This week’s episode “Atari,” is not the one where Cole somehow splinters to the early 1980s and must play a round of extremely high-stakes Yars’ Revenge. Once again, the writers cleverly chose a word to hint at a larger theme of the episode. The word “atari” means “to hit on target” or “to receive something by chance.” Think of it as winning the lottery. In this episode, Cole and Jones hit the lottery. The episode starts out in 2015 with Cassandra and Cole trying to pinpoint the location of the Night Lab and also discussing the ethical debate of killing few to save many. Cassandra also tries to pry more information from Cole about his personal life. After all, Cassandra’s life was forever changed after Cole initially kidnapped her. Cole is the only one that she can talk to about the plague. It makes sense that she and Cole would relate and cling to each other. I only hope that it does not become a romantic relationship. It may be nice development for them to share a mutual admiration and attraction, but I hope it never comes to a full blown “like like” each other. The writing is too strong to rely on an easy tug at the heart strings. Colleagues and personal relations alike watched and waited for Cassandra to regain her sanity and momentum. After she hit the panic button in Haiti, she is lucky not to have completely ruined her credibility and career. Yet, somehow, she has sustained enough professional and personal contacts to have seemingly an abundance of resources. At the end of the episode, we learn that she has enough resources to have possibly located the Night Lab. The Cassandra/Cole scenes are sparse in this episodes. They only serve as bookends at the beginning and ending of the episode to keep us focused on the mission. The rest of the episode is all about Cole and the future. Cole abruptly splinters back to the future moments before an attack on the facility. Ramse is surrounded and gunned down with just enough time to apologize to Cole for failing. Jones quickly ducks to the control panel to send Cole back to the last time he was with Cassandra as closely as possible. While under gunfire and facing her own death, she sees it as the only way to attempt to carry out the mission. Cole was not sent back to 2015. He finds himself outside the facility just two days before the attack. The same group of marauders that was searching for him and Ramse, who also attack the facility, stumble upon him. They kidnap him and beat him, partly because he and Ramse left their group, but also to find out how to breach the facility. Deacon (Todd Stashwick) cuts him and then sprinkles a hallucinogenic powder on the wound. Cole’s reality flips from being in a tent with Max (Romina D’Ugo), a former love interest he abandoned when he left the group, and Cassandra. While under the influence of the powder, Cole pleads with Max to go through the tunnels to warn the science team. Unfortunately, Deacon pops out of the shadows like the Big Bad Wolf and cannot wait to attack the facility. We do get a flashback that lasts most of the episode. We see Ramse and Cole scavenging, nearly starving as they fend for themselves among the ruin. There is even a tricky moment when the audience thinks they are going to kill and eat a dog. Deacon finds them and in a “join me and live or fight me and die” standoff, Ramse and Cole join his band of marauders who are immune to the plague. Ramse pleads with Cole that they are doing alright, but Cole eagerly joins them up. The rest of the time, we see that Deacon’s group are bullies, thieves, and murderers. They pillage and scavenge. If they find something they want, they take it. If they encounter other survivors, they rob them and either leave them to die without any food or supplies or kill them with no remorse. Ramse even dares to question and argue with Deacon that the people they were attacking were weak and had nothing. One of the survivors being attacked stabs Cole. This is the first time we see a darkness surround Cole. He shoots the attacker not in self-defense, but out of pure anger. Deacon proudly looks on while Ramse stares at Cole with his hang dog Precious Moments sad eyes. Later on, Deacon tells Cole to kill Ramse. He said it would be kinder if he did. If Deacon killed him, he would have to torture him and make an example out of him. Sure, this makes perfect sense! Cole goes into Ramse’s tent and Ramse tells Cole that they have to leave right away. As Cole entered the tent, he has the gun and tucks it in the back of his pants, hidden by his shirt. They manage to sneak away, but abandoned Max in the process. Later on, after Cole tells Deacon how to get into the facility, he manages to win Max over and explain why he left. Max tries to comfort Cole because he did not shoot Ramse, but Cole reminds her that he carried the gun into the tent. On some level, Cole had thought about killing Ramse and staying with Deacon. Even though Cole is our hero, he not an innocent do-gooder. Perhaps trying to save the world from the plague is his penance for the pain and death he had caused in the past? Max and Cole manage to save the day. We find out that much of the gun fire we heard earlier when Ramse was surrounded, was actually Cole saving his life and shooting the marauders. Same goes for the gunfire in the time travel room. During the shootout, there was a bold flash and it is unclear if Deacon escaped or managed to splinter via the time travel machine. It absorbed a lot of gunfire and it is also unclear if the machine was damaged. While it is very convenient that Cole manages to save the day once again, I was very happy that he did. This is another example of Cole traveling back in time, but, instead of changing events, they play out exactly how they were supposed to. There is a predestination paradox that has occurred throughout the show so far in which Cole thinks he is changing the future, but his time travel has actually always been a part of the events. Had Cole never gone back in time, he would not have told Deacon how to invade the facility. Had Deacon never invaded, Jones would not have tried to send Cole back in time in order to save him from being shot and never being able to complete the mission. At the same time, we see that Cole’s time travel is able to change the future like when he damaged the face of the watch. Jones and Cole did win the lottery when she tried to send him back. By pure accident and due to the gunfire, the time machine sent him to a few days in the past instead of back to 2015. Unfortunately, Jones is not able to recreate and control all of these variables in order to send him back to the recent past. Remember, she cannot always control what date or place she sends him to. The science behind time travel is not perfect and not totally understood even by the science team. One aspect of this show that I am thoroughly enjoying is how each episode adds a layer to the story and explains other episodes. The end of each episode leaves me on the edge of my seat begging for more! 12 Monkeys 1.04 “Atari”3.9Overall ScoreReader Rating: (1 Vote)Share this:TweetShare on TumblrLike this:Like Loading... Related Leave a Reply Cancel ReplyYou must be logged in to post a comment.