, who tells them that Matthew Cole disappeared months ago. They find James outside swinging on a swing and go back inside. That whole Anderson thing was a lie and they find Matthew Cole to be a kind and loving father so Cassie decides to tell him the truth. Bad move (DUH)! But, Cassie keeps talking and once she says, “The Army of the 12 Monkeys” Matthew reacts. Apparently his wife, Marion, told him he needed to protect James from a monkey army. Cassie pleads with him to come look at the adult Cole and try to see for himself that she’s telling the truth. He does and they meet. It’s a match!
In 2043, Jones still has a handful of scientists to work with her and they rebuild the wall that Ramse set on fire. Jones goes through some of her things from her previous life and finds a business card for an auto garage. Later, she calls for Dr. Adler after she finds something lying on the top of the machine. It’s red ivy of some kind.
Back in 2015, Cassie takes young James’s blood and Cole stumbles into the kitchen causing both of them to get bad headaches. Matthew helps grown up Cole back to his cot and they have a father/son heart to heart. They talk about his mother and how she left pretty quickly after they met but returned to ask him to protect their son. Cole tells his dad that he’s trying to make up for the bad things that he’s done in his life. As Cole falls back asleep, Matthew walks outside to take a minute. Cassie follows him and as they talk, Aaron calls and tells her to walk around to the back parking lot. She does and he tries to force her into the car but she hits him and gets away. As she runs back to her door, she sees The Pallid Man drive by. Cassie grabs the young James and she, Jones and Matthew run while adult James stays behind with the syringe. Matthew stays back and shoots at The Pallid Man but he’s hit and ultimately shot by him as young James watches from the back of the car.
The Pallid Man finds Cole in the apartment just before Cole injects himself with the young blood causing a huge paradox and blowing the windows out. He wakes up, naked and regenerated and he and Cassie make a break for it. Later, Jones and Cassie drop the young Cole with social services and Jones tells Cassie that she’s going to keep her baby. She says goodbye to Cole by telling him that the paradox has caused him to be unable to splinter and that he lives in 2015 now. After Jones leaves, Cassie asks Cole if he’s sure they should leave his younger self there and he assures her that it’s alright, that he’ll make friends. RAMSE! So, knowing what he knows and after the huge brawl he has with Ramse, why doesn’t older Cole kill young Ramse? It seems like that would end their problems right there, right?
Back in 2043, Adler and Jones discuss the red ivy growing on the splinter machine. Adler reveals that the plant is not from their time. Suddenly, an alarm sounds and they find Whitley at the gate holding a severed head (WHAT?!). We learn that there are a bunch of blue guys who are killing people and Deacon is with them. They need to get inside the facility because there is something very important to them in there. Deacon assures them that he can get them in.
Who else is excited for the finale next week? What do you think will happen? How will season one wrap up? Tell us your thoughts in the comments!
12 Monkeys airs its season one finale on Friday, April 10 on Syfy.