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'12 Monkeys' recap: 'Cassandra Complex'

Cole travels to Haiti in 2014, tracking a lead on the night room while having to avoid Cassie, who is also in Haiti but doesn’t know Cole is there because time travel.

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Ben Mark Holzberg/Syfy

12 Monkeys

type:
TV Show
Current Status:
In Season
seasons:
1
performer:
Aaron Stanford, Amanda Schull
broadcaster:
SyFy Channel
genre:
Adventure, Drama, Mystery

As the title suggests, “Cassandra Complex” is all about the non-time-traveling half of the main duo in 12 Monkeys. The show has paid plenty of lip service to the professional and personal disarray in Cassie’s life following her first run in with Cole in 2005. “Complex” actually takes a look at that phase of her life, specifically during a trip Haiti in 2014.

As fate would have it, Haiti is also the location of the only other person other than Jennifer Goines who knows the location of the night room. So while some time is given to exploring Cassie’s state of mind, a task to which Amanda Schull more than lives up, she has to share the spotlight with the fate of mankind.

“Complex” opens with the titular character pointing a gun at her partner in time-traveling crime, Cole. The firearm is stocked with blanks, of course—this is just target practice, so Cassie can prepare herself for the duo’s next run-in with the Army of the 12 Monkeys. Training is cut short when the police call Cassie in to discuss the kidnapping of Jennifer in “Mentally Divergent.” The cops show Cassie a picture of Jennifer at work with the team in her father’s lab, which includes the one other person who escaped the 12 Monkeys. There’s a hint of recognition, so she snaps a photo and takes it to Cole.

Cassie explains that she worked with the man, a doctor named Henri Toussaint (Lyriq Bent), for a few days in Haiti during a stint assisting the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Unfortunately, after checking in with another doctor from the CDC, Jules (Jeff Clarke), she learns Henri died there, shot on a search for extra medicine.

This trip to the CDC is the first in a series of trying moments for Cassie throughout the episode. Not only does she have to face the CDC headquarters, the building in which she knows she’ll die, but she also blames herself for the death of Henri, having sent him on the search. Schull admirably navigates Cassie and the audience through the mixture of troubling emotions, including when Cole goes against her wishes to travel back to 2014 and talk to Henri himself. 

Cole confirms his plans with the scientists in 2043, though Jones warns him that solar flares in 2014 will cause some temporal interference. What that exactly translates into… well, she’s not sure, but she wants him on alert for that and to avoid Cassie for fear of fracturing his and her timelines. “Got it. We cross paths, it could kill me,” he replies before jumping back to 2014.

But he isn’t the only one destined to have a rough 2014. Cassie argues with her on-again-off-again boyfriend Aaron about going to Haiti—if this is the virus, she’s the only one in 2014 who would know anything about it.

Upon her arrival, she fears the illness sweeping the island could well be the virus she fears. Jules informs her there are too many possible suspects to nail the virus down. She wants to lock the place down for fear of it spreading, but Jules isn’t ready to make that call. In the meantime, she meets Henri, protecting him from a gun-toting man demanding medical attention.

Their initial bond after this moment changes from professional to personal, as the two commiserate about fighting the disease later that evening in their hotel. Throw in a little alcohol, some mood lighting, and two attractive people, and by the laws of television, the two have to shack up together for the night. Cole appears in Haiti that same night to begin his reconnaissance.

Cole spends the next day keeping tabs on Henri, dealing with the occasional temporal interference. Jones’ concerns seem unnecessary, though—Cole merely glitches in and out of time for a few seconds and sports a subsequent nosebleed. He follows Henri through a few alleyways, but is distracted by a shrine with the sculpture of a screaming monkey head. Before he can investigate it, Henri attacks him, suspecting Cole actually belongs to the Army. The time-traveling hero talks him down—stealing Henri’s gun to ensure his safety—and asks for information about the night room. Henri promises he’ll tell Cole, but only after he delivers the medicine.

NEXT: Trouble’s brewing in 2043.

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