Spoilers ahead for “Immortal,” the latest episode of Syfy’s 12 Monkeys!
The short version: Cole and Ramse head back to 1975 to try and stop the assassination of another Primary, but this one turns out to be a mildly crazy serial killer. The two change history and save a murder victim, and Cole avoids the ritualistic paradoxing of a Primary by putting a bullet in the guy himself. Whoa. Oh, and Cassie gets to meet The Witness!
Cole and Ramse fit in really well in the 1970s
Bringing Ramse into the time travel team is shaping up to be an excellent move, allowing Cole a partner in crime and Cassie some breathing room to follow her own story beats. This week, Cole and Ramse are tasked with “saving” a Primary named Kyle Slade, aka the serial killer The Immortal. The two head back to New York circa 1975, an era their post-apocalyptic upbringing seems well suited for, oddly enough, and Cole decides to change the timeline to save Slade’s final victim once they realize she has a son.
But they also let him get away, so Cole and Ramse decide to use the ultra-corrupt NYPD to do the tracking work for them, posing as journalists and enlisting the two detectives who would go on to bungle the serial killer case to find him. The ruse works, and everything seems to be going according to plan until Slade tells Cole he can take him to The Witness. You know, the Big Bad who has been orchestrating every machination of the 12 Monkeys? Yeah, that Witness. Slade might be crazy, but Cole can’t help but bite on this offer, so he kidnaps Slade from police custody and goes on a wild goose chase back to his murder warehouse. But, instead of The Witness, it’s just the other Messenger who was sent back. Well, crap.
It turns out Slade has only been killing Primaries back in New York, because he’s figured out the Messengers’ plan to paradox primaries and destroy time. His plan was to kill them all before the Monkeys can get to them, which is really dark but not wholly dissimilar to what Cole and the gang are doing (especially once Cole decides to put a bullet in Slade’s head). It’s an interesting connection to make, and they handle it just subtly enough to make you think.
Having Ramse always swoop in and save the day could get old eventually, but for now, their bromance makes it all worthwhile. The more Kirk Acevedo, the better.
The Witness comes to Cassie and it’s really freaky
Cassie’s vision trip last week put her face-to-face with The Witness, who was seemingly her former boyfriend Aaron, who was left for dead in a fire last season after betraying Cassie to work for the 12 Monkeys (though he really did mean well). But it turns out The Witness apparently isn’t this scarred-up version of Aaron — but is instead capable of changing his appearance at will. Yeah, this just got way freakier.
The Witness attempts to convince Cassie he’s really Aaron, rescued from the fire and nursed back to health, but once Cassie sees through it he changes faces to look like Cole. It’s a freaky moment, and also provides some excellent intel about the goal of the 12 Monkeys. The Witness tells Cassie they’re only trying to create a world where time doesn’t exist, and everyone can be together forever in an endless type of “now.” As Cassie notes, he makes it sound poetic, though as we’ve seen from the Red Forest in the future it’s also terrifying and dangerous.
You knew the writers could only string out the reveal of The Witness for so long, so having him be a shapeshifter (or whatever) buys some time and tosses in a new wrinkle. This guy could be anyone, and not only that, but he also apparently has some nifty time travel powers (seemingly without using the time machine). Well played.
Other great stuff: Cassie and Jennifer, the little things
Developing the friendship between Cassie and Jennifer has quickly proven to be a highlight of the season. There's great chemistry there, and Jennifer really has proven herself to be extremely useful in this world. Heck, the speech she gives to Cassie about the importance of time and death was positively beautiful. These two definitely need some more scenes together down the line. That scene with Cole holding the gun on Kyle seriously let you holding your breath, wondering if he’d pull the trigger. It was a tough call, but it’s hard to blame him. Sure, Cole started the season trying to save lives, but he can still take a few when needed.
Nice continuity nods: We now know how those TAB Cola cans end up in the Emerson Hotel room in the future, as well as that hole in the wall. Love these little flourishes. Doing this all across a shared location is proving to be a very fun narrative tool. Lastly: What the heck was up with Cassie’s eyes going black in that final scene? Can The Witness literally possess people? Yeah, we’ll need some answers on that pronto.