The final season of 12 Monkeys continues this week with episodes seven, eight, and nine. We get answers about Cole’s mother and the weapon but the answers come with some losses. And the ouroboros theme is still in full effect.

Again, I’m not going to try to cover everything that happened so I’ll just hit some highlights that stayed with me.

The three episodes this week work as a single arc because of the two stories about “Marion Woods” and the weapon.

We start with two daughters - Emma and Hannah. Given Olivia’s craptacular early years as an experiment in a box it’s hardly surprising that she’s a cold, distant mother to Emma. On the other hand, Hannah may have grown up under hard physical conditions but she always had someone around who cared for her, Katarina at first then Jennifer Goines.

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Jones sent Hannah back to 2007 to chill for a couple of years before finding Marion Woods in 2009. For a moment I thought Hannah would end up not opening the envelope when she was supposed to. (I was almost yelling “You had one job, Hannah!” at the television.) Anyway, she finds Marion and I doubt it was much of a surprise to most viewers that it was Emma, who had run away from Titan and her mother.

When Hannah and Emma went on the run together the thought occurred to me it would be a neat twist if something happened to Emma and Hannah ended up being Cole’s mother. Thinking on it now it works better that Hannah is Cole’s mother. One of the few things that would fit the effect-and-cause theme of the show more than Cole being Olivia’s grandson is Cole being Jones’ grandson. If Cole (and Cassie ) hadn’t saved Hannah as a child she wouldn’t have grown up to give birth to Cole. Now that’s a snake eating its own tail. And it gives Hannah a decent arc to go out on where she gets to be more than just Katarina Jones’ motivation.

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As for the weapon, we find out why Jones wanted to be taken to Titan. After Olivia tortures her, Jones reveals when and where the weapon is so Titan will splinter there. Thanks to the information provided by Elliot Jones, Team Splinter can track Titan through time and be able to send the team back to 1491.

Cole, Cassie, Jennifer, and Deacon get to the weapon with the help of a local Primary and her father (I figured Ben Cross was going to show up again). The weapon is activated by the paradox of the bell recovered in 1940 brought into contact with the 1491 version. The paradox activates a splinter machine that presumably Cole is meant to use. The untimely arrival of Olivia (in medieval Doctor Doom cosplay armor) prevents Cole from using the weapon. Deacon is beheaded but the timely arrival of the splinter suit allows the rest to escape.

Future Jennifer reminds young Jennifer of what’s in her head. The information is a set of dates and places the team has splintered to. Cole and Cassie splinter back to the one time and place on the list they haven’t visited yet. In yet another case of twisted fate and causality it turns out they are the ones who release the pandemic virus. (I was half expecting to see Madeleine Stowe pop up in the background of the airport scenes because they reminded me of the movie.)

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Meanwhile back at Splinter HQ Jones figures out that the weapon was a machine to erase James Cole from the timeline. His presence is what messed up the flow of time and in the context of the serpent story that makes him the demon. In case you don’t have it memorized, here is the story so you can see how things fit now.

There once was a serpent who only traveled in one direction. Always forward, never backward.

Until one day, the serpent came upon a Demon.

The Demon cursed the serpent, driving him insane, causing him to eat his own tail.

The serpent was blind.

But a few, those who were seers, knew the serpent’s true path, so they created a weapon.

A weapon to destroy the Demon.

They hid the weapon in the snake’s den, where he waited for his madness to end.

But it never did. For the seers discovered that the only one who could wield the weapon was the Demon itself.

And so the serpent was doomed to circle in madness...forever.

So as we roll into next week’s finale night, Olivia has started the paradox that will destroy time and create the Red Forest while James Cole needs to be erased from the timeline but Team Splinter lost their chance to use the Primary weapon.

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Assorted Thoughts:

  • I had forgotten about Jones torturing Olivia last season. The bad blood between those two goes deep. And Olivia killing Hannah in the real world (even if it was by mistake) is going to make it worse. I hope Jones gets a chance for payback in the finale.
  • Jennifer Goines also has to return to her original timeline in 2018. For one thing she has to raise Hannah so she can become Cole’s mother. And there’s all that knowledge that Future Jennifer needs to have from young Jennifer’s experiences to pass on as Crazy Exposition Woman.
  • The Pallid Man gives the Second Temptation of Cassandra. Will Olivia give the Final Temptation of Cassandra next week?
  • Deacon may actually be dead this time. The show really went out of its way to give him a no-saving-throw-allowed death. But that doesn’t necessarily mean we won’t see him again. And what’s the significance of giving Jennifer the knife? Did I forget something from an earlier season?

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All images via the Syfy site.