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12 Monkeys “Arms of Mine” 1×13 Review

 “Cole and Cassandra attempt a final confrontation with the Witness, while Jones faces a new threat to the mission.”

I have so far loved every minute of this fast paced, well adapted, and content rich first season. I expect few answers and some astounding cliffhangers at the hands of these skilled writers.

Arms of Mine does not waste a single frame as we begin lulled into a momentarily safer place by the opening music and Cole’s philosophical voice over. Then, like a fated punch to Aaron’s face, we are transitioned into the bleak, desperate realities ahead.

12 Monkeys - Season 1

A main theme seen all season, is that each of the main characters has one person who is the motivation and purpose for choices and actions. Aaron chose to betray Cassie and Cole in order to save Cassie. Cole continues the mission because he loves Cassie and now has something to live for. Ramse has his son to save in the future so the timeline must be preserved. Dr. Jones wants to save the past in order to save the daughter she lost in the outbreak. I am curious where this singularity will lead or if it will morph as the characters grow.

What of the fate spoken of so often? Striking Woman and Pallid Man are fueled by it. Preservation of the timeline is an absolute to their mission. What is availed to us about their purpose is that they are working in concert with the unidentified Witness. The adherence to 28 year cycles that ultimately leads to some unseen end is of utmost importance. The why in all this has not been answered. Simply it has always happened so it must again happen. As Ramse put it, “It took time travel to create time travel. That’s how it works. There ain’t no straight lines brother.” Timey-wimey and all that. They are the necessary constants in events unfolding, unlike other characters seeking to alter outcomes wherever possible.

12 Monkeys - Season 1

In terms of character development, my favorite character evolution comes to a head in this episode, Cassie is now a steely, determined, darker version of herself. She is willing to promote violence, and even kill to try and stop the virus. Earlier Cassie would never have allowed Cole to beat information out of Aaron then leave him to die in flames. Nor would earlier Cassie shoot an unarmed Ramse so easily. There is no instability in her as with Jennifer Goines, she is on task. I cautiously like this version of her knowing she could become someone too focused and unfeeling in the future.

My “sad to see him go” character is Aaron “RIP” Marker. He saw his actions as love and survival. I liked his character and understand why he would choose betrayal as a means to a positive end. He solely desired to save Cassie when the virus hit. He believed it was a no win situation with no other option. Aaron will be missed.

Throughout this episode densely packed scenes filled it to the brim. I do not advise blinking or you will certainly miss a beat. Every detail is there for a reason. Each string leads somewhere if not now, in season(s) to come. The timeline weaving is remarkably complex, all the while allowing the viewer to easily track from one place to the next and back. A true challenge in a show that moves timelines so frequently.

My top finale moments:

  • Cassie slapping Jennifer Goines in the face. Simply, pure enjoyment here. Jennifer deserved it for being so rude.
  • Cassie getting shot. The woman seems to die or nearly die in every timeline stop. Is it fate or fste breaking?
  • Cole giving Cassie the injection provided by Ramse and splintering her into 2043 to Jones for healing.
  • Cole helping an injured Ramse to safety instead of letting him die. Reclaiming their brotherhood is incredibly heartwarming and hope filled.
  • Jennifer Goines poised as the deliverer of the virus to the twelve chosen cities. An X-Files moment for me. Can we believe what we see? Is she a “bad guy”?

Ultimately, I say fate be damned. Cole and Ramse altered the past and the future in their unexpected reconciliatory actions. Remember, Ramse was recorded dead that day, yet he lives. The cycle was to end that day in 2043, but Cassie showed up to everyone’s astonishment effectively breaking the cycle that always had been.

12 Monkeys - Season 1

That leads me into the cliffhanger questions looming in my mind that are oh so many.

  • What does all this mean to Striking Woman’s coveted timeline preservation?
  • Will Cassie get back to 2015 to be will Cole?
  • Will Cole and Ramse stop Jennifer Goines?
  • Will Striking Woman and Pallid Man fall?
  • What do the red plants signify in both timelines?
  • Who are the 12 babies to be and for what purpose at the end of the 28 year cycle?


Bottom line, I found this a strong and satisfying way to end the season. The writers took us on a timeline hopping, twisty, unexpected journey that intrigues and creates a strong desire to continue watching. I want more, NOW. Don’t you too?

Now this sad monkey must find other things to do while anxiously awaiting Season Two to air.

12 Monkeys - Season 1

Congratulations to the winners of 12 Monkeys Survival Pack Giveaways @fizees, @aka_TeeJay, and Stephanie D. Thank you to everyone who entered.

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12 Monkeys airs on Syfy, Fridays at 9pm Eastern/8pm Central

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