Wednesday, May 25, 2016

12 Monkeys, Season Two, Episode Six: Immortal

This episode really could have been called a couple of buddies.  We had Cassie and Jennifer in 2015 and Cole and Ramse together in 1975.  Yes, they had to deal with the issues regarding the Messengers and their bid to stop time but it was also about understanding each other and finding a way to work with each other.

Cole is very much a leap first ask questions later type of person whereas; Ramse is only willing to take calculated risks.  Ramse very much fears that Cole's impulsive behaviour will one day kill them. Jones sends Ramse and Cole back to 1975 to find a former Vietnam Vet and Primary, who just happens to be a serial killer.  They know exactly where the Primary is going to be based on where his last victim was found.  Jones gives Ramse and Cole strict instructions to stop the paradox but not to stop the murder.  It's Ramse who intellectualizes that situation by pointing out that according to their time line, the woman is already dead and they are only witnessing it. The Primary begins to beat the woman and Cole cannot take it anymore and attacks.

When they get the woman back to their room, she instantly reaches for her coke and Ramse is not impressed. He tells her that she has to stop because she is a mother.  This comes across as condescending as it sounds.  I really was not pleased with the policing of Victoria at all.  Let's not forget that Ramse was willing to allow millions to die for his son to live and so he is no position to get on his moral high horse.  No kid needs a junkie for a mother but at the same time, Ramse doesn't know the first thing about Victoria.

Ramse and Cole use the cops to track down the Primary.  When the Primary is arrested, Cole decides to chase after the cops and force them into another car at gunpoint.  Cole's reasoning for this is that the Primary tells him that he knows exactly where the Witness is.  This is too much temptation for Cole, despite Ramse's pleading that he is not thinking and is going to get killed. Ramse points out that the Primary is violently mentally ill and therefore should not be trusted. For much of this episode Ramse actually sounded like the old man that he actually is. It's also worth noting that violently mentally ill person is an ableist trope that 12 Monkeys has played with far too much.

When Cole returns to the Primary with his lair, the Primary pulls out his bones which were dug up to create a paradox.  The Primary is convinced that he has the Witness because he is super special and therefore the witness would want to kill him himself. As it turns out, the Primary has only managed to trap a Messenger.  The Primary is not pleased with Cole's reluctance to kill and claims that Cole isn't living up to his destiny.  It's Ramse to the rescue.  Cole ends up shooting the Primary in the head saying that his job was to stop the paradox, not to save the Primary's life.

Back in 2016, Cassie is actually tending to Jennifer and trying to get her to relax so that she can get some sleep and heal.  Cassie gets a visit from none other than Witness, who takes on the face of Aaron, thus fooling Cassie for a time.  The Witness wants to stop time and to end death altogether.  It's only when the Witness goes a little glitchy that Cassie realises that she is not in fact talking to Aaron.

A freaked out Cassie wakes up in the lobby of the hotel.  Fortunately, Jennifer is adept at getting out of weird situations and tells everyone that Cassie is celebrating her birthday and had too much to drink.  Back in the room, Cassie actually confides in Jennifer about what happened with the Witness. When Cassie says that the eradication of death would be beautiful, Jennifer counters by arguing that death is what keeps us human and honest; it's startling and deep coming from Jennifer.  The visit of the Witness prompts Jennifer to believe that they are starting to make some progress; however, Cassie thinks that Jennifer should just leave because being with her is dangerous now.

Cassie gets some rest and when she awakes she finds a note from Jennifer advising her to keep working in the future while she takes on what is going on in the present.  Yes, Jennifer has decided to become a warrior.  I wonder if this is the start of the little posse we see her with in the future?

In 2044, Jones is relieved to see that Cole stopping the paradox has had a significant effect on the red forest.  There's hope yet I suppose.  Cole and Ramse have it out about tactics and after some joking around admit they love one another.

They are really drawing out this thing with the Witness.  They need to hurry it up already because I am getting bored.  Playing games by having Aaron appear as the Witness didn't amuse me in the least.  I suppose I should be thankful that we now know that his driving goal is to end death.  It makes me wonder if he lost someone in the plague and this is the only way he can see to get his loved one back? There's got to be some connection to the virus right? Well, at least I hope so.

Of all the interactions this episode, perhaps the most fascinating was the exchange between Ramse and his son.  It seems that Sam is no longer in the dark about what his father did and while Sam feels loved, he is concerned that Ramse didn't think about the others.  The kid seems really intelligent and this conversation makes me wonder if Sam is going to have a larger role to play?

I really like who Jennifer is becoming.  She's still wonky and weird but she's becoming more capable each day.  I even like her blossoming relationship with Cassie.  It's good to see her move from a pawn to someone with real agency, even if we don't understand completely the role that she will play. She is easily becoming my favourite character on 12 Monkeys.