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12 Monkeys boss on that surprising plague twist

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Steve Wilkie/Syfy

Warning: This story contains major spoilers from Monday’s episode of 12 Monkeys. Read at your own risk!

We told you the plague was the least of Cole and Railly’s worries in season 2!

During Monday’s episode of 12 Monkeys, Cole (Aaron Stanford) and Railly (Amanda Schull) did the unthinkable: They prevented the plague from killing off most of the world’s population in 2016. They actually changed the past! End of show, happy ending, right? Wrong. Oh, so wrong.

Though they effectively altered the past (and therefore the future), the plague was eventually released in 2018, but this time, many lives were saved since Railly could prepare the CDC for its arrival.

However, Cole and Railly couldn’t agree on the next plan of action, so she left him behind in the present, where he discovered that Jennifer was some sort of Primary — whatever that means. Other big reveals from the time change? Jones (Barbara Sukowa) has a love interest in Battlestar Galactica‘s Michael Hogan. To get the scoop on what’s next, EW turned to executive producer Terry Matalas:

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: The plague was destroyed! Can you talk about why Cole didn’t disappear?

TERRY MATALAS: Well, he didn’t disappear because he hasn’t made the magnitude of a change that he and Jones were hoping they would make in the pilot. So, even though they have changed the future significantly, they are still on the same course. In order for Cole to be erased, it’d have to be a pretty magnificent change to history. Even though they have saved lives, and now there is hope that they can, the mission is still just beginning.

How different is this timeline?

It’s certainly different enough for Jones, and different enough in the way that there are more survivors in the apocalypse. Also, there is now a less-clear view of what the last two years have been. The investigation that they were on now has changed, but it’s also murkier as to what those two years leading up to the plague in 2018 are. That will offer some course corrections later on in the season in stopping the plague.

Will we get to see what the outside world looks like after this change?

Yes, but there is a big threat to it coming, and you won’t want to go outside, I’m pretty sure.

Railly left Cole behind, with Jennifer basically having to threaten Jones to bring him back to the future. How does Cole feel about that?

He’s very hurt, but I think this Cole is a little bit more patient, a little bit more understanding, and has spent so much time blaming himself for what she’s turned into that he is going to take a beat and try to connect with her in a more patient way, in a way that we haven’t seen Cole be before.

We also learn that Jennifer is a Primary. What does that mean?

Clearly, Primaries are connected to time in a unique way. The Striking Woman (Alisen Down) said in those flashes from Jennifer’s memory that she can see the changes in time, that Primaries are important, so we’ll learn more about that in upcoming episodes.

Is Jennifer in love with Cole?

She certainly believes she is. Yes, I think she is in love with Cole, but there are two Jennifers. Young Jennifer is in love with Cole, and old Jennifer loves Cole in a way that is really unique in the respect that if you could spend time with someone you were in love with, but you have 30 years on them, and you’ve seen him in a more colorful, mature way than you would have seen them in your present way. Old Jennifer’s an important character this season, and how she views our characters in this world is really heartwarming.

How does Jones deal with the fact that she suddenly has this love interest in her life, but she doesn’t even know him?

Jones is pretty thrown by it all. There are so many changes happening so fast that she’s having to rush to catch up, but at the same time, it’s going to be good for her to have a kindred spirit, someone else to bounce some of the scientific ideas off, and certainly, by episode 4, Eckland’s unique view on how she’s handling a problem will be important to her.

If the Messengers hadn’t gone back in time, and Cole had burned the plague in time, would it have had their desired outcome?

Possibly, or has it always happened this way is another way of looking at it.

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

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