As we prepare our bodies for splintering into the third season of Syfy’s 12 Monkeys, let’s take a moment to appreciate just a smattering of those mind-bending scenes from seasons one and two.
Both simple and epic, 12 Monkeys makes us laugh, cry, throw fits, and cheer at the sheer badassery of our favorite characters. Ahem, Dr. Jones. It’s been a wild ride through time and space – and, thankfully, we are not done yet.
Looking back on the show, there have been a number of evolving, revolving things to root for, i.e. Cole and Ramse’s bromance, Cassie’s tough girl transition, and Jennifer’s pop culture references. But time is ticking, and I wanted to focus on specific moments, so let’s dive right in.
Behold, here are a few of my personal faves:
Cassie dies in Cole’s arms.
If we ever needed something to solidify our duo’s feelings, this moment tipped the emotive scales. After Cole survives the blast in Chechnya in 2017, he’s sent to Cassie in Baltimore. And she’s dying. Literally, this very moment. As weak as she is, she continues the mission and gives him an important address. But this Cassie also knows more than we do. She offers up teary clues as to what may happen in hers and Cole’s relationship. And then she dies while Cole holds her. It’s one of the first excruciatingly emotional scenes for this couple’s complicated relationship. (Season 1, episode 9, “Tomorrow”)
As badass as Jennifer Goines is, her dearest moments often come from her raw vulnerability and desire to feel loved and needed. Early on, Jennifer exudes a kind of funny crazy persona. But in “Shonin,” we begin to understand her. After her father frames her for murders and sends her to a mental institution, Jennifer gets released and finds comfort with the (assumed) enemy—in Olivia’s motherly arms. We know Olivia may just be using Jennifer for personal gain, but the poor girl welcomes the affection and care. (Season 1, episode 11, “Shonin”)
Everything about “Lullaby.”
This is arguably the show’s best episode—amirite? As Cole and Cassie work to figure out what the hell they’re doing, not doing, and/or should be doing, we’re right there for the ride, never knowing what’s coming up next. From beginning to end, the story is perfectly crafted to reveal one of the loveliest surprises in the show’s (or TV’s) history in the form of Jones’s daughter, Hannah. And those final, face-touching moments? GOOSEBUMPS x 10. (Season 2, episode 8, “Lullaby”)
Character development is king, right? So, when it comes to Olivia’s arc—count me in. From villain to rebel and then possible ally, Olivia’s always been a bit of a mystery. But, thankfully, light is shed on her backstory in “Fatherland.” As the genetically altered daughter of Vivian, one of the Witness’ messengers, she was force-fed fantastical promises and lies her entire life. But Olivia’s been burned one too many times, so at the end of this episode, she professes her anger and hurt at the memorial site of her dead mother. She then relinquishes her loyalty to the Witness. To which I say, HELL YES. (Season 2, episode 10, “Fatherland”)
Jennifer meets Jennifer.
As with the mother-daughter reunion for Jones and Hannah in “Lullaby,” the moment when young Jennifer meets old Jennifer is a full-on attack on our emotional state. As young Jennifer struggles to maintain the control and trust of her lady army—as well as her own self-confidence—fate intervenes (as always) and introduces her to the older, supreme version of herself. Young Jennifer gets a much needed pep talk and learns to love herself. Literally. (Season 2, episode 11, “Resurrection”)
The house of cedar and pine – for real.
At the end of season two’s penultimate episode, we get a MAJOR payoff. From the show’s start, we heard mutterings and saw visions of the house of cedar and pine. And it turns out to be a real thing – and so do the rest of those red tea-infused words. After preventing the paradox in 1957, Cole goes his separate way, leaving Cassie behind to build a life for herself. But she finds her way back to Cole, who now lives in the infamous house where big, BIG things happen. Ahem, see the next bullet point… (Season 2, episode 12, “Blood Washed Away”)
The sweet stuff.
As they say, there’s the calm before the storm, right? Well, the second season finale begins with the happiest of moments for our young time travelers-turned-lovers. It’s Christmas ’59, and Cassie lets Cole know he’s going to be a father. It’s charming and sappy and perfectly ominous. We know this isn’t going to end well, but for a brief moment, they’re happy – and so are we. (Season 1, episode 13, “Memory of Tomorrow”)
Jones gets a dog.
After Cassie and Cole prevent the paradox and return to the future, they meet a different Jones—one that has had to live on her own for a year, protecting the facility and fighting off marauders. And in the process, she became even more bad-ass and acquired a pup. It’s a quick bit of catch up, but if something makes Jones even stronger than before, sign me up. (And I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: writers, don’t let anything happen to this dog!) (Season 1, episode 13, “Memory of Tomorrow”)
At the very end of season two, along with Titan, Cassie splinters to the way, way creepy future. And it’s here where we learn Cassie is still pregnant—with the Witness! It’s the next chapter in our journey with 12 Monkeys, and I can’t wait to see this world fleshed out. It’s a new place in a new time. And as we already know, things aren’t always what they seem—and people do in fact change. The stakes are higher—for the world and our beloved characters. (Season 2, episode 13, “Memory of Tomorrow”)
Honorable mentions: Deacon’s progression and Ramse’s internal battle.
I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the stellar expansion and maturity of Deacon’s character over the course of the show. From his almost Negan-style entrance to his fighting alongside Jennifer’s Daughters, he’s come a long way, baby. Keep fighting the good (not bad) fight. As for Ramse, I love the guy—and I have from the beginning. But his personal battle for what’s right for the world and what’s right for him is one for the books. It’s ever-changing, and I never quite know whether he’ll choose the “right” path. I dig it.
Straight from the fans
In case you missed it, 12 Monkeys has an awesomely avid and vocal fan base. The official Addicts of the 12 Monkeys Facebook page is a hub of activity, from speculations and questions to direct interaction with showrunner Terry Matalas—who often comments on posts and isn’t afraid to knock down theories.
So, while the above list highlights those instants that affected me personally, I took to the Facebook fan page to see what some of their top 12 Monkeys moments were.
“[In] “Memory of Tomorrow” – they’re at Titan and Cassie remembers the house of cedar and pine. Breaks my heart.” – Geoff S.
“Without a doubt when Cole comes home after being in Chechnya and it’s 2017 and she dies in his arms and she says see you soon with that tear rolling down her cheek.” – Jenny H.
“I’d have to choose the scene at the camp of the Daughters where Cole and Cassie explain how they saved Hannah and then we see her reunited with Katarina.” – Maria F.
“Nothing can be compared to first red forest scene (when Cassie was taken, drank the tea and led by Olivia).” – Ezgi D.
“In Season 2, I love when they were back in time in the 1940s, both episodes.” – Andrea P.
“Mine is from the Season 3 finale.” – Terry M. (We see what you did there, Mr. Matalas.)
Be sure to share some your favorite moments in the comments below. And, don’t miss out—the special three-night binge event for the third season kicks off Friday, May 19, on Syfy!
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