Sunday, February 15, 2015

12 Monkeys - The Night Room



What to think about 12 Monkey's "The Night Room."

As the episode concluded my mind was swirling with the possibilities from the questions it raised.


So this is "Patient Zero?" (My words.)  Where did he come from?  From the deep past?   Or sent from the future into the deep past?


Who is "Otter Eyes" that Jennifer refers to?  Is it Patient Zero?  Why do they keep quick cutting to Cole after she says that?  Is he "Otter Eyes" also?  They can't be one in the same can they?


Who was the "Pallid Man" referring to when he mentioned "The Witness?"


How many men did Jones experiment on?

Crackpot Theory - 12 Monkeys Origin Story

We interrupt my conflicted musings to bring you a crackpot theory that was gnawing at me like a lab rat last night.  (I watched it on Saturday.)

I'm thinking Jones sent 12 men into the past and one of them survived, "The Witness."

Since monkeys are often the subject of experimentation The Witness dubbed these men as "monkeys" and formed his "Army" around them in their memory.  The Witness now is directing his efforts towards confronting and eliminating the sins of the future and the Pallid Man is his chief crony.

(I used to think the Pallid Man was a time traveler but with the namedrop of "The Witness" I'm now thinking The Witness is the one that is directing the Pallid Man and that is how PM always knows where to be.)

And while I am at it.

There was also a point near the end when Patient Zero was wheeled out of the Fail Safe room and Cole looked faint.  I thought the proximity to his "former self" Patient Zero was making him ill.  (Recall what happened to the two watches of Cassie when they were set together and also when Cole saw his other self during the last episode.  You can't be close too your other self in time or bad things happen.)

There was also the time where the lab rat was dangled over the captured Jennifer Goines and it made her think of Cole.

Adjunct Crackpot Theory

So is Cole just another of Jones's experiments but his turned out to be successful?  The show doesn't come right out and say these things but the way the episode was cut or edited makes you wonder if all these things are related. 

Okay, crackpot musings over. 


I'm resisting the thought that Patient Zero is also Cole.  Too crazy.  We have seen how trips back in time effect the future and even the near future and past.  We saw as much in the last episode when it was found that Cole was the one that gave Deacon the location to the Time Bunker's hidden tunnel.  It was also Cole that saved the day and closed the loop on himself.  

I'll return to this point by the end of the post.

String Theory


Ramse snuck into Jones' quarters and discovered some enlightening items.

Foremost of which is the string relief that connected times and or dates.  It looks to be some sort of visualization that Jones was using to chart the progress of her experimentation.  We could hazard to guess these were times when subjects were sent into the past.  The years may show the time the subject traveled back to and how much progress was made in changing the future.  It may also chart how long the subjects lasted (The subjects delineated as "A2-1 or A2-2.")

Equally disturbing, this string chart may show the failed attempts at changing the future that Jones had to fix because the change was too radical.  She may have had to settle on her apocalyptic present because her other "fixes" were too terrible to endure.


Also inside Jones' "hope" chest (the hope that the future can be fixed) was a baby blanket.  Her child I'm assuming.  Maybe Hannah was lost to the plague and Jones is working to fix the future wherein Hannah lives.

It makes me wonder if Jones found an acceptable fix to the future but it didn't include Hannah so she is still trying.

Hey, she went through a lot of men before Cole finally worked right?  Maybe Max and Ramse are right in not trusting her because she'll only settle on a timeline that includes her child.

There was also a music box in the hope chest.  Was the tune it played also the same one the Pallid Man whistles?  Did "The Witness" hear it once and carry it back into time with him where the Pallid Man adopted it?  Is it their official apocalyptic theme song inspired by Jones' failed experiments?

Good lord, I'm starting to freak myself out.

Faces

I couldn't help but draw a visual relationship between Jennifer's face.


And the Howler Monkey face that 12 Monkeys uses at its logo.


Hmm, they are often pictured together also.  Is our Jennifer an experimental subject herself?


This is the face you make when you find out your lover from the past (Henri) was shot by the man you turned your life upside down for.  I was hoping Cassie would figure out the awful truth herself but the Pallid Man had to spill the beans.


This is the face you make when you see your trusted ally disappears into time right before your eyes.  If you can freak out someone that is already freaked out you've done your job.


 This the face you make when you want the television audience to see your nose hair.  Yuck!  Thanks Pallid Man, as if I needed more reason to hate you.


 And this is the face you make when you've got the upper hand on your adversary.  It didn't last long for Jennifer but I like how she switched between insanity and lucidity.  Emily Hampshire does it well but I'm troubled how the writers make her a little too lucid at times.  Like when she can remember all the codes.  Maybe we can just mark it down to her daddy issues and that is how she was able to retain that information despite her manic state.

The Medallion


I'm sure we, the viewing audience, were meant to see this piece of Pallid Man jewelry early on in the episode.

  
It meant enough to Jennifer for her to snatch it.

  
So what is it?  It seems to be two figures.  Perhaps two figures joined as one.  A Gemini like symbol?

Perhaps it represent two time travelers, Cole and The Witness, inextricably linked in fighting to set the course of the future.  At odds with each other but bound by time together.

More on this I'm sure.

Light and Color  


I loved the way they framed the sane Jennifer in this shot.  We get the cool blue tones that represent the sterile nature of science.  Dispassionate and uncaring.  We also see it reflected in Jennifer's glasses.  As if her own outlook was represented by the same.


In contrast, take a look at Jones as she is getting "lit" by drinking whiskey with the gang.

As she stares into the fire you can believe she's ready to set the world aflame in order to achieve her goal.  Is the "Hannah" timeline her only goal?

Back to the Future


When Cole is pulled back into the future he sees the logo of the West Seven on the interior wall of his time bunker.  Something is not right.  Cole felt as much when he wa being pulled back earlier.  I mentioned the "faint" feeling Cole was having when he was in proximity to Patient Zero.  I theorized he and Cole might be one in the same.

A more pedestrian theory would be that Cole was starting to feel the early onset of being pulled back to the future.  This is probably right (but not necessarily!) as Cole did travel back when he disappeared in front of Jennifer as he chased Cassie being hauled away.

So they finally managed to change the future. 

Or!

This could be one of the bad splinters that Jones has struggled with.  Something she now has to fix.  The bunker has been lost so Cole must have changed something effectively in the past.  Was it the incineration of Patient Zero?  Why is the future still a mess?  

Could it be that Cole did not "close the loop" in the last episode and this time his time traveling self returned and messed up things? 

 
I share your consternation Cassie.  (Just not your good looks.)

Questions, questions.

Is Cole "Patient Zero?"

Is Patient Zero a failed experiment that was sent back in time?

Is Patient Zero a weapon that was deliberately set back in time to be found or hidden.

Is "The Witness" a failed experiment that actually survived?

Is Cole the Gemini counterpoint to The Witness inextricably linked in their battle over time?

Is the "Hannah" timeline the only one Jones will accept?

Sigh, maybe we will find out next week.  In the meantime I'll take a walk in the Red Forest to clear my mind.

Okay, one last thing.


 Is this "The Witness?"  I call him ,"Haz-Mat Face."







5 comments:

  1. I'm liking your theory of Cole and Patient Zero being one and the same. That thought crossed my mind as well as I watched Cole feel weak when the "thing" passed by.

    That is really neat being it raises tough questions: how the heck will he get out of that mess? Why would he be Patient Zero? Could the time travelling have caused Cole to become sick and develop the virus from that? That would mean a loop, which would fit (and not fit, at the same time).

    Cole is now very established as being a damaged hero and now qualifies for "redemption". Cole done wrong multiple times and now, in trying to do right, he done ever wronger. What do you think?

    Here's my crackpot theory - Pallid Man could be Jones' husband (or ex husband), and one maybe one of the people who tried the time travel but got stuck or something like that, and his brain became wonky.

    Seems you are liking this show Dave. There are definite weak points, but I don't mind forgetting about them - I'm really liking the dark atmosphere, the love story (cuz it's definitely there), the horror, and Ramses (I forget his name). Nice to see him back.

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    1. I watched the episode again and now I'm wondering... What if Patient Zero isn't Cole but is related to him? Maybe his dad, which honestly could be very likely. One thing that seems very possible, is that the virus really could be a result of the time traveling itself, after seeing what happened to the previous (and supposed "failed") timetravellers, the virus is likely something either caused by thr travelling itself or was pick up in the past. Pallid Man said the virus was hundreds of years old, maybe Cole or another traveller (cuz surely there is/was one, perhaps Katrina's husband) picked up what had been a dead virus that wasn't dead.

      Thoughts?

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    2. Redemption for Cole? Hmm, I don't see why not but I would like to see him screw up a few more times. I mean really screw up. I don't think redemption should come so soon. Maybe after a couple of seasons or more. It took us a while to cozy up to Walter on Fringe and after a while we excused anything he did. I think Cole can wait.

      Didn't Jones say her husband died in the plague? Do think she is lying? That would be interesting. If it's the Pallid Man, I would hope she had better taste in men than that. He's a creep.

      I like a show that challenges me Ingrid. If it gets me to thinking then all the better.

      Ramse is played by Kirk Acevedo. He had a great episode the previous time. I hope he gets more to do. (Like travel back in time to rescue Cole!)

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    3. To your second reply.

      I'm not so sure time travel could cause a virus but how about an existing (and harmless) virus being corrupted by the ravages of time travel in its unknowing host? There would be a lot of blame pie to pass around after that!

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  2. Substitute "mutated" for "corrupted" in my second reply. Eh, either one.

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