12 Monkeys: Shonin Review


By: Ashley Binion (@ashleybinion)

Since the pilot episode, the audience has known that Cole travels back to 1987 and meets Leland Goines. “Shonin” is the episode we finally get to see that meeting between the two and most importantly what happened after.

Warning: Spoilers ahead.

Well, Ramse’s the Witness. Throughout the series, there was always this background character making sure Cole never succeeded and as a result, he was always one step behind. Before the previous episode, who would’ve guessed it was Ramse pulling the strings.  

Olivia is almost like a cult leader and her letters to Ramse are her recruitment letters. They appeal to his paternal instinct to protect his son along with his epic loner status. He’s a man out of time, stuck in jail, and his only goal is to save the son he barely knows. She appeals to all of these in her letters and it works. Ramse joins their “cult” as a key part of their plan. It’s suspicious how much faith she places on Ramse.

Surprisingly, Ramse stabbing Cole was not completely out of character. He traveled back in time for a specific purpose and wants to make sure his agenda is met. Instead, what was out of character was the lack of remorse after doing so. There was no hesitation when he stabbed his best friend. They’ve been through a lot together since they were kids so to see his lack of remorse was unexpected.

The main problem with “Shonin” is the tediousness. It rehashes plot scenes from many episodes before just to show Ramse’s influence in them. Essentially it felt like a clip show. We already know that the events come to pass so we don’t need to be constantly reminded throughout the episode.

Whitney and Jones had an intense scene toward the end of “Shonin.” Jones continues to have this faith that Cole will be just fine, but Whitney has had enough. He’s sacrificed way too much for Jones and her mission to save the world. After his father’s death, I was wondering how long it would take for him to snap. He seems like such a stand-up guy that all of this was going to get to him eventually. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him and his troop return.

Jones’ faith in Cole seems to have no bounds. It’s like she has some working knowledge that has yet to be revealed. This is shown when she states her last breath will be at their facility and especially when she says these ominous words: “Hope is the luxury of those unburdened by fate.”

It’s the strangest thing seeing Olivia, the Pallid Man, and Ramse seemingly be ageless. I could understand Ramse not aging as a possible side effect from the time travel cocktail, but I don’t understand the other two. Is it possible that they too have time traveled at a point? Sometime in the series’ future I expect some kind of answer to this.

Jennifer had a larger presence than in the previous few episodes. Her scene with daddy dearest was quite interesting. Leland couldn’t care less about his daughter; instead he was looking out for his own interests, which is clear when he symbolically washes his hands of her. “I’ve kept your secrets,” was an intriguing line Jennifer said during their meeting. She’s obviously talking about more than the Night Room.

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

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