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It's a gorgeous evening in 1944 as a strapping army man and his beautiful wife get ready for a night on the town. Except that doesn't happen because two of those Messengers that were sent back in time show up and murder them both, taking their places at a fancy army shindig. Back, (or forward, we guess), in 2044, all sorts of shenanigans are going down. Science shenanigans: there are some anomalies that suggest that time and space may be collapsing in on itself. Romantic shenanigans: Katarina and her new/estranged boyfriend Dr. Ecklund are trying to figure stuff out. And then squad shenanigans: all this Cole/Ramse vs. Cassie/Deacon stuff is distracting the gang from the mission. Luckily, a picture of Cassie and Cole dated 1944 that Cole found last episode gives them a clue that Ramse may know more about.
With Ramse's help (memories from his time when he lived with the Army of the 12 Monkeys), the team has a target: T.H. Crawford was a scientist who was murdered in 1944. Apparently, the 12 Monkeys were very interested in digging up this dude's bones back when Ramse was running with them. Katarina decides Cole has to go back to 1944 and try and stop the murder. And Cassie is going with him. I mean, she has to, right? She's in the picture before 1944. Before they leave, Cole asks Katarina to let Ramse see his son.
It's safe to say that time travel, especially with all these anomalies going on, isn't an exact science. Cassie finds this out when after going back in time mere minutes after Cole, makes it to 1944 a full two months after him. Luckily she arrives just in time to make it to the party on the day that Crawford is to be murdered. Cole got them an invite to the swanky soiree and a new 1944 wardrobe for Cassie. #boyfriendgoals
OK. Time to get down to business. Operation: Stop the Messengers from killing the scientist. But first, Cassie and Cole have to take the picture that lead them to 1944 in the first place. Or will lead them? Anyway, they end up looking so happy… if only that were the case. But, oh crap -- the Messenger lady already has the target in her clutches after enticing him with her feminine wiles. After the Messengers knock Crawford out and tie him up, they perform some kind of ritual on the scientist, involving flowers, lots of chanting about the flowers, and some bone knife. However, when they finish the ritual (which involves stabbing him with the bone knife), something is wrong. Nothing happened. This man is not who they were looking for. When Cassie and Cole arrive, they see that they're too late to save him, but they do find a framed picture of the 12 Monkeys symbol in his office. What's the symbol doing there in 1944?
After doing some digging, Cassie and Cole discover that the drawing was done by Thomas Crawford's son, Thomas Crawford JUNIOR. (Always the junior.) Could the messengers have made a mistake? Could this be who they were looking for? The only way to know is to go find him. But where? Oh. He's in a mental institution 'cause he hears voices, sees visions and has a penchant for painting monkeys. Sound familiar?
When Cassie and Cole get to the asylum it appears as if they might be too late, as dead bodies are everywhere. After a quick shootout that kills one of the messengers the game is tied; Cassie has Crawford Jr. but the Messenger woman has Cole. Cassie has a plan to get Cole back but at the last second Crawford Jr. sacrifices himself saying, with certainty, that it's his time to die. The Messenger then completes her mission, stabbing Crawford Jr. with his own bone brought from the future, creating a paradox.
While all this craziness is going down, back in 2044 Katarina makes good on her word and let's Ramse have a visit with his son, Samuel. Everything goes great until after the tender moment, Katarina comes in and tells Ramse that in order restore balance to the mission, she's basically going to let Deacon take him out. So, then Deacon comes with a buddy and they take Ramse out into the woods where he has to dig his own grave. But then all of a sudden (kind of in conjunction with the Messenger lady completing her mission in 1944) these red clouds pop up out of nowhere. They're kind of pretty and everything until HOLY CRAP IT'S EATING THAT ONE DUDE'S FACE! Not wanting to suffer the same fate, Ramse grabs Deacon and makes a run for it.