12 Monkeys finally unmasked The Witness during Monday’s Season 2 finale, and the reveal was exactly what you want out of a twist: shocking yet somewhat expected in the sense that it had been carefully crafted to reach this point, so it made sense. Long ago, the show planted the seeds for the humdinger, and when they finally came to fruition, it felt like it was always meant to be this person: Cassie and Cole’s son!
When the episode begins, the new lovers are enjoying their life together in 1959 and exchanging Christmas gifts. He’s sweetly nervous about the butterfly hairpin he got her (“I’ve never done this before,” he explains), while she gives him a razor… and a card announcing that he’s going to be a father. But it can’t be all presents and happy news for the pair.
When time begins to freeze around him, Cole ends up visiting an insane asylum, where he meets Lillian (guest star Madeleine Stowe), a primary who killed her parents and siblings. She warns him that the fight is not over yet, and the red forest is here. He needs to go back to 1957 to stop the paradox, which would mean erasing his newfound family, Cole realizes.
“Death can be undone, James,” Lillian tells him. “Love cannot.”
So after drinking some crazy red forest tea leaves, Cole travels to different moments from the first two seasons before finally landing back in the factory, just moments before the paradox. Cole tells Cassie he understands the messenger’s love for his primary wife and then shoots the other man. With that problem solved, the travelers are catapulted back to the future, where time has, indeed, repaired itself. But Ramse, Jennifer and the others are still walking into a trap in Titan.
Cole, Cassie and Jones use the machine to travel to Titan and stop the attack. Unfortunately, what they didn’t foresee is that the entirety of Titan is The Witness’ machine. Deacon sacrifices himself so that Jennifer can escape, but she still gets caught in a splinter and ends up on a French battlefront in 1917. (How hilarious was her asking to use a telephone and then, after a scary explosion, a toilet?)
In all the commotion, The Striking Woman takes Ramse to his son, while Cassie somehow starts to remember her and Cole’s life together before splintering even further into the future. Cole gets in the machine, determined to bring her home. But maybe she’s not in danger? In 2163, Cassie is led into a huge auditorium full of messengers. The Pallid Man informs her that The Witness is safe because she brought him here. A horrified Cassie realizes the child she’s carrying is the man they’ve been chasing as the room breaks into a “mother” chant. And all of a sudden, her visions of the house in the red forest and The Striking Woman urging her to go to the man (aka Cole) and “know him” make so much sense.
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