In 2044, Cassie works with the West 7 to explore the outside world for parts to reconstruct the machine. After months in the brutal environment, the former doctor has become quicker to kill in trying to secure the world’s safety. Finally, the machine is rebuilt, and Jones sends Cassie back in time to prevent the spread in New York. In 2016 Ramse wakes from unconsciousness and quickly runs to the roof after hearing gunshots. He finds Cassie who holds him at gunpoint and threatens to kill him for his involvement in the virus as well. She once again implores Cole to kill Jennifer in order to prevent the virus from being let loose. Cole instead manages to convince Jennifer to hand him the virus of her own free will. With a piece of the virus secured, the group travels to the airport to destroy the rest in Jennifer’s possession.
Cassie drives as she explains that she was sent from August 2, 2044 after being sabotaged by the Messengers to prevent the beginning spread of the virus in New York. Cole tries to explain that Ramse and Jennifer had helped him, but Cassie is adamant on completing the mission if it means death, a notion Ramse recognizes in Deacon. Cassie still refuses to listen to Ramse even though he reveals that the army is out to kill him as well. Finally, they arrive at the airport and begin to torch the remaining cases of the virus. While Cassie is quickly moving things in place, Ramse still refuses to help at the risk of his son. Cole, unfortunately, allows Ramse to fall back. At the second the virus is destroyed, time begins to alter around them as Cole, Cassie, Ramse, and even Jones feel the ramifications. In the future, Jones watches the world change around her as new people and events appear, except for the death of her daughter.
Cassie reveals a vial of serum that is meant to be used to return Cole to the future, but, after seeing Cole being compromised with his feelings for Ramse, she instead injects Ramse to take him prisoner in 2044. The two then arrive in an alternate 2044 where Jones explains the new time to Cassie. Jones states that now the virus was unleashed in 2018, and, with Cassie’s advanced help, the CDC fought a stronger fight against the pandemic. Hundreds of thousands were possibly saved although no one is aware of the change beyond those four time-travelers. Still, the virus spread across the world with the similar speed. With this new opportunity, they plan to continue their mission, though Cassie advises against using Cole following their rift. Their next goal is to get information from Ramse who is currently being tortured by Deacon.
Jones: I had to investigate our own investigation!
Back in 2016, Cole is trapped with Jennifer as he questions his next move. Jennifer begins spouting the number 607 which leads Cole to find a number to Jones in that year beginning with 607. The two then head to the nearest place with a phone which Jennifer takes as a hotel that she claims he’s visited. Cole books room 210, despite Jennifer’s insistence on room 607 since the room is stated to be private. In the room, Cole proceeds to call Jones against her best wishes to preserve the timeline. Since he has not yet returned to 2044, the 2016 Jones deduces that there must be a reason that 2044 Jones has not sent anyone back. She then tells him not to call back to avoid any other problems. In the midst of this conflict, Jennifer begins to crack after losing her apparent purpose given to her by Olivia to take out the world. She destroys a mirror and nearly slits her wrists when Cole stops her. Jennifer then tackles him, shouting that he should have let Cassie kill her. Meanwhile, the manager of the hotel seems to recognize Cole.
Deacon continues to torture Ramse with no clear success. Deacon rebukes Ramse for siding with the people who end up destroying the world while Ramse simply states that he wanted to protect his son. He then recalls a moment in 2013 where he witnessed a man beating his wife and son. He heard the son being called Theodore William Deacon and called the police to save the boy, much to Deacon’s dismay. Deacon nearly kills Ramse at the remark until he’s stopped by Cassie. Jones also fills in the rest of her council on the alterations in time, including a surviving doctor from the takeover and the introduction of Dr. Eckland, who might have shared more than knowledge with Jones in this timeline.
Jennifer stops attacking Cole after seeing that they were in this position before in another situation. She reveals that she was told by Olivia that by helping to destroy the world she could finally stop the voices and live in silence. Cole advises her that she was not meant to kill billions as the army insists, but Jennifer is more frustrated that she has lost her purpose as well as Cole who is still in love with Cassie despite her new attitude. In the midst of their conflict, the manager comes to inform Cole that he is in the wrong room. He then reveals that since 1944, the room has been in perpetual ownership to James Cole, and the room has been continuously preserved by the manager’s family at the Emerson Hotel ever since. Cole searches the room to find several mementos including an old can, a suit, and a picture of Cole with a man from 1944. Jennifer goes further to find a picture of Cole with Cassie in 1944 with the address for Columbia University. She then further spirals as Cole is meant to be reunited with Cassie while she has no one. Cole, however, encourages her to move past what her parents or the army wants. Today, he states, she can find her own purpose.
Cassie then visits Ramse in his prison. He then says to her that, other than helping the army locate the virus, he knows nothing about their plans. To ensure his cooperation, she reveals that they have his son Sam in their custody. Even in desperation, Ramse screams that he doesn’t know anything and offers himself to be killed instead of his son. As Cassie learns this, the base is infiltrated by a robed woman who knocks out the guards and kidnaps Jones to a new group. Jones recognizes the group as the Daughters who demand to see the return of James Cole. Jones persists that Cole was left behind due to his disconnection from the mission, but the Daughters maintain that she will not return to the base unless Cole returns to the future since he was responsible for helping their leader, Jennifer, find her purpose. Under that ultimatum, Cassie returns to 2016 to fetch Cole, revealing to him that Jennifer had found her purpose and orchestrated his return.
Daughter: James Cole understands something you all have forgotten; our fates are intertwined. Here and in the past. Our mother knows this. Many cycles ago James Cole made a choice. An act of mercy. For that a debt was issued and now that debt has been repaid.
Cole then visits Ramse in his prison as they remark on the changes. Ramse reveals that Cassie threatened his son, much to Cole’s disbelief. Ramse warns Cole that 2044 has changed Cassie, and they can’t be sure what she will do. Cole then confronts Jones on leaving him stranded in the past, but Jones maintains that she had to what she could. He becomes more frustrated that the virus and its destruction still occurred despite their actions, but Jones insists that the saved lives in this time with many other survivors living in other bases in hope of a better future. She demonstrates this new future by showing him a radio that plays music from an outside line, one that now thrives. Finally, Cole talks to Cassie about what they shall do now that she’s in 2044. Cassie remains committed to the mission and questions why Cole lost his drive. Cole reveals that before, killing people never seemed to offer a change in the timeline. Once he spared a life, an idea he got from Cassie, he ultimately made a difference. He then leaves her with the picture of the two from 1944, an image which leaves Cassie in near tears.
Meanwhile, Dr. Eckland begins removing his things from Jones’s room. He remarks to her that he enjoyed bringing down the emotional walls she had built around herself. Now, he muses, he will get the pleasure of doing it once again. He bids Jones goodnight as she wonders about this new prospect.
Notes from 2044
- Looks like the Emerson Hotel may come back into play more than just in 1944. Did anyone else spot a old-fashioned walkman and a thick soda can in the well-preserved hotel room?
- For those of you keeping track of the new timeline, in this new 2044, the virus was released in 2018 instead of 2016 which also coincides with Cassie's message. Thanks to Cassie's advanced knowledge from 2014 and 2015, the CDC was able to prepare for the outbreak. Although it still spread to pandemic levels, hundreds of thousands of lives were saved, and other survival bases exist around the world.
- Keen-eyed viewers might have also noticed in the opening scene featuring Cassie's training in 2044 had the doctor wearing a gas mask traveling outside to collect supplies. As you recall, Cassie isn't immune to the virus still in the outside world!
- The title "Primary" refers to Jennifer who, despite having no contact with the time serum, seems to remember everything about the previous timelines.