Damn guys. Before I even get into this episode, I have to say–it’s the best episode this show has ever produced. I can honestly say that I cried probably three times, and Emily Hampshire gives one of the best performances I’ve ever seen on this show. This is a show that is in danger of cancellation, folks, and that is criminal. .
We open in 2044 with Old!Jennifer burning papers of her past; apparently today is the end of the beginning, and the beginning of the end–in other words, resurrection. The red storm is incredibly near, and her Daughters are understandably nervous, but she simply calms them by saying that there are many endings, and today is one of them. As with most situations, Jennifer knows what is coming; she may be nervous for it, but she is prepared.
Cole and Jones are also looking into the same storm; Jones tells them they have six hours, if that, and start planning for the 1957 jump–it will take 6 hours to program, so they are cutting it incredibly close. In other words, the facility will literally be destroyed as Cole is sent back–there will be no way he can ever come home, if he doesn’t succeed. This is it. As they discuss the betrayal of the others, (“The worst thing about betrayal is that it never comes from one’s enemies”) someone is breaking Ramse, Dr. Adler, and Cassie out of their prison rooms.
While getting Cassie out, Ramse and Dr. Adler reveal that Titan is in Colorado, and Dr. Adler wants to splinter them there–basically time travel without the whole ‘time’ aspect. Which means, of course, that they will have to use the machine instead of Cole. Cassie, to her credit, seems to have some second thoughts about this plan, but in the end–nope, she chooses the wrong side, and decides to go with revenge and murder as her way of salvation.
As the storms close in the facility takes a hit, which causes someone to get seriously injured. Cole grabs Cassie (everyone else has run off to go plan), to operate on the wounded man. Cole tries to reason with her, in the meantime, to get her to come back with him to 1957–and of course, it doesn’t work; in turn, Cassie asks Cole to come with them to Titan. They are so far apart, at this point, but what Cassie says does make Cole realize the danger the rest of the facility is in. He locks her to the gurney and sends Jones and the others to protect the machine at all costs. The stakes are so high in this episode and you can feel every damn bit of it.
While running to find help, Cole finds Ramse and they shoot at each other–they also try to reason with one another, and it doesn’t go well, either. Ramse basically keeps bemoaning his lack of family and his son…but Cole rightfully points out that Cole was his family, until recently. The ‘rebels’ in this group may have lost sight of what truly matters, and they are in danger of taking down the entire world with them. But, honestly, I completely understand where they are coming from: they have been brutalized by loss in the worst ways. Ramse, for all his faults, is just doing what he sees is the best way to win. So is Cassie–it is hard to have faith the same way that Cole does. And while the viewers can see all Cole does, with Jennifer, with Jones…put yourself in Ramse and Cassie’s shoes: the choice to follow Cole isn’t so easy. While neither goal is truly tangible–the Witness at least known in their time, as oppose to the unknown primary in 1957/1958. But I digress.
Cole needs help, and who does he go to? None other than our ScavKing, Deacon! …who is currently naked, drunk, sharpening a knife, and singing Simple Minds’ “Don’t You (forget about me).” Yes, he is channeling the Breakfast Club in the strangest way, and damn if I am not even more endeared to him than I was before. As Cole starts to talk him into helping him keep the facility safe, we find out something that explains so much about Deacon’s relationship with Cole: Cole reminds Deacon of his dead baby brother, who died by the Foreman’s hand. Seriously, guys, kill me now. This poignant moment is followed up by a great, “Let’s go save the wor–” that is cut off by Deacon’s horrendous vomiting. Once again, bringing the comedy in an otherwise serious episode. I love you, Deacon. So, so much.
Meanwhile, we finally find out who betrayed Jones and the others: Whitley. Well, damn. He gives some bullshit excuse, but let’s be honest, it doesn’t matter. They make it to the machine, but before Adler can get to work, Cole comes in and shoots him. Cassie immediately attacks him, and turns the gun on him, and here we get yet another amazing moment in the episode (there are so many): Cole simply looks at Cassie and tells her, “Kill me, Kill the Witness–it won’t matter.” And why is that? Because she’s truly scared of herself, not of anything else. And that won’t go away with death. Cole escapes, and heads to Jennifer.
Jennifer is expecting Cole, of course, and tells him he’s turning into a leader (takes one to know one)–and gives him one of the sweetest little smiles when she speaks of the adventures they have yet to experience. Again, Emily Hampshire’s acting truly shines through in this episode. The most important thing, here, of course, is the question she has to ask Cole: is he prepared to sacrifice someone he cares about for the sake of the world? It takes him a moment, but he finally says yes. It’s beautiful, bittersweet… and just so perfect.
And with that, the Daughters join in the fight to take the Facility and ensure Cole gets to 1957.
Deacon, meanwhile, takes out Whitley so that the girls can get into the building, and Jennifer finally gets to meet Deacon. She touches his face, and he asks if she likes what she sees, and she simply says, “Not yet.” Oh my god does that mean we’re going to get them hooking up at some point? I want this more than anything, now.
Of course, they take the time machine’s room easily–but nothing is easy on this show. Deacon strides in (throwing his fist up in the air), telling Cassie that this is definitely personal, and starts to go off on a tirade, clearly still a bit drunk. Ramse mouths off and in a fit of rage, Deacon pulls a gun and attempts to shoot him–but Cassie shoves the gun out of the way and…the bullet hits Jennifer.
We knew the day Jennifer would die. September 23, 2044. Today is that day. This is no surprise, even if it is painful to watch. One of the Daughters attacks Deacon in a rage, slashing his face (and after this his fate is unknown) and announces that if Jennifer dies, everyone in the facility will die as well.
Remember a few episodes back when Cole disappeared and showed back up quickly at young Jennifer’s door? ..that was what this is all about. Old!Jennifer tells Cole to go find Young!Jennifer and bring her back–she needs daughters, and she needs to lead them, now. Resurrection.
Young!Jen enjoys the ride on the machine, but is a bit awed as the Daughters kneel before her–but first things first. Egg needs to go meet Chicken: she needs to meet her dying self. And here we have the best scene in the entire two seasons, and some beautiful, pitch-perfect acting by Emily Hampshire. It is decided that Cole will go back to 1957 as decided, but Young!Jennifer will take the Daughters and the others and go to Colorado over land (not with the machine) to take the fight to the Witness and Titan. And in the first scene that made me cry, Old!Jen tells her younger self that she loves her, and that she will need to remember that, later. Jennifer holds such multitudes within herself–she is such a complex, beautiful, powerful character, and is a rarity on the small screen that is seemingly destroying good female characters left and right. This entire show is filled with them, and we are so lucky for it.
Before she dies, she tells Young!Jen that the correct ending is the one she chooses. Like hope, I think that is the most important lesson to take away from this season.
With that, Jen takes the Daughters and gets the convoy ready to head out. Cassie refuses to say goodbye to Cole, but at least Ramse does. Their brotherly relationship, as strained and broken as it is…some tenuous bit is still there. It is such an important, integral part of this show, and man, the actors sell it. Every member of this show is deserving of recognition of the hard work they put in. In the second scene that made me tear up, Cole says goodbye to Jones, as she thanks him for believing in her. In many ways, he was like a son to her. She lost so much, sacrificed so much for the world. She always did what had to be done, even if it made her look like a monster–and Cole, as he always did with people–he looked at her like she was a human, and someone worthy of compassion and love.
And so Cole goes back to 1957, as Cassie watches the red storm closing in on the facility but–she asks Ramse to stop the car, and she bounds out, running.
She chooses hope guys. She chooses hope, and demands that Jones send her back to 1957 with Cole. To not be afraid anymore, to leap without looking.
So Jones sends her, and manages to ensure her daughter is safe as well, before she is engulfed by the red storm, along with the machine. Goodbye, Katerina Jones. You did all you could to save the world, and I hope it works, so we can see you again.