12 Monkeys S2E3 Review: “One Hundred Years”

reviews, TV

12 MONKEYS -- "One Hundred Years" Episode 203 -- Pictured: (l-r) Amanda Schull as Cassandra Railly, Aaron Stanford as James Cole -- (Photo by: Ken Woroner/Syfy)

“One Hundred Years”

Warning: Spoilers

We immediately start this episode in 1944; I have to say, right off the bat, that SyFy really put the money into the production values–everything about the scenes set in the 40s look amazing and lush, and completely of the time period. It’s lovely to see a show willing to spend money on the right set pieces, clothing, and props–it truly sets the mood and helps the audience exist in time with the characters.

Two of the Monkeys are in this time period, and they kill a WWII soldier and his wife, then proceed to assume their identities.  They mention to each other that their lives have lead up to this moment, and that the world will be ‘forever changed’. Given that the world was forever changed last episode–I’m not sure how we can take another big change. But that’s what this show is about–breaking everything, again and again.

Back in 2044, we find out that time is completely wacko now, and has been for awhile–basically the structure of space and time is collapsing in on itself. Meanwhile, Cole and Deacon are having a nice fight over Ramse’s continued torture, but before it can get too heated Cassie comes in and breaks the boys up. Cole raises his voice to her, which Deacon does not like…and let’s be honest, the scene devolves into a dick-measuring contest between Deacon and Cole. At least someone keeps their mind on the issue at hand–because Ramse figures out why the two Monkeys were sent back to 1944 in the first place–to kill a man with a piece of his own bone at a party.  There is some debate on if they should go back in time at all; Cole is adamant that they return, but Cassie simply refuses to believe it is a good idea. I believe it comes more from her simply not wanting to believe anything else needs to change, and from not wanting to be alone with Cole. However, Jones sides with Cole, and says that Cassie needs to guide him, because she is the only one who knows anything about that period of time–she’s also more practical than him. I love watching her struggle with herself; these past three episodes have given us such amazing insight into Cassie’s current psyche, and the way Amanda Schull lets those emotions play across her face is just pitch perfect.

Due to all the issues with time sort of exploding in on itself, Jones and Cassie may not arrive at the same time, so they need a meeting point, and they choose the Emerson Hotel, where, of course, we know Cole ends up with a longtime room. Jones also provides them with some of her own jewelry for bribes, as there isn’t any cash money to be had in 2044. As Cole and Cassie get ready to leave, Cassie shares a tender moment with Deacon and…wow. I’m actually thinking more might be going on there than meets the eye. While Jones says that Deacon is a necessary evil, and that Cassie may just be playing him, the way that Deacon looks at her…I genuinely think he has feelings towards her. It’s going to be interesting to see how this plays out in the future. As for Ramse, Jones says that he’ll be free if Cole is able to complete this mission.

So back to 1944 we go. We land with Cassie, who lands in the middle of an air raid, and we’re given an amazing shot of Cassie as the lights go out around her. Again, I love the cinematography on this show. Everything immerses you in the setting. Once she finally reaches the Emerson Hotel, she is almost kicked out due to her modern clothing, but Cole stops them–apparently he’s been there for two months. Jones wasn’t kidding when she said the jumps wouldn’t be exact any longer.

12 MONKEYS -- "One Hundred Years" Episode 203 -- Pictured: (l-r) Amanda Schull as Cassandra Railly, Aaron Stanford as James Cole -- (Photo by: Steve Wilkie/Syfy)

Things are made uncomfortable as Cassie finds out that Cole has told everyone that she’s his wife. While understandably the staff wouldn’t allow them to have a room together in this time period unless they were married, given their current situation it’s…tense. Cole is truly enjoying himself; the clothing, the drinks, the lingo…he has found himself in his element. He is happy to see her as well, but Cassie is all business, and immediately wants to get ready for the party, which is that night. It is important to note–Cole gets a phone call…but there is no one on the other line. We all know that will be important later on, but how? Now that is that real question.

Once they reach the party, Cassie quickly makes sure that everyone knows that they are brother and sister, not husband and wife. And while she is initially impressed that Cole has been able to set up their position within the party…she finds out that it came from giving a very pretty woman some of Jones’ jewels, and maybe sleeping with her. Which, despite her having asserted she doesn’t care about Cole, pisses Cassie off.

12 MONKEYS -- "One Hundred Years" Episode 203 -- Pictured: (l-r) Amanda Schull as Cassandra Railly, Aaron Stanford as James Cole -- (Photo by: Ken Woroner/Syfy)

Meanwhile, some of Herbert Hoover’s FBI men are here, who are worried about enemies of the state. While getting drinks Cole talks to one, and doesn’t make the best impression. Cassie helps recover the story, of course, but only does so at the expense of Cole’s manhood. It’s a great comedy bit, and brings some needed levity to the show. I genuinely love this pairing so much, even if they aren’t ‘together’ right now. The chemistry between the two actors is just phenomenal.

Unfortunately, the Monkeys have found Thomas Crawford (our target) and knock him out, preparing him for the ritual. It’s in the manner that the Pallid Man used–leading me to believe he’s one the Monkeys. Just before they stab him with the bone knife, the female whispers, “We shall meet again in the red forest,” and then plunges the knife into his heart. Welp. Guess Cassie and Cole weren’t able to save him except–the Monkeys are upset. It seems they have the right name, but the wrong man. He isn’t Primary. And hey kids, from last episode, we know how important Primaries are! The camera focuses on a scribbling of a red monkey, and we cut to–

2044, where Ramse and his son, Sam, are having a sweet visit. Sam knows that Ramse has done something horrible, but doesn’t know exactly what it is, and Ramse refuses to tell him. After he leaves Jones explains that Ramse’s mere existence upsets the balance, and that Deacon is going to kill him–and she will do nothing to stop him. She will, however, keep Samuel safe. They have a conversation on why Ramse did what he did, but Jones utters a line the sums up exactly how I feel about him: “Understanding doesn’t lessen my contempt for you.”  Both have selfish motives, but Jones ends up choosing to do selfless things, while Ramse ends up looking more selfish in the end. His actions, as well, may have helped destroy the world. I may understand his actions, but I do not sympathize with him.

In the past, Cassie feels like she and Cole have failed, as they look about Crawford’s office, trying to determine where they went wrong. Cassie thinks there is nothing to do but wait–but Cole (rightly) knows there is more to this, and notices the drawing of the monkey as well. Cole immediately realizes that the artist must be a Primary as well, and is Thomas Crawford, Junior. While Cole tries to explain what a Primary is to Cassie, she doesn’t believe him, and says she can’t trust him. While I believe that has something to do it, I think it also has to do with the fact that Cassie still wishes to stay within the realm of the rational. Even with time travel, some things are hard for her to believe, at first.

12 MONKEYS -- "One Hundred Years" Episode 203 -- Pictured: Aaron Stanford as James Cole -- (Photo by: Steve Wilkie/Syfy)

Cole still blames himself for what Cassie is going through, and on some level, I think Cassie does, as well. She is lashing out on some level from that place of hurt, but still–she is a product of her herself, not because of him.

We cut to the Primary, Thomas Junior, who says that the Monkeys are coming. We see that not only has he drawn the red monkey…but he has drawn the red forest as well. Cole and Cassie arrive at the Asylum where Thomas is living (like every Primary should), only to find that the Monkeys have gotten there first, and are killing everyone in their wake to get to Thomas. Once Cassie sees the forest that the boy has drawn, it looks like she might actually start to believe in the Primary. I love watching Cassie’s world expand before her, and how she copes with these changes.

The Monkeys get the drop on Cole and Cassie, and things aren’t looking so good–but luckily Thomas is on their side, and Cassie manages to kill the male primate (haha). The woman, however, gets Cole, and drags him off.

How are things going in 2044 you might ask? Not really well. Deacon has dragged Ramse out into the forest, where a red mist has started to roll in, and parts of the forest are sliding into red. As this is happening at the same time as our 1944 plot…I’m pretty sure you can say they are related.

In 1944, the Woman states that Cassie won’t forsake Cole, and that he’s very important. I’m sure that’s bringing Cole a lot of comfort–especially as he’s about to be given electroshock therapy. Meanwhile, Cassie tries to get Thomas Jr to go away, but he tells her that he will be killed with his own bone (a paradox), and that he will protect her. As if to confirm my statements from last episode, he also explains to her that Primaries, “keep the lines straight, the circles circling.” Glad to know that I understand the mythology of this show pretty darn well so far, guys!

And yes, just as the Woman anticipated, the torture of Cole starts to draw Cassie in; Thomas Jr states that there is no way she can save him, and in true Cassie fashion, she tells him to shut up, and that there is no such thing as fate. No matter what happens, she firmly believes she can change things–and that is why I love her so much. Once Cassie reaches the Woman and Cole, they set up a prisoner exchange. Cassie instructs Thomas Jr to duck when she tells him to, and sets him off toward the Woman, as she releases Cole. In passing, Thomas tells Cole, “Remember James, the only failure is giving up.” Sadly, though, he refuses to duck when Cassie yells, and says that he’s sorry–but today is the day he dies. Cassie is devastated, and so am I.  She wants to save him so much, just like Cole has saved lives.

The moment the Woman takes Thomas into the secured room, Cole and Cassie do their best to break in. (Back in 2044, Deacon is making Ramse dig his own grave, and the forest is turning even more red.) This entire situation is intense, and my heart was in my throat–I thought–I hoped that Cassie and Cole would be able to get inside the room in time. But…but they couldn’t. They do break through, yes, and Cassie manages to kill the Woman…but not before she shoves the blade into Thomas’ chest. The paradox is created, and everything becomes chaos. It’s beautiful, truly, and creates an explosion that destroys both Cassie and Cole’s tethers to 2044 and knocks them out cold. In 2044, the paradoxes appear in some weird red flashy-mass, and start to kill people. It’s horrifying, and Ramse saves Deacon from a certain death.

Back in 1944, Herbert Hoover’s men come in, to a still knocked out Cassie and Cole, and assume they have killed everyone in the hospital. And with no way to get them back home…it isn’t looking good for our travelers. This episode is heartbreaking, and timebreaking in so many ways. With both of them stuck in the past, though, it does mean we will be in 1944 for next episode at the very least–so I am pretty excited about that.

Time is tearing itself apart, however–and how much it can take, is anyone’s guess. We will have to wait and see.

Leave a Reply