Wednesday, February 18, 2015

12 Monkeys, Season One, Episode Five: The Night Room

It's the year 2011 and Jennifer wears a hood on her head as she is transported to a secret facility.  Special Ops deliver Jennifer to the lab and Jennifer's hood is removed by Ivan.  Ivan says that Jennifer is the only one who can open the vault.  When Ivan questions if someone would try to steal the experiment, Jennifer dryly explains that it has happened before.  Jennifer explains her concerns about what would happen if the experiment were to land in the wrong hands.

It's 2015 and the pallid man is questioning Jennifer about how to find the night room.

In 2043, Cole explains to Jones that the night room is in Maryland and that Cassie found it using records from the CDC.  Cole explains that he is supposed to meet Cassie and Jones confirms that Cole will destroy the virus.  Jones and Cole talk about getting some rest but Cole claims that he always has a pre jump party.  Cole then invites Jones to the pre jump party with Ramse and Max.  Jones brings out a bottle of the good stuff to share with everyone. They get their drink on and Jones explains that if Cole is successful, this version of themselves will cease to exist and their mission will be over.  Ramse questions why Jones has an English names when she is German.  Jones explains that this is her maiden name and that she was married for a few days.  The party turns somber then and Jones excuses herself claiming to have work to do. 

There is an explosion in the splitter room based on a surge.  Jones screams that she wants it back online by morning.  Apparently, the problem is that the core is running out of juice.  Ramse tells Jones that since the are dealing with a time machine, they should take as long as they need to make it safe and secure.  Jones however says that everyday they wait, the virus could mutate and Cole points out that Deacon could show up again.  Ramse, playing wise person of colour, pulls Cole aside to suggest that they are being reckless.  Cole says that Jones is right and that they are getting to the end of all of this.

The next day, Cole heads to 2015.  Cole and Cassie are outside of the night room.  Cole pulls his gun and the two head out of the car but Cassie is insistent that they need a plan. Cassie fears that Cole is acting like he did when he killed Leeland.  Cole and Cassie make their way through the lab and Ivan appears behind them.  Ivan informs them that the lab is downstairs and says that he is sorry, they (read: the 12 monkeys) already know Cole and Cassie are here.

Cassie, Cole, and Ivan, are pushed through the lab and locked in a room. Ivan says that security is all dead and that everyone else is gone.  Cassie explains that the 12 monkeys want the virus to which Ivan responds that it is kept in the vault, though no one stationed there can open it.  The pallid man stands in front of the vault.  Ivan then explains about the big burn and says that there are two switches and that they must be hit at the same time.  Soldiers enter the room and take Ivan out. Cassie tries to fight for Ivan but Cole pulls her back saying, "you can't save everyone."  Cassie argues that Ivan is going to be killed but Cole is adamant that it doesn't matter and that ending the plague is why he is here. Cassie watches through the observation window as the Pallid man talks to Ivan. Cassie flips a switch to hear the conversation below, as Cole wonders whether or not Jennifer has been broken.  The Pallid man wants Ivan to open the vault and when Ivan admits that he doesn't know how, the Pallid man kills him by putting a bullet in the back of his head.

In 2043, Max points out to Ramse that they have not been erased.  Ramse and Max make their way over to Jones and snark about the fact that they are still here and question if Cole is still alive.  Jones asks for the signal to be traced, shoots Ramse the side eye and takes off.  Max questions why Cole trusts Jones, given that there are stories about a German doctor who turns people inside out in medical experiments.  Ramse calls it a ghost story but Max points out that Jones sends people through time and questions how well he knows her.

Cole and Cassie are moved to another room where Cole is handcuffed to a table.  The pallid man questions if Henri revealed how to get into the vault or if Leeland Goines did.  The pallid man pulls out some bamboo shoots and sticks them under Cole's fingernails.  Cassie calls out for the torture to stop, saying that Cole doesn't know how to get inside the vault. The pallid man just continues the torture saying that the snake is eating it's own tail.  The Pallid Man brings up the witness, who apparently knows that the natural order is not sufficient.  The Pallid Man continues his gruesome work and reveals that Cole killed Leeland and Henri, asking how many more he has to kill.  When the Pallid Man leaves, Cassie confronts Cole about killing Henri.  Of course, Cole claims that he didn't have a choice. They finally notice Jennifer standing in a corner, facing a wall.

In 2043, Ramse makes his way through the facility getting his snoop on.

Back in 2015, Jennifer worries about the 12 monkey's opening the vault, saying that she doesn't want to be seen.

In 2043, Ramse finds the evidence of splitter experiments gone terribly wrong but he is confronted by Jones.  Ramse questions if Cole was the first and Jones admits that there were others who were lost in time.

In 2015, Jennifer, Cole and Cassie look down at a dessicated body in a container.  This is clearly one of Jone's experiments which went wrong. Jennifer explains that the body is the origin of Leeland's virus.  When the soldier tries to get the remains, his hand is burned. Jennifer grabs  the mic and announces to the monkeys that reinforcements are on their way, then tells Cole that the Monkeys cannot get into the vault. Jennifer explains that she led the Monkeys here.  Cassie then introduces herself but Jennifer wants nothing to do with her, when she learns that Cassie is a doctor.  Jennifer has clearly developed a thing for Cole and says that when Cole says her name, the voices stop.  The Pallid man bursts into the room and tells Jennifer that she is needed downstairs.

In 2043, Jones explains that the experiments sent through time were completely necessary to finish the project. Ramse holds a file which is filled with the record of experiments and Jones says that there is nothing she wouldn't do for this.  Ramse points out that Jones's plan is not working and nothing has changed, except now, Jones has blood on her hands. Jones explains that they didn't just loose people but ideas - music, art etc,. Ramse stands replying that what they are doing is wrong but Jones is adamant that it is all necessary because they could not rebuild what was lost in 1,000 generations. Jones weighs the life of a few people compared to the whole of human history, adding that without the sacrifices, there is not future, just drifting in the ocean of time. Ramse demands to know what is going to happen to Cole but Jones assures Ramse that it won't happen to Cole. Ramse declares that it matters what they do here, dropping Jones's files on the floor.

Jennifer is euphoric and she sits down to be tortured, telling the pallid woman that the soldiers are on their way here.  The Pallid Man hold a rat over Jennifer, asking for the code for the failsafe but Jennifer says that she only tells her secrets to Cole.  When the Pallid Man reveals that Cole killed Leeland, Jennifer starts to scream, "Cole killed by daddy," and gets even more demented.

Cassandra tells Cole that she trusted him and had a good life before she met him and that now, all there is, is death.  Cole brings up Ramse and the rules they follow. Cole tells Cassie about an old couple they met in a farm house raid. Cole was stabbed by the older woman ended up killing her. The woman's response was to smile at him in forgiveness.  Cole explains that forgiveness is the one thing he wanted though he doesn't deserve it. Cole believes that if he can fix all of this, everything he did won't have all been for nothing.  Cassandra however feels that Cole needs to find someone else because she wants to heal people, not do whatever is needed.

Jennifer is tossed back into the room and tells Cole that it's awesome that he killed her father.  Cassandra notices that 12 Monkeys are leaving and Jennifer explains that the Monkeys don't want to face off against the commandos. Jennifer then opens the door using the code, explaining that she has all of the codes in her head.  Cole realises that Jennifer can get them into the vault and asks about the fail safe. 

The alarm is blaring, as Cole makes his way through the hallway with the women following.  Cassandra pauses to point out that the pathogen could be loose and Cole says that he is immune.  Cole begs Jennifer to enter the fail safe password. Jennifer says that she will only open the the failsafe for Cole.  The 12 Monkeys jump out because they apparently set this all up and fooled Jennifer. When they put a gun to Cole's head, Jennifer deactivates the failsafe code. Cole looks at the big burn button and looks up at Cassie.  Cole then grabs a gun from one of the guards, shoots the container and hits the big burn button. Cassie follows suit and hits  her button.  The lab bursts into flames, as Cole and Jennifer hide in the vault for protection.

In 2043, Max questions whether or not Ramse actually trust Jones and he tells Max to back off because not only does he not trust Jones, he doesn't trust Max. 

When Cole exits the vault, he is surprised to find that he didn't disappear. When Cole gets the sensation of splintering, he grabs Jennifer by the hand and starts racing through the facility.   Outside, Cassie is being led away by guards.  Cassie is placed into a van and Cole splinters, leaving Jennifer behind, as the van drives away.

Back in 2043, Cole arrives calling out for Cassie.  When he gets out of the chair, he finds that the facility appears to be abandoned.  When he pushes out of the chamber, he find people wrapped in blankets with a symbol on the wall.  It seems that something Cole did changed the present.

I keep waiting for 12 Monkeys to actually do something.  I am not at all invested in this story and feel that it's moving in one big circle.  The problem with a time travel story like this is because Cassie left a message mentioning Cole's name, it suggests that everything we are seeing has already happened and Cole is only now experiencing it in his time line. Furthermore, the cause of the virus is clearly one of Jones's experiments. It's the trap that 12 Monkeys finds itself in and I'm afraid that there is no way to fix it.

Ramse continues in his role as the wise person of colour, otherwise known as the conscience of the show.  I have to say that he is one big walking trope.  I want to see him develop beyond that particularly trope because I think he is the principal person of colour on this show and the actor can do so much better.

This week, we learned about all of the failed time travel experiments.  Yeah, I get where the 12 Monkeys were going with that one but having these medical experiments done by a German doctor of all things was extremely problematic.  It brings to mind another German doctor, known for his medical experiments.  It did however raise the moral dilemma of  how far one should go to change the world?  Does the all or nothing attitude of both Jones and Cole (who seems to take on the idea of power figures around him) make sense?

Then we have Jennifer Goines.  I have to say that I am really impressed by Emily Hampshire's acting. As far as Jennifer goes, I like that even though she has a mental disability, they haven't made her a helpless victim to be saved. Jennifer is extremely smart and had a plan in place when she led the 12 Monkeys to the night room.  The Pallid Man thought he would have an easy time with her, but such was not to be the case.  Of all the characters to date, I think Jennifer is easily one of the most interesting.