Sunday, July 17, 2016

12 MONKEYS: Theory-palooza!

Gonna throw everything, theory-wise, that I’ve got cooking in my so-called brain out here and see what sticks. =)

Well, y'know, not quite *everything*, but whatever I can think of that has a bit more than just hey-what-if? behind it… Stuff that’s at least, umm, let’s say… half-baked.

Mostly. =)

I’m gonna try and keep the crazy-talk-splanations short. If you’ve read my rambling before, you know it tends to get away from me. Some of what follows has been covered in longer posts already.

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Elliot Jones invents time travel into the future. In inventing that, he’s also responsible for the creation of red leaves. He’s also the first person, umm, causatively(?), not chronologically, to get a chance to experiment with them in a mind-expanding way. Given his hippie demeanor, I can easily imagine him rolling the leaf before crushing it. =)

So, he’s the first human being to visit the red tea zone, the limbo outside of Time and reality, the eventual home of the Red Forest. Without the guidance of a Primary or someone with a mental map, like Olivia, who knows what Elliot’s experience would be like? Maybe raw, unguided exposure to the red tea zone is what makes Elliot the Witness, what causes/allows him to “see everything,” like the ant stepping out of the (Time) line.

And maybe he becomes the Witness that Cassie, Olivia, and Tall Man meet in the House of Cedar and Pine when he’s on one of his mind-expanding trips and his body is destroyed and consumed by a paradox event, the one that creates the Red Forest, perhaps the 1957 Melinda paradox, or maybe as part of the chaotic Splinter event at Raritan Valley in 1957, or perhaps a physical meeting with himself, once he himself becomes a chrononaut.

The big question mark/issue I’ve got with EJ as the Witness? Is the restoration of his consciousness into a body on the physical plane, in reality, worth all of the manipulation the Witness is responsible for?

What else is there for EJ? Saving the world/reality? Doesn’t really seem his style, except that that’s the place where he keeps all his stuff. Saving someone who matters to him? Katarina? Hannah? That seems kind of thin, too, although I do like the idea that his treatment of Katarina tugs at what there is of his humanity, as described above in DAVE-ECKLAND-IS-ELLIOT-JONES. Maybe it’s all a means to a still greater science-y powerful end? Or in service to another, greater intelligence or cause?

I’d just really like for it to be Elliot, cuz he’s there at the beginning of time travel in its technological and psychic forms, and he’d be a fitting opposite to Katarina, who declares that she’s not the physicist that reality needs, she’s the one it got by default. When I heard her say that, I immediately felt that she was talking about Elliot.

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Duh, right? I had my doubts as to his ability to become this shadowy mastermind. James Cole’s natural bent is to take action in the moment. Get from point A to point B via a bullet, right? But what we’ve seen of Cole this season, and what Old Jennifer points out, is a transformation in Cole, growth towards becoming not just a leader, but a clever strategist, with still untapped potential.

Y'know, when he hasn’t given up on saving the world to give his lady love a pre-apocalyptic life.

Another huge asset for Cole-as-Witness is his apparent “photographic memory.” He can recall every thing he’s seen (and perhaps heard) in his experiences thus far and leverage ever piece of it to manipulate and/or re-create the scenarios and strategies he’s lived thru, but from the side of the Witness.

How does he become the Witness? I still like the idea that our Cole confronts his older, Witness’d self, and sacrifices himself in a paradox. Ideally, it would be willingly, after reasoning out that he has to take this step to save/preserve Cassie, his friends, and possibly his family. In the aftermath of the paradox event, our young Cole’s consciousness is shunted into the red tea zone, along with the house and the Red Forest, while Witness Cole is fully resolved back into reality and able to move forward with his plans in/from his base of Titan.

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Yeah, I do believe I’ve covered this. =)

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The greatest straight-line (but there are no straight lines!) explanation for how he becomes big W is that it’s the Witness who takes his hand at the end of “Meltdown.”

But, if future Samuel is the Witness, how could he safely take his hand? Simple enough—the Witness has developed technology that amounts to an essence containment suit. Wearable tech (perhaps that version of the Plague Doctor mask we’ve seen with the rebreather and other mechanical bits?) that prevents the the contact/reaction caused by close proximity with one’s out-of-time doppelganger.

I’m 50-50 on whether Samuel lands in the distant past or future. I think either could be a great setting for the Witness to raise, educate, and train his replacement—his younger self. If it’s the future, a time and place somehow AFTER all the strife and death and conflict that he’s been raised in, well, the promise of that, a non-Red-Forest truly better tomorrow would be great motivation for Sam, who as a child demonstrated a pretty altruistic philosophical stance by chiding his father for possibly sacrificing billions to save his Sam’s life. Sam seems a natural for a big-picture-valuing ethical person, someone who cares about the Greater Good/Good of the Many.

And Sam-as-the-Witness would certainly emphasize the story of Ramse going rogue to preserve his son’s existence. It might be presented as something remarkable, something to admire and aspire to (and paints the expected Traveler in a fiercely loyal and motivated light), but for Sam the Witness, it’s a reminder of how a connection or relationship can lead to disastrous decisions.

One interesting “weakness” I kind of want to attribute to a Sam Witness is the salvation of his mother, Elena. I wince a bit every time Ramse stakes his claim of “fatherhood” to Cole, but I let it go. He done and lived and sacrificed a lot for his son’s sake, never mind that he’s only spent a month of two of actual time with the boy. But never once did I hear or see him consider some time traveling shenanigans to save the life of his son’s mother. You know exactly where and when she’ll be in the future—Leave a freaking note tacked to a bulletproof vest for her in 2016!

I’d like for the Witness to have somehow saved Elena. It would be amazing if SHE’s the one who takes Sam’s hand in the green forest, altho his reaction doesn’t seem to be in line with that. At least, not if he can see her face.

Hrm… Elena as the Witness? Yeah, I’ve thought about it, and would love it, but haven’t been able to connect enough dots to build a decent story for it.

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Yeah, a longshot, and the details of getting from the Adler we know to Adler-as-the-Witness are tough to imagine, but watch “Resurrection” and watch Adler.

Most of my Witness theory thinking involves one of our heroes as we know them being the pre-Witness. However, the funky looks from and at Adler in “Resurrection” seem to want to paint him as already the Witness. Having some fun in the field.

He’s programmed every Splinter mission, right? The pre-Cole “volunteers.” The errorful and malfunctioning ones. The successful (or at least, not completely disastrous) ones. What if the machine always worked as it should, but Adler’s programming caused or faked malfunctions and errors by design?

And in “Blood Washed Away,” he hits the road with Ramse and co, but at the Bleeders’ camp, he hangs back with Jennifer and the Daughters, and doesn’t go to Titan. I assume the plan is for Ramse, Marcus, Deacon, and Hannah to kill the Witness and come back for Adler’s time traveling know-how.

But his staying behind does allow for him entering Titan on his own and changing into mask and robe to join his minions—or sisters and brothers—in time for Festival.

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1957-1959 THIS WAS HOME

That message appeared on the wall in the house by the Red Forest when Olivia walked in to her red tea meeting with Mr. W. In the flow of the conversation between Olivia and Witness, it was definitely an unprompted, unconnected remark.

I want to believe that it was a message for someone else, not Olivia. That the Witness was finishing a red tea session with another visitor and that visitors are unaware of each other unless the Witness somehow wills it, even if they’re “present” at the “same time.”

Or, maybe big W was careless about erasing his message from an already complete “earlier” red tea session.

In any case, in the audience’s future, I see someone else visit the Witness and that someone enters the house “before” Olivia and maybe they’re trying to locate Cassandra and/or Cole and the Witness gives them that response: 1957-1959 THIS WAS HOME. So, it’s not meant to be taken as a first-person statement, but in reference to someone else (C+C).

Perhaps it’s red tea’d Primary Lillian who visits, attempting to find a proper time and place to intercept her parents(?).

Huh. Maybe that non sequitur *is* meant for Olivia. So that when she’s ready to take the fight to the Witness, she can exploit that information (disinformation?) to catch the Witness before he’s full Witness’d.

What *would* Olivia make of that information, anyway?

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Some possibly fanciful ideas about just who’s behind the masks and hoods of the killers of Ramse, Hannah, Marcus, and Deacon at the end of “Blood Washed Away”


Our heroes, Ramse, Hannah, Marcus, and Deacon, are killed by alternate versions of themselves. Ideally, goateed versions.


Our heroes, Ramse, Hannah, Marcus, and Deacon, are killed by people whom they killed. Each of them is done in slightly differently, as if each killer had a favorite method, or perhaps chose to deal with their killing in different, personal, degrees of intimacy. Ramse is skewered in the chest from afar—a slow bleed, so that he would see his people go before he does. Marcus takes it in the chest—facing his killer. Hannah in the back—her killer can’t look her in the eye. Deacon’s throat is slit—very personal, intimate.


Every mask and robe wearing Titanian is someone who was deleted from reality by a change made by a Splinter agent. Maybe the Army is made up of these orphans of Time, in need of home, family, and purpose. The Witness, Tall Man, and Titan provide all of this. They would be especially motivated to punish and prevent Project Splinter from adding to their number and possibly even undo their successes.

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Maybe Katarina has a type? I wouldn’t have guessed it right off, but it seems like it takes a bit of a hippie-dippie scientist fellow to break through her natural defenses. Both Elliot Jones and David Eckland fit that description. Eckland with more of the truly hippie philosophy behind it, a self-proclaimed pacifist, while Jones seems dedicated to his science (and the renown it should bring him), but seems familiar with a bit of mind expansion, man. Eckland could be Jones if he really got what he wanted and/or mellowed out, y'know?

So, HOW would this happen?

Through Immersion. Oh! Did I forget to mention? In order for this to work, Elliot Jones is/becomes the Witness. David Eckland is someone whom the Witness knows is/will be immune to the virus and part of the Spearhead contingent of scientists. He’s also someone who’s experienced Immersion. Whether it was voluntary (as a member of the Army) or against his will (a conditioned abductee), I don’t know, but either way, he was treated with and immersed in red leaf sauce, making him a vessel for the Witness’s consciousness whenever necessary.

I’m gonna say that “whenever necessary” covers the months and years of Eckland’s courtship of and relationship with Katarina Jones. Maybe this is a purely recreational trip for big W. An astral vacation. Or maybe a bit of karmic adjustment, an attempt to make up for how he treated Katarina when they split back in 2015, and the pain that he caused her afterward—first as Elliot and then as the big W. As the Witness he learns that he set her on the path of considering an abortion of their child, then orchestrates the events which lead to her mourning Hannah’s loss for 20+ years. So, I like to think that he returns to her as David Eckland to bring some happiness back into Kat’s life, and maybe possibly perhaps his own. Who else could possibly be a better, proper match for the godfather of time travel than its godmother, right?

Sure, the Witness was also controlling Cassie in 2044, but it was either a past or future Witness, and while they may have appeared to be at cross purposes, both were no doubt playing his and her parts just as required. Witness-Eckland does turn out to be the “solution” to the troubles unleashed by Witness-Cassandra after all, as well as the proximate cause (the grand romantic gesture in the name of love) of the Splinter energy that spirits Samuel away. If nothing else, we know that the Witness is a master multitasker.

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A couple of aspects of C+C’s experiences from 1957 thru 1959 that may signal that they didn’t occur in the reality shared by everyone else in the show.

1. The passage of time.

I can believe in the grind of the eleven months searching for the Primary being real and lived by C+C, but the jumps in time that follow the paradox… They might be jumps experienced by C+C themselves, as well as by the audience. It reminds me of the the weirdness of time in LOST’s Sideways reality, the willful malleability of time in the virtual reality of DOCTOR WHO’s Library planet, and the way Elliot gets his consciousnes to skip to the conclusion in that one episode of MR. ROBOT.

Yeah, it’s a stretch, but I like it. And it’s a smart detail because it’s in practical service to storytelling.

2. Agent Gale.

How does neither Cole nor Cassie contact their friend in the F.B.I. while on this mission?

That they don’t ring him in the eleven months makes me suspect the reality of that time as well, but I’ll allow it. Perhaps C+C work out that there’s nothing F.B.I. resources can help them with when it comes to auditing all of the Maxwell-Rigfield factory employees.

But in the two years after the paradox…? Cole on his own? Why wouldn’t he contact Robert? He’s got an envelope with important information about his future to slip into his overcoat pocket, dammit!

And Cassie, searching for Cole/Morris Morrison? What better resource than the F.B.I.?

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When Charlie paradoxes Melinda, C+C are caught in the event. Serumed up, the paradox sends their consciousnesses into a virtual reality, a temporary shared universe, in which we see the 1957-1959 events they experience transpire. In this bubble universe, Lillian is born, maybe to them, but maybe not. She is a Primary, born in the bubble universe. Being a Primary, she is aware of the reality/unreality of their situation and attempts to open C+C’s eyes to it. Maybe that’s enough to crack the bubble, but what about this?

What if it takes a Primary paradox to bust them out? And Lillian offers herself up as that (being Primary, she knows it’s meant to be, y'know, if it is). And it’s HER unique Primary paradox that lights up Katarina’s readings in 2044 and results in permanent erosion of Time in the region of the Maxwell-Rigfield factory in 1957, and, for better and worse, the creation of the Red Forest in the red tea zone.

So, Melinda’s paradox is the fuse and Lillian’s is the bomb. I imagine that C+C are ejected from the bubble and red tea zone back to reality moments after Melinda’s paradox and perhaps miles away, inside or near the Raritan Valley Labs.

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The strange chaotic Splinter phenom that zaps those four soldiers at Raritan Valley to the future is C+C’s ticket back to 2044. Maybe these future versions of them have been hiding in the facility during the 2044 events since Meltdown. Heh. Maybe they’ve been following Raging Ramse and Imperator Primariosa on Titan Road for the last 11 months, too. And once Ramse, Hannah, Deacon, and Marcus leave Jennifer, Adler, and the Daughters behind for Titan, C+C reveal themselves and offer up a plan based on Primary intel from Lillian.

Or something.

What IS the tech that’s brought to the lab in 1957? Is it a piece of Titan in development? I so hope that it’s a piece of the “flying saucer” wreckage found in Roswell, NM. =)

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What if Ramse met himself on that road? What would he tell himself? He came back ready to kill Cassie and then himself and ends up being talked into living for revenge on the Witness. Perhaps that’s exactly what future Ramse wanted him to do, but he painted the situation differently, something like what Old Jennifer tells Young Jennifer… The Old Ramse was where Young Ramse was once, and he chose to continue his walkabout and ended up living the life of a scav the rest of his (short?) life. He regrets not going back to get revenge on the people responsible for taking his son.

Yeah, not a huge redirection, right? I’m just very taken with the idea of Ramse’s walkabout being a true Walkabout, y'know? The idea is to meet yourself.

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Something that’s bugged me… Way back in the first couple eps of season 2, when Cole follows Jennifer up onto that rooftop in Chinatown, Ramse is also in pursuit, slightly behind Cole. He’s intercepted by someone we don’t see, tho, and knocked out. Then we see that Cassie beats Ramse to the roof resulting in the super gun fun.

The timing implies that Cassie knocked Ramse out. Can we believe that? With surprise, serum strength, and Scav King training, I suppose…

Still could it have been someone else? Could that moment have been exploited to replace or program/Immerse our Ramse? Could the Ramse we’ve known and loved in the episodes after that be a different or compromised one? He is pretty adamant about his intentional inexperience with red leaf shenanigans while working with the Army. Protest too much?

Actually, he protested just right, and it does seem in line with his personality…

Which makes it the perfect denial, right? =)

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JENNIFER: I see everything. The others like me. The numbers. 607. You, her.
COLE: Cassie?
JENNIFER: You want her to love you, but she doesn’t. Being single is not the end of the world. You two together is, though.
“You want her to love you, but she doesn’t.” What do we think of that? Hasn’t the rest of Jennifer’s Primary rambling been accurate, once it’s been deciphered and connected to actual events?

Do we ever hear Cassandra tell Cole, “I love you?”

Is she taking a (sexy) one for the team? Maybe Cole pointing out that Cassandra has succeeded in getting herself to a place where she has nothing to lose opened Cass’s eyes to the notion that Cole needs something to fight for. He’s completely resigned to letting the world burn and living his life out in the past. For whatever reason, Cole is important, and needs to get back in the fight, so, she resolves to create something for him to fight for—their relationship, perhaps their child (then Ramse will have to eat his “You’ve never been a father” words).

There are worse reasons to live a lie, right?

Anyone ever read DC Comics’s NIGHT FORCE back in the early 80s?

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In 1961, he tells Cole that he has a granddaughter, age 2. So, likely born in 1959. That makes her 16 in 1975, 49 in 2009 (James’s likely birth year), 55 in 2016, 59 in 2020, and 83 in 2044. 49 is a bit on the mature side to safely bear a child, so unfortunately, my wish that Gale is James’s great grandfather is not likely to come true. Boooo…

Does this 2-yo in 1961 connect to anyone we know?

How about Cole and Cassie’s child, born in 1959? I imagine the situation in the moment would be that C+C have had their child, they’ve been inspired/motivated to rally back to the Mission, hopefully with some intel about their friends that need saving, about to acquire transpo back to the future to take the fight to the Witness in Titan, and need to place their baby with someone they trust in 1959, possibly for the long haul.

Agent Gale—and his child, apparently—to the rescue. Hell of a thing to do, but Gale is definitely one of the Good Ones.

Would any part of this interaction/transaction add to the “bum hair” tally?

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What if Cass and Cole and Jennifer conspired to *fake* Zeit’s story and identity in order to bring Katarina hope again?

It’s possible that Cass and Jennifer pulled off such a deception without Cole’s knowledge. It depends on whether Cole ever saw Hannah on her sickbed. I don’t think we ever saw him in the same room with Katarina and Hannah. In the several attempts Cole says they made, having that happen would have tipped Katarina off.

So, Cassie’s the one who brings the girl to Jennifer and Cole in the woods. Where she’d get another/different 5-yo, I do not know. But on seeing her, Cole wouldn’t know it’s not her. And although Jennifer never sees Hannah’s face in Spearhead, I think her Primary abilities would clue her in if Cassie tried to pull a fast one like this on her own.

Technically, to escape the loop, two things had to happen…

1. Jennifer had to escape her execution.
2. Katarina had to mourn her daughter’s death.

So, saving Hannah was above and beyond, but certainly worth the effort to pull Katarina back from the precipice of despair.

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In the moment, seeing Cassie write those words in the bar of the Emerson Hotel, it seems like she’s writing them for Cole.

We know what follows, though, at least, in the version that James recites to us in the series premiere:
Where are you right now?
Somewhere warm, safe? Next to someone you love?
Now, what if all that was gone? And the only thing you could do was survive?
You would, right? You’d try.
You’d do things, horrible things… until you lose that last thing you have left…yourself.
But what if you could take it back… All of it?
A reset switch.
You’d hit it, right?
You’d have to.
If Cassie does indeed continue to write this message, who could it be for? It almost seems to be leading up to apology for hitting reset, doesn’t it? So, written to someone who might get deleted or overwritten as a result of a reset. Yes, that could be Cole, but Cole is all too familiar with this conundrum from actual experience. He doesn’t need it spelled out for him.

It seems to me like a message Cass or Cole might leave for their child. Maybe it’s a note that’s left with Agent Gale when he takes in their daughter…?

Or maybe a note for posterity, to explain their mission. I suppose it would only ever be read if they failed, tho, eh?

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We need for Young Jennifer to come across some artifact of Old Jennifer’s, some in-case-of-emergency-break case, w/a combination lock or password, so that these numbers will open it and reveal to her just the item or words she needs to see/hear (a dose of red leaf tea?) to step up properly to Motherhood.

It’s too bad Cole wasn’t present for the recitation of the lucky numbers, because then he could flex his photographic memory later and reveal something Jennifer left for him.

If Old Jennifer *was* in cahootz w/the Witness, or rather, playing at it, maybe she contributed these numbers as an override code for Titan. I mean, if you want the right numbers, who better to ask than a Primary (and 12 isn’t one of the numbers =).

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Well, that’s all I’ve got… All I’ve got time for, that is. =)

If I can find more insomniac hours before the finale tomorrow, maybe I’ll hunker down and assemble one final pre-finale dropping. Lucky you!

LOVE this freaking show!

Unmake history!

Keep on keepin’ on~

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