TV Club: 12 Monkeys: “Paradox”

“Paradox” is aptly named. One conversation sums up the contradiction at the heart of the episode, and maybe at the heart of 12 Monkeys. Cassie tracks down young Katarina Jones in 2015, hoping she can save Cole’s life, but Cole objects. “You shouldn’t have brought her here,” he tells her, mumbling about a “risk to the timeline.” Seconds later, he says, “Jones is here because she’s always come here. It’s fate.”

It seems simple, a question of one or the other. Either Jones has always come to their hideaway in the old bookstore or bringing Jones there is a violation of her timeline. Either the Jones of 2041 recognized Cole or she didn’t. Either Cassie has disrupted Jones’ future and Cole’s past or she hasn’t.

More and more, 12 Monkeys suggests there is no either/or. There is no always. History isn’t …

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