12 Monkeys: Review: Series 1 Episode 11: Shonin

Monkeys 11The reason for Cole’s inability to change his future is much closer to home than he would ever have believed…

To call 12 Monkeys circular misses out about seven of the dimensions necessary to get the complexity of the time travel shenanigans across. The level of plotting necessary to ensure that everything falls into place in these final three episodes – as well as continuing to pay homage to the key elements of the original movie that have yet to be seen – is awe-inspiring (and puts the Doctor Who Series 6 twists in the shade).

I’ll admit that I wasn’t convinced about the character of Ramse early on in the season, but it was necessary to see the sides of him that we did, particularly as revealed in the flashbacks to the period before 2043, so that we can understand why he is so motivated once he’s stepped back in time and become the Witness. He doesn’t age quite as much as I’d’ve expected – he’s 30 years older by the time the plague rolls around (unless I’ve missed something key!) – but his interactions with the other characters explains the various loose ends so far.

All those with whom Cole has interacted are finding their lives falling apart – Aaron’s future isn’t what he hoped for (even if he knows it’s all pointless), and Jones’ team desert her when they realise once and for all that she really doesn’t have anything beyond hope guiding her. There’s just one last ditch thing left worth trying…

Verdict: Time-travel explanations that actually make sense (rather than feeling like they’ve been made up on the fly) continue to set 12 Monkeys up as one of Syfy’s best shows. 8/10

Paul Simpson

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