12 Monkeys: Bodies of Water

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By: Ashley Binion (@ashleybinion)

 

Sometimes 12 Monkeys feels like a series that’s more interested, and therefore invested, in plot. That’s not necessarily a bad thing. For a show like this, that has so much plot to get through, it only makes sense that it’s their main priority. “Bodies of Water” was an episode that focused mainly on character with a side of plot.

 

Warning: Spoilers ahead.

 

12 Monkeys commits itself to fast-paced storytelling. “Bodies of Water” was a somewhat slower-paced episode where the main characters weren’t racing around to save the world. Surprisingly this worked in 12 Monkeys’ favor. Hands down this episode was the best of the season so far.

 

It’s so easy for a series to get lost in plot, ultimately trying to get the actors from Point A to Point B. Especially on a show so heavily serialized, such a 12 Monkeys, the writers rely on that type of storytelling. They do it so much that the character development sometimes suffers. “Bodies of Water” was a fantastic detour into two secondary characters, Jennifer Goines and Deacon.

 

Up until now the two have been largely background characters. It’s not surprising that little has been done with both because the focus is either on the plot or Cole and Cassie. Jennifer and Deacon have been intriguing and fun characters that deserved their time to shine and this was that episode.

 

With the focus on Jennifer, in 2016, came the return of both Olivia and the Pallid Man. (I noticed this episode that the characters on the series have now started calling him the Tall Man. For sake of continuity I will still call him the Pallid Man.) Even though Olivia was still alive the last time the audience saw her it wasn’t looking as if she was going to live. Props to Jennifer for standing up for herself and Cassandra by not being manipulated by Olivia. From what we heard, she had been manipulating the younger woman for years. When Leland was alive he would reference Jennifer’s mother and in this episode we finally saw a little of Jennifer’s mother via flashbacks.

 

Throughout the series Cassandra and Jennifer have been enemies, mostly because of Jennifer’s jealousy of Cole and Cassandra’s relationship. Their dynamic changed dramatically over the course of the episode, maybe even turning them into friends.

 

There were a good amount of revelations throughout the episode. The Witness has been a mysterious figure that is still quite ambiguous. However, “Bodies of Water” revealed how Olivia and the Pallid Man communicate with The Witness. I would have never guessed that the house in the Red Forest are where the characters get their marching orders. The figurehead of the Army is still an unknown to us, unless Aaron’s appearance is actually The Witness’ true identity. I would enjoy it if the leader of the Army has been Aaron all along. As far as we know he died in the fire, but he easily could’ve been pulled from the blaze. It’s plausible considering how obsessed The Witness is with Cassandra.

 

The Word of the Witness document was intriguing. I stared at that document for so long trying to decipher anything. Yeah, I couldn’t really find anything of significance besides I have no idea who Kyle Slade is. It said his birth was in 1939. And Jennifer’s days are numbered as her death date was in 2044.

 

The episode also came with quite a bit of humor. It was refreshing to see the characters make a joke or two. To date, “Time Jesus” might be the best line to ever be uttered on the series. Thank you Deacon.
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars


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