Sunday, March 29, 2015

12 Monkeys, Season 1, Episode 10: Divine Move


Ramse burns everything –all the plans, all the research and takes Jones injections of stuff (which I think are to do with time travel).


Aaron and Cassie are back to being all couply – and Cole interrupts their couply time. Oh, Cole, Aaron wasn’t a big fan of you before now you’re making it worse! Aaron gasps that it’s not over – yes it looked like it was over Aaron but 12 Monkeys got renewed.

Of course Cassie has just seen Cole die and Cole has just seen Cassie die so they’re super happy to see each other alive.

But the virus was still out there, Chechnya wasn’t the only release point nor was Leland Goins nor was the Night Room. There’s another source: they focus on Oliver Peters, a guy who was at the CIA and who actually made the virus. Aaron loses his temper, saving the world can’t happen because it puts Cassie at risk and they don’t know what they’re doing!

Since, without their intervention, Cassie dies in 2017, I think his arguments are somewhat lacking. He does point out that Cole has no idea how to stop the plague which… yes? I mean isn’t that kind of acknowledged?

As Cassie and Cole drive off they acknowledge that it all feels a little more hopeless. This also feeds into Cole’s worry about Ramse. They break into a lab to find a dead man covered in flowers – something they’ve seen before which the Tall Man does. The dead man is not Oliver Peters, it’s his husband (yes, LGBT inclusion via a rotting corpse!) and Cassie is bitter that they’ve failed to make any difference. Cole has one of his broken glass of milk flashbacks/nosebleeds that he has from time to time which one day may be relevant but this is 12 Monkeys so don’t get your hopes up.

They do find Peter’s journal though including lots of plague references. One of which leads to Tokyo and the 12 Monkeys. Cassie is even more bitter. And drinking. And really bitter. She’s also noticed that Cole is killing himself. For another foreshadowing element, when Cole splinters a nearby plant has its leaves turn red. Related to the “red forest”?

She goes researching for animal test subjects that Peters must be using to develop the plagues. She also has to argue with Aaron who is worried about Cassie getting hurt (again, ignoring the inevitable death of most of the population including her if they don’t do something). She appeals to their inevitable death and asks him to stick with her

He joins her in going to a container yard where she thinks the virus may have been developed or supplies passed through – and she brings a gun with her. There she finds Peters locked in a container. He has finished the virus, creating it because the 12 Monkeys said they’d kill his husband if they didn’t. When he realises his husband is dead he asks Cassie to kill him so he can’t make the virus again. She considers it but, ultimately, tells him to run, find a hole and disappear into it

While she’s doing this, Aaron runs into the Striking Woman who knows his name. She talks about Cassie being important and keeping her live which sounds very menacing and threatening. No doubt Aaron will now do something monumentally foolish

Afterwards Cassie and Aaron discuss this – Cassie can’t imagine destroying the world to save one person. Aaron can – which is very ominous foreshadowing (and a comment on Ramse’s actions)


Cole returns to find the room all burned from Ramse – and then collapses due to splintering. He’s not waiting around for medical attention – he wants to go to 1987, the White Dragon nightclub in Tokyo which may be the plague source

Jones wants to send Whitley after Ramse but Cole insists on a promise that Ramse won’t be hurt, despite the power of time travel curing everything, he can’t bring himself to be Ramse’s murderer.

Jones passes that on to Whitley, including keeping Ramse alive. She also has a moment reflecting on redemption and how everything they do still happened “in god’s eyes”; in other words she doesn’t see the time reset as redemption. Even saying that, when Whitley asks her what if it’s a choice between Ramse and the injections, she chooses the injections.

Ramse returns to a little camp his joined with Elena and shows off the serum he stole. Elena worries that Jones will definitely come hunting for that (after the way she reacted when Spearhead had something she wanted, I think that’s pretty much assured).

The camp has other people lurking around the edges –not jones, but the Daughters, a nomadic, all-female cult. Ramse sees they have the symbol of the 12 Monkeys on one of their carts.

Ramse goes to their camp and the women are very very well armed. He asks about the army of the 12 Monkeys. Their leader arrives – a much older Jennifer Goins who says, in classic Jennifer fashion “12’s not primary”. She rambles on and talks about a herb that gives “pictures in your head”; the herb has red leaves, leaves turned red by Cole’s splintering. Jennifer is hard to understand and she certainly doesn’t make a lot of sense but she talks about work to do and undoing what she, Ramse and Cole have done. She talks about the plague as inevitable, unstoppable and about a Witness who knows where it started. Even while talking about the plague as unchangeable, she also suggests other things can be changed. She gives a necklace to Ramse saying he’ll need it and describes him as a “good friend, not yet but you will be.” She also talks about something happening today that will change things for Ramse

And while she says that Whitley and his troops arrive at the camp Ramse was staying at. There’s a confrontation and Elena is shot and killed. Ramse returns to the camp to find her dead and Sam with her body.

Whitley returns to Jones and is furious over the accident. He refuses to go after Ramses because Ramses needs to be a father to Sam in whatever time is left (presumably before the time changes).

Ramse takes the case of injections back to the time travel base. Whitley apologises for Elena and Ramse goes commando, bringing down several guards and holding Whitley at gun point. He acknowledges that Whitley tried to save Elena so knocks him out rather than killing him

The alarm is triggered and Jones hurriedly has a disorientated Cole sent back to 1987 so he’s not involved but Ramse comes in with a gun, shooting the controller and puts a bomb on the time machine. Max joins Jones in trying to talk him down. While they argue, Max shoots at Ramse and she and Ramse have a firefight while Jones removes the bomb from the machine. They get out and lock Ramse in the room, though Max is shot

With nowhere else to go, Ramse injects himself with Jones’s serum. Cole arrives in time to see Max die and Ramse go back in time.

Cole intends to go back in time as well – because they can’t bring him back since the system was incomplete. Cole is also very very sick – he has one more jump. 1987 is their last chance. Cole is also clear he will kill Ramse if he has to.

I have so little time for Aaron. His objections are so lacking in any kind of logic. If he accepts the reality of the plague and time travel – which it appears he does – then deciding not to try and stop it because Cole doesn’t know how just feels ridiculous. It comes off as very transparent jealousy over Cassie and that just looks deeply pathetic next to a world wide apocalypse.

There is an attempt at a shift in tone, though I’m not sure if the show pulled it off. Afterall a lot has changed especially with the immediacy of the character deaths. While they were always desperate, they had a plan – whether the Night Room or Chechnya, they knew how to fix things. Well they fixed those things and it didn’t work. Now they’re flailing, they don’t have a set goal and, on top of that, Cole’s very goal seems so much muddier with Jones’s lies last episode and Ramse jumping ship. The clarity of the characters, the direction they were heading in is not a big splodgy mess

But I don’t think the show really works at pulling that off. This could be a moment of big emotion and doubt and development and uncertainty – but it’s following in the wake of Cole and Cassie’s deaths (both backed out in different ways) leaving little in the way of emotional impact left. I’m also not really fond of how it’s Cassie’s bitterness that sells this and Cole has to try and lift her out of it – he’s the one literally killing himself to try and stop a terrible future that he has to live… but she’s the bitter one?

It is interesting, after last week and even after Jones saying killing Ramse doesn’t matter so long as they reset the time line, that Jones does think the evil sticks, as it were. The fact they did terrible things is still a judgement against them even if they undo them. It’s an interesting development to what was considered last episode.

Ramse is definitely going to be more involved in the plot now – but it seems likely to be as antagonist. This looks like it could be very messy and may end up with Ramse dying

And we have our first gay characters (well, ish – inserts). 1 corpse and 1 guy who is quite literally bringing about the end of the world – and bringing it about for the sake of protecting his husband. Pat Roberston was right in 12 Monkeys world, gay people are bringing about the apocalypse and gay marriage is ending the world. But only in a way that keeps them as minor walk-ons (if rotting count as a walk-on). This is a horrendous portrayal on his utterly straight show given the venomous rhetoric aimed at gay people and gay marriage

Elena was so utterly fridged it was pretty blatant. Even happy to see Jennifer back and apparently going to be involved in multiple parts of the time line doesn’t stop that fridging leaving a bad taste in the mouth. And Max? She doesn’t even rise to the level of fridge! She was a character they very belatedly remembered existed so decided to kill her off almost randomly; there are few more terrible ways to treat a character, especially a marginalised character, than to utterly forget them for several episodes and then just bring them back in order to die.

I am curious about Jennifer though – and her apparent ability to see the future and a whole lot more questions added