12 Monkeys: Season 2
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12 Monkeys: Season 2

It is not often that a successful migration of movie to a television series is achievable. Fortunately, on the most recent attempts became an example that managed to click with the audience becoming one of the more intriguing series included in the SyFy channel's lineup of original programming, ‘12 Monkeys’. In 1995 Terry Gilliam, one of the wonderfully wacky alumni of the ‘Monty Python’s Flying Circus’ directed a film that would go on to become a cult classic in the genre. Set in the dystopian future where a weaponized virus is released causing a pandemic to kill the vast majority of humanity. In the movie, the story came to a somewhat open-ended conclusion that left many fans debating the nuances of the story. When the SyFy channel undertook the transformation to a series is understandable that many fans had their doubts as to how well such a convoluted tale of time travel and shifting timelines would translate to a serialized format. While many TV series and movies concerned the time travel try their best to avoid the inevitable paradoxes inherent whenever the natural order of the single directional flow of time is disrupted. When the most significant reasons why ‘12 Monkeys’ was successful as a TV show is that they embrace the time paradoxes going so far as to turning them into a crucial plot point responsible for driving much of the story. Balancing the strong science fiction theme is what truly differentiates this series so many others, the precise attention paid to character development. When my favorite themes have always been when a reasonable man is placed in the most unreasonable circumstances. Films such as ‘Falling Down,' exemplify the two-fold struggle such a person must effectively navigate, you reasonable circumstances surrounding him in the internal psychological and emotional struggle within. In this series will protagonist the split between a man from the future desperately trying to prevent the plate and starting, and the woman from our present morning to a struggle that spans the past present and future. The second season considered here is heavily dependent upon its predecessor, and it highly recommended that you do not try to pick up the story in the middle.

In 2016 James Cole (Aaron Stanford) and his associate from the future, José Ramsey (Kirk Acevedo) are desperately trying to avoid capture by the Army of the 12 Monkeys, the radical bioterrorism destined to release the plague. To avoid detection, they turn to Benjamin Kalman (Brendan Coyle) a biotechnical engineer who worked for the Markridge Group was one of the team members that developed the deadly M5-10 virus. They wanted Kalman to remove the tracking device subcutaneously planted in space Rams. Little did they know but Kalman was still involved with the Army and caused the paralysis of Ramsey. Cole uncovers a clue that would become one of the driving plot points for the season. Jennifer Goines (Emily Hampshire), a brilliant scientist, Machiavellian manager and bat guano crazy worked as a researcher in the Markridge Group. Although it appears that many plot points and a substantial amount of exposition filtered through Jennifer are critical to keeping in mind at all times used to be considered an untrustworthy narrator. But temperament is mercurial and allegiances subject to rapid reversals. At the beginning of this second season, all evidence points to Jennifer as responsible for releasing the plague virus in New York City, once again giving the call a target to complete his mission. One group that becomes very important during the season on known as the ‘Messengers.' They are a cabal of 12 people with strong ties to the Army of 12 Monkeys. These Messengers were created by cloning the DNA of Olivia (Alisen Down) which was accomplished by the German physician and scientist Dr. Albert Kirschner (Matt Frewer). Each of the Messengers was created with the specific purpose, to hunt down and assassinate the Primaries, individuals are crucial to the stability of the timeline. Shrouded in black clothes the Messengers each armed with a knife carved from their intended victim. Whenever the same object or person comes in contact with itself from a different period, the result is a paradox, the erasure of the person from existence unraveling the fabric of the timeline.

During the first season, the action was focused primarily on two different time periods, the presence, 2015/2016 and the point in the future with a time machine exists, 2044. Cole's ally in the past Dr. Cassandra Railly (Amanda Schull) worked as a well-respected virologist for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, originally only came to believe Cole’s impossible story about time travel and pandemic until she saw him disappear while standing in front of her. When the major storylines in this season that she is now serving fully as Cole’s partner assisting him in various time periods. Although initially involved with another man, Cassie gradually begins to have feelings for Cole which understandably reciprocated y Cassie. The result of this relationship creates an emotional quagmire for Cole. He has always known that preventing of the virus from being released to the timeline resulting in and never being born. Back in his native timeline conditions were so brutally harsh he had little to live for, but now he has a beautiful and smart woman that he loves. One of the subtle aspects of the series that lends it remarkable credence is the lack of the preternaturally good-looking young men and women. I often consider them to be ‘CW Clones’ since most series on that network that is geared towards teens and tweens almost completely populated by these physically flawless young people. Despite the fact that Mr. Schull started in several such shows, ‘One Tree Hill’ and ‘Pretty Little Liars,' the cast here represents a more mature group of characters which has the effect of limiting a greater amount of credence to the character development.

Undoubtedly one of the most attractive aspects of the series it is the ability to combine an eclectic range of genres synergistically. Providing a solid core is a science fiction story that revisits the popular theme of using time travel to prevent, or perhaps more accurately, erase a global catastrophe. Stories such as this have a tendency to implode due to the overly complicated handling of timelines and paradoxes arranging the position of other genres which serve to save the day. There is the enemy of the star-crossed lovers present in this show with James and Cassie doomed by the time space continuum. One of the best examples of the racing time paradoxes for the benefit of the story concerns the inventor of the Time Machine, Katarina Jones (Barbara Sukowa). Although food and other crucial items are in short supply, Dr. John seems to have an unlimited cache of cigarettes fueled her habit of being consistently seen through a haze of tobacco smoke. To build the machine, it turns out that she collaborates with her future self in the past, a plot contrivance that usually completely rooms the believability and continuity of a story. In this instance adjust enhances the surrealistic nature of the show. Although Dr. Jones is quick to warn people about the rippling effect of changing the past, or attempts to save her daughter, a victim of the plague, result in the number of temporal abnormalities. Also become a one of the strongest seems to permeate the entire series is it is a tightly crafted terrifying tale of horror. The series has been renewed for its third season, and it is worth investing in a season pass.

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01/15/2017

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