Wednesday, June 8, 2016

12 Monkeys, Season Two, Episode Eight: Lullaby

In last week's episode, Meltdown, we lost Eckland and Sam disappeared into time.  It was a huge loss for the characters and in the wake of this, depression and hopelessness seems to rule the day. Katrina determines that ultimately this is all her fault and had she not built the time machine, Eckland would still be alive and the Messengers would not have been able to travel backwards in time and cause such epic chaos.  Jones decides that the best course of action is for her to die before she even builds the machine and enlists Cassie's help to ensure that this happens.  Cassie agrees to take part feeling that what happened during Meltdown was just as much her fault as Jones.

Cassie travels back in time and is let into the facility where Jones sits next to her dying daughter. Col. Jonathan Foster is pleased to see Cassie believing that she will give his much beleaguered troops the boost that they need.  Cassie learns that they have stopped treating the infected at this point and only allow a small amount of civilians into the facility.  The moment he leaves her alone in his office, Cassie rifles through his desk and steals his gun.  Cassie then makes her way to the sick ward just as Hannah, Jones's daughter dies and then promptly shoots Jones.

When we see Cassie again, she's outside of the facility and Cole has arrived to attempt to stop her from shooting Katrina. Cassie is quick to inform Cole that he is too late but Cole believes that this is impossible because otherwise, she wouldn't know who he is and in fact, they wouldn't even be there having not had the ability to travel through time.  Cassie decides that they should head back to the facility where she can prove that she accomplished her task.  As they go through the check point, Cassie's identity is accepted because her finger prints match but Cole's become an issue because while they match to him, in the year 2020, he's actually only an 11 year old boy.  Col. Jonathan Foster becomes suspicious and so throws them into a holding cell where they meet none other than Jennifer Goines.

Jennifer confirms that they are having a groundhog day experience.  In case you're counting, this is the second time that 12 Monkeys has used this device, though I daresay that they did a better job this time. They don't get a chance to talk for long before they are taken to see Col. Jonathan Foster, who has determined that they are impostors.  Seeing that things are about to go bad, Cole and Cassie attack but before they can escape together, Cassie is shot.  Seeing no other way to save Cassie, Cole shoots Jones and the day starts all over again.

They go through the loop several times with Cassie even saving Hannah at one point but still find themselves starting the day over.  It's not until Jennifer argues that time like Jones the way that she is and that they must do something while doing nothing at the same time that Cassie and Cole manage to splintter to 2044.  Jennifer's frustration with Cole is absolutely hilarious.  Though they are both communicating in English, sometimes it's as though they are speaking different languages because they cannot understand each other.

Back in the present, Jones is pissed off that she is still alive and is quick to call Cole a failure.  Cole and Cassie try to explain that not only does time want Jones alive, they want her to remain exactly as she is.  Jones however is fit to be tied and doesn't believe a word they are saying.  They decide that it's time to go and see Jennifer.

Once in Goines's camp, they explain that they tried everything and nothing worked.  Finally, after many attempts, they managed to save Hannah's life but the catch was they had to let Jones believe that Hannah had died and been cremated.  An adult Hannah steps forward to see her mother for the first time in 24 years.  Jones slowly touches her daughters face and breaks down.

Back in the facility, Cassie tells Cole that she is amazed that Jones doesn't hate them but Cole explains that before they intervened, Hannah was dead.  Cole wants to take this is a victory but Cassie still has a very dark side and points out that they will lose so much before this is all over.  It's clear that the ground hog day thing healed a riff between them; however, Cole is now determined to have a romantic relationship come what may. Cassie says that's easy to say because Cole hasn't lost anything yet.  In order to shore off future pain, Cassie informs Cole that nothing is going to happen between them.

An upset Cassie rushes out of the room and runs right into Ramse who is drunk and holding a gun.  Ramse is pissed and heartbroken about the loss of his son and informs Cassie that he has one bullet for himself and another for her.  Ramse acknowledges that Cole sees good in her but he is convinced that the Witness was able to take over Cassie because she wanted him to.  Cassie plays cool customer and explains that while the Witness was is in her mind, she was in his. This means that Cassie knows exactly where the Witness is and she proposes that they travel their together and kill him.  Ramse is slow to agree at first but eventually lowers his gun.

As aforementioned, this is the second time that 12 Monkeys has used the Ground Hog day device . I believe it worked out better this time because we got the pay off of Jones being reunited with her daughter.  We know that the driving goal behind creating the machine in the first place was to travel back through time and stop the virus in order to save her Hannah's life.  Jones has had so much loss and sacrificed so much, it was nice to see her happy for a moment, to see that not everything has been in vain.

The events of Lullaby do however still present a problem.  For much of season 2, 12 Monkeys has behaved as though the virus never happened. They have virtually stopped trying to eliminate the virus and instead have focused on The Messengers.  It all feels kind of bait and switch.  At this point, the writers really need to somehow tie the virus, and the messengers together to create some kind of cohesive plot line.

I am also sick of the will they or won't they bullshit with Cassie and Cole.  Today we had Cassie say that it's never going to happen but you just know that the writers are going to put them in a situation again to express their feelings towards one another.  This is far from over.

Finally, to Ramse, who like Katrina has lost so much.  I really do want to see Ramse get Sam back. I worry about his character because more often than not, he feels like a third wheel in this series, even when he is playing the part of moral compass.  The one thing that is certain is that when Ramse feels he has nothing to lose, morality goes out the window and he becomes vulnerable. Ramse is the only major character of colour on the 12 Monkeys and I worry that if they go after the Witness that will bring an end to him.