Finally, with only two episodes left, Syfy’s 12 Monkeys delivers more of what’s been working so well in the Season 2 penultimate episode, ‘Blood Washed Away‘.
The following review of Blood Washed Away contains minor spoilers. You’ll be fine to peal the review and ingest before heading over to Syfy to check out 12 Monkeys’ latest. Enjoy Monkeys
When I first got into Syfy’s time-traveling sci-fi saga, the illustriously epic 12 Monkeys, I was more than a little skeptical about whether or not the show would be that of quality. In fact, I only started watching the show to cover and report back to all the crazy monkeys of the world. Not to mention the fact that most shows on the Syfy network are a little too schlocky for my taste.
I tried so hard to get to know O’Dare he thinks I’m trying to get into his pants- James Cole
To my sincerest surprise, the Terry Matalas and Travis Fickett 12 Monkeys became a revelation. After opening strong with Year of the Monkey , the show went on to great heights with One Hundred Years, Emergence, and Hyena. Not to mention last week’s truly stellar Resurrection, this is Just to call out a couple of stellar entries; there’re many more.
Now, after last week’s amazing Resurrection, we get a brilliant penultimate episode in Blood Washed Away. Written by Sean Tretta, Blood Washed Away does so many things right and leaves you grasping for the edge of your seat.
After properly taking the two plot setup from last week’s Resurrection and running with it like a mad Russian rugby player, Blood Washed Away evenly nurtures both the Cole/Cassandra 1957 Primary killing plot and the Ramse/Deacon kill The Witness plot. The story pacing is so good in Blood Washed Away, that while either plot lines (both still play into the same narrative of ending the plague) could easily be its own episode, each is juggled like a highly competent circus worker to a result that never feels rushed.
Furthermore, Blood Washed Away continues 12 Monkeys’ recent trend of scaling back on the Army bad guy plan exposition and focuses more on simplistic storytelling and developing character through plot. While all the Army stuff didn’t completely over-weigh the narrative, I can see how some could view it as congested and not easy too follow. Not here and the proof is in the banana pudding.
Moreover, Blood Washed Away pushes the show in more epic ways and further than I expected. A big moment happens in the episode, something most shows would’ve waited until the season finale to do, and it’s adrenaline charged to experience the suspense of it all.
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As for the acting of Blood Washed Away, stars Aaron Stanford and Amanda Schull, playing James Cole and Dr. Cassandra Railly respectively, completely steal the show. The two thespians have always had great chemistry and really put that on full display in 12 Monkeys’ most recent outing. Not only are the two given well written scenes to work from, but they bring so much subtle passion to their performances. Look to the last 20 minutes for proof of their shine.
Then there’s the direction. Directed by David Grossman, Blood Washed Away is so effectively shot, but surprisingly so, as there isn’t much stand out composition or camerawork to point out. While the composition is in fact textbook in its execution, and a low-angle shot when Ramse and the group enters Titan is great, most of the direction of the episode is rather tame but effective. It’s also of note that the beginning montage is amazing and the outing overall is well edited. It’s not a badly directed episode, it was just mostly made in the editing bay.
But I offer an perspective as to why the episode is kinda tame in the direction category. Blood Washed Away’s script is so fast paced, it would be over-indulgent for a filmmaker to robustly stylize a shoot where the script didn’t call for it. Most of Blood Washed Away is breakneck storytelling or balls to the wall action. We’re coming down to the final countdown of 12 Monkey’s Second Season and it’s something I think Director Grossman knows for certain.
So, will Cole and Cassandra find the last Primary before it’s too late? Will Ramse and Deacon find The Witness and stop the Army in its tracks. Will young Jennifer be able to properly fill the shoes of Mother? You’ll have to swing over to Syfy to find out you crazy Monkeys.
David Grossman‘s Blood Washed Away is an proficiently powerful penultimate episode of Syfy’s 12 Monkeys. It’s a tightly scripted, breakneck plotted piece of entertainment that never disappoints. Blood Washed Away is more daring that most shows would be at this point and the suspense of the underrated sci-fi show is beginning to be so hot it’s about to boil over. It’s all come down to this and I think the Monkeys of the world will be pleased.
THE GRADE: A
Check out a preview for the next episode, Memory of Tomorrow, courtesy of Syfy:
Enjoying Syfy’s 12 Monkeys? Did or didn’t like what Blood Washed Away had to offer? Sound off with your comments below and let’s get as many monkeys as we can to get this conversation going. Don’t forget to tune into 12 Monkeys Mondays at 9/8c, only on Syfy.