12 Monkeys S2E2 Review “Primary”

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12 MONKEYS -- Season:2 -- Pictured: Emily Hampshire as Jennifer Goines -- (Photo by: Rodolfo Martinez/Syfy)


Warning: Spoilers

Instead of starting off at the standoff, we start in 2044, where we’re shown what Cassie became in the eight months it took to rebuild the machine. She became harder, faster, stronger–but a killer, as well. In her words, “not every caterpillar becomes a butterfly” But eventually the machine is repaired through her work (with help with her new ally Deacon), and Cassie travels, and we are back where we ended episode one.

We need to catch up with Ramse, though, and once he regains consciousness, he makes his way up to the standoff on the roof… only to have Cassie pull a second gun on him. Girl is completely prepared, it seems, and isn’t about to back down. Cole attempts to tell Cassie that Ramse isn’t with the 12 Monkeys any longer, but she doesn’t believe it, and feels betrayed that Cole has gone soft. At the same time, Cole is also trying to talk Jennifer down from deploying the virus.  Poor Cole is pulling double duty right now. However, it does work, and Jen gives up the vial to Cole, and Cassie puts down her guns. On the way to the rest of the virus, Cassie quotes Deacon’s favorite saying (about making enemies), and Cole realizes that the leader of the West 7 is still alive, and Cassie has bought into his propaganda. It’s a harsh realization for him, but not one he has time to deal with at the moment.

Once at the plane hanger (remember that from season one?), they start to remove the virus from the small jet, but Ramse refuses to help. He says won’t stop them, but he won’t help them either, due to his son. Cole looks conflicted; nothing is turning out as he planned. Honestly, though, Ramse needs to stop this–the way time changes is not even guaranteed, and one life isn’t worth millions. Even Cole and Cassie have realized that, time and time again.
Bleach and flame destroy the virus, and as the vials explode, everyone’s heads start to hurt. Back in 2044, Jones’ nose starts to bleed and time starts to shift all around her even as she stands still. She runs to her bedroom, grasping her daughter’s blanket and while it flickers…it doesn’t disappear. Nor, though, does her daughter appear. So time has changed, but not completely, it seems.

Back in 2016, no one has disappeared as they thought; Cassie has a way to get Cole back to 2044 though, with another vial of the serum. She voices that she can’t leave Jen and Ramse alive in this time, however, as she doesn’t know if they might try and undo what they’ve just accomplished. Cole refuses to do so, though, and stands between Cassie and Jennifer. Frustrated and angry, Cassie jams the serum into Ramse’s leg instead, sending him back to 2044. Cassie stares at Cole and tells him that she’s sorry, but he’s forgotten the mission, and she’s back to ‘44 as well.  My heart honestly broke for both of them; they are at such opposite points right now, but I have little doubt they will come to some sort of consensus in time. But will they have the time…who can say.

Cole and Jennifer are left alone, and she quips that no one wants him anymore–but we all know she does. Somehow this is perfect for her, at least. She also tells him that they need to get in touch with Jones in this time–that it’s highly important, but gives no explanation.

12 MONKEYS -- "Primary" Episode 202 -- Pictured: Barbara Sukowa as Katarina Jones -- (Photo by: Steve Wilkie/Syfy)

Back in ‘44, time has indeed shifted. The plague started in 2018 instead of ‘16, and due to Cassie’s work with the CDC, millions, perhaps billions of lives were saved. Besides those who have taken the serum, though–nothing has changed. Only Cassie, Jones, and Ramse remember both timelines. Cassie has to break the news of Cole’s abandonment to Jones, and says it is due to his involvement with Ramse and Jen, but she is missing such a key piece. It truly started with her: she taught him to love, to care again. She opened his heart to all of this. So in truth, it is her fault.

They still need information on when/where the 12 Monkeys went, so they send Deacon in to crack Ramse (Note–did they give Deacon the serum? How can he remember?).

In 2016, Jennifer is hearing her voices again, but they apparently tell her things–specific things, like telling her and Cole to stop at a hotel and to get a room. Jen informs Cole they need to procure room 607, but they end up with 610, instead. She is highly upset, but Cole ignores her, while a strange man makes a phone call, noting Cole by name. Cole needs to start paying more attention to Jen–she is his only ally here, and she clearly knows things.

Cole calls Katerina who refuses to help them (again citing time contradictions). While Cole is on the phone, however, Jen is in the restroom, struggling with the voices in her head, and the thoughts implanted by the Striking Woman. She eventually snaps and breaks a mirror with her fist, attacking Cole–saying if she no longer has a purpose, neither can he.

Deacon is torturing Ramse in 2044, and I have to say I love watching Deacon chew scenery; his character is becoming more complex this season and I’m so interested to see what they do with him. Ramse, who contests he knows nothing about where the Monkeys may have gone, reveals that he does know all about Deacon’s abusive childhood–and he actually saved Deacon’s mother from being beaten to death by his father, once. Deacon (understandably) snaps, and nearly kills Ramse, but Cassie stops him before it happens, calming him down. Their friendship is interesting, to say the least, and like most things involving Deacon, I’m curious to see how it will develop.

On the minor/side character side of things, we find out that Lasky is alive (yay!) and that there is a new doctor in the compound as well–a Dr. Eckland, played by Michael Hogan, often known for his portrayal of badguys. He reveals that he’s Jones’ boyfriend in this timeline. Jones’ reaction is so endearingly awkward and cute–I genuinely hope she gets some happiness. She deserves it.

But let’s head back to 2016, where Jen is holding Cole up by mirror-point. She keeps stating she has no purpose anymore, that Olivia is the only one who gave her purpose (Aha, the Striking Woman has a name now!).

But here is the big revelation we gained this episode, folks: Jennifer is Primary, which means that she can see the changes made in time, regardless of when they were made. That is where the voices come from, and why she is so very important to the story. She is more unique than anyone we have met, because unlike everyone moving back and forth in time, she is immersed in the time-stream itself, like a creature at the center of the ocean. Or perhaps the sun, with the planets revolving around it, allowing her to see all the movements.

She is also tells him that being single isn’t the end of the world (but him being with Cassie is–how foreboding), and kisses him. He doesn’t kiss back, but simply allows her to ramble, taking in all this information. It’s clear Cole doesn’t know how to process all of this, but at the same time wants to help Jennifer. Before he can truly say anything, there is a knock at the door, and we find out that they should have been in room 607 the entire time. Stepping into it is like going back in time, and we find out that back in 1944 Cole bought this room for future him. Jen moves into the bedroom and finds a picture of Cole and Cassie smiling…and she attempts to slit her wrists.

12 Monkeys - Season 2

My heart breaks for her, truly; while she is more in love with the idea of Cole, than Cole himself, he is one of the few people in the world who has ever been truly kind to her, and treated her like a fully realized human being–and continues to do so. Sitting her down, he tells her, “I don’t know what your purpose is, I don’t know what mine is,” but he tells her to leave and find her own purpose. Jennifer needs to find an existence away from away from everyone that has tried to bind her.

But let’s head back to 2044, where Cassie goes to visit Ramse and brings his son to visit him, making veiled threats towards the child. Yes, the future has made her this hard, apparently. She drags the kid off, but Ramse really doesn’t know anything–and they need to understand that.

Meanwhile some unknown group is infiltrating the compound, and–surprise!–it’s the Daughters, telling them they have to go back for Cole. His act of mercy upon Jen is a debt that needs to be repaid, and that he above all others, remembers what everyone has forgotten: that everything is intertwined.

So armed with the note the Daughters provided her, Cassie comes for Cole. And what does it say?

“I found my purpose”

Which is amazing to me. She started the Daughters to help lost women so much like herself, and she found a way to rely on herself–it’s an incredible thing she has done, and I hope it proves to be a positive development in the future.

12 Monkeys - Season 2

And yes, Cole returns to 2044. He meets up with Ramse, who is still in a holding cell, and refuses to believe him when he tells Cole about how Cassie threatened to hurt his son. He also has a conversation with Jones, where he says that what they changed doesn’t matter, because Cassie still dies. Jones counters that they have changed fate–that there is so much hope now. That should mean something, even if Cassie couldn’t be saved. Jones asks Cole if he is still with her, and with a pause, he says yes. Good. So we are going to 1944.

As for Cassie and Cole? He blames himself for what she has become, but Cassie says that she is the way she is because of herself, no one else. She owns her actions, and I am so proud of her. It’s clear that Cole still cares about her so much, but she has hardened her heart against him. Cole tells her that the only thing that ever changed time was saving a life–and that she needs to remember that. And you know what? He’s completely right. Compassion and love win in the end.

He leaves her with the picture of them from 1944, and she looks off, tearing up.

We’re onto 1944 next epsiode kids, and I have a feeling it’s going to have some amazing costumes, but still be a bumpy, bumpy ride. So buckle up!

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