If you are a fan of Syfy’s original drama series 12 Monkeys things are looking good! This week it was announced that the show has been renewed for a second season and series co-creators Travis Fickett and Terry Matalas have been promoted to showrunners! However, if you are a character in the 12 Monkeys universe, things are not looking good no matter what year you’re in.
The episode opens with Cole stumbling through the plague ravaged streets in Chechnya. It’s 2017, the peak of the plague that killed most of mankind. He sees a crowd of people gathered around a television and sees Cassie on the screen pleading with people who are immune to come to Baltimore. The CDC has fallen and she is working on a vaccine. Cole follows the massive groups of people trying to get into a safe zone. People who try and break through the guards are shot on site. Cole identifies himself as American and immune and escorted through the guards and put into a vehicle where a US Army officer is waiting for him. She tells him that they have a chopper waiting for him and of course, he’s very confused. There is chaos on the way to the chopper.
Meanwhile in 2043, Jones explains that Foster has lied to everyone about a cure for the plague to try to keep hope alive. She is pleading with her team to acquire Foster’s core to get Cole back and actually solve the plague. Surprisingly, Whitley is super on board, even though that means going against his father. Ramse goes to his lady love, Elena, and begs her to let him take her and their son to the facility to protect them because some major stuff is about to go down between the two groups at Spearhead. Elena agrees to go with him but not before she has to grab something from the lab first. She and Ramse are walked in on by Foster who has Ramse handcuffed to a desk and confronts Elena about what he feels is a betrayal. He wants to know if she’s working for Jones now which she denies. Foster gets called away by a guard and Elena tries to pick the lock on Ramse’s handcuffs. Whitley also confronts his father to tell him the truth about Foster but he wants to hear none of it. Whitely begs him to listen to him.
Later that night, Jones waits for Foster in his office. He’s short with her and tells her to leave but she informs him that she’s not there to negotiate. She tells him he’s going to have his core; whether he gives it to her or she takes it. They talk about art and space, literature and life, but Jones is steadfast. She will not be swayed by their former relationship and she pulls out a gun and shoots him.
This week also takes us back to 2041. We see Cole and Ramse wandering through the woods. They are freezing and starving but have escaped the West 7 for a while now. They stumble across a group of people and decide to try and take them on to get their supplies. Instead, they are captured and Whitley is one of the guards who has taken Cole and Ramse into custody. He is essentially kicking the crap out of both of them but Jones enters and makes them stop. She recognizes the name, “Cole,” as the person she’s been waiting for. The transmission! Jones plays the transmission to Ramse and Cole and Cole is naturally skeptical that he’s the guy for the job. As he points out, “There are a million Cole’s,” but Jones is sure it’s him. She shows him the machine and explains that the virus will continue to mutate until everyone is dead. He is the key and she needs him. She also explains that there will be a price for their mission. Cole promptly tells her to go to hell.
In 2017, Cole sees the anger in the people who are suffering as he proceeds to the chopper from his vehicle. The masses believe that the people who are immune have access to a cure and that it’s being hidden from them. As we go deeper into the crowd, who should be preaching to a small group of them? None other than Jennifer Goines in full crazy mode. Inside, Cole reunites with Cassie. She is tired and she is sick. Cole asks how she knew where he was and she tells him that a lot has happened, including them meeting again, which unfortunately, Cole hasn’t experienced yet. She also reveals that a lot has happened between the two of them but she collapses before she can go into details.
After Jones kills Foster, all bets are off. Whitley’s dad is on Jones’ side now and he’s helping them lead the assault on Spearhead. Elena frees Ramse but they are trapped in the lab with gunfire exploding in the hallway. They escape and Jones and Whitley continue to shoot their way to the core. Whitley’s father is killed; they sure have put a lot on the line in believing what Jones says. After the assault on Spearhead, Jones radios back to The Facility and tells them to prepare because they have the core.
Elena and Ramse find a hideout and they talk. She’s still convinced that what she saw Foster do by way of finding a cure was real. She suggests that maybe Jones has lied to them to get what she wants. Back in the lab, we watch Jones set fire to a piece of paper. Holy cow; Foster had found a cure. What the heck is going on? Did she do all of this just to get her daughter back or is her mission greater than that? Woof.
In 2017, Cassie comes to. The Red Forrest, has he found it yet? Cole is confused and asks her to explain but she refuses saying she can’t change the path that he’s on. She hands him a folded up piece of paper with an address on it. She tells him to keep it with him at all times because his life depends on it. She knows she’s dying and she tells him that he will find the answers that he’s looking for. Then, Cassie dies in his arms. Although we know they will get to spend more time with each other in the past, it’s hard to believe that this is the end of Cassie. Cole sits with her as she lies dead on the floor and realizes he’s about to splinter. After he does, the scratch on her watch disappears. Woah. That’s kind of crazy. Cole returns to 2043 and tells Jones what happened.
In 2041, we see Ramse and Cole discuss what Jones has told them. Cole wants to leave but Ramse isn’t so sure. They don’t have food, they don’t have shelter or protection. Ramse asks Cole: what if Jones is telling the truth? What if it works? Cole doesn’t listen, he’s decided that he’s leaving but Ramse won’t have it. He fires his gun and guards come running. Ramse tells Cole that he’s saving his soul. Oh boy. How is this all going to work out?
But how the tables have turned in 2043 when Ramse and Cole are reunited. Cole defends Jones’s actions, telling Ramse that she did what she had to do, that the mission is all that matters now. Ramse isn’t convinced and is livid that Jones decided to sacrifice all of those lives and lie because Foster had a cure. He turns to leave and Cole stops him; he won’t let him hurt Jones. Ramse tells Cole that he found Elena and that she has a kid. He also tells Cole that what they’re doing isn’t working and that he needs to stop but Cole refuses. He’s seen what happens in 2017 and he needs to fight but Ramse pushes back: he tells Cole that the plague is always going to happen. They’re going to die with or without him and he needs to stop what he’s doing. Ramse has a reason to fight now and it’s his son but Cole tells him that he’s not going to let him hurt Jones and, more importantly, there isn’t a future.
Herein lies the fundamental question of this series which began to be strongly hinted at last week: Is the plague inevitable? The further the divide goes the more trouble our characters are going to be in. I thought for sure that Cole and Ramse would be inseparable for the rest of their lives but as it turns out, Ramse has something to live for in the present while Cole’s loyalties ultimately live in the past. Whitely has sacrificed a lot to align himself with Jones including his relationship with his father who is now dead because of him. Where is this all heading? Who is in the right? Will Jones survive much longer? According to IMDb there are four episodes left in season one (13 episodes? Not 12? Come on…) so we’ll continue to find out where the chips begin to fall next Friday night on Syfy!