Spoilery spoiling spoilers follow!
Some thoughts that occurred to me In the course of "The Night Room"…
- The precursor is the body of a modern-day victim of a legit ancient virus (which is what Tall Man seems to claim). Something that was sequestered from the rest of the world in an antarctic ice or some undersea cavern or maybe a bubble of air preserved in hardened volcanic ash or lava, uncovered by a scientist or explorer?
- The precursor is the time-travel-shredded body of one of Katrina pre-Cole Splinter subjects, presumably immune to the virus, but perhaps still a carrier? Although it seems there's no concern for Cole being a carrier, right? Do they de-con Cole before he Splinters? Or maybe the virus is actually no longer around, having killed all of its potential hosts? Or maybe the virus don't survive a Splinter event? Maybe that wasn't true of earlier Splinter attempts, though. Okay, there are detaily problems w this, but I kind of like it for the horror paradox of it.
- The precursor is Cole's body, which would mean that the Night Room is his final resting place. Remember Jennifer's obsession with Cole's "otter eyes?" We also get to hear Jennifer comment on how she hates the way the precursor looks at her. I like the idea that she's talking about the same eyes, as horrible as the implications of that may be. When the precursor was wheeled out of the vault, Cole seemed to have a physical reaction to it. Again, it could have been a pre-Splinter snapback wave of discomfort, but hey—maybe not. Maybe it was the pain felt when someone encounters himself while time traveling, specifically, his deceased and chemically preserved self.
- The Witness is one of Katrina's pre-Cole Splinter subjects. Someone who survived the process but never returned. Perhaps someone who was driven insane by the experience. The Witness knows the history of the future and for whatever reason is determined to ensure it unfolds as he remembers.
- The Witness is a future Cole, driven somewhat mad (madder?) by repeated failures to change the future. It could be that the Witness might yet become the precursor (#3) as well. Another horror-ible possibility. In any case, I'm 90% certain the Witness is a Splintered individual, and maybe 5% certain that it's someone that Cole meets in the past—his personal future, a 1987 Splinter has yet to happen, remember?—to whom he gives, or is forced to give, intel about the apocalyptic future.
- Cole has Splinter-returned significantly later (weeks/months) than when he Splinter-departed. Pretty straightforward, if a bit aggravating. The core's power has dropped below Splinter initialization levels (but apparently, not return levels), which might have made the installation more vulnerable to another attack by West 7. Maybe this will be good for another more action-packed episode, but I really hope we and Cole haven't lost something like a year.
Will Katrina tell him it was the booze?
- Cole, Cassie, and Jennifer's burning of the precursor in the past actually changed the future, but only relatively slightly. Cole felt *something* after stepping out of the vault, right? Sure, it could easily be the weirdness he feels that precedes a Splinter snapback, but maybe it was a kink in a rewriting of his personal history. This would be *extremely* important, because it's actual 12 MONKEYS universe proof that the future can be changed. The previous episode involved some wonderful time hopping strategy, but did not necessarily change any events, right? It's that experiences of pre-short-Splinter Cole and post-short-Splinter Cole dovetailed (and very nicely! =).
Another thought… Jennifer met a future Cole in her childhood, maybe infancy. He protects her from something, befriends/charms her while doing it, and she holds a memory of his "otter eyes" from their interaction, but is not old enough to retain his face or name.
I was a bit surprised at how "well" Cassie took the news of Henri's death by Cole's hand. I get that she's got more than a tough skin when it comes to matters of life and death thanks to her CDC field experience, but still, a surprising lack of outrage. She says she can never be what Cole is, but maybe she had to be at one point? Or almost did, and couldn't make the call? Perhaps that will be in a story we have yet to see.
I'm waiting for a Splinter that sends Cole to a time between Splinters we've already experienced, where a future Cole tips a past Cassie off to something that a past Cole experiences or does. This, of course, would come with instructions for Cassie to not reveal anything of that jump to past Coles until after a certain date. Who knows? Maybe future Cole tells Haiti Cassie to get Henri to wear a bullet-proof vest? Or exactly where to be in order to save Henri after he's been shot and Henri-shooting Cole leaves?
Yeah, crazy talk. I do love having fun with time travel. =)
Keep on keepin on~