Friday, February 13, 2015

12 Monkeys 1.5: The Heart of the Matter

12 Monkeys 1.5 was edgier and more profound than usual - which is saying a lot, seeing as how most of this series so far has been edgy and profound.  But 1.5 starts with in many ways the most profound question of the series: what are Cole, Ramse, Jones, et al doing in the future - why are they there - if Cole is being sent back to the past to stop that future from happening?  Every instant of their existence in the 2040s, in other words, shows that what Cole tried to do in the 2010s failed.  Right? Or doesn't it?

And the episode touches this paradoxical nerve repeatedly, culminating in Cole apparently destroying the deadly plague virus, being unceremoniously yanked back to the future - which is the only way he ever gets back to the future - only to find he's returned to something not quite the place in the future from which he departed.  Does this mean he succeeded? Probably not.  But we're certainly given a little taste of success not being as sweet as Cole and Jones may have imagined it to be, even though they never quite spelled out what that would be, and sweet seems mainly out of the question here.

Jones does give a good defense of why she ripped apart so many bodies to perfect time travel - still not very perfect, though at least it works.   Mozart, great literature, the cream of human culture is what she tells Ramse she's bent on saving.   We also get some good pictures of Jones when she was younger - Cassandra's age - which I suppose means she's not Cassandra, though I'm still thinking on some level she is.

Jennifer Goines has her best episode so far, including her rendition of Bill Clinton's "I did not have sex with that woman," which has to be a first for a television science fiction drama, hats off to 12 Monkeys and SyFy.  And Cassandra learns that Cole killed Henri, and handles that pretty well: she's angry and all that, says she doesn't want to continue fighting against the fate of plague, but she rises to the occasion and helps Cole try to snuff it out with flame anyway, before she's kidnapped by the man with the scar played by Tom Noonan.  His identity clearly holds one of the big keys to this puzzle.

And, just for good measure, we get some good insight into Cole in this episode, too, when, sounding like Don Henley in "The Heart of the Matter," Cole says what he wants most is "forgiveness" (even if you don't love me anymore - no, he doesn't say that, but it's strongly implied).

Looking forward to the next episode in what is now clearly the brashest, savviest time travel show ever on television.

See also 12 Monkeys series on SyFy: Paradox Prominent and Excellent ...12 Monkeys 1.2: Your Future, His Past ... 12 Monkeys 1.3:  Paradoxes, Lies, and Near Intersections ... 12 Monkeys 1.4: "Uneasy Math"

podcast review of Predestination and 12 Monkeys

 three time travel novels: the Sierra Waters trilogy

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three time travel stories (with more to come)

The Chronology Protection Case movie 

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