On this week’s episode of 12 Monkeys we see several betrayals and the aftermath of someone else’s betrayal. And the episode’s title “Fatherland” does indeed have more than one meaning.
In 2016 the Striking Woman* (a.k.a. Olivia) arrives in Berlin and rolls into some old facility that has some personal significance for her.
In 2044 the temporal storms are getting worse. Jones estimates the temporal facility will be destroyed by them in about five days so the clock is ticking. Cole wants to follow his lead to the last paradox in 1957 while Ramse and Cassie want to go after the Witness in 1961. Jones chooses Cole’s option and the plan is for Cole, Cassie and Ramse to splinter back a year early to give them plenty of time to find and stop the paradox. Cassie points out that the destruction of the facility in a few days is a problem for a year long mission. Jones says preventing the paradox will change the timeline and undo all the temporal storm damage. (Beware the mad scientist who is utterly confident about timey-wimey stuff).
Before the splinter Deacon and Cassie have a talk. He remembers seeing her on TV when the pandemic broke out (another reminder that Cassie at some point needs to go back to her original life). We also learn that they have spend one night together but it meant a lot more to Deacon than Cassie.
Cole, Cassie and Ramse splinter back but when Cole sees President Kennedy on television he realizes they are in 1961 not 1957. Unfortunately his drink has been spiked by Cassie and Ramse and he passes out. Cassie and Ramse head out to find Herr Doktor Kirchner.
In 2044 the two convinced Doctor Adler to change the splinter. He encoded an automatic four day return for the team. Jones is pissed and has him locked up.
Cole contacts Gale, the FBI agent he met in 1944. He’ll help Cole get into East Berlin where Kirchner is. From their talk at the hotel it’s clear Cole will visit Gale again sometime between 1944 and 1961 (1957 being the obvious time).
Of course Kirchner is a former Nazi so he has the Israelis after him. The Mossad captures Kirchner in East Berlin (when the wall is under construction) and also grab Cassie and Ramsey when they try to intervene. The Mossad agents aren’t gentle with the former Nazi or with Cassie and Ramse since as far as they know the two are Nazi sympathizers. Cole and Gale show up and rescue Cassie and Ramse.
It turns out that Titan and the Witness are mentioned in the CIA report because Cassie and Ramse asked about them during their Mossad interrogation. They inadvertently created their own clue. So does that mean Kirchner is a dead end? Nope, Kirchner has a medallion with the Witness’ logo on it.
Kirchner was recruited by the Witness and his work in genetics will instrumental in creating the Messengers. He offers to take Cole and company to his lab in West Berlin which will be trickier than it sounds since they don’t have the paperwork to just cruise through a checkpoint. They are able to sneak back into West Berlin but Gale sacrifices himself during the crossing when they are discovered.
In Kirchner’s lab is a girl in an isolated cell. Kirchner says she has been enhanced (the usual better, faster, stronger thing). He also has the Word of the Witness, that diagram showing various key points in time. Vivian, the 1944 Messenger, and some henchmen show up at the lab. They kill Kirchner for betraying the Witness and Vivian takes the girl. Cole, Cassie and Ramse splinter back to 2044 but Ramse is able to snatch the piece of the Word with the location of Titan (see Notes below).
Vivian takes the girl to a mansion where she will grow up to be... Olivia the Striking Woman. In 2016 Olivia is able to get out of her wheelchair since she has genetically enhanced healing abilities. She is feeling betrayed by the Witness and the Tall Man and it looks like she’s out for some payback. (By the way she looks pretty good for a sixtyish(?) woman.)
Jones and Cole are livid about Cassie and Ramse’s betrayal and have them locked up. And the time storm is almost at the door.
- Those map coordinates put you in eastern Colorado.
- I couldn’t help but notice that Herr Doktor Kirchner was both tall and pale. I’m pretty sure he’ll turn out to be the Tall Man’s father. From the way the Striking Woman and the Tall Man talk about their parents and each other they consider themselves siblings (though their exact biological relationship isn’t completely clear). Both consider Vivian their mother (Olivia was created using Vivian’s eggs so calling her Mother isn’t inappropriate) and Kirchner is their father figure if not their actual biological one.
- If Vivian hadn’t gone back in time from 2043 to 1944 her eggs couldn’t have been used to create Olivia and the Messengers.
- I was genuinely surprised by Olivia being back in play. I had assumed being paralyzed and losing her leadership role was the end of her character arc.
*Before the character’s name was mentioned on the show, she was identified as the Striking Woman on IMDB so I’m used to calling her that.
All images via screencap