12 Monkeys: 1.03: Cassandra Complex

Dave

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Episode:1.03: Cassandra Complex

A much slower episode, but one that diverges completely from the film plot and brings in new characters and new information. I'm actually surprised that they exhausted the film plot so quickly as I'm sure they will need to go back and reference it in the future. (If this were to carry on for, say five Seasons, it will be hard to go back and have Cole watching himself, watching himself, watching him do stuff in a Back to the Future II kind of way.)


For example, we see how 'man with the hat' gets his facial scar. You can only do the scar thing once. They have done that Doctor Who 'River Song' thing now, so Cole meets 'the hat' when Cole didn't know who he was, and then 'the hat' meets Cole when 'the hat' didn't know who he was. You can only do that twice and it has already been done now.

We see Casandra go way over the top about the River Virus strain in 2014, which explains why she is discredited by 2015.

I like it a lot, but their are a lot of Red Herrings or McGuffins written into this plot. The 'Night Room' is a McGuffin or plot coupon. All they need do is perfect the time travel device so that they can go back to 1987 and all these little trips back to 2013-2015 will no longer be required. Nothing that we have seen will be relevant because we will see Goines lab in it's early stages.

I'm sure the answer to the origin of the virus cannot be the same as in the film, otherwise I will certainly feel like I've wasted my time watching, but there is scope for all kinds of complications here, and I think they are building that with the group that Cole and Ramse were former members. No idea where that is going though.
but Whitley will be a recurring character according to IMDb. And Cole is an gentically engineered assassin - we saw that in episode 2. Why?

This episode had solar flares in 2014 interefere with the time travel causing Cole to fade in and out. I think they could have done more with that idea than they did. However, it did save his life. I expect to see more problems with the time travel equipment.
 

Lenny

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The first episode was interesting enough to merit carrying on. The second episode was pretty good. I've seen the third, and I'm hooked... and I've completely forgotten that this is a SyFy series. I'm not sure if it's recognisable actors, or intelligent use of CGI**, but I'm really getting into it, and I'm intrigued to see where they take it.

As Dave mentions, there are things that the writers have used that you'd expect to be one-shots, but then again, it's not too much of a stretch to think of ways to extend these ideas, making their appearances more like introductions. What if, for example:

In the development of the time travel tech, it is realised that solar flares can cause havoc. A nefarious individual learns this piece of information, starts learning how to predict solar flares, and begins plotting. The day comes when there's a particularly strong solar flare, and they put their plan into action. What can Cole, or any other chrononaut, do about it?

We've seen that solar flares do wacky things with chrononauts, which means stakes can be changed when they're a key factor. Suddenly we have a sub-plot where the chrononaut has to recruit someone from that time/train someone over a length of time to be their agent, and send them in to do the work. Not only do we have the usual will they/won't they save the world stakes, but we now have possible trust issues over the agent (bad choice? Someone else got them in the intervening years?), the possibility that the agent isn't strong enough to do the job, and even that they don't understand completely and make a mess of it.




**You watch things like Helix, Caprica, or BSG, and the CGI really sticks out, sometimes enough to break the illusion. With 12M, the CGI seems to be used sparingly, and blends in very well - in fact, most of it, from memory, is light-based. Maybe that's easier to do, or less budget-heavy, so they can spend more on it, as opposed to, say, rendering the outside of a dirty great arctic research station, or models of a couple of hundred ships in a big action sequence.
 

markpud

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I'm confused I didn't know episode 3 was out yet? Where should I be looking? :)

Edit: found it! Off to go watch...
 

ZombieWife

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Solid episode. Both characters do bad things (Cole and Cassandra) and we still forgive them for it. Cole, by killing a decent man for the sake of keeping the secret of the Night Room. And Cassandra running around thinking every outbreak is "THE ONE" and then suggesting the doctors use deadly force to contain it. (Kind of on the nose with the Greek myth, which is cool.)

I do like the slow introduction of possible conflicts in the dystopian future timeline. Seems that something is brewing with Cole and this militant crew.
 

Cli-Fi

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Tom is the perfect character for The Blacklist. Anyway, since the show never exactly explained why Tom was in Haiti to begin with. Let me speculate if I may. Tom may have started that virus as a type of test to see what would happen, if he goes all out. How people would react namely, the CDC. So since Cole kills Henri, I highly doubt that Tom was originally there to kill him. I think Tom knows a lot more than he lets on. Could he also Time Travel?? Which is hopefully why he doesn't seem to be a strong character.

Even if my above scenario isn't true and Tom did go to Haiti for killing Henri specifically. I like the fact that just because this time Cole kills him, it didn't change anything in the timeline. Except if Tom really was there to kill Henri. Why did he just vanish? How could he know Cole would?

I liked how the team was discussing all the different ways Cole could mess things up depending on where he travels to.

I'm not sure if I missed this, but why was Cassandra so upset about viruses destroying everything in 2014? Didn't she not know about the virus until 2015? Or is it a simple paranoia having nothing to do with Cole/Time Travel. Ah La Carrie from Homeland type personality?

My only problem with Cassandra is that she is really stupid and needs to actually sit down and think about all this stuff,
especially if they are hinting that she is future Dr. Jones. [/SPOILER="spoiler"]Because she could have put two and two together and this episode wasn't really needed.

Also can't wait to find out what the West Seven are and if they have any relation to the 12 Monkeys.
 
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ZombieWife

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Cassandra was upset because Cole told her what happens with the virus (back when he first meets her in 2013). She's had a minor breakdown since, thinking every single outbreak is THE ONE that starts the downfall. It won't be until 2015 when she sees Cole again in the hotel. If I am remembering correctly. It seems that in 2015, she's kind of "moved on" from believing that Cole was real, but she went to the hotel anyway, almost left, but saw him coming up the stairs shot in the chest.

At least that's my take on it.

I don't find Cassandra stupid at all. In 2014, she's still questioning her sanity, wondering if what she saw (Cole in 2013) was real or not.
 

markpud

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Yeah she knew that a viral apocalypse is coming but not when it started, so she was chasing outbreaks around the globe.. Her reactions in 2014 were out of character for a CDC Doctor, but not for someone who knows the end is coming. As described in the pilot I believe this was her last CDC field trip before she quit and went off the rails completely!

Everything we've seen so far shows that the timeline is fixed and nothing anyone does will prevent the outbreak from happening. Henri still died. The old man got his scar, Cassandra didn't see Cole in 2014 but she saw the effect of him splintering back (lights flickering) so he was "always" there from the POV of her timeline.

The 2043 developments I'm less keen on. The Warlord dude hunting down Cole and Ramsey is standard PA-fare, and if the facility is compromised then Cole could be in real trouble! Would he be trapped in the past if the power is cut to the time travel machine? The betrayal by the girl Ramsey lets go was fairly predictable too...
 

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