“12 Monkeys” Season 1 Episode 4 “Atari” aired on Friday, Feb. 7, 2015, at 9:00 p.m. Syfy. This week, viewers learn more about Cole’s origin before he became a time traveler. The show also did a really cool trick with the time travel element. Find out what happened in the recap below.
Following the last episode (“Cassandra Complex” air date: Jan. 30, 2015), Cassandra Railly (Amanda Schull) is bent on finding the location of the night room. It’s 2015 and she’s mapping out possible sites and leads. Cole (Aaron Stanford) is with her and she turns her attention to him. Since he knows so much about her already, why doesn’t he start telling her something about himself? But before he could tell his story, he senses he is being teleported back. When Railly glances at him, he’s already gone.
Cole is in 2043 and he’s immediately told that there’s been a problem with a group of bandits, the West Seven (WVII). It was previously confirmed by Ramse’s encounter with Max (Romina d’Ugo) from the last episode. Ramse believes they will be attacking soon. Deacon (Todd Stashwick), the group’s leader, is notoriously dangerous. Jones (Barbara Sukowa) tasks Ramse and Cole to take care of the defensive as they have experience with West Seven; they used to be a part of the group. Soon enough, the bandits they’re expecting arrives.
It’s the 2032 timeline and like everyone else still alive at this time of the plague, Cole and his companion Ramse (Kirk Acevedo) are scavenging to survive. They see a dog who’s also looking for food. Instead of killing it for meat, Cole and Ramse take the dog in as their pet. Ramse remarks that at this point, they’re all just “ataris,” a video game he played as a little kid. It means that they’re all out of moves and barely surviving. It’s a bad situation and they need to find a way to stay out of it.
Cole and Ramse encounter Deacon’s group for the first time. They try to fight them off, but they’re outnumbered and cornered. Yet, instead of killing Cole and Ramse and taking what little they have left, Deacon recruits them to his group. It was despite Ramse’s skepticism and hesitation.
Deacon has a reputation. He slaughtered a lot of people including everyone at the quarantine zone who had a chance to live. He’s philosophy is that the world already belongs to the immune, to people like them. It’s a dog eat dog world out there and they need to eliminate those that are risky threats.
Cole and Ramse meet the rest of the members of the bandit group, and one of them, Max, becomes Cole’s lover. As months go, the two guys learn to adapt with the West Seven and have even killed for the team. Unfortunately, the tension between Ramse and Deacon grows more strained. It got to a point where Ramse has to let Cole see that Deacon is killing people because he loves the power, not because he has to survive. It also got to a point where Deacon actually ordered Cole to eliminate Ramse. Instead, they escape the group and find their way to the complex where they’re now helping Jones and the scientists.
It’s once again back in 2043, and it looks like Deacon’s group has breached the complex via a diversion. They found a way in through the tunnels. How did this happen?
While fighting off Deacon and his group, Cole and Ramse got separated. Cole is able to secure Jones in the receptor’s (time machine) room. Ramse remains in one part of the complex just outside it. However, he eventually gets cornered by Deacon’s men and believing that it’s his end. Then, he radios Cole to tell him that he’s an Atari. From the other end of the radio, Cole hears gunshots and then he hears nothing more. He assumes that Ramse has been killed. From another end of the complex, Deacon breaches the receptor’s room.
Jones immediately asks Cole to sit on the time machine. It was because she will be sending him back to Railly in 2015 to continue his mission. He cannot die here and he cannot die this way. She tells Cole that they might never see each other again, and before Deacon finally breaks in, Cole is transported back in time.
Except, he’s not sent to 2015, but just to two days prior to Deacon’s attack. He’s captured by Max and brought to their leader. Of course, they don’t know that he has time-traveled. It’s Cole who gives the West Seven ideas on how to get through another way at the complex. Then, he was tricked into it by Max. However, when Deacon left Max with Cole as he prepares to launch an attack, Max tells Cole that they have to go there and tell his friends. They have to stop Deacon. Max is on his side after all.
Here’s where the time travel element got really tricky for this show. During the attack by the West Seven, there are actually two Coles on the scene. While Ramse has been talking to the Cole on the radio, telling him that he’s an Atari, there’s another Cole in the room with him; the Cole who time-traveled and rescued him after being cornered by the bandits.
The sequence is very reminiscent of when J.K. Rowling used the Time Turners in one of her “Harry Potter” books. Cole later explains that the time element is still uneven. His return to two days back is perhaps due to the fact that bullets were being aimed at him and the machine as he was being teleported by Jones.
Meanwhile, Deacon realizes that he’s defeated. He orders his group to abandon the complex. But Cole believes that they will come back more determined than ever. It was especially when they already saw that the complex has electricity strong enough to power a time machine.
Max, on the other hand, has been welcomed into Cole’s new group. Her presence brings some questions to light — is she trustworthy and will she affect the Cole and Railly dynamics?
The episode closes with a nice bookend, back to 2015, where Cole returns after the West Seven incident. He’s ready to tell Cassie his origin, but she’s too excited to tell him that she may have already found the night room.
— 12 Monkeys (@12MonkeysSYFY) February 7, 2015
That’s the recap for “12 Monkeys” Season 1 Episode 4 “Atari” which aired on Friday, Feb. 7, 2015 at 9:00 p.m. Syfy. For more about this show, keep following Movie News Guide (MNG) regularly for the updates.
Photo Source: Wikimedia Commons/Thibault