It's great to see Syfy cranking out smart, well-written and acted television again!
12 Monkeys Season 1 was easily one of the best series the network has released in the post-Battlestar Galactica years. Our hero, Cole, didn't quite save the world but he sure took us on a wild ride. The series was loaded with memorable good guys and baddies whose actions were never black or white.
Plus, the twist and turns kept us engaged and coming back for more each week. What more can a TV fan ask for?
Let's break down the first season even further and discuss our favorite and least favorite episodes, a couple of standout moments and our hopes for 12 Monkeys Season 2 in our TV Fanatic report card.
Favorite Episode: While there were several outstanding installments, 12 Monkeys Season 1 Episode 5 took the honor of being this reviewers first five star review of 2015. For four episodes, clues were laid out like tiny breadcrumbs which paid off beautifully when our heroes entered the Night Room. From the opening flashback of pre-nutbar Jennifer, to the reveal of the "Origin" corpse and eventual destruction of the lab courtesy of the Big Burn the episode delivered big time. To top things off, Cole returned to an alternate 2043 because the past had been altered. The writing on this show blew my mind, and it really hit its groove with "The Night Room."
Least Favorite Episode: Don't get me wrong, I did not hate 12 Monkeys Season 1 Episode 11 in any way, shape or form. However, mentioning 1987 in the pilot got our heads spinning, and when we finally arrived, the visit lasted all of ten minutes. The stuff with Ramse in prison was interesting, but it would have been nice to spend more time in Toyko. I mean, we spent almost an entire episode in Haiti in "Cassandra Complex." Didn't the big meeting between Cole and Leland deserve as much attention? I guess there was just too much storyline to cram into 43 minutes.
Best Character: It's a tie people! Both Jones & Jennifer Goines were not only integral to the story, but they consistently delivered some of the best lines in Season 1. Jones' brilliant scientific mind was counterbalanced by Jennifer's damaged wacky personality. Jones was a mystery right up to the end, while we thought we had Jennifer figured out but she flipped on us in that final scene. Barbara Sukowa and Emily Hampshire made the most of their roles, delivering phenomenal performances each time they appeared on screen. Did anyone ever think of Brad Pitt while Emily was doing her thing? Not so much, and that's a testament to her talent.
Most Underutilized Character: The Witness! Sure, we all thought Ramse was the Witness for about a minute. When he laughed at the thought in the finale, we weren't surprised so much as curious. The mysterious man in the mask had visited most of our characters while in a drug induced state. Is he one of Jones' early experiments gone wrong; a traveler lost in time? Obviously, this is all Season 2 stuff but it would have been nice to see him a few more times.
WTF Moment #2: Ramse jumping in the time machine was a shocker, even though many of us suspected the Army of the 12 Monkeys had knowledge of the future. The way Ramse's storyline played out, made us sympathize with this man wanting to save his family. Especially, since Jones lied about Foster's cure and manipulated her team. Even Cole understood Ramse's motivations in the end and saved his life.
WTF Moment #1: Cole going all paradox and Cassie jumping in the time machine are another tie. Those were two moments I doubt many fans of the show saw coming. For a few episodes Cole was growing sicker due to the effects of time travel. How would he survive and move forward with his mission? The penultimate episode, 12 Monkeys Season 1 Episode 11, answered those questions and more. Plus, the episode gave us that tear-jerking moment when Cole met young Jones in 2015. Since both Cole and Ramse are now stuck in the past, sending Cassie forward to 2043 gave us a new time traveler. Will she be the focus of Season 2? Time will tell (see what I did there?)
Biggest Disappointment Overall: I'm sure many fans expected Cole and Cassie to kiss before he sent her to 2043. The fact we know something happened between them in those two missing years (2015-2017) only made us long for that kiss more. I understand the writers need to leave something for Season 2, but did it have to be the damn kiss... Terry & Travis nice job torturing the fandom!
Hopes for 12 Monkeys Season 2: Simply that the writing continue to be as intricate as this year and that the pacing is similar to Season 1 as well. Each episode had a different feel to it and ended in a cliffhanger that made us wish we were watching Netflix to skip ahead. I've mentioned this several times in the past, but I trust show creators Terry Matalas and Travis Fickett completely. I feel like fans of the show are in good hands and have no doubt they, the writers and cast will deliver an even more sensational second season.
Overall Grade: A+
You're up time travel fanatics! What grade would you give 12 Monkeys Season 1?