12 Monkeys - Primary

Truer words were never spoken our young speed dating friend.

So, if being single is not the "end of the world" is it okay to have a partial apocalypse?  12 Monkeys took a bit of a chance by altering the rules of the game for the episode "Primary".   Certainly not a total makeover, but by letting this narrative genie out of the bottle you run the risk of changing the rules of the game anytime it feels convenient.

No doubt the people behind 12 Monkeys would argue nothing has changed.  After all, this is a time travel show and the set goal is to stop the apocalypse in the first place right?


I'm just saying you can only use this device a handful of times if that before people start tuning out because things have changed again.

I do think this does help things in the long run in terms of the lifespan of the show.  Adding the dimension of new foes gallivanting about the decades gives Cole and company a lot more to do.  Plus a partial victory is really no victory at all.  Now there will be plenty of time to lengthen the show.  The only danger is the show constantly reinventing itself to suit creative ideas.  

Terry Matalas says there is a plan so this must be part of the plan.  So let's take a look at what went on.

The Event

Through the powers of persuasion Cole managed to put an end to the bloodletting and put a match to the apocalypse.   Sort of.  Setting all the vials to flame only delayed the plague by a couple of years.  As was noted in the future, thousands were saved but it was an incomplete victory to be sure.  

That doesn't mean there wasn't a seismic change that rippled across the years.  Lights flashed and blinked, the earth seemed to shake and Dr. Jones found herself walking amidst so many human bees whirling about the hive.

I liked that one of her first instincts was to make sure her departed child was still a part of the timeline she lived in.  She was, albeit only as a memory.   Hannah's name flashed in and out during the event but in the end it remained stable.  Jones would not have to suffer losing her child twice.  I wonder what Jones would have been like if Hannah had disappeared completely.   Would she have gone on?  Would the battle be worth fighting still?  She's injected enough of the serum in herself, would she have traveled back in time to fix what went wrong or simply snatch the still living Hannah and bring her into the future?  Would the younger Katerina have a problem with that knowing her daughter would be safe?

This must be something the conflicted Ramse is also be dealing with.  The fear of losing his son while stuck in the past.  Then being yanked back into the future only to see his son used as as a bargaining chip.  Cassie seemed to have a sadistic grin on her face as she presented Sam to Ramse. 

Is she really that far gone?

Truer words were never spoken part two!

Can Ramse let Cassie live now that she's threatened his son?  It's better they're to be separated by time.  Then again, Deacon is still alive in the future and he is no friend of Ramse.  Especially after that little scene where Ramse rubbed salt in the wound of the distant past when Ramse witnessed the beating of Deacon's mother and called the cops for the weeping child Deacon.

Somebody has miscalculated here and this particular seismic wave will be felt in the near future I'm sure.

Just as an aside, young Sam was pretty stoic when presented to his father.  Maybe he was frightened but kids are impulsive and an outburst like, "Daaad!" would not have been surprising.  What else could have happened in that time change?

What affect did the "Event" have on the "be-snorkeled" one?

I began thinking of this in the context of last week's nuggets where things didn't go as prophesied.  The most glaring example of which was the gun fight on the bridge where Cole and Ramse managed to make their escape.  

"None of this was foreseen" muttered the downcast Olivia.

So, here's a thought, If Cole and the gang can set the time line aflame, who is to say those newly formed ripples would not upset the Witness apple cart?

How can you foresee things when the rules keep changing?

In last week's 12 Monkeys blog I posited the theory the reason the Witness has become fallible because there is, perhaps, more than one Witness.  Or perhaps there are successive Witnesses.  Or better yet, the Witness is someone we know like Jennifer and she is deliberately feeding bad information to the Army of the 12 Monkeys.

If the Witness' fallibility can be directly attributed to the changing time, well then, that solves that problem.  But, really, where is the fun in that?

Primary Colors

What a terrific scene in Room 607 between Cole and Jennifer.  

Also in last weeks blog post, I predicted this would be a break out acting year for Aaron Stanford.  So much to work with!  (Read that post here.)  No slight intended against Stanford, fans might argue he's already "made it".  I'm just saying I feel he has a lot more to work with this season and evolving as an actor should be every thespian's goal.

Take for example what he brought out of Emily Hampshire in this particular scene.  I've written at length about Hampshire's gift for comedy.  She can really bring the manic crazy to her character and now she can add anger to her repertoire.  How about that mirror smashing bit?  That worked on so many levels.  Not liking what she sees.  The duality of her personality.  Seeing that she might not be good enough for Cole and venting her jealousy over Cassie.


From the very beginning Cole has connected with Jennifer.  Somewhere deep down and swirling near the surface Jennifer knows this. 

It's just processing it that is difficult for her. 

Jennifer has a deep affection for Cole. He really gets her and has proven to be the only one that really does.  Now Hampshire has brought a new depth of sadness to her character.  It's clear her love for Cole is an unrequited one.  This pains her deeply.  Even when she refers to Cassie she haltingly refers to as "h-her" its just too much to refer to her by name.  A great bit of acting by Hampshire.  Anyone that has felt the sting of rejection felt her pain.

As far as being a "Primary" is concerned that's a tough one.  

We know Jennifer was fascinated with primary numbers when they walked into the Emerson Hotel.  When they got to the wrong room she began to freak out.  Once settled in room 607 she began to calm down.  (As much as Jennifer can calm down.)

She told Cole she was "Primary" and that Olivia told her she was, "important, special."  

"You can see the changes made in time, can't you."

"I am time."  "Your are time."

"I see everything.  The others like me.  The numbers.  607.  You.  Her."

All this cryptic to be sure.  It was hard to tell how much of this was Olivia's brain washing and or Jennifer's delusions.  I even thought when she said, "The others like me" and then "You."  "Her."  I thought she was lumping everyone together that had her special ability.  That is, to see the changes in time.  I don't think that anymore but it was a lot to digest.  Was Olivia just taking advantage of Jennifer's delusions and telling her what she wanted to hear?  Or does she really have some special power?  Is is it all number based?  That is, primary?  Does Jennifer have an internal algorithm wherein she can reduce everything to numbers and thereby have a special insight to time?

I kind of like that.  No magic.

Jennifer even prophesied the nature of Cole and Cassie's relationship.  Basically telling Cole that he and Cassie would mean the end of the world.   

That would be news.

Was that jealousy, delusional, or can Jennifer really see the future and Cole with Cassie equals a figurative mushroom cloud?

The one thing I can say about the "Primary" moment was that, this too serves to lengthen the life span of the show.  With Jennifer a major figure now and the possibility of her possessing special powers allows the show to deviate from the main mythology in order to focus on a certain player (Jennifer) and follow her story line.

Odd and Ends

In addition to the many things we learned in room 607 there was so much more.

In an odd twist of fate we learned that Cole was the inspiration for "The Daughters."  If not the inspiration, then that unusual society of women was formed perhaps in homage to him.

Cole talked Jennifer back from the ledge and in doing so seemingly broke the spell Olivia had over her.  He snapped her out of her manic delusion and instilled a sense of purpose in her. That purpose became the Daughters.

Even the delivery of that note was profound.  It managed to survive the past only to resurface in the future and be delivered back to the past like some sort of holy relic.

Naturally it was delivered by Cassie.  The one figure that has brought so much heartache to Jennifer.  Real and imagined.  Fitting I suppose.

More room 607 fun.

Take a look at the time on the clock as Cassie makes her appearance behind Cole.  10:05.

Here's the clock in the lobby when Cole and Jennifer first arrive.  A fun little Easter egg. 
Either time doesn't move there or there is a deeper meaning to it.  Something that we have yet to learn.

Or the maid just likes 10:05.

The other face of the Lobby clock did read 6:15 (or 5:15) so maybe there is something to the 10:05 thing.

We got a future look at Jennifer but this time without the Asian conical hat.  Seen above, she looks to be in mourning.  Uh-oh, who died?

Is there a Red Sox fan on the 12 Monkeys payroll?  Deacon's first two names are Theodore William or Ted Williams.  A stretch?  Ted Williams middle name was Samuel.  Ramse's son is named Sam.  See that?!!!

Good to see 12 Monkeys retained its sense of humor.  Dr. Lasky finds out he died in a previous time line.  He is much relieved to be alive in this one.  

Bringing back dead characters is fun but its dangerous.  You can only go to the well so many times.

And lastly.

So why did Cassie shed a few tears when presented with the 40's version of her and Cole?

The prospect of once again time traveling?  No.

Seeing herself and Cole as a couple when she already has someone waiting for her in the year 2044 like Ted William Deacon?  Quite possibly yes.

Hoo boy, see you next week!

Hey, if you like 12 Monkeys you should like Orphan Black.  I review that show also.  Here's the latest recap and review.

Orphan Black - Transgressive Border Crossing

I'll be doing Penny Dreadful soon too.

So much TV so little time!


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