12 Monkeys S01 E06: The Red Forest


Time travel, we have learned, is not an exact science. There are paradoxes within paradoxes that can throw a monkey wrench, no pun intended, into the works. On last week’s episode of “12 Monkeys,” Cassie was kidnapped by Pallid Man and Cole was splintered to an alternate universe where West 7 had control of the facility. We may need to slow our time travel dance routine tonight. Try not to be erased.


The question remains, if the virus was destroyed in that fire then why wasn’t Cole erased? We might have to slow our time travel dance down to a fox trot to find out that answer, but what we do know is that Cassie might be more important to Cole’s future than finding the virus. Cole’s splintering back to an alternate future, proves this. What happened to Cassie after she was kidnapped? Cole is in a future where the West 7 is in charge of the facility and the room where all the time travel goes on is now being used for laundry. Jones doesn’t recognize Cole, and she doesn’t know who Cassie is, but she sure as hell recognizes the needle marks on his arm. A quick blood test proves that Cole’s blood is in constant flux a sign of splintering. Jones asks Cole what he did wrong to change his future.


If Cassie was killed, then this could explain the rift. Jones says that the virus breaks out in 2015 instead of 2016 and that the group responsible is Operation Troy and not the Army of the 12 Monkeys. The newspaper article shows that Cassie was murdered in the year 2015. Somehow her murder caused the virus to be released that year in Chechnya. Cole is upset. He has feelings for Cassie.

Cole asks an important question that so far has never been answered. Why did Leland Goines tell Cole that they med in 1987? Jones reply about Jinn and casualty loops left me more confused. Cole has to go back and save Cassie, but he needs permission from the head of West 7.


People, I think, are like ghosts. If you’re a nice person in life, you’ll be just as nice in death and the same with people in alternate times. Ramse in this reality is in charge of West 7, but that’s okay because Ramse is cool in any reality. Whitley is still a pain in the butt. He shoots Jones, but Cole is able to make it back to 2015 by way of Party Store.


The character of Ramse played by Kirk Acevedo is so important to this story. Ramse is a man of proverbs, but Cole respects him and listens to him. It’s Ramse who worries about the effects of splintering on Cole and, it is Ramse who keeps Cole centered. Ramse is more like a brother to Cole and that is why he knows Cole is in love with a certain Dr. Railly.


This episode gives us more insight on the character of Aaron Marker played by Noah Bean. So far, he’s been played as an uptight pencil pushing bean counter who works for Senator Royce, but tonight we learn there is more to the man. When Cole explains the mishap in time, Aaron tells Cole that he’s no Marty McFly. What a great tribute to Michael J Fox and his role in the Back to the Future trilogy. You have to love the writing in this show. The importance of Operation Troy and it’s connection to the virus, has Aaron joining Cole’s team.


I never expected them to play Aaron as a klutz, but they did and it made him more human, more likable. His handing of the gun is a comical break from the seriousness of the show. His heart is in the right place. He wants to save Cassie. We have to give Aaron a lot of credit. How would you react if someone told you that they were from the future and, there was two of them running around? Loved when Aaron played good cop to Cole’s bad to get one of Pallid Man’s men to talk. Cole may have found a sidekick.

Striking Woman

Cassie gets to meet the mouthpiece for The Witness. The woman known only on the credits as “Striking Woman” is played by Alisen Down. Okie dokey so now we list people by description. Pallid Man and Striking Woman argue over what to do with Cassie, but Cassie is given a drug that takes her take on a ride with tangerine trees and marmalade skies. Not quite, but it is one hell of a hallucinatory ride where she’s told to look for the red forest. The Witness is there and he’s wearing a plague gas mask.


There was a lot going on with this episode. Time can be changed, but not always the way you planned. There are coincidences and there are paradoxes and right now this whole time travel splintering that Cole is doing is slowing killing him. He knows it and so does Jones. It’s a great thing that Ramse is there to cover his back.


Pallid Man was shot, but that guy is like a tick, I don’t think he’s dead. Let me rephrase this, I hope he’s not dead, but I’m hoping they give actress Alisen Down a better handle than “Striking Woman” if she’s going to be a regular on the show. We were only given a glimpse of the digital terrorist, Adam Wexler (Ari Millen) so I’m hoping to learn more about his part in all of this. Ari Millen played Prolethean Mark on Orphan Black, another great science fiction show.

Tonight’s episode was written by Christopher Monfette who worked on the Hellraiser comics franchise for Boom! Studios and, it’s because of the excellent writers on this show along with the fine acting done by the series stars Aaron Stanford and Amanda Schull that “12 Monkeys” is such a big hit.

See you next week for another time travel dance and please don’t erase yourselves.

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