Review: 12 Monkeys – The Night Room


It’s 2013, and Jennifer Goines, convincingly more sane than previously seen, gets to the Night Room for the first time and handles her father’s virus despite fearing potential theft and fallout. Two years later she’s brought back by the Pale Man who takes over the lab and captures Cole and Railly when they arrive to interfere. Through torture, it’s revealed to Railly that Cole had killed Henry in Haiti, placing a new strain on their relationship. After opening the vault, Jennifer explains that the origin of the Goines Virus is a centuries-old corpse.

In 2043, Ramse and Max question Jones’ methodology for solving their viral crises and the danger she’s placing others in as she desperately tries to outwit time. Ramse spies on the German doctor and finds out there were many time-travel candidates before Cole who’d been mutilated by the splintering process. Ramse makes her promise that his friend won’t meet the same end.

12 Monkeys - Goines - Night Room

After learning that Cole had killed her father, Jennifer is ecstatic and agrees to help him access the virus once the 12 Monkeys inadvertently trigger an alarm that’ll alert MarkRidge security to come to the location. She admits that Leland had made her promise to open the vault only for Cole. They find themselves in a bind as the 12 Monkeys turn back around. When he sees his opening, Cole overpowers his captors and destroys the specimen using the Night Room’s fail-safe mechanisms covering the building in fire. Fighting through headaches and nosebleeds, Cole chases the 12 Monkeys as they take Railly hostage. He’s unable to act as he’s pulled back through time to 2043 where the facility he and Ramse had called home is now the base of West 7.

12 Monkeys Gets Back On Track

After some unwanted filler, finally the show is back on track. The question of paradox that was at the heart of the original—and, admittedly, the entire theme of time travel—is introduced properly. I’m left wondering if the corpse is Cole in an alternate timeline, or just a lost traveller. The latter would be more provocative and could be the direction they plan on going if the end of this episode is to be believed. Or it could be a hint at the futility of rewriting history, though it would undermine the effort of making it a series. Still, with Jennifer witnessing Cole pulled through time and her knowledge of the virus, I’m left thinking that more science is going to be central to the plot going forward.

12 Monkeys - Goines and Cole - Night Room

(Image courtesy of io9)

Ramse really surprised me this week in the best way. He had hints of sentimentality in previous episodes, but here he’s shown as the true moral authority of the future. Kirk Acevedo really drives home the point that if changing the past means losing his friend it simply isn’t worth the risk. I’m curious as to how this will play out now that Max is part of the group and we know this mission is Cole’s attempt at redemption.

I’d been a little hard on the show the last couple of weeks, and I did have to watch this one twice before I could decide just how I felt about it. But the hope I had that 12 Monkeys could do the fandom a service by the end of its run is slowly being revived.

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Written by Daniel Rodriguez
Daniel Rodriguez is a freelance writer and author from New York City.

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