Spoilers ahead for “Blood Washed Away,” the latest episode of Syfy’s 12 Monkeys!
The short version: Cole and Cassie spend a year in 1957, only to fail miserably at stopping the final paradox. Ramse and Young Jennifer’s mission also doesn’t go well, as Ramse and the gang are all ambushed and killed after reaching Titan. Oh, but Cole and Cassie finally hook up — it just takes about three years of livin’ in the 1950s to get there.
Cole and Cassie do a whole lot of living
You know time is flying when your two main characters live out a year of their lives before we even get to the episode intro. Cole and Cassie make good use of their time in 1957 by getting jobs at the factory where the paradox occurs and scouting out every single employee. But, as we fast-forward to just two days left, they’re still coming up empty. It’s in this moment we see Cole and Cassie strained by the time they’ve spent devoted to this make-or-break mission, and if you thought we’d jump forward a year to find them canoodling, you were dead wrong.
The mission comes to a head when we realize the Messengers are (as always) a few steps ahead of our gang, and set up a fake primary to distract Cole while they pull off the ritual murder. So who’s the mystery death? Cole’s closest friend from the factory gig, whose wife is dying of cancer. His wife is also the primary, and he takes her out and fries time as Cole and Cassie watch helplessly. The explosion that ensues sends them both to the hospital, but Cassie ends us staying a bit longer than everyone else.
The blast knocks her into a coma, and if not for the rejuvenating time-travel juice in her system, it seems she would probably be dead. Cole tells her goodbye and disappears, leaving Cassie to put the pieces together six months later when she finally wakes up in 1958. Cassie then spends the next six months tracking him down (Morris Morrison? Really, Cole? Dude sucks at fake names), finally catching up with him… at a very familiar location.
Cole buys a house, and it’s one we’ve seen for much of the series: The creepy house of cedar and pine that showed up in Cassie’s Red Forest visions, and we finally learn the context. She wasn’t meeting The Witness there, she was meeting Cole. It was all a “memory of tomorrow,” and as it all came together, it just sent chills down your spine. What does this mean? This long-awaited reunion also gave us an even more long-awaited moment: Cole and Cassie finally get together, but it doesn’t play out as you probably expected.
Which brings us to…
Oh my God, everyone is dead WTF
Cole and Cassie’s 1950s adventure is interspersed with updates on Ramse, Deacon, Jennifer and the Sisters’ mission to attack Titan. We catch up with them in an all out gun fight with a street gang, which they take down and finally continue on to Titan. The bizarre industrial complex apparently has the ability to disappear and reappear at will, and Ramse leads a team into the heart of the city(?). There, they find a person wearing that creepy plague mask, standing on a mysterious platform with strange symbols. It's about this time that all hell breaks loose.
The Witness is not alone, and his soldiers swoop in and surround Ramse’s force — killing Ramse, Deacon, Jones’ daughter and everyone else with them. Yeah, dead. Gone. Finito. Of course, this is a show about time travel, but it was still an excruciating moment to watch them all get sliced just a few feet away from unmasking the Big Bad at the heart of the apocalypse (seriously, who is in that mask).
The creepiest part of all? The brutal, bloody death scenes are interspersed with Cole and Cassie’s first night together. The juxtaposition is unsettling in all the right ways, and provides the most brutal undercurrent possible to something many fans have been waiting for since the show began. It wouldn’t be 12 Monkeys without bringing the pain.
Line of the night: "Why would you walk towards the weird music?” - Deacon
So many questions linger
12 Monkeys has never been afraid to swing for the fences, but this one was swinging for the stratosphere. They’ve killed off virtually the entire supporting cast in one scene (but, you know, time travel), leaving virtually no hope to see this come out to a happy ending (though Jennifer is still out there, right?). Jumping ahead so much would feel rushed in any other show, but considering how much this show already screws with time, the three years spent in the 1950’s just feel like a drop in the bucket.
With the season finale up next, you have to wonder: What else could they possibly do?