12 Monkeys - The Inscrutable "Divine Move."
As I wrapped up my second viewing of "Divine Move" I thought to myself, "How am I going to distill this one down to something I can write about?" Should I go with something thematic like sacrifice and choosing the one versus the many? (Something Ramse, Cassie and Aaron struggled with.) Or should I chronicle the breakdown of Cassie as she suffered a lack of faith, turned to the bottle and nearly murdered Peters.
Except she didn't break down. (Railly has continued to develop a "Heroes Journey" to rival that of Cole. Credit goes to the writers for bringing much depth to her character.)
No, I think I'll stick with the part of the episode that both confused and intrigued me at the same time. (Yeah, that should make things easy.)
This was a "bridge" type of episode, something that connected what preceded it and then vaguely spelled out what is to come. The exchange between Ramse and Goines I see as crucial because it connected some plot threads and layed out a few more
To wit, Jennifer Goines of the future opened a Pandora's Box of non-sequiturs that outdid anything she has offered in previous incarnations. I know what she imparted to Ramse was important, it's just trying to make sense of it all that is mind boggling.
But here I go anyway.
Time and Travel
We've learned 12 Monkeys that there are certain parts of time that are immutable and will remain so. Here is further evidence of that from "Old Jennifer."
What is Jen saying here? No matter what Cole and company do to stop the plague they will never succeed? Is the plague one of the immutable strings of time? Then what is the point of trying to fix it?
Ah, she said the plague couldn't be stopped but she didn't say it couldn't be cured.
(Quick aside, Eddie Redmayne is my go to guy to play the Riddler in any upcoming Batman movie. But I wonder how Emily Hampshire would do as a female Riddler?)
Jen seems to imply that the timeline is out of order. I take this to mean because Cole has traveled to so many different times that the events of the general timeline have been put out of order due to the changes Cole has made. (Such as Cassie dying and then not dying and perhaps the watch being scratched and then unscratched.)
1987 seems to be the year where things are put in their proper order (More on this soon.) Jen also spoke of "no straight lines."
In the above frame, taken from my "Night Room" blog post in which I attempted my "String" theory, we see a myriad of lines as laid out in a relief by Jones. There are no straight lines here, in fact they branch out into many different directions. In actual String Theory time can be splintered into many different timelines all similar yet unrelated. More importantly they can also exist at the same time. (I don't think "12 Monkeys is going there but you never know.)
I took the above frame to show how many times sent Jones sent her previous subjects back in time, how long they survived and what affect they had in repairing the timeline especially in relation to the survival of Jones daughter Hannah. (Hmm, "daughter.") Perhaps this is "Old Jennifer" meant by no straight lines.
Like I intimated above, there are things that can be undone in time. The overall general timeline remains by and large the same but the subsets of it can be changed. I think this is what Jen is referring to in this immediate frame seen above. I'm not sure what Jen is referring to when she says, "Undo what I've done" (but I bet it's a whopper) but I think what she is referring to when she says, "You've done" to Ramse, is his destruction of the Splinter Lab and his fraternal break with Cole.
Jen is aware of the mutable parts of time and when she says "We" to Ramse above. I think she already knows who he is and the part he is about to play. How does she know who Ramse is? Did Cole mention him to Jen earlier? More importantly, how can Jen possibly know of the role Ramse will play if everything is out of order? (Don't worry I'm getting there.)
As Ramse leaves the Daughters campsite, Jen tells him "Death can be both cause and effect." As part of her knowledge of what is to be, I think Jen is referring to the death of Elena that will set Ramse on his immediate path. This is what makes 1987 so important.
It seems to me Jen knows Ramse is fated to go back in time to 1987 as part of the reordering of time and "undo what they have done." Elena had to die in order to set Ramse on this path. Is Ramse fated to die also?
Ramse enters 1987 as disoriented as Alice entering Wonderland. (The neon Japanese character behind his head reminded me of the White Rabbit of the same story.) And this where I jump right into a crackpot theroy,
As part of the "re-ordering" of the timeline and "straightening out" does Ramse have to die? Jen told us things have to be undone and she implied Ramse had to be part of it. What part would his death serve?
In short, Ramse is destined to become, "The Remains!" In that, he becomes both cause of the plague and in effect it's cure as Patient Zero.
Spoiler Alert! I saw a screen grab from the next episode, "Shonin" where Leland Goines seems to be gazing at The Remains. We'll see what happens to Ramse when he gets close to The Remains and acts like Cole when he gets too close to his other selves when he time travels. Also, if you remember, Cole had a dizzy spell when he encountered The Remains back in the "Night Room." I don't think it was because he encountered his other self. I think it was because he encountered another time traveler such as himself that was injected with the serum.
So what gives Jennifer's inscrutable rant such agency and leaves her words with such import that would lead me down this rabbit hole of my own?
Jennifer is aware of The Witness! Okay, we all know she had a vision of him when she drank the Pallid Man's tea long ago. But as the above words imply, she knows of The Witness' ability to either look through or travel through time. (I've referred to The Witness as a being that exists "out of time." You can interact with him in a fugue state by drinking the tea.)
The above stunning reveal to Ramse is twofold. Jennifer has apparently been interacting with The Witness, she does have the herbal tea, and by this interaction, Jennifer is aware of the many strands of time because of what The Witness has imparted to her. (Intentionally or not.)
So now, Jennifer is aware of what is "out of order" and what constitutes "no straight lines." This constitutes immeasurable knowledge of import in setting things right.
(It also might get her in terrible hot water with The Witness whom I feel is the the one who set the world asunder.) (BTW, I've theorized The Witness is one of Jones "failed" attempts to send men back in time, only he survived unbeknownst to Jones and is now exacting his revenge on the future and her by spreading the plague.)
It was important that Jennifer gave Ramse the Medallion. First off, the Medallion may interact with a previous incarnation of itself and the sparks will fly. Secondly, the symbolic imagery of the Medallion may have become clearer.
I've noted before the image above evokes thoughts of the Gemini twins. To sprinkle a little more crackpot sugar in your herbal tea, the Medallion may represent Cole and the Witness. Brothers in time travel but with two separate agendas. But to further my crackpot theory from before, it could represent Ramse as both catalyst and cure for the plague. Freaky!
So, if I can translate my own inscrutable rant, because of Jennifer's ongoing interaction with The Witness and the information she has gleaned from it, she has now put things in motion to set things right.
(It doesn't explain why we have a season two of 12 Monkeys but I don't want to give myself a migraine trying to figure that out right now.)
Odds and Ends
Did you notice all the cages were empty in Peter's stinky container lab? He then went on to speak of "The Messengers." Do you suppose the messengers are the monkeys and that is how the plague is being spread? Seed them in various zoos and labs around the world to infect everyone eveywhere. I was hoping the "12 Monkeys" referred to the failed test subjects that Jones sent back in time and The Witness dubbed his army after. It's possible the inspiration it is as a mundane explanation as this. (Maybe that's why Old Jennifer was so dismissive of the Army of the 12 Monkeys to Ramse. The original monkeys are all dead and gone and there is no "Army."
Jen mentioned to Ramse that you can only see the pictures when the leaves are red. Cassie had a vision of red leaves during the episode. Still under the affect of the tea?
Speaking of visions.
Cole had another one of his "Blue Visions." This one segued right as he was dealing with Cassie. I think this visual segue is important because it adds credence to the theory it is Cassie in the blue vision and is possibly the one that shoots him.
This is the face in the vision that Cassie's transitioned to. Is it Cassie? I know it is super tough to tell but it does look like her mouth and this would add import to the segue. Then again it could be someone else's mouth.
Like this lady, the Striking Woman. I bet Aaron was happy to run into her. Why did she tell Aaron Cassie was important? To whom? The so called "Army" or just the Witness and his Druze inspired guardians of time? And if she is so important, why risk getting her killed after kidnapping her? Unless of course they knew Cole would fix it. (Ay yi yi.)
The watch is back and it's scratched, Yaaay! What does that mean I don't knooow!
Jones mused with Whitley over what they have done. She even imparted that God's wrath doesn't require her belief system. She knows whatever they have done and whatever they will undo, there is one being that stands out of time that bears witness to their deeds and will render judgement no matter what their fate is. God. (It is an interesting parallel to what the Witness is possibly doing.)
Hey, why is the box containing the time travel serum labeled with a Spearhead logo? What do they have to do with the Splinter effort? Shouldn't the serum be in a Splinter box?
Nice work of light and reflection. We caught the flames reflected in Ramse's eyes as he set fire to the Splinter lab.
We also caught a glimpse of Cassie's picture going up in flames. Is she always fated to die only to rise like the Phoenix from the ashes?
Adler referred to "Sequence 44 Alpha." I wonder if this is in relation to the other numbers and letters like we saw in Jones String Relief Chart. See below.
This is extremely bad news for me as I have been a Scotch drinker much of my adult life. What was all the Scotch that I drank for? Because I like it? Okay, I'm happy with that.
Oh, but look, we have another Globe sighting and it turned toward the Indian sub continent. I think we'll be traveling to the Himalayas soon.
Think we'll find out who The Remains belong to?