12 Monkeys S2E4 Review “Emergence”

reviews, TV

12 Monkeys - Season 2


Warning: Spoilers

With everything that happened last episode, it would be hard to believe that things could get even more crazy this episode, right? Well, this is 12 Monkeys, folks. Of course things are going to get more crazy–the stakes are raised, so let’s jump right in.


Back in the future (ha!), the red storm is spreading, Jones and the rest of her board are talking to Ramse, imploring him to assist them into helping them. With the tethers broken, there is no way for them to get Cole or Cassie back to this time–so they have little choice…to send Ramse back to 1944. Of course, none of this is being done enthusiastically. Jones doesn’t trust him, and frankly, neither do I. But in going back, Ramse will earn his freedom, and freedom for his son, so it is an excellent incentive for him to do as he is told.


Before he leaves for the past, Ramse asks Jones what is going on with the anomalies outside, and she doesn’t answer him. It’s clear she doesn’t fully understand, but she needs to learn, and quickly. She is one of the few people who can sort this out. So Ramse gets sent back…and promptly gets hit by a car. Lovely.  He wakes up in a hospital, around the time that Cassie arrives at the Emerson hotel. This is shown to us in lovely parallel shots, heightening the tension, as we know how much (or little) time Ramse has to get his task completed. As for Ramse? He’s completely laid up with broken bones, which are healing quickly, but not quickly enough. In desperation he attempts to use the phone at the nurses’ station to call Cole (that mysterious phone call from the hotel explained!), but he is sedated before he speaks to him.


Meanwhile, Jones goes out to the red forest and takes samples of some of the people who were killed by the anomalies, and she determines that they weren’t killed by a virus, but by time. If they don’t stop whatever is happening around them, the world has a matter of months before it is destroyed completely. Yeah, this is definitely worse than what they were worried about last season. It goes to show that this show truly thinks through the butterfly effect–that one change can utterly affect things in ways we might never anticipate. The Daughters are watching, waiting. And what are they waiting for? For Jones to go and speak with them. Jones, truly, is struggling–it’s difficult to see. I love her character, and she genuinely feels that she is fumbling in the dark. She always feels like she has such a grand grasp of time and the world around her, and now–all of that is gone.


But here, we have Jones meeting with an older, wiser, and seemingly more sane Jennifer. Jones asks what is causing the anomalies, but of course, Jennifer gives no direct answers. Instead she says that the who and the how isn’t important, but the why. I genuinely love Jennifer, and Emily Hampshire’s portrayal of her. She’s truly arresting on screen, and it’s always difficult to take your eyes off of her. Jennifer uses an excellent analogy about ants to explain time to Jones–that as long as you are walking in a straight line, you can’t see things clearly–you have to move out of the line to see the whole picture–and that is what Primaries do (Hey, Jim Morrison was a Primary!). They have moved out of the time stream, for one reason or another, and can see everything to do with time. Jones has only been looking wrong, until now, but Jennifer can show Jones the way. Instead of taking her up on her offer at this time, Jones gets frustrated and leaves. It’s understandable; she’s a woman of science, and even while she deals in time travel, this is something beyond her–it will take her time to process this knowledge.


Back in 1944, the party takes place as it did before, as Ramse sleeps off his sedative. Luckily, he does finally manage to wake up and get his shit together, and manages to spring out of the hospital and gets to the asylum around the time that Cole and Cassie are attempting to find Tommy. The Woman–Vivian Rutledge–finds Ramse first, and I believe Ramse tries to play her, and tells her that he’s trying to help her catch Cole. It’s difficult to tell at this point–Ramse is a hard character to read at this juncture, and I struggle to trust him. But, well–it seems the Monkeys don’t believe his ruse, and handcuff him to a pipe. Ramse, you really suck at this ‘helping’ thing. Everything plays out exactly as it did before, and the Paradox occurs.   


In 2044, everything is becoming redder and redder–there is a true sense that the end is speeding towards them, and they don’t have a lot of time. Jones is tense and freaking out, and we keep seeing flashes of past episodes…the pacing of all of this is amazing, and again, I have to commend this show on its ability to have a cinematic quality to every episode. Each one is a mini-movie.


Meanwhile, Hoover’s men don’t take Cassie and Cole to jail, but instead set up in a motel, and start to interrogate them. There is some great banter back and forth between the characters, and before anything truly happens, Ramse manages to find them (finally!) and gets them out. Neither one of Hoover’s men are killed though, just knocked out. Ramse and Cassie want to go back immediately, but Cole says they can’t go back yet; they need to find the woman who killed Tommy, so they head back to the Emerson.


Ramse explains that for Jones to find them, he has to place a classified ad with a time and a place so they can be pinpointed. Cole still believes they need to find Vivian so they can determine what she might do–but Cassie believes it’s a waste of time. Ramse says that Cassie has an attitude problem, to which both Cassie and I say ‘fuck you buddy’. But I take it back (a little), because Ramse says Cassie has a point, and goes and places the ad. It’s clear that if the three of them are going to have to work together, it’s going to be a continual struggle, with Cole stuck in the middle. It’s heartbreaking to see, truly.

12 Monkeys - Season 2

Once the ad is placed, Ramse goes to speak to Cassie. It’s interesting to note that Ramse is handling the 1940s very well; but then again, he has had a very streamlined time there, I suppose. Ramse says that Cassie can hate him, but that Cole beats himself up about what she has become. Cassie is understandably frustrated, and seems just upset by the entire conversation. She says she doesn’t hate anyone–and as we know from my interview with Amanda Schull, Cassie simply wants to hold onto her own destiny at this point, and not have it defined by the men in her life.  Ramse, in turn, asks Cassie to simply forgive Cole. Hopefully she will be able to.


A newspaper reveals that Vivian didn’t die in the explosion as anticipated and Cole heads to the hospital to confront her–and runs into Agent Stack, the Hoover man that he previously knocked out. He states that he knows that Cole didn’t kill those people. It seems they have an ally, now, and he allows Cole to go see Vivian. She states that she never imagined that she would survive but that the Father made them too well. She mutters, “Unlock the infinite” and attacks, escaping into the unknown. Well, that’s just great, isn’t it?


Back in 2044, Jones and Dr. Eckland have a heart to heart. It’s a touching scene, where he tells her that she might not remember him, but he knows her–and that no matter what, she’s a scientist, an explorer. And right now, she needs to push out into the unknown. It’s what she’s done all her life, isn’t it? I think she’s just forgotten.


So she goes to seek out Jennifer once more, and drinks the red-leaf tea. She and Jennifer enter a strange vision-world of sorts, where she gets to see what Jennifer sees, now: killing Primaries causes paradoxes, and destroys time. There is no beginning, no end, only now when each is killed. So basically, when the last Primary is killed, there will be a strange temporal hell on earth, where everything is unable to change. This show’s lore is awesome. I honestly couldn’t have anticipated any of this coming, and I have no idea what else is coming around the corner, either.


In 1944, it’s time for Cassie, Cole, and Ramse to leave, but they allow Agent Stack to see them leave. It’s a gentle, kind scene–and hopefully it means good things for them–that they will continue to have an ally in the past, if they need him. Perhaps they will encounter him in the later years. After all, he is the one who wrote down the information on Thomas Crawford Jr on the back of the photo.

12 Monkeys - Season 2

So everyone knows what is going on now, and everyone is back in 2044. Jones fills them in on what the Red Forest truly means, and what the mission is: Stop the Monkeys from killing all the Primaries. Everyone, of course, erupts into arguing, and Cole stops them–he says that they have to pull together if they want any chance of saving the world. It’s amazing to see Cole finally stepping into a leadership role. For so long he has shunned it, but now, with everyone being pulled in opposite directions, he has little choice. It’s great character development.


What other interesting tidbits do we need to know? In 1971, Vivian is dying, and her son comes to visit her–she gives him a mission…to carry on the Monkey’s mission. He has a hat. Does that mean…?


Oh yes, oh yes it does. He is the Pallid Man. And in 2016, while Jennifer tries to check herself into a facility to calm the voices in her head, he stalks her, dropping jasmine.

Leave a Reply