When 12 Monkeys first started, many potential viewers’ biggest fear was that the show wouldn’t live up to Terry Gilliam’s eccentric film or that it would diverge from the source material so drastically that the namesake would seem opportunistic at best and disrespectful at worst. Fortunately, the Syfy series has not only stayed true to the time travel classic from which it’s derived while forging its own path, it pays homage to some of the more recognizable moments from the film through a series of Easter eggs that fans have enjoyed discovering throughout the season.
It shouldn’t be too surprising that the creators of the show would want to maintain reverence for the movie considering producers Charles Roven and Richard Suckle worked on both projects. What is impressive is the fact that the series has been able to establish its own identity while still weaving in these delightful nods to the film without disturbing the rhythm of the show. It’s a delicate balance, taking into account both the scrutiny of the movie fans and the inscrutable tolerance of the growing number of fans who have only seen the television show. If social media reaction is any indication, though, fans of all stripes have embraced the subtle movie references dropped into various episodes throughout the first season.
Since Easter weekend is here, why not go on an Easter egg hunt for the final two episodes of 12 Monkeys, starting tonight with the penultimate episode, “Paradox”? To get you started, below are some of the movie references that have already been shown. Did you notice them when they appeared in the show? If not, there are two more chances! Further Easter eggs are in episodes 12 and 13 to end the season! Read on to find out how to receive credit if you discover them!
Did you recognize Jennifer Goines beige sweater in episode 102? If it looked out of place, that’s because it was made for the male version of her character in the movie. Brad Pitt, who played Jeffrey Goines in the Gilliam film, wore the same fashionable sweater to great effect.
The facility where Jennifer Goines has been committed by her father was named the J. D. Peoples Institute. Janet and David Peoples wrote the original screenplay for the movie, taking inspiration from the French film, La Jetée.
In one of Cole’s initial jumps, the scientists accidentally sent him to North Korea in 2006 but quickly slingshotted him to his correct 2015 target. A similar mistake occurred in the movie, sending Bruce Willis to a World War I bunker. The scientists in both versions delivered the reassuring line, “Right on the money!” before delivering their subjects to the wrong time.
When Cole traveled to Haiti in 2014, he needed a disguise to prevent Dr. Railly from seeing him. The Hawaiian shirt he grabbed from a parked car is the same shirt Bruce Willis wore in the movie as his disguise in the airport in the final scene of the movie.
While there’s no Ramse in the movie, the Cole character played by Bruce Willis does have a friend named Jose. This explains the recent reveal in the series in which Ramse is called Jose by his long-lost love, Helena.
For awhile, the Markridge scientist responsible for designing the M5-10 virus was simply known as Oliver. However, viewers recently found out his last name was Peters. This is a nod to Peters, the harbinger of the plague in the movie played brilliantly by David Morse.
We’ve seen many instances of the dream sequence including the breaking glass of milk shown above. In the movie, Cole’s dream was a memory of his own death, but in the television show, it turns out to be young Cole’s memory of his father’s demise at the hands of Pallid Man.
The folks at Syfy have warned us there are more Easter eggs to come!
Both of the remaining episodes contain a reference to the movie as well, and you’re invited to go on your own Easter egg hunt starting tonight! If you spot the homage in either episode, let us know on Twitter by using the hashtag #12MonkeysEasterEggs both weeks!