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'12 Monkeys' fan react: Saving the world means breaking some hearts

Season 1 | Episode 7 | “The Keys” | Aired Feb 27, 2015

Well, that was a game-changer, right? Thoughts have been processed; tears have been shed. So, let’s jump right to it. Here are the top takeaways from the 12 Monkeys episode “The Keys.”

Operation Troy–and the Army of the 12 Monkeys. It really didn’t take long for us viewers to discover just what this super-secret code means. Operation Troy is a government plan to take down CIA operative turned secret-leaker Adam Wexler. They know he’s in Chechnya, so instead of using an incredibly visible and obvious airstrike, the government gets creative and chooses instead to release M510 , the plague-causing virus, in Wexler’s camp. The idea is that the camp is so remote, it wouldn’t have time to reach the masses. Sure, in theory it might work. But who also knows about this plan …

12 Monkeys 1.7 - Operation Troy

The 12 Monkeys know. They plan to intercept the plague while it’s on its way to Wexler. Their plan gets busted when our gang—Cole, Cassie and Aaron—uncover what’s happening. Cole manages to take out the 12 Monkeys guy and snag the virus, which is contained in a metal suitcase. Cole then gets snagged himself by Wexler’s guys. To no avail, Cole pleads with his captors to not open the suitcase—Wexler & Co. think it contains money. They open it and everyone is sprayed with the super-deadly M510. Cole is unaffected—he’s immune, remember?

While everyone get sick, Wexler’s guys decide to make another outside deal for Wexler. What does this mean, exactly? Oh, just that someone from outside their location would be arriving at their camp. Wait, what?! This would expose the virus to more people, kicking off the worldwide plague. We can’t let that happen. A little scuffle occurs and people are either dead or wounded—the latter including Cole and Wexler. Cole calls Cassie and tells her they need to bomb the place—which means Cole would be bombed too. Aw, man.

Meanwhile, Cole gets a tiny bit of info from Wexler about the 12 Monkeys. He was CIA after all. Wexler recalls something significant happening in 1987 (a date previously mentioned in the first episode), somewhere called the White Dragon. He says, “Death. Time. Rebirth. Monkeys. Like hours on a clock.” Wexler dies.

Wexler’s location is bombed—as is Cole. The virus is dead—as is Cole.

Meeting in the middle. This episode is bookended with two Cassie and Cole moments. The first shows them all dressed up at an art gala. Obviously, it’s an act, and they are there to gather information. But Cole? He wants to take a moment to take it in. He eats a whole tray of chicken kebabs. He soaks up some art-fueled culture. He wants to dance with Cassie. And he does, if only for a brief moment, before she is torn away by their main objective. It’s sad for Cole.

12 Monkeys 1.7 - Cassie and Cole

At the end of the episode, Cole and Cassie are together—one week after the events in Chechnya. How, you ask? Chechnya Cole was current Cole. To complete his mission, he gets info from Cassie and Aaron in the future (one week in the future, to be exact). So Cassie knows he dies and this Cole doesn’t—and she must not tell him. To make matters worse, the info she and Aaron give Cole is under the pretense that the virus has already happened.

Before Cole died, he told Cassie something that wouldn’t make any sense at that time—”the Florida Keys.” Now, at the end of the episode, she attempts to make a moment with Cole. She asks him where he’d want to be after all is said and done and the mission is over. He recalls seeing a postcard once while in foster care … and then he splinters. Aw, the Keys. That’s the something. He wants to be somewhere warm—like the Florida Keys. Cassie and Cole. These two. As demonstrated in this episode, they can’t ever seem to meet in the middle, can they? Hopefully, us shippers will still get our chance …

12 Monkeys 1.7 - Cassie and Cole saying goodbye

Cole, are you still there? Is it a long shot to hope for Cole’s return? I don’t think so—but then again, TV constantly tells us that no one is safe. From a theorizing perspective, in this episode, Cole appeared to have a few blurred visions. Are these left over from his split existence in “The Red Forest”? Or could they be hinting at his return? After some light—and most likely useless—research on IMDb, it seems Aaron Stanford (Cole) is in fewer episodes than most of the cast. However, he’s also in more than seven episodes. So he’ll be back, right? Right?!

Seriously. Where do we go from here? After watching the TV spot for next week’s episode about 10 times, I’m still at a loss. Cole is absent—and the others must go about their lives. However, Cassie is threatening that the plague could happen, and the 2043 clips look unchanged from the 2043 we have come to know. Bonus: There is also a mysterious two-minute “preview” clip from the episode involving Ramse and Whitley. Take a look. Based on the photo below, some things do look altered.

12 Monkeys 1.8 - Preview Image

What’s fun about a time-travel narrative is that you set your own rules, your own perimeters—and anything is possible, as long as you adhere to those guidelines. So, 12 Monkeys, where are you taking us next?

This episode’s timeline only included 2015.

Memorable Quotes

Wexler: What about this world is worth saving if they would risk extinction to swat a fly?

Wexler: Maybe a plague is precisely what the world needs. The liars die out. The living forget the lies. Society’s great reset switch.

Cole: I’m glad I got to know you, Cassie.

TV Families | EW.com
Mark Harris
February 23, 1990 AT 05:00 AM EST

The Bradys are back, with a passel of 90’s hassles. Do they represent the typical American Family? Did they ever? Who does? Stare and compare!

Kind Of Family
TheBradyBunch 1969-74: Blended
The Bradys 1990-: Enormous
Married…With Children 1987-: Postnuclear
Thirtysomething 1987-: Extended
The Flintstones 1960-66: Modern Stone Age

Family Pet
The Brady Bunch: Tiger
The Bradys: Alice
Married…With Children: Buck
Thirtysomething: Grendel
The Flintstones: Dino

Typical Guest Star
The Brady Bunch: Davey Jones
The Bradys: There’s no room
Married…With Children: Sam Kinison
Thirtysomething: Carly Simon
The Flintstones: Ann Margrock

Expression Of Joy
The Brady Bunch: Groovy!
The Bradys: Ritual hugging
Married…With Children: ”Oh, great.”
Thirtysomething: ”Of course I’m happy for you. Really. But what about me? Why does it always have to be about you?
The Flintstones: ”Yabba-dabba doo

Expression Of Rage

The Brady Bunch: ”Hmmm…”
The Bradys: ”If you back away from something you really want, then you’re a quitter!” (the angriest any Brady has ever been)
Married…With Children: ”Aaagh, God, take me from this miserable life!”
Thirtysomething: ”I’m not angry, OK?”
The Flintstones: ”Willllmaaaa!”

Typical Problem
The Brady Bunch: Marcia and her rival both want to be the prom queen.
The Bradys: Bobby gets paralyzed.
Married…With Children: Al doesn’t buy his family Christmas presents.
Thirtysomething: Nancy gets cancer.
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney are staying out too late.

Typical Solution
The Brady Bunch: The prom committee decides to have two queens.
The Bradys: Bobby gets married.
Married…With Children: They hate him.
Thirtysomething: If only we knew…
The Flintstones: Wilma and Betty decide to follow them.

House Style
The Brady Bunch: Conservative but mod, circa ’69
The Bradys: Conservative but mod, circa ’90
Married…With Children: Roach motel
Thirtysomething: Enviable
The Flintstones: Suburban cave

Clothing Style
The Brady Bunch: Early Osmonds
The Bradys: Made in the USA
Married…With Children: Flammable fabrics
Thirtysomething: Eclectic earth tones; nice ties
The Flintstones: One-piece

Most Annoying Character
The Brady Bunch: Alice’s cousin Emma, the substitute housekeeper (too strict)
The Bradys: Marcia’s husband, Wally (chronically unemployable)
Married…With Children: Steve (supercilious)
Thirtysomething: Ellyn (goes through Hope’s drawers, babbles, changes hairstyle every other week, generally mistreats her friends)
The Flintstones: Mr. Slate (bossy)

Attitude Toward Sex
The Brady Bunch: Never heard of it
The Bradys: Omigod — even Cindy does it!
Married…With Children: Peg: Yes. Al: No.
Thirtysomething: They didn’t get all those kids by accident.
The Flintstones: Prehistoric

How Spouses Fight
The Brady Bunch: They don’t.
The Bradys: Infrequently, but it happens
Married…With Children: Tooth and nail
Thirtysomething: They stop talking
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney go bowling while Wilma and Betty max out their charge cards.

How Kids Get Into Trouble
The Brady Bunch: Greg takes a puff of a cigarette.
The Bradys: Carol’s grandson steals her business cards and sticks them in the spokes of Bobby’s wheelchair.
Married…With Children: By committing felonies
Thirtysomething: Ethan plays with a forbidden toy rocket.
The Flintstones: They don’t.

How They’re Punished

The Brady Bunch: ”It’s not what you did, honey — it’s that you couldn’t come to us.”
The Bradys ”Next time, ask.”
Married…With Children: By the authorities
Thirtysomething: It blows up in his face.
The Flintstones: They’re not.

What Family Does For Fun
The Brady Bunch: Takes special three-part vacations to Hawaii and the Grand Canyon
The Bradys: Has flashbacks
Married…With Children: Exchanges insults
Thirtysomething: Talks
The Flintstones: Attends showings of The Monster at the Bedrock Drive-In

Unsolved Mysteries
The Brady Bunch: How exactly did Carol’s first husband and Mike’s first wife die?
The Bradys: What’s with Marcia’s new face and Bobby’s blonde hair
Married…With Children: What kind of hair spray does Peg use?
Thirtysomething: Why did Nancy take Elliot back? What do Gary and Susanna see in each other?
The Flintstones: How does Barney’s shirt stay on if he has no shoulders? Where do Fred and Wilma plug in their TV?

Worst Behavior
The Brady Bunch: The Brady children once made Alice feel under-appreciated.

The Bradys: Marcia’s son Mickey watches Bobby’s car-crash tape for fun.
Married…With Children: The Bundy’s kill their neighbor’s dog.
Thirtysomething: Elliot has an affair and talks about it.
The Flintstones: Characters don’t wear under-clothes.

Best Reason To Watch
The Brady Bunch: This is what life should be.
The Bradys: They’re all grown-ups now!
Married…With Children: Terry Rakolta hates it.
Thirtysomething (Tie) This is your life. This isn’t your life.
The Flintstones: This is what life might have been.

Best Reason Not To Watch
The Brady Bunch: Blurred vision from rerun overdoses.
The Bradys: You’re all grown-ups now.
Married…With Children: She has a point.
Thirtysomething: After a while, you think it’s real.
The Flintstones: The Simpsons

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