Title: 12 Monkeys: “Ouroboros” Review
Air Date: June 15, 2018
Genre: Science Fiction, Drama
Before I go ahead, I warn you there will be full spoilers for the second episode of 12 Monkeys‘ final season.
I can’t think of very few shows that make my eyes shed at a tear within the first few episodes, let alone the second. You know the episode is so good when you forget to take a bite our your pizza. The most surprising thing is that it was not even your average microwaved pizza, it was Pizza Hut guys. So this episode we spend the majority of our time with our original trio, Cole, Cassey, and Katarina. They literally end up traveling back in time to the events in which the 12 Monkeys’ pilot takes place. I almost thought I had clicked on the wrong episode when I realized that Cole’s initial “Where are you know?” speech was absent from the background.
The episode led me to believe that Ramsey’s brief appearance would be the only time we would see him. However, he was one of the obstacles that our present trio had to avoid when trying to get a chance at the splinter machine. If I have to skip entirely to one of the best highlights of the episode, it was his presence. It reminded me of the remarkable talent that Kirk Acevedo brought to the mix. As much as the character began to lean towards a villainous side before his demise in season three, it also reminds me of how much I miss his character.
The character’s downfall was understandable, you saw him be the brother to James Cole to his enemy. It’s a shame that Acevedo’s Richard Dragon in Arrow could not have the same impact, mainly because he is such a good actor. Arrow built towards this buildup to make the villain understandable, giving him an episode entirely devoted to him, but ultimately, it fell flat. This is an example that when characters feel flat, the majority of the time it’s not the actors, but the writing. 12 Monkeys‘ excels at fleshing out its characters and it helps that it has such concrete and amazing characters at its disposal. So chop chop Arrow. You better make good use of our boy here in season 7.
Present Cole bumping into his old buddy, just pierced right through my heart. Seeing how Ramsey kept addressing our Cole as his brother, and us as the viewers and Cole himself knew that there would be no we. While Ramsey thought that Cole was talking about owning up to his mistakes as part of the scavengers group, we all knew that Cole’s guilt stemmed from his actions in killing his brother that was talking to him. For Cole, the brother that was pep talking to him was like seeing a ghost. A ghost unaware that his best friend will be his killer.
Another great moment, that occurred beforehand was Jones’ one on one conversation to herself. Our Katarina is more understanding and to a degree more soft than the one we started in the pilot. I chuckled when the present Jones had to remind herself that she was “a real bitch.” However, you that action also reminds us of how far she has come. The real question was, how would they get out of the loop? Granted, two minds are better than one. The past Katerina would forget all of their conversation with some booze to prevent another paradoxical loop. Although what if our present Jones had already drunk some alcohol to try to prevent that? My head is going to explode with all these possible circles.
I mentioned earlier how Ramsey’s presence brought about a tear to me. Another ghost we saw in 12 Monkeys was Whitley, Jones’ sort of personal bodyguard. I did not feel the same impact when he appeared. First of all, because we had just seen him die an episode ago. Second, and most important one is because I did not feel we spent as much time with him to make me feel emotionally attached to his character. So when we saw Whitley appear, the interactions with him did not feel as deep as the ones I felt with Ramsey and Cole.
Once again, this episode also highlighted the shift of team group members as Cassie went solo to the past while Cole and Jones stayed behind to try and move forward. Just as the pilot started with Cole and Jones, so did the episode ended with them. Cassie’s different take on the situation did not feel as if it was randomly taken out of a mad hatter’s hat.
On the flip side, she made it clear that she wanted revenge. She wanted to kill Olivia back in 1971 to avenge her son’s death. Not only that, but we also saw Cassie (as well as Jennifer, but more on that later) see her 2018 counterpart almost give her sort of a pep talk. It makes you wonder if the 2018 Cassie had already time traveled because that seemed way too upfront. However, you could also see that this would probably wouldn’t work and the ones who were once adamant to travel back in time now wanted to move forward.
Now let’s talk about our lonely Jennifer. My holy pizza, are her scenes a delight to see. So, we see Ms. Goines dealing with the aftermath of her not so subtle robbery of the titular artifact. Her fabulous ninja skills left an impression on our detectives, however, one was more concerned as to why she had stolen the ouroboros. In fact, we get a hint of our nameless detective to his allegiance with the army of the 12 monkeys towards the end of the episode. It makes me wonder if this is the last that we see of him, although a highly doubted.
Nevertheless, Jennifer’s talk with herself was moving and incredibly funny at the same time, and I really mean at the same time. One second Jennifer was missing her friends, her other voice “dying,” while our Jennifer begs her not to leave since she is alone. It was moving. The very next second we see a humorous scene where that same voice “resurrect” to remind her not to forget her passport. A curious detail is that this “dying” voice is one of the many that Jennifer seems to be failing to hear. What is causing her to lose them? Why now? What consequences will this bring about?
Check out my review of the first episode of season four 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: The group meeting with their past selves and the people whom they have lost was one of the most emotional aspects of this episode. The episode emphasized introspective situations while also moving the plot forward.
- Ramsey and Cole's talk
- Jennifer's talk with herself
- Jones' character progression
- A shift of team members
- Whitley's appearance lacked impact
- Slow-mo close up of Cole's face splintering.