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’12 Monkeys’ fan recap: Loving and losing in time travel

Season 2 |Episode 7 | “Meltdown” | Aired May 30, 2016

The tension was blistering as this week’s 12 Monkeys pushed over into horror-thriller territory. But with the anything-but-cheap thrills and ongoing puzzles came some unexpected heartbreak — in more than one way.

The Recap
The story starts at the time-travel facility in 1959. It was a former military base, so this look into its past shows a guard dog trekking the hallways while a few guys play cards. The lights flicker and the men disappear — ahem, splinter off screen.

Over in 2016, a normal-seeming Cassie (NO BLACK EYES) injects herself with Jones’ serum just after the lights flicker. She splinters away — back to the future.

And back in 2044, Jones and Ecklund are in bed (!), playing a round of post-coital cards. They’re cute. Like, seriously. But the lights flicker — for the third scene in a row. The time machine is powering up for Cassie’s return.

12 Monkeys - Meltdown - Ecklund and Jones

Cassie arrives, but her mind is almost delayed. Cole snaps her back and she immediately confesses to seeing him.

Elsewhere, Sam shows Ramse the model he built of the entire facility, indubitably ensuring that this is going to be important later. Cole interrupts the father/son time with Cassie’s news, and tells Ramse he needs to be there.

The gang meets to hash out Cassie’s encounter with the Witness. She’s met with skepticism. Could it just be a hallucination? Cole backs Cassie up and reminds them that the Witness has always been a step ahead of them. They need to be ready for what’s to come next — whatever uncertainty that may be. Tired, confused, and then some, Cassie leaves to get some rest. And again, Cole and Deacon quietly compete for Cassie’s attention.

Alone in her quarters, Cassie hears Olivia’s voice. She wanders to the machine, seeing the Witness flicker in out of her consciousness. She passes out and awakes to Cole.

Cassie asks Cole if he ever sees weird things while splintering. Sure, lots of weird things, he says. What about a person? Cole doesn’t commit to this. Being the bigger man, Cole manages to say that he’s fine with her relationship Deacon. Before leaving him, Cassie laments that they just don’t know each other anymore, not like they used to.

While Cassie beats her frustration out on a punching bag and continues her shadowy sensory overload, Jones is elsewhere discovering weirdness with the time machine: a phantom tether!

The machine goes haywire, emitting nonstop splinter action all throughout the facility. Someone put the lens in backwards.

While Ramse and Sam are off on their own, Cassie rejoins the group near the machine.

A monstrous half-splintered fellow appears to the group and nearly takes out Jones before Cole shoots him. It’s Marshall, a former time-travel volunteer. But why … and how? Someone’s sabotaging the operation, ensuring a time-machine meltdown to destroy the facility.

12 Monkeys - Meltdown - Volunteer

Cassie tells everyone she saw the Witness here and now, in the building, plague mask and all. Cole needs to shut it all down manually, and Cassie goes with him.

On their way to the core, Cassie tells Cole the Witness appeared to her as him, thinking it could use Cole’s likeness to get to her. Another half-splintered man appears and Cole takes care of him. But Cassie? She’s now missing.

Ramse and Sam still wander the hallways alone, but the young boy leads the way — he does know the place after all. At this moment, a dog attacks Ramse — the same dog from 1959! While battling it out with the pooch, Sam gets taken away by an unknown person.

Ramse scares the dog away, and Cole links up with him, filling Ramse in on what the hell is happening. They can’t reach anyone on the radio due to the wonky phenomena.

In one odd pairing on a mission, Deacon and Ecklund run into the ’59 army guys — who are dangerously confused by what’s going on. After Deacon tries to attempt an honest explanation (you know, time travel) a scuffle breaks out and Ecklund gets injured.

12 Monkeys - Meltdown - Ecklund and Deacon

But, hey: We found Sam! Oh, wait. He’s with a possessed Cassie. While the real Dr. Railly is trapped in that hallucinatory house, the Witness takes over and leads Sam away to the power core.

Locked out, Ramse and Cole must find another way in to Cassie, Sam, and the power core. Aha! Remember that facility model that Sam constructed? Well, there’s an underground river just below that assists in this predicament.  And it must be Cole to go — he has a better chance of getting through to Cassie. The real Cassie.

Back with Jones and Ecklund, things aren’t looking too good for the time-travel machine itself. So, in a quick move by dear Ecklund, he tricks Jones into thinking there’s someone on the radio while he locks himself in with the machine. He’s there to replace a part: a fatal task.

Cole makes his way underground, and Deacon shows up to assist Ramse. But then the army guys are back, and they start pulling on Cole’s literal tether.

But across the facility, as Ecklund fixes the machine — and burns away right in front of a horrified Jones — the army guys splinter away.

Cole makes his way to the core room with Cassie/The Witness and Sam. She threatens Sam with a gun while Cole urges the real Cassie to fight.

12 Monkeys - Meltdown - Cassie and Sam

On the other side of the door, Deacon suggests Ramse go into the room, too, as a back-up plan. Deacon knows neither he nor Cole would be able to stop Cassie, by any means necessary.

In her mental temporal confinement, the real Cassie looks out her window at the red storm. She sees the Witness, and a water tower that reads Titan. This feels important …

In the “real world,” Cole knows what to do. He knows Cassie would never let him die — so, he has Ramse shoot him! This breaks Cassie from her imprisonment, and she rushes to Cole. In the meantime, Ramse shuts off the power core.

Jones is alerted to elevated levels on the machine and radios to the rest of the gang to get out of the core room, NOW, and within seconds, Sam splinters away.

Later, Jones goes to see a distraught Ramse. While the likelihood of Sam’s survival is bleak, she offers up a little hope. After all, Ramse was lost in time once, too. But this doesn’t really help Ramse’s current mood.

Cassie looks over an unconscious Cole. (Don’t worry, he’ll be fine.) Jones arrives and offers Cassie some much needed answers. Presumably, the Witness attached itself to Cassie. This allowed him to travel to 2044 and use Cassie to sabotage the machine.

While Jones developed injections to make sure this doesn’t happen to Cassie again, that doesn’t help her guilt and Cassie blames herself for everything. Whereas Jones blames herself.

Come on, can someone please comfort Jones, too?

And in this week’s final moment of mystery, we see Sam alive and well in an unknown time and with an unknown figure.

12 Monkeys - Meltdown - Sam

The Takeaways
Jones has feelings, too!
There’s a lot of heartbreak going on right now. Ramse isn’t shy about expressing his feelings — anger and hurt — and neither is Cassie. But will Jones get her moment to grieve, too? After letting her guard down with Ecklund and actually starting to loosen up a little, is Jones that hardened that she can then just compartmentalize it all? Or will she get an honest-to-goodness mental breakdown?

Where is Sam? So Sam’s okay, right? But he’s lost. Very lost. At the end of the episode, Sam is met with an unknown person — presumably the Witness. And yet, Sam willingly accepts this figure’s hand and joins him. Does this mean the Witness is someone familiar to Sam? Or is the boy just so scared out of his mind that he’ll accept any stranger’s company? And another thing about Sam …

The Poll

Notables Quotes
“Chivalry, my ass, Kat. If anything happens to you, we’re all screwed.” –Ecklund to Jones

“Violence doesn’t make a man.” –Ecklund
“Yeah, but it’s a good way to unmake one.” –Deacon

12 Monkeys airs Mondays at 9/10C on Syfy.

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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