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REVIEW: 12 Monkeys 1×06 “The Red Forest”

First rule of time travel, there is always some type of price to be payed when you mess with the past. Case in point this week’s episode “The Red Forest” where Cole is finally able to see the ramifications of his mission in the past as everything has been thrown out of whack since he destroyed the Night Room. This is definitely the episode I have been waiting for since the show began as I love watching how the storyline changes when our hero messes around in the past. For the first five episodes we were playing it safe and all of the changes that occurred were either meant to or had very little bearing on Cole’s overall mission. However, this week we got the tiniest of glimpses into how important Cassie is to the overall mission and what her death would mean to the future as a whole. There were a lot of moving parts this week so it was great to see which ones hit and which ones it missed at.

First things first, we now understand just how important Cassie is to not only Cole and team future but also the Army of the 12 Monkeys who drugged her for some bizarre reason. Watching the domino effect of Cassie being killed before her time and how that affected the future was pretty great as the one aspect of the shows constant time travel is that we never got to see the results of anything. Now however we have a clear case of cause and effect because if Cassie somehow falls into the hands of the 12 Monkeys the virus will be released sooner, and no one in the future will know about the importance of Cole to their survival. This revelation made me very happy as I have been really annoyed at just how seemingly little importance Cassie has to the future, but with tonights revelations we know just how important she really is.

What really made me excited about all of the changes in the future is that it has seemingly disproved that if Cole makes any major change to the future he will be erased instantaneously. Cole made a major change in destroying the Night Room and yet he is still alive and has not been erased from existence. What does this mean if he, Cassie, or anyone from the past manages to make a change that does actually effect the time table of the virus? We at least know he won’t be entirely erased from existence as Cole was already dead in the alternate timeline and yet Cole was still able to splinter back into the future. As the rules of the show are becoming more and more defined we are beginning to see the ramifications of the machine and  just how safe you are while being splintered.

For example, the team up of Aaron and Cole as we were able to absorb some vital information about the 12 Monkeys and add another member to Cole’s team. Watching Aaron slowly come to terms with the fact that Cole is not entirely batshit insane was great to watch and it also demonstrated the clear differences between Aaron and Cole. Having Aaron serve as Cole’s voice of reason this week was drastically different from Ramse or Cassie as Aaron has seemingly never been in a high pressure situation. Watching him convince the guy that Cole was beating the crap out of to give up Cassie’s was certainly a different approach than what we have seen previously. It is great that there is finally a character who doesn’t blindly trust our hero and recognizes when thing have crossed a line. It will be fascinating to see if that changes as Aaron has now seen Cole splinter and seemingly believes he is from the future, hopefully he wont be a blind follower like Cassie occasionally is.

Granted Cassie is now infinitely more interesting considering that she seemingly has ties to both our heroes and our villains. Watching the Pallid Man and that woman dose Cassie and have her trip out for some seemingly unknown reason was great considering the imagery paralleled that of Cole a couple of week’s ago. I just wish we actually knew why they did it. Do they think she knows where the actual virus is or does she have a deeper connection to the Army than we were first led to believe? Right now everything is so open ended with Cassie that it is sometimes frustrating to watch her be on screen. I mean we know she is supposed to be important but the vague bread crumb bull is getting old fast, especially considering Cassie was actually interesting for the majority of the episode.

Overall we had a very strong episode with very little downside.

Final Grade B+

+Alternate future fun

+Aaron a fun new ally

+Cassie seemingly important now

+Cole having limited jumps left

-Yet we still don’t know much about Cassie

-Will Cole be erase or is that just a lie

Extra Thoughts

-So that stupid Edward Snowden amalgam is in Chechnya and seemly important. Guess we are going there.

-The coolest scene for me was watching Jones so up the bullet hole in Cole and watching it splinter heal in the past.

-Jennifer is captured again. Can’t she be in consecutive episodes at least once.

About the author

Scott Swartz