Less than 5 – Skip it, 6 – OK, 7 – Good, 8 – Great, 9 – Phenomenal, 10 – You owe it to yourself to watch this episode!
A great science fiction story finds ways of ingraining itself into the minds of its audience, making you question the events that just transpired deep into the night while simultaneously coming up with absurd solutions to any problems that have arisen. The Night Room does just that for 12 Monkeys. Beware, this review may contain an abnormal amount of questions pertaining to the episode. Read on at your own risk.
Beginning the episode with a look at Jennifer Goines (Emily Hampshire) pre freak-out was a nice way of reminding us of what went down in previous installments. It is clear that she was a bit deranged from the get-go but ever since the 12 Monkeys got to her she has gone off the deep end. She is still by far the greatest thing this show has to offer and the way things ended for her make it seem like she is going to be playing a more prominent role in things to come. Everything Goines says is a riddle and Hampshire pulls off the mix of genius and lunacy with aplomb.
It was also nice to see Ramse, Cole, Max and Jones chill and share stories before he went back in to the machine. It gave us a chance to really connect with these characters and get to know them outside of the whole “oh my god, everyone is dead” thing. I found it a bit odd that Max was welcomed into the group with no fuss at all. She had been living with West VII for the majority of her life and to just invite her into an intimate tradition like that seemed off. Regardless of how much history you have with someone, if they were once your enemy you should tread with caution.
The scene with Ramse and Jones was some of the best drama yet and it was performed brilliantly by Acevedo and Sukowa. We learned that Cole was far from the first to enter the machine and that past travelers met their failure with horribly gruesome death. Splintering obviously has an effect on the human body, evidenced by Coles coughing and buckling over in pain, and with the reveal that the virus originated from a human (glad to see that the virus wasn’t contained in a silly little vial, Deadly plague Corpse for the win!) has me thinking that Cole is the original carrier of the virus. But I’ll get to that part in a second.
The confrontation between Cole, Railly and the 12 Monkeys was full of tension and further cemented the fact that the Pallid Man (Tom Noonan) isn’t messing around. The way he just pricked off Cole’s nails so nonchalantly was brutal and shocking. I wasn’t expecting a full shot of the torture, but it really worked to solidify the 12 Monkeys as a true threat. The way PM manipulated Jennifer and Cole was rather impressive and made the entire sequence a highlight of the series so far. Plus massive columns of fire are epic.
Now onto my crazy fan theories and mind numbing questions! Ever since we were first introduced to Jennifer Goines she has been going on about the voices in her head. In The Night Room she claims that only Cole can command all of the voices attention at once. This leads me to believe that at some point Jennifer has experienced multiple timelines. With Cole being a traveler he somehow shares a connection with Goines that she can relate to. If this is the case than the whole time travel aspect of the show is about to get a lot more fun, and confusing. With Cole ending up in a lab conquered by the West VIII it wouldn’t be out of the realm of possibility that we have already seen our first alternate timeline.
Another interesting question The Night Room raises is, who is behind the Army of the 12 Monkeys? The Pallid Man mentions “The Witness”, does this mean that someone who has lived through the apocalypse is behind the 12 monkeys attempts at recreating it? That would jive with my throwaway theory from last week. The one that would see Deacon (Todd Stashwick) figuring out the machine and going back in time to ensure that he experiences the same rise to power. This theory would also share a plot element from the original film. The fact that they sent someone back in time was the trigger of the events leading to the population’s extinction. Having already shown that time loops are unavoidable, this all may be leading to a massive one revolving around the plague.
The final point of intrigue from the episode spawns from the moment Cole gets close to the Deadly Plague Corpse (It’s capitalized because it was THAT cool). His reaction is reminiscent of when he was in proximity with his past self. Having the carrier corpse actually be Cole from the future would tie all of these (now seemingly not so) crazy theories together. His constant back and forth in time has created some sort of virus in his system which evolves into the apocalypse plague.
With all of that being said, the show is being written by people that are presumably smarter than me and I could be way off base. It is a ton of fun to speculate though!
Overall I give this episode a 9/10