12 Monkeys + gunfire + paradoxes = my entertainment

monkeys1812 Monkeys the fourth episode hit TV recently, and I was surprised how complicated it was.  The solid writing is still there, but the fourth episode is filled with more gun-toting action and less Amanda Schull, which is kind of a dumb decision in my opinion.  However, the show got a whole plot thread out-of-the-way and teased a huge moment for next week, the hugest yet.  Will the ratings ever go up?

There’s no doubt this series is underrated, but it doesn’t help itself.  I keep saying it week after week.  It’s got a horrible time slot on Friday nights, which is one of the worst on television.  It has a complicated premise, though started out fairly simple.  Cole went back in time to find the Night Room, the place the army of the 12 Monkeys stole the virus from, which caused Armageddon.  Well, Cole doesn’t do any searching for the Night Room in the fourth episode.  His blonde obsession does it all by herself offscreen by the end of the episode.  Yep, Cassie finds the Night Room in some deus ex machina crap revelation.  Amanda Schull’s screen time doesn’t even amount to much more than a handful of minutes, but she finds the Night Room by using her resources at the CDC, and “cold calling”.  What?

monkeys21Ramsey and Cole team up to stop an army of the scavengers threatening the time base, which is interesting because they used to be members.  The chick who betrayed them is back, and she’s still treating them like dirt, though helps them out in the end.  The leader bad guy doesn’t succeed in destroying the time base, but gets away because of some deus ex machina explosion at just the right time.  This whole episode is deus ex machina.  Unbelievable.

monkeys20The dialogue for this episode was good, and the pace moved very quickly.  What bothered me was the time travel, once again.  Luckily, Cole’s past self jumps away in the time machine before he can see or talk to his future self.  Also, the time periods are hard to follow because they added a third one and some flashbacks in addition to the past and future.  I can’t even explain it correctly it’s so complicated.  The added time period was similar to the future Cole was from, so everything blended together.

Overall, this was a lackluster episode.  It was definitely entertaining, but the premise of the show is just not focused.  Three time periods going on at once all in one episode is too much and if it were me, I’d re-structure the show like Quantum Leap, where there is very little discussion about time travel and paradoxes.  He just jumps in at the beginning and the show is off.  Unfortunately, 12 Monkeys can’t do that because Cole is a soldier under orders and we have to show the future to make a connection to what they’re searching for.  Well, they’ve found it, now all they need to do is lock down some good drama and stabilize the ratings.