We’re now flying to the end of this season, and I have to say, once again, 12 Monkeys is some of the greatest scifi on television right now. Not only have we had horror, noir, and mystery episodes, we are now treated to an amazing Cold War episode. The Showrunners have really taken the ability to expand things this season and run with it, giving us amazing genre themes within each time period we go back to.
We start out in 2016 Berlin, however, with Olivia in a wheelchair, speaking to one of her minions about a betrayal that happened in this strange, rundown, abandoned building. There is something so soothing about her voice–I’m glad the actress is still around; despite the stoic nature of her character, and her even tone of speech, somehow she manages to convey so much with so little.
Jumping forward to 2044, we find Whitley and Deacon in the wastelands looking for more information, while the red storms are getting worse all around them. Whitley comments that the only reason Deacon is staying in the compound is for Cassie, and hey–he isn’t wrong. Deacon allows himself to be more human around Cassie, and it’s clear for all to see. They find a young boy who is supremely creepy–and refuses to allow himself to be saved, but instead moves into the storm itself. Well…okay? That was weird.
Back at the facility Jones says they have less than five days until the storms overtake them all–so they have to choose one last ditch effort in the past to try and save the future: either go back to 1957 and locate the primary (Cole’s plan) or go to 1961 and talk to the man mentioned in the CIA documents that Ramse and Cassie found and see what he knows about Titan and the Witness. They can only choose one–and Jones says they should choose hope, rather than revenge. I agree, of course–choosing hope has always proven to be a better idea on this show, time and time again. Cassie and Ramse are annoyed by this development, so they convince Dr. Adler to insert the coordinates to 1961 into the time machine without anyone knowing. Just lovely guys. That’s going to go so well for all of you.
Deacon goes to see Cassie off, and he’s clearly emotional, wanting to say goodbye in case something happens. He’s laying his heart out to her, and says that he remembers her from when he was younger, when she was on television–and she basically just shuts him down. She tells him that they slept together once, and it didn’t mean anything. Damn, Cassie, way to break a guy’s heart. I know it’s her way of compartmentalizing, but I’ve truly grown to love Deacon and his growth this season so it’s definitely a hard scene to watch; to his credit he doesn’t rage against her, he simply says she’s becoming like everyone else in this place. Which…is pretty damning. Ouch.
And just as I suspected, Cassie and Ramse did convince Dr. Adler to reprogram the machine, because all three of our little travelers do end up in 1961–and to keep Cole from freaking out and stopping our two idiots, they drug him. Yes, you read that right, kids. Cassie and Ramse drug Cole, so he ends up waking up in the hotel room without his passport, angry as hell. But Cole is smart, and knows just what to do–he calls our favorite FBI Agent, Agent Gale.
You know, the Agent that Cole told about time travel back in the 1940s! I’m so excited this guy is back! Sure he looks older, but he’s still lovely and wonderful. Sure, he says that, “Knowing about the end of the world makes a man gloomy,” but he seems pretty chipper for a gloomy man. Clearly his life hasn’t gone so well, but he’s upbeat and ready to help Cole. He also gives Cole some sage advice–that sometimes he may need to go at things alone, but this time, he will help him. Why? Because they need to go to Germany, during the Cold War (the Berlin Wall is going up), and Cole doesn’t speak German; Gale does. So off they go.
One of the great things about this episode is the near-sepia tone that things are shot in. It adds to the ‘Cold War’ era feeling of what the characters are going through, and just helps set the mood. Cassie and Ramse are at a Wagner Opera, where they draw Krichner (their mark) out of the performance with a note; things don’t go entirely to plan, though, and they end up in a standoff with Mossad (the Israeli Intelligence Agency) who wants Krichner for Nazi War Crimes. They are outnumbered, and our travelers end up being dragged into an office where they are interrogated and beaten up, despite explaining that they don’t care about Krichner; they just want to talk with him, then he can live or die, it’s all the same to them. The way that revenge is driving both of them is just so brutal–they clearly aren’t thinking as straight as they think they are. Meanwhile, Agent Gale gets a wire from the CIA that informs him and Cole that Mossad thinks that Ramse and Cassie are Nazi sympathizers–so they need to get both of them out of that room as quickly as possible.
Back in 2044, Jones is furious with Adler, of course; he wants revenge for his dead child, but the motives matter little when betrayal is on the menu, so Jones has him thrown in their jail cells.
But back to 1961, where Mossad decides to turn their attention on Cassie when beating Ramse doesn’t work. It doesn’t work on Cassie, either, though–she’s just too damn bad ass for that! They don’t get much farther, because Cole and Gale break in, subduing the agents and freeing their wayward friends and Krichner. Cole and Cassie have it out, and Cole explains that the only reason the CIA report said ‘Witness’ and ‘Titan’ in the first place was because they said it during the interrogation–they were chasing their own damn tail. When Cole said that, I genuinely believed him, and was furious (again) over what Cassie and Ramse did. The way time works is complicated, and it isn’t such a surprise that something like this could happen. However, it seems they get lucky, because Krichner is wearing the mark of the The Witness around his neck.
Through some amazing dialogue, we find out that Krichner, through his work in eugenics, created The Messengers. It seemingly horrifies him, and he wants to help them–he also said that The Witness spoke about Cole a great deal. Again, it gives credence to my theory that Witness = Sam.
To get to where Krichner’s lab is, though–they have to get across the wall, which involves an amazing, tense scene of them slowly sneaking their way past well armed guards. It all goes wrong (of course) and Agent Gale sacrifices himself to ensure that Cole can make it, because he feels Cole still can change things–and Gale can’t. He dies in a hail of bullets and…damn. You may have been around for only three episodes, but you were amazing, Mister FBI. We’ll miss you.
Once they reach the lab, they find a child, who is apparently the sample–the pure sample, whose eggs have been/will be used to create the Messengers. That child, of course, is Olivia. Within the lab is also the Map of the Witness…and there it is. This is the betrayal that Olivia had been speaking of–Olivia’s ‘Father’ gave up the Witness. Vivian busts in with her men, guns blazing, just as Jones starts working on getting Cole and the others out. They have one chance–grab Olivia, or grab the map. Cole wants to grab Olivia, due to her importance in the timeline, but Ramse and Cassie, driven by their revenge, only want the map, as it shows where Titan is.
Guess which one is retrieved.
The map. The Witness isn’t the only one who was betrayed in that room, in 1961. Cole was as well.
In 2016 Olivia has healed enough to step out of the wheelchair and walk freely. We find out that she ages slower, heals faster than a normal human. She goes to Vivian’s grave and says that she is done with all of this–that she is done with her place within the cycle. I guess that means she’s a free agent now, which is totally awesome, and I hope it means she’s going to be trying to help the good guys, now. They certainly need it.
Back in 2044, Jones and Cole are both furious at Ramse and Cassie. Jones explains that because of them they have only hours before the facility is taken over by the red storm, and regardless if they have the map to Titan there is simply no time now–they have no options. Cole wants them locked up. Cassie tries to pull a, “We can still do this,” speech with Cole, but to his credit he stays strong and simply tells her there isn’t a ‘we’ any longer. Betrayal cuts hard and fast against him–and these two have betrayed him for the last time, I think. They are going to have to do something huge to get back in his good graces.
What do we end on, though? Deacon, drinking as he watches the red storm rolls in.
Same, Deacon. Same.