Thursday, August 20, 2015

Summer DVR Dump: 12 Monkeys 1.11: “Shonin”

“Hope? Hope is the luxury of those unburdened by fate. My last breath will be here.”
- Dr. Jones

I have to admit I was not expecting this episode to focus so heavily on Ramse but it does. We see him land in Tokyo in 1987 and he is massively disoriented. Cole shows up not long after and when he can’t find his old buddy, he heads for the night club where he knows Goines is going to be. Leland is more than a tiny bit high at the time when some Japanese buy is trying to sell him the virus origin for $500,000. Leland is not having any of it at first until Cole tracks him down and jumps him. Of course, Ramse has to show up to the party and he and Cole get into a knockdown, drag out fight. They shout at each other about when they should have killed each other and it ends with the Japanese guy pulling them apart and then tossing a knife between them to let them settle it. Ultimately, although Cole initially gets the upper hand, Ramse stabs Cole and then flees the scene. While Jones and the team freak out over Cole possibly dying, Ramse is getting arrested for stabbing Cole (thank you creepy eyewitnesses). Oh and thanks to the fight, Goines decided to take the corpse after all. Good job, Cole. Way to not avert the end of the world…again.

Because Ramse obviously doesn’t have a passport or an ID or a social security number, the US consulate can’t help him and he’s sentenced to eight years in a Japanese prison. About a year in, he gets the crap beat out of him by a big hulking guy. And then he starts getting mail from a mystery woman named Olivia who seems to know who he is and about his predicament with protecting his son. Over the next seven years, Olivia’s letters help Ramse find some inner peace until he can confront his attacker and out him as a snitch to the guards. He doesn’t have to lay a hand on the guy in order to kill him. The rest of the prisoners do that for him. So as of 1995, he’s a free man with a (fake) passport and he heads to Virginia to finally meet Olivia. It’s the woman we’ve seen before with all the Red Forest mumbo jumbo. She and some other welcome him into the fold and it turns out the necklace Jennifer gave him in 2043 is the same one that one of the other guys is wearing. Olivia uses them to create a paradox and apparently the fact that the trees start turning red as a result of the boom is a sign that Ramse is the one they’ve been waiting for. Something tells me that he is the Witness they’ve all been talking about and that kind of pisses me off. Ramse started off such a good guy and now whether he knows it or not is going to bring about the freaking apocalypse. Even if it means his son is still born, he’s killing billions of people. Maybe it’s just because we are rooting for Cole but I’m on Team Splinter here. Don’t let the crazy people win!

As time passes, we see how Ramse and his people work things to their advantage and to keep the timeline intact. They approach Goines in 2011 to invest in his company and in 2013, they take care of the scientists. When Cole kills Henri in Haiti, Ramse reminds Olivia that the interference period (the point where Cole and Project Splinter begin trying to stop the Army) has to play out like it did in order to ensure the future is protected. Along the way we see Goines pay a visit to Jennifer in the mental institution in 2014 where he leaves her there to try and keep her safe. We then jump to 2015where Cole shoots Goines. This of course leads to Jennifer getting taken and then Cole showing up to rescue Cassie. While we don’t see exactly what Olivia told Aaron to keep him at bay we do learn that the Army has the active virus and is all set to release it.

In other news, Senator Royce is running for President and Aaron’s been booted from the team. He drunkenly rants about Cole (move on buddy) until Cassie tells him he needs to go back to Royce and convince him to take action. She shoots down his idea to run and hide but it seems he’s going to get involved in setting up shelters. Which of course Ramse and Olivia have their hands in, too. Fantastic. Olivia goes to pay Jennifer a visit (after she’s apprehended) and plays on Jennifer’s need to be loved and be someone’s daughter again. It’s kind of sad really how broken Jennifer is by a father whose sole focus was his work. He sacrificed his own daughter’s sanity to protect his work. But the timeline needs to be preserved according to Ramse so female bonding it is.

We briefly jump back to 2043 where Jones manages to send Cole to 2015 right before he gets shot in Tokyo in 1987. So at least he’s maybe alive to continue fighting. But no one else is going to be around in the future. Whitley up and leaves when Jones refuses to give up the fight. And the last remaining scientist leaves Jones to go down with the ship as it were. And in 2015, Cassie gets back to the bookshop to find Cole bleeding out on the floor. He proclaims he knows who the Witness is and the reason they’ve been one step ahead the whole time. Ain’t time travel a bitch sometimes?

I have mixed emotions about this episode. It felt like filler until the very end and a lot of t was just a giant rehash of the season to date. But it did provide a somewhat different perspective on the 12 Monkeys and how they operate and what moved them forward. It still hurts that Ramse is now at odds with Cole. I can’t see them both coming out of the final two episodes alive. Granted, Cole is going to need some medical attention before they do anything because you know sucking abdominal wound. But the last few minutes definitely set things up for a big showdown.

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