Saturday, June 3, 2017

12 Monkeys, Season Three, Episode Two: Guardians

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This episode begins Paris, where 6 people dressed in dark clothing approach the Eiffel Tower with a box.

Jennifer is in Paris and she's writing postcards which she gives to a priest and asks him to mail them to America in 95 years.  The priest of course is incredulous at Jennifer's request. Jennifer does not give up on her desire to send a message to the future.  Jennifer tries to talk the owner of a theater into helping her and makes her way inside and onto the stage.  When Jennifer begins to tap dance, she catches the attention of the owner.  Jennifer does a show pretending to be the little tramp, stealing from Jaws, Aliens and other popular movies.  Finally, Jennifer gets around to telling the story of a time traveler fighting against the Witnesses. She talks about the army of the 12 Monkeys and traveling back in time with a splinter machine. Of course, by this time, her popularity has waned and people are no longer paying attention. Jennifer's performance of the Army of the 12 Monkeys is a failure. All over Jennifer's dressing room are drawings of the people from the future and she talks to them about her fear that they are not okay.

One of the men who was carrying the strange box at the beginning of the episode happens to come across one of Jennifer's drawings of the Monkeys. He decides to pay Jennifer a visit. He is adamant that Jennifer is not supposed to be there and moves to attack but Jennifer tries to escape. The man uses some sort of magnet on his chest to draw Jennifer back to him and question her about who is with her. Before he can kill her however, he is shot several times by Cole and Jones. 

Cole shows Jennifer the news paper clipping and of course she takes issue with the fact that she's described as an obscure actress. Cole questions what happened to Ramse and Deacon and Jennifer is pissed off that she's been stuck in 1922 for five years and hasn't asked about how she is doing.  Jennifer is also pissed off at Jones as well for not picking up on all of the messages she left for Jones in time. Jones of course points out that Jennifer used a stage name.  Jennifer pulls out a drawing of the men carrying a paradox in the box and refers to them as the four horsemen of the apocalypse. 

Jones checks out the machine on the dead man and declares that he is wearing splinter technology. Jones is convinced that something important is happening with the 12 Monkeys. Now they have to figure out where the hell the other three horsemen are. 

Cassie dreams about her labour and when she awakes, she's no longer pregnant. Mallick visits Cassie and explains that she was sedated for her own safety and that she will be escorted to her son.  Cassie enters a room where a gramophone is playing but instead of a child, she's presented with one of the 12 Monkeys masks and told that this is her son. Mallick says that this is her son's history and that these items represent who her son will become. Cassie of course denies this because her boy is just a child.  Mallick says that the child is many things and is present now but also in the past. Mallick promises that soon the Witness will return to Titan and lead the faithful to salvation. Mallick confides that some have lost fate and that he's offering Cassie a chance to leave Titan soon. Cassie doesn't want to leave without her child but Mallick argues that now that Cassie has given birth, her life is no longer as precious as it once was. Mallick warns Cassie that she must prepare herself for what must come. Cassie once again begs to see her son. 

Cassie, Jones and Jennifer are still in the theater and Jones examines the device that the dead man is wearing, saying that it changes the game entirely. James explains that the future him was wearing the same device.  James then asks Jennifer to summon up some primary powers and help them out. This rightfully sets Jennifer off because all she's ever done was to help Cole and instead of thanking her, he's treating her like some kind of servant and throwing his weight around. Jennifer points out that she spent WWI in a POW camp. Cole argues that they didn't come all the way to 1922 to rescue her. Jennifer asks Cole what he needs and if she should just go and draw some more of her insanity for them. Jennifer is hurt that Cole and Jones don't see her as part of the team and she walks out.  Jones isn't interested in following Jennifer because she is certain that the device is going to change things.  Jones argues that the enemy is here doing God knows what with the technology, meaning that they don't have time to deal with Jennifer's hurt feelings


Ramse is at a camp fire having a drink with Olivia. They talk about their concerns with the exiles. It's clear that these two have teamed up. Ramse talks about his son Sam, who is now a man and how Olivia had his son for decades. Ramse attacks when Olivia claims that she has been protecting Sam for decades; however, Olivia is not concerned because killing her will get Ramse nowhere. Olivia promises Ramse that his son is safe and that he only needs to be patient. 

The next day Olivia and Ramse enter to a camp to find that it has been attacked by the witnesses men. Ramse rushes off to the area where the wounded are being kept and finds his son Sam, who has been wounded.  Sam tells Ramse that he will always be ageless to him. Sam says that he's been where he was meant to be. Sam was hidden in 2023 and at the time, Ramse would have been 19. Sam is certain that he would have been a burden to his father then. Sam explains that Olivia kept him safe from the Witness. Ramse wants to go to Jones to fix this but this is not what Sam wants because he doesn't believe they were meant to be a typical father and son. Sam wants Ramse to stop the Witness and save this world, in the process saving him. Sam knows at this point that he's dying and asks Ramse for help. A crying Ramse tries to say no but Sam asks him to let him go because Sam wants the pain to stop. Gently, Ramse takes Sam's pillow and caresses his face, calling Sam his boy. Ramse then suffocates Sam.

Ramse leaves the tent and immediately attacks Olivia. Olivia tells Ramse to use his anger to help her stop the Witness for good because she knows how.


The other horseman are certain now that they've been discovered because the fourth man hasn't made it back yet. Jennifer is walking the streets and she catches a glimpse of one of the horsemen.  Jennifer recognises the woman by the umbrella she is carrying and follows the woman back to her hotel.

Jones and Cole are also arriving as well, having gotten the address on the identification of the dead man. Jones and Cole quickly find themselves trapped in a hallway with two armed people.  Jennifer creates a distraction, allowing both Jones and Cole to fire their weapons. Both Jones and Cole are hit  but not seriously.  Jennifer is quick to remind them that there are four people that they are looking for and only three have been accounted for. 


Mallick escorts Cassie to a room where she watches as the infant Witness is brought in and handed over to the Pallid man. The Pallid man declares that the story of the child has begun and that he will return one day to lead them salvation in the forest of red.

Cole makes his way into the room where the box is sitting.


Cassie watches as the child is handed over to Magdalena to watch and guard through time. 


Cole approaches the box and is shot several times by Magdalena


The child is placed in the box as Cassie watches. It's not a paradox inside the box in 1922, it's the Witness.  The Pallid man declares that the Witness is safe. Mallick tells Cassie that she will never see her son again.


Magdalena calls Cole by name and tells him that he isn't going to die today. Magdalena uses her splinter machine to leave and says that they will never meet. Cole crawls towards the box where he can hear a crying child.  Cole reaches out to touch it but it splinters Cole and Jones away as well as the child. Cole and Jones end up exactly where they started and they realise that their timeline has been reset and that the horsemen are gone.

Jennifer is back on stage doing her performance about the 12 Monkeys and once again, the audience is not amused. One person does clap and it turns out to be Cole. This time, Cole apologises and says that they need her and are there to take her home. Jennifer says that this is much better.


Jennifer arrives in the lab and Dr. Adler is anything but pleased to see her.  The scientists get together to discuss what their options are now. Jones realises that Magdalena went back in time and warned herself about what was going to happen. Jones believes that the guardians are unstoppable because when they see them coming, they will immediately rewrite the timeline. Jones then goes on to add that the guardians were protecting a child. Adler is confused as to why the army would be protecting a child and Jones says that Jennifer described what was in the box as a weapon in her prophesy. 

Jones dismisses the scientists and discusses her conflict regarding keeping Jennifer in their present time line or sending her back to 2016. Jones says that Jennifer is both an asset and a danger and decides to leave it in Cole's hands. Cole heads to see Jennifer to ask if she wants to go or stay. Jennifer chooses to stay and be part of the team and embraces Cole. Cole tells Jennifer that she was never forgotten. Jennifer reveals that she knows how Cole is going to find Cassie.  Jennifer puts Cole's hand into the light of the spintter machine and tells him that Cassie is there and so is everyone else.  Jennifer believes that as long as they have the light from the splintter machine, they will never be alone. 

Cole doesn't have time to reflect because the alarm goes off revealing that there has been a perimeter breach.  When Cole heads outside, he finds Ramse standing there with Olivia.  

I really do like that Jennifer decided to call out Cole and Jones.  She's right in that she has done nothing but help them. We already know that an older version of her sacrificed herself so that they could head to Titan and yet neither Cole nor Jones seem to want to acknowledge the various ways they lean on her and depend upon her.  Jennifer is absolutely vital to stopping the Witness and doesn't deserve to be continually dismissed the way she is.

It seems that Cole has learned something because on his second approach to Jennifer he was far more appreciative of her efforts. Cole even gave Jennifer the choice of leaving her staying.  This is not something he would have done just a little while ago and so Cole is clearly evolving, even if he is still very different from his future self. 

The death of Sam was juxtaposed to the birth of the Witness.  I really wanted Ramse to catch a break. Yeah, I know for a time he was a collaborator but no parent should be put into a position of having to kill their child. Then we have Cassie who believes she can change the Witnesses destiny if she can simply get her hands on her son. Cassie isn't even allowed to hold her child once he is born. Cassie sees her child as an innocent but his followers see what is to happen as predestined. Neither Cassie or Ramse were allowed to parent their child and both were told that it was for the good of their child. Both were robbed. This of course is going to set Ramse and Cassie at odds. Ramse is going to want to kill the Witness in retribution for the loss of Sam's life and Cassie is going to want to find a way to save the Witness because he is her son. Where Cole is going to fall in this one is for now uncertain. 

One of the problem with time travel shows is that we have the issue of whether destiny is control or if our individual actions have any effect at all. Clearly all of the Witnesses followers believe in destiny because the Witness is an adult man somewhere in time and he's already told them what will happen and when. To ensure that everything goes to plan, they change the timeline.  If everything is predetermined, why are Cole, Cassie and Ramse still fighting?  We will see how this plays out.