12 Monkeys: Is it too late to stop the end of everything in "Resurrection"?

Okay, let's answer the question of the title right off: It's not too late, but MAN did they cut it close! There's at least three episodes whole episodes happening here, and that almost makes it luxuriantly slow, since most of these episodes are like five episodes of a lesser show! There's so many emotions here, and Kevin Tancharoen directs it all beautifully. SO MANY SPOILERS ahead for 12 Monkeys (S0211) "Resurrection".

2.11 Resurrection

Season 2 grand finale part 1! And man was it grand. It's like an opera up in the Splinter Facility, and a particularly strange and awesome one.

The storms have maybe six hours before they hit fully, and with things already being destroyed by creepy red lightning and high winds, that's probably a bit generous of a guess. It's already in danger of messing everything up before they can do anything about it, because with the temporal distortion right there, it'll take at least five of those hours to figure out the math to send anyone anywhere.

Jones has Lasky working on Cole's 1957 trip, and he's not loving the mission. But since Adler is locked up and can't be trusted to hit the right coordinates, he's got to do it.

Ramse hasn't given up on his plan yet, and once again, he manipulates everyone into going along with it. Some mysterious soldier takes out the guards and gets Adler and Cassie out, and he explains that there's another way. Adler has tracked those Titan coordinates to Colorado, and he thinks that they can use the Machine to get there. As Ramse says, "time travel, without the time". So, like, travel. They want to use it as teleportation! How neat is that!

But to do this, they need to get the controls away from Team Jones. 

The damage being done to the Facility results in injuries; they need Cassie's skills. It's great seeing her get to be a doctor, and she uses it a lot this week, what with everything going sideways everywhere. While she's working on one of the patients, Cole wants to help her, but she shoots that down--and then defrosts. She's the only one of Team Ramse worried about Cole, and this is like a last ditch attempt at saving him, even though she literally just told him not to save her, thanks, she'll take her chances on her own. She wants him to come with her, tells him there's another way--

And gives away the mission just in time to get cuffed to a table so Cole can go deal with it.

There's a quick shoot out in the hall, where neither Cole nor Ramse can shoot the other--which has got to be either a lesson waiting to be learned, since Ramse did shoot Cole just a few weeks ago (days ago for them?) and it looks like Ramse will need to get shot sooner or later, or it's a warning of things to come. Ramse says they're on opposite sides of this conflict, and they'll never be on the same side, but they confirm that they love each other and then he wishes Cole luck as he goes off to smash Cole's whole plan.

Cole is so full of love, you guys. That love is gonna save everyone, someday. Whoever of everyone is left, anyway.

So Cole goes to the only person he can: Deacon. Who is drunk, and singing that song from Breakfast Club. Naked. He's got a lot of scars and a nice tush, and he's really messed up. But he's all Cole's got, so he appeals to him the way dudes do, by vaguely insulting him, getting his mind away from the lady, and reminding him he's a survivor. It was a great scene, from Cole's total WTF face and carefully keeping his eyes away from all the "new sides" we're seeing of Deacon, to Deacon asking if Cole wants to "swordfight" and saying he "couldn't take me anyway". From Cole giving his hero speech to Deacon admitting that Cole reminds him of his baby brother. All of this with a bottle of whiskey in one hand and huge knife in the other. What was he about to do before Cole showed up and gave him something better to be a part of?

Let's pause for a moment. Cole has just faced off with Ramse and Ramse accused him of not understanding because he never had a family, to which he responded that he thought Ramse was his family. Now here he is with the guy who was once his mentor and almost his murderer, who he then almost murdered, saying that he's like this guy's dead brother. It's been there all season that Cole is what holds this group together, but it sort of came into focus here in the middle of the episode: he's Ramse's brother, he's Deacon's brother, he's Cassie's love, he's Jennifer's torch and best friend, he's Jones's almost-son. This is a family, and for the first time in ages, everyone seems to get that, and understand that they're hurting each other, and feel regret for it.

Maybe being locked up in their rooms for a bit actually did help them clarify their thoughts.

So Deacon is on board! They're about to go secure the core, since Jones has the control room locked down, when Ramse gets there first, and Cole delivers a perfect we've-taken-too-long "shit" right before commercial. So perfect. These guys are so good at their lines. Whitley turns out to be Ramse's man on the inside and just lets them waltz into the control room! There's a scuffle when Cole tries to shoot Adler to stop this crazy, and Cassie tackles him so the bullet goes into Adler's leg instead of his chest or face. And then Cassie hands him his butt because she's freaked out, you can see it all over her face, and he's not fighting back and barely defending himself. But Cole's done messing around. He tells her that she's always going to be afraid, that killing the Witness won't stop that, because it's herself she's afraid of. "Because you let him in." The look on her face--she's both deeply wounded by that, and sort of vindicated, like she's been waiting for someone to say it so she doesn't have to carry it alone anymore. But she doesn't shoot Cole when she has the chance, and she doesn't stop him from leaving.

Through this whole ep, she was sort of panicking, and trying to run triage on everything at the same time. She didn't want to hurt Cole more than she already had, but they were taking opposite stances and she was desperate. And here, where they finally have their faceoff--scav-style, of course--he says exactly what needs saying, angry but not unduly mean, and she's hurt by it but also accepts it as truth. 

Ugh, this show is amazing. There's so much heart here.

With Ramse in control of the core and the control room, Cole has to get backup--the Daughters! Jennifer has been not leading her camp away, and the Daughters are panicking, and the Emmisary sends Cole in to talk to her as soon as he arrives in his giant military hummer-thing. Jennifer is already armed and already knows what's up, and she also knows that she never can say no to him. Today is September 23rd, 2044, and she knows what she needs to do. She asks him if he's ready to sacrifice someone he loves for the cause, and he says he is, but this is Cole we're talking about, in a mission where not sacrificing people is the only thing that has ever worked, so that's something I think we'll have to work on to make true. Anyway, once he says so, they head out.

Deacon takes out the guards on the roof, including Whitley, and has ol' Whits tie up the ropes that let the Daughters scale the walls. Jennifer inspects Deacon's face, to which he looks weirded out but not particularly opposed and asks "see anything you like, granny?" and she goes "not yet" and just like that, another ship has sailed on this show that is basically made of ships that sail themselves.

And also just like that, they've got the control room back, because you can't stop an army of ninja-ladies when they want the space you're in. This show doesn't mess around with all that time that setting things up can take, and there isn't time, anyway; their six hours are almost up.

Jennifer strolls in and says hello to her "old friend" the Machine. If that's not a loaded statement, then nothing is! Almost everything she has said ever is loaded, but particularly this ep, when she has no more effs to give about not spoiling people to future events. We could write papers about her cryptic spoiler-bombs.

Deacon comes back in, too, still singing, and tells Cassie that this was super-personal; he couldn't pass up the chance to piss all over her and Ramse's plan. Ramse gets ticked at that, and tells "Teddy" to give it a rest, to which Deacon snaps and pulls his very large gun to shoot him, roaring that his name is Deacon--there's another gun-scuffle--

And Mother Jennifer gets shot in the stomach.

Hannah flips out and gouges at Deacon's face, right where Jennifer was inspecting. She was looking for whatever scar he just got, and maybe prefers him with it. Cassie goes to help Jennifer, and gets to be a doctor for the third time this episode. But Jennifer has to talk to Cole. The Emmisary says that if Mother dies, everyone dies, and she knows that's true; even she can't stop that. So Cole has to go get a version of her who needs Daughters, because these Daughters need a Mother. And Cole, quick on the timey-wimey uptake again, knows exactly what to do: send him back to the same coordinates as his last exit from 2016, where he knows Jennifer will be, and where the coordinates don't need to be mega-math'ed because they've already been set!

He goes back--this is the Cole that knocked on the door at the end of Hyena! He tells her that he doesn't have time to explain, but she's still never said no to anything he's ever asked of her, so she literally leaps blindly to follow him back to the future!

This is SO BIG, you guys.

It's also flipping amazing, because she's the only one who has ever enjoyed the trip! She ws so excited! But this is where things get really serious. The Daughters know her for who she is and bow down to her: this is the resurrection they have been waiting for, their mother all fresh and young and new! They take her to see her older self, and though they can't get too close because of the threat of paradox--and a Primary paradox at that--they have one of the most touching talks on the show. Mother Jen says that she has a choice now: take everyone far away and hope Cole can save them, or get active and take everyone to Titan. 

Young Jen asks what she did when she was her, and for the first time, Mother Jen answers directly. Really, it's the first time anyone has answered a question like that directly, and I've been waiting for it since Cassie didn't warn Cole about Chechnya all the way back in the middle of last season! She says when it was her time, she wasn't brave enough to risk everyone on getting the Witness, but she thinks that this version of her can do it. She says she loves her, and that she'll need to remember that. And then she has the best last words ever: "Okay, I'm dying now."

Young Jen goes and takes control of her Daughters, so soon after losing all her Hyenas, and with Hannah backing her, they comply. She tells Cole to get back to 1957. She tells Cassie and Ramse that they're going overland: she, being Primary, can navigate the temporal storms! Everyone gets moving, finally in an orderly fashion. All they needed all along was Jennifer to solve the conflict for them!

Cole hugs Jones when she thanks him for believing in her, and warns him that if he fails, there's no way to get him back because the time machine won't exist anymore in a few minutes. Cole looks like a good hugger, and Jones looks like no one has hugged her in decades, and so I have declared that they both need many, many more hugs.

Cassie looks more and more stricken the further they get from the Facility, and Ramse stops the car and lets her out without either of them having to say anything--he knows, in the end, that she'd always choose Cole, his face says, because he would have too. And by letting her do her dramatic love-story run back to him, maybe he is choosing Cole; if anyone knows what losing Cassie for all time would cost Cole, it'd be Ramse, who lived through two months of him pining over her at the beginning of the season. She saves Cole's soul, and Ramse has always been concerned about Cole keeping that soul intact. In fact, it looks like Ramse almost ran back himself, but by then the place was dissolving and Cole was already gone.

So Cassie arrives only seconds after Cole flashes out, and Jones hurries to send her after.

The storm hits. Lasky gets vaporized. Hannah and Jones get separated by a slice of the storm that infiltrates the hall, and she makes Hannah leave, even though she's already lost one mother (and sort of gained a sister?) today, and she barely makes it out. Jones goes back to the chair, the last thing in the room to get taken over, and then she, too, gets vaporized, in a beautifully done scene that looks like a captain going down with her ship.

And then, in 1957, Cole is drifting around the Emmerson, trying to power through having lost everything and everyone, when Cassie arrives and tells him that she doesn't want to be afraid anymore.

That's where the episode cuts, but it was SO BIG a moment: in that one line, she admitted that she's been afraid, which she's been sort of denying and acting like it isn't true all this time. She tells him she's on his side, that she's back on the Mission. She also tells him that maybe, just maybe, she wants to be with him the way he wants to be with her--because they both know that she turned him down a few eps ago in Lullaby because of fear, too. And the very fact that she walked off to go with Ramse without saying a word, goodby or otherwise, but that she couldn't follow through because she couldn't leave him alone, and made a desperate last splinter back in time where they'll probably be stranded together but not alone, says so much more. 2017 Cassie said she didn't want to die alone; maybe that's a constant of her personality, and here, she won't have to. And neither will he.

The whole episode was like a tornado, sweeping everyone along, and yet it somehow had plenty of space for all these emotional moments, for all this love--thwarted or pure, familial or romantic, new or old. Everyone loves everyone, and it was so clear and so important that that's where it's all coming from. This is the start of the big finale, and we're skipping next week so it doesn't get lost on Fourth of July evening, but it was a very powerful note to end on to carry us through. It was a reprise of the theme since the beginning, reminding us that it still holds: Love is what's stronger than Fate. 

This episode is a triumph. So much of the plot came together, and shifted just enough that it all comes into focus. And now we have an organized force working in two different time frames to get things done. Now we have Cole and Cassie finally back on the original team with just the two of them against the world. Now we have Jennifer paralleling Cassie; at some point, after learning a lot about 2044, she'll have to go back to 2016 and pick up her life where she left off, but where Cassie is supposed to go back and die, Jennifer is supposed to go back and pointedly NOT die. Maybe Jennifer sharing a similar story like that is what it takes to figure out how to make Cassie not die at the end of her 2044 days?

Jennifer's going to be the big wildcard in the series going forward. How much life will she have led in 2044 before she goes back, how much will she have learned? And she's already changed time--her time, anyway, if we can trust that Old Jen was telling the truth when she said she didn't go to Titan, and wasn't just telling her younger self what she needed to hear to get her to choose right anyway. If she's in a bigger Lullaby-loop, one spanning almost 30 years, rather than one day, maybe she really can change it each time, and then everything after will be fresh and new and in line with whatever it is that Time wants to have had happened-ing. AND, now, Jennifer has had the serum! When they get to where they can really alter time, it'll move around her, too, so she can weather it and remain herself!

PLUS: Jennifer and Deacon are on the same team now, Team find-the-Witness, and what adventures will that involve? Cole and Cassie are on a year-long mission, so maybe everyone else is, too, and has plenty of time to get across half the country and bond over terrible adventures. Whitley is with them; how will he handle losing Jones with the Facility, and will that help him bond with her daughter or will it make her hate him? Ramse is with them; will he finally be the good friend that Jennifer said he'd be when she sent him back to 1987? How will Hannah and the other Daughters like having a new Mother who is technically the same Mother, but now the same age as them, and lacking the experience and any knowledge of who they are? How will Jennifer like learning how to be the Mother from the people who she previously will have Mothered? And all of this while they go looking for the Witness and likely are walking into whatever trap he's set them, and discovering whatever Elliot Jones has been doing all this time!

And this isn't even the finale yet! There's still two more episodes! WHAT??

More notes on 12 Monkeys 2.11 "Resurrection":

  • Also in Colorado: the bunker Marker was going to force Cassie to. Possibly also where the Messenger Babies were raised? All the same place, or did they just take over the state before the end of the world?
  • Are we to assume that the masked soldier was Whitley all along, or is he another clue that hasn't sorted out yet?
  • We were trying, on Twitter, to decide how Deacon knows the Breakfast Club theme so well. His parents would have been 80s-movie age, so did he grow up with that DVD on loop? We know his dad was abusive and almost killed his mom, but was his mom a fan of John Hughs films?
  • The naked-Deacon scene just confirms to me that Deacon is half in love with Cole himself. Maybe in actual dude-love, maybe in please-fill-the-hole-in-my-heart-left-by-losing-my-brother, maybe both.
  • BTW, it was totally unfair for Ramse to say Cole couldn't understand because he's never had a family, never been a father. First, because Ramse had only been a father for like three and a half seconds, and so can't claim the whole experience of fatherhood so much as the emotional impact of finding out you are one. And second, because Cole has totally been acting as everyone's grumpy and caring dad all season while they all act like bickering children, so he's got something to build that bridge with.
  • Whitley is secretly so complex. He's team Ramse this ep, but he tells Ramse straight up that if anything happens to Jones, his new loyalties end. It's a quick moment, but so important for someone who has been the last to leave her side since the beginning. (cough - also probably a little in love with her - cough) 
  • When we get to our own September 23rd, we should have a candle-lighting ceremony in memory of when Jennifer will have died. A pre-memorial. A pre-morial.
  • If Jennifer is one of Time's braincells, what must it feel like for both her and Time for that brain cell to move into another part of the brain? Did she like it so much because it didn't hurt because Primaries are built different? Or just because her reactions to things are always different from everyone else's?
  • Mother Jennifer saying that being shot and dying doesn't hurt as much as she thought it would is both a little funny and really sad--she's been carrying the memory of watching herself bleed out from a gunshot wound for almost 30 years; how often did she try to figure out what it would be like?
  • "Hello Egg. I'm Chicken." Maybe I'll start calling them Egg Jen and Chicken Jen, but mostly it made me think of crossing over with Orphan Black again, because of how Mrs S calls everyone she loves "chicken".
  • I hope this double-Jen scene is a turning point in how everyone handles spoilers; think how much actual change they could do if they started telling each other the things they know! But Danyi had the idea that one day, Cole is going to physically change time to save someone and wind up killing someone else he loves, so maybe loosening the spoiler rules there would be a bad idea...but good Story...
  • Jennifer gives a whole new meaning to practicing self-care and gentle self-love, doesn't she?
  • WHY CAN"T LASKY GET A BREAK. Cole had better save time and bring him back again. It can be a running gag--Lasky always dies--so long as he also literally always get saved. Don't be mean, show. 
  • The add next week shows Cassie and Cole looking like they're finally going to kiss and it makes my heart go all wobbly whenever I see it.
  • Hopefully their mission in 1957 also involves Cassie getting the space to breathe and process. A year long mission should have lots of downtime--and she hasn't had any downtime in ages, so she needs it. She needs to work through her trauma and grief, and how better than with someone who can hold her through bad nightmare nights and will fight back through the angry outbursts without getting cruel about it? Cassie needs it--and we need to see it. This show is generally very good about realistic mental health effects, and I really want to see her dealing with everything she's been not dealing with for almost a year, and maybe as many as almost three years for her.
  • 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!

    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.

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    5 Comments
    On: Tuesday, June 28, 2016
    Samantha Holloway said:
    I forgot about Jones HEADBUTTING RAMSE IN THE FACE like a soccer hooligan! Oh my gosh, how could I?? And I didn't talk about how Jennifer was litterally taking one for the team and "taking a bullet" to make sure Cole gets to be who he needs to be. And it establishes once anf for all that Cole DOES love Jennifer, just not the way she wants him to.
    On: Wednesday, June 29, 2016
    KMaggi3 said:
    Great write up, Samantha. Thank you. This has been the best episode by far! But at the very end, I SO wanted Cassie and Cole to run into each other's arms. You know they wanted to! And BRAVO to Emily Hampshire. She's the PERFECT Jennifer (both Egg and Chicken). Can't wait to see what happens. This show is so unpredictable. I feel like we're going to see Ramse's son again some day, don't you? (P.S. Love the Orphan Black reference, also one of my fav's!)
    On: Wednesday, June 29, 2016
    Darrell said:
    Cole should have grabbed Jennifer and twirled her around when she got off the Machine. I would have. Lots of stuff to ponder, Samantha. Top job again.
    On: Wednesday, June 29, 2016
    Samantha Holloway said:
    KMaggi3: I think I don't have favorites, so every ep is my fav when I'm looking at it, but OH MY GOSH there's so much goodness to chew on in this episode! I also wanted C&C Splinter Factory to at least hug, if not a full on run-into-the-arms! We saw that Cole is good at hugs when he hugged Jones. He should hug everyone. And YES, Emily Hampshire is so amazing. She's been playing increasing variations on the same person all year and she needs awards! Darrell: Thank you again! Jennifer coming through the machine was such a great moment! I love everything she does!
    On: Thursday, June 30, 2016
    Darrell said:
    I bet Jennifer knew that 12 Monkeys would get a third season.
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