12 Monkeys – Episode #2
Episode 2 of the Second Season picks up where the opener left off, playing around with the new old characters they’ve developed. Cassie is in the same place where Cole was last season, pretty much a cold-hearted person who is willing to go to great lengths to succeed at the mission. And Cole has developed a heart, like the Tin Man or something. Like the cowardly lion, Jennifer develops courage as fast as she loses it, and weeps through most of the episode, failing to deliver any zingers. Too bad. But anyway, there’s other stuff to keep your attention.
So you’ve got your Wizard of Oz and there’s weird references to The Shining too, as Cole encounters room 607, like it’s “connected to time in some way”, just like Room 237 in Kubrick’s classic. Jennifer also makes reference to the room, and she calls it primary. I really didn’t get this part. What does that mean? The title of this episode is “Primary” to go along with that question, which might point to the uniqueness that Jennifer is searching for. I think Cole’s actions reference the episode title too.
Cole explains his choice to save Cassie in a great monologue. He remembers when he was ordered to kill and it made no difference, instead the only good thing he did was saving Cassie. He gives her a picture of them together in 1944 and she seems to have an emotional reaction, which may mean that she is still really confused about what is going on. She doesn’t know what the picture means or what is going on after all, but she does know Cole cares about her and she seems embarrassed about her confusing situation. What will she do? She may become defensive or quiet but hopefully she’ll snap out of her angry shut-up-kill-that-guy moodswing.
Overall, these first two episodes show good consistency. I would say Season One was more all over the place, but the acting, tone and drama is more even this season and of higher quality, I think. I forgot to mention Kirk Acevedo’s monologue in this episode, and he sneaks in some good acting of his own, which has a bite of maliciousness not seen in the other characters. I think this is a good contrast that works to differentiate them. I enjoyed the first two episodes and they seem to be setting something up, so it’ll be interesting to see if that pays off. The series is striving to be drop in deeper themes, like little metaphors or references dropped in there to build themes like duplicity, purpose, and love.