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'12 Monkeys' fan react: The Witness and the Striking Woman

Season 1 | Episode 11 | “Shonin” | Aired Mar 27, 2015

If every episode is a game-changer, then “Shonin” is the end-all, be-all game-changer. This past week’s 12 Monkeys outing is all about Ramse—and seeing him in a completely different light, from a brand-new angle. Let’s travel back in time, shall we?


The boys—Ramse and Cole—have reached the alleged beginning of it all: Tokyo, 1987. And they’re there for different reasons. Cole is there for his original mission (stopping the Army of the 12 Monkeys and the plague, obviously) and Ramse is there to stop Cole—who is also there to stop Ramse. It’s a vicious cycle, I know.

At the White Dragon nightclub, a coked-up Leland Goines is with some Japanese guys—the ones selling the Himalayan frozen corpse that contains the virus. Goines really isn’t all that interested in this purchase, until Cole and Ramse come into the picture. It’s kind of Cole’s fault, too—he lets it slip that the body has a virus, which piques Goines’ interest.

12 Monkeys - Shonin - Leland Goines

Ramse and Cole begin to brawl in this ’80s club—to the point where Cole starts to choke out Ramse with a red velvet VIP rope (see image below). The fight is broken up—but then a knife is thrown into the mix, and Ramse stabs Cole. The bromance is officially over.

12 Monkeys - Shonin - Cole and Ramse fight

Goines buys the dead body and Ramse is sent to prison. We’ll get to Cole later.

Because Ramse has no I.D., no credentials of any kind, he is at a loss and ends up staying in prison until 1995. He gets brutalized by a fellow inmate on a daily basis, but things start to shift when he begins receiving letters and care packages from Olivia (formerly known as the Striking Woman). In her letters, she references Ramse’s son and calls him a “traveler.” Clearly she knows the real Ramse.

12 Monkeys - Shonin - Ramse in prison

In 1992, as Ramse’s bully continues to threaten him, Ramse gets strong and calls out the bully’s deal with the prison guards—in front of a whole mess of other prisoners, mind you. Bully problem solved.

Finally, come 1995, Ramse is released and heads to Virginia—to Olivia’s compound. The Tall Man is there; he’s wearing the same necklace that 2043 Jennifer gave Ramse in “Divine Move.” It’s the very same necklace, so a paradox event happens when the two pieces touch (just like Cassie’s watch in the pilot episode). As the paradox occurs, the plant life turns red. RED FOREST!

12 Monkeys - Shonin - Olivia and Tall Man


Moving forward to 2011: Ramse is still with this cult-like group. At this time, Ramse offers up info about the virus and Leland Goines’ company. Representing an investment company, Olivia and Ramse go to Goines’ office—where he totally recognizes Ramse from 1987! Their meeting is interrupted when Jennifer arrives.

12 Monkeys - Shonin - Jennifer Goines

Flash-forward to 2013 and the “night room” massacre. And then to 2014 and the Haiti outbreak. And here is where things get (more) interesting. It seems Ramse is navigating the Tall Man’s interactions with Cole; Ramse was always behind it.

Elsewhere, poor Jennifer Goines is met by her father in the mental hospital. Even though Leland Goines knows she’s innocent of the lab massacre, he keeps her locked up—because she knows too much, too many secrets. So what does Jennifer do? She draws monkeys on the wall.

It’s now 2015—the pilot episode where Cole kills Goines. Olivia and the Tall Man begin to get a little feisty with each other. While the Tall Man is ready to kill Cole and move on with their mission, Olivia reminds him that the cycle must play out—the way it already has. Ramse asks Olivia what’s next. Her reply: the plague and the Army of the 12 Monkeys.

Changing up the pace a little, we see Cassie and Aaron. While he’s been fired from his job with the senator, he’s happy: Because they know what they know (the impending plague), they can escape to somewhere safe. Cassie—who still wants to save the world—says there’s still hope, and tells Aaron he should get his job back.

Aaron goes back to Senator Royce and accepts a job spearheading some project. Guess who the project investor is? Olivia.

Jennifer Goines is released and directed to Olivia’s cult—yeah, I’m officially calling it a cult now. Jennifer gets cleaned up and meets Olivia—who proceeds to brush Jennifer’s hair. Olivia is calming and ensures Jennifer that she is safe—they know Jennifer didn’t commit the murders.


It’s very bleak in this future’s timeline. While Jones and Whitley monitor Cole’s vitals, they see him begin to slip—he’s dying from the stabbing. Their only option is to try to splinter him somewhere safe and familiar—like Cassie’s arms, 2015.

Later, Jones and Whitley share a drink together … kind of, as Whitley isn’t really much of a drinker. This is it—the end. Cole is gone. Ramse is gone. The mission failed. For the record, emotional Whitley is about the saddest thing ever.

The soldiers leave the facility, as there’s nothing left to protect (or believe in). Jones stays because it’s her only option.

2015 (again)

As you can guess, Cole does make it to 2015—into Cassie’s arms. Yes, he’s dying, from splintering and his fight wound. But Cassie is there. So she can save him, right? RIGHT?!

Cole’s final confession of the night—he now knows who the Witness is: Ramse!

12 Monkeys - Shonin - Dying Cole

Explosive. That’s a good word to describe this episode of 12 Monkeys—and it could have easily been a season finale (we have two more episodes left). I have a few final thoughts before heading to this week’s poll. Is it just me, or do members of this “cult” not age? Years go by (decades!), and yet Olivia and Ramse look the same. Thoughts? Also, who else wants Cole to maybe take an episode off to regain his strength? Then he can return to the season finale in perfect fighting form—to take on Ramse.

Memorable Quotes

Leland Goines: How are you feeling?
Jennifer Goines: Good. Very good. I’m taking pills. All of them. Reds and blues. So everything’s tip-top.

Olivia (to Jennifer): No one is left to protect you. I can protect you now.

Whitley: There’s nothing here except a ticking clock.
Jones: I am the clock.

Poll: Olivia and her “cult”

The cult is super-serious about their mission. Do you think they are evil fanatics set to destroy the world for some “divine” purpose? OR is there more to the story—is their goal something for the greater good?

This episode’s timelines included: 1987, 1988, 1990, 1992, 1995, 2011, 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2043 (phew).

12 Monkeys airs Fridays on Syfy at 9 EST.

TV Families | EW.com
Mark Harris
February 23, 1990 AT 05:00 AM EST

The Bradys are back, with a passel of 90’s hassles. Do they represent the typical American Family? Did they ever? Who does? Stare and compare!

Kind Of Family
TheBradyBunch 1969-74: Blended
The Bradys 1990-: Enormous
Married…With Children 1987-: Postnuclear
Thirtysomething 1987-: Extended
The Flintstones 1960-66: Modern Stone Age

Family Pet
The Brady Bunch: Tiger
The Bradys: Alice
Married…With Children: Buck
Thirtysomething: Grendel
The Flintstones: Dino

Typical Guest Star
The Brady Bunch: Davey Jones
The Bradys: There’s no room
Married…With Children: Sam Kinison
Thirtysomething: Carly Simon
The Flintstones: Ann Margrock

Expression Of Joy
The Brady Bunch: Groovy!
The Bradys: Ritual hugging
Married…With Children: ”Oh, great.”
Thirtysomething: ”Of course I’m happy for you. Really. But what about me? Why does it always have to be about you?
The Flintstones: ”Yabba-dabba doo

Expression Of Rage

The Brady Bunch: ”Hmmm…”
The Bradys: ”If you back away from something you really want, then you’re a quitter!” (the angriest any Brady has ever been)
Married…With Children: ”Aaagh, God, take me from this miserable life!”
Thirtysomething: ”I’m not angry, OK?”
The Flintstones: ”Willllmaaaa!”

Typical Problem
The Brady Bunch: Marcia and her rival both want to be the prom queen.
The Bradys: Bobby gets paralyzed.
Married…With Children: Al doesn’t buy his family Christmas presents.
Thirtysomething: Nancy gets cancer.
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney are staying out too late.

Typical Solution
The Brady Bunch: The prom committee decides to have two queens.
The Bradys: Bobby gets married.
Married…With Children: They hate him.
Thirtysomething: If only we knew…
The Flintstones: Wilma and Betty decide to follow them.

House Style
The Brady Bunch: Conservative but mod, circa ’69
The Bradys: Conservative but mod, circa ’90
Married…With Children: Roach motel
Thirtysomething: Enviable
The Flintstones: Suburban cave

Clothing Style
The Brady Bunch: Early Osmonds
The Bradys: Made in the USA
Married…With Children: Flammable fabrics
Thirtysomething: Eclectic earth tones; nice ties
The Flintstones: One-piece

Most Annoying Character
The Brady Bunch: Alice’s cousin Emma, the substitute housekeeper (too strict)
The Bradys: Marcia’s husband, Wally (chronically unemployable)
Married…With Children: Steve (supercilious)
Thirtysomething: Ellyn (goes through Hope’s drawers, babbles, changes hairstyle every other week, generally mistreats her friends)
The Flintstones: Mr. Slate (bossy)

Attitude Toward Sex
The Brady Bunch: Never heard of it
The Bradys: Omigod — even Cindy does it!
Married…With Children: Peg: Yes. Al: No.
Thirtysomething: They didn’t get all those kids by accident.
The Flintstones: Prehistoric

How Spouses Fight
The Brady Bunch: They don’t.
The Bradys: Infrequently, but it happens
Married…With Children: Tooth and nail
Thirtysomething: They stop talking
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney go bowling while Wilma and Betty max out their charge cards.

How Kids Get Into Trouble
The Brady Bunch: Greg takes a puff of a cigarette.
The Bradys: Carol’s grandson steals her business cards and sticks them in the spokes of Bobby’s wheelchair.
Married…With Children: By committing felonies
Thirtysomething: Ethan plays with a forbidden toy rocket.
The Flintstones: They don’t.

How They’re Punished

The Brady Bunch: ”It’s not what you did, honey — it’s that you couldn’t come to us.”
The Bradys ”Next time, ask.”
Married…With Children: By the authorities
Thirtysomething: It blows up in his face.
The Flintstones: They’re not.

What Family Does For Fun
The Brady Bunch: Takes special three-part vacations to Hawaii and the Grand Canyon
The Bradys: Has flashbacks
Married…With Children: Exchanges insults
Thirtysomething: Talks
The Flintstones: Attends showings of The Monster at the Bedrock Drive-In

Unsolved Mysteries
The Brady Bunch: How exactly did Carol’s first husband and Mike’s first wife die?
The Bradys: What’s with Marcia’s new face and Bobby’s blonde hair
Married…With Children: What kind of hair spray does Peg use?
Thirtysomething: Why did Nancy take Elliot back? What do Gary and Susanna see in each other?
The Flintstones: How does Barney’s shirt stay on if he has no shoulders? Where do Fred and Wilma plug in their TV?

Worst Behavior
The Brady Bunch: The Brady children once made Alice feel under-appreciated.

The Bradys: Marcia’s son Mickey watches Bobby’s car-crash tape for fun.
Married…With Children: The Bundy’s kill their neighbor’s dog.
Thirtysomething: Elliot has an affair and talks about it.
The Flintstones: Characters don’t wear under-clothes.

Best Reason To Watch
The Brady Bunch: This is what life should be.
The Bradys: They’re all grown-ups now!
Married…With Children: Terry Rakolta hates it.
Thirtysomething (Tie) This is your life. This isn’t your life.
The Flintstones: This is what life might have been.

Best Reason Not To Watch
The Brady Bunch: Blurred vision from rerun overdoses.
The Bradys: You’re all grown-ups now.
Married…With Children: She has a point.
Thirtysomething: After a while, you think it’s real.
The Flintstones: The Simpsons

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