13 “Arms of Mine” (12 Monkeys season 1) [SPOILERS]


12 monkeys

So there we go. Thirteen episodes of 12 Monkeys been and gone. A whole new SF series, passing its infancy by in — what feels like — the blink of an eye.

When this started, readers will recall that I was rather sceptical of whether adapting one of the best time-travel themed films…well, ever, a) could be done, and b) was a good idea. I freely admit that I was wrong.

What we’ve ended up with is a darkly innovative series, confident in its bizarre but entertaining twists. I have been gripped since the start, and am a definite aconvert. And thankfully, it has already been renewed for a second series.

So will it end on a high note, or a bum note?

In 2015, Cassie and Cole try to track down Ramse and the Army of the Twelve Monkeys, as they move their plans for the apocalypse. In 2043, Jones and Project Splinter struggle to fend off an attack from Deacon and his creepy new friends, with depleted numbers.

Okay, so firstly here is where past and future really collide. All of the scheming is starting to come together. Torturing Aaron leads Cassie and Cole to to the mysterious woman, shortly before he seems to die in a fire. They head to talk to the new Markridge CEO, who as we saw last episode is Jennifer Goines.

Goines leads them to Ramse, and on to the Rariton Labs, where Dr Jones (That’d be the husband who left a pregnant Katarina after six days of marriage -Ed) is playing around with time travel and where Ramse is attempting to use the time machine to travel forward back to his son.

Now Cole initially assumes that Ramse wants to destroy the machine and prevent Cole’s mission from ever happening. Which is a pretty stupid assumption, if you know anything about time travel. Without Ramse’s interventions with the Twelve Monkeys, none of the future would ever happen. So Ramse wants to protect the machine. And go home.

The two old friends’ heart to heart leads to a reconciliation of sorts, and an understanding that at it’s core each are only trying to save one person: Ramse his son; Cole, Cassie. Cole can’t kill him, but Cassie feels differently.

So one more thing: I WAS BLOODY RIGHT! Ramse is not the Witness. Cassie doesn’t believe him, though, so she plugs him with a bullet, and gets shot by Ramse’s muscle. Desperate, Cole uses the preset machine to send her forward 28 years, in the hope that Jones can save her.

In 2043, though, things aren’t going so well. Deacon attacks the facility, along with his monk (ey? -Ed) friends, who are decidedly creepy. The moment when they release a truck full of birds, who fly down the Project Splinter exhaust, get shredded by the fans, and overheat the core, was every bit as mad as I’ve come to expect from this show.

Cornered, Jones wires the machine up with a bomb, in order to barter for her people’s lives. The creepy blokes agree, but they need Jones. It turns out that that these 12 blokes are the twelve monkeys. In 2015, mysterious woman selects 12 babies, who in 28 years will be the creepy sods. Still no clue what they want, though. Or what’s up with their faces.

The mysterious woman, though, has been gaming this all along. Jennifer Goines is going to release the virus, in order to “return the planet to the animals“. And Ramse is going to be found dead at the facility. Except he won’t. Whilst Cole passes out of the story. Except he doesn’t. He goes back for his wounded friend, and together they flee Rariton labs — changing the timeline that the Twelve Monkeys know, at least.

Just as Katarina is being led away in 2043, the machine hums to life, and Dr Cassandra Railly appears in the chair.

And we have to wait a year (probably) to see the conclusion. I would like to officially withdraw my complaint that it didn’t feel like this series didn’t have a second season in it. Clearly it does. And I don’t care that the time travel makes precious little sense, its a bloody entertaining watch.

And far from wrapping everything up, there are still endless questions. Ramse isn’t the witness (HA! -Ed), and indeed he seems to be only part of the Twelve Monkey’s knowledge of the future. A future where the monk-eys are after control of the time machine — but are happy to give the facility to Deacon and his people, so clearly they have some task in mind.

I‘m still betting on Cole being basically everyone. Witness, corpsicle, the whole lot. It has that symmetry which fits stories like this. But what interests me is how they fit everyone else around it. That’s what I’m going to be watching season two for.

Closing thoughts:

  • So the mysterious plant growing all over the time machine was a test subject sent forward 28 years from 2015. That’s a bit…disappointing.
  • More corporate speeches should be like Jennifer Goines’. And should include dodo birds.
  • A laptop is practically obsolete in two years, but the time machine is still shiny and state of the art 28 years later? Bull. Shit.
  • Is Aaron really dead? To be honest, I don’t believe anyone in this show actually dies.
  • The time travel in 12 Monkeys really doesn’t make much sense at all, you know.
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