The word “divergent” has two meanings. A quick Google search defines it as “tending to be different or develop in different directions.” It can also be a mathematical term meaning “a mathematical expression having no finite limits.” Both definitions are suitable when discussing the second episode of SyFy’s 12 Monkeys, aptly titled “Mentally Divergent.” One great quality of this show so far is that it is a “thinking” show. In the tradition of The X-Files, you have to give it 100% of your attention or else you are bound to miss something or be asking questions later. In fact, even if you do dedicate 100% of your attention to this show, you will miss something. That is a characteristic of great writing and entertaining television. Second verse, same as the first. As was the case with the pilot episode, the second episode brings many questions to the surface, with few explanations or answers. But that guarantees viewers will return for future episodes, greedily gobbling any available factoids and thirsting for more and more clarifications. After the events of the last episode, we find out that all of Cole’s and Cassandra’s work did not alter history enough to save the world from the epidemic. It was too late. Whatever Goines had started was already too far along before he was killed. It is interesting to see Cole in the past versus the Cole of the future. When he is in 2015 with Cassandra, it is easy to forget that his present is 28 years into her future. Think about our world 28 years ago. Fashions, sayings, and technology have vastly changed. Think ahead to 28 years into our future. A virus unknown to you and me could easily be waiting somewhere between now and then. When Cole is in his present (aka the future), his buddy, Ramse (Kirk Acevedo) provides a little comedic relief to keep the show from becoming too bogged down and serious. My only gripe is that his little sprinkles of comedy are a bit lame. In the scenes featuring the future, I try to mainly pay attention to Jones (Barbara Sukowa) the head honcho scientist in charge of sending Cole back in time. I am not sure if it is because I am trying to learn the most from her that I can about the timeline and time travel or if it because she reminds me of Celia West who I always enjoy. In the pilot episode, Goines tells Cole that he saw him before in 1987 and he looked exactly as he did in 2015. Goines said he was ranting about the Army of the 12 Monkeys. Then, Goines realized that Cole had not heard of the 12 Monkeys yet. In this episode, Cole wants to go to 1987, but Jones reveals that traveling that far back in time is not possible. Slowly, but surely we are learning the rules of splintering. A nice touch to this show is the fact that Jones and Cole are not 100% in control of the splintering. Like in Quantum Leap, sometimes Cole ends up overshooting his time target or ends up entirely in the wrong place and time. This time, he ends up in North Korea in 2006. He barely made it out. If he would have died, it is hard to tell how detrimental that would have been to time. Despite many warnings by Jones, Dr. Cassandra Railly still manages to get involved. Her warnings may be more effective if she were able to enlist the help of Doc Brown. Pairing with Cassandra has proven to be very helpful. In fact, she manages to spring him from a psychiatric hospital by flashing her doctor title. Still, each interaction Cole has with her runs the risk of altering time. Oh yes, the psychiatric hospital. We see a little bit more of Jennifer Goines (Emily Hampshire) this time around. She is totally, without a doubt C-R-A-Z-Y! I was watching this episode with my sister, who is a psychiatrist. She grimaced at the screen and proclaimed, “There is something seriously wrong with that one!” When you freak out a shrink, you may indeed be bat shit crazy! But why is she crazy? Is it because of some mental disorder or some of the scary incidents she witnessed while working with her father? There seems to be a fine line between genius and madness. Some geniuses fall over the edge and are lost into madness. Maybe she tipped over the edge accidently somewhere along the line. Either way, I kind of like her character. While watching this episode, I realized that it was glaringly obvious that the ink blot image I saw her drawing was the 12 Monkeys symbol. No idea what I was thinking there, but she draws it over and over in this episode. Now that Goines is out of the way, we are introduced to a new villain. The Pallid Man (Tom Noonan) is dressed in a black suit and hat, he is just overall creepy. Cassandra first encounters him when she goes to visit her friend, Jeremy (Robert Wisdom) and finds that he is dead with flowers sticking out of his face. I must say, it is an artfully posed dead body worthy of Hannibal Lecter. The Pallid Man calmly takes credit for his murder because he was snooping around too much and asking too many questions. The Pallid Man is also responsible for a massacre in Goines’ laboratory in which he killed several people, except for Jennifer. Witnessing their deaths could be what ultimately brought her over the edge. Unfortunately, at the end of this episode, he kidnaps Jennifer and feeds her some type of soup to make her hallucinate (yeah, because she needed help being nuts). We are certain to see more of The Pallid Man and I believe his sins will prove to be much worse. 12 Monkeys 1.02 "Mentally Divergent"4.1Overall ScoreReader Rating: (2 Votes)Share this:TweetShare on TumblrLike this:Like Loading... Related One Response 12 Monkeys 2.05 “Bodies of Water” - Psycho Drive-In May 23, 2016 […] from the Vertigo-DC Comics series The Sandman by Neil Gaiman—a connection that was reinforced in episode 1.02 (“Mentally Divergent”) by the presence of a character named Dr. Sandman, a psychiatrist who works at the J.D. Peoples […] Log in to Reply Leave a Reply Cancel ReplyYou must be logged in to post a comment.