This week’s episode returns the show to the somewhat cryptic, but incredibly important episode title formula with “Red Forest.” The Red Forest is an area surrounding the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant. Formerly known as Wormwood Forest, it has been renamed for the reddish brown color of its pine trees after they died from absorbing high levels of radiation from the Chernobyl accident of 1986. Later in this episode, we learn that time traveling is taking its toll on Cole and eventually splintering will kill him. Jones does not tell him how many more times he can splinter, but she does say she hopes it is enough. The act of splintering and the foreign processes involved could transform his body as it did the once beautiful, strong pines. …or I, like much of the Internet, could be reading entirely too much into this show and The Red Forest is simply the forest that Cassandra sees after she is captured and given a hallucinogenic drug. In the previous episode, Cole returns to his present, but it has been altered. This episode opens with the last few moments of last week’s episode. We find out that Jones is present at the facility, but no longer in charge. The Seven, the group of marauders Ramse and Cole escaped from and that also attacked the facility in “Atari,” is in control of the facility. Cole is taken to their leader and he does not expect things to go well at all. Instead of Deacon being in charge, we see that Ramse (complete with an eye patch) is now in control. In this alternate timeline, Cole was dead. It took a lot of convincing, but Cole used his knowledge of Ramse to convince him that his story of time travel was true. At the risk of depleting all of the facility’s energy to power the core, Ramse went against The Seven and allowed Jones to send Cole back to 2015. When he had previously been there, he must have done something to change the timeline because Cassandra died in 2015. This means there was no Cassandra to send the original message and it also caused the plague to occur earlier. Added to the mix was “Operation Troy” which was some type of government project that aided the development and spreading of the plague. Before Cole left 2015 Cassandra had been captured. Cole had to return and, of course, save her. The only ally and person with any power he could think of, was Cassandra’s ex, Aaron (Noah Bean). As chief aide to a senator, Aaron had coincidentally just handed off a highly classified document about Operation Troy to the senator. Cole kidnaps Aaron and takes him to Cassandra’s home in order to brief him about her capture and danger. Aaron is one of the most antagonizing and frustrating aspects of this episode for the fewer. Cole finally convinces Aaron to help save Cassandra just after the police, alerted by Aaron’s 911 call, arrive on the scene. Once Aaron and Cole arrive to the location of the Night Room as Cassandra is being nabbed, Aaron shoots the original Cole instead of the Pallid Man. The next portion is slightly cool, but a little sloppy as far as writing goes. Cole has a memory of Jones stitching up his gunshot wound as well as the license plate number of the car that took Cassandra. Aaron, who will no doubt be able to provide all types of secret government knowledge and contacts, calls in a favor from law enforcement and traces the plate. It just falls into Cole’s lap way too easily. It is as if the writers could not figure out a way for Cole or Aaron (who should just try not to get in the way now) to find the folks that took Cassandra. It was a cheap cop out in an otherwise clever show. While Cole and Aaron are cheating their way to finding her, Cassandra is in a greenhouse and has been fed a hallucinogenic drug by a woman with an eerily relaxing voice who almost hypnotizes her. During a weird trip, Cassandra is led by the voice to a forest in autumn and she sees The Witness, a.k.a. the big boss that reigns over Pallid Man and Strange Voice Lady. Send in the troops! Cole and Aaron save the day and rescue Cassandra. Moments later, Cole splinters in front of Aaron. Aaron agrees to help Cassandra and Cole and believes that Operation Troy is the key. When Cole returns to 2043, he quickly realizes he has returned the timeline to rights. He briefs Ramse and Jones about the alternate timeline and Operation Troy. As with previous episodes, more about time travel is slowly revealed to us. We are reminded that Cole is making a dangerous sacrifice and how careful he must be when time traveling. Even the slightest change could alter the future, his present, and cause him to be trapped in the past or an alternate timeline. Now that Aaron has joined the group, will he and Cassandra get back together? This may cause for more tension between Cole and Cassandra that I really hope the show does not explore or exploit. We do not need Cole and Cassandra kissing after a near miss just for Cole to splinter back to 2043. Hopefully, Aaron’s resources will further the excitement and detective work as Cole and Cassandra try to piece together clues about the plague and the Army of the 12 Monkeys instead of tempting writers into lazy writing and simple explanations. I hope the next episode features more of The Witness. The shadowy glimpse was just enough of a tease to make me crave more. 12 Monkeys 1.06 “Red Forest”4.3Overall ScoreReader Rating: (2 Votes)Share this:TweetShare on TumblrLike this:Like Loading... Related Leave a Reply Cancel ReplyYou must be logged in to post a comment.