Sunday, March 29, 2015

12 Monkeys - The Witness?




I am in serious trouble.

"Cole" like serious trouble?

Pretty close.

I bet the house that Ramse would turn out to be "One Eyed Willy" also known as "The Remains."  Now with the preponderance of "witness" references and Cole's declaration as the episode closed, we find that Ramse is, in fact, "The Witness."


 The local mob will be on my doorstep soon.  They're sending "Rocco" (pictured above) to collect their debt.  Seriously, I bet everything and I can't pay.  I wonder what life will be like on the lam?  Just me and the dogs skipping from one seedy bus station to the next.  Surviving on liver treats.  They're happy.  I'm panicked.

So, as my final act I will endeavor to get this blog post out.


 As I mentioned, there was a preponderance of "Witness" references in this entry.  Believe me, after you watch it three times you say to yourself, "I get it already, Witness!"

Was it too much?  Too on the nose?  You know me, I see a red herring behind every door.  (On the lam mixed metaphor.)

I am 95% sure that Ramse is The Witness.  We can't argue with that can we?

Or Can We?



This exchange during the "amulet zapping ceremony" is what planted the seeds of doubt in my mind. 

(There was a lot of "generational" references in this episode also.  Fathers and daughter, mothers and daughters.  And they extended across the expanse of time too.)

But, the immediate reference above made me think that Ramse is a witness not The Witness.

I know, that is a lot to consider from someone who will soon be brushing his teeth in a bus stop mirror.  (Darn liver treats.)  But "The Striking Woman" didn't even look at Ramse when she said it.  It made me think Ramse was just an instrument to their design and the real "Witness," her father, was now on his way.


 I'm reaching aren't I?


Olivia did refer to Ramse as "The Traveler" on many different occasions. Not, "The Witness" so there is that. 

(BTW, should I not use my credit cards while I'm on the run or is that just a TV thing?)


Sigh, there's another factor that seems to confirms Ramse as the Witness.  Did you see that rot that was enveloping his hands?  In the above frame this is how we normally see the Witness.  Covered head to toe and with an old style gas mask on his face.

I guess if you are rotting away you'd want to make yourself presentable as possible.  Maybe the "Haz-mat" garb is the best way for Ramse to be seen in his deteriorated state.  It doesn't explain why you have to drink "the Tea" to see him but that's a crackpot theory for another day.


Here's another thing that bugs me about the Witness thing and Old Jennifer sending Ramse on track to the past.  Old Jennifer gave Ramse the amulet and told him he could still undo what she's done and what he's done.  As we saw in the amulet zapping ceremony things seemed to be pretty much on track for the Druze group (I guess that was them there.) The amulet was just what they needed so why would Jennifer give the amulet to Ramse if she wanted to change things?  Does she know something, and like the Druze, things have to play out before they can be altered? 

Generations


This seems like a good time to bring up the "generational" references we got from this episode.

(My bus is running late, I think they have to empty the rest room pot or something like that.)

I was amazed how inter-connected the families were across time.  Take the Goines' for instance.  Old Jennifer sets Ramse on his course to the past and Ramse lands where her father is 56 years ago.  And he does his part by sparing Ramse!  Amazing!  Fate or something else?

Old Jennifer rambled on to Ramse (last episode) about undoing what they've done and her younger self was going on about, "Everything's changing" and "We can do it."  It was like this younger version of Jen sensed a change in the time stream and she knew it wasn't too late to stop it.  56 years later she sets things in motion to do just that.  The dots seem to connect there however mysteriously.

I've spoken already about Olivia and her unknown father but we got another generational reference from Olivia.




 It seems Jennifer's mother is a player in our saga.  When Leland came to visit Jen in the sanatorium she went out of her way to distance herself from her in her father's eyes.  When Olivia came to visit Jen she invoked the memory of Jen's mother again.  Why is Mom so important?  She was "put away" also, did she have visions of the future much like young Jennifer did with her "everything's changing" rant?  Jen eventually becomes "committed" also.  It seems Leland sees the "visions" of both mother and daughter as insane babble.  When Leland said, "Not this again" I think he was not only referring to Jennifer's rants but those of her mother also.  Did Jen inherit her mother's talent for seeing across the expanse time?

So, Olivia's father is in play now as is Jennifer's mother.  Great!

It seems as though we saw the genesis of the "Daughters" movement in this exchange too.  Jen wants to be a daughter again and apparently names her movement after this idea.  56 years later she will attempt to undo this idea.

(I think I just heard my bus honking.  It was either that or someone using the restroom again.  It is pretty noisy here.)

Other Portents 


Spearhead reference!  Holy smokes not only did we learn the origin story of "The Daughters" it looks like we just witnessed the birth of "Operation Spearhead" and Aaron is on the ground floor of it!

Spearhead seems to be an effort that is still in the "think tank" stage wherein select portions of society are seperated from the rest to insure their survival given an impending apocalypse or something.

If there are any other dots that were connected in this episode maybe I should let Rocco crack my skull.  The info dump here is mind boggling.



The Striking Woman ties Aaron into fate by making sure he watches after Cassie.  Later, when she meets Ramse in the limo he tells her Cassie can't be killed.  This was a little confusing.  At first I thought Olivia was insuring Cassie's life by telling Aaron to watch over her.  She must be important to them alive.  If Cassie dies, I figure, that would set in motion a cure for the plague thanks to the research she conducted and experimented on herself.  (Right Jim?)  If Cassie become part of Spearhead she'll be separated from society insuring her survival keeping the plague plan intact.

The confusing part is when Ramse told Olivia Cassie had to live implying that Olivia wanted her dead.  Maybe that was just a blip and Olivia knows Cassie must survive in order for their plan to work.

Oops, that was my bus, I have to run.




Speaking of that limo conversation.  Ramse asked what was next and Olivia answered, "The Plague and the coming of the 12." 

The 12 could be the 12 Monkeys that were released after Peters finished his work in the container lab or they could be, as I theorized earlier, the 12 failed test subjects of the Splinter Project.  I'm hoping it is the test subjects from Jones so I don't lose any more money I don't have.

Okay, moving on.

Odds and Ends

 
 Did you notice how this episode was either cast in red or blue light?  Not everything, but a lot of things.  I normally associated Blue with Cole and Red with Ramse but there were times when Ramse had his blue moments too.


 When Ramse hit '87 we got this.


When Cole hit '87 we got this.

Sure, colors can be thematic.  Red for passion and Blue for indifference.  Why not color the scenes for dramatic import?

There could be another reason (There's always another reason if you spent all that time watching Lost.)

In Physics, there is the red shifting of light and the blue shifting of light.  So the production design using these colors may represent the blues of what appraoches you in physics and the red represents things that are moving away.  (Someone ask Terry.  I've used up my one question for the month I don't think he'll want to associate himself with someone that consorts with the mob like I do.)  So, red may mean going back in time and blue may mean going forward.  Ramse can only go back while Cole can move forward.


One of my earlier favorite scenes from 12 Monkeys was recast here in blue.


The amulet zapping ceremony was ablaze in blue.


After it was over though the leaves started to turn red.

Set Design

 


Globie! (That's for you Pee Wee Herman fans.)  The Globe returned and it is facing towards the Pacific.  Are we going to Hawaii soon or sinking into the depths of the watery deep?


 Note the red flowers on Cassie's divan pillows.  Darn Witness!

Other cool stuff



Jen draws a picture of a Lion much like Ramese's son does in the far future. Part of her pre-cognitive abilities?  It connects her with the fate of Ramse in past and the future.  (Just like Mom?)


They don't call her the Striking Woman for nothing.  So pretty!


I noticed she wore a dark outfit when she met with Goines at the Markridge investment meeting.  It sparkled with silver dots against the night sky.  The sleeve seen above contained even more sparkles against a dark background when she met with Jennifer.  It's like she is a denizen of the night beset with stars as she moves through the world.



Adler asked Jonsey about a prediction.  Cole's death and his last trip?  She then refers to herself as "The Clock."  Is everything set by her time?  How much does she know?


I think she knows more than she is telling.  I have my "String Theory" concerning Jones, (with the Hannah timeline variable) Jones may not have any pre-cognitive abilities like Jennifer but she may have more knowledge of the past than anyone knows and I think it came from all the "failed" test subjects that returned and imparted valuable information to her.

Jones is setting the clock based on that information to get to the timeline she prefers (Hannah).  So we have one group setting the time from the past and another doing the same from the future.  A Chrono-war of sorts.

My bus is ready to leave so I better get going.  Better to live my life on the lam than to rot in some mobsters basement.

Did I say rot?


Hold on now!  New theory!

Remember when I mentioned that rot that was infusing Ramse's hand?  Soon it will encompass his entire body and he'll have to wear that Haz-Mat outfit.  Who else do we know that is rotted to the core.

One Eyed Willy!

So, I'm thinking Ramse will be so rotted that his "Witness" role will eventually become one of that of the "The Remains."  Maybe Ramse is only instrumental to the Druze, or whomever, as the rotting "Traveler" and future carrier (and cure) of the disease.  His decomped husk will eventually hidden in the Himalayas for safekeeping only to be found by the Japanese mob.  (Somebody talked.)  Since Ramse can't return to the future via the machine he will be time shifted (like Cole was to 2015) to the past by the Splinter group.  1000 years to the past that is for safekeeping.  He's found and the loop begins anew.






Hold those brass knuckles Rocco!  I'm back baby!  Ha, ha, off the bus we go!  Loophole! 

It's not perfect but the mob will have to wait.

See you next week!  (Those liver treats were pretty nasty anyway.)


Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Helix - Mother?



Well, that was disappointing.  Very disappointing.

It seems Helix is so far removed from its earlier iteration that it has sunk to the level of torture porn.


Case in point is the "birthing room" (my words) that Anne revealed to Peter near the close of the episode.

In story telling, there is horror and there is the physical revulsion (as opposed to mental terror) that is the result of horror.  This went beyond that.

Last week I became very worried about the direction Helix was going in and I invoked Happy Days and The Fonz's "Jumping of the shark."  Not only has the shark been jumped but the "jumpee" (Helix) landed amidst the sharks and was chewed to a bloody pulp.


And it was only last week that I defended the character of Peter as a loveable loser.  When Anne asked what he was looking for I mouthed the word, "Respect" to myself and true to form Peter uttered the same thing.


Only now we are to understand Peter's path to leadership involves murdering new mothers as the lay in helpless bondage.  It was sickening and it confirms my position that Helix is insensitive towards violence against women.  Bonus, Anne is just as deranged as Michael was and Peter now is.

Speaking of deranged.


 Amy was in full on nut job mode for this episode.  She got her measure of violence against women in.


 Killing Sergio doesn't mitigate that.  It just makes the show all the more repellent.


So now what?



Should I still watch?

I still like most of the characters.  I'm interested in what happens to Sarah and her immortal baby but I guess she shouldn't have shared that little fatherhood nugget with Julia.


Julia's revenge was to deny Sarah her child and give it to mad Amy.  (It seems Julia has has drank the Ilaria Kool aid too.)


Like Sarah, was it Julia's honesty with Peter that sent him "'round the bend?"

Whatever the reasons, this isn't the show I use to know.  The joy is gone.  I'll finish out the season because I am curious.  But this show is definitely on the back burner now.


 Next week we get the tree of red goo.  It's probably bleeding because they abused it.

Come back soon Orphan Black!




Sunday, March 22, 2015

12 Monkeys - The Inscrutable "Divine Move."



Yes, inscrutable.

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?)

Next.




 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.

The Mutable


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.)

The Catalyst


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,

Crackpot Theory!

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.

Like Ramse.

Agency

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. 

Phew!

(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.


Lastly!


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?