Previously on 12 Monkeys . . .
Last week Crazy Jennifer Goines (Primary) and Sexy Cassie Railly (physician) became BFFs in 2016 after Cassie traveled back from 2044 to find out what younger Jennifer knows in 2016 that older Jennifer in 2044 has forgotten / had forgotten / will forget—or at least has chosen / had chosen / will choose not to reveal . . . because she wanted / had wanted / will want Cassie to travel back to 2016 so they could become / had become / will become BFFs.
What 2016 Jennifer knew (after Cassie had her stop taking her schizophrenia meds) was that a Primary named Kyle Slade died in 1975, so this week Scruffy James Cole (constantly in need of a shave with a beard that never grows beyond two-day stubble) and Suave José Ramse (always dapper with a shave, a shower, and a haircut—and sometimes sporting a stylish woolen flat cap) travel from 2044 to 1975 to prevent Slade from being “paradoxed” (i.e. murdered with a weapon fashioned from his own future corpse).
Paradoxing a Primary (murdering a temporal-visioned schizophrenic with a weapon fashioned from his or her own corpse) is bad because it will cause time to collapse in on itself so that reality will be an “eternal now” in which everything and everyone that exists, did exist, and will exist will now simultaneously exist in the eternal and death-free now—at least that is how the Witness explained the destruction-of-time-situation to Cassie in a vision she experienced in this episode.
Last week we learned in one of Cassie’s temporal-red-leaf-induced visions that the Witness (the Mustapha Mond of the destruction-of-time plot) is actually Cassie’s thought-to-have-been-dead fiancé Aaron Marker. This week, Aaron shows up at the Emerson Hotel in 2016 to convince Cassie to stop trying to prevent the paradoxing of Primaries so the Eternal Now will become a Utopian reality in which everyone who has ever existed and who will ever exist can live in peace and harmony with their loved ones.
He nearly convinces Cassie that the destruction of time is a consummation devoutly to be wished. However, just as she’s about to accept the idea that the destruction of time is the path to paradise, Aaron’s eyes suddenly go completely black (like the eyes of demons on Supernatural). Those demonic eyes cause Cassie to rapidly realize she isn’t talking to Aaron at all; she’s talking to the Witness.
It’s not clear why she immediately rejected the idea of Aaron and the Witness being the same person. However, for whatever reason, Cassie concluded that the Witness had merely taken on Aaron’s appearance—albeit with facial scars. He then changes into Cole and tells her (paraphrasing here) that this form must be the one she desires—as in, Cassie doesn’t love her dead fiancé Aaron, she loves Cole.
How is it that the nearly omniscient Witness didn’t already know Cassie loves Cole? Everyone else figured out that relationship early in the first season!
The Witness’s ignorance is even more startling when we consider a later revelation in the episode.
Meanwhile (does meanwhile have meaning in a non-chronological time travel narrative?), Cole and Ramse track the “next” Primary, Slade, in 1975. He is actually a serial killer, and Cole and Ramse know his final victim was (or will be) a woman named Victoria Mason. Thus, they stalk Victoria and wait for Slade to show up to kill her.
Of course, to not alter history, Cole reminds Ramse (who flirts with Victoria in the diner where she works) that they must allow Victoria to be murdered before they prevent the Messengers from paradoxing Slade.
Yes, let’s make sure to not alter the timeline by preventing a murder. After all, the entire point of Cole’s original mission was to alter the timeline in order to prevent an orchestrated global pandemic that killed billions of people.
Yet, when Slade attacks Victoria in an alley, it’s Cole who runs to her rescue—and it is Ramse who now believes they should allow her to be murdered. After learning that Victoria uses drugs (it’s unclear whether it was marijuana or cocaine she bought from her dealer), Ramse thinks Victoria’s murder will ensure her young son won’t be raised by a mother who uses drugs.
Understand, there is no indication that Victoria is an addict—just that she bought something from a dealer and is looking forward to using it.
However, when one of the Messengers abducts Victoria in Ramse’s hotel room and ties her up, it is Ramse who rescues her.
Of course, the obvious question is: Why did the Messenger tie up Victoria? After all, her plight doesn’t make any sense in terms of the plot.
Your guess is as good as mine—and my guess is that the show’s producers wanted to present the beautiful actress Diana Bentley in a bondage scene. It’s not like the Messenger was going to use her as bait to draw Slade out of hiding—nor was her bondage required as a way of subduing Ramse or Cole.
Overall, this season of 12 Monkeys has not been scripted as well as the first season. There have been numerous nonsensical plot elements, and the “twists” are more predictable than they are startling—such as Cole originally believing his mission was to prevent Slade from being murdered by the Messengers who have been sent back to kill him.
It was obvious from the moment he was given the assignment that the mission of “prevent Slade from being paradoxed” is not the same as “prevent Slade from being murdered.” I immediately knew the best way to prevent a Primary from being paradoxed is to murder the Primary yourself before the Messengers can kill him with blades fashioned from the bones of the Primary’s future corpse. Katarina even implied as much just before she sent Cole and Ramse back to 1975.
It turns out that Slade is a serial killer for that very reason; he’s been murdering other Primaries so they can’t be paradoxed by the Messengers—and he killed (or was going to kill) Victoria as his version of “the Bat-Signal” in that her death would be the only one that Cole could immediately track back to Slade.
Wait a minute! Slade’s been serial murdering Primaries? Just how many Primaries are running around in 1975?
I was going to make a sarcastic remark about disco music leading to a proliferation of Primaries—perhaps due to the magical properties of Barry White’s Love Unlimited Orchestra—but then I remembered that when Cole and Ramse appeared in 1975, it was the rhythmic beat of Foghat’s “Slow Ride” that introduced them to the era (even though “Slow Ride” wasn’t released until December of 1975, and it didn’t seem like the episode took place in the winter.
I guess a lot of people giving and getting slow rides in the decade following World War II led to a proliferation of Primaries in 1975. It’s those damn Baby Boomers!
Fortunately, due to Slade’s mass murdering of his fellow Primaries and Slade then escaping “death by paradox,” time did not collapse in on itself in 1975—which made the red lightning storm in 2044 decrease a bit.
Yay! A small victory for “our side”—but is our side the “right side”?
Last week, after it seemed that Cassie’s fiancé, Aaron, was the Witness, I mentioned that I had thought that perhaps either a future version of Cole or a future version of Cassie might actually be the Witness. As it turns out, the closing image of this episode seems to indicate that I may have been correct—or perhaps SyFy’s 12 Monkeys is crossing over with the CW’s Supernatural and Cassie has been possessed by a demon.
In a nice bit of synchronicity, it was announced this week that scientists have determined the reason time moves in one direction (instead of the two directions in which the three spatial dimensions move) is due to the influence of the dark energy in the universe.
Of course, the episode was written and produced before the connection between the flow of time and dark energy had been presented, but it is fun to speculate that Cassie (the Witness) has dark energy in her eyeballs—which is significantly different from the “transparent eyeballs” I was going on about in my review of the previous episode.
Finally, I leave you with this note: Cassie (Amanda Schull) sure is a striking woman when she doesn’t have demonic dark energy flowing through her eyeballs!