Sunday, July 22, 2018

What I’m Watching: 12 Monkeys

12 Monkeys: Season 4, Episode 5 “After” (B+)

I remember when Christopher Lloyd first appeared on this show as Zalmon Shaw, with his time-traveling history as Doc Brown in the “Back to the Future” series a completely different role, far jollier and nobler than his frightening villain here. What we saw in the opening moments of this episode reframed that, as he contends on a regular basis with painful memories of losing his wife and yearns for the post-time red forest in which joy will always overwhelm sadness. Sacrificing his life so that a young Pallid Man could get away wasn’t the most important of his presence in this hour, but rather the fact that he convinced Cassie of the appeal of the red forest, suggesting that she may not be in this fight in the same way anywhere, which could prove dangerous. I’m not sure that I support the logic of Gale and Jennifer writing the words whose presence in history is what brought them to that place to begin with, and it reminds me of the crucial scene in “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban” where a character saving himself doesn’t actually make sense. Still, it was worthwhile to see Jay Karnes as Gale again, who knows the drill and didn’t need Jennifer to explain it to him, and for Cassie to go back in time and hide from herself so that she could save Cole. On that note, Cole’s knowledge that he had to survive is a similarly risky gambit, but it means he’s not going to hold back from doing anything life-threatening. We’re close to the end, but not quite close enough for major characters to be dying for good.