Title: 12 Monkeys: “45 RPM” Review
Air Date: June 15, 2018
Genre: Science Fiction, Drama
Warning: Full spoilers for the third episode of 12 Monkey’s fourth season!
After the last episode’s more reflective moments with only our core heroes, we now see Olivia take most of the spotlight in 12 Monkeys’ third episode of season four. Finally, we see why Olivia’s determination to be in the Red Forest as well as why she is the Witness. The reasons are explained through a flashback of sorts and I say “of sorts” because if you remember, Cassie went to 1971 to get a chance to kill Olivia in the past, essentially to prevent the whole show from happening.
In this matter, I did not feel the stakes were high. We are barely three episode in and eight episodes are still remaining in 12 Monkeys. So Olivia can’t die yet since she is certainly the witness. Even if she were not, it would be dragging the mystery way too long. It certainly loses the value of risk when we are constantly reminded that they are stuck running around in circles. So in a sense, Cassie’s mission was pointless and even she realized this in the end.
This time we also saw the return of Deacon. The trailers of 12 Monkeys had already spoiled his return. We see Deacon wearing a Nazi uniform in the upcoming episodes. He returned with a vengeance for our main heroes and sided with Olivia. He feels that they abandoned him. The vengeance is not what bothers me, neither his return, but his reason. He felt abandoned and left for dead.
To be fair, the group didn’t abandon him. They clearly told him when he had to come back and Cassie almost sacrificed herself to save Deacon. He even saw a man be incarcerated when he tried to get past the blue light. What did he expect? For Cassie to run towards it? If she even stayed, what were the odds of her surviving the crumbling building? I am hoping that he is faking his vengeance and just trying to get a leverage by being a mole. Oh, and his return prompted Olivia to kill the guy with the scarred face and make Deacon her second in command.
Olivia knew the guy had no purpose too.
The most satisfying moment was the fact that Olivia is the very example that some people are just simply evil. We are led to believe that her mother was the one manipulating and torturing her for the name of the Witness. Olivia gets hunted, her only friend killed and she has branded the titan symbol on her back. Not to mention, she tells Cassie that her mother wants to sacrifice her baby. This and the fact that she was pregnant, led to Cassie’s change of heart and instead of killing her, tried to turn her on her side. This leads to Cassie to satisfy her murderous killing spree by killing Olivia’s mother. So she made her badass entrance by killing the guards in the mother’s house. Before our hero(?) can pull the trigger, the mother reveals that it was Olivia all along.
We get a montage of previous scenes revealing Olivia’s faith on the Witness. She was the one who killed her friend and when the mother was questioning if she doubted the Witness, we see it was the mother who revealed she was the one who doubted the Witness, not Olivia. Olivia was hell-bent on sacrificing a baby to the Witness. Herself, to say the least. Her past self-was evil because in reliving all the timeline, past, present, and future, Olivia could influence her past selves decisions and possess them. In an age where villains always need to have a tragic past or parents to be at fault, I was glad that this time it was literally Olivia who made herself a villain.
Then we see a possible Cassie vs. Olivia duel with Cassie vowing to kill her and Olivia brushing off her threat. The writers of 12 Monkeys were probably aware that one might also go crazy with all this mumbo-jumbo timeline madness and decided to throw in a status update on Jennifer back in London. So Coles saves Jennifer, but not our Cole. One from an unknown future who miraculously knew that Jennifer was going to jump on the rails. I still don’t know how that works. Why did Jennifer assume that Cole was going to save her? How did he know that Jennifer was going to jump on the rails if his past-self was not even present when that was happening? This baffles me.
I was able to get past this a little, since the Cole that showed up was one from an unknown future and seemed so calm, makes me wonder how far into the future he was from. Has someone already died in his time? He then pulls a T’Challa and reminds Jennifer to give her Cole a cheeseburger. She does. It was a nice little throwback to the very first episodes of 12 Monkeys. In the pilot, Cassie buys him a cheeseburger and he savors every bite.
Cole comes back because he needs her to tell him about the ouroboros symbol and she explains to him that the artifact is in the hands of the policeman. They meet up and we realize that he is not with the 12 monkeys’ army, but that he does know about them. He also knows about Cole because his name was part of a legend of his family line. It was a relief when Cole figured the puzzle right there at the moment. I was worried the show would drag out the puzzle all the way through the end. However, Cole knows the Ouroboros myth word by word.
Apparently, the myth was his obsession and read it every time in his childhood. Or he has a photographic memory and remembered every single word his father read to him. Who knows. A lightbulb appears over his head and puts two and two together. He discovers that the myth is the key to deciphering the artifact. At the end of the day, a paper with a specific time to travel pops out of the serpent and our heroes might have broken off the endless cycle. Cole goes back for Cassie in 1971. Cassie finally gets the memo that they are stuck in a loop and Cole goes all Daneryes Targaryen and he is like “We are going to break it.” They ain’t spinning that paradoxical wheel any longer. Nice.
If you missed out on my previous reviews or want to check them out, click right here to see the premiere review. For my previous take on the second episode of the fourth season, click right here. If you want to stay tuned for more reviews of the final season of 12 Monkeys and other shows, check back to our website and follow us on our social media!
Verdict: Some questionable character reasons are thrown out, but the episode is able to get past some confusing moments by establishing Olivia’s evilness and the heroes’ next adventure.
- Olivia and the prophecized Red Forest
- Cole and the Ouroboros puzzle
- Possible set-up for a Cassie vs. Olivia duel
- Deacon's reason for vengeance
- No stakes
- Explanation of Jennifer's survival and future Cole' timely appearance