12 Monkeys Round Table: Cracking A Few Eggs

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So much went down on 12 Monkeys Season 1 Episode 5 it's hard to believe this is only the fifth installment.

Not only did Cole and Cassie locate and explore the Night Room, but several new mysteries came to light. During the torture scene the Pallid Man mentioned the Witness and later Jennifer described the corpse in the vault as the Origin. Plus, let's not forget that ending.

What did our 12 Monkeys panelists think of this game-changing episode? Join TV Fanatic's Stacy Glanzman, Carissa Pavlica, Hank Otero and special guest Justin Gregory of the 12 Monkeys Podcast to discuss the episode.

12 Monkeys Round Table 1-27-15

How did you feel about the 2011 flashback and meeting Jennifer pre-crazy? What did she mean by, "Its happened before" when asked about the virus being stolen?

Stacy: It definitely made me curious to find out what happened during those four years that made her this crazy. Also the actress is doing a fantastic job with the role. The virus has been stolen before, but the question is, in what time line?

Carissa: I assumed she meant it had been stolen before. I didn't read much more into it. She seemed somewhat unstable even when she wasn't crazy, however, so I'm guessing whatever she saw along the way pushed her over the edge.

Justin: Ha. What do you mean “pre-crazy”... She still seemed pretty crazy to me when she dropped the, “brimstone, horsemen, crazy clowns” line to the other scientist. That coupled with her mention of it happening before definitely makes me think she either has visions of alternate timelines, has been visited by Cole prior to 2011 (and we haven't seen it yet) or maybe she just really is that crazy. Either way, I am loving Emily Hampshire's work portraying the character of Jennifer Goines.

Hank: I loved seeing a less coo coo for cocoa puffs Jennifer. You're right Justin she was still pretty damn nuts. Like Carissa I didn't think much about the statement at first, but after a few viewings I realized there's got to be more to it. Nothing on this show is unintentional. I've theorized she has visions of alternate timelines, but it's also possible she learned about the virus being stolen before from her father. We have to wait and see.

The Pallid Man mentioned the Witness during Cole's interrogation. Who do you think this person is; his boss or too obvious?

Stacy: It does seem obvious, but I don't have a better theory, so I'm going with he's his boss.

Carissa: I'm assuming he's a witness to something. Perhaps to the first theft of the virus, or maybe to the beginning of the origin? He could be another time traveler or something.  

Justin: I'm gonna go the obvious route here that the “Witness” is the Pallid Man's boss. I do think that his boss is a time-traveler and that he was a witness to the viral outbreak, hence the title of “The Witness”.

Hank: I've been saying for a while now the Pallid Man has a boss that's a time traveler. I'm pretty sure this "Witness" is that individual. Are the 12 Monkeys test subjects "lost in time" as Jones mentioned? Is the Witness their leader or simply someone with access to a time machine? There are just so many possibilities and I can't wait to learn more.

Share your thoughts on Jones' experiments and the fact other volunteers might be "lost in time." Do you agree the end justifies the means?

Stacy:That's hard. We don't know how much these volunteers knew about what they were getting themselves into or what the risks were, but if in the end it leads to saving humanity, it's hard to argue with those results. It's the whole issue of sacrificing a few to save many that has been debated in countless books/shows/movies, etc.

Carissa: I agree the ends justify the means when something as catastrophic happens as what happens to our society in this instance, however, something she said hit me wrong. She said they couldn't get back what was lost in a thousand generations. If she lost that much faith in humanity, it makes me think that even if they change it, it's only a short matter of time before it all happens again anyway. So... I'm not sure she believes the ends justify the means. If that makes any sense...

Justin: I thought Jones' experiments were a necessary evil to get back what humanity had lost. I don't think many of us put in Jones position would have done otherwise, especially if one cherished the divine works of humanity such as Jones did. I would compare this to being a book writer writing his/her magnum opus only to lose it half-way through its completion. That individual would surely go to great lengths in order to get back what they had lost and Jones felt that these few losses justified the thousands of years it would have taken to get back what was lost if she had not made those sacrifices.

Hank: I'm totally team Jones! I think in this case the end definitely justifies the means. Though Ramse's points were all quite valid, I think sending someone back in time to fix the future is a noble pursuit. I hate to say it so coldly, but "you've got to crack a few eggs to make an omelette."

When in close proximity to the Origin of the virus, Cole had similar physical reaction to being near an alternate version of himself. What does this mean?

Stacy: Maybe the Origin is some different version of himself.

Carissa: For some reason I imagined it might be a strain of the virus that he wasn't immune to that hit him really hard really fast. Why didn't they all get sick when the case shattered? I guess it's not so toxic it's airborne immediately? They were exposed without cover before exiting the room.  

Justin: If anyone has listened to my 12 Monkeys Podcast I have long been a proponent that Cole is actually the catalyst for the virus. So I feel that he has a similar physical reaction that occurred during Mentally Divergent because the virus is Cole from a different timeline. Maybe Cole from a 1987 timeline....

Hank: Justin absolutely said early on that Cole was the catalyst for the virus. Again, after watching the scene a few times, I'm wondering if Cole's reaction to the Origin is too obvious. I think the writers want us to assume that corpse is Cole, but the truth might be more complicated than that. Still even if the Origin turns out to be an alternate version of Cole, I think that would be pretty cool.

Did destroying the Origin alter 2043 or was it something else? Is this a new timeline or simply an alternate reality part of the same loop?

Stacy: I think the Origin is actually from the future which is why there was limited immunity from it and it's a new timeline.

Carissa: I think it was Cole's exposure to whatever it was that altered it. Maybe he became the origin when that case cracked. Which version of time travel are we going with? Terminator or Back to the Future? I'm confused.

Justin: I believe it could be a new timeline, but I believe the reason why 2043 was altered has to do with Cassie's kidnapping. I feel like at this point the kidnapping and her fight with Cole over the murder of Henri this has altered her leaving the message that Jones and her team of scientists find thus leading to the altered state of 2043.

Hank: I've seen the next episode so I know what caused the point of divergence, which I'll keep to myself. However, I do think this entire first season is one big time loop. Even this alternate reality is part of the bigger picture which Cole needs to correct to get things back on track. Time can change, we've seen that already, but I don't think the show will continue forward in a different time line.

Here are a few images from tomorrow's 12 Monkeys Season 1 Episode 6 "The Red Forest."

12 Monkeys Season 1 Episode 6 airs on Friday, February 20 at 9/8c.

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12 Monkeys Season 1 Episode 5 Quotes

Cassie: I've seen that face before, right before you shot Leland Goines.
Cole: Look Cassie, this is it. We've found it, what we've been looking for this whole time. This is the Night Room. We're going to be careful okay, but one way or another I'm getting into that lab.

Ivan: You don't think someone would try and steal this thing?
Jennifer: Its happened before.