12 Monkeys: Review: Series 1 Episode 2: Mentally Divergent

12 monkeys 2

Cole is sent back to 2015 to continue his mission and is determined to involve Cassie..

This second episode shows the extent to which this TV series is going to diverge from its source material. This is obviously going to be much more of a show about time travel, and the various problems and advantages with it. We also get to spend quite a bit of time in 2043, with some development for Kirk Acevedo’s character beyond just being the sidekick for Cole in that time period.

Apart from the obvious use of information regarding Cole’s brief sidestep to North Korea, the cause-and-effect of time travel is seen in the file relating to Jennifer. Because Cassie steals it in our present, Cole cannot find it in his time – even though, as far as we were concerned, that happened earlier in the episode.

The episode also serves as a good introduction for Emily Hampshire as Jennifer Goines, and for Tom Noonan as the “Pallid Man”. Both of them are quite scary in their own way – as my daughter commented watching this, everybody in this show seems to have some form of mental problem that is linked to the time travel shenanigans!

There are plenty of nice tips of the hat to the original film – though I guess it’s a weird sort of tribute to have a mental institution named after you! At the moment, the TV version feels just slightly ordinary, compared with the madness of the original, but I think it was the right move by the producers to concentrate on character in this episode.

Verdict: Widening the show’s canvas hints at some good things to come. 7/10

Paul Simpson


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