Tuesday, May 24, 2016

12 Monkeys 2.6: "'Tis Death Is Dead"

A more complex than usual episode of 12 Monkeys tonight - 2.6 - which is saying a lot, seeing as how 12 Monkeys has one of most complex inter<->looping narratives going on television, as befits a high-intellect, high-octane story about time travel.

Jennifer, as she often does, has the best line, when she explains why what the Witness told Cassie, that ending time is good because it ends death, is wrong.  Death is what makes us human, Jennifer says.   Of course, all living organisms die, so death is more appropriately what makes us and all living things alive.  But a big part of what does make us human is an awareness of death, a cultural taking stock of it.   Anthropologists are pretty sure that even Neanderthals had this, in contrast to our nearest living cousins, chimps and gorillas, which do not.

Monkeys certainly don't, which may provide another clue as to why this series is named 12 Monkeys - a clue, that is, other than its increasingly tenuous connection to the movie.   But that's ok, even good, because, as I've said before, there's a lot more room for a bigger story in a TV series than in a movie.

Back to the Witness, he's apparently a shape-shifter, able to assume the appearances of others, or inhabit their bodies, and it looks as if Cassie may be his host, if her jet-black all-iris eyes at the end are any indication. The question will be whether she can be freed of this, and come away with some crucial knowledge of the Witness, or - well, the possibility that she can never free herself of whatever the Witness is is too awful to contemplate (it sorta takes a doubling verb to get this point across).

Temporally local cops continue to play an enjoyable role in these stories. Tonight we meet Detective D'Amato back in the 1970s, which we're introduced to when Cole and Ramse first go back there with Foghat's  Slow Ride - nice touch, since time travel seems instant but it's the ultimate slow ride in terms of eternity not moving, and intrinsically always foggy, too.   If you want to learn more about this family of detectives, just check out The Silk Code, which also has a Neanderthal and a serial killer.

See also 12 Monkeys 2.1: Whatever Will Be, Will Be ... 12 Monkeys 2.2: The Serum ... 12 Monkeys 2.3: Primaries and Paradoxes ... 12 Monkeys 2.4: Saving Time ... 12 Monkeys 2.5: Jennifer's Story

And see also this Italian review, w/reference to Hawking and my story, "The Chronology Protection Case"

And 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" ... 12 Monkeys 1.5: The Heart of the Matter ... 12 Monkeys 1.6: Can I Get a Witness? ... 12 Monkeys 1.7: Snowden, the Virus, and the Irresistible ... 12 Monkeys 1.8: Intelligent Vaccine vs. Time Travel ... 12 Monkeys 1.9: Shelley, Keats, and Time Travel ... 12 Monkey 1.10: The Last Jump ... 12 Monkeys 1.11: What-Ifs ... 12 Monkeys 1.2: The Plunge ... 12 Monkeys Season 1 Finale: "Time Travel to Create Time Travel"

podcast review of Predestination and 12 Monkeys


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