12 Monkeys: "Fatherland" is all broken hearts and bad life choices leading up to the finale

The fourth from last episode (S0210) sets up for the finale, and features Cassie Not Getting It ever, Ramse needing to spend time in the corner, Cole finally getting mad, Deacon catching feels, and Olivia making some big decisions. It's BIG, you guys, and there's still three episodes left! Spoilers ahead...


Seriously, everything is going south SO FAST this week, it's just one rolling cascade of sorrows across the board. The feels never let up.

The red storms are coming for them; Jones thinks they have about five days. There's power for more than one job, but only time for one, and Cole wants it to be the 1957 one so that he can stop the storms from happening and buy them time for revenge later. Cassie and Ramse want it to be the 1961 one, so they can just kill the Witness and stop the paradoxification from ever starting at all. Jones rules on the side of a hopeful mission--Cole's--but Cassie is convinced that in five days when the Facility is vaporized by the storms, it won't matter if they're on a year-long mission, their tethers will break and it'll all be over. Jones asks if they're with Cole, and Cassie doesn't say yes--there's so much hope on Cole's face, and she shakes her head no, but before she says it, Ramse says they are.

Cassie didn't get that there was more riding on "are you with Mr Cole?" than just literally if she was in on this mission. She didn't look at his expression just then. Heartbreak number one, right there.

Cassie is ticked at Ramse but ready to give in when he goes behind Cole's and Jones's back and gets Adler to send them to '61 instead of '57--poking at the sore spot Adler's been nursing about his son being still gone and feeding his anger, because Ramse is the effing worst right now. Heartbreak two.

But what will they do about Cole? 

This is meant to be the 1957 year-long mission to save the last Primary, the one that punches the biggest hole in time and allows all the other holes to exist, and since missions are in real-time, that means they'll all be absent from the Facility for a full year. Cassie is in her room and Deacon comes to say goodbye, and he does it by telling her that he remembers her from the news when he was a kid. That she was literally the only thing that kept him moving forward as the world went to crap. He almost confessed his life-long love--and she goes "It was just one night", shooting him right in the heart. 

Deacon: "...You came to me."

Cassie: "Because we were trapped out there! Surrounded by Scavs, there was a hole in my respirator..."

Deacon: "Ah...Well, one thing's for sure. You finally fit in around here."

Ouch, Cass. Like--she was reading it as someone getting too feelsy about a one night stand, but he was trying to tell her that he's been in love with her forever. She didn't just crush whatever hope he had of being pretty Scav royalty together, she crushed literally all the hope he's ever had. And she made it very clear that she's not the caring, hopeful person that he loved from TV his whole life--and that's his fault, just for helping her survive. Cassie didn't get that, too.

In an episode full of betrayals in all directions, that one hurts maybe the most, and that's unexpected. Todd Stashwick and the writers have done such a good job with Deacon. Also with hammering home the second-half-of-the-season theme of losing and keeping hope, without beating us over the head with it.

So! They splinter off on their mission, and the first thing they do is go to their fav temporal hangout, the Emmerson bar, where there's even less light bulbs than ever. The 60s are very grey and dim. The three have a drink, like everything is fine. Cole apologises for being such a hardass and says he appreciates them being there with him, that he can't do this alone. They laugh about some moonshine rotgut made of prunes in the Scav camps. And then they stab him in the back by drugging and robbing him. If I could swear in these reviews, there'd be so many curse words. The outrage is real here.

In 2044, Jones figures out that they're in the wrong place and has Adler arrested, and he's so mad. He just wanted Jones to follow through on her promises of actually fixing things and getting his son back. Jones is stricken. More betrayal. There must be betrayal-germs in the water, they've all caught it.

Cole is alone and without money or a passport. But there's Agent Gale! Everyone's favorite blunt-talking FBI guy! Gale is great and he shows up when he calls, is the friend Cole needs, and agrees to help him. Their conversation is so wonderful, Cole getting to relax for a minute because he doesn't have to prove anything, Gale fully understanding what's going on without having to be told. So good.

He'd been following Vivian and lost her in Europe. The case lost him his wife and he never sees his grandkids because it's a heavy burden, knowing the world is going to end. But he knows that Cole is right and even 20 years later, he's on the case.

Cassie and Ramse, looking gorgeous (like, seriously, did they pick the time periods our pretty cast would look best in or what?) track down Kirschner in the opera in Berlin. He's been hiding from war crimes by changing his name and living like a block from the Berlin Wall, so it couldn't have been that hard. We know this, because the same time they spot him, so does Mossad! They want him for his crimes in the death camps, and they're not going to let two Americans get in the way, so they take all of them, and interrogate Cassie and Ramse while their heavy chokes Kirschner.

This time, Cassie gets beat up, too, and Ramse, despite not liking her, isn't having it. It's good to see he's not totally rotten and still looks out for his own. Cassie's wearing white and it's super rude to make her bleed, but they want to know what C&R want, and they're not messing around. They tell Mossad they just need information on Titan and the Witness, they don't care what Mossad does with him after. In Germany and looking for them, Cole sees the report from whenMossad called it in to ask about what Cassie and Rmase were talking about--it's the CIA report of their report to home office, the one Team Splinter saw redacted from the Keeper! Unredacted, because it's still new! It only existed because they were there, asking the questions they had followed the report there to ask!


Cole busts in and saves them, but he's so pissed he can't even enjoy how nice everyone looks, and he tells them it's all a dead end they need to leave before it's too late to get back on track. Angry Cole is a thing to behold. For a second, it looks like Cassie is going to accept that Cole actually does know what he's talking about, and he'll get to be right for a minute...but the Cassie goes off the rails and attacks Kirschner herself and finds his Witness Indoctrination Necklace. The clue was a red herring, but the doctor actually did know what they were looking for! Did the Witness set this up, too?

He tells them that he was contacted when he was still in school by the Witness, and told that he needed to keep up his eugenics work no matter what, even though there was a War coming and he'd wind up doing terrible things in the camps. He did. And his reseach led to something. If they let him live--this horrible Nazi war criminal--he'll show them where all his research is and what he's created.

Tough choice.

Also tough, his lab is on the other side of the newly-minted Berlin Wall.

They have to sprint across the rubbly no mans land and get to the still incomplete barrier on the other side, what's basically just a plywood wall. Gale shows them where and how, because he's smart and awesome and good at his job. Ramse and Cole argue about who's going to go first and breach the wall, and Gale calls them out on their "dick swinging" and it's the best thing ever, because he's such an annoyed dad about it. And they really need calling out. This is what happens when kids raise themselves--they never learn how to be adults right.

Ramse gets across by dodging the searchlights and getting the wall open. Cassie gets across (thankfully no longer in glowing white). Kirschner almost gets over--and then crashes into the loudest things in the place and there's no more sneaking and all shooting. But, like, couldn't they have just gone across legally if he had his lab on the other side of the Wall anyway? At least some of them? Anyway, there's a shoot out, and Gale tells Cole "sometimes you've got to go it alone", which sounds prophetic this close to the finale, and draws fire so Cole can get through.

That just makes Cole more mad at Ramse and his stupid plan that got Cole's only non-scav-related friend killed.

But they're through, and they get to the lab, where everything is a terrible revelation. His research is a child he created from the data he gathered from Vivian--she's the product of his research in the future, who allowed his research to happen to begin with in the past, and she raised the woman who later raises her: Olivia! Olivia is the first Messenger, technically! Also, she's apparently too strong or otherwise hard to contain, and he's been raising her in a box because "control by confinement" and is a terrilble science-dad.

Baby-Liv says that Mother promised Father would say goodbye before he left; was he going to abandon the whole thing when the Wall closed everyone down? What would have happened to Olivia in her little pink box of a room?

Also in the lab: the Word of the Witness, not as old as it looked before, including that missing corner, where it records actual real-world coordinates for Titan! Everyone totally looks at their own names on the Word, and instead of letting Cole memorize it with his canon really good memory, everyone goes selfish and refuses to work together.

Cassie gets snatched back when Jones manages to break through Adler's stalling encryption, so Cole tells Ramse that he needs help in this last part of the job: it's basically a last chance, and this time it's Ramse who Doesn't Get It. Cole wants to get Olivia from the Monkeys and Vivian who are shooting the place up to save her and remove her from the lab, at least removing that issue (though I don't think he realizes it's Olivia, only that she's important and it's a blow they can land), but Ramse is fixated on the map. He tries to steal it and only gets the missing corner, fulfilling fate and pissing Cole off once and for all, because he's getting all short at and Ramse isn't helping, and Vivian gets the kid away with little trouble.

And then it all falls down even more.

In 2044, Cole has Cassie and Ramse arrested and locked up. Jones is pissed that they've wasted four of the five days they had, and doesn't give two bad words about the corner of the Word that Ramse has. There's no time left to do anything about it anyway. Cassie proves she Doesn't Get It again:

Cassie: "I'm sorry I lied to you, but we--"

Cole: "There is no we. Not anymore."

That is especially hurtful when we remember that way early on in Season One, when they first bonded and agreed to work together, Cassie goes "We?" and he verifies "We." She thought it was the lying she needed to apologize for. She honestly thought that Cole wouldn't be this mad, that he wouldn't take outright backstabbing as the betrayal it was--she was taking his kindness and self-control for granted, but now he's been pushed too far and she doesn't understand why.

What the eff, Cassie.

See what happens when people don't talk to each other and make their stances clear?

Hopefully, that means that whatever time she has locked up before everything goes to pot in the three-part finale will include her crying it out and realizing how wrong she's been, and how bad of an influence Ramse has been on her in her regenge-compromised state, and how bad of a misuse she just put Cole to. Because Cole really does need her--she's literally his reason for even doing any of this. And everything in the story works better when they're a team, not at odds...like they've been the majority of this season. Like, they finally figured out how to make actual change and headway in the actual, adjusted mission, and she and Ramse have been so angry that they've been blocking it and messing it up and fighting in the wrong direction for weeks, walking all over Cole's good faith, and she needs to see that on her own since she didn't hear it when anyone tried to tell her. All this is their fault, and Ramse needs to see it for himself, too. 

This isn't to say that she's not understandable--she is, and she's broken and she knows it--but this is too far by a long shot, and she really needs to realize how and why herself. Taking advantage of your friends to enact revenge that results in everyone's death sentence is not justified, even when your feelings are.

And we're not even done yet!

Vivian told baby-Liv that she'd always be protected (by her big brother Pallid Man as well as everything else), that she had a purpose, that the Witness would always be with her. Adult-Liv, walking again on six inch heels because she's a bamf, goes to her mother's grave and says it was all lies, that she wonders what else she was told was a lie, and that she's done with all of it. She's not in the Witness's cycles anymore. When she says that, the rain pauses for a second, but she doesn't see that. What does it mean? Can the Witness actually watch over people like the god he's sort of portrayed by the true believers as? Creepy.

She leaves her Witness Indoctrination Necklace on their Vivian's headstone, and leaves. To go join up with Team Splinter when Cole goes back to 2016 and teams up with Jennifer next ep? Or is that flash from the ad Other Cole from the doorway last ep? Who knows! But Olivia switching sides and making peace to stop their common enemy would be such good story.

And up on the roof, days after being crushed, Deacon is watching the storms roll in from a drunken stupor, and doesn't look too upset about the idea of being vaporized.

Time's up.

It was great seeing Cole angry, finally. He's been so wrapped up in his own love and guilt knots that he's been taking a lot of abuse because he felt like he deserved it and it was justified, but all it did was make Cassie think that he wouldn't stand up to her when she went over his head on the Mission and hijacked it all. Missteps on both sides: Cole didn't step in firmly enough because he's not that sort of guy and didn't think he needed to, and Cassie didn't take into account how much her actions constituted flat out betrayal of trust. That was too far, even when they've already been sneaking around and messing stuff up behind Cole's back, and it was great that he got properly mad--these are the two people that he'd been trusting since the beginning of this season would work out their problems and be there when he needed them, and they were so not there that he wasn't even where he needed them: they took over the whole splinter and marooned him in the wrong time to go after their own vendettas. And now everything is lost.

Or at least it looks that way. There's still three episodes left! We've been advised to bring tissues and perhaps a tranquilizer for those eps.

This is the absolute worst time for the team to fall apart, so of course this is when it does. Dang dark moment of the soul. If the advice about going it alone actually is prophetic, I feel like Cole is going to have to bounce back through the season and fix things or tweak them so that he can mitigate or remove the bad choices everyone has made and build the possibility of not dying from scratch, after everyone has already died. Because what else can he do at this point? They've taken away all their wiggle room with all this regenge-first stuff. Everyone has taken their own point of view as gospel for so long that they've all screwed everyone else entirely.

Is everyone as worried as I am about these idiots now?

More notes on 12 Monkeys 2.10 "Fatherland":

  • With the name "Fatherland", we knew there was gonna be Nazis, right? Even before the Germany clue?
  • Cassie almost gives on the Bad Plan, but Ramse sucks her back in by feeding her fear and anger.
  • The Scavs are jumping ship. Whitley says a whole bunch have gone AWOL again, but Deacon stays because of Cassie; will he lose his cred over this?
  • Who was that kid who walked out of and back into the storm? Baby-Deacon? Snatched from the rooftop to give him a warning earlier on? Does time like people to be romantically devistated as well as it likes time travel?
  • Tethers are real-time; that's a nice note.
  • Damn, but Deacon with the feels is too much. Too precious and too tragic. I will never be over that.
  • Cole looks at that picture again--the one of him and Cassie smiling in 1944 that is such a LIE this season. He gets distracted by remembering Gale, but that's not why he picked up the picture, and it's so subtly sad.
  • Is Gale's specifically-mentioned granddaughter in 1961 someone we know? I hope so!
  • Can you imagine Cole sitting on a eight-or-so-hour cross-atlantic flight?? He's so ticked off and impatient. On the other hand, airplanes are cool and there's new food to try there. Hm.
  • Kirschner didn't seem to recognize any of them as the Witness, so does that mean that none of our Fav Three are, or that he never actually saw the Witness's face / heard his voices?
  • So Matt Frewer is one of several shared actors with Orphan Black, and tonally and subject-ly, it would easy to make sense of a shared time line using those shared actors as anchors. I mean, who WOULDN'T want that crossover?
  • I'm a little disappointed that Gale wasn't Pallid Man's dad; having a good dad would have given a nice duality to him, and Gale and Vivian having a doomed spy-era love story would have been cool. They could sell radio plays or spin-off novels like Doctor Who does.
  • We're totally going to see Gale again, because when Cole was like "we just met the one time" Gale was not very good at his River Song role of maintaining ignorance of spoilers. Yay, more Gale!
  • Vivian's name isn't even on her own headstone. She's so much the faceless soldier of the Army that she doesn't even get independence in death? Poor Vivo.
  • You can watch 12 Monkeys live on Monday nights at 9pm Eastern on Syfy, and join us for livetweeting with the cast and crew! You can also watch it on Syfy.com, iTunes, Amazon, and Google Play, and catch the first season exclusively on Hulu! And see our aftershow here! Come talk to us and ask questions in the hour after next week's ep.

    By Samantha Holloway

    About the author

    Samantha is a freelance writer, editor and book and TV reviewer. She's currently in gradschool and working on her first novel, and one day she'll rule to world. Or marry her TV. Whichever comes first. Follow! twitter.com/pirategirljack.

    More From Samantha Holloway

    "He's not an 'other man', he's a weirdo. This is about partnership." - Chloe
    Read More
    "I'm a monster!" - Lucifer
    Read More
    "My brain, his brawn, your everything else?" - Rich
    Read More
    On: Tuesday, June 21, 2016
    Darrell said:
    I love it when you talk monkeys, Samantha! I hope you can do the Jennifer Goines laugh, too. Nice job, as always!
    On: Friday, June 24, 2016
    Samantha Holloway said:
    Darrell! I'm not very good at impressions, but if there's one I'd want to do, it'd be her! Thank you for commenting! May we have many more seasons for me to ramble too long about!

    Email (Will not be used):


    characters left

    Featured Articles

    Popular Today


    Recent Comments

    "Mysterion Rises" with The Cute Lord Cthulhu - South Park review
    Actually, the birthing of Kenny in "Cartman Joins NAMBLA" doesn't necessarily conflict with the circumstances of Kenny's reincarnation...
    Alien Encounters, "The Message": a hard to find little show that's worth the search
    Mind Reading Technologies and Tongues Governments from around the world have been using mind reading technologies that can read...
    Dog The Bounty Hunter, "And Baby Makes Three": revisiting an old favorite
    i do like your show i wish can be your fan club i want all of your show on dvd please
    Boardwalk Empire, "Two Boats and a Lifeguard": daddy issues
    Are you looking for a partner for the relationship or for fun? Then you came to the right place. We are providing you the best dating...
    The Boonies: National Geographic's off the grid reality exploit
    I can verify Bear Claw. Good man. I cant vouch for the other participants. It is to bad society does suck so bad that this type...
    The Boonies: National Geographic's off the grid reality exploit
    Lake Michigan is not an ocean. Has anyone seen my white dog? Lost him while hiking in Arkansas
    The Boonies: National Geographic's off the grid reality exploit
    I too also as well live on the island, I can attest that Dan lives in the ocean as he has for hundreds of decades. We locals call...
    Parks and Recreation: why is everyone so mean to Jerry?
    It's funny because its so not funny.
    The Boonies: National Geographic's off the grid reality exploit
    I too live on the island and ISLANDER does not know what they are talking about. Dan lives out in the middle of the island with...
    The Boonies: National Geographic's off the grid reality exploit
    this is not real i know that goat and it is not "doc's" its my neighbors goat. and by the way i live on the very top of that mountain...