The final moments of the previous episode revealed Cole returned to an alternate reality in 2043. However, what caused this to happen?
Cassie was taken hostage by the Army of the 12 Monkeys, and Jennifer survived though she watched Cole splinter before her eyes.
In this new alternate reality, the West VII are in control of the temporal facility and Jones is simply a mechanic. When he is brought over to her, she does not recognize the man claiming to have come from the machine. "I remember all the faces of the men that went in there. Yours is not one of them" alt-Jones tells Cole.
However, his blood was all the proof required for her to believe his wild story. His cells appeared in constant flux, which she knew some version of her must be responsible for. Cole is having difficulty remembering things, especially since he is seeing flashes of another reality.
Alt-Jones explains that the first viral outbreak took place in Chechnya, as part of a military operation called TROY. Cole is confused by this and talks of his mission and Cassie. Alt-Jones stops him saying she's never heard of a Dr. Railly. After some research, we learn Cassie was killed in 2015. Her death was the point of divergence causing this alternate reality.
However, before traveling back to 2015, the West VII's leader had to approve the use of the machine. Luckily for Cole, Deacon had been killed by Ramse in a rebellion and his old friend assumed control. Ramse still needed some convincing, as in this reality Cole was killed.
"Hey, only girl you've ever loved is Elena. Your mother's name is Roberta. You told me once she's pretty and that whenever I make jokes about banging her you laugh, but I know secretly it pisses you off" Cole blurts out.
That certainly seemed to do the trick, as Ramse quickly agrees to send Cole back in time to fix things.
Alt-Jones warns Cole that "sacrifice is the only way" and asks him to confirm this with her other self.
Back in 2015, Cole and Aaron partner up to save Cassie from her fate. The two unlikely allies return to the Night Room, and witness the events of that night. However, things play out exactly as they had before, and the Army of the 12 Monkeys takes Cassie hostage.
Aaron wishes he'd caught the van's license plate number. Cole's impresses him with his photographic memory. He knew the tag number.
The duo tracks the Pallid Man's van to a large greenhouse where Cassie is being held.
Meanwhile, the good doctor is given that same hallucinogenic drug Cole was given and told repeatedly "You are walking through a red forest and the grass is tall." The "Striking Woman" repeating this phrase informs the Pallid Man that the Witness thinks Cassie is important and wants to meet her.
Cassie's visions were of a bloody red forest, the was a single house with a man standing on the porch. What does it all mean? We don't know yet.
We do now know that the man in the plague gas mask is the Witness, though we don't know his true identity yet. Is he a time traveler?
Luckily, Cole and Aaron manage to locate and rescue Cassie. Before she can even thank him, Cole splinters back to 2043. He discovers things are back to normal, his timeline has been fixed. This happiness doesn't last long though, as Jones confirms the time jumps are killing him.