Year Of The Monkey
After ending on a cliffhanger last season, 12 Monkeys picks up where it left off for its second season. Smartly written with some outstanding episodes, Season 2 is everything you could ask for in a follow up. The characters are more complex this time around with interesting arcs. There’s a good use of humour too that isn’t overbearing and is just enough to lighten the darker feel this season has compared to last year.
The story starts with Railly being sent forward through time to 2043 after being shot by Ramse. Once healed, she’s held prisoner by the messengers that have taken over the complex and learns they intend to use the machine to travel back through time and change history, effectively killing time. While this is going on, Cole and Ramse are back in 2016 and on the run from the Army, tracking down the start of the viral outbreak before it destroys everything. Of course, the plot gets more complicated with the inclusion of “The Witness”, a being that controls the Army Of The 12 Monkeys and whom Railly keeps hallucinating about throughout the season. Its also worth noting here too that the season does end on a cliffhanger again so be prepared to want to jump straight into Season 3 after this.
We see a lot of different time periods this time around including 1944 and 1961 and each one is brilliantly realized with a unique colour palette to each one. 1944 feels dull and grey, 2043 a sickly red and more. Its enough to set each episode apart and this time around there’s some great creativity used with the time travel. The writers, having established the character dynamics the first time around, change everything on its head this time with some clever character developments. Jennifer is as crazy as ever but this time its contrasted with some emotional scenes and more melodramatic lines, giving it a more intelligent edge.
Last season asked a lot of questions about the virus and the shady group known as the Army Of The 12 Monkeys and this season the mystery continues. Some crucial questions are answered, giving some much needed clarity to the motivations of the people responsible for wanting to end time. We learn who the pallid man is, more about the red forest and most importantly, we learn more about the mysterious man named “The Witness”. Its worth noting here as well that the finale is fantastic. The final two episodes of the season as well as “Lullaby” are among favourite episodes here. The latter is a clever Edge Of Tomorrow esque episode whilst the finale is everything you could ask for.
Season 2 of 12 Monkeys improves everything about the first season. Some of the episodes aren’t as fast paced or action orientated as others and the jumps sometimes feel a little too much but the plot is excellent and the time travel elements used very cleverly here. This season feels more grounded this time around, despite the larger than life plot that overshadows that of the viral outbreak. Its smartly written and the characters are well developed too. Where some shows tails off after a decent start, 12 Monkeys feels relentless in its approach and it just gets better and better, boding very well indeed for Season 3.
Verdict - 8.5/10