Moments Easily Missed: The Rewatch Edition – The Right Thing, The Wrong Way

Today we’re taking a closer look at 3×04 “Brothers”, and the moment Cole has to choose between his brother and the love of his life.

Throughout the series, Ramse and Cole frequently have different ideas about right and wrong. Cole often refers to Ramse as his conscience, even when they’re not seeing eye to eye. In the episode “Brothers”, the tension which has been building since season one finally boils over, and Cole is left with the choice to either kill Ramse or allow Ramse to kill Cassie. Even if killing Cassie will stop the plague, it’s a step further than Cole is willing to allow his brother to go.

Both Kirk Acevedo and Aaron Stanford are phenomenal in this scene, but there are two stand-out moments.

The first is Ramse telling Cole that they’re always trying to do the right things, but that they do them the wrong way. This pretty much sums up their relationship throughout the series, and there’s a look of forgiveness and despair that comes over Ramse’s face as he says it.

He realises that he is dying, but he also realises that he needs to let go because Cassie is the one point that he and Cole are never going to be able to agree on. In his final breath, he tells Cole not to undo this (not to bring him back). It’s like he’s absolving him for loving Cassie. At this point, they have both lost so much, and while Cole still has his love for Cassie, Ramse’s son and Elena are both gone. He really has nothing left to fight for.

The second killer moment comes when Ramse whispers, “I’ll see you soon,” right before he dies. That sentiment mimics what Cassie says to Cole when she dies in his arms at the CDC and hearing it from Ramse finally breaks Cole. Although he is aware that on this mission there are “no straight lines,” the loss of his two closest friends, can’t do anything by play with his emotions. The loss of Ramse and his insistence that Cole not use the time machine to undo his death echoes back to Jones prediction in season one, when she tells Cole that time is cruel and that it is going to take what it is owed. It’s like the truth of those words are absolutely coming home, especially when considering that Cole has already forewarned himself that “things inside him are going to break.” You see the realization of the truth of these warnings wash across his face. The utter despair of being completely alone, the guilt, the sacrifice and the misery of his mission and the loss of his moment of happiness with Cassie are all there. It is heart-rending.

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