12 Monkeys - Odds, Ends and The Future

One of my favorite things to blog about are all the Easter Eggs, homages and general clues a show likes to reveal about itself and it's inspiration.  12 Monkeys was no different as it often payed homage to its cinematic cousin and other legendary science fiction classics that came before it.

Those in charge of set design also like to sprinkle in little details that are thematic to the show and often hint at the direction the show might be heading.  I often cite these details in a section I call, "Odds and Ends."

One of my favorite details was the introduction of the Globe in Cassie's storefront hideaway.  It often pointed to a direction the show was going to travel to next.  Seen above from the episode, "Yesterday" the globe was turned towards the Pacific rim and in the following episode, "Shonin," we found Cole and Ramse in Tokyo.

I wouldn't exactly say the season finale, "Arms of Mine" was rife with Easter Eggs but there were a few things here and there.  I also titled this post "The Future" because many of the scenes from this episode lent themselves to speculation for what is going to happen in season two of 12 Monkeys.

The above picture of Olivia, as she exited a sitting room on her way to view the twelve babies, showed an ornamental door detailed with what looks like Ivy leaves.

In the same episode, Cassie enters a lab room full of red ivy and hears the hypnotic intonations of the "Striking Woman."  A nice juxtaposition of themes and imagery.

Remember that dress Jennifer Goines wore to the Markridge presentation?  It had such an unusual print to it.  When she met with Cassie and Cole later on we got a good look at the dress and I swear I saw the face of Maleficent in it.  You know, the character from Snow White and the movie of the same name starring Angelina Jolie?  I was going to go into an in depth study of it but I've chalked up to my mind playing tricks like seeing the Virgin Mary in a potato chip or something.

During the same Markridge presentation Jennifer referred to "Lions, tigers and bears."  It's one of several references to animals in the show especially Lions.

Both Jennifer and Ramse's son, Samuel, have drawn Lion pictures.  Do I think there is anything significant behind the Lion references?  Not exactly.  Aside from Jennifer wanting to give the planet back to the animals that is.  If there is some deeper meaning to the Lions it will be fun to figure out.  (Maybe the lead Ghost Soldier will be named Daniel.)

The Future

So let's get to some of the more interesting issues that were raised in the final episode of season one and attempt to explore what the implications of such are.

Two Machines

That's right, we have two operating time machines now.  One in 2043 and one in 2015.  This should be interesting.

It used to be we had the one in 2043.  It sent people anywhere back in time and retrieved them (him) as long as you had the serum and were properly tracked.

Now, the need to be tracked is no longer necessary as long as there is an operating machine in the past.  At least that is what I'm thinking. 

I'm assuming that was the plan of the Blue Man Group.  To be sent back in time to an operating machine without having to be tracked or receive the serum.  They seem to be genetically enhanced (judging from their blue pallor) to withstand the rigors of time travel and were probably raised that way since infancy when we first saw them in Olivia's nursery.  This was to complete their cycle once Ramse made his one way trip into the apocalyptic future.

That's all gone now!

Well, not all gone but Cassie's appearance in 2043 definitely put a "monkey" wrench into their plans.  (I'm going to have to use that a lot.) Ramse's cycle is broken now that he remains in 2015 with Cole.  When we left them they were arm in arm as they exited the Splinter facility.  Where would they go?

I think the address that Cassie gave to Cole in 2017 was to Dr. Jones house.  There they will seek medical treatment for Ramse not wanting to alert the authorities by going to a hospital with a GSW.  Katerina was famously squeamish about drawing blood from the much younger Cole so I feel she will reach out to someone that, while estranged, will be of invaluable help.  Especially after she learns there is an operating time machine in play.

The other Dr. Jones is a good bet to be that person.

Yes, it is a bit of a reach but not entirely out of the question.  I'd love to see Peter Outerbridge added to the cast.  At least in a recurring role.   A new alliance between the estranged couple would definitely change the future.  Katerina 2015 will immediately become aware of a working time machine once Cole and Ramse reach her.  When Katerina 2043 saw Cassie appear in the splinter chair she was stunned to see her.  That only means Cole and Ramse hadn't reached her 2015 self yet.  Kat's memories should immediately change once the boys arrive at her doorstep  (see the movie, "Looper" for that fascinating dynamic) and provide her with the impetus to reach out to Elliot Jones.

I can't imagine Olivia and her group will be too happy with this development.

It's her investment and she'll be anxious to protect it.  Especially since her precious cycle has been disrupted.  I imagine there will be a race to secure the Splinter machine.  Now that Elliot knows it is viable in transporting humans will he seek to keep it from Olivia?  Or will she see him and his new group as untrustworthy and secure the machine by all means possible?  Will there be a war to secure the machine and will this war extend to its use in two time lines?

If Elliot and Katerina's group secures the machine, their agenda will be a lot different than that of the Blue Man Groups.  They may seek to disable the machine in 2015 or they make seek to wage war against the machines use in 2043.  A time war if you will.

Olivia, for her part, will do anything to bring the Blue Man Group to 2015.  Has even the slightest disruption foiled her plans?  Jennifer is already on her way spreading the the plague around the globe.  Will the slightest interruption in the BMG's (Blue Man Group) arrival scotch those plans?  I'm betting yes.  This will mean Olivia will have to change the past/present to preserve her agenda but only if she can secure the machine before anyone else and the machine in 2043 remains in the proper hands.

So much for fate.


Jennifer is now winging her way around the globe.  I've wondered what her motivations are.  The medicated Jennifer seems vengeful and bitter.  She seeks to rid the globe of humanity as some sort of revenge against her father.  (As seen in the Markridge presentation.) Is she that embittered with her father and traumatized by the events of the Night Room murders that this is how she "acts out?"

Doubtless, Olivia and her group has gotten to her.  We saw the episode where Jennifer wanted "to be a daughter again" and a lot of that path was nurtured by Olivia.  I don't think the "off medicated" Jennifer would go for this.  We've already see her in 2043 regretting her actions and trying to motivate Ramse into fixing both their mistakes.  (Something now Ramse can do.)

I think Jennifer is sincere in returning the planet to the animals but not quite in this fashion.  Olivia has gotten to her in her medicated state and she is probably responsible for the specific medication Jennifer is taking.

Army of the 12 Monkeys

So is this the Army of the 12 Monkeys?  12 guys (and gals?) 

12 babies bred for a special purpose.  That is them right?  The above frame is the grown up version of 12 infants seen immediately above.  It seems to follow logically.

But what is their purpose?

If the BMG was to travel back in time to complete the cycle they were bred for what was their mission?

If Jennifer was to travel to 12 cities around the globe to spread the virus wouldn't it also follow logically the 12 members of the BMG were to be inserted to each infected city?

As what?

If they are truly an army I would imagine they were to incite discord and make sure the Apocalypse came to fruition.  Undermine health and safety efforts by forming an insurrection bred by distrust of inept governments in the face of a catastrophic plague.

They could also be 12 charismatic leaders also taking advantage of world wide discord.  Nothing brings faith in a new religion like the end of the world.  I can see them preaching from a pulpit.  So different from us,  immune to the plague and with a special insight into the future.  You know people will sign up for that.

Why the moniker "Army of the 12 Monkeys?"

I see the hand of Jennifer Goines here too.  Just a hunch.  She does love her animals so maybe she came up with the name.  I thought at first the monkeys that escaped from Oliver Peter's container lab were the "12 Monkeys" but as we now see Jennifer seems to be the harbinger of doom.  There might be a tie between the lab monkeys and the BMG.  Time will tell.

The Red Forest

Cassie asked Cole in 2017 if he had found the Red Forest yet.  Maybe that was the address she gave him.  I get it, it's a State park.  Follow I-95 out of town, take 32 west until you hit 29 south and follow the signs to the park and see the Ranger.


Seriously, I'm hoping the Red Forest is a metaphysical world that exists outside the normal plane of time.  The Witness lives there and can be interacted with by only entering a fugue state by drinking the tea.  The Witness is hopping mad his plans were upset and the cycles were broken.  Cole will have to go there to kill him or at least try.

That's unless Cassie is the Witness and she gave Cole the location so she can unmask herself and reveal she has been working a long game as a double agent.


One other thing.

The Hannah Timeline

Remember how desperate and sad Katerina was during the last episode?  "You can't change the past" she lamented.  "I've failed."

Lady, I might have some good news for you.  With her possible reconciliation with Elliott Jones there might be hope for Hannah yet.  I can see the two working together to save their child by isolating it from the plague.

Or better yet.

Elliott and Katerina come to the conclusion their only hope for saving Hannah is to send her to the year 2043 to be raised by the elder Katerina Jones.


  1. There was an iconic shot in the 12 monkeys movie of a lion pacing a rooftop, so I took the lion reference as a nod to the film. Not sure there's more to it. And what about Jennifer seeking to unleash the virus in 2015 instead of 2017? The last time that happened, west 7 controlled the future in 2043 in the alternative future Cole ended up in. And one more Easter egg in the last episode. The pillows on the bed during Cole and Cassie's sweet moment. Red ivy patterns.

    1. Real nice catch with the lion Missing_Europe. I had forgotten all about that. And I used to watch the movie every year around Christmas time too! I think the lion even roared for movie Cole once too. Did they have ivy pillows on the bed? I missed them. She had ivy pillows in her storefront hideaway a few episodes ago.

      I'm going to have to think about the new Jennifer time line.

  2. I know what you mean! I must have watched the film like 10 times as a kid, when I still had to go to the local video store to rent whatever they had. Ah... To be a child of the 80s... It's amazing watching it again and realising how much I can't remember. Good catch with the red ivy stuff in Cassie's store front!


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