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12 Monkeys - Guardians - Review

12 Monkeys “Guardians” was written by Sean Tretta and was directed by David Grossman. We find out what Ramse (Kirk Acevedo) has been doing, and Acevedo delivers an amazing performance in this episode. Once again, I’m blown away by the intricate, careful writing on this show. There’s a respect for time that runs throughout. Emily Hampshire (Jennifer) delivers yet another brilliant performance. She definitely seems less and less crazy.

The episode begins in 1921 with the four horsemen and their mysterious box. They’re in Paris – and so is Jennifer. She’s still trying to make contact with the future by sending postcards. She’s clearly living on the streets and can’t even get a Priest (Braden Wright) to send the postcards in 95 years! He thinks she’s crazy and so does the theatre owner – Francois (Jerome Bourgault) – she turns to as an alternative to sending a message to the future. Of course, Jennifer is a great performer!

She draws on her knowledge of pop culture – ET, Charlie Chaplin, Alien, and Jaws – before getting to the story she was born to tell – the story of the Witness. Jennifer kills the Witness and the army of the 12 Monkeys is no more. I loved that Jennifer had to play both parts and was ultimately the one to kill the Witness. Unfortunately, that particular performance isn’t drawing a crowd, and that’s the one she’s counting on to send a message to the team.

While she’s waiting to be rescued, Jennifer is busy drawing, and her dressing room is filled with familiar faces. Jones, Cassie, and Cole are on her mirror – as her family should be. But also among her drawings is the “paradox in a box” with the guardians.

She may not have attracted history’s attention yet, but she has attracted the attention of one of the Guardians – one of the Horsemen of the Apocalypse – Hockley (Anthony J Mifsud). He knows she’s a Primary. He’s clearly come to kill her – she’s not supposed to be there – and he’s already killed Francois. He’s about to stab him when he’s shot several times by Jones (Barbara Sukowa) and Cole (Aaron Stanford)!

Cole apologizes for not finding her sooner, explaining that they thought she was in Titan. An old newspaper clipping tipped them off because it identified Jennifer as the murderer of Francois. Jennifer is also mad at Jones – Grandma Time – she’d been sending her the messages and even wrote an album to get her attention! She had to use a stage name so the four horsemen wouldn’t find her. But of course, Jones and Cole didn’t know to look for JH Bond.

The remaining three horsemen begin to worry about the missing one. Sebastian (Dylan Colton) is particularly worried about Hockley. Lucinda (Sierra Wooldridge) is content to let Magdalena (Hannah Waddingham) handle it. I’m still reeling from the fact that I didn’t recognize Waddingham immediately from her role on Game of Thrones – “shame” on me!

Meanwhile, back at Titan, Cassie (Amanda Schull) wakes up to find herself sedated – and missing her son. Mallick (Faran Tahir) tells her that she may meet her son after she insists. He takes her to a room that is a shrine to the Witness, containing things he’s touched in his life. It’s his history and therefore their history. What her son will become. Mallick tells her that her son is many things simultaneously. Only the child is there now, but the adult will return soon to lead them all to salvation in the red forest.

Cassie sees a pocket watch inscribed “For my Beloved” and signed E. Mallick offers Cassie a chance to leave Titan – soon, but without her baby. She’s no longer important now that she’s given birth, so she’s in danger. Cassie begs for a moment with her son – and she takes the watch with her. And yes. That watch – like the other watch that Cassie has is very important. I love that watches are such important symbols – time after all!

Jones wishes she’d aimed for the head when she shot Hockley because of the advanced splinter technology in the vest. The vest changes the whole game. Cole points out that future him had been wearing one too. I loved Jennifer listing all the times she’d helped Cole in the past. Jennifer is sad that Cole has no personal connection to coming back for her – that he only wants her for her Primary brain, so that he can be reunited with Cassie. All Jennifer has ever wanted is to be part of the team, to feel like she has a family who cares about her.

Jones finds the address for the Guardians on Hockley, and she’s very worried about the kind of paradox they can cause. She’s adamant they have to find them immediately.

In 2046, Ramse is drinking with Olivia (Alisen Down) and wants to know when they’re leaving to continue their journey. She has an excuse not to leave their camp in the dark. Ramse is fed up. Too many stops and detours. Olivia has promised him Sam (Mishka Thebaud). Ramse is worried that Olivia’s had his son for decades – 23 years. She insists that she’s been protecting him because Ramse couldn’t. Ramse draws his gun on her, but she’s not at all worried that he’ll shoot. She tells him patience, his son’s alive. Let’s face it, isn’t Olivia the last person anyone would want raising their child?

They arrive at the camp to find it’s been attacked two days ago. It was the Witness’s men who attacked, and they left a note for Olivia. Ramse finds Sam dying in the med tent.

Sam realizes that Ramse will always be ageless to him. He tells Ramse he was always where he was meant to be. Sam tells Ramse that Olivia couldn’t have brought him to Ramse in 2023 because Ramse was only 19 and he would have been a burden. Ramse is prepared to go to Jones to “fix it.” But Sam doesn’t want him to. He’s accepted that this is how things are supposed to happen. And doesn’t that sound like Olivia?

Ramse tells Sam that he’s the only good thing, the only thing in his life. Acevedo is simply brilliant in this scene. Sam tells him to stop the Witness and save the world, including him. Ramse agrees. But then Sam asks Ramse to help him. He knows he’s dying and he’s in terrible pain. He begs him to let him go, but it’s not just letting him go – he wants Ramse to make the pain stop. And Ramse smothers him, comforting him as he does so. Anybody else thinking that this is all according to Olivia’s end game? Ramse will now do anything to kill the Witness.

Ramse emerges from the tent and drives Olivia to the ground. She tells the others not to shoot him, and tells him to use his anger to kill the Witness. She promises that she knows how to do it now.

Jennifer sees a red balloon and then recognizes Lucinda – one of the Guardians – from her drawings. She follows her to the address that Jones and Cole are already heading to that was on Hockley.

Jones and Cole end up trapped in a hall between Sebastian and Lucinda. Jennifer does her distraction dance – which is hilarious! – but Cole and Jones are both shot anyway. They manage to kill both the guardians, but Jennifer tells Cole there’s still one left. Cole tells Jennifer to look after Jones who’s been shot twice, while he limps after the last one.

Mallick brings Cassie to the central altar in Titan. The Tall Man (Tom Noonan) is presiding over some ceremony. A woman brings in Cassie’s baby. The Tall Man tells the crowd that the Witness, the child, is about to begin his cycle. The four guardians come in and Magdalena takes the baby and the charge to raise and guard the baby through time. The baby is the Paradox in the box. Mallick tells Cassie that she’ll see the Witness again if she’s patient.

Cole enters the guardian’s apartment. A phonograph is playing, and the mysterious paradox in a box is open. Magdalena comes around the corner and shoots Cole multiple times. She tells Cole they’ve never met – and now, they never will. Cole reaches toward the box from which the sound of a crying baby seems to be coming. The room flashes multiple times, and Cole and Jones find themselves back at exactly the time and place they arrived the day before – but with nosebleeds. Their timeline has been re-set.

We get a repeat of Jennifer’s Witness play – but this time Cole comes up the aisle clapping. This time he apologizes for it being so long. They need her. He needs her. And Jennifer tells him much better. This is the reunion she wanted with her team and family.

The three splinter back to 2046. Dr Adler (Andrew Gillies) intones, “Dear God. She’s back.” But Laskey (Murray Furrow) seems happy to see her. Jones has already figured out that one of the Guardians wore a vest and went back in time to warn the others. In a flash to that scene, Magdalena makes the decision to leave Paris immediately. The extra Magdalena has to self-destruct as two of them can’t exist in the same timeline. Jones is worried that they are unstoppable. If they see them coming, the Guardians can simply go back and re-write the timeline. They still haven’t figured out why the Guardians are protecting a baby.

Jones is torn between keeping Jennifer or sending her back to 2016. Jones thinks Jennifer is both an asset and a danger. She decides to leave the decision up to Cole. Cole tells Jennifer that he undid something before Titan. He should have told Cassie, and he doesn’t want to make the same mistake with Jennifer. He gives her the choice to stay or go, and she jumps at the chance to join the team. Cole tells her that she was never forgotten – Hannah even kept her tortoise alive.

Jennifer tells Cole she knows how Cole will find Cassie. She puts his hand in the light from the machine. Jennifer tells him that Cassie – everyone – is in there. As long as they have the machine, they’ll never be alone.

The alarm goes off, and Cole runs to the roof. Whitley (Demore Barnes) shows him that Ramse is at the gate with Olivia as his prisoner.

The team is slowly coming back together, but the threats against them seem to be growing. This was a terrific episode with lots of mind bending travel. I have to say that I wasn’t totally sold on the time-vests to begin with, but they’ve grown on me. Kirk Acevedo and Emily Hampshire were simply phenomenal in this episode. Amanda Schull also delivers a powerful performance as she tries to deal with who her baby may become at the same time as she must deal with his loss. What did you think of the episode? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!

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