There are usually two broad types of season finales—those that wrap everything up like the satisfying end of a book, providing closure while hinting at more. And then there are others that leave viewers on major cliffhangers, changing the show’s dynamic and hooking them with plenty of reasons to return for the next season.
Unsurprisingly, 12 Monkeys, which has treated almost every episode like some sort of finale, goes with the latter for its last season 1 episode, “Arms of Mine.”
As the battle over whether the past can really be changed rages on, “Arms of Mine” includes, in no particular order, the death of a seemingly decent guy, a showdown between best friends, a new wrinkle to the Army of the 12 Monkeys, and a brand new time traveler.
And in true 12 Monkeys fashion, the battle for the future is waged in both 2015 and 2043, with each time period integral to what happens in the other. So where does that battle leave Cole’s mission? Well, let’s start in…
Cole and Cassie have shacked up together, and, with the latter stuck indefinitely in 2015, they are in desperate need of a plan. So they chain up and interrogate Aaron for information, learning about Olivia’s plans with Markridge before Cassie’s ex escapes. Aaron even uses a makeshift flamethrower to fend off Cole, but the two brawl and set fire to the abandoned parking lot. Cole and Cassie escape, but Aaron is left to his doom, pinned down under fallen furniture.
With that unfortunate incident behind them, Cole and Cassie investigate Markridge’s new investor, who also happens to be their new CEO—Jennifer Goines.
The daughter of the late Leland is giving a press conference for Markridge’s investors, and boy does she give them something to talk about. She talks about giving the world back to the animals, which, for some reason, includes reviving the extinct dodo bird.
She wasn’t lying about that, but she has other plans for her company she tells Cassie and Cole after the meeting. Jennifer is still obsessed with Cole, but Cassie can’t stand Jennifer’s eclectic behavior. She convinces Jennifer to give them the information they’re looking for—by slapping her, of course—and from it they discover Ramse’s involvement with the company. He’s looking for Raritan, a national laboratory where Jones’ time machine happens to be held.
But it sounds like Jennifer was meant to tell them the details, as she takes a call after their meeting, simply saying “It’s done. He knows.”
What does Cole know, though? That if Ramse can destroy the time machine, he’ll keep the future he knows, and his son, alive, dooming mankind to die out yet again.
Ramse has actually made a deal to secure the lab, where he arrives to greet a Dr. Jones, but not the Jones we know. This man is her ex-husband, and as he tests plants in the time machine (which are still turning red), Ramse enters. He’s given control of the time machine and a locked box, but unbeknownst to him, in the tunnels below the machine, Cassie and Cole have infiltrated the facilities.
Splitting up, Cassie runs into a room full of red plants, which causes her to flashback to the night she was kidnapped and forced to see visions of the Red Forest. Cole, meanwhile, makes his way to confront Ramse, and there the two argue about the fate of their future versus a new, theoretical one where the virus never existed.
But speaking of their future, what’s been happening there? “Paradox” left Jones’ lab facing a new imminent threat—Deacon and a group of cloaked, gray people. They infiltrate the facility the same way Cole and Cassie do in 2015—through the lab’s underground tunnels. Little do they know Jones is inside, who, cornered in Atari, concocts one last option to save herself, Whitley, and her staff. A bomb.
The strange group is after Jones, while Deacon wants to take the facility for the sake of the West VII. The seemingly superpowered figures make their way into the lab, only to find Jones holding a bomb ready to blow. She promises to hand over the machine if they allow everyone else in the facility to live.
And as one showdown takes place, so does another, in the same exact room in 2015. Cole and Ramse debate the merits of letting their future exist. Ramse believes they can find a cure if Foster found a cure. “Our only future is the future,” Ramse argues, and Cole can’t believe Ramse would risk seven billion people to save one, his son. But Ramse knows Cole would do exactly the same thing to save Cassie, as much as he may try to deny it.
NEXT: Cassie comes to the rescue.