The Jinn, also referred to as the Great Cycle, refers to a large and neverending time loop. The Jinn consists of a series of causal loops, with no clear beginning or end. Instead, it is a neverending series of events that are both the cause and effect of each other.
A causal loop results in the lines between cause and effect being blurred. An event may cause another event, and due to time travel, be the effect of that very same event. As a result, such a loop has no discernable beginning or end. Individuals who are motivated by an event to go back in time to try and stop it may find themselves to be the causes of the event all along. Numerous causal loops have been seen to date on 12 Monkeys and appear to make up the larger, seemingly unbreakable Jinn.
Examples of Causal Loops
Numerous examples of causal loops can be found in 12 Monkeys. As described above, these loops all make up the larger Jinn. The following list of examples, while not comprehensive, describes key causal loops within the series.
- The creation of time travel: Project Splinter is financed by time traveler Jose Ramse, who came back in time by using the very time machine he helped financed.
- Olivia & The Messengers: Dr. Kirschner creates Olivia by using the eggs of Mantis, a Messenger, as a model. Decades later, Olivia's eggs are used to create the Messengers, including Mantis herself. In 2043, Mantis goes back in time, where her eggs are used by Dr. Kirschner to create Olivia.
- CIA Report: Cassie and Ramse learn of a redacted CIA report from 1961 mentioning Titan in 2044. They travel back to 1961 and begin asking Mossad agents about Titan. The unredacted report mentions the two's line of questioning, but nothing else, meaning Cassie and Ramse created the very lead they were following.