12 Monkeys is filled with moments between or beyond the dialogue—often the moments easily missed. I’d like to share a few of them with you so that we can fully appreciate them.
Today we’re taking a closer look at one of those moments that get a whole other meaning the second time around—a scene from episode 1×09 “Tomorrow”. When we watched this episode for the very first time, we learned that, when Ramse and Cole were captured by Whitley and his men in 2041, somehow Katarina knew that this Cole was the Cole she’d been looking for. So how on earth did she know? I daresay most people didn’t question this at the time (I know I didn’t), because we didn’t have a reason to.
Of course now we do know, because it becomes clear in episode 1×12 “Paradox”. Katarina met the older, time-traveler version of James in 2015. She knew exactly what he’d look like. And with that in mind, it’s really interesting to go back to that scene in episode 1×09.
“There’s a million Coles, how do you know she’s talking about me?”
“Just know I do. As I knew that someday, I would find you. This mission is preordained, Mr. Cole.”
Yes, it very much is. And doesn’t that piece of dialogue get a whole new meaning after you’ve seen episode 12?
(And can I just quickly add that I think both Aaron Stanford and Barbara Sukowa are doing a fantastic job in this scene.)
We may ask the same question that Cole asks Katarina in “Paradox”, namely why did she never tell the future Cole that she met him in 2015? Granted, in 2041 he probably wouldn’t have believed her, but why not mention it later, when they become almost-friends? Was she afraid it would change the timeline?
Time travel is a fickle thing, and so are its effects on history. With that in mind, she probably decided to err on the side of caution on this one.
But here’s a more interesting question: Do you think it would have changed anything if she had told Cole that she had already met the future him?