12 Monkeys: Hyena Review
Going on the offensive backfires but new insight is gained in this transition to battles old and new.
This 12 Monkeys review contains spoilers.
12 Monkeys Season 2, Episode 9
Although the team has split up for a two front war in this week’s 12 Monkeys episode, it’s difficult to decide which mission is more important, dangerous, or impactful. On the one hand, it was nice to return to the subject of the virus, which is still obviously a big problem, but on the other hand Cassie and Ramse made progress in the pursuit of the Witness. So will it be East Germany in 1961 next or upstate New York in 1957? Will audience interest be doubly piqued as the two battles converge, or will their attention be halved as the plots divide?
Actually, the most compelling and surprising element of this episode comes from the formation of the Hyenas, a group of liberated mental patients who are highly motivated by the anti-social behavior Jennifer Goines is encouraging by taking out Markridge research labs. This a great throwback to the Terry Gilliam film in which Brad Pitt’s Jeffrey Goines commanded a similar “army” of barely controlled misfits. However, it’s likely that many viewers assumed this group would succeed and become the Daughters of the future, and the fact that it didn’t felt simultaneously realistic and tragic.
That’s because viewers aren’t used to seeing Jennifer out of the loop, and since she’s sometimes seen as a humorous character, her rare emotional moments can be quite powerful. As a result, her utter defeat after being manipulated by Pallid Man is understandably and noticeably painful for her, but her uncertainty was a perfect mirror for Cole as they delivered the same cryptic advice to each other about the right ending being the one you choose. 12 Monkeys isn’t afraid of a good ontological paradox!
Pallid Man’s misdirect was well-played, but he continues to come out on top in unexpected ways: how he managed to have the M-510 virus squirreled away already, for example, is a mystery! Nevertheless, the new direction for the Army of the 12 Monkeys is intriguing both because of Olivia’s usurped power and mistrust of the Witness and because of the new technology analyzing a missing corner of the Word of the Witness. Not to mention the big reveal at the end that Eliot Jones will help build Titan at Pallid Man’s behest!
This gives hope to the idea that the two storylines will converge, which is good because the visit to the Keeper with Cassie and Ramse searching for Titan felt a little forced. A man obsessed with the truth because of the lies that brought about the apocalypse is one thing; having him force them to admit why they hate each other, although narratively insightful, didn’t seem all that natural. It was nice that Cassie’s lack of immunity was addressed, though, since that seemed up for speculation last week.
More successful were the moments between Hannah and Jones, who went through a very believable transition from long-estranged family to a cautiously optimistic mother and daughter. Hannah may be undiplomatic in repeatedly calling Jennifer “Mother,” but Jones realistically appreciates the lack of “pretty lies” about their situation. And of course the discussion of Hannah’s father ties in nicely with his shocking appearance at the end of the episode.
So viewers are left wondering how Jennifer will recover and form the real Daughters and how Eliot Jones will use his engineering expertise to build – what? A stronghold of some sort? To hear some theories about this and other fan reaction for 12 Monkeys, subscribe to the author’s 12 Monkeys Uncaged podcast on iTunes or Stitcher.
12 Monkeys Uncaged ep. 25 – Hyena Review