Previously on 12 Monkeys . . . James Cole punched the Pallid Man in the face in 2016 to learn that the destruction of Time in 2044 occurs in 1957 when the messengers of the 12 Monkeys ritualistically assassinated (or will ritualistically assassinate) the key Primary by “paradoxing” the poor bastard to death. Elsewhile, José Ramse and Cassandra (“Cassie”) Railly played a potentially lethal game of “Truth or Dare” with the post-apocalyptic librarian known as The Keeper by which means they eventually learned (after a trip to East Berlin in 1961) the location of “Titan”—the super-secret headquarters where The Witness hangs his plague mask and from which He is organizing the destruction of the fourth dimension. Thus, with two possible missions that might prevent Time from being destroyed, argument, deception, and insubordination ensued to a point that seems to have permanently separated our time-crossed, would-be-lovers, as Cole ordered the imprisonment of his one true love, Cassie; his best friend from childhood, Ramse; and their accomplice in deception and insubordination, Dr. Adler. It was announced on June 29 that SyFy (a stupid name for a mostly great cable network) has renewed 12 Monkeys for a third season of (only) 10 episodes. I am usually glad when I learn one of the shows I watch has been renewed, but my emotional reaction to the renewal of 12 Monkeys was neutral. I’m pleased that the actors have a job for at least ten more weeks, and I am glad to know I have the option of watching Amanda Schull 10 times next season. However, after preventing the destruction of Time this season,[i] I don’t know where the series can go next season—though executive producer Terry Matalas said the third season will be “even more twisty and emotional.” Matalas’s quantifying phrase even more bothers me a bit because it implies the current season has been “twisty and emotional” (at least to some degree). However, I have found this season’s plot points to be constantly predictable, and the emotional tension to be either non-existent (Cole and Ramse) or too exaggerated (Jennifer Goines and Dr. Katarina Jones). The only character who has shown any emotional validity has been Cassie. While there may be others, only two truly emotional scenes come to mind this season: The revelation that Dr. Jones’s daughter, Hannah, survived the plague and is a member of the nomadic tribe known as The Daughters; Cassie’s rejection of Cole’s romantic overture. Unfortunately, both of those powerful scenes occurred in the same episode: “Lullaby” (ep. 2.08). In both cases, the scenes were well-directed, but the scene in in which Cassie rejected Cole was also well-acted with the way Amanda Schull created emotional tension through the brief suspension of her breath and the stroke of her thumb across the back of Aaron Stanford’s hand. If it wasn’t for my weekly job of writing about 12 Monkeys for Psycho Drive-In, Schull would be the only reason for me to continue watching this series—not only because she is beautiful but because she is a very good actor who is invested in the material and creates a sense of authenticity with subtle aspects of her performance. In fact, Schull’s masterful acting has been one of the few bright spots in this mostly abysmal season of predictable plot points and over-the-top performances by Emily Hampshire (“Jennifer Goines”) and Barbara Sukowa (“Dr. Katarina Jones”). To be fair, though, Hampshire is playing an over-the-top character and Sukowa is consistently given dialogue that no actor could deliver with any legitimacy. Thus, the hyperbolic delivery by both performers is at least an attempt to do something with the nonsense they have been given. Still, a more low-key approach to the roles might create a greater sense of underlying tension. Because the renewal announcement came out so close to the end of the current season, the producers obviously planned for two possible conclusions, which means we are watching the plot unfold toward what could have been a series finale rather than just a season finale. In the case of this episode, I was sure we were going to see the death of Deacon. We saw so much of Deacon in this episode—particularly during the first 15 minutes—that I was certain we were going to watch him sacrifice himself heroically at the end of the episode. And when I say “we saw so much of Deacon in this episode,” I am not just referring to how many minutes of screen time the character was given. We saw Deacon without any clothes on, which was an Epiphone on many levels. First, his body is greatly scarred. He has several scars on his back and two prominent scars on (or around) his chest. Second, the fact that we can see the scars on his chest was also an Epiphone because we wouldn’t be able to see one of them if he did not shave his chest! A character who rarely shaves his face seems to shave his chest daily! (Or maybe he’s getting a weekly wax job.) I would think razor blades would be a rare commodity in the post-apocalyptic world of 2044, which is why I have mostly been amazed at how clean-shaven Ramse keeps his face. I’m guessing Ramse is making sure to pick up new razor blades whenever he is sent back in time on a mission. However, Cole and Deacon only seem to shave once a week (and never just before we tune in on them each week), as they seem to have a perpetual one-week beard stubble. With this new revelation of Deacon’s chest being as smooth as a baby’s bottom (save for the scars, of course), I am left to wonder whether Cole also shaves (or waxes) his chest. This “Hairless Chest Epiphone” leads to several questions that I hope are answered in the final two episodes of the season: Are the people of 2044 given a ration of razor blades? Does Cassie shave her legs and arm pits? Finally, an issue of even of more urgency: Who shaves (or waxes) Deacon’s hair on his back and butt cheeks? Is Cassie grooming Deacon’s back and butt, or does he assign one of his men to that unseemly task? With only two episodes remaining, plot points are beginning to come together for the resolution of The Witness’s dastardly scheme to destroy the fourth dimension and turn the entire surface of the Earth into a red-leafed forest. Some intriguing questions arise as the plot threads start to come together: Is the destruction of Time creating the same effect in other parts of the universe? Would it even be a noticeable effect on Mars, the red planet? Are intelligent aliens on extra-solar planets wondering what the hell is going on with all the red thunderstorms and red vegetation they are suddenly encountering? Will they be sending spaceships to Earth to help put a stop to the temporal redness? With Ramse and Cassie imprisoned, Jones is working on the mission to 1957 so Cole can prevent the primary Primary from being paradoxically assassinated (which essentially means Cole should murder the poor bastard before the Messengers can ritualistically assassinate him or her). However, Dr. Adler has also been imprisoned as an accomplice in Ramse and Cassie’s insubordination—and, wouldn’t you know it, Adler is the only one who knows how to plot the coordinates for the time jumps! I’m surprised Katarina doesn’t know how to plot the time jumps, but she has Dr. Lasky, a nervous bumbler, working on the time-jump coordinates. The problem is that the red temporal lightning storm is going to strike the facility in six hours and the nervous bumbler estimates it will take him six hours to work out the mathematical formula for plotting Cole’s jump to 1957! I don’t think Dr. Lasky is taking Scotty’s approach in Star Trek: The Original Series and exaggerating how long a task will take him so that he will look like a miracle worker when he completes the job in half the time. If anything, Dr. Lasky’s nervousness indicates he is probably underestimating how long it will take him to plot Cole’s time jump. Regardless, it’s obvious the plot for this episode is not going to involve everyone watching Lasky sweat over his calculations as the red lightning storm gets closer with every tick of the second hand on a giant analog clock. Thus, a coup d’état suddenly breaks out as Sgt. Marcus Whitley and some of his men orchestrate escapes for Ramse, Cassie, and Adler while also taking Katarina and Cole into custody. Fortunately, with Deacon’s help, Cole escapes and brings back the cavalry to storm the fort. Wait, no, that isn’t the right analogy. He brings back the savages to storm the facility—Grandma Goines and her Daughters of the Temporal Revolution. Unfortunately, during the siege, a beloved character is fatally wounded—and if that character dies, then “everyone dies!” Fortunately, the coordinates for the last jump to 2016 are still programmed into the time machine, so Cole is able to go back in time and bring the beloved character to 2044 as a replacement for the version of the character that is dying. Thus, the episode’s title, “Resurrection.” With sanity restored, and Adler back at the job, two missions are agreed upon: Cole will travel to 1957 to prevent the paradoxing of the primary Primary while Jennifer and her Daughters set out with Ramse and Cassie for the tiny town of Titan, Colorado to assassinate The Witness. As I mentioned earlier, this season’s plot “twists” have been predictable, and I suspect I know exactly what is going to happen in the Battle for Titan, Colorado. Based on the conversation that 2016 Jennifer had with 2044 Jennifer, I am guessing that most of the Daughters will be killed, which will then cause 2016 Jennifer to give herself different advice when she eventually becomes the 2044 Jennifer. However, we already know that the alternate path results in the destruction of Time, so then the alternate 2016 Jennifer will give herself different advice when she eventually becomes the 2044 Jennifer. In the end, the different versions of Jennifer will be stuck in a twisting time loop that would look like a Möbius strip and infinity symbol if we were to diagram it. In fact, this alternating twist of parallel timelines (or parallel universes) is playfully hinted at by Grandma Goines when Cole asks for her help in storming the Project Splinter facility. Jennifer says, “Mayday, Mayday, terrorists have taken over the Nakotomi Building, Century City!” Cole responds by saying he doesn’t know what Jennifer means, and Jennifer doesn’t bother to explain—telling Cole, “Forget it, McClane,” which just confuses Cole more. However, Jennifer’s enigmatic lines are a cute bit of meta-fiction that I enjoyed. In the 1995 movie Twelve Monkeys, James Cole is played by Bruce Willis, and Willis also starred in the 1988 film Die Hard in which his character, John McClane, got on a police radio and yelled “Mayday, Mayday, terrorists have taken over the Nakotomi Plaza, request urgent assistance”—which is not exactly what Jennifer said to Cole in this episode. In Die Hard, the role of Nakotomi Plaza is played by the Fox Plaza building that is located in Century City in Los Angeles. Thus, Jennifer is connecting Twelve Monkeys with Die Hard as if Willis’s James Cole and John McClane are alternate versions of each other—and that connects to her own James Cole and the possibility that there is a parallel universe version of John McClane who looks like Aaron Stanford. It would be great if someday there is a Die Hard television series that Aaron Stanford ends up starring in. It also makes me wonder if Jennifer has delivered any lines in this series that are based on lines Brad Pitt has had in any of his other projects—as Pitt played Jeffrey Goines in Twelve Monkeys (Jennifer’s counterpart). Anyway, there are only two more episodes remaining, and even if I’m wrong with my prediction about the Möbius strip time loop that Jennifer will get stuck in, I bet my other prediction will prove to be true. I predict the final two episodes will have several shots of Cassie being posed for the camera to accentuate Amanda Schull’s beauty. These images of Schull striking a pose will be interspersed with images of various characters posing for the camera as they point their guns at each other. Let’s see how the final two episodes play out. [i] I realize Cole and his cohorts have not yet saved Time (there are still two episodes remaining in this current season as I type this), but I don’t believe any intelligent viewers watching this series truly believe Time might actually be destroyed. Share this:TweetShare on TumblrLike this:Like Loading... Related One Response 12 Monkeys 2.12 “Blood Washed Away” - Psycho Drive-In July 18, 2016 […] picture of Cole pointing his gun at poor Reginald Dupuis, who is begging for his life? Well, in my review of the previous episode I […] Log in to Reply Leave a Reply Cancel ReplyYou must be logged in to post a comment.