12 Monkeys: Atari Review


By: Ashley Binion (@ashleybinion)

“Atari” heavily featured the future 2043 world in which the West 7 try to take over the rundown CDC facility.

Warning: Spoilers ahead.

For the most part, 2043 has been a mystery. Only glimpses of this time have been shown in the first few episodes. “Atari” focused solely on the grim future, which worked to the series advantage, giving them their strongest episode to date.

With the episode focused on the future, the audience was introduced to how grimy, grim, and downright bleak it is. No one would want to live in a place that unpleasant. I like the plot of saving the population from this future, but after this episode I wish the series would focus more on this setting. What makes the present, 2015, less intriguing is that we already know what this time is like, since 2043 is so unknown it allows for that world to be opened up and expanded.

There were flashbacks of Cole and Ramse in 2032 instead of the usual time traveling. The audience has little information about the duo pre-time travel. Really, their whole dynamic was a mystery until this episode. Somewhat surprisingly, Ramse has the strongest moral center of the two. Even though Cole didn’t kill Ramse, he still thought about it to stay with the West 7. And not for one second did I think Ramse actually died during the building siege. He didn’t even die on screen. When someone doesn’t perish on screen I’m always suspicious.

In the previous episode the West 7 (I guess you could call it a gang?) was introduced. Even then there were only tidbits of information introduced about the group. We met their leader Deacon, “The Scav King,” and he’s one horrible guy. He kills without remorse, which almost makes him a psychopath. But, he’s not a run around crazy psychopath, there’s an eerie calm about him that makes him much more dangerous.

Since “the king” didn’t die, I expect the West 7 storyline to continue and somehow have an impact on the 2015 storyline. The gang storyline is integral to keeping 2043 relevant and interesting. Without that, the future becomes just a place where Cole visits once in a while to report to the scientists.

The time travel element was really well done, it played a great deal with the intertwining of timelines. Watching the series have fun with the time travel element lets them play with it a little more freely. Jumping back and forth between 2015 and 2043 would get boring quick, so giving it different purposes helps it not become mundane. When Jones accidentally sent Cole to North Korea is another example of the writers having fun with time travel.

Sadly Jennifer Goines has been largely absent for the past two episodes. If we can determine anything from the previews of the upcoming episode it looks like Jennifer has a pretty large role.

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

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