Jonathon Dornbush
March 19, 2015 AT 05:00 PM EDT

12 Monkeys has been alluding to the Night Room’s importance for a few weeks now, and in the appropriately titled “The Night Room,” Cole and Cassie finally discover the fabled location.

The Night Room is, of course, the fabled room that holds the key to preventing the apocalypse from happening. But, considering he and Cassie find it so early in the show’s run, there was always a good chance things would go awry. They certainly do, as all of the show’s major players—well, those who can exist in 2015, anyway—engage in a Night Room showdown. Secrets, blood, and viruses are spilled in the process, but before the tension-filled climax, “The Night Room” offers a little background on what’s at stake.

“The Night Room” opens in 2011, as Jennifer Goines is introduced to the room’s security systems, including the Fort Knox-style safe housing the world-ending virus. Jennifer is the only one who can open it, a skill that may come in handy in a few years (and in a few minutes on the show).

Cole, unaware of Jennifer’s power, preps with Jones in 2043 for what could be his final trip to 2015. The time machine is still damaged from Deacon’s raid on their compound, so while overnight repairs are made, Cole, Ramse, Max, and a surprise guest, Jones, drink in honor of Cole’s time jump in the morning. The scene is a nice change of pace, both as one of the few times these characters have actually smiled and as a humanizing scene for Jones. Until now, she’s mostly been just the angry, curt leader throwing Cole through time, but the way she reveals that she had a husband who died from the virus only a few days into their marriage fleshes her out into an actual human being.

The team bonding can only go on for so long, however, as Cole makes his jump to 2015 the next morning. There, he and Cassie waste no time investigating the Night Room. They infiltrate the seemingly innocent premises, disguised as a restaurant supply shop, with little in the way of a plan, which concerns Cassie. They quickly run into a doctor, the same one who introduced Jennifer to the Night Room at the episode’s start. He begins apologizing, and before Cassie and Cole can ask why, armor-clad men point a couple of guns at their heads. Bet Cole wouldn’t have minded a plan at this point.

Cole and Cassie are led through the facility, discovering the men are the Pallid Man’s army. The building security is dead, and the Pallid Man made sure no alarms alerted the headquarters of Leland Goines’ company. Cole’s only hope is the big burn, the security system Henri mentioned in Haiti. Two people need to press two big red buttons simultaneously—one from the comfort of a protected viewing room and one in the lab directly next to the virus’ safe. Unfortunately for that second person, they, along with everything else in the lab, will be burned to a crisp.

The Pallid Man cannot figure out a way in, however, so he simply drills his way through the door. While his lackeys make their way through the safe, he decides to inflict some emotional and physical trauma on Cassie and Cole. Tying them up in another room, the Pallid Man lets slip that Cole killed Henri down in Haiti—revealing the truth to a stunned Cassie—while he rips Cole’s fingernails off his hand in the series’ most cringe-inducing scene yet.

Cassie begins to doubt Cole’s “kill a few, save the rest of the world” mentality after the Pallid Man’s revelation. The two, returned to the observatory above the lab, will have to hash out their problems later, though, as Cole realizes they’re not alone in the room. Jennifer is with them, too.

But the captives are only really biding their time while the Pallid Man and his men successfully break into the safe and find a rotting skeleton with one eye encased in water or some other liquid. As one of the men tries to grab it, however, a laser burns his hand. The final failsafe is only one Jennifer knows how to open, and their attempt has now alerted Goines’ company. Help should be on the way, but the Pallid Man wastes no time in threatening Jennifer for help.

Next: (Big) burn, baby, burn

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