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'12 Monkeys' boss on Cole's fate and what's next

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Ben Mark Holzberg/Syfy

Warning: This story contains spoilers from Friday’s episode of 12 Monkeys. Turn back now if you haven’t watched.

In case Friday’s episode of 12 Monkeys left you screaming at your television, fear not, Cole probably isn’t dead.

During the hour, Cassie (Amanda Schull) regretfully sent Cole (Aaron Stanford) to certain death in a bid to stop the virus from spreading once and for all. To be fair, Cole’s health is already deteriorating from all the jumping through time, so it was inevitable that he’d eventually meet his maker.

But is that time now? Doubtful. “Cole’s story is definitely not done,” executive producer Natalie Chaidez tells EW. “Cole’s return will be in an unexpected and surprising way that will make people’s jaws drop in the next several episodes. He may be gone, but he will be back shortly.”

Even before his fateful splintering to Chechnya, Cole knew his days were all but numbered, which led to some quiet moments with Railly during the episode that deepened their relationship—making it all the more difficult for Cassie to face sending Cole to his death.

“That episode speaks to the larger question of the series, which is, ‘How far would you go to do the larger good?'” Chaidez says. “What would you sacrifice? Would you sacrifice a person you love? Would you let them go to your death to save six billion people? The weight of that choice will weigh very heavily on Cassie over the back half of the season. It was a choice she had to make. It was a choice Cole was okay with. It was a heroic choice. It was a brave choice. Was it the right choice? The implications of that and what that decision does to Cassie is a pivotal moment for her character on the show.”

Though Cole’s supposed death will weigh heavily on Railly, the moment is designed to take her from healer to warrior, Chaidez says. “The fear and the instability that the incident creates in her, that partnered with Coles’ death, is another thing that really projects her toward warrior, which is where she’s going to end up at the end of the season,” she says.

But at what point does Cassie make that fateful recording that sets all future plans in motion? “We will see the phone message at some point in the series,” Chaidez says. “I actually don’t know where we’re going to put it yet. You have to wait and see.”

The episode also seemed to raise one very large red flag. Just as the U.S. set its sights on bombing the Chechen castle to eradicate the virus, Cole shared a deeply personal moment with Railly, explaining that his dream vacation would be the Florida Keys—that’s a nod to the 1995 film that is almost directly tied to Cole’s eventual demise. Should viewers be worried? “The Florida Keys is a little bit different in the series than it is in the movie,” Chaidez says. “It represents a place that Cole longed for as a child, an imaginary place in his mind of what a peaceful life without the plague would be. So no, don’t let the Florida Keys worry you. It makes Cole happy. It should make you happy too.”

12 Monkeys airs Fridays at 9 p.m. ET on Syfy.