I take back everything I said last time regarding being happy if “Resurrection” was the last 12 Monkeys ever made. If 12 Monkeys didn’t get the renewal, then “Blood Washed Away” should have stood as the premature finale. Big thanks to Syfy for confirming Season 3!
Cassie and Cole have been Primary Hunting from January through to November 1957. Blending in with the locals, they took jobs at the Maxwell-Rigfield Factory to sniff out the Primary before the November 7th explosion.
They vetted every single person. Poor Cassie has the short end of the stick, taking dates with every slime ball supervisor and supplier, putting up with 1950s workplace sexual harassment. Cole mixes with the workers and tries to make friends with everyone.
It is November 5th. Cole and Cassie have ruled out almost everyone. Their nerves are fried. Cassie and Cole argue. She accuses Cole of potential incompetence. He snaps back and accuses her of maybe enjoying her dates too much. He storms out before he says something that he would regret.
A nice chap sits at the hotel bar. It’s Cole’s friend, Charlie. Charlie’s wife Melinda is at home dying of cancer. She made him go out. Charlie gives Cole a man-to-man talk. He urges Cole to stop looking over his shoulder, and to spend his precious time with Cassie. Is Charlie the Primary? But isn’t he a little too stable?
Slumping back to the room, Cole walks in on Cassie. The scene is sad, heavy with unspoken words and regret. Cole sits down on the sofa, where he has been sleeping, his face barely concealing his losing fight against his broken heart.
Cassie found out that day labourers will be coming to the plant on November 7th. One of them must be the Primary. Cassie extends half an olive branch, acknowledging that the stress of the mission has made them hard on each other. With the mission back on, they continue to bottle their feelings.
Back in 2044, the road to Titan is perilous. A fierce gun battle ensues. Jennifer sobs helplessly. The Emissary has a crisis of faith. She has sworn to protect Mother, not this weak girl.
Zeit returns from scouting the coordinates. Titan is not there. The Emissary renounces Jennifer and declares Titan a figment of Ramse’s imagination. Zeit begs Jennifer to use her wisdom to convince the Daughters to come to Titan. But all Jennifer has is a bag of fortune cookie stubs. Zeit goes off with Ramse, Deacon, and Whitley.
In 1957, Cole talks his way into supervising the day labourers. One of them, Reginald Dupuy, fits the Primary profile. Cassie finds a drawing of a monkey on Dupuy’s personnel file. It’s Paradox Day. Cole is about to execute Dupuy, when he admits to taking money to allow someone to do the monkey drawing. He’s not the Primary.
An unstable woman walks into the factory, holding a gun and a box. She is looking for her husband. When Cassie catches wind of this, she grabs her pistol from her purse and runs to investigate. It’s Melinda. She’s the Primary. Today is the day she dies. It hurts her to hold the box.
Charlie is the messenger. He’s not like the other messengers. He loves Melinda. She begs him to paradox her, so that they could live together in the red forest. So is the red forest actually a nice place? Why is she – along with all the other primaries we’ve seen – so eager to be paradoxed?
Just before Charlie paradoxes his wife, he says to Cassie and Cole that not everything the Witness says is true, and to Cole specifically, “I have to do this. You of all people should understand this.”
Titan suddenly appears to our fanatic four. Zeit could swear that it wasn’t there before. It’s kind of hard to miss. It’s a huge monstrosity. Did the 1957 paradox make it materialise?
Cassie and Cole have failed their mission. Cassie is in a coma. Cole gazes at her forlornly. He mutters some nonsense about how the best thing that could happen now is if she wakes up and forgets that she has ever met him.
In her coma, Cassie hears Olivia’s voice repeating the same red forest riddle: “You’re walking through a red forest. The grass is tall. It’s just rained. Most of the blood has washed away. There’s a house in the distance. Cedar and pine. You’ve been there before. You’re not alone.”
Cassie wakes up. It’s six months later. Cole has disappeared. Cassie spends six lonely months working as an underappreciated student nurse. Back at the hotel, Cassie writes in her diary the opening words of the pilot: “Where are you right now? Some place warm? Safe? Next to someone you love?” Someone orders a whiskey sour. She turns around hopefully. It’s not Cole.
There’s a knock on room 607. The union found an address for the name “Morris Morrison”. Her face lights up. She’s goes to the house. It’s the house she has seen in her red tea visions. Cole bought it, and is sawing wood. He cuts his thumb. The blood falls to the tall grass, just like in those visions.
It’s a bittersweet reunion. Both are pensive and miserable from the time apart. Cassie needs to know why Cole abandoned her. He tells her that he left her to give her a chance at happiness. They failed, but for some reason they’re still here. She could live a life. There’s no red forest here. He doesn’t understand how they survived the paradox, but he’s done with trying to figure it all out.
Cassie is not having any of it. Cole just stands there helplessly holding his bleeding thumb, hardly ready for her to leave. Cassie brings him inside and runs his thumb under the tap. Most of the blood has washed away.
This is when Cassie realises that the Witness had always known about this moment, but she can’t make sense of why. Cole believes that Ramse must have found and killed the Witness, because the world didn’t end for them. He wants Cassie to live a life free of fear and death.
In Titan, our fanatic four hear haunting music, which gives Deacon the heebie jeebies. Ramse follows the sound, against Deacon’s protestation. A masked figure is standing on a strange platform encircled by glowing red monkeys and glyphs.
Cole and Cassie have a heated discussion in the living room. Cole rehashes his stubborn belief that she’s better off without him. She calls him a coward and tells him that he left because he was in love with her. He blames her for pushing him away. They come face to face.
We have been so accustomed to the writers playing with our feelings, that even now, we don’t believe that Cassie and Cole will actually get together. What an awesome time to be dead wrong.
In the most anticipated moment of TV shipping history, Cassie finally kisses Cole. Cole’s face is a picture of disbelief and relief as he goes back for more. They can’t keep their hands off each other.
But because this is 12 Monkeys, we don’t get to drift off on a pure cloud of fluff. Cassie and Cole’s passionate ecstasy is interspersed by agonising images of death. Ramse, Deacon, Zeit, and Whitley are unceremoniously dispatched. We watch their lives drain from behind their opened eyes.
Is everyone actually dead? Is that how they get to the red forest? Is Titan a utopian machine, creating pocket universes for the ‘resurrected’? Is Cole’s house the Witness’s house, or just another image (s)he has chosen to project? What’s Jennifer going to do in 2044?
Catch up on Season 1, streaming now on Hulu with exclusive special features, or buy the DVD / Blu-ray. Watch Season 2 of 12 Monkeys on Mondays at 9/8c, or on Syfy.com, Amazon Video, iTunes, Google Play, Youtube and XBox.