[All photos Ben Mark Holzberg and courtesy Syfy]
Season 2, Episode 12: “Blood Washed Away”
Directed by David Grossman
Written by Sean Tretta
The last episode would have been a good season finale. This episode is a great darkest before the dawn moment. But that’s all right. It’s about time travel, after all. I don’t expect the story to be told in a straight line.
There’s more than a little sadism in this show. And I don’t mean in the show, I mean in the relationship with the viewer. We pay a heavy price for our heart’s desire in this episode.
Cole (Aaron Stanford) and Cassie (Amanda Schull) land in 1957 and immediately go to work on finding the primary, who they assume works in the factory that explodes in November. They have eleven months to find them. The show quickly fast forwards eleven months, and Cassie and Cole are not getting along. This breaks my heart, because I was of course hoping that during that time that they would become closer. They both work at the factory, Cole on the floor and Cassie in some secretarial capacity. She has been going on many dates to try to ascertain if anyone is the primary. Cole has been working on people in a more platonic way. They have examined everyone in the factory and found nothing and it’s two days before the paradox. They also have found no evidence of any Witnesses. In a very typical way for 12 Monkeys, despite having a time machine and giving themselves a year to accomplish their task, they are running out of time. This frustration, and no doubt other types of frustration, cause them to blame each other.
Cole heads to the bar at the Emerson and runs into a friend from work, Charlie (Joey Klein). His wife is dying and he gives Cole relationship advice. He tells him that it doesn’t matter if the all the world goes to shit if you are together and all he will want at the end is more time. Cole, of course, completely does not act on this advice.
I admit at this point I wondered whether the wife was the primary. If Cole and Cassie had thoroughly checked out the workers, it was likely to be a family member of one of the workers, and as nice as the conversation was between the two men, you don’t put a gun over the fireplace unless you plan to use it by the end of the play.
Cole returns to the room to find out that they are getting day laborers at the factory in the morning, giving them hope that one of them is the primary.
Cut to our brave group out to find Titan. They are in a pitched battle and have obviously had a hard time getting as far as they have. I am disappointed to learn that the battle they are fighting is not against the Army of the Twelve Monkeys, but is against some cannibalistic scavs. Deacon (Todd Stashwick) seems sympathetic to the people they just killed, while Ramse (Kirk Acevedo) gets some info out of one and pops him. Jennifer (Emily Hampshire) loses the second daughter she’s lost on the quest, and she struggles to give her comfort while she is dying. Her homilies sound like something from Tony Robbins or Poor Richard’s Almanac. Hannah (Brooke Williams) is sent to scout out the information they got from the cannibal, but finds nothing. Jennifer can’t lead the women. She is not the old wise woman that she will become. She admits that her wisdom comes from fortune cookies. Ramse refuses to give up even though it appears that the journey has been futile. He fights the lead daughter, and he is pretty badass because he wins. Jennifer begs for the daughter’s life and he doesn’t kill her.
Ramse was so totally wrong when he chose to work for the Monkeys to ensure his son would be born. This world is a level of hell no one should endure.
Cole spots someone twitchy in the day laborers and has Cassie search through his files. Charlie asks why he’s interested in him and Cole makes up an excuse. Cole takes the twitchy man aside and asks him some very strange questions without much response: no wonder they think Cole’s paranoid about Commies. Cassie finds the man’s application, and a monkey has been drawn on the back — not a very good one. Cole drags him out back to kill him. Meanwhile, a woman walks into the factory with a gun and a wooden box. Cassie is told that there’s a woman with a gun in the factory and she pulls out a gun. Now there are TWO women with guns in the factory. Cole finds out the guy he’s pointing a gun at is not primary. He took money from someone to act weird. Cole runs towards the factory, knowing he’s been had.
Cassie confronts the woman and it turns out she’s Charlie’s dying wife. They are a mixed marriage. She is the primary, he is the messenger. He couldn’t kill her when he got to her time, but she has brought the sternum bone so he can kill her now and they can be together in the red forest forever. Cole gets there too late but pulls Cassie away from the explosion.
We are halfway through the episode and they have failed. Now it’s up to Ramse and his army. Jennifer refuses to go with him, even though the time storm is at their heels. Hannah goes with Ramse. Ramse finds Titan even though it wasn’t there before.
Cassie is in a coma and Cole leaves her there. Just leaves her. She finds him, though, through an alias he used before. I don’t blame him for leaving. He lost, badly, and his girl doesn’t like him. Sometimes a man needs to go chop wood and restore a house. The problem is that it’s that house — the one from the visions. Everything Olivia (Alisen Down) said comes true, minus the red forest part and the house being there and not being there. Cole never had the visions, so he didn’t know when he bought it.
Cole thinks it may be over: that Ramse might have succeeded, and that time is intact and they are somehow still there and Cassie should go on and have a life without him. Cassie says he’s a coward and left because he was in love with her. And she’s always known (well, duh). It also shows that she doesn’t know him well. Again, she gives him the wrong motivations. It may have some basis in fact, but he’s endured a lot of rejection from her. There’s only so much pushing away before someone goes away. He accuses her of pushing him away so she won’t have anything to lose. So she kisses him.
And they make love. This is really nicely done, but the group has reached the Witness, who seems to be standing on a glowing clock, and all of his army are wearing plague masks and robes like his and our people are no match for him, and we get to watch them die one by one as Cole and Cassie get together. Delicate, beautiful love scenes are interspersed with delicate, beautiful death scenes with the same sublime music. Ramse, Hannah, Whitley (Demore Barnes), Deacon. Deacon, who seems to care when Ramse dies. But none of that weirds me out so much as the fact that it takes place in that house. The Witness wants them be together. This can’t be a good thing. And didn’t Jennifer once say that Cole and Cassie together would be the end of the world?
So our second team failed as well. There are no time machines to bring our time travelers back. I assume in that huge industrial complex that there is a time machine, and that they produce their own power for it. The daughters are alive, though. Jennifer was right not to go. Does all hope rest on them, now? Or on Cole and Cassie, stuck in 1958?
There is a fan theory among many that the Witness is the child of Cassie and Cole. This theory has a little more credence now because they have finally given in to their attraction for each other and therefore a child could happen. It seems even more likely since Olivia wanted them to be together — practically primed Cassie for that moment. We are supposed to find out who the Witness is in the season finale. I’m hoping it’s not their kid.
I love that Cassie had to find Cole. I’m sure he would never have believed that she loved him if she hadn’t. That was really well done on the part of the writers.
Favorite line is once again Deacon’s. “Why would you walk towards the weird music?”
Great episode. I would have been happier if the love scene and the deaths were not interspersed, but I suspect that the Powers that Be already know that.
12 Monkeys airs on the Syfy channel on Mondays, 9 pm, 8 Central.