Moments Easily Missed: The Rewatch Edition – Alternate Jones and the Jinn

Today we’re taking a closer look at 1×06 “The Red Forest”, and the meaning of the word Jinn.

In the season one episode “The Red Forest”, Cole splinters to alternate 2043, in which Ramse is the leader of the West VII, and in which Cole is dead and Jones has never been able to send anyone back through time. While he and Jones are discussing Cole’s alternate time, he brings up his meeting with Goines in 1987, to which Jones responds, “It’s called a Jinn, a causality loop.”

Nothing more gets said about this again in the episode, and it falls by the wayside only to (kind of) be picked up again in episode 1×11 “Shonin”. Still, even in that episode, the term Jinn is not used. What is revealed is that Cole, who tells Goines about the Army of the 12 Monkeys, is actually causing the loop in which he personally is responsible for providing information that Goines gives him in 2013.

It’s not until the season three episode “Mother”, that Jinn comes into play again. In this instance, Cole encounters a future version of himself. This future Cole has some revelations about the fate that is awaiting present Cole. Speaking about Jennifer, he says, “Locked away somewhere inside that Primary pinball machine brain of hers is the answer to everything: the plague, Titan, Athan, The Jinn, the Witness, all of it.”

This is the first time the term itself is referenced since Jones’ mention of it way back in season one. It is never referenced again in season three.

More interesting is the fact that Cole refers to it as the Jinn, whereas Jones referred to a Jinn. While there are several causal loops within the show, I’m dying to see if these are not merely part of some larger Jinn, perhaps the snake that is eating its own tail. The fact that season four has been symbolized with the ouroboros seems significant.

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