Sunday, February 8, 2015

12 Monkeys, Season One, Episode Four: Atari

It's the year 2015, and Cassandra and Cole are talking about possible sites for the night room that she has discovered. Cole is impressed that she got all of this from the CDC but Cassandra is concerned that there are still to many possible sites and reminds Cole that the 12 Monkeys already have Jennifer.  Cole says that they will have to get through Jennifer's "crazy" before she leads them anywhere.  Cole makes it clear that once the 12 Monkeys are found, they will have to be killed.  Cole tells Cassandra that if she could see where he is from, she would understand.  This prompts Cassandra to ask, adding that while Cole knows everything about her, including where she is going to die,  she knows nothing about him.  Cole tells Cassandra to stay focused on the mission, adding that none of that is going to matter.  When she walks away in frustration and questions what it is he doesn't want her to know, Cole shifts away.

It's the year 2032 and Cole and Ramse are armed, making their way through a building, talking about the fact that they are down to scraps.  Cole sees a whining dog and Ramse tells Cole that the rule is whoever sees it kills it.  When Cole balks, Ramse steps forward saying that hes is starving.  Later that evening, the men sit in front of a fire with the dog by their side, as Ramse complains that they are going to starve.  Ramse says that they are in Atari - a game he used to play when he was a kid - signifying that they are out of moves.  The dog stands and starts to bark suddenly.

Cole arrives back in 2043, and is immediately injected by Dr. Lasky, to help with the pain of an unscheduled early return.  When Cole exists the chamber, he is told by Ramse that they took down two scabs on the perimeter with marks akin to the marks that Ramse has on his arm. The two men talk about the possibility that Max lied and that Deacon knows about the facility.  Ramse and Cole then join Jones and Whitley and discuss the possibility of imminent attack.  Whiteley believes that with their defenses, they can take a few dozen scabs but Cole is adamant that since the scabs are West 7 (his old crew), being led by Deacon, they pose a real threat.  Jones orders Whitley to take Cole and Ramse up top.  Whitley says that he doesn't need them but Jones is adamant that this mission is everything and that Cole and Ramse have experience which Whitley does  not.

Up top, Ramse and Cole talk about the questions Cassie was asking. Cole suggests that Ramse would like Cassie because she is always waving her moral compass around.  Whitley reports that a vehicle is headed this way packing some heat and gives the order that the doors are to be secured.

In 2032, Cole and Ramse fight off an attack but are quickly overwhelmed by an armed group.  Seeing that they are outnumbered, Cole tells Ramse to put his weapon down.  Deacon steps forward, impressed by the fact that Ramse and Cole managed to kill two of the meanest members of his group. It seems that Deacon has a legacy of slaughtering people and he justifies this by saying that the world belongs to the immune.  Deacon says that since he has two openings and Cole and Ramse are survivors, they can have a warm place to sleep, with full bellies.  Ramse declines the offer but Cole says that they are listening and introduces himself and Ramse. 

In 2043, soldiers at the facility take aim at the approaching pick up truck.  A full out assault by scavengers begins and Cole and Ramse are in the thick of the action.  They contact Whitley to say that things are clear where they are and Whitley reports nothing going on up top.  Ramse and Cole realise that this was just a distraction and believe that Deacon has found yet another point of entry.  Deacon makes his way through the tunnels.

In the year 2032,  Cole and Ramse arrive at the camp, with Deacon saying that it's better than they are used to.  When Ramse snarks that Deacon is raiding survivors, Cole excuses Ramse, by saying that they have been on their own for a long time and that Ramse will be okay. Deacon calls over Max and introduces her to Cole, adding that Max is to be Cole's friend and show him around.  Cole tries to say it's okay but Max snarks about Cole having something better to do.

In 2043, Cole, Rams,e and Whitley, head to the exhaust tunnels and Ramse asks Whitley if any of his men have gone missing because Deacon knew about the tunnels.  Jones joins them and is absolutely determined that the machine must be defended but Ramse points out that the Seven can see the lights and know that there is a lot of power in the facility.  Ramse goes with Whitley and Cole and Jones head back to the machine.  On the way there, Jones and Cole come across Deacon, with one of his soldiers, and manage to kill the soldier before shutting themselves inside the splitter chamber.  Deacon orders Max to get the door open when she catches up to him.  Cole contacts Ramse, who is at the core, only to be told that the situation is Atari.  When Ramse turns around, he is surrounded by armed men.  Cole hears shots through the radio and Ramse does not answer.  Cole grabs a weapon but Jones yells out that he will never make it and that Ramse will have died for nothing.  Jones tells Cole that he can be sent back to Cassandra for good and though he won't have her support, he will have hers.  Cole hesitates but runs into the chamber and Jones says that she is sending him as close as she can to when he left Cassandra, adding that they won't see each other again.  When Cole says goodbye, Jones and Cole exchange first names for the first time. 

Deacon bursts through the chamber door firing and Cole winks out.

In 2032, Ramse says that he sick of robbing sad sacks for dog food.  Cole argues that they are part of a tribe now and they have it the best they ever had.  They are interrupted by Deacon, who tells them to get ready.  A group of people come charging around the corner and Cole and Ramse attack with the rest of The Seven.  The Seven quickly defeat the group and when Cole starts to kill an unarmed man, Ramse calls out for him to stop.  Deacon is not impressed but Ramse argues that they have everything they need and that the group is weak.  Deacon points out that if the survivors are allowed to live, The Seven will have created an enemy. Deacon replies that the meek don't inherit shit.  The man whom Ramse asked Cole to spare, grabs a broken bottle, stabs Cole and takes off running, only to be shot by Cole in the back, as Ramse calls out to him. 

Later, Max sews up the wound Cole received in his back from the stabbing.  Max questions if Cole is okay, adding that she has been with The Seven since she was thirteen and that there have been a lot of days like today. Max says that she joined because she had no choice.  Cole questions where Max would be if she had a choice and she replies that it depends on where Cole was.  The two kiss.  They don't get far because Deacon enters the tent.  Cole tries to defend Ramse, saying that Ramse has his own way of looking at things and was not trying to challenge Deacon's authority.   Deacon hands Cole a drink and asks him if he likes it here.  Cole questions what Deacon wants him to do and Deacon makes it clear that Cole is welcome here but Ramse has to go.  Cole points out that if they allow Ramse to live it will create an enemy.  Deacon says that if he were to kill Ramse, he would have to make an example out of him and Cole nods, saying that he understands.  Deacon tells Cole that men like them understand what the world is now and what it takes to survive.  Deacon adds that Cole is not alone any longer, adding that Cole has until sunup before leaving.

Cole arrives back in the past and walks out of a wooded area.  Unfortunately, Jones did not send him back far enough and Cole finds himself facing an armed Max.  Cole screams, asking Max what she did and if she killed Jones as well.   Deacon makes his way out of the woods, saying that Cole has changed a bit.  Cole asks what day it is and when Max says Monday, Cole realises that he has returned to before The Seven attack the facility.

In the year 2035, an armed Cole enters Ramse's tent.  Ramse tells Cole that he doesn't know how much more he can take from Deacon and is certain that Deacon feels the same.  Cole admits that he has already spoken to Deacon.  Ramse offers Cole his knife and tells him to do what he came here to do, adding that he doesn't know who Cole is anymore.  Cole argues that he is a survivor and is doing a lot better than he or Ramse ever did on their own. Cole is adamant that Deacon understands what the world is but Ramse says that Deacon and his followers are murderers.  Cole is not impressed and argues that he and Ramse did plenty before joining up with The Seven but Ramse argues back that the only did so when they had to.  Ramse adds that Deacon is murdering because he likes it and for power, adding that the world shouldn't be like this.  Ramse again asks Cole what he is waiting for.  Cole sits and tells Ramse that he has to get out of here tonight.  Both men agree to flea together but Cole wants to kill Deacon first but Ramse calls it suicide.

Max makes her way to Cole's tent and finds it empty.  When she checks Ramse's tent, it's also empty.  Max moves to the edge of the camp and sees the two men running off together.

In the present, Cole wakes after Max throws some water in his face.  Deacon tells Cole that he has been living the good life and punches him repeatedly.  Deacon asks how to get into the compound and in response, Cole spits in his face.  Deacon punches Cole again, saying that while beating Cole is therapeutic, he is a busy man.  Deacon gets a knife, slices Cole's chest open and pours some powder into the wound, saying that afterwards, Cole will beg him to be beaten again.  When Deacon leaves, Cole begs Max to help him but he starts to see visions.  Cole keeps saying that he needs to save Ramse, even as he has hallucinations about the things he has seen, and begs Max for help.  Max asks how she can help him, and Cole tells her about the tunnel entrance to the compound, telling her to ask to speak to Ramse. Deacon enters the tent, having heard everything Cole said and gives the order for the men to move out.

Later, Cole comes to consciousness again to learn that Deacon is gone and has left orders for Cole to be left alive. Keller moves to cut Cole but he is shot from behind by Max.  Cole asks what Max is doing and Max admits that she doesn't know, asserting that she is one of The Seven. Cole tells Max that she isn't and never was and asks her to get him out of there because there is still time. When Max again asserts that she is a member of The Seven, Cole argues that she never was and that the reason he left her behind, was so that he wouldn't make her target. Cole adds that he never expected to make it as long as he did with Ramse, adding that Deacon wanted him to put a bullet in Ramse, who he considers his brother.  Cole asks for help taking Deacon down,  adding that it doesn't have to be like this. 

An armed Cole and Max then make their way to the facility and the fighting is already underway.  Cole lies low when he sees himself talking to Ramse.  Cole sends Max to save Jones and heads to save Ramse.  Ramse closes his eyes and when he opens them, he finds his assailants dead.  Ramse hears Cole calling for him through the radio.  Cole tells Whitley and Ramse that he will explain later, adding that if they don't move, Jones will die.

Deacon bursts into the chamber, as Cole is moving backwards.   The Seven get their hands on Jones but Max shoots them and then points her weapon at Deacon.  One of the Seven fires and Deacon takes off running ,as Cole, Whitley, and Ramse burst in.  Later, Ramse and Cole discuss Deacon and the fact that he escaped.  Ramse believes that he should have allowed Cole to kill Deacon the night they left but Cole believes that what's done is done.  Ramse brings up the machine, adding that they can do it right this time but Cole reveals that Jones believes the only reason the short jump happened was the damage to the machine and that it's likely that  it cannot be done again.  Cole suggests things happen the way they do for a reason but Ramse asks if that is so, why undo it all.  They discuss Max and the fact that she will be staying at the facility; however, Cole and Max will not be picking up where they left off.  Ramse recommends a romantic relationship to Cole where Cassandra is concerned.

In the year 2015, Cole arrives at Cassandra's at tells her that she was right when she told him that she didn't know anything about him.  Cole adds that he was born in Philadelphia, but Cassie cuts him off saying that she has found the night room.

We got to see a lot more of the future world this time and it's bleak and desperate.  Spending so much time in the future allowed Ramse to get a lot more screen time.  I have been looking forward to seeing Ramse's character expand simply because when it comes to POC, 12 Monkeys has not been great.  While Ramse managed to stay alive, he was simply reduced to playing the role Jiminy Cricket to Cole's Pinocchio.  I really could have done without that.  Yes, I am happy that this episode affirmed the relationship between these two men but having Ramse play the conscience (read: wise POC) was not at all cool.  Furthermore, how much do we know about Ramse really?

Once again, Cole got to play the great White savior. Yes, Cole is the protagonist to this story but it is a framework that it is all to common in media and it sets up marginalized people to exist solely in secondary roles.  Max for instance is tough and capable yet she quickly got over being abandoned because Cole needed help.  It makes no sense to me why she would immediately let go of her rage like that.  

So, we have established that Deacon is going to be the antagonist in 2043.  I have to say that his character just plain and simple feels cliche as all get out.  I know that I was supposed to find him menacing and corrupt but I must admit that I was just bored.  Deacon is exactly what you would expect a villain in a dystopian to be, so much so that he could easily have been shifted into an antagonist on The Walking Dead for instance without skipping a beat.  Well see if they develop his character but so far, I am not intrigued.

I started out sort of excited about 12 Monkeys but the longer I watch, the less it draws me in.  It's all sort of ho hum at this point and feels like it's spinning it;s wheels which is a bad thing considering this is only the fourth episode.  Let's hope we get something more exciting next week.