12 Monkeys Season 1 Episode 11 Review: Shonin

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I've got to say, though I enjoyed this installment, 12 Monkeys Season 1 Episode 11 was not at all what I was expecting.

There had been such a build up to 1987, that I guess I assumed we would spend more time there. Certainly more that those first eight minutes or so.

It's okay though, because Ramse's role in the bigger picture is now clear and the pieces all fit together rather nicely.

We picked up right where we left off, with Cole arriving in 1987 shortly after Ramse. Okay so the guy puked a bit, but he adjusted rather quickly for his first time jump. Cole's a pro at splintering, but I felt like Ramse recovered way too quickly. There are only 42 minutes to tell the story, so I can understand just getting on with it and having Ramse follow Cole to the White Dragon .

At the night club, I couldn't help but giggle at Leland Goines' 80s hair. I've seen Zeljko Ivanek in a lot of stuff and found the hairpiece as distracting as Corey Stoll's on The Strain Season 1. Once I got past it, I was able to pay attention to the dialog.

Goines was looking for ancient biological samples to clone. Are we talking Jurassic Park here? I wonder if this minor detail will resurface at some point. The guy was never out to create a virus that destroyed mankind. Sure, he wanted to play God, but it was Cole who set him on his path to the lethal M510 virus. I mean, he had no interest in the “Himalayan road kill” until Cole mentioned the Army of the 12 Monkeys and the virus. Damn you Cole!

Cole: Of course, this is where you get the virus.
Leland: Virus? There's a virus in that thing?
Cole: Yeah and you're going to help me destroy it.

Ramsey interrupted the proceedings and the former best friends duked it out. Nice way to resolve the conflict Mr. Roboto; death by switchblade. Yeah that's the ticket!

Of course alarms went off in 2043, warning the team Cole was dying. What came next was super interesting. Though it seemed the writers wanted us to believe Ramse and the Pallid Man were the same guy, the height was a dead give away. Instead, Ramse's prison story was as unpredictable as anything we've seen on the show.

I knew Ramse would not be returning to 2043. Jones made it clear his was a one way trip, but I didn't think we'd witness the passage of almost ten years as he did time in that prison. The story of his tormentor was interesting, as was the fact the Striking Woman (Olivia) could not interfere.

In 1987 Olivia wrote, “We’ve know of you for a long time traveler. You were born Jose Ramsey.” I'm curious as to why she doesn't age. Ramse is a time traveler now, so he's a man out of time just like Cole. I can understand that, but Olivia is another story. What's her deal?

Ramsey ultimately defended himself against the abusive inmate using The Art of War and I thought that payoff was fantastic.

When he's released in 1995, Ramse joined Olivia and her people at fancy mansion. “You are the key to our next cycle,” she told him. Who were all those people? Were there 12 of them? We watched the two amulets cause a paradox, but why exactly did the plants turn red after the explosion?

The Pallid Man: Your father was right.
The Striking Woman: Yes, he has come.

Who is her father and this "he" Olivia refers to? While we got a lot of answer this week, a whole new set of questions materialized.

We caught up with Ramse 16 years later, and neither he nor Olivia looked like they aged a day. I'm stumped. Any theories?

Since our baddies knew where things were headed, it made sense to invest in Markridge, as well as Senator Royce's survival protocol project. They were simply laying the foundation to make sure they stayed ahead of the game.

For folks that caught the series late, I thought the run down of the events of the Night Room, in Haiti and Chechnya was a nice touch. It brought the storyline full circle, while providing a detailed recap of the events from Olivia/Ramse's point of view.

Watching the scene from 2015, where Cole and Leland talked about the Army of the 12 Monkeys and he killed him felt like a decade ago. It's really incredible how these 13 episodes feel like a full 22 episode season. No fillers; just a non-stop thrill ride.

The Pallid Man seems like a reasonably smart guy, so it was great to see him question their constant failures.

The cycle must happen exactly as it has. Otherwise, the traveler would have never come.

The Striking Woman

In the end, we're reminded that though the virus was lost in Chechnya, the 12 Monkeys forced Peters to recreate it. Olivia set Jennifer on her path to establishing the Daughters and ultimately sending Ramse back in time. I'd say team evil is winning; wouldn't you?

I wondered why Ramse wasn't worried about Cole, but we learned he was convinced he killed Cole in 1987. However, Jones sent a wounded Cole back to Cassie in 2015 and he told her Ramse is the Witness. Though Whitley informed us that Cole's lost in time (his tether broke), Jones isn't going anywhere. “Hope is the luxury of those who are unburdened by fate,” Jones told Dr. Adler.

Still, without a tether, how can Jones possibly bring Cole back to 2043? He's in pretty bad shape too. Can he even jump anymore?

What did you think of "Shonin"? Did you know Ramse was the Witness? Will Cassie save Cole? How will he get back to 2043? And what about those strange visions he was having? You're up guys, hit the comments and let me know what you thought of this week's episode!

Remember, you can watch 12 Monkeys online via TV Fanatic any time. One viewing's never enough, I picked up a few things re-watching this installment.

NOTE: 12 Monkeys Season 1 Episode 12 is titled “Paradox” and airs on Friday, April 3rd.

Shonin Review

Editor Rating: 4.5 / 5.0
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Rating: 4.7 / 5.0 (22 Votes)
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12 Monkeys Season 1 Episode 11 Quotes

Cole: Of course, this is where you get the virus.
Leland: Virus? There's a virus in that thing?
Cole: Yeah and you're going to help me destroy it.

The Pallid Man: Your father was right.
The Striking Woman: Yes, he has come.