The Night Room reveals secrets on 12 Monkeys
Cole has been searching for The Night Room for the whole series, and now he’s found it. Strangely, Cole still can’t change anything and he’s stuck with his future even after he saves everybody, destroys everything, and wrecks the Night Room. The drama is still there though, and this episode has more tension than all the previous episodes combined.
Emily Hampshire as Jennifer pretty much carries this episode. There’s no exposition about her character this time around, because she’s just there to be crazy and that’s it, which works well. Her dialogue and her character are on high. Tom Noonan is also back to guest-star. Cole’s interrogation scene is a highlight of this episode, and Noonan does a great job as the threatening villain.
After Cole is sent back to destroy the Night Room, his pals in the future wonder why they haven’t disappeared. This is another one of those confusing time travel moments 12 Monkeys seems to have more of every week. I’m not even going to get into any time travel discussion, but needless to say, this show is head-scratching. According to some, this is awesome. According to others, this is bad writing. According to me, it’s a balancing act, and you need a little drama or action with your time travel.
After wrecking the Night Room, Cole doesn’t return to an idyllic future, but one where West VII has taken over the time lab, like they tried to do last episode. Apparently, his future time is much different than the one he remembers. He can remember the previous timeline, which is sorta confusing, but the new one is now run by West VII. The time machine is still there, but all the scientists are gone and the project looks defunct.
There’s not much time for interesting drama between Cole and Cassie. However, Amanda Schull is back and given plenty of screentime, which is good. She puts on her surprised face when she learns Cole gunned down her boyfriend Henri back in Haiti, as seen in episode 3. Overall, 12 Monkeys has added previous continuity references to its time travel premise and overall storyline, which makes things unreachable for new viewers. This is why half the folks reading this review won’t know what the heck I’m talking about.
Overall, I liked this episode a lot, but it’s not reaching new viewers. It is heavy in 12 Monkeys continuity and time travel elements. I think the surprise moments goes to Ramsey, played by Kirk Acevedo. He confronts the German doctor in change of the project and learns about some past “victims” of the time travel machine. This is a great scene and he plays it pretty well. I think I’ve learned by now that this series is pure sci-fi and I should maybe stop complaining about the dense time travel elements or the continuity. In some ways, I like how everything flows together and links from one episode to the next. It’s a shame this series doesn’t get more credit, because Amanda Schull and Aaron Stanford are doing their best work.
SECRETS OF THE NIGHT ROOM:
1. It was Cole’s body in the containment jar kept in The Night Room. This is why Cole starts having pain, because he’s around another version of himself. This pain is similar to one Cole experienced in previous episodes when he’s near another version of himself.
2. The virus is apparently “hundreds of years old” according to the Tall Man. It may have been sent back to the past from Cole’s future, possibly by the scientists who are trying to prevent the apocalypse.
3. Cole is responsible for the apocalypse. It could be that Cole is a carrier for the virus and has been infecting people since coming back to the past. Maybe other trips by Cole have done more damage.
4. Who is The Witness? Apparently, he is The Tall Man’s boss and has helped the army of the 12 Monkeys so far. He was mentioned in this episode as the inspiration for their quest.
5. Jones the scientist seems to have an obsession with the year 1987. This year was mentioned previously, and the scientists have not had enough power to jump there yet.