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Tuesday, May 10, 2016

12 Monkeys 2.4: Saving Time

A stunningly good 12 Monkeys 12.4 tonight, that touched all kinds of bases, and closed and opened all sorts of loops, just as a superior time-travel story should.

The action began with a bang, as Ramse, sent back in time to stop Cole and Cassandra from becoming untethered in time as we saw last week, gets hit in the road by a car just as he materializes in 1944.  This not only sets up the plausibly ensuing drama, but was satisfying if traumatic to see in itself in a time-travel tale.  I mean, there's no way that sooner or later that wouldn't happen to travelers who just materialize in the past out of thin air, in contrast to those who use a time machine that travels with them, as per FBI agent Gale's invocation of H. G. Wells, or, for that matter, in The Plot to Save Socrates by a much younger writer.

But Ramse being hit by the car is just the start of this outstanding episode, which also brings a paradoxically circular explanation for the emergence of the Pallid Man at the end, and Gale doing his bit to grease the wheels of time travel ala Cole and Cassandra to save the world.

Though, actually, in some ways the biggest reveal is that it's not the world that is the object of our heroes' saving in this story.  No, this is no save the cheerleader, save the world as in Heroes,  not even change the past to get the desired future as in Outlander, either.  This televised 12 Monkeys series, which now has exceeded and palpably transformed the 12 Monkeys movie, turns out to be about changing the past to save ... time itself.

That's a pretty daring proposition, and one not expected in a time-travel story, where the usual calamity to be prevented is anything from the end of a particularly important person to, as in the 12 Monkeys movie and the television series up until now, the world.

And if the end of the world seems almost a bit trivial compared to the end of time, that's because it is. The series now has some pretty steep philosophic terrain ahead.   But if the further revelation tonight that Jim Morrison was a primary, with psychedelics in the tradition of Timothy Leary having some insight into this, I'd say this series is on a pretty provocative and enjoyable track.

See also 12 Monkeys 2.1: Whatever Will Be, Will Be ... 12 Monkeys 2.2: The Serum ... 12 Monkeys 2.3: Primaries and Paradoxes

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

 three time travel novels: the Sierra Waters trilogy

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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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