12 MONKEYS (2015) – S01E11: ‘Shonin’ Review
Holy crap. ’12 Monkeys’ continues to innovate by writing each episode that makes you see the entire series in a completely different light. Revelations that shock, and character twists that make you want to re-watch all previous episodes make this show the most interesting on television right now. Episode 11, entitled ‘Shonin’ is entirely a catch-up kind of episode, in the sense that we get caught up on everything that’s happened so far in the show, but from the perspective of another character. The episode starts up directly in 1987 where we last saw a Ramse send himself back in time.
Cole chases Ramse back to the past as they both end up with Leland Goines in 1987. . We find out that Goines had no plans of purchasing the remains that leads to him creating virus, until Cole’s accosts him int he past, revealing the value of the fossil to Goines. So basically, if Cole hadn’t interfered with Goines in the past,he never would’ve started on the path to create the virus in the first place; a self-fulfilling paradox that leads to the thing that he’s been trying to prevent in the first place.
The shocking part of this episode however is all about Kirk Acevedo’s Ramse. After the incident with Goines, Ramse ends up stabbing Cole and being imprisoned in Japan for many years from 1987. We already know that Ramse cannot return to the future, so he will be living out the rest of his live in the past not. During his incarceration he is regularly contacted by someone that tells him to have patience. Gaining a lot of intelligence and tactical knowledge throughout his incarceration Ramse taken in by the Striking Woman played by Allison Down, and the Pallid Man, and becomes a part of their organization. There’s a weird scene where the necklace that Jennifer gave him last episode is connected to the necklace that the Pallid Man is wearing, and once connected, they create a weird energy explosion that turns all the greenery around them red; similar to the herbs that were mentioned last episode.
Rest of the episode follows us through time, and how Ramse’s influence in all the episodes so far in the series, allowed the Army Of The 12 Monkeys to stay ahead of Cole, based on the stories Cole himself told Ramse about his adventures from the past, in the future. Ramse is heralded as The Traveler who has been behind the scenes to all the major events that have occurred in the story so far dating back from 1987. So this whole time Ramse has been allied with The Army, giving them the background information of what Cole has done, or will do in their future. It’s a crazily unexpected plot twist that has instance repercussion, but an endgame does seem to be near, as we catch up to the Future, where Ramse’s intel is no longer valuable because he is no longer part of the mission.
’12 Monkeys’ essentially changes the status quo of everything that’s happened so far my showcasing how it’s all been aided and caused by someone who we thought was a trusted ally. Back in the future Jones realizes that Cole is dying after getting stabbed by Ramse in 1987. Since this is his last jump due to his health issues: Cole cannot be brought back into the future, so is slingshot into into 2015 to Cassie. Upon arrival Cassie finds a bleeding and dying Cole, as he see him reveal who he thinks The Witness is, implying Ramse
I personally have some doubts about that on Ramse being The Witness. Throughout the episode of Ramse is referred to as The Traveler, so it seems redundant to have him be known as two different monikers. And while his contribution is important to The Army Of The 12 Monkeys, he’s never really shown as being the ringleader or planner of the incidents, but more of an observer. More specifically, when the two necklaces connect, causing that weird explosion the girl refers exclaims ‘he is here’ which doesn’t seem like she talking about ‘Ramse’. In previous episodes there’s a man shown with a plague mask present during the interrogation of Jennifer Goines, as well as in the ‘Red Forest’ episode with Cassanda. In the same episode The Striking Woman also tells Cassie that The Witness is someone she knows and as far as we know she hasn’t had any personal contact with Ramse thus far.
This episode drastically changes the landscape of the show so far will adding some much-needed layers to know already innovative and brilliant written show. Besides Kirk Acevedo, the other two leading stars may not be the greatest actors out there, however, it’s the writing of the show that engages and rivets the audience at every step of the way.