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12 Monkeys – S1E11 – Shonin

Previously on 12 Monkeys, ‘Divine Move’ 

Last week we left off with Ramse making an unexpected time jump and turning his bestie, Cole, against him. Literally, flipping the show on its entire head. So what’s gonna happen this week? Hell if I know. I let this show take me wherever the heck it wants to and I just hold on tight and try to keep up. So let’s start:

We begin with a recap from previous episodes and they mention the mysterious “Witness” a couple of times. Now, I may be completely wrong (because this show is anything but predictable), but I’m just gonna throw it out there that I think Ramse is going to be the Witness. So if it comes to light later in the episode or season… you heard it here first. And if it doesn’t, then just forget I said anything at all.

ramse and cole fight

We open up in 1987 Tokyo, where Ramse is stumbling around like a drunk homeless man and Cole is desperately searching for him. At a club, a young (and ridiculously wigged) Leland Goines is snorting cocaine and talking business with a Japanese man. He refuses to buy some preserved carcass and Cole attacks him as he tries to go to the bathroom. Cole is, indisputably, the luckiest man in the entire history of time, because in a country as jam-packed as Japan, he has managed to track down Goines in no time flat. AND Ramse.

The two get into a brawl (which makes me really sad because I loved their bromance and I’m not ready to let it go) and Ramse strikes the (seemingly) fatal blow to Cole’s gut. I say seemingly because Cole doesn’t die. Did we learn nothing from him surviving the bombing? But the show is doing a very good job convincing me he just might this time. Ramse gets arrested and Cole is left to die.

Let me just stop for one second because it has been all of TEN MINUTES into this show and my mind is racing and my heart is hurting and my mouth is wide open in disbelief. I mean what in the ever loving hell is going on here? Say it ain’t so, Ramse. Say it ain’t so!

Since Ramse’s got no social and no ID, he’s left to rot in a Japanese prison. He gets beaten up, but doesn’t fight back. He gets a letter from someone named Olivia where she refers to him as “Traveler” and says she knows him and he’s important. She asks him not to fight the bully, promises to keep his son safe, and he takes the beatings for years. She sends him more letters and packages as time goes on, but doesn’t provide anything really useful. By 1992, he has had enough (and learned Japanese!). He reveals the bully as a snitch to all the other prisoners (knowing the prisoners will for sure beat the life out of the bully) and with glacial indifference he tells the bully, “I killed you without laying a finger on you.” Whoa. I mean. Whoa. What has happened to the Ramse we know and love? I’m pretty sure I do not like where this character arc is going.

ramse and olivia and old dude

In 1995, he’s finally released. He’s brought a new suit and sent to meet Olivia at a ridiculously large house in Virginia. There he meets the Creepy Old Dude – who is wearing the same necklace that Jennifer Goines gave to Ramse in the future. When placed side by side, we see that they are the exact same necklace from two different places in time. And we know what happens when we do that. The strange explosion is impressive (though not nearly as impressive as the pool – who are these people and why do they have Kanye West level money?) enough to convince Ramse to join up with their gang. He stays with them until 2011 – and he looks fabulous. Same as he did 16 years earlier. So apparently time traveling has also turned him into a vampire. Or Pharrell (if you don’t get that joke, google “Pharrell vampire” because it’s pretty funny. The meme, not my joke).

Anyway, Ramse is introduced to Leland Goines and uses the name “Stuckey.” Leland seems to recognize him, but Ramse brushes it off – even though Goines has a ridiculously accurate recollection of just where they met.

And then we go through a series of events which show that Olivia and Ramse were behind some momentous events – Jennifer being framed for the murder of her fellow scientists and Henri being murdered. Ramse is there watching everything along the way – Goines’ death, the Night Room, Oliver Peters in the shipping crate. There we see Olivia speak to Aaron (as we did in the previous episode) but now we see her return to a waiting Ramse. He is sexy as all get-out in this powerful, dark role, but I miss the old Ramse. I know he’s doing this to ensure the plague happens so he can protect his son, and he’s just a broken man who was dealt a difficult hand, but it is always hard to watch a beloved character become the guy you love to hate (i.e. Walter White in Breaking Bad or Jax Teller in SoA). This one is particularly heartbreaking because I just did not see it coming. Well played, 12 Monkeys.

In 2015, Senator Royce is running for president and Handsome Aaron has been fired. So he gets sloppy drunk – on red wine, like any other young white dude would do (or a 50-year-old woman, but whatever). He wants to fun away and keep Cassie safe, but Cassie wants him to fight for his job. Since he’s a big wuss and can’t protect Cassie anyway, he does what she says. With a little help from Olivia, he’s got a brand new and important role in a private project.

olivia and jennifer

We finally discover where Jennifer has been since she was abducted. She was brought back to the mansion in Virginia. I am so happy to see her, I cannot even tell you. She is so gloriously messed up that she’s irresistible. She takes a bath and Olivia comes in to brush her hair. Olivia is just creepy with that breathy voice of hers and that complacent smile ever present on her face, but mix in Jennifer’s wide eyes and paranoid expression and this is just the creepiest motherly bonding I’ve ever seen in my life. Olivia offers Jennifer a chance to “be a daughter again.” Considering we learned in the last episode she becomes the leader of the Daughters group, I think Olivia’s words have a double meaning. But Jennifer is so broken and crazy, she accepts.

In 2043, Jones and the team are monitoring Cole and end up splintering him to 2015 just before he’s about to be shot in the head. Considering what time travel does to his already fractured existence and the fact that he’s got a mortal wound, I don’t know that this is the best idea, but it seems to be the only option.

Whitley comes to see Jones and declares her mission “over” and says he’s leaving. In another stellar performance, we see what an outstanding cast this show has. Starting out as just an angry black man, Whitley has evolved into a smart, brave, and deep individual. The bonds and relationships between every character on this show are so well-written and developed so brilliantly. Have I told you lately that I love this show? So good.

Cassie comes home to see blood streaked across her floor and a barely conscious Cole slumped on the floor. He tells her the army has been one step ahead of them the whole way and he knows who the witness is. Cut to an image of Ramse. Ha! I told you! I mean, maybe not. That could be the writers just trying to throw us off and it’s not Ramse at all, but for right now, Ramse is the witness and I told you so.

I’m running out of good things to say about this show. Every episode is excellent, moving the story in every direction possible and making you wonder if you ever knew anything along the way. Each week I get a bunch of questions answered – including ones I didn’t know I had, but I’m always left with a slew of others. It keeps me satisfied yet always wanting more. Seriously, if you’re not watching this show (whether or not it might be your husband’s “fault” – you know who you are), get on it. It’s just too good.

About Maya Maldonado (43 Articles)
Maya Maldanado is the author of the Lust (The Immortal Shadows Trilogy).

2 Comments on 12 Monkeys – S1E11 – Shonin

  1. Maya, I’m so glad you cracked up too about Aaron and his wine. He’s so posh, stumbling down the street with what is probably an expensive red PLUS an appropriately sized and typed wine glass. I like him lately but I LOL’d so hard at that.

  2. LOL that guy is a joke. So handsome but so useless! I love how character appropriate they kept things with the red wine. This show never misses a single detail!

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