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'12 Monkeys' fan react: 5 takeaways from the season 2 premiere

Season 2 | Episode 1 | “Year of the Monkey” | Aired Apr 18, 2016

Unleash the fresh fan theories—Syfy’s 12 Monkeys is officially back for its sophomore season! With a strong emphasis on its characters, last night’s premiere episode, “Year of the Monkey,” tied up a couple loose ends and introduced a bunch of new complications. As usual.

Before we dig into our show’s newest developments, let’s play catch-up …

The Gist
It’s 2016, and Cole (Aaron Stanford) and Ramse (Kirk Acevedo) are on the run from the Army of the 12 Monkeys, helmed by a super-chic Olivia (Alisen Down), aka the Striking Woman—three months after the timelines were altered when Cole saved Ramse’s life at the end of season 1.

12 Monkeys - Olivia, the Striking Woman

The duo escape the Army’s clutches (for now) and determine that once-bad-guy Ramse had a tracking bug planted on him when he worked with Olivia & Co. The plan: Remove the chip, then part ways.

12 Monkeys - Dr. Kalman and Ramse

Ramse is debugged and nearly kidnapped by his former Markridge colleague, Dr. Kalman (Brendan Coyle). Fortunately, Cole kills the doctor—and Ramse and Cole decide to stick it out together. Ramse almost doesn’t tell Cole a bit of important intel he garnered from Dr. Kalman: Jennifer Goines (Emily Hampshire) is to release the virus in NYC on the Chinese New Year!

Meanwhile, Cassie (Amanda Schull) wakes up in 2043 to Jones (Barbara Sukowa) tending to some gunshot wounds (courtesy of the season 1 finale). It’s been a couple days since Cassie was splintered to the future, and the Messengers (those mysterious figures painted in blue) have taken over Jones’s facility.

The head Messenger attempts to splinter one of his crew to an unknown time and place, but we all know Jones is a badass and doesn’t play by anyone’s rules but her own. She corrupts the process and only splinters part of him—severely destroying the rest of him.

The big bad blue guys get the machine working and start sending their own away to other times and/or places, including this girl:

12 Monkeys - Messenger

Something (i.e., Syfy’s website) tells me that she’s going to be important later.

In the process, Cassie makes an unlikely ally in West 7 leader Deacon (Todd Stashwick). After a bit of back-and-forth, the two strike a deal after Cassie diagnoses Deacon with Wilson’s Disease. If he helps her stop the Messengers, Cassie promises to bring him medicine from the past.

The two succeed in stopping the Messengers, but in the process, they kind of blow up the time machine. No worries—it’ll take time, but Jones can fix it!

And where’s Jennifer? She’s in 2016 New York, prepping for her vital role in the destruction of the world. But first, she stops in for a little speed dating. During her “date,” she brandishes a gun and tries to get the confused single to kill her—you know, to save the world. He doesn’t. She leaves. He calls the cops.

12 Monkeys - Jennifer and the virus

Later, the Chinese New Year is upon us, and Cole and Ramse scour the celebratory event for Jennifer. Cole spots her and chases her to an empty parking deck. He pulls the gun—and Jennifer is relieved! But Cole can’t pull the trigger. Elsewhere, Ramse is knocked out by an unknown force.

12 Monkeys - Jennifer and Cole

A few of the 12 Monkey guys arrive to remind Jennifer of her alleged destiny. And—BOOM—Cassie appears to save the day! Sort of. She’s quick to take out the bad guys and is ready to kill Jennifer, but Cole stands in her way.

Phew! In case you need more, read the detailed recap here.

Let’s discuss all of this …

The Bromance Returns!
All is right in the world(s)—Cole and Ramse are fighting on the same side again! They spent three months trekking the world, running from villains—and that’s a long time to mend fences. Of course, this doesn’t mean there won’t be more hiccups along the way. It’s evident Ramse still struggles with the thought of losing his son in 2043, should the virus be destroyed. But Ramse is a good man; he won’t let Cole (or us) down. Right?

12 Monkeys - Cole and Ramse

Olivia’s Deviation
Because Cole botched the magnificent plans of the shadowy Witness, things need to be righted. And Olivia appears to be willing to do whatever it takes to kill Ramse and Cole—even if the Witness is unaware of her commands. At some point, her actions will find their way back to her mysterious boss—and what then?

Deacon’s New Role?
As bad as Deacon was in season 1, there was always a fun charm about him. And this premiere episode laid the groundwork for Deacon’s path to good-guy status, right? Let’s call it the “Spike Effect”—and I’m all for it! Of course, Negan also has a charm about him …

Jennifer’s Struggle
Poor, poor Jennifer. Olivia seemingly brainwashed Ms. Goines into thinking she was a majestic part of some spiritual, perfect plan for world order. Or something. As a result, she’s as crazy as ever. Her body is going through the motions of committing the heinous act of releasing the virus, but her mind isn’t quite there. And she welcomes death. Even if Cole can’t do it, Cassie is extremely willing to do the deed. How will Jennifer respond to this standoff?

Even in the first season, there was a shift in Cassie’s character. Starting as the good doctor who didn’t like guns, Cassie has turned into one hell of a fighter/part-time ninja. In the season 2 premiere, we witnessed her brutally kill a stranger—albeit a bad one—after receiving quick directives from Deacon. The emotional turmoil came after, but there’s no denying that Cassie is in a very different place … especially when she meets up with Cole and Jennifer in 2016. So what exactly happened in those eight months?

12 Monkeys - Cassie

Be sure to vote in this week’s poll, below. And don’t forget to share your thoughts and theories!

Memorable Quotes
“You believe in the past, I believe in the future. It is what it is.” –Ramse (to Cole)

“But … but you’ve got moxie! And I like your tie.” –Jennifer (while speed dating)

“Year of the Monkey” included timelines from 2016 and 2043.

12 Monkeys airs Mondays at 9 p.m. on Syfy.

TV Families | EW.com
Mark Harris
February 23, 1990 AT 05:00 AM EST

The Bradys are back, with a passel of 90’s hassles. Do they represent the typical American Family? Did they ever? Who does? Stare and compare!

Kind Of Family
TheBradyBunch 1969-74: Blended
The Bradys 1990-: Enormous
Married…With Children 1987-: Postnuclear
Thirtysomething 1987-: Extended
The Flintstones 1960-66: Modern Stone Age

Family Pet
The Brady Bunch: Tiger
The Bradys: Alice
Married…With Children: Buck
Thirtysomething: Grendel
The Flintstones: Dino

Typical Guest Star
The Brady Bunch: Davey Jones
The Bradys: There’s no room
Married…With Children: Sam Kinison
Thirtysomething: Carly Simon
The Flintstones: Ann Margrock

Expression Of Joy
The Brady Bunch: Groovy!
The Bradys: Ritual hugging
Married…With Children: ”Oh, great.”
Thirtysomething: ”Of course I’m happy for you. Really. But what about me? Why does it always have to be about you?
The Flintstones: ”Yabba-dabba doo

Expression Of Rage

The Brady Bunch: ”Hmmm…”
The Bradys: ”If you back away from something you really want, then you’re a quitter!” (the angriest any Brady has ever been)
Married…With Children: ”Aaagh, God, take me from this miserable life!”
Thirtysomething: ”I’m not angry, OK?”
The Flintstones: ”Willllmaaaa!”

Typical Problem
The Brady Bunch: Marcia and her rival both want to be the prom queen.
The Bradys: Bobby gets paralyzed.
Married…With Children: Al doesn’t buy his family Christmas presents.
Thirtysomething: Nancy gets cancer.
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney are staying out too late.

Typical Solution
The Brady Bunch: The prom committee decides to have two queens.
The Bradys: Bobby gets married.
Married…With Children: They hate him.
Thirtysomething: If only we knew…
The Flintstones: Wilma and Betty decide to follow them.

House Style
The Brady Bunch: Conservative but mod, circa ’69
The Bradys: Conservative but mod, circa ’90
Married…With Children: Roach motel
Thirtysomething: Enviable
The Flintstones: Suburban cave

Clothing Style
The Brady Bunch: Early Osmonds
The Bradys: Made in the USA
Married…With Children: Flammable fabrics
Thirtysomething: Eclectic earth tones; nice ties
The Flintstones: One-piece

Most Annoying Character
The Brady Bunch: Alice’s cousin Emma, the substitute housekeeper (too strict)
The Bradys: Marcia’s husband, Wally (chronically unemployable)
Married…With Children: Steve (supercilious)
Thirtysomething: Ellyn (goes through Hope’s drawers, babbles, changes hairstyle every other week, generally mistreats her friends)
The Flintstones: Mr. Slate (bossy)

Attitude Toward Sex
The Brady Bunch: Never heard of it
The Bradys: Omigod — even Cindy does it!
Married…With Children: Peg: Yes. Al: No.
Thirtysomething: They didn’t get all those kids by accident.
The Flintstones: Prehistoric

How Spouses Fight
The Brady Bunch: They don’t.
The Bradys: Infrequently, but it happens
Married…With Children: Tooth and nail
Thirtysomething: They stop talking
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney go bowling while Wilma and Betty max out their charge cards.

How Kids Get Into Trouble
The Brady Bunch: Greg takes a puff of a cigarette.
The Bradys: Carol’s grandson steals her business cards and sticks them in the spokes of Bobby’s wheelchair.
Married…With Children: By committing felonies
Thirtysomething: Ethan plays with a forbidden toy rocket.
The Flintstones: They don’t.

How They’re Punished

The Brady Bunch: ”It’s not what you did, honey — it’s that you couldn’t come to us.”
The Bradys ”Next time, ask.”
Married…With Children: By the authorities
Thirtysomething: It blows up in his face.
The Flintstones: They’re not.

What Family Does For Fun
The Brady Bunch: Takes special three-part vacations to Hawaii and the Grand Canyon
The Bradys: Has flashbacks
Married…With Children: Exchanges insults
Thirtysomething: Talks
The Flintstones: Attends showings of The Monster at the Bedrock Drive-In

Unsolved Mysteries
The Brady Bunch: How exactly did Carol’s first husband and Mike’s first wife die?
The Bradys: What’s with Marcia’s new face and Bobby’s blonde hair
Married…With Children: What kind of hair spray does Peg use?
Thirtysomething: Why did Nancy take Elliot back? What do Gary and Susanna see in each other?
The Flintstones: How does Barney’s shirt stay on if he has no shoulders? Where do Fred and Wilma plug in their TV?

Worst Behavior
The Brady Bunch: The Brady children once made Alice feel under-appreciated.

The Bradys: Marcia’s son Mickey watches Bobby’s car-crash tape for fun.
Married…With Children: The Bundy’s kill their neighbor’s dog.
Thirtysomething: Elliot has an affair and talks about it.
The Flintstones: Characters don’t wear under-clothes.

Best Reason To Watch
The Brady Bunch: This is what life should be.
The Bradys: They’re all grown-ups now!
Married…With Children: Terry Rakolta hates it.
Thirtysomething (Tie) This is your life. This isn’t your life.
The Flintstones: This is what life might have been.

Best Reason Not To Watch
The Brady Bunch: Blurred vision from rerun overdoses.
The Bradys: You’re all grown-ups now.
Married…With Children: She has a point.
Thirtysomething: After a while, you think it’s real.
The Flintstones: The Simpsons

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