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12 Monkeys - Change the Past. Save the Future - Get Ready for the Second Season Premiere!

One of my favorite new shows last year was 12 Monkeys because it combines great writing, great acting, and great execution, so I’m super excited for the season two premiere coming up on Syfy on April 18th at 9/8c. If you missed this fabulous show the first time around, you have a chance to catch up with the entire first season which is streaming now on Hulu. The first season is well worth watching again even if you caught it when it first aired! Excitement and viewership just grew during the first season. 12 Monkeys is the kind of show that with each viewing, you seem to catch something new or make a new connection. I can't wait for new episodes!

This show is the complete package. The storylines are carefully crafted and keep you guessing, particularly as the characters are weaving through time. In the year 2044, James Cole (Aaron Stanford) has been chosen by fate to travel back in time to save humanity from the apocalyptic conspiracy of the Army of the 12 Monkeys. Cole forges a bond with a brilliant immunologist from our time, Dr. Cassandra Railly (Amanda Schull)--who becomes his strongest ally against the 12 Monkeys. Rounding out the uneasy alliance are Dr. Katarina Jones (Barbara Sukowa), the brilliant but tortured physicist who creates time travel for the very purpose of preventing the apocalypse, Jose Ramse (Kirk Acevedo), Cole’s closest friend and de facto “brother” from 2044, Deacon (Todd Stashwick), a merciless marauder and an old enemy of Cole and Ramse’s, and Jennifer Goines (Emily Hampshire), a hapless young heiress from our time whose mind, though seemingly addled by psychosis, may hold the secrets to stopping the 12 Monkeys and saving the very fabric of our reality.

The Army of the 12 Monkeys itself is a shadowy group with unknown origins, their marching orders coming from the “Striking Woman,” Olivia and the nameless “Pallid Man” (played by Tom Noonan). We learn however that these two are mere emissaries who answer to an even more enigmatic and shadowy figure known only as “The Witness”. The Witness is seen only in visions and fever dreams and seems to be only partially of our reality. He also seems to know everyone involved everything they do before it happens.

It’s a terrific premise for a show, and it provides ample opportunity for some really spectacular special effects. Expanding our world view by adding a fluid time dimension also provides ample opportunity to explore some really interesting themes such as fate, betrayal, redemption, and morality. The nature of both madness and consciousness are also explored. The entire cast is formidable and turn in great performances week in and week out. Todd Stashwick is upped to a regular in the new season, and I’m looking forward to what madness he’ll bring to the part this year!

While the show was originally inspired by the 1995 Terry Gilliam movie, you don’t need to have seen the movie to understand or enjoy the series. The 12 episode season provides more scope for the story and the characters. However, if you are a fan of the movie, it is fun to watch for the little shout outs and Easter eggs that do reference the movie.

Season 2 finds Cole and Railly confronted with circumstances that alter their perspectives, pitting them against each other morally despite their common goals. Despite the conflict, an early victory changes history and delays the 12 Monkey’s plague born apocalypse, but soon an even more nefarious plot with even farther reaching consequences is uncovered with the very fabric of time and reality as we know it hanging in the balance. Their relationship strained by fierce conflict increasingly disparate ideals, Cole and Railly are joined by a volatile band of comrades (enemies by nature, but cohorts by necessity) from both the future and the past. Together the team begins travelling back to various points in time to both uncover and put a stop to the 12 Monkeys plan before time literally runs out.

Season 2 promises to be even more intense and mind-blowing than season 1 was. This was one of the shows that I couldn’t wait to air. I loved both the present and future storylines and it was terrific watching the characters travel back in time to try to save the world’s future. Season 1 is streaming now on Hulu, and season 2 premieres on Syfy on Monday, April 18th at 9/8c – I know I’ll be watching!

Season 1 Recap
You can see a recap of Season 1 here

About the Author - Lisa Macklem
I do interviews and write articles for the site in addition to reviewing a number of shows, including Supernatural, Arrow, Agents of Shield, Agent Carter, The Walking Dead, Game of Thrones, The X-Files, Defiance, Bitten, Killjoys, and a few others! I'm active on the Con scene when I have the time. When I'm not writing about television shows, I'm often writing about entertainment and media law in my capacity as a legal scholar. I also work in theatre when the opportunity arises. I'm an avid runner and rider, currently training in dressage.
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