WARNING: If you don't want to know what happened in this episode, don't read this photo recap!
So there she is, Olivia Kirschner. In 1971. Being arrested for the possession of stolen merchandise. And Cassie has gone back to assassinate her. The theory is: if Cassie can kill Olivia before she became The Witness, all of the causality will come crashing down and none of it, plague, time, any of it- will happen.
Back in 2046, thinking that Cassie and Team Splinter are dead, Olivia is furious that her followers are beginning to question her leadership. She's summarily executing them. And also hearing voices of Primaries from her past. Most importantly - the voice of herself in 1971.
Ended up in the sights of Cassie Railly, who waits outside of the jail house where Olivia was arrested to assassinate her. But instead, Cassie came under fire herself. Near a police station. So…you can imagine how that went.
Olivia and Cassie end up in adjoining cells. It's possible Cassie will get her chance to assassinate The Witness after all. But instead, they begin a long conversation about how Olivia is on the run from The Witness. Olivia admits that she's seen a lot of crazy things.
She was branded! She drank all that red tea that makes people hallucinate! She met The Witness, who, actually…is HER! And learned that she was going to have a baby and sacrifice it to The Witness. Wouldn't that make YOU want to run away? Either way, it makes Cassie want to help Young Olivia, as one mother to another.
Meanwhile, Cole, in a Splinter Suit, saves Jennifer in the year 2018. Her gamble with jumping in front of the train worked! He saved her! But also, the bad (are they bad?) guys have the Ouroboros - the device Jennifer stole from the museum- now.
Splinter-suit Cole sends Jennifer to go meet... Cole. She brings him a cheeseburger because Cole tells her to (go ahead and swirl that one around in your head for a few days.) Cole and Jennifer decide to seek out the Ouroboros because it seems meant for her.
In 2049, Olivia has a long series of visions about both the past and the future. And she sees a version where Titan will be destroyed one day. She's puzzled and upset and all she knows is that in 1971, Cassie Railly offered her help and she turned it down.
As Cassie goes after Olivia at that 12 Monkeys compound, she runs into Olivia's MOTHER, Mantis. And twist! Turns out, all along, Olivia's mother wasn't trying to go and pick up a rebellious teenage Olivia like we thought…
When Cassie catches up to young Olivia, the two of them have a conversation through time. Olivia had a hole in her memory from this day and now she knows why - it was because she was inhabiting her own body. Cassie makes one last attempt to kill Olivia, but Olivia's mother jumps in front of her daughter and takes the bullet.
Meanwhile, back in 2018, Interpol gives the Ouroboros back to Cole and Jennifer. It was meant for her and it all leads to a greater mystery, scattered throughout time. It turns out Cole is the only one who can open it, with that old story he learned as a child.
Remember how he learned the "There once was a serpent who could only travel one direction, always forward, never backward…" legend from his father? Turns out the story is a code to open the Ouroboros. Who told the story? Cole's mother! We've never met her though, so how could SHE know it?
Deacon, found in the rubble by Olivia's henchmen, is angry that he was left behind and confirms to Olivia that Cassie, Cole and the others are still alive. And then he offers up his help in finding them.