Moments Easily Missed: The Rewatch Edition – I Love You

Today we’re taking a closer look at 2×11 “Resurrection”, and the moment that Jennifer Goines’ cycle comes to an end.

There are so many moments to love about Jennifer, each one for very different reasons, but one that has always stuck with me is when she is confronted with her older self in 2044, on the day that she dies.

Many fans of 12 Monkeys would agree that Emily Hampshire is not simply the comic relief of the series, but that she frequently has the most interesting and insightful dialogue. Every season, her character becomes more fascinating and integral to the larger plot. Hampshire has taken this in her stride, proving what a fantastic actress she is, and how wide of a repertoire she can manage. While she does handle this scene with the usual comedic aplomb the final moments before Old Jennifer dies are particularly poignant.

After joking about Young Jennifer being a “better version” of herself and life being a choose your own adventure, Old Jennifer says to Young Jennifer, “I love you. I know that’s a really weird thing to hear, but later you’ll need to remember that.” While this could mean many things, when we consider it alongside what Cole highlighted in “Hyena” (“You’ve got thirty years on all of us.”) we might conclude that when the final battle is over, Young Jennifer will be the last woman standing. Although she’ll have her daughters, to sacrifice so many people that she loves will be a terrible burden. In her dying words, Old Jennifer is really preparing her younger self for the fact that no matter which ending she chooses, it is the right one and she is strong enough to see it through.

It’s not an uncommon scenario, for people to muse on what advice they would give to their younger selves if they had the opportunity to time travel. I like that Jennifer keeps it simple. She could have tried to warn her about what was to come but she doesn’t. Old Jennifer understands that the mistakes you make are also the lessons that make you who you are, so there would be no point unmaking them. Remembering to love yourself is really the most important thing. That’s a beautiful lesson, delivered in a genuine way and in one of the seasons most touching moments.

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