Previously on 12 Monkeys, ‘Atari’
Last week we spent most of our time in the future, bouncing back and forth between the span of about a decade. So now we know Cole and his story a little better, and that’s nice and all, but I wanna get back to the Monkeys and diseases and, most of all, crazy little Jennifer Goines. So without further ado…
Tonight we start out in 2011. Jennifer Goines is being transported with a bag over her head to a very highly guarded laboratory. She’s greeted by a fellow scientist named Ivan and he leads her into the infamous Night Room. They call it “badass” but it doesn’t look like much to me. They lock up a large case which Jennifer calls a “bad idea” because if it got into the wrong hands it would be over “for everyone.” So methinks that whatever is in the case should probably not exist, but if it didn’t we wouldn’t have a show, so I’ll shut up.
Jump to 2015 and creepy old dude wants crazy Jennifer to tell him where the Night Room is. But even a looney tunes knows better than to do that so she just laughs.
And now we’re in 2043 (if this episode is like last week, I’m going to get time travel whiplash). Jones and Cole are talking about him meeting Cassie to find the Night Room. She makes a comment on how they’re on a “first name basis” and I say duh. I cannot travel but I’m pretty certain some nookie is in their future. They meet up with Max and Ramse and toast to “the present.” They drunkenly babble and we discover Jones was married once for a few days. The music tells me this is a moving moment, but I don’t really care for this lady, so her confession doesn’t bother me. Then there’s an explosion and they say the machine isn’t ready for Cole to take the jump but he does it anyway.
And we are back to 2015. Cassie and Cole are at the Night Room making jokes that aren’t funny. They go in – without a plan or backup, which is always a wise decision – and they bump into Ivan. And then are quickly surrounded with guns to their heads. Which is what happens when you make stupid decisions.
They’re hustled away past blood splattered walls and dead bodies littering the floor and they’re left in a room with Ivan. He tells them they’re basically S.O.L. The guards come to get Ivan and Cole miraculously knows exactly which button to push that will magically allow him and Cassie to listen in on Ivan and creepy old dude’s conversation. When Ivan says he can’t help old dude, old dude asks Ivan to close his eyes and picture his wife. Then he shoots him in the head. Harsh.
In 2043, Ramse is trying to get info on Cole with no luck. Max tells him she thinks Jones is “Dr. Grim.” A German doctor that was known for turning people “inside out” for experiments. Ramse says it’s a different lady; Max thinks there’s only one German doctor in existence.
Back at the Night Room in 2015, the guards have wisely tied up Cole and Cassie (whose hair looks phenomenal for being kidnapped and bound). Creepy old dude tries to get info on the vault, but they legitimately have none. Old dude believes them but he still slowly lifts Cole’s fingernail off its bed. Ouch, that shit hurts and it takes MONTHS for it to grow back. It happened to my toe once. Not by interrogation, but it was still really unpleasant.
Anyway, Cole confesses to Cassie that he killed Henri, but then they’re quickly distracted by the presence of Jennifer, eliminating the need for Cassie and Cole to actually discuss that betrayal.
In 2043, Ramse is roaming around unguarded among things you know he is not supposed to see or touch. Careful, dude. Curiosity always kills the cat in these types of situations. He’s rummaging through photos and trinkets and ends up being caught by Jones. Dude, you gotta at least have a lookout, and girl, learn to lock your shit up. She admits there were other time travelers who didn’t survive the process. But they were a necessary sacrifice. Hardcore, but hey, she’s right.
In the Night Room, the guards are trying to break their way into the vault and Jennifer is trying to hide from them – very pitifully. When they look into the vault they see a badly disfigured body encased in a jar. Jennifer says it’s the origin of her father’s virus. Ew. Most people display family photos or a lovely vase they picked up at Pier 1. The hell is wrong with these people? But Jennifer seems equally fixated on the origin’s eyes as she is on Cole’s. Is the corpse Cole? Oh damn, that would be cool as hell.
A guard manages to get into the vault and reaches a hand in only to be burned painfully and Jennifer is all “boo yah-ing” and jumping around in joy at the fail safes being successful. Then she calls Cassie a bitch and tells her “you can go now.” And I fall in love with her just a bit more. She tells Cole that he says her name just right unlike those doctors who never say “the right one.” Which could mean she’s got multiple personality disorder or something even more mind-fucking. I’m shooting for the latter.
The guards come and fetch Jennifer but she just babbles incoherently – though “shit no, son, I’m Honest Abe” made perfect sense. Gosh, I love this crazy woman. She even tells the guard she likes it when he pulls her hair. She says she only tells secrets to Cole, but when creepy old dude tells her that Cole killed her dad, she loses her shit even more. Someone get this girl an Emmy. She makes Claire Danes on Homeland seem well-adjusted.
Cassie and Cole have a heart to heart about him killing Henri and her missing the happy life he had before he waltzed in. He tells a story about having to kill someone and Cassie side-eyes the hell outta him like, boy, how is this gonna make me like you again?
The guards toss an angry Jennifer into the room and now Cole has two pissed off women on his hands. For a second he looks more afraid of his current predicament than he is of the plague. But then Jennifer declares her father’s murder “awesome” and nobody is mad at Cole anymore. Jennifer pops a code into their locked cell and releases them, announcing she has “all the codes.” So they go running for the virus, which seems like a totally logical and reasonable decision considering they have no plan, no weapons, and zero protective gear. But when Jennifer says she promised to only open it for Cole, he knows something’s wrong and tries to stop her.
Too bad, the guards are back, and that lack of planning and artillery has come to bite Cassie and Cole in the ass. Creepy old dude tells her to deactivate the alarm. Cole tells her not to. A guard points a gun to his temple and he repeats not to do it. But she does it anyway. They go in to get the virus but Cassie sees one of the buttons that will decimate the entire vault. The other button is down by Cole but will require him to die to press it. There’s a long, slow pause with some dramatic music but hello, you’re saving humanity. What’s with the hesitation? Push the damn buttons.
After knocking out a couple guards and then shooting them all (why didn’t he do that before Jennifer deactivated the alarm? His timing is awful. And isn’t he missing a fingernail?), Cole darts into the vault and hits the button. We hear a massive explosion and lots of screaming. Pretty sure Ivan said the temps would be about 1600 degrees, so he should be dead long before he can even start to scream, but it’s great for dramatic effect, so I’ll go with it.
But it turns out Cole isn’t fried. But he knows something is wrong. He and Jennifer run to save Cassie but he splinters just as they drive away. Leaving Jennifer just standing there.
Back in the future and the future is not as he remembers. The facility is being run by West VII. What the what? If that’s the case, who’s running the time machine? And if someone isn’t running it, how did he get back there? How did he go to the future at all? If this is the new future, why doesn’t he know it, if that’s now where he came from?
Brain. Hurts. Time travel is complicated. But this show is so damn good. To be honest, I would watch an hour of Jennifer Goines all by herself, she’s that good. But the show on the whole is everything you could want out of it. Quick-paced, mysterious and compelling, and with a great cast with great chemistry. It’s the show everyone should be watching but probably isn’t. I hope it sticks around for a while because it’s just good stuff. Can’t wait to see what this new future holds and where the story takes us. This show keeps me guessing and on my toes and I love it.