Title: 12 Monkeys: “Daughters” Review
Air Date: June 29, 2018
Genre: Science Fiction, Drama
Warning: Full spoilers for the seventh episode of 12 Monkeys‘ fourth season!
All this talk about the weapon and the mystery behind the cryptic message, “Climb the steps, ring the bell,” “Daughters” reminds us of the person who set the gang on their mission. The one who introduced Cole to the Ouroboros myth.
Who is his mother? How does she know this myth and why leave it to Cole? While the last question might not have been completely answered by the end of this episode, it does gives us a vague idea. Not only that, but it also juxtaposes the different paths of two characters who relatively had a minor screentime and purpose until now. Presenting us with an impeccable juxtaposition of the lives of the daughters of two titans who are at odds with each other, to say the least.
Hannah, the daughter of the determined and focused Katarina Jones, had no purpose but to survive. On the other hand, we are presented with the recently revealed daughter of the relentless albeit desperate Olivia, Emma. In contrast to Hannah, Emma has been set with a purpose. Requiring her to be in seclusion from the outside world. Not because of survival, but in order to mold her essentially to be her mother’s tool.
Not only are their paths a mirror of themselves, but of each daughter respectively of their mother. While Jones is a scientist with a nonstop goal to cease her rival’s existence and destroy Titan, the episode lets the audience see Hannah be in an unlike path as her mother. As much as determined and frivolous as Jones was initially presented in the show, Olivia takes the throne. Even Emma the one who has been under her mother’s eye in contrast to Hannah sees the absence of her mother’s compassion and even decides to end her own life at one point in the episode.
The writers are able to weave a compelling distinct tale of mother and daughter between the four characters. Although Emma starts willingly to follow her mother’s orders, she starts to distance herself from her upon seeing the strong love Jones has for her daughter. In spite of growing under her shadow, she is a mere disposable henchman in her mother’s eyes. We see Olivia’s reluctance to form a bond. Instead of committing suicide, she decides to run away from her past, just like Olivia. Hannah starts with no purpose, but by the end of the episode, she clears her head of doubts and sets out to accomplish the purpose given to her. Even without the excellent voice-over narration that placed their worlds side by side, the direction and presentation of the scenes make the comparison gripping.
I am so attached to the “good guys,” that when Jones revealed to Deacon her trickery against Olivia, I was psyched that there was hope in their mission’s success. However, not everything is “rainbows and kisses”. Jones might have been able to fool Olivia in taking Titan to the middle ages for the gang to have a tether. However, Jones did let loose Deacon’s facade of helping Olivia. Deacon faces not only Olivia’s looming threat. When he sees the West VII he had been carving in his captivity, his nose starts to bleed. What will his fate be, if the timeline is, in fact, changing its course?
Another familiar face whose presence raises the stakes was future Jennifer’s. If you have forgotten, which I will admit I had. The events at the beginning of the series are happening at the same time as these events. The group had splintered back to the pilot, at the beginning of the season. So, in this timeline, future Jennifer has not yet died. However, we do see the effects of the group breaking the endless time loop. We see that her appearance reminds us of the once unbreakable loop starting to have effects. The nosebleed Deacon and her experience is a testament to this. Jennifer’s cryptic words to Cole about the importance of choosing their ending is a nice callback to “Hyena” in 12 Monkeys’ season 3, where she had mentioned the same thing.
The episode ends this greatly executed hour with a tantalizing storyline that gets conclude in episode 9. Both Emma’s escape and Hannah’s decision to follow her mother’s instructions in the letter led to their inevitable meeting in 2009. It’s fascinating how the episode starts presenting us with two characters that could be unthinkable of crossing each other’s paths. However, the episode is able to accomplish their meeting feel natural and to a certain extent fated.
Before I forget to mention, Hannah’s note of modern society upon her arrival in 2009 is right on point. It is easy to comprehend her perspective given her backstory.
You can read my review of the fourth season’s fifth episode right here. If you want to read my review “Die Glocke,” which is the previous episode of 12 Monkeys, click right here. For more episode reviews of the final season of 12 Monkeys and other popular shows and movies, check back to our website!
Verdict: A captivating hour that manages to perfectly convey the situation of two previously minor characters. A carefully written tale with unexpected results.
- The fascinating juxtaposition between the two daughters and the two mothers.
- The possible identity of Cole's mother revealed.
- Tricking the audience into thinking Jones fooled Olivia, but at a cost. A loop of gains and losses.
- I had to binge watch the three episodes, making the end faster.