Season 2, Episode 4 “Emergence”
Written by Richard Robbins
Directed by David Grossman
Finally, we get some answers! After an unusually large bout of teasing. This episode and the previous episode would have made a great movie for television. As it was, two separate episodes, the climax came at the end of the last ep and this one was almost all resolution. It was, however, desperately needed resolution.
Ramse (Kirk Acevedo) earns some points with Jones (Barbara Sukowa) because he saved Deacon in the last episode. When they are talking about it, he sounds almost as surprised as I did that he did it. She has no other time travelers, though, so she has no choice but to send him back to save Cole (Aaron Stanford) and Cassie (Amanda Schull). Ramse is only sent back a couple of days before the killing of the primary in the hospital because Jones doesn’t trust him not to muck about with time if he has the opportunity. The plan is to put an ad in the paper with the exact coordinates where they will be and Jones will pick them up.
Unfortunately, Ramse gets hit by a car and ends up in the hospital. He tries to call Cole, which is why Cole got a mysterious call in the last episode. He tries to sneak out of the hospital but Nurse Ratchett catches him and says he has to have surgery, which will put him out of commission longer. He makes his escape in time to get to the mental hospital before the explosion, only to be captured by the messenger. So once again, we have someone with a time machine who can’t get there on time!
Jones goes out into the red woods and examines the dead soldiers. She concludes that time got them, which makes sense since they are decomposed. The temporal disturbance will expand to cover the world in a few months. The daughters are watching them. Jones visits old Jennifer (Emily Hampshire), who tells her she is looking at time wrong, and offers her a leaf from the red forest. She turns her down and says that she doesn’t have time to break on through to the other side. “Jim Morrison. Primary,” Jennifer nods sagely. Well, of course.
Katarina Jones breaks down in frustration because of the lack of change and news from the past. Her temper tantrum is interspersed with scenes from the last episode’s climax, which plays out in exactly the same way. Cassie and Cole are then led away to a private interrogation by the nosy FBI agent (Jay Karnes) . Ramse bursts in and saves them. Ramse and Cassie snipe at each other and go off to buy the ad in the paper. They have a drink together and Ramse advises her that she should forgive Cole.
Cole finds out that the messenger (Scottie Thompson) survived the blast. He runs into the FBI agent when going to see her. He has found some anomalies surrounding Cole and Ramse. Cole levels with him and the guy is inclined to believe him even though Cole broke his nose last time they saw each other. The messenger is surprised to be alive. She wants to stay and have a life and a child. She says that they killed the primary to stop time’s cruel destruction and unlock the infinite. She then attacks the two of them. She blurs out a bit then says that she can’t kill Cole. The witness has spoken. It’s hard to tell if the blurring has something to do with time or if it’s Cole’s vision that is blurring.
Jones drinks the Kool-Aid. Well, the magic tea. Jennifer says that time evolved and that the primaries help it work. She says that they want to kill the primaries to kill time. I don’t know that there’s anything she says that Jones needs to be in an altered state to hear. The visuals on this are a little underwhelming. They do show time going by, but not the monkey’s moment of self-realization. 2001: A Space Odyssey it is not. The theory that we (or at least the primaries) are needed to keep time working is one I can believe. There’s no scientific evidence that time rolls downhill in one direction except that we perceive it that way.
The three time travelers return. The FBI agent gets to witness their disappearance. Cole and Jones have gotten the same information. They both know that the monkeys want to destroy time.
The four of them discuss the implications. They know that the messengers want to kill the primaries but they don’t know when or where they will appear. It quickly degenerates into accusations and bitterness between Jones, Cassie and Ramse. Cole has to make them be quiet and tells them what the mission is.
At the last we see the messenger on her deathbed with her son, sending him off to the monkeys for their guidance. We see Jennifer looking for help at a walk-in clinic, and the pale man (Tom Noonan) is watching her. He lets petals fall to the ground.
A lot of my anxiety has been relieved with this episode. I breathed a big sigh of relief at the end of it. The team has finally come together. It makes sense, because the imminent destruction of time is a much bigger problem that threatens all of them, and supersedes the problem of whether or not the virus apocalypse should have happened, or whether Cole should have saved Ramse or Jennifer. Cole has taken his position as leader. He is the only one who can do it, not only because of the ties the other members have with him, but because he has made sensible decisions the entire time and not wavered from the mission. In this episode he gathered information from the messenger and made an ally in the FBI guy when the other two just wanted to go back.
Cole is not very authoritative or commanding. He’s quiet when others are loud and arguing. Even when he gets them to shut up and listen, he is not as compelling as he could be. He is, however, right, and they should start listening to him. They did this time.
Neither Cassie or Ramse would be here without Cole. Jennifer would not be here, or on their side, without Cole. He’s the only one who as achieved positive change. It worries me that the messengers are not allowed to kill Cole. It makes me think that he will be used for a nefarious purpose later.
I like that Dr. Jones turned to and accepted other sources of information when science failed her. Of course, she had to be reminded first by Eckland (Michael Hogan) that explorers go into uncharted territory and that she is an explorer.
As far as her running out time travelers, I think she is just out of viable candidates. I assume the scientists are needed and they are mostly older, which may make it hard for them to withstand the rigors of time travel. She may hesitate to give another person the injections. However, I don’t think it precludes their sending someone else into the past in the future. Maybe Whitley?
One has to wonder why, if the monkeys were going to destroy time, and they had already raised the messengers and made plans to do it, that they had to release the virus at all. Why kill ninety percent of the population if they were just going to destroy everything later? Jennifer said that time and humans grew up together. That time needs us and some of us more than others. Maybe they needed to kill ninety percent of humans to weaken time. And, it led to Jones creating the time machine, which they used to disperse the messengers.
So, the messenger is the mother of the pallid man. It seems out of the blue that she wanted a child but she was as familiar with Ramse’s story as she was with Cole’s and Cassie’s and was impressed with his love for his son. She is still a believer in the Army of the 12 Monkeys’ mission at the end of her life and has obviously made her son a believer as well.
No Deacon (Todd Stashwick) this time. I hope he’s laid up with an injured leg. The synopsis for the next episode says that Cole and Ramse will have a confrontation with Deacon while Cassie is away.
The team has come together, time is coming apart, and I’m looking forward to seeing our time travelers chase down messengers and try to save the primaries.
12 Monkeys airs on the Syfy channel on Mondays 9pm/8c.