Season 2, Episode 6 “Immortal”
Directed by David Greene
Written by Ian Sobel and Matt Morgan
Madness isn’t nearly as pretty when it isn’t Jennifer (Emily Hampshire) who is mad. In this episode we meet another primary whose mind has been affected by his connection to time, but in a profoundly different way. It makes for a darker episode than usual. What’s going on with Cassie (Amanda Schull), who is still in 2016 with Jennifer, is also dark, creepy and on the verge of insanity.
We open with Dr. Jones (Barbara Sukowa) smoking and watching the red sky. Her conversation with Eckland (Michael Hogan) is mostly exposition, to remind us that primaries are being paradoxed to destroy time. Cole (Aaron Stanford) and Ramse (Kirk Acevedo) are sneaking around dark corridors with weapons. Ramse warns Cole not to run into the room without a plan, but he does and Ramse follows him. They are both shot-by Ramse’s son (Peter Dacunha), with a rubber band. Jones catches them and drags Cole away to tell him they have found Kyle Slade (David Dastmalchian), the primary that Jennifer knew about. This gives Ramse a moment to talk with his son, who has put together the pieces, or has been outright told, what Ramse did for him. He tells his dad that it’s not all about him, he needs to worry about everyone’s future. He’s a good kid.
They suspect Kyle Slade of being a serial killer named the Immortal. His last victim, the only one identified, is killed on the same day that his body is found. Ramse volunteers to go because Cole is all leap and no look, and besides, he’ll just get sent back in the past to rescue him anyway. Jones advises not to save the girl because it will affect time. She also does not care in which way they prevent him from being paradoxed, because if he is killed in another way, it won’t hurt time.
They arrive in 1975 to the tune of “Slow Ride”.
The girls are still in the Emerson Hotel in 2016. Cassie is trying to take care of Jennifer, who is not a good patient. She has flashes of things that will happen in this room in this episode, and she talks about it being haunted. If I were Cassie I would make Jennifer repeat firmly that the room is NOT haunted, because things she says come to pass.
Ramse flirts with the waitress, Victoria (Diana Bentley) who is our soon to be dead girl. Her mom brings her kid to the diner and both guys are upset that there’s a child who’s about to be orphaned.Victoria buys some drugs on the street that night, then gets grabbed by the primary. Cole and Ramse watch for a bit, trying to let history take its course, but of course Cole breaks and runs to save her. He and Ramse are both stricken with time change sickness and the primary gets away, chased by a messenger.
This seems to prove that Cole looks before he leaps.I don’t remember in past episodes Cole leaping before looking. I think that I would have to watch season one to see if it was mentioned before. I know from what Ramse did in the past that he is capable of a long slow waiting game. He also sees the past as something that has already happened. I don’t know that I think Cole leaps in without a plan, but I do know that Cole’s instincts are usually right. The outcome is usually better if he follows his heart. I also know in the past when he says they should do something, like stay in the past until they find the messengers, he gets ignored. So why not go off on his own?
Because they have lost the primary, they have to come up with a way to find him. They call the cops and pretend to be reporters and give them his name. They want to ride along but the cops have what they want and won’t do it. Cole blackmails them with an article that he has written that he says will go to press. The cops are being called to task for not solving the case and their names are on it. It took me til the second time around to realize that this was an article Cole had from the future and where he got the names of the cops to call.
This part is filmed in yellow. Not black and white, to show it’s the past, not sepia tone, but a yellowish filter that makes the cop’s uniforms look green that I remember from old TV shows. I’m surprised they didn’t have any of those large orangish pools of blood that they had before they started censoring them. Anyway, they find Kyle Slade holding someone hostage. Cole walks in and gets him to let her go. Slade is thrilled to see him, and wants to take him to the Witness. The cops burst in and arrest him. Cole grabs a police car and takes off, Ramse reluctantly with him, and they get the prisoner back. They put their detectives in the cop car and Cole goes off with the primary alone.
Now at this point I’m thinking that this is a pretty stupid thing to do. This guy is dangerous, and Cole’s likely to get himself shot by a cop. However, Ramse goes back to the room and that’s a good thing because he encounters the messenger again and saves Victoria again. She gets herself loose from being tied to a chair and stabs the messenger, which saves Ramse, and then Ramse overpowers him. It’s a good thing they saved her or the fight might have turned out differently.
Kyle Slade takes Cole to his lair and shows him the Witness. He has arms and legs hanging from the ceiling and tripwires to blow the place, which is something he learned in Vietnam. He has a prisoner behind bars who has a mask on that looks for all the world like it’s sewn together skin on a gas mask but I hope is not. Kyle shows Cole the piece of his bone that the Witness brought back to kill him with. Unmasked, Cole sees that he is one of the messengers in the security tape from when they stormed the facility and got sent back to the past. Kyle insists that he is the Witness and that it’s Cole’s destiny to kill him. He also says that all of his victims were primaries and he was saving them from being paradoxed, except for Victoria, who was a message for Cole to find him. He thinks that Cole is going to take him back to the future to live after he kills the Witness.
Ramse shows up during this confrontation. The two cops follow quickly after. It didn’t occur to me that they were going to trip the bomb, but it does to Cole. He and Ramse hit the deck. When the smoke clears, Cole and Slade are still alive. After Slade attacks Cole, Cole kills Slade. Slade insists he is immortal and not supposed to die, but Cole says everyone dies.
Cassie sees Aaron (Noah Bean) in the now haunted hotel room and has a conversation with him. He has healed up scars on his face that are in a beautiful, lacy pattern, not at all what they would really be. He tries to convince her that time is the enemy and the only way to beat death is to kill time. He starts freaking her out and he changes faces to Cole’s. In a very nice touch, she realizes that he IS the Witness at the same time that Cole realizes the captive is not. Jennifer rescues her from the lobby, where she is wandering around talking to herself. Cassie is so upset that she wants to leave and Jennifer to hide from her. Jennifer suggests it is all in her head and if not, the Witness is afraid of them. She gets inspired and wants to fight back. Cassie’s got no fight in her and is halfway convinced by the Witness. Jennifer says something profound. She says death is a time clock that makes us better and makes us love harder. Jennifer sneaks out but leaves a note telling Cassie that her fight is in the future. Cassie is still being haunted and her eyes turn black, like the Witness’.
Cole and Ramse get back to 2044. The red skies are receding because the possibility of this primary being paradoxed has been removed. Jones is happy. She even smiles.
Kyle Slade is not like the other two primaries we met. He was in Vietnam, and dishonorably discharged. He’s a serial killer, although he claims those killed were primaries and had to die to save time. I doubt that. We’ve only seen a few over decades of time. He found twelve in the last two years? And Victoria was killed just to send a message to Cole to come kill the Witness (messenger). He never heard of the ad in the newspaper trick? He’s a psychopath. Using Victoria’s death so casually is psychopathic. He has an inflated sense of his own importance, and got whiny when Cole refused to recognize how important he was. I bet he has a manifesto somewhere.
So that leads me to wonder if any of the information we got from him was right. He was wrong about the messenger being the Witness, but he claimed to know a lot about him. The Witness is a time traveler but has been doing it longer. He has technology and resources our group doesn’t. He can get in your head, which is true. But he is just a man, after all. Oh, well, I suppose only time can tell.
And what about what he believes will happen? He thinks Cole is destined to kill the Witness and he and Cole go back to the future in a blaze of glory. Is it possible that he’s right, except for the part where he is alive and involved?
Despite chopping people up, on the surface he looked more sane and organized than Jennifer or Tommy. At least, until he loses it at the end. Not having a moral compass and being forced to survive in violent ways in Vietnam made him much more dangerous.
Cassie illustrates another way of going crazy. She’s doubting her own mind and senses because of the hallucinations that were brought on by Olivia taking her to visit the Witness. There are signs that she may actually be possessed by a mind that is not her own. There’s still that possibility that she’s a Manchurian candidate for the Witness.
We also find out how close the Daughters came to being called “the Hyenas”.
Next week it appears that something comes back with them when they travel and invades the compound.
12 Monkeys airs Monday nights at 9/8c on Syfy.