12 Monkeys: Memory of Tomorrow Review

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By: Ashley Binion (@ashleybinion)

12 Monkeys’ sophomore season finale was an excellent piece of thoughtfully-crafted story. It took the writers an entire season – arguably the entire series – to build to the reveal of The Witness’ identity and it was worth the wait.

Warning: Spoilers ahead.

Over the past couple of episodes, there was a large amount of foreshadowing about The Witness’ identity. Between the cutting of Cole’s finger, the words Cassandra found herself repeating in certain moments, and the house Cole bought, the suspicion was beginning to fall onto Cole. There was a reason why The Witness decided to show Cassandra a beaten-down house, the words “this was home 1957-1959,” and the drops of blood. Everything was pointing to him, but in a twist, The Witness was revealed to be Cassandra and Cole’s child.

“This is a story about how the world ends. One that begins at the end, and ends at the beginning.” In true 12 Monkeys fashion, those words spoken at the beginning of the episode have little meaning to the viewer. However, once those words are repeated at the end of the episode, those words make much more sense, or have a completely different meaning. It almost makes me feel as if I should have known the obvious nature of the words. I’m blaming 12 Monkeys. They distracted me with Madeleine Stowe. How dare they.

Speaking of Stowe, in case you haven’t seen the movie version of 12 Monkeys, she played Dr. Kathryn Railly. The series changed up some of the names from the movie version. I’m so over that little quibble, because the show is now such a completely different thing from the movie. Having Stowe come in and play the primary Lillian was pure genius. Props to everyone involved in making her appearance happen because it was a ton of fun. I would love to see her back sometime in the future.

At first, I was having trouble understanding how Cassandra was able to remember her life with Cole in 1959. That should be another timeline, right? Because Cassandra and Cole never got together in the “fixed” version. Then, I remembered Lillian’s line, “Death can be undone, but love cannot.” So, that somewhat explains how she remembers the life she had with Cole. But I have so many questions. Clearly, The Witness is alive. But is Cassandra currently pregnant? Or is that something that will happen in the future? Or is The Witness from the other timeline where Cassandra was pregnant in 1959? But for now, she is stuck in 2163 with a creepy room filled with Messengers.

Onto some supporting characters. Dr. Jones and the rest of Team Time Travel have risen! I knew their slaughter at the hands of The Witness wouldn’t be permanent. There was no way. However, Deacon’s fate ended up being the same. I ended up enjoying him and I wish they had done more with his character. At least he sacrificed himself to save Jennifer, who hilariously traveled to a 1917 French battlefront. This was another shout-out to the movie version where Cole got sent back too far and ended up in the same war.

Thankfully, Dr. Jones survived the Red Forest after Cole and Cassandra saved the world. She kicked so much butt defending the time travel facility. She’s always been tough, even slapping Ramse once, but having her sit there with a gun and cigar was just a whole new level. And, she got a dog! I’m a sucker for dogs, so that dog better not be dying anytime soon.

12 Monkeys’ second season was absolutely fantastic and “Memory of Tomorrow” was a fitting end to the thirteen episodes. Now on to 2163!

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars.


    One Comment

  1. RickJuly 20th, 2016 at 4:52 pm

    Didn’t anyone else notice the other Easter Egg, where Madeline Stowe told Cole, “Have a Merry Christmas!”….she spoke that line in the movie version when she left the answering machine message at the “Dry Cleaners” that was later monitored in the future by the Time Travel scientists. Excellent!

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