12 Monkeys Season 2 Episode 2 Review: Primary

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Well, Cole and Cassie did it... they destroyed the virus and changed time!

Naturally, 12 Monkeys Season 2 Episode 2 proved that stopping the plague was hardly the end of our story. With the Messengers and the Witness still out there, there are plenty of nasty threats to finish out this season and beyond.

Did you have a feeling Jennifer was more important than we initially thought? Me too.

Though 12 Monkeys Season 2 Episode 1 did not reveal what Cassie went through in the future, this cold open helped fill in the blanks. Wasn't it just perfect hearing her repeat Cole's phrase, "Where are you right now?" from 12 Monkeys Season 1.

If there was any doubt our leads have undergone a complete role-reversal this season, Cassie's opening monologue should have put that to rest. Talk about reinventing the dynamics of a TV series, eh?

The writing on this show is simply on a different level from most of what's on the air. I know Syfy realizes this, as do TV critics, but it never fails to surprise me how many genre fans still aren't watching for one reason or another. Why the hell is that?

Of course, the masses will discover 12 Monkeys when it's too late and later bitch about Syfy canceling all the good TV shows. Now is the time guys, support this series by talking about it on social media and spreading the love. Let's not lose another great television series too soon.

Okay, now back to my review. Rather than dwell on the events that changed Cassie, we found ourselves right back on that rooftop watching her take out the bad guys. I was wondering why Ramse never showed up, then we learned she knocked his ass out.

Needless to say, Cole defended his BFF while Cassie rolled her eyes. You've got to admit, Ramse's change of heart would be tough to swallow after collaborating with the monkeys for decades.

Still, we learned that Olivia and her minions want him dead, so Cassie accepted Ramse back in the fold. Time will tell if that was a smart choice.

The writers then beautifully wrapped up last year's finale. I thought it was clever not to pick up the season with Jennifer sitting on that plane with the cases of the virus. There were several loose ends to tie up first, right?

Cassie's mission was clear, yet it was Cole's actions that actually changed time.

Cassie: The first reported cases of the plague happened here in New York. Tomorrow, a trip around the world. Eleven more cities. The rest of the virus is still on her plane and we will destroy all of it after she's dead.
Cole: Wait! Jennifer, I know you don't want to do this.
Jennifer: But I'm supposed to. It's my purpose.
Cole: Jennifer I need you to trust me, a little bit. Okay.

How could Jennifer not trust ol' otter eyes? Aaron Stanford has totally won me over in these first couple of episodes. Since Cole and Jennifer always shared a special connection, it made sense that she would trust Cole.

It wasn't long before our heroes set the virus ablaze. "Time's they are a changin' " Jennifer shouted, while everyone's noses began to bleed.

Now we know why Jones took her injection, so time would shift around her. With total recall of the past and the virus, she can continue the mission in 2044. By the way, how phenomenal was that scene of time moving around her?

Huge shout out to Sebastien Bergeron (Folks VFX - supervisor for the show) and his team, for one of the most memorable sequences on the series to date. It gave me goosebumps. Bravo, guys!

With everything changing around her, I loved that Jones went straight for Hannah's blanket. Saving her has always been the good doctor's personal crusade. At least Hannah still existed, but did she lose the girl to the virus anyway? That's what I'm assuming at this point. What do you guys think?

Cassie sending Ramse back to 2044 was unexpected. Boy, was he in for an unwelcome return since his alliance with the monkeys still took place only later in time. Also, Deacon never liked him. Since Hannah wasn't erased, it stood to reason that Sam was around as well.

Does something tragic happen to the boy causing Ramse to jump in the machine kicking off the cycle all over again? Cassie wouldn't hurt Sam, would she? I felt really bad for poor Ramse, because he honest to goodness knew nothing about the damn Messengers.

Cole: Why didn't stopping you change things?
Jennifer: It did, it's just not the way you think.

Yes, interestingly enough the plague still hit, but in 2018 instead giving the CDC enough time to fight it. The doctors on Jones' team sure were baffled, but none more so than Dr. Eckland who was Jones' lover in this new timeline. I loved that bit, as well as seeing Michael Hogan again on my TV!

Did you ever imagine our heroes would succeed in their mission this early on in the season? That's the beauty of the writing, stopping the virus was never the endgame. That said, with six Messengers running about through time, Jones and the team now have a brand new mission.

Jennifer's "crazy" was always questionable, however, we finally started to realize she's connected to time. The voices in her head seem to have been whispering clues about the timeline all along. She knew Cole had been to the Emerson Hotel and insisted on room 607, though he claimed to have never been there.

When Jennifer had her little breakdown, we learned she's a primary and there are more of them. "I am time," she told Cole. Emily Hampshire is nothing short of astonishing on this series. What a breakout role for this talented young actress. I'm going to be keeping an eye on her future projects.

Did you catch the little "time" Easter eggs in suite 607 when Cole and Jennifer were moved there? I spied a Walkman and a TAB soda can from the '80s. Was there anything else lying around?

I thought it was a cool twist that Cole reached out to 2016 Jones, but she refused to help him. What was that all about? Like most of 12 Monkeys mysteries, that quick scene made sense in the last 10 minutes.

Though Jennifer felt she had lost her purpose, Cole nudged her in the right direction. Eventually, this lead to the creation of the daughters.

James Cole understands something you all have forgotten; our fates are intertwined. Here and in the past. Our mother knows this. Many cycles ago James Cole made a choice. An act of mercy. For that a debt was issued and now that debt has been repaid.

Daughter

Wasn't it exciting that 2044 Jennifer played a crucial role in bringing Cole back to the future? Did altering the timeline allow him to time travel again? Didn't the paradox stop him from moving through time? Cole did mention that all the events happened the same way, just a few years later. Wouldn't that loop include his own paradox?

The timey wimey stuff always gets tricky the more you overthink it. Still, I'm sure Terry Matalas has a solid answer for this mystery. I should tweet him to get his thoughts on the whole paradox deal.

In the end, the plague was stopped but the Messengers pose an even greater threat now. Cole saw the photo from 1944 and knew that's where he and Cassie were headed next. This is the farthest back we've traveled on the series and it's going to be a total blast. Sure Cole and Cassie are at odds, but it should be interesting watching them rebuild their relationship.

Cole's realization that instead of killing, time was changed by saving someone was profound. I'm sure Cassie will come around in time. Sure, we're all curious about those missing years Cassie mentioned when she died at the CDC, but the journey to that point is part of the fun. I am glad the writers are holding back a bit, but it better pay off big time this year. You hear me Terry? No Season 3 stuff.

What did you think of "Primary"? Were you surprised by Jennifer's connection to time? How crazy is she, really? Would Cassie hurt Sam, has she changed that much? You're up my fellow 12 Monkey fanatics, sound off in the comments below.

That was one installment worth revisiting! Watch 12 Monkeys online now via TV Fanatic.

NOTE: 12 Monkeys Season 2 Episode 3 is titled "One Hundred Years" and airs on May 2.

Primary Review

Editor Rating: 4.7 / 5.0
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Rating: 4.8 / 5.0 (26 Votes)
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12 Monkeys Season 2 Episode 2 Quotes

Cole: Why didn't stopping you change things?
Jennifer: It did, it's just not the way you think.

Cassie: The first reported cases of the plague happened here in New York. Tomorrow, a trip around the world. Eleven more cities. The rest of the virus is still on her plane and we will destroy all of it after she's dead.
Cole: Wait! Jennifer, I know you don't want to do this.
Jennifer: But I'm supposed to. It's my purpose.
Cole: Jennifer I need you to trust me, a little bit. Okay.