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Hold on tight, team, because this one gets serious. It's 2017, in Chechnya, at the height of the epidemic that is ravaging the world. Cassie Railly is sending an international message to the world to find people immune to the disease, because it may be the key to creating a vaccine. Meanwhile, in 2043, Jones is addressing a rumor that's spreading through the compound – that Foster has found a cure. She explains that the virus keeps mutating and that the only way to solve the problem is to take Fosters core and fire up the splinter machine. Ramse, fearing the worst, tries to convince Elena and Sam to come back to the Temporal Facility with him. Elena says she's seen the cure work first hand, which runs counter to what Jones has been saying. So, whom do we believe?
Back in 2017, Cole witnesses a riot of those trying to get to America. A woman is shot and Cole convinces them that he's not sick. When he is loaded into a car where an American woman waits for him, Cole realizes that they've been waiting for him, and are ready to take him to the states.
In 2043, at the Spearhead compound, Elena is trying to convince Ramse of the cure while Whitley tries to reason with Whitley Senior. Foster takes Ramse and Elena hostage, but is interrupted by the arrival of Jones, who tells him that she will have the core either way, it's just a question of whether he gives it to her, or her taking it by force.
So, let's take a quick trip to 2041, where Ramse and Cole are wandering the woods, talking about how they want to get to Florida, when they come across a team of people killing a deer. They're captured by Whitley and taken to the Temporal Facility, where Cole and Ramse are being kicked and tortured by Whitley for information. Their only salvation turns out to be the arrival of Jones, who recognizes Cole and says she's been waiting for him.
In 2017, Cole finds himself in the midst of a riot as he enters Baltimore. Also there, screaming outside the CDC? Jennifer Goines, looking well but still crazy. Cole goes into the CDC where he sees Cassie. She welcomes him back with a hug and looks terribly sad. And then back to 2043, where Foster and Jones sit in his study and share a particularly intense conversations. And then Jones shoots and kills him. That's when it begins: Whitely Senior shoots two of his own officers and begins the operation to steal the core.
When Cole finally talks with Cassie in 2017, he learns that a LOT has happened between the last time they've seen one another. What's clear is that Cassie is sick, and has failed to find a way to contain the virus.
In 2043, Jones has finally gotten a hold of the core, and takes it back to the splinter machine. And that's when things get interesting. See, Jones told them all that the virus couldn't be cured and that was their entire rationale for going to war with Spearhead. And now, Ramse is confronted by the nagging question Elena poses – what if Jones was lying? And as Jones burns a piece of evidence about the cure – it's pretty clear that this is exactly what happened.
In 2017, as Cassie lay dying, she asks Cole if he found the red forest, tells him that he can't know anything about what's transpired because it would change the path he's on, and gives him an address to keep with him. As Jones fires up the machine in 2043, Cole is splintered back and the scratched watch-face (remember that?!) heals itself. Time has changed.
A quick sidebar back to 2041, where Cole and Ramse, escaping from Jones' lab, pause and consider staying. Cole realizes that Ramse has trapped him here in order to save his soul. So now two years later, back in 2043, Cole is back in the splinter room when Ramse tells him about what Jones has been doing; the two square off and argue over what's next. Ramse is not about to let Cole erase the entire past, because that means Ramse won't actually have a son. Once best friends, now Cole and Ramse are on opposite sides of the fight to end the disease before it begins.
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