12 Monkeys plays with time (yes, again)
12 Monkeys the series is hitting its stride with “The Keys”, the latest episode on SyFy. All the emotional impact that was missing from the weirdo episode last week, is here in spades. We get Amanda Schull looking teary eyed in at least three different scenes. And she’s not a damsel-in-distress either, so that is really good. She’s actually directing Cole and monitoring his operations overseas to stop the virus from spreading.
I’ll tell you one thing, this series can shift gears in about two seconds, but I don’t know if that’s good or bad. We don’t get any weirdo dreams or dream-sequences, and Amanda Schull isn’t running around trying to get away from Tom Noonan, which has happened a couple times already. Cole does most of the running, jumping, hiking, and shoots some generic Russian badguys for good measure.
This episode plays with time and the timeline again, but I liked the way they did it this time. I could follow it (somewhat) and the time shifting was used to change character motivations, which was a nice change. Still, this is a 12 Monkeys episode, so there has to be some confusion. I’m guessing these film-makers are chuckling, because I’m thinking about taking notes. There’s a whole webpage on SyFy exclusively devoted to “learning the timeline” of this show. Being confused is getting to be kinda fun, actually. Chuckle time.
Cole goes back in time and learns about Operation Troy from Aaron, who steals some secret files from his secretive boss. Aaron tells Cole about the CIA’s use of a deadly virus to kill some rebels in Chechnya, the kind that can make you puke in about 30 seconds and cough up a lung, quite literally.
Unfortunately, the rebels are already coughing up all over the Russians. Thinking he can prevent more coughing, Cole goes back in time, before Aaron learns about the virus to tell Aaron about the virus, so they can stop it in the past before Aaron learns about it in the future. Cole steals the virus in Chechnya and uses Cassie’s future knowledge to talk to her teary-eyed self in the past, so she’ll know he likes dancing. The CIA bomb him. The end. Confused yet?
Overall, this episode was a good one. I think the editing and pacing of the whole series is really improving. I liked this episode, although I probably would have had Cassie smooch Cole before he goes off to die. But never fear, I’m sure the 12 Monkeys crew will come up with some mind-bending explanation to bring Cole back. I’m guessing I’ll be forced to write another confusion alert twice as long.