No surprise this week, 12 Monkeys fans, the latest episode of the Syfy original series was bananas and appeared to have some major shake ups to a leading character! But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. “The Keys” episode opened with a voice over of Cole telling someone that he’s “still here” and it was “nice getting to know you.” He also tells whomever he’s talking to about “The Keys.”
Meanwhile, in 2015, a government official is discussing The Origin body that we know from The Night Room. Apparently it was discovered in the Himalayas the virus has been extracted from the body and weaponized. It is set to be deployed into Chechnya. We also learn that these government officials who are set to release the virus are counting on Leland Goines’ word that the virus will be “controllable.” Yeah, right. According to their information, the time from infection to death is very short and the key to containment is geographic isolation; once people are dead the virus will die as well.
Cassie is having flashbacks of The Pallid Man’s The Red Forest as seen in the previous episode. Cole enters in to find Cassie so distracted that she burns her hand on steaming hot water. Cole and Cassie talk and they decide that they need to speak with someone called Dr. Garrett. In order to find him, they get dressed up and attend a function where they know he will be. Can I say: Cole in a suit. Yes please.
Speaking of, at the party it’s Cole who is taking a minute to admire the scenery. Eating too many chicken skewers, admiring the art, listening to the music. While Cassie seems determined to focus on the mission, Cole stops everything to ask her to dance. It’s completely sweet and leads the audience to wonder: has Cole taken to heart his conversation with Jones during last weeks episode, embracing that he’s going to die soon?
While they dance, Cassie spots Dr. Garrett and approaches him. She brings with her the item that Cole retrieved from the greenhouse and asks Garrett what he can tell her about the symbol on it. He reveals that it’s a religious symbol from a highly secretive sect of a faith located in Chechnya and references a pact between God and man. Cassie asks if Garrett has ever heard of The Army of the 12 Monkeys which stops him dead in his tracks. He calmly tells Cassie to leave it be.
Aaron enters and greets Cassie with a kiss on the cheek — are they back together? — and Aaron reveals that a man named Adam Wexler, whom we’ve seen on the news report earlier in the day, is rumored to be hiding out in Chechnya. Wexler has been allegedly leaking secrets and the CIA was not too happy about it. Think of an Edward Snowden type, right down to the casting. Cassie hypothesizes that the CIA is going to use the virus to kill Wexler and Cole puts together that The Army of the 12 Monkeys must know and are going to intercept the virus to use themselves.
Cole, who has been having a tough go of it physically since the last jump, feels a splinter coming on. He tells Cassie and Aaron to gather as much information as they can before he comes back next week. Cassie goes back to work and Aaron enters the senators office and manages to steal a secret jump drive out of his pocket. Meanwhile, Cassie gets a call from Cole who is frantic and in the line of fire in Chechnya. He has the virus. We travel back two hours earlier to find Cole on the streets keeping his eye out for the case which holds the virus. Cole follows the man with the case who is shot by a sniper in the middle of the woods. This is when he calls Cassie after he’s ducked behind a rock. Operation Troy is happening and Cole needs to know how to destroy the virus. He runs and ducks into an abandoned house for cover pursued by the sniper. Cole manages to impale him (yikes!) and make a break for it. Once he finds cover he calls Cassie looking for a way to destroy the virus but he is quickly surrounded by masked and armed soldiers. They bring him to Wexler who doesn’t believe Cole when he tries to tell him that the CIA is trying to kill him with this virus. He opens the case and the virus sprays into the air.
Cassie and Aaron try to get someone from the CIA to talk to them, informing an operations command officer that Operation Troy has been compromised. Cassie and Aaron are taken to a holding room and the senator enters. He tells Cassie to leave and gives Aaron a stern talking to. Cassie enters with the operations command officer and people finally start taking her seriously. They know that the mission in Chechnya isn’t going as planned and she warns them all no matter how much they don’t like it that they have to help Cole stop the virus from getting out.
Back in Europe, Wexler and Cole sit across from each other and discuss the current situation. Cole warns him that if he walks out of there, it’s over for the human race. The CIA is trying to call Cole and the men all start to die (Remember, Cole is immune, that’s how he survived in the first place). Wexler, as the symptoms start to come on strong, starts to consider the idea of intentionally infecting the world to “start over.” Cole warns the aftermath won’t be what he’s thinking. Just then, a Chechen soldier enters and informs them that they’ve traded Wexler to the Russian government in exchange for a medical helicopter. Gunfire breaks out and everyone is shot, including Cole, but his injuries are not life threatening. Wexler is still alive, too. He manages to kill the final Chechen soldier and he calls Cassie and tells her that they need to bomb the building which he won’t be able to get out of. The line goes dead and Cole speaks with Wexler. He knows of The Army of the 12 Monkeys. Wexler reveals an incident that took place in 1987 (remember Leland Goines?)
Cassie calls Cole in order to keep him on the line to trace the location so that the bomb can be dropped. In a bit of time travel dialogue, Cole tells Cassie that when he comes back in a week to talk to her and Aaron, she can’t tell him what happened that day. He tells her things that will only make sense to her in a week, but they are emotional things, and it’s a sad moment for them both having to sit on the phone with each other until the bomb is dropped. It is. Cole is still inside the house.
Cassie is being reprimanded by a government official. Aaron and the operations command officer enter and tell them both that they’ve agreed to keep everything quiet between all of them. Cassie and Aaron will not be prosecuted and in return, they will keep the incident out of the press. When and Aaron and Cassie return home, Aaron is trashing every piece of evidence they have related to Cole and the virus. Cassie wants to try and find a way to warn Cole when he returns but Aaron advises against it; they can’t compromise the virus getting out.
When Cole comes back, just as scheduled, Aaron sticks to the script. He tells Cole that the virus drop happened a week ago and gives him the information he would need to go back and intercept it. Will Cassie be able to keep her mouth shut and let one person, Cole, die for the greater good of the cause? An idea that she’s never been comfortable with… Yes. She will. She follows the script, too, and says “goodbye” to Cole right before he splinters.
WHAT?! Cassie has, essentially, let Cole die. Cole is dead! He can’t be — right? Oh boy, 12 Monkeys fans, how will our heroes get out of this one?
12 Monkeys, starring Aaron Stanford, Amanda Schull, Emily Hampshire and Tom Noonan, airs Friday nights at 9PM on SyFy.