Monday, January 26, 2015

12 Monkeys, Season One, Episode Two: Mentally Divergent

This episode begins in 2043, with Jones listening to a recording of Cassandra's, in which she talks about the plague starting with Leeland and when she gets to the part about the true architects, Cassandra brings up the army of the 12 Monkeys.  Jones finds the image Jennifer drew in a mental institution back in 2015  of a monkey and decides to send Cole and Ramse to investigate.

In 2043, Ramse and Cole make their way through a parking lot at night.  Cole heads in against Ramse's warning about a potential ambush.  The two men make their way through a building by flashlight and enter room 249 to find a drawing on the room.  Ramse feels that this doesn't make any sense because the recording says that Leeland is responsible. Ramse questions if Leeland is in fact dead. Cole confirms Leeland's death and adds that the recording said that the plague started with Leeland. Ramse questions if Cole wants to return to the past because Jones originally said that "this is one and done," but Cole now believes that Jones was wrong.  After going through files, Cole notes that the file on 248 is missing and that it's the only one that's gone. ( it's worth noting that the director made a mistake here, unless there is some meaning here I am missing. The men entered room 249 but are talking about room 248.) Suddenly, Ramse and Cole are attacked but manage to get the upperhand on their opponents quickly. 

Cole and Ramse enter return to the science lab and Ramse tells Cole that he is not the same man since he got back. Cole denies that this is the case but Ramse responds that he understands that Cole is sad since he's been back, adding that anyone would be.  Ramse brings up that Cole had access to food, sights and yes, the girl but Cole assures him that it's not like that. Ramse reminds Cole that he's not from there but here. They then discuss whether or not Cole is going to see Cassandra again.

It's now 2015 in Washington D.C., and Cassandra calls Aaron for help.  When Aaron arrives, Cassandra thanks him for coming and admits that she didn't have anyone else to call, as he drives through the city.  Cassandra directs Aaron to take her to her grandparents old store because she wants to lay low for a little while.  It's not long before a disagreement happens between them about Cole.  When Aaron says that he wants to help, Cassandra suggests that he question why there were no charges laid against her, why she  was released to the security firm to begin with, and particularly why they never made it the police station.

In the future, Jones says that the symbol (read: 12 monkey symbol) appeared in all of the major cities, adding that there was a design to ensure that the virus hit with maximum impact.  Cole questions if the guiding hand was the army of the 12 monkeys.  Jones says it's not clear yet who the 12 monkeys were and that they could have been a terrorist organization, or even religious fanatics. Cole wonders if he should go to 1987 to see Leeland but Jones says that they don't yet have enough power to send him that far back. Instead, pointing to a picture of Jennifer, Jones says that they are sending him back to 2015 to track her down because she is somehow connected to the 12 monkeys.  Cole suggests that Cassandra would be great at helping him get inside the institution but Jones does not want Cassandra to become Cole's accomplice.  Cole reminds Jones that she wasn't there and Jones points out that Cole could have corrupted Cassandra's timeline and prevented her from leaving the message which would have stopped their entire investigation. Jones suggests that Cole is risking everything by playing with time, adding that she has learned enough about time to fear it.

Cole is given an injection and Ramse tells Cole that he wants him to do a shot, get laid and find some vintage. Cole jokes about sleeping with Ramse's mother.  Cole lies down in the travel machine and is told that he is being sent to Philadelphia in 2015.  Cole questions if Jones has the right time and location because she was off the last time by weeks but Jones assures him that she has it all handled.

In the past, Cole finds himself next a tank. Cole is suddenly surrounded by soldiers because instead of Philadelphia in 2015, Jones has sent him to North Korea in 2006.  Talk about a bad landing spot. Cole is led away by the soldiers and taken to an interrogation room, screaming that he cannot understand the soldiers.

In the 2043 the alarms go off and Jones realises that Cole is in the wrong place.  The scientists work hard to track the signal with the intention to sling shot Cole to where he needs to be.  In 2006, a General takes a note from Cole's pocket and says that Cole is American, which is good for him.  In 2043, Ramse is starting to freak out and Jones reminds Ramse that he is only there because Cole wants him to be.  Jones believes that it is Cole's destiny to stop the plague from ever happening. Jones iniaties the sling shot, just as the North Koreans start to beat on Cole.

Cole is then shifted to J.D. Peoples Mental Hospital in 2015. Cole finds himself being escorted into the hospital after assaulting. Dr. Sandman tries to get some basic information from Cole and tells him that he is likely suffering from PTSD.  Cole is then told he is going to be hospitalized for 24 hours.

Cassandra is still frantically trying to find information on the army of the 12 monkeys from Jeremy.  Cassandra turns to the television, when it is reported that Goines has died of a massive heart attack.  This of course is not how Goines died. Frustrated, Cassandra grabs her things and leaves.

At the hospital, as a patient Cole has freedom of movement. Jennifer passes by him to take her medicine and though she approaches him, Cole has yet no idea that Jennifer is the person he is looking for. Cole, a little bit entranced, follows Jennifer until he connects her last name with Leeland.  Steps away from the nurses station, Jennifer coughs up her medicine and talks to Cole about her love of primary numbers. Cole asks about the number 12 and Jennifer says that 12 in not a primary and that Cole is not as smart as her.  Cole as Jennifer to teach him and she readily agrees, asking him what he wants to learn. Cole asks about the army of the 12 monkeys and what she knows.  When Jennifer laughs, Cole pushes her into her room and ironically against the wall on which she drew a monkey.  Jennifer says that she cannot talk about the monkeys because it's against doctors orders.  When Cole gets insistent, Jennifer explains that there are a dozen agents in her father's kingdom who have eyes like Cole's.  Jennifer claims that she set these agents free and got them all shot.  Jennifer gets over excited, causing Cole to have to cover her mouth and warn that he will hurt her if he has to.  Jennifer then calmly says that the 12 monkeys are her cover band.  Jennifer pushes the panic button and when the orderlies burst in, Jennifer tells them that Cole tried to kill her.

Later, Jennifer is back drawing on the walls in a confused state, while Dr. Sandman tries to calm her down.  The doctor orders another round of medication when Jennifer bangs her head forcefully against the wall.  Jennifer is escorted out by the nurse and Sandman makes a call about Jennifer's conversation with Cole.  Sandman questions if the deal he struck will be honoured.  It seems that Sandman has been accepting bribes.

Cassandra knocks on Jeremy's door and when no one answers, Jennifer let's herself in.  Cassandra notices a trail of flowers and Jeremy sitting in his office chair.  When Cassandra makes her way over to him, it becomes clear quickly that Jeremy is dead.  Cassandra sits in horror and an elderly pale gentleman appears, saying that he killed Jeremy because he was asking questions for Cassandra.  Cassandra is told to stop asking questions and is warned that if she ignores this message, or tries to contact the authorities, he will hurt her and the ones she cares about.  The man then asks about Cole and Cassandra answers honestly that she doesn't know.  For some reason the man believes her and tells Cassandra goodbye.

Cassandra is back at her grandparents place in a state of full panic when Aaron arrives. Aaron reveals that he checked with D.C. Metro and there is no record of her arrest.  Cassandra responds that there is even a cover story for Leeland Goines, adding that Goines didn't die of a heart attack.  Aaron asks what happened and if Cole killed Goines.  Cassandra tells Aaron to stop.  Aaron says that he had some research done on Cole and shows her a picture of Cole from when he showed up at a North Korean army base nine years ago. Aaron declares that Cole is dangerous and reports that Cole had an address on him when he was taken in North Korea.  Of course, the address was for the mental institution.  Wow, those CIA cameras are great aren't they, to be able to pick up the address with satellites. Cassandra tells Aaron to stop asking questions and adds that he needs to go.  In frustration, Aaron tells Cassandra to take care of herself.  Cassandra walks over to the desk and looks at the address.

Cole wakes to find himself strapped to a bed, with Jennifer looking at him with scalpel in her hand. After Cole introduces himself, Cassandra cuts him with the scalpel trying to determine if Cole is in fact real.  Cole again asks about the army of the 12 monkeys and assures Jennifer that they are real.  Cole asks what Jennifer did for the army and Jennifer corrects the assertion, saying that something was done to her.  Cole tries to convince Jennifer to talk by asserting again that the monkeys are real, even as Jennifer gets different flashes.  Jennifer reveals that the voices started when she was 14 and we get a vision of a man working in a lab.  Jennifer gets a vision of the man who killed Jeremy and talks about a shadowy off site lab where the virus is locked inside. In a vision, dressed in lab gear, Jennifer watches as the throats of fellow scientists were slashed and Avery (the same man who killed Jeremy btw) tells her about the army of the 12 monkeys.  We are told that Avery smells of lavender and jasmine.  Jennifer is sure that the men in the lab died because of her. 

The door rattles and Jennifer crawls off of Cole, as he frantically tells her that the army of the 12 monkeys are going to steal the virus from the lab.  Cole begs Jennifer to give him the location but before she can say much, the doctor bursts in and orders Jennifer removed and Cole transfered back to County.  When Cole arrives at the elevator, escorted by orderlies, Cassandra shows up.  Cassandra hands over paperwork stating that Cole is being discharged.  As they walk away from the doctor and the orderlies, Cole asks Cassandra how she found him and why she is here.  Cassandra says that she found out from the North Koreans and asks Cole who he is trying to kill this time.  Cole makes it clear that this time, he is looking for information.  Cassandra asserts that she can help him but Cole argues that this is his mission and that the people who sent him back are worried about her time line.  Cassandra is adamant that she doesn't care about that and reveals that Jeremy is dead, which means that someone knows that they have been getting close.  Cassandra talks about the jasmine and lavender flowers and that Avery asked where Cole was.  Cole explains that there is someone important here and grabs Cassandra's hand and heads back into the hospital with her.

Avery enters Jennifer's room, where she is once again furiously drawing monkeys, saying that they have work to do.  In the hallway, Cole explains that Goines had a secret lab and that his daughter Jennifer knows where it is. Avery is leading Jennifer out of the room, when they run smack into Cole and Cassandra.  Cassandra alerts the medical station that someone is stealing a patient and Cole runs after Jennifer and Avery. 

Avery shoots at Cole and asks him if he remembers him.  Avery questions why Cole is here, adding that in all that brutality, Cole hasn't found, "it" either.  Jennifer rushes away from the man holding her and stabs Avery in the arm.  A fight soon breaks out between Cole and the man who was holding Jennifer.  More men arrive and Avery orders Jennifer to be brought along.  Cole falls to the ground after losing the fight and listens as Avery walks away with a group of men whistling.  Cassandra rushes in and helps Cole up off the ground saying that they need to go. 

At Cassandra's grandparents place, Cole and Cassie talk about where the secret lab is.  Casandra pulls out Jennifer's file which she stole from the desk at the nurse's station.  Cole tells Cassandra that he was looking for that. Jennifer's intake statement is a confession about the murders and the fact that one got away.  Cole and Cassandra wonder if the one who got away was a scientist.  Cole's time is up and he disappears saying, "see you soon," to Cassandra.

Back in his own time, Cole reports to Jones that Jennifer Goines is now in the possession of the army of the 12 monkeys and the man with the scar (read: Avery) knew his name. Jones reminds Cole that he is experiencing time out of order and that the man encountered Cole in his past and Cole's future. Jones says that they now know what to look for.  Cole wants to end the meeting but Jones shows him the sign-in sheet from the mental institution with Cassandra's signature. Jones reminds Cole that he was given explicit orders not to get Cassandra involved. Cole turns in anger and tells Jones that she does not give him orders.  In response, Jones orders the room cleared.

Alone, Cole tells Jones that he is not her soldier and Jones questions what Cole would be had he not received this mission.  Jones suggests that Cole would be a scavenger, wandering the wastelands for scraps. Cole tells Jones that she must frustrated to be stuck here while he gets to go back. Jones laughs and tells Cole that she can show him what nothing is because he is endangering their attempt to save seven billion souls.  Jones explains that she was 37 when the world died and that she remembers the 7 billion.  Jones points out that Cole was just a child and all he remembers is what he did out there and that is the soul he wants to save.  Cole reminds Jones that they had a one shot deal, which only included him going back in time and killing one man.  Cole points out that he's not supposed to be here anymore and Jones responds that none of them are. Jones adds that they both want to change this reality but this won't happen unless they trust each other.  Cole says that Jones needs to trust him because in the past, he needs Cassandra and cannot do this alone.  Jones concedes, as she stares at a sign for the 12 monkeys.

In the year 2015, Avery  mixes a liquid and brings it over to Jennifer, who pauses for a moment before consuming some of it.  Jennifer asks if she is dying now and Avery informs her not today.  Jennifer begins to see visions and cries out softly.

Okay, that's it, I'm HOOKED.  I want to know what this army of the 12 monkeys is and how it relates to the plague.  Also, with the arrival of Avery, we have replaced one mystery man for another.  Clearly the organization he represents has a very long reach. 

We got a little bit of Jennifer's back story this week.  It's clear that her character is going to be important to the story.  At one time, she was a capable scientist, until she witnessed the murders and had a break with reality. Jennifer's mind is so scattered, she isn't even sure of what is true anymore, thanks in large part to the drugs she has been fed and a complicit doctor.  I like the fact that the institution where she was hospitalized isn't some dark and scary place, as they are often depicted to be in this genre.

This week, people of colour took a huge hit.  With the death of Jeremy, 50% of the characters of colour are gone.  When you only have two characters of colour, one dying seriously impacts representation.  The only character we have left is Ramse and thus far, he is little more than a sidekick to Cole, when Cole is in 2043.  At this point, we know nothing about him, or even how he and Cole came to be friends.

On the plus side, Cassandra has been elevated from sidekick to valued partner.  It makes sense to me that she should have more of a leadership role in her interactions with Cole because she, of course, is fully connected to 2015, while Cole is not.  Cassandra also has the medical knowledge that Cole so clearly lacks; Cassandra is the brains to Cole's brawn.  It will be interesting to see how their relationship develops.  We also have Jones, as the lead scientist.  Jones is clearly cunning, powerful and bright.  Even though Cole confronted Jones, it ended in a sort of stalemate. Then of course the aforementioned Jennifer.  Of all of the characters, she fascinates me the most.  I want to know more about how she fits in and what her past work was.