12 Monkeys - The Paradox of Love
"You save the people that you love."
And who doesn't love Barbara Sukowa?
Sorry, for that little aside. My TV crush on Ms. Sukowa always defaults my attention towards her. However, the character of Jones and many others from 12 Monkeys became firmly entwined in what I think was one of the two main themes from this past episode, "Paradox."
I think it was Olivia, The Striking Woman, that said to Aaron, "You save the people that you love." But this particular premise flies in the face of one of the other main themes that 12 Monkeys has explored this season and that is the one of, "The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, or the one." (Thank you forever, Star Trek.)
We have a paradox.
How do we reconcile these two conflicting ideas? This particular episode gave us many examples of choosing the one over the many. Cassie went to great lengths to rescue Cole. Aaron went to Olivia for Cassie. Cole's father chose sacrifice to save his son.
And there was this.
We once again saw Jones' fixation over the loss of Hannah. A wonderful scene by the way. So touching and there was no need for words. Jones brought the Hannah blanket to her nose as the sense of smell is the most evocative for memory. She held the blanket close to her face and embraced it as she would a living child.
Earlier, Jones had told Adler memories were just "A million firing neurons, given meaning by the human mind." It seems memory is a little more than the physiological disposition as outlined by Jones.
As we head into the season one finale of 12 Monkeys the concept of "The needs of the many versus the needs of the one" will be sorely tested. As Jones and Cassie left the social service building after dropping off the younger Cole, she revealed to Cassie that she was keeping her unborn child. She imparted these words learned from her father.
"Love is never a mistake."
Will love conquer all? Or will it lead to a selfish decision? If we are to reconcile the competing themes of the needs of the many versus the few or the one, then we will have to see love as the wild card. To embrace love is to recognize sacrifice and when you do that you realize that saving "the one" will lead to the needs of the many.
As the season comes to a close, who will be the "one" that chooses the sacrifice of love for the needs of the many?
The other theme explored by 12 Monkeys was that of fate versus free will.
Boy, that is a tough one to reconcile. As the young Jose Ramse approached Cole you had to believe these two were fated to meet. (I bet the "Bromance shippers" were happy.) In the episode "Divine Move" Old Jennifer cemented the relationship between Ramse and Cole by saying they had to undo what they have done. And that Jose was a good friend and it wasn't too late to be one again.
It's hard to argue with that kind of fate.
Hmm, love and it's sacrifice, does that bode ill for Ramse in the last episode?
Just before Jones left Cassie and Cole she told Cassie, "I'm a scientist Dr. Railly, I don't believe in fate."
Great. It's hard to argue with that concept also. When you have a time machine at your disposal and knowledge of what was and what will be, then fate takes a back seat versus the manipulation of chess pieces on the playing board of time.
Odds and Ends
The Blue Vision
We finally got all the answers to the "Blue vision" that has been haunting Cole. I had guessed it involved Cassie shooting Cole as a cruel twist of fate. Instead, it was younger Cole's traumatic memory of the moment his father died. Too bad. I hoping for something twisted and sublime that would propel the greater mythology of 12 Monkeys forward. Not that this wasn't important, this memory did help shape the younger Cole into the adult he was to become. And, of course, it fits into the theme of sacrifice and love for others. But the evil cynic that lives inside me wanted something more.
Homage Versus Easter Eggs
I had read on either Twitter or Facebook to be on the lookout for Easter Eggs in this episode. To me, one man's Easter Egg is another man's homage. Especially when it involves this guy.
Oh man, how great was it to see Mark Margolis. I hope you've all had the opportunity to see the science fiction classic, "PI." Margolis played, "Sol Robeson" the mentor to another man punished by the fate of a cruel machine. Here's the trailer.
"There will be no order. Only chaos." God, I love this movie. If you want a primer of fate versus science see this movie.
I got a "Terminator" vibe from seeing the naked Cole after his bout with his future matter mixing with the matter of the younger Cole. You can't have a time traveler appearing on the scene without a little nudity! The other Easter Egg in this scene is the "Repair" sign seen in the background. I'd say Cole was repaired by the injection. (But no longer able to travel through time Jonsey?)
Pulp Fiction also came to mind when Aaron stuck Cole with a needle full of epinephrine. Uma Thurman got a similar treatment when her character, Mia, went into cardiac arrest. Hey, Bruce Willis was in that movie as well as Twelve Monkeys.
Anyone ever see the movie "Dark City?"
The Pallid Man reminds me a lot of "The Strangers" from that movie.
In the past, we've seen lions as drawn by both Sam and Jennifer.
The subtitles on my TV actually said "Roar!" as the new CEO of Markridge growled at the board members.
Olivia also referred to Mark as a lion protecting his pride. What's it all mean? Nothing necessarily, but I hope to see more.
We got some more great love for Jennifer when she made her grand entrance as the new CEO of Markridge.
She plays the part so well and I love the faces she makes. I had shared a couple of tweets with Emily Hampshire long ago and remarked I can't wait to see "CEO Jennifer." Ms. Hampshire didn't respond to that last tweet probably because she didn't want to give anything away.
She didn't disappoint and her comic timing was as impeccable as always.
Planting the Seeds for Season Two
The red plants only appear when The Witness has been about right? Adler notes the red English Ivy is not from his time. Is it from the past? Doubt it! I think most of this thought this greenery, er, "redery" came from the future. Someone or thing coming from the time beyond 2043?
The Army of the 12 Monkeys
The elder Cole told Cassie James' mother was going on about some monkey army the last time he saw her.
The White Walkers are real! Does this mean Game of Thrones is real too?
Ah, wait, I didn't get to count how many of these guys are but may they total twelve in all, yes? I've gone round and round with whom the 12 Monkeys really are. From the twelve that died during Jones' earlier splinter experiments to twelve actual monkeys sent out after Oliver Peters revived the plague.
This guy did refer to his interest in the Splinter room and appealed to Deacon for his help to get in. Are they marooned time travelers that need access to Jones' splinter machine? Did they at one time menace Cole's mother Marion and countless others through time? What is their agenda? Do they really just want Jones the expert in molecular biology that can extend human life as her father noted at the beginning of the episode?
I hope it's both.
There's a lot to wrap our heads around but I'm getting a stabbing headache just thinking about it. I have more but I've got to learn to edit. Look to Twitter or Facebook for more Odds and Ends from me.
Or, I'll see you next time after the finale, "Arms of Mine."
Maybe it's about The Remains and his quest to finds his missing limbs.