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Well, I'm a sucker for happy endings, and I would never have forgiven 12 Monkeys if ended with Cole and Cassie apart, or dead—which indeed is the worst kind of apart—and I'm very glad I don't have to. That is, forgive 12 Monkeys. Because ... [spoilers ahead]
Well, obviously there are spoilers ahead, and I know the first paragraph is of course a spoiler, but what else can I do? The series ended with one hell of a satisfyingly happy ending, and after all it and we the audience have been through, that was manifestly the right thing to do.
Of course, Jones would find a way of not only saving her grandson but saving him for a happy life with the woman he loves. And what I especially liked about the ending was the way that Cassie played an active role in this, by acting on her instincts and premonitions in the original and final timeline, and going to that house in Binghamton. (Did we already know it was in Binghamton? I'm not sure—but I also like that that's where it was. I've been there at least 12 times.)
It was also appropriate that Jones engineered this, while Cassie and Cole and everyone around her reluctantly consented to go their own different, separate ways. In fact, the only thing I didn't much care for in the ending is something I didn't like as soon as she became the villain of the series. The Witness was too much of a cartoonish, fairytale, whatever the right word is here, villain. And the people around her were even more so.
Still, that red leaf at the end shows the red forest—i.e., the end of time and existence—is ever nigh. As Cole rightly says more than once in this two-hour finale, it's the reality of endings that makes what comes before them so meaningful.
He offered the metaphor of a sunset. Here's a picture I took of one earlier the other night over Cape Cod Bay, which I enjoyed before seeing the finale of this outstanding series, and proved an apt prelude. And here's one of the best-known songs from my 1972 LP, Twice Upon a Rhyme—Looking for Sunsets (In the Early Morning). Thanks everyone for a great four seasons of time-travel television.