Saturday, February 7, 2015

12 Monkeys series 1.4: "Uneasy Math"

A really fine, logically tight, throughly perfect time-looped episode 1.4 of 12 Monkeys tonight, which starts off with a significant conversation between Cole and Railly in 2015 about "uneasy math".  This would be the inevitable logic of needing to kill a small number of people, maybe even innocent, to stop the plague that would kill billions of human beings if the plague gets going.

But the real math and guts of the story takes place in the 2040s future, in which we're fully introduced to the group we first saw last week, led by ruthless Deacon. He's the leader of some 200 people who are immune from the virus.  But they can't wait to inherit the world - because they're not immune to other causes of death, like knives and bullets - so they've taken it upon themselves to take what they need and destroy any threats, real or potential, including the time travel facility - which they know is a facility for something they don't trust - and Jones, Ramse, Cole, and everyone within.

And indeed, Deacon almost does - which is where the time-looped fun really begins.  As Deacon's attack proceeds, Cole hears Ramse being shot to death in an adjoining room.  Jones sends Cole back to 2015 for one last shot at stopping the plague  - and presumably her impending death and the destruction of the facility at the hands of Deacon and his people (if the facility even exists at all in a world without the plague) - just as Deacon and company are breaking into the time travel room.   Bullets fly through and by Cole as his body's on the way to the past.   He makes it back in time, but the malfunctioning machine brings him not to 2015 but to just shortly before Deacon's attack, and we're treated to a great little story that gets him back to the present just in time to save Ramse and Jones, with all the proper markers and voices we heard the first time around properly accounted for. That's what I call a time travel looped story.

So in effect we get a story within the larger story - which is stopping, or trying to stop, the plague - which gives us a bit of hope, because if a loop can be mined so well to work in the short term, why not in the longer, plague-stopping story as well?

And just to make matters even more interesting, here's my stray, likely wrong thought for the night: can Railly and Jones be the same person?  I know the accent is wrong, but the ages are right, the looks are compatible, and - nah, that's likely not the case, but in case it turns out to be, you read it here first.

See you next time!

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

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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