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Friday, March 13, 2015

12 Monkeys 1.9: Shelley, Keats, and Time Travel

Two significant deaths in 12 Monkeys 1.9 - though, of course, death isn't death when time travel is concerned.   You might say death itself is perishable, certainly not immutable or irreversible, when it can be revered at any later earlier time by a time traveler.  In that sense, this fine 12 Monkeys narrative - in some ways, even better than the excellent movie, as I've already been saying - gives substance to Shelley's immortal paean (regarding Keats), "'tis death is dead, not he".

But the deaths still sting.   Jones' point blank execution of Foster is unsurprising, given her steely resolve, but it still packs a ruthless wallop, tuned up even further when we learn that Foster may indeed have been on his way to getting a cure for all plague mutations.  Why was this not enough for Jones?

Well, it's a lot more than ego.  Jones wants no one who died from the plague to die, especially those she knew and loved.  Foster's plea that the past can live on through great works - he talks about Shakespeare but the example could easily have been Shelley and Keats - does not satisfy Jones.  As I mentioned last week, Foster's position would be pretty appealing if our world were really afflicted by a plague. I mean, even in a world without a plague, I like the idea that we can live on through our great works - hey, I'm a writer, of course I feel that way.

But in a world in which time travel is real, that's probably a better solution.  I say probably, because it's hard to get your head around the "fact" that if the plague is prevented at the outset, then everyone we've come to know and in some cases love won't exist in that way that we've come to know them. They'll be alive, but not without the memories that we may cherish.  Jones knows that, but she's willing to lose those memories to regain her daughter.

And the second death of the episode, Cassie, puts Cole in that same position. Love conquers logic, and Cole is now one with Jones in doing whatever is necessary for him to travel to the past to save Cassie.   If this puts him at deadly odds with Ramse now, so be it.

Just saw yesterday that 12 Monkeys was renewed for a second season - good news, the twists and loops and profound chords of this story will do well to have another season or more to play out.

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

podcast review of Predestination and 12 Monkeys

 three time travel novels: the Sierra Waters trilogy

 photo LateLessons1_zpsogsvk12k.jpg
What if the Soviet Union survived into the 21st century,
and Eddie and the Cruisers were a real band?

The Chronology Protection Case movie 

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