Let's hear it for Ms. Emily Hampshire guys! 12 Monkeys Season 1 Episode 2 is all the proof we need that she was capable of handling Brad Pitt's role. Not just that, with a few subtle changes she's made it completely her own.
This installment felt very much like the second half of the pilot. It served to expand the show's universe and mythology by introducing Jennifer Goines and the Pallid Man (Tom Noonan). Both are key figures affecting Cole's future timeline and the decimation of mankind.
Until we learn otherwise, it's safe to assume this psychotic new villain is the leader of the Army of the Twelve Monkeys.
Though last week we opened in 2043, most of Cole's time was spent in 2015. Now I felt we got a chance to get to know the future folks better. In case you were wondering why Cassie didn't mention the Army of the 12 Monkeys in her "future" message... well she did! All it took was a little audio filtering to bring out those fuzzy words. Again, this is just damn good writing. I feel like Terry Matalas and Travis Fickett have dotted all their i's and crossed their t's.
Okay, so the team is now aware the 12 Monkeys are a threat, but didn't it seem a little too convenient the way Jones spotted Jennifer (and the monkey head) in the newspaper? I know I know, they only have 42 minutes to tell the story. I'm just sayin'.
It was cool to get a feel for the Cole/Ramse friendship; the two are more like brothers. Ramse says exactly what's on his mind. I like that. We also learned later on that the only reason he's involved is because Cole wants him there.
Ramse: My friend, you are not the same man since you got back, and you're bringing me down.
Cole: What are you talking about?
Ramse: Look I'm telling you dude, you're different.
Cole: No I'm not.
Ramse: Yeah you are. Listen, I get it. You're a little sad about being back, who wouldn't be? You got the food, you got the science, the girl.
Cole: It's not like that man.
Ramse: Just remember, you're not from there. You're from here.
Back in 2015, Cassie turned to ex-boyfriend Aaron for help. Though we haven't learned much about the guy, I'm betting he's got an important role to play. Is it possible he's one of the 12 Monkeys?
I don't think it's a coincidence that Jones mentioned the monkey symbol appeared in major cities and that this "guiding hand" infiltrated centers of power. Isn't Aaron a government mover and shaker? See where I'm going with this? I'm sure we'll get more answers soon.
I loved that Cole mentioned 1987 and seeing Leland Goines again. This means that trip is coming and I'm looking forward to seeing the two interact in the past. Interesting they don't have enough power to send Cole that far back, though.
I'm sending you to 2015. I want you to track down the patient in room 248. She's somehow connected to this organization. Find out who they are.Jones
Yeah, Cole heard 2015 and immediately thought of Dr. Railly. If that's not a sign he's got a thing for the good doctor, I don't know what is. Of course, Jones warns him about corrupting Cassie's timeline. You know, chaos theory's butterfly effect and all that. Thing is, meeting Goines and learning about the 12 Monkeys had already affected her timeline right? "I've learned enough about time to fear it" Jones warned Cole. This seemed to make sense to him, for about a minute.
Crazy that Cole ended up in 2006 North Korea right? This scene gave us a chance to see how Cole's team handles time travel on their end. The North Korea interrogation sequence turned out to be more important than I imagined. Wasn't it cool that Cassie used that newspaper clipping from 2006 to locate Cole? Brilliant!
When our time traveler finally arrived at the mental hospital, it didn't take him long to bump into Jennifer Goines. By the way, how creepy was that stop motion animated film (The Adventures of Mark Twain) playing in the rec room? Not exactly the kind of thing I'd play for disturbed patients, but it was a nice touch "tone-wise." Seriously, kids watched that thing?
Cole caught Jennifer's eye right away...
Cole: Goines, you're Leland's daughter.
Jennifer: Yes and no. I am a Goines. I was a daughter. Daddy's feeding the worms. Did you know Dad?
Cole: We met.
Jennifer: Sorry for your loss.
Yes Jennifer is absolutely wackadoo, but the truth is mixed in there with all the nonsense. "They're in here and they made me kill people. Good people who bought me lunch" she told Cole. Now we understand she was referring to the scientists murdered by the Pallid Man in front of her. Helix Season 1 gave us the "White Room," and now one of 12 Monkeys' mysteries is the "Night Room."
Jennifer told Cole the Army of the 12 Monkeys was looking for her father's "great and shadowy laboratory filled with evening stars." Since Helix's "White Room" turned out to be the Arctic itself, I'm wondering if this lab isn't a lab at all. It sounds like the "Night Room" might be outdoors. Still, Jennifer did say her father's teeny-tiny little secret is locked inside. Is it really the virus?
I'm assuming the traumatic event is what drove Jennifer mad. The Pallid Man obviously spared her for the information locked inside her head. I might have to go back and listen to this particular conversation again, it provides tons of clues we don't quite understand yet.
Poor Cassie arrived at NSA Jeremy's home to find her friend murdered and covered in flower petals. The show's big bad is one psychotic and ruthless mutha effer isn't he? He mentioned Cole too, and we learned their paths already crossed at some point. Cole left him a scar as a souvenir. Unfortunately, just like with Leland, this Cole hasn't experienced that meeting yet. Jones explained it as "time out of order."
Speaking of Cole, when Cassie checked him out of the mental institution he did try to push her away.
Cole: Look, the people who sent me back they're worried about your timeline.
Cassie: It's too late for that.
Cole: Your future could affect everything.
Cassie: I don't care about your paradox bullshit Cole. Shut up and listen to me; Jeremy is dead. Someone knows we got too close to the truth.
Cassie's mention of lavender helped Cole put two and two together. I think at that point he realized just how important Jennifer was and that she was telling the truth. Naturally, it's the Pallid Man that appeared to take Jennifer away in the end. Did you notice all the bad guys wore ski masks? Ten bucks one of those dudes was Aaron or another familiar face. What do you think?
I thought the mention that Cassie swiped Jennifer's file was clever. That's why Cole couldn't find it in 2043. See what I mean about good writing? We found out Jennifer confessed to the murders, and that "one got away." That person's the golden ticket!
When Jones cleared the room, you knew she meant business. I'm not sure what to think about her yet, but she's clearly keeping things to herself. I'm glad Cole and Jones came to an understanding. Like she said, they both want the same thing... or so we've been told so far.
Jennifer's clearly way too valuable to be killed, but the Pallid Man can certainly torture her. What did he give her to drink? Something to help jog her memory? What's with the guy in the gas mask?
What did you think of "Mentally Divergent"? Did you find it to be an even stronger episode than the pilot? Did Ms. Hampshire sell the crazy? What about the Pallid man, he's one bad dude right? You're up fellow 12 Monkeys fanatics, hit me with your wildest theories in the comments below. Let's have some fun!
Don't forget you can watch 12 Monkeys online via TV Fanatic at any time if you want to re-watch this episode or ever miss an installment.