12 Monkeys “Arms of Mine” Review (Season 1 Episode 13)

The finale to 12 Monkeys, like much of the series so far, was a surprisingly restrained affair. Sure, the hour started off with a man burning alive – the ever-underwhelming Aaron – but the bulk of “Arms of Mine” saw Cole and Cassie on a grim march to the time travel machine, all in an effort to stop Ramse and, hopefully, the Army. It made for a tense finale, and one that did a good job setting up even more mysteries for the show to return to next year.

The biggest moment along the way was seeing Jennifer fully in charge of Markridge and basically doing all she could to burn the memory of her father to the ground. She’s clearly still unhinged, though firmly in the Army’s camp, giving Cassie and Cole all the info the Army wanted them to have. It made Cassie slapping the crazy out of her for a moment all the more enjoyable.

Everything led to the final confrontation between Ramse and Cole. While this face-off was a chatty one, it worked thanks to strong performances from two actors who’ve done a great job selling the now-dead friendship between their characters. It’s great to look back at how pointless I felt Ramse was in the beginning and see my entire opinion of the character flip, to the point that this final confrontation felt every bit as tense and conflicted as it needed to.

Because even in the end, the two couldn’t entirely hate each other. They loved one another, they just ended up on different sides of the same conflict. And so, once the guns were all fired, Ramse ultimately decided to help Cole save Cassie, realizing he’d lost and choosing to do right by his friend. And, in exchange, Cole decided to do all he could to try and save Ramse. There’s no telling what their relationship will be like next season, but I’m hopeful the two can patch things up and come to some sort of agreement.

And, with Cassie now thrown through time, it sets up the potential for a reversal of this season. Now, Cole is the one stuck in 2015, while Cassie has the ability to splinter and help him out. And that’s if the show even chooses to go in that direction, as they could just as easily have the ageless Cole and Ramse show up in 2043. The possibilities are fairly broad, and it’ll be interesting to see what happens when the show returns in 2016.

It’s true that there are a lot of questions left unanswered. It’s still not clear what exactly the Army of the 12 Monkeys are trying to do, or what the “next cycle” is. And maybe the show hasn’t been the most satisfying in terms of explaining its mysteries. However, the personal journeys are what made the show so compelling this year, enough that I’m looking forward to seeing where – and when – the show takes us next.

What did you think of this week’s finale? Let me know in the comments!