Moments Easily Missed: The Rewatch Edition – His Eyes
Today we’re taking a closer look at 3×07 “Nurture”, and the moment Cole comes face to face with his son.
Until this moment, Cole has been persisting under the assumption that he is going to be able to kill his son, because the benefit of saving the world will outweigh the personal cost. This all unravels when he finally comes face to face with the boy in “Nurture”.
Although Cole and Cassie have seen Athan from a distance in the previous episode, in this instance it is just father and son, and there is nowhere for either to hide. Cole has no choice but to look Athan in the eyes, despite being afraid of what he’s going to see there.
There’s a distinct moment as Cole is looking at Athan over the barrel of his gun, and you see his resolve melt away. The truth that this is his son comes over him. Not only is this subtle change evident in his eyes and his face, but also in his hand as it begins to tremble. Standing before him, Athan is no longer a symbol of destruction, he is the embodiment of the happiness that Cole has always wanted, but knows he cannot have. Athan is also, like Cole, a victim of circumstance and not the inherently evil creature which Cole had perceived him to be.
Both Jack Fulton and Aaron Stanford are amazing here. The choice to cast Fulton in the role of young Cole and as his son was inspired because the two really do look alike, and you can imagine a genuine family resemblance.
Athan, as a primary, has foreseen this moment. The resolve he has when he is finally confronted with Cole wielding his gun, the way he looks at him as if he is trying to puzzle out his motives, is beautifully captured. The two have a complete conversation with each other without either saying a word.