The identity of Cole’s mother has been a major mystery throughout the 12 Monkeys series. With this episode, we get a key to unlock it. In Daughters, Jones’s daughter Hannah and Olivia’s daughter Emma are on two different missions. The emotional journeys each goes on are set perfectly next to one another. 12 Monkeys has always been a fairly dark show in tone and subject matter, but this episode strays into even darker territory. Watching Olivia murder a vision of Hannah is heart wrenching, even if we know that it isn’t really her.
Olivia treats Emma vastly different than Jones treats Hannah. Hannah receives motherly love and affection, reinforcing a bond. Olivia, on the other hand, treats Emma like a machine. Emma is merely a means to an end and it’s very easy to see. Both Hannah and Emma want to complete their missions and make their mothers happy. Hannah respects and trusts Jones, she wants to complete her mission and help her mother. Emma, on the other hand, fears her mother and is constantly reminded that Olivia only had her as a means to an end.
Daughters is a perfectly paced, grim hour that ends in the typical 12 Monkeys fashion: two steps forward, one step back.