12 Monkeys: Arms of Mine Review

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By: Ashley Binion (@ashleybinion)

After an entire season of twisty time travel, 12 Monkeys ended its freshman run with an episode that asked new questions and paid off some old ones.

Warning: Spoilers ahead.

Surprisingly the episode felt very full circle and the series didn’t go to big. It was a solid end to a solid season. It almost shows that the writers know where they are going with this. Sometimes when a series goes too big, they are trying too hard to distract you with something bright and shiny.

Throughout the episode there was an air of revenge. Cole wanted revenge for his father, Deacon wanted revenge for his West VII followers, and the former engineer from Spearhead wanted revenge for his fallen friends at Spearhead.

One of the best things the show has done is consistently reference the pilot. In a previous episode they’ve played “Arms of Mine” during Cassandra and Cole’s dance. This episode opened with the same song and monologue from the pilot, but this time with a montage of different characters and more added to the end monologue.

Now the monologue has a deeper and richer meaning compared to when it was recited by Cole in the first episode. There are now characters that the audience cares about who are attached to these words. Before, the words felt like they were just a blanket statement from the future. A desolate place where they wanted to hit the reset switch to save humanity. Instead, the words now feel like they are referencing Ramse and Jones. Two people who have done horrible things in order to further their agenda. One is desperate to keep things the same and the other is desperate to hit the reset switch.

I was wondering who was going to bite the dust. In today’s landscape a season finale almost always means someone dies. Poor Aaron was the poor unfortunate soul. It’s remarkable to see how much the character has changed over the course of 13 episodes. At first he was Cassandra’s hot shot boyfriend, then turned into Cole’s comic relief, then went full on nuts trying to save Cassandra. Yes, even though he betrayed Cole and the mission he did it for what he thought was right. At that point everything they were doing was aiding in the future’s events, not preventing them.

Cole saving Ramse seems to be the beginning of the story changing. Because of the injection he got in the previous episode, “Paradox,” he’s no longer bound by time or fate. He went against fate and showed that free will is indeed in play. (Oh and I love that Mr. Jones is the one who is unknowingly sending plants back to his ex-wife. So clever.)

So, I’m going to go ahead and guess that the blue man group are the babies Olivia was hovering over at the end of the episode. “Paradox” briefly introduced the blue man group and “Arms of Mine” did little to lift the veil on what they want and who they are.

Jennifer Goines continues to be a bright spot on the show. I don’t think I’ll ever stop singing her praises. I love how unpredictable she is. Just when she seems lucid and with it during the shareholders meeting, she starts ranting and raving, but then she throws another curve ball and says that was all just an act. Gosh she is great.  And, in the last moments of the episode she appears to have become the virus’ distributor. For those who’ve seen the movie version of 12 Monkeys, the ending of the episode looked strangely familiar.

Apparently Ramse isn’t the Witness, at least that’s what he claims. Just when you think the series has given you a concrete answer they take it away. I’m curious to see who this person is and what they have to do with Cole and the plague.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars


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