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Sunday, April 12, 2015
12 Monkeys, Season One, Episode Thirteen: Arms of Mine
Cassie and Cole wake up in bed next to each other.
Jones closes the locket containing a picture of her dead daughter, as in the next room, a bright light flashes on the splitter machine. Jones approaches the machine and finds more red foliage on it.
Ramse sits by himself and looks at schematic for the splitter machine.
At Markridge, Jennifer draws the monkeys on the wall.
In a warehouse facility, Cole beats up Aaron who is tied to a chair. Aaron laughs at the very idea that Cole is angry with him because he blames Cole for destroying everything in his life. Cole however points out that thanks to Aaron, he had to go through the aftermath of the plague alone. Cole is determined to find out who is behind the virus but Aaron refuses to answer until Cassie enters the room. Aaron begs Cassie to come away with him so that they both can survive the virus but Cassie is not persuaded. Cassie simply shakes her head no and Cole punches Aaron once again.
Whitley and Jones examine the red foliage on the splitter machine. Jones rips down the foliage and snarks about botany not being her specialty. Whitley asks to be given the injections when his hands heal but Jones questions what Whitley would be doing in the past, given that the mission is over. Whitley holds up his hands, questioning what they are doing there, pointing out that the men who attacked his group were sending out a message. Jones orders security doubled but Whitley reminds Jones that they don't have the manpower. Whitley suggests that they should shut down project splitter if Jones is really done.
Outside, Deacon is with the mystery warriors. Deacon informs the lead warrior that they need to be cautious even if the building looks lightly guarded because he made that mistake last time, costing him half his men. The lead warrior declares that they are formidable but Deacon points out that he doesn't want the place shot up because he wants the building in tact.
Cole holds a knife threateningly at Aaron, who only has eyes for Cassie. Aaron justifies his actions by saying that he only wanted to save Cassie before spilling the beans on Markridge and The Stunning Woman (who needs a god damned name). As he talks, Aaron secretly works on the bands trapping his hands, telling Cassie that they will kill him for this, then Cole and finally Cassie herself. Cole and Cassie step aside to talk about their new information and Aaron manages to free himself. After punching Cole in the face, Aaron takes off running but cannot find an exit. He turns an aresol can into a flame thrower lighting Cole on fire. Cole puts out the flames quickly but the area bursts into fire and a cabinet falls on Aaron trapping him. Cassie tries to run into the area to save Aaron but Cole pulls her backward saying that Aaron made his choice.
Later, at a coffee shop, Cole tells Cassie that what happened wasn't her fault, but Cassie is quick to let it go, stating that Aaron betrayed her. Cassie then pulls out a laptop and shows Cole a picture of the new CEO of Markridge - Jennifer Goines.
Cole and Cassie head to a meeting Markridge is hosting. The event begins with Jennifer talking about Leeland Goines, while The Wind Beneath my Wings plays in the background. Jennifer takes the stage with her typical panache. Jennifer then begins her rant saying that Markridge will give new birth to that which man has arrogantly made extinct. Yes she is talking about bringing back the dodo. The crowd begins to gasp in horror and leave, as Jennifer says that it's time to give the world back to its natural owners - the animals. Cole whispers to Cassie that they need to get to Jennifer before the crowds kill her.
Jennifer is making her way through the crowds when she is approached by Cole and Cassie. Jennifer then leads them into the boardroom where she explains that she was off her meds and "super cray" before. Jennifer claims that she is all better now and that she wanted to see the faces of the investors when she set their money on fire. Cole and Cassie ask about the big investor in Markridge but Jennifer is not the least bit interested in listening to what Cassie has to say. Cassie slaps Jennifer across the face saying, "I don't have time for your crazy bullshit. " Jennifer volunteers the name of Ethan - a venture capitalist as the person Cole and Cassie are looking for. When Cassie googles Ethan, it of course turns out to be Ramse. Cole is shocked to see that Ramse looks as though he has not aged whatsoever, adding that he has no idea how this is possible. Cassie posits that it must be Jones injections, which must have an effect on cellular aging. Jennifer reveals that Ramse has recently become obsessed with a government project - Raredon Valley National Laboratory and is looking for an intro. Cole and Cassie decide to leave but before they do, Cole pauses long enough to thank Jennifer.
Jennifer gets a phone call and simply says, "it's done, he knows."
In the hallway, Cole explains to Cassie that the laboratory is the birthplace of project Splitter and suggests that Ramse wants access in order to stop Cole's mission. Cole adds that if Ramse manages to pull this off, it will protect the future and Ramse's son.
Ramse stares out the window and when he is approached by the Stunning Woman, he reveals that he is trying to remember the future and his past. The Stunning Woman suggests that Ramse's longing for his son will be soon be over but Ramse admits that he cannot remember the face of his child. It seems that the plan is for Ramse to head to Reardon by himself and Ramse comments that his mission is not completed until he gets to the machine.
Deacon has a truck filled with animals, who are apparently drawn to the sub sonic frequency of the core. When the back of the truck is opened, a giant flock of birds pours out and heads straight into the facility. The lights flicker and then go out, as Adler informs Jones that the grid has gone haywire and that the core has been shut down.
The splitter machine has been fired up and an object is sent 28 years into the past. They debate the possibility of being ready for a primate subject.
Deacon leads men through the exhaust tunnels. They are fired upon by the few remaining members of Jones security team but over run them quickly. In the splitter room, Jones pulls dynamite out of a box, as a stunned Adler and Whitley look on.
Cole and Cassie are parked in front of the laboratory. Cassie notes that the place is extremely secure and asks how they are to get in. Unsurprisingly, Cole informs Cassie that they will use the exhaust tunnels.
Ramse makes his way into the splitter room and heads straight for the machine. Dr. Jones is concerned about what Ramse plans to do with his life work. Ramse thanks Dr. Jones for his work.
The soldiers continue to make their way through the facility. The lead ghost warrior announces that he needs Jones and that the rest are meaningless. In the splitter room, Whitley announces that they have at least nine men down and suggests that they should make their way to the tunnels. Jones however does not believe that they will make it.
Cole and Cassie are now inside the laboratory and are making their way towards the splitter machine. They agree to split up when they hit upon something that wasn't there in 2043. Cole advises Cassie to be careful if she runs into Ramse because he no longer knows what Ramse is capable of. Cassie makes her way into a room that is filled with same red foliage that Jones has been picking off the splitter machine. She remembers being told that she is walking through a red forest and that most of the blood has been washed away.
Cole has arrived in the splitter room and points a gun at Ramse. Ramse is shocked to see that Cole is alive. Cole asks why Ramse has done the things he has done and Ramse explains that without him coming, the past nothing would ever have happened. Ramse points out that in 2043, Jones didn't even want him at project splitter. Ramse adds that it took time travel to create time travel because there are no straight lines. Ramse admits that he wants to go home to his son because he has spent the last 28 years living with ghosts and their only future is the future. Cole questions Ramse's plan to kill 7 billion people to save one but Ramse counters back that Cole would do the same thing to save Cassie. Ramse tells Cole that he did what he had to and instructs Cole to pull the trigger.
Deacon and the men make their way into the Splitter room to find Jones holding an explosive device. Jones informs them that she has nothing to live for, refusing to put the device down. The lead ghost warrior says that they represent the future and do not wish to be relegated to the past. Jones instructs them to stand down and orders the killing be stopped. Jones says that she is going to pay for killing everyone at Spearhead, adding that the past cannot be changed because all that matters is what happens here. Jones demands that the people be let go, threatening to kill everyone in this room.
Ramse reveals that he lived with the guilt of believing that he had killed Cole, adding that killing Cole cannot be the last thing he does here. Cassie enters the splitter room, pointing a gun at Ramse. Ramse is shocked to learn that Cassie believes that he is the witness. Cassie orders Cole to kill Ramse and Ramse denies being the witness. Cassie is adamant that Ramse is killing everyone but Cole argues that this is about Ramse's son and that he can talk to him. Cole asks Cassie to put the gun down and she slowly lowers her weapon. Cassie looks at Cole and says, "he made his choice," and fires her weapon. Ramse dodges to the side and his security takes a shot at Cassie. Cole rushes over to Cassie who has been shot in the side.
The ghost warrior orders Jones's men disarmed and released, even as Deacon argues that the men are going to be a problem. Whitley and Adler make their way out of the room
Cole checks on Cassie, who says that there is no exit wound and that she is bleeding internally. Ramse puts a case on the ground and instructs Cole to send Cassie to Jones, adding that Jones will save Cassie but wouldn't save him. Cole worries that Cassie will die from the injection, so Ramse points out that Cassie will die here. Cole makes the decision, grabbing the box and pulling out the only injection. Cole lays Cassie down in the splitter machine, promising to see her soon.
Cole then checks on Ramse, who asks him to find his son if he makes it back there. Ramse asks Cole to inform his son that he tried to protect him. Cole rushes out of the room
The Stunning Woman is informed that the 12 are ready and healthy. She is taken to a room where 12 infants are lined up. The Striking Woman is told that the children will be ready in 28 years.
Jones hands over the explosive device and is told that the cycle is complete.
The Striking Woman announces that on this day, history will show that Ramse has been found dead beside the machine he helped to invent, bringing his cycle to and end. The Striking Woman says that Cole will flee into eternity, his future will be unknown to them
Cole rushes back to the splitter room and helps Ramse to his feet saying that no one has to die.
The order is given for Jones to be locked up and she is lead away by Deacon. Deacon asks about where Cole is and is informed that Cole will never return. The splitter machine activates and an injured Cassie arrives.
The Striking Woman says that the release of the virus is out of their hands as it should be. Jennifer is on a plane and announces that she has work to finish. The virus is being loaded onto her plane.
That was the season finale of 12 Monkeys. One of the things which irritated me about this show is that it asks a lot of questions without providing a single answer. Who is the Striking Woman and why does she want the virus released for instance? Is there some significance about Cole's missing mother, Jennifer's missing mother and The Striking Woman's missing mother? That's a lot of missing women. Then there the significance of the number 28. It will be 28 years until The Striking Woman's children are ready. There are 28 years between 2015 and 2043, as well as 28 years between 1987 and 2015. What is the significance with the number 28? Even more baffling, what the hell is the importance of the red forest? Does the red represent the blood of the 7 billion who died in the plague?
We have also had a role reversal between Jones and Ramse. Ramse became the antagonist, clearly willing to burn everything down in the effort to save his son. Ramse, who has always been the moral center of the show suddenly shifted to the means justified the end, a position that Jones took for most of the season. In the season finale however, it's clear that in the 28 years since he believed Cole dead, Ramse had enough time to regret his actions and simply wanted to return and spend whatever time he had left with his son. With Cole going back to get Ramse, it seems that now they will be buddies working together to stop the plague.
Then we have Katrina, who spent much of the season arguing that project splitter must be a success because of how much humanity is lost. It becomes clear that her real goal is to go back in time and save her daughter's life - much like Ramse was hoping to do but in her case, it wouldn't involve the eradication of 7 billion people. It is however worth noting that in the present, Jones was absolutely willing to sacrifice anyone who get in her way. Like Ramse, Jones did go through a metamorphosis. When despite all of her efforts, Cole got stuck in the past, Jones declared the mission over. Jones now believes the past cannot be changed. Instead of putting her mission first, Jones was willing to give away the splitter machine in order to save Whitley.
The problem with all of the questions asked by 12 Monkeys, is that there are no indications that they will be answered and I am not invested in the show enough to give a damn. The entire season felt like one big circle going absolutely nowhere. Part of the problem of course is that the writers conveniently changed the rules of time travel whenever they needed to for the sake of the script. There was never really any sense of continuity. It's impossible at this point not to view Cole as anything other than Sisyphus on a task that will simply continually loop with no end in sight.
I suppose I should mention Cassie. We know that she is supposedly a brilliant doctor, yet she spent most of the season being Cole's sidekick. Cassie started off as having rules of engagement but as the season progressed, she adopted a scorched earth policy, culminating in the shooting of Ramse. Sure, it could be argued that Cassie was willing to shoot Ramse because of what Cole did to Aaron but I still see that as a loss of her moral standing. It will however be interesting to see what happens to Cassie now that she is in the future with Jones. I think they could make an impressive pair.
12 Monkeys made it out of season one without a single GLBT character, whom I supposed all died in the plague. The majority of the characters of colour were quickly killed off and only Ramse and Whitley survived. The problem with this of course is that Whitley never really got developed and Ramse for much of the season was Cole's sidekick, who was constantly left on the sidelines.
The most interesting character without a doubt is Jennifer Goines. She is absolutely compelling to watch. I don't however like her interactions with Cassie because they make it appear as though the women are in competition for Cole's affections. Since Cassie is the neuro-typical one, it's clear that she is going to win the man. I don't like the fact that Jennifer described herself as "cray". I particularly don't like Jennifer being the one to deliver the virus to its various locations. It's yet another example of the homicidal "crazy" person that I can really do without. I can only hope that there is a larger plan for Jennifer and that 12 Monkeys moves away from all of this. Is Jennifer the witness for instance?
What were your thoughts on the first season?