12 Monkeys - It Seems Like "Yesterday."

Spoiler Alert!

He's Alive!

That's the good news for Cole, whom, as we last saw him, was on the receiving end of a Predator Hellfire missle.  The bad news is the year is 2017 and as Cole stares across the valley of death he learns the plague has not been stopped.

So what went wrong?  Everyone and everything should have been incinerated by the missile how could the virus possibly survive?

As the machine loses power in the future we see the stream glow red.  Is it possible the virus got "red shifted" along the spectrum of light and sent into the past?  When the machine glows blue in the stream it pulls things forward into the future.  Then again, it glows blue when Cole is sent into the past.

That's a conundrum.  Maybe as Cole was sent only two years into the future as a sophisticated organism.  The virus being less sophisticated only traveled a few days.  So when the Russians came to investigate the site they were infected.  It's plausible.

Is Cole "Patient Zero?"  I don't think so.  Unless a rat bit him down in the hole and then took the virus to the surface.  That's a stretch for even a sci-fi geek such as myself.  Time travel yes.  Rats, c'mon!

So how did Cole end up deep in the hole?  How about, he was snatched by the underpowered machine and sent into the crater/hole where he used to be in the past.  The hole is now conveniently there in the future.

I should write these shows.

The Cole resurrection wasn't even my favorite part of the show.  My favorite part was the philosophical collision between St Thomas Aquinas and the Godel adherents but that will have to wait as we're not done with Cole yet.

Of Monkeys And Milk

Cole had another vision and it seemed to have been triggered by the bullet wound he was to tending to.  The above image seems to be that of a woman.  Let's catalog a brief list of who this woman might be.

  • Cassie - She shoots Cole in the "Blue Vision" (it's a pre-cognitive memory) to possibly prevent him from spreading the virus as a healthy vector.
  • Katerina Jones - She shoots Cole to put him out of his misery as a failed test subject.  Except he wasn't a failure and he survives the splinter and the wound.
  • Cole's mother - Whaaat?

Yes, I'm afraid so, his mother.  

Amidst the Blue Vision we get a brief look at a young lad.  Young Cole I'm assuming.  This particular part of the vision is not "Blue" in nature but it has been conflated with the vision.  

It could be, thanks to the trauma of excising the bullet, Cole had a flashback to his youth unrelated to the blue vision.  Or, it could be Cole had a much clearer look at his vision and it included his mother shooting someone in order to protect young Cole.

In the movie version of Twelve Monkeys, young Cole did see his older self in the airport, including getting shot.  Is this where we are heading?

And please, please, please, no one say the person shot in the vision is his father and he is "The Pallid Man."  Hell no.

On To My Favorite Part!

No, seeing Katerina Jones splattered in blood is not my favorite part but in launches our look into the future where we get the origin story of Operation Spearhead and Jones' effort to save the machine's core.

Ramse and Whitley go the Operation Spearhead compound in order to retrieve a manifold for the ailing Machine/Core.  It is here we meet Jonathan Foster the head of Operation Spearhead.  

He's the head the operation because he led a bloody coup that wiped out everyone in favor of moving the project to a more isolated location.  That seemed a little extreme to me.

But I suppose having to move your newly deceased wife to a mass grave was enough for Foster to snap.

Guess who's Coming To Dinner?

Katerina decides to follow on to the Whitley and Ramse effort because she has exhausted the core in their absence. 

The "set to" that goes on between Foster, who seems to be an adherent of Saint Thomas Aquinas, (bringing science and religion together in the same order of faith,) and the cold logic of the philosopher Godel, (where numbers and solutions define the progress that Jones embraces,) was a classic duel of intellect.

I have to say I was beginning to side with Foster (the great Xander Berkeley) much like Ramse did.  But he did murder all those people.  Then again, so did Jones when she literally "splintered" all those Scavs in her effort to perfect time travel. 

The tipping point for Foster may have been the burial of his young wife.  The tipping point for Jones may have been Foster's callous reference to Jones holding the tiny hand of her daughter as she died.  It earned Foster a hard slap right across the face. 

I happy to have a "Hannah" reference in this episode.  We saw the baby blanket image during the show's intro and then there was Foster's ill chosen words.

I have a "String Theory" where Jones has chartered the progress of her Scav guinea pigs and how long they survived their time traveling trials.  I tied in to the loss of Hannah as part of Jones' efforts to perfect time travel.  It may also have been an attempt to right the timeline where her daughter survives the plague.  You can read about it at the link. 

Do you think Jones caught the Walking Dead episode, "Remember" where Rick Grimes tells Carol and Daryl that if things don't work out in Alexandria then they will just "take it."

I do.

When the room empties at the end of the episode and Whitley is left alone with Jones she tells him of her plan and will execute it by any means necessary. 

I haven't been that happy since the Patriots won the Superbowl!  That's my kind of talk!

Do I need anymore reason to have a TV crush on this lady?  She's ruthless and driven.  Hell yes "take it" Katerina!  I'm right there with you!  I almost climbed into the TV to join them.  (Rubbing my hands together in glee.)  When do we go!!???

Of course there is the little problem of Whitley's father being part of the bloody coup while junior was part of the effort to spare Jones.  Now they are on opposite sides.

And there is another problem.

No Way Jose!


Not only is Elena alive and well at the Spearhead compound after being missing for five years but she has a five year old son!  How many of us did the math along with Ramse when he calculated that little problem?


So Jonsey, you better have a good plan that doesn't involve turning father against son and the Elena and Samuel being held hostage.

I have a plan.

Of course I do.

Trick the "West 7" into attacking the Spearhead Compound as a distraction while Jones and company makes off with the Core and the hostages.  As a bonus, Whitley knows his way around the compound to boot!

Easy peasy.  What could possibly go wrong?

Crackpot Theory Time.

Remember when Foster showed Whitley and Ramse his roomful of servers and how they were running an algorithm to come up with an answer to resolving the mutation puzzle?

What if the virus that Goines and Markridge designed was also a product of a algorithm wherein it could never be solved and would perpetually mutate outside any solution to cure it.

That would be nasty.  (Does this make me an evil genius?) (Hmm, or just evil?)

Here's a curveball to the crackpot theory.  What if Foster's "Faith" extends to him being perpetually running an algorithm that keeps the virus in mutation ahead of the cure?  And his "oh so close" efforts make sure he is the "God" to his little community?

I would gladly cede my evil genius to his.

Odds and Ends.

Note the demonic statue as Foster rounds the corner.  Nice placement.  It's almost like an evil flying monkey from "The Wizard of Oz."  Get it, monkey?

Compare it to the angelic statue next to Elena as Ramse meets his son, Samuel.  Of course she is good!

Samuel and the lion.  

Samuel 17:37

"The LORD who rescued me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear will rescue me from the hand of this Philistine." Saul said to David, "Go, and the LORD be with you."

A prophetic drawing by young Samuel?  Who is the Lion and who is the Bear in our little tale?  Will it up to this young "Samuel" to anoint a new King?

The weight of the world.

Note the statue of Atlas as Foster moves about his desk.  I'm sure Foster fancies himself a modern day Titan that carries the fate of the world on his shoulders.

Foster compares Jones to Dr. Frankenstein.

What I love about the old movies and 12 Monkeys is their use of light and shadow.

This is a classic example.  When Cole comes back to the future I want Jones to exclaim, "He's alive!"

(I would crawl right through my TV again and high five her.)

The scratch is back!  The TV gods must have heard me.

I just couldn't make it out in the last episode.  Maybe it was the light/angle.  Maybe.

Globe placement?  Check!

This time our mother earth is rotated towards Japan and Tibet that was mentioned in the last episode.  Well done globe crew.

The Scarved Ones. 

 Anything special?  Hmm, no.  I guess I just just like posting Amanda Schull pictures and I thought Nataliya Rodina knocked it out of the park for the few seconds she was on the air.

So there!

See you "Tomorrow."


  1. What if the Pallid Man is Cole's father?


    I really don't think that is the case. What I WOULD put money on, however, is that the message Cassie got from her grandmother is important. Very important, I'd hazard to say.

    There seemed to be a very strong Fringe feel to this episode. The conflict between faith and science once again... Jones, who is feeling like a wonderful mix of Mr. Jones (that wonderful german creepy dude who met a messy end) and Walter Bishop, and the numerous color references. The characters are just as fascinating.

    Much of what you've posted here is particularly interesting, mostly because some of it I completely missed. I've only watched this episode once, however (I'm going to wait to rewatch when the DVDs come out, and there is nothing else to watch. I've loving this show, so far.).

    I've got to say, the time change of when Cole gets out of the hole, and Cassie finding where he is (but not when) got me completely by surprise. Didn't see it coming. Should have, perhaps, but didn't. I liked it. What I didn't like was Cassie just giving up so fast on Cole, accepting just like that, that he was gone.

    Speaking of which... That schpiel that her ex gave her? The one about "hey, you should go do this by yourself, get the answers you need, get closure, yada yada," and even declines to with her when she asks... Like oh come ON. That's like frosting on top of icing on top of fudge. NOBODY is that nice. This guy is officially on my number one suspicious list - probably patient zero and guilty of everything else as well. And he has a string of girlfriends.

    Dr Jones is definitely delectable. I've got to say (and I'm sure you knew this was coming) but the old Faith vs Science is getting very yawn-worthy. HOWEVER, the two characters (I forget his name) did this drippably well. It was like watching Robin Williams (I ref him with respect) play two characters. Both Jones and the faith dude were equally devout in their arguments, and Jones decision to "take" the doo-hickey was completely in character for her, and would be for the other guy as well, if the situation was reversed. Which I guess is sorta is since he refuses.

    The blood all over Jones' face was very symbolic - all the blood she has spilled in her effort to change the past, trying to save her daughter's life.

    Your theory of Faith dude managing to keep the virus one jump ahead of a cure - I really like that one. Very interesting. What I find curious is how adamant Jones is that a cure simply cannot be found. Not sure I understand why. Also interesting that Faith dude insists he can find a cure, but only in several years - why does he think it would take so long, and why does he think anyone would still be alive?

    At the end of the day, I want to see Cole and Cassie together, in my simplistic world of happy happy. :-D And I am REALLY hoping for a season two. Any rumors on that?

    1. Had to tease me didn't you Ingrid?

      I laughed.

      I heard the discussion over the grandmother message and I have to admit I'm a bit surprised by it. It crossed my monkey brain radar but then my monkey brain dismissed it. I guess we'll have to see if something comes from it.

      I was a little perplexed by Cassie's reaction at the blast site also. She went all that way just to take a quick look and turn around? At least walk up to the site. They don't have armed guards standing there for nothing.

      I'm always suspicious of "boyfriend motives" too. Of course, he could be a savant and understand women better than anyone including women themselves. It seems to have worked and Cassie is warming to him again. Plus, they both have the mutual experience of seeing Cole disappear in front of their eyes and all the derring do they've had to go through.

      Gotta run, but I'll be back to address the rest of your points!

  2. I love your theories as always. I don’t think the virus will have come from Chechnya this time. As Aza said the virus is all over the world when Cole asks her so it will have come from another source.
    I adored Jones and loved every scene she was in! Love to hear about Hannah. Barbara’s and Xander’s scenes were fantastic. :D I just hope that I won’t get my heart broken about her in the end. But for now! GO JONES!!!
    I knew Frankenstein would be mentioned at some point in the show. When Max spoke about the creepy stories being spread among the West 7 during “The Night Room” I had to think about Frankenstein immediately. Hehe!
    Speaking of Max; where is she at the moment? When I read that Deacon would be back in the next episode I had a thought that maybe Max had something to do with it? But I don’t think Max is bad. Maybe she will just be in the crossfire?
    I want to learn more about Whitley and his father. How bad is the rift between them? Will we learn more when the s*** hits the fan next Friday?
    I assumed there was something iffy about Cole’s situation and thought he might not have been in 2015. At first I thought Cole splintered to 2017 when he and Aza’s dad (?) tried to move the beam. But as Terry cleared up, the splintering happened off-screen at the beginning of the episode. That makes more sense. I felt so sorry for Aza and her dad knowing they would die very soon. 
    How creepy was the view of this valley? *shivers* Oh and that scene when Cole limbs to the edge and we see the valley is the scene that was shown during the Jeep Renegard ad. 
    I found out that the scenes in Chechnya were filmed in Macedonia. I stumbled over a tweet from a fan from Macedonia. I never got an answer when I asked Terry but she gave it to me. So as a result I was pretty happy and am now thinking about planning a trip down there to enjoy the beautiful place (pre-creepy valley, of course).
    I’m now worried what Ramse’s (Hi Jose, nice to meet you!) discovery about Elena and his son will mean for his and Cole’s relationship. I know Cole will be happy for him but what will Ramse do now? I’m sure he thinks differently now that he has a family and doesn’t want this future to be erased.
    I’m very much looking forward to next Friday!!!

    1. Eileen, I hope the "source" of the virus doesn't become a wellspring for plot hole escapes. In other words, they leave themselves a narrative "out" anytime they need to have the virus pop up. Know what I mean?

      I'm totally on Team Jones, I think she is fantastic. In the movie one of the versions of her travels into the past to intercept the virus. I can picture Jones doing the same. Only this time to rescue Cole. She would forbid Ramse to do it because Cole is her responsibility. I can see a cliffhanger where she pulls Cole out of the past only to take his place and with no hope of returning to the future. I'd be heartbroken and the next season wouldn't come fast enough.

      Hey, you know what? I assumed Aza and her Dad were immune. You seem to think they are sick. Interesting.

      Are you really planning a trip to Macedonia? Ambitious! Do you watch "Game of Thrones?" They do a lot of filming in Croatia and the scenery there is spectacular. Some day.

      Good point about Ramse and the "future." If Jones plans an attack on the Spearhead compound he may have to find a way to sabotage it. Maybe even go back to the "West 7?"

      Thanks Eileen!

    2. I also hope that the "different source" situation won't be used to artificially lengthen the season(s).

      GO JONES! GO!

      When Cole asks her, if she was alright she replied that he should not worry and that it only started. So I assumed that she was in the beginning stages of the illness. But we didn't hear her dad cough. Who knows. :)

      I have seen some ads promoting Macedonia as a holiday destination. So why not?

      I don't think that Ramse would go as far as rejoining "West 7". I'm not sure at all what might happen. I only know that the synopsis for one of the next episodes states that Ramse will do something to protect his family and Cole will be left behind to clean up the mess. Ohoh... So exciting! *rubs hands*

  3. I too loved Cassie staring at the area where Cole was rescued...took me totally by surprise. 2 years makes a big difference.

    I have a problem with the virus mutating....are they on a schedule or something? Mutations in replication happen all the time (hello cancer) Viruses mutate one at a time, so how can the viruses all over the world mutate the same way at the same time? But I guess if someone can build a machine that can splinter a person to a previous time that someone can pull a lever somewhere and all the viruses can mutate as a unit.

    I love this show.


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