12 Monkeys - Fatherland
Don't you love it when the title of an episode works in more than one way?
Then again, if we were to ask Olivia, she may suggest "Daddy Issues" as a title. I say so because her experience with the "Pater falilias" doesn't include many fond memories.
"Fatherland" also refers to the outdated reference to mid-twentieth century Germany. That period gave birth to the rise of Nazism. And was cynically used by The Witness to father the eugenics movement that eventually produced his Messengers for him.
Which in circular fashion, also gave birth to itself.
Is it any wonder Der Witness keeps a record of his travels and events in map form? (Note the many circles that are contained within themselves too.)
I took a quick look at social media the morning after Fatherland aired and there was quite a bit of confusion surrounding the events that took place during the episode.
I can't blame the viewers and I don't pretend to be an expert on causality loops myself. But, if there is one piece of advice I can offer, it is too look at the small picture sometimes and let the puzzle put itself together over, um, time.
A case in point would be Cole's reproach to Ramse when he slammed him for creating his own clue with the redacted CIA document about "Titan." I thought it was brilliant. Time circled back upon itself.
"You created your own clue genius."
He did. Once Ramse started asking about Titan and crossed paths with the Mossad. They conferred with the CIA about the "Caramse" snooping and it ended up in official records.
My own consternation came from Cassie conveniently pulling the "Mark if the Witness" medallion from underneath Kirschner's collar.
Damn. How did Cassie and Ramse luck out like that?
No matter. I thought Matt Frewer rocked as Kirschner and I think that concludes our Orphan Black/12 Monkeys crossover. (The Crossover that exists in my head that is. Frewer played Aldous Leekie in Orphan Black. A scientist also interested in perfecting the human form through cloning with his "Neolutionist" movement.) Great casting.
But before we go too far down the rabbit hole, let's take a look at what started this whole thing spinning out of control.
Ramse approaches Dr. Adler and puts a bug in his ear about chasing down The Witness and fixing things. Adler responds that he is only responsible for entering time coordinates and running the mission is not his purview.
Ah, but the bitterness we've seen from Adler in the last few weeks has taken it's toll. Especially telling was his reaction to seeing Jones reunited with Hannah.
Upon seeing JFK on the TV screen I thought to myself, "Uh-oh," and when he mentioned Berlin I looked at Ramse and Cassie with amazement. They were so cool about it! Not only did they go down memory lane together with "Pruno" stories, Cassie joined in on the laugh with the two dearest of friends.
If you think about Cole's reaction to close the episode when he had Whitely confine them to their quarters, (or worse) I for one could not blame him. It was cold and calculated on the part of Ramse and Cassie and jeopardized the entire mission on many different levels.
I was incredulous to see the stunned reaction from the two, especially Cassie. What did they expect?
The other team wasn't without its fissures either.
The episode actually opened with Olivia staring at the "box" as Ramse would put it. There, much like with Adler, was some deep seated bitterness on display.
It was here that Olivia found the courage to splinter from her own side.
As she put it, "My place in the great cycle ends today."
We got a fascinating look at Olivia's early years when Kirschner brought Cole, Ramse and Cassie to his West Berlin laboratory. As Kirschner explained it, he made Olivia from the eggs brought back by The Witness that he obtained from Vivian Rutledge. So, yes, that makes Vivian Olivia's mother.
I wasn't entirely clear on the paternity for Olivia. If I understand it correctly, Kirschner was the father because Vivian referred to him as such when she recounted his betrayal to young Olivia. I doubt Kirschner and Vivian actually had sex. I think rather, Kirschner fertilized Olivia's eggs.
It was another case of a mind bending causality loop.
If I understand this one correctly, the eggs provided by the Witness came from Vivian whom the Witness had constructed in the future thanks to Kirschner's research in the past. Was Olivia created in vitro? I get that impression but I am inferring it. It also seems to me that the Pallid Man was born of a natural birth from Vivian. Again, I don't have much to go on but that is the impression I get.
Perhaps the sting of not having natural parents led to Olivia's eventual bitterness. At least in a small way.
When Vivian brought Olivia to her new home she did tell her The Witness would take care of her. Now, unseated form her position of power, Olivia feels that she has been lied to. Time has turned out to be fungible and The Witness unreliable. For this, Olivia blames her mother.
Olivia's resiliency has enabled her to walk again and her path took her back to her mother's memorial site. I found it interesting the effigy of her mother was overgrown with green ivy. Not that it had to be red. No recent visits from The Witness here. Still, the natural world has encroached and it may be a sign of things to come.
As far as Olivia's break with The Witness is concerned, I wonder if he foretold it? Does it matter to him? Will there be repercussions for Olivia? I imagine there will be if she decides to take the side of Team Splinter in her own time period. I have the feeling she won't though. I think she will act as a free agent. She can't be happy with her brother, The Pallid Man. Will she work to unseat him? That would be problematic in that it would lead to a confrontation with The Witness and she seems done with him.
Hmm, restart the Time Machine in her own period? I for one would love it. Two competing cycles for an apocalyptic future. Terry Matalas has said the 2016 time Machine has been mothballed though.
How about sabotaging the plans for Titan? That would work for me.
What about the repercussions of the splintering of Team Splinter?
I can't imagine Cassie and Ramse will be confined for too long. If Deacon isn't too drunk he may opt to break Cassie out. Maybe that will get her to love him again.
A couple of weeks ago, Cole showed up on Jennifer's doorstep right after he had just left her with a fresh bruise on his face. Incurred perhaps in a struggle to free Ramse and Cassie?
Cole is going to have to act quickly in whatever he does. The Red Storm is at the gates of the Splinter facility and the Primary from 1957 is still in jeopardy.
Maybe Olivia will contact Jennifer.
Odds and Ends
Another neat little causality loop. We found out what happened to the missing corner of The Witness map. Ramse took it! All the more reason for him to escape confinement in the coming episodes.
So basically, Ramse is the 12 Monkeys version of R2D2 with that missing map piece right?
Poor Agent Gale. He doesn't seem to be doing that well. He confided things weren't going well with his family and Cole noticed the flask in his coat pocket. He intimated he's seen Cole more than these two times though. Kudos to him for keeping it confidential in order not to disrupt the timeline.
He died a heroes death too. Sacrificing himself for the mission. His other encounters with Cole must have convinced him the coming apocalypse was the real thing.
See you soon Agent.
Scottie Thompson sure can bring it can't she? When she came marching into the Berlin facility, head bowed and eyes narrowed, she reminded me of The Terminator. I'd get out of her way.
Aaron Stanford has been bringing it too. This is the icy stare he gave to Ramse and Cassie when they returned to 2044. I can't wait to see what he gets on his report card.
The other Splinter splinter
Here's Adler when he professes his disaffection. Broken and deeply hurt.
This is Jones' reaction to Adler's disaffection. The clues were there and she ignored them.
What is it, two episodes left? (No Dave, it's three.) Things will be popping pretty soon but we'll have to wait an extra week for the finale. Unless you are going to that Paley Fest showing. I haven't got my wristband for that yet but I got McCartney tickets the other day!
Turning back the clock for one night!