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12 MONKEYS Recap: “Mentally Divergent”

I don’t know about you but we’re two episodes into SyFy’s original series 12 Monkeys and I am digging it. The actors are great, it looks awesome and tonight saw the first appearance of shadowy figure and genre favorite the one and only Mr. Tom Noonan!

There is a lot of confrontation in this episode and a lot happens. It kicks off with a bang when Cole and his trusty 2043 sidekick Ramse are doing some recon. While on their mission Cole fills Ramse in on what went down, asks about Cassie, who Cole is coy regarding, and he asks about the thing that no one can quite justify, and everyone appears to be quite disappointed about: why if Cole killed Goines are any of them still there? Why was the pandemic not prevented? When Cole and Ramse return back to their base, Cole is informed that he’s going to be sent back in time again. It’s also here that Barbara Sukowa’s Jones makes her reservations about Ramse known. Upon second viewing of this episode I found myself suspicious of his character too. Is he just a sort of lame sidekick or is he playing them all? The team sends Cole back alright but unfortunately ends up in 2008 in North Korea where he is taken prisoner and held captive. He gets the snot beat out of him but is splintered out before any real damage can be done.

Meanwhile, back in 2015, Cassie goes to pay Jeremy a visit at his home and unfortunately finds his dead body covered in flowers to prevent the smell from traveling. Enter career creeper Tom Noonan’s Pallid Man who informs Cassie that Jeremy met a bad end because he wouldn’t stop asking questions. He advises her that if she doesn’t want to meet a similar fate she should rethink digging deeper into The Army of the 12 Monkeys. He also asks Cole’s whereabouts, a question that Cassie can’t answer and he lets her go. Later, Cassie and Aaron who have gotten back in touch have a conversation about the fact that hers and Cole’s arrest went off the record and that Goines’ death, a shooting, was misreported in the press as a heart attack, a fact that Cassie recognizes as further proof that she and Cole are onto something. Aaron expresses his concerns about Cole and reveals that he was caught in North Korea with the address of a mental institution in Philadelphia which Cassie makes note of…

12 Monkeys Cole and Goines

The mental institution in question is where Jennifer Goines is being held. Once cole is admitted he confronts her about The Army of the 12 Monkeys which she doesn’t handle well and Cole is removed by staff. The doctors are suspicious when Goines starts talking about “The Night Room,” something that Cole has inadvertently reminded her of. When Cole comes to, he finds Jennifer in his room. He asks her again about the 12 Monkeys and she tells the story of when she was a scientist working for her father in what was called “The Night Room, ” a secret, off-site lab where the virus was held. One night the Pallid Man and his crew came in and killed all of the scientists working in the lab. All of a sudden, the institution’s doctors enter and tell Cole that he will be transferred out of the institution and back to jail (they clearly didn’t like that he reactivated Jennifer’s memory of said Night Room). Fortunately, because she knew about the address from the North Korea photo, Cassie shows up and takes Cole into her custody, being a doctor and all. Remembering his conversation with Jones before he splintered back into the past, Cole tells Cassie to leave and that she can’t be involved out of risk of upsetting the timeline but Cassie protests. As they argue, they see the Pallid Man inside the hospital and he has Jessica in his grasp. They chase them down the stairs but Cole tells Cassie to stay back and hold off security for as long as she can. Once he’s downstairs, Cole is confronted by Noonan’s character who mentions something about a past confrontation between the two of them that left him scarred. Cole once again has no recollection of this and is attacked by one of Noonan’s goons. Cole is able to shake him off and Cassie runs down to meet him as they both make their escape.

Cole and Cassie are back at her place. She has Jennifer’s file which chronicles her confession to the murders she didn’t commit. They notice that upon her intake she mentioned “one got away” and they decide if they can find the person who got away, presumably one of the scientists,” before the bad guys they will find the infamous Night Room first. Cole also agrees that he and Cassie are in this together. He splinters back and as he debriefs the team on what happened at the asylum, Jones questions him about Cassie’s involvement. They begin to argue and Jones clears the room. She tells him that it’s a great risk to compromise Cassie’s timeline, especially considering her past message is the most important thing that they have to try and stop the pandemic. Cole is pissed, mostly because he’s still around (hello, anti0hero death wish!) and tells her too bad, so sad, she’s not the boss of him. He held up his side of the bargain, why is any of this his problem? Jones makes a plea for trust and he tells her that he needs Cassie. She agrees to let her help.

In the final scene of the night, which takes place back in 2015, the Pallid Man mixes a drink with some sort of powder and feeds it to Jennifer. She asks him if he’s going to kill her but he tells her, “not today.” Then, out of the darkness, a shadowy, creepy figure emerges but we never get a good look at it. Who could it be? What will it do? Cliffhanger!

So friends, are you watching 12 Monkeys? I’m really enjoying the show however complicate it may be. SyFy has the episodes on its website so be sure to check it out and let us know your thoughts!

12 Monkeys, starring Aaron Stanford, Amanda Schull, Emily Hampshire and Tom Noonan, airs Friday nights at 9PM on SyFy.

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  1. Kaci says:

    What I don’t get is why the Army of the 12 Monkeys needs Jennifer at all. Couldn’t they have just asked/tortured/whatever Leland Goines (obviously before he was killed by Cole) about the location of his Night Room.

  2. mxxc says:

    I do miss some of the Terry Gilliam style, like the globe with all the eyes and the hazmat suits for going outside in the future, but so far it’s handling everything really well. The characters aren’t idiots who just act according to plot requirements, and ask questions instead of leaving out information, and they keep setting up new plot threads based on Cole meeting people in the past which he hasn’t experienced yet. It’s probably the first show I’ve anticipated watching every week since Fringe was on.