12 Monkeys, TV Shows

12 Monkeys Season 1 Recap: A Must-Read Before Season 2

12 monkeys season 1 recap

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We’re providing you with a quick 12 Monkeys Season 1 recap, to help get you ready for 12 Monkeys Season 2. This show can get pretty confusing at times, and after a nearly year-long break, it can be difficult to remember where the show left off. That’s why we’re here to help with this 12 Monkeys refresher! Season 2 may not be aired on television until mid-April, but you can catch the first episode of season 2 early, starting today. (Find out how here.) But a lot of what’s going on might not make much sense if you haven’t given yourself a refresher

If you haven’t seen the season yet or if you want to rewatch it, you can view it on Amazon Online Streaming here.

Here’s where we left off, along with key info on important plot points. Remember, there are hints that everything Cole’s doing to stop the plague may actually be starting it.

Here's a recap of 12 Monkeys Season 1, to get you caught up for Season 2! #12Monkeys Share on X

The Markridge Group

Here's everything you need to recall about The Markridge Group and the coming of the 12. Share on X

It’s a biotech company headed by Jennifer’s dad, Leland Goines.Back in 1987, the company was working on human cloning.  It secretly created bioweaponry, including the M5-10 virus. The Army of the 12 Monkeys invested in Markridge to speed the development of M5-10.

Jennifer worked at the company in 2013, when a group of Army agents (led by the Pallid man), attacked a lab and killed everyone but Jennifer and Henri Toussaint. She was blamed for the murders and institutionalized.

At one point, Cole and Cassie broke into the Night Room, finding that the Pallid man had already killed all the Markridge staff. They destroyed the specimen that had the source of the virus, but that didn’t fix the future. The specimen was the remains of a human found in the Annapurna region of the Himalayas in the mid-1980s. This body may have been the origin of the plague that wiped everyone out in 2017. There are hints and speculation that the body might have been Cole.

Jennifer inherits and takes over the company after Leland dies in 2015, at the end of season 1.


Olivia, a member of the Army of the 12 Monkeys, is the woman who recruited Ramse into the army by sending him letters and books while he was in prison. They met with Jennifer’s dad, Leland Goise, under the guise of being silent partners investing in the Markridge Group. Olivia was also the one instigated Cassie’s hallucinations. She also took in Jennifer and tried to manipulate her, telling her she could be a daughter again.

The Red Forest/Red Ivy

Olivia helped administer a drug to Cassie and led her through a hallucination of the Red Forest, which has a house made of cedar standing in the middle of it. The Witness, who’s identity is still unknown, didn’t want Cassie to be killed.

The red forest is somehow connected to the red ivy that we see growing in the time machine lab in 2015 and also with the splinter machine in 2043. It’s a sign that the two timelines are somehow leaking into each other.

The Witness

The Witness has been running a lot of things behind the scenes, but we still don’t know who he is. We suspected he was Ramse, but found out in the finale this wasn’t true.

Aaron Marker

Cassie’s ex, Aaron, betrayed them toward the end of the season and started working with the enemy. (Remember, Aaron Marker, a political strategist, works for Senator Royce. ) Aaron pleaded with Cassie to come with him and turn her back on Cole. Of course, she won’t. Finally, Aaron reveals that the people he agreed to help were “the coming of the 12.” They left Aaron pinned under shelves.


Jennifer Goines maneuvered her way into becoming the new CEO of Markridge. At the beginning of the season 1 finale, she’s drawing the symbol of the Army of the 12 Monkeys on the Markridge conference room wall.

Her keynote speech starts out normal but soon goes off the rails in true Jennifer “awesome but cray” fashion. Jennifer reveals to Cassie and Cole that the new investor is Ethan Secky.


Ramse started out as Cole’s partner and friend, then he went crazy at the idea that changing the future might end his son’s existence. He splintered in time, trying to kill Cole multiple times. He eventually became the secret investor (Ethan Secky) in the Markridge Group so he could get his hands on the time machine.

In the finale, we see Ramse inspecting the time machine and discussing how it works with Jones’ husband (who’s still alive at this point in the timeline!) Cole finds Ramse, which is shocking because Ramse thought he killed Cole in Tokyo. Cassie joins them and pulls her own gun on Ramse, eventually shooting him despite Cole’s protests. She gets shot by security and is dying. Cole puts Cassie in the machine so she can splinter to 2043 and Jones can save her. Meanwhile, Cole rescues Ramse, determined to save his life.

The Blue Man Group

Meanwhile, in 2043, everything is coming to an end. The Blue Man Group is outside the splinter compound, plotting their siege. Deacon and a former Spearhead employee work together, releasing bats who clog the grid and shut down the core. Deacon and co. enter the facility and Jones is ready to blow everything up. She negotiates for the scientists’ release and they decide to keep Jones alive. That’s when Cassie splinters into 2043, shocking everyone.

The Coming of the 12

Next we return to Olivia, who is in her estate. Someone tells her: “The 12 are ready.” Turns out, these are 12 newborn babies who will be ready for the next cycle in 28 years. They’ll be the Blue Man Group who hit the facility in 2043. But it seems like there’s a lot more to them than that.

The End

Back in 2015, we see a cargo plane with Markridge cargo being loaded. The passenger is Jennifer Goines and she’s embarking on a 12-city tour because she has “work to finish,” perhaps intending to release the virus around the world.

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    Stephanie Dwilson started Post Apocalyptic Media with her husband Derek. She's a licensed attorney and has a master's in science and technology journalism. You can reach her at [email protected].

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