Wednesday, April 01, 2015

12 MONKEYS : 01x11 : Shonin

Okay. A recap-type write-up of episode 11 quickly got away from me with tangents and what-ifs. So, I'm gonna try and keep this non-epic by going thru and rambling a bit on new info/insights we get on some characters this episode…


LELAND: I don't know boys… One-Eyed Willy's a little lackluster…
Was Leland, like, a cool dad back before he was a virus-weaponizing corporate villain? I like the idea of Leland going with his precocious nerdgirl daughter to see THE GOONIES. Maybe a couple of times. =)

When Leland visits Jennifer at J.D. Peoples in 2014, he mentions her mother, who was also thought to be mentally ill. When he leaves, one of his cronies explains that Jennifer shouldn't be locked up for killing her Night Room colleagues. Security footage clearly shows that she did not kill them. Goines explains that she is exactly where she should be.

When Olivia visits Jennifer after her apparent release, she asks about her mother, and seems to know that Leland had her locked away and forgotten as well. Perhaps Jennifer and her mother share a natural ESP of some kind, something that manifests as symptoms of mental illness, informally, a Cassandra complex.

I'd like another look at the drawings she makes in the hospital. Animals and nature retaking cities. Maybe red leaves? And then, the fierce black monkey. From where does she pull that image? From Markridge labs' test subjects? She said she freed them, right? Six and six? Or did the agents of the Army wear the image as sigil on their clothes or as tattoos (the Chechnya assassin had one).
Hey, did you hear what Jennifer was murmuring outside the Markridge conference room in 2011…?

JENNIFER: Everything's changing… Green to red. Everything's changing… Green to red.
So, she's either been present for a paradox shower, has had visions of one, or is somehow "reading" the effects of one (perhaps ripples from the 1995 one?). This is at a time when she's working as a Markridge scientist, before the Army's Night Room massacre, before Jennifer's stay at J.D. Peoples. She's definitely vibrating at some kind of special frequency. Maybe like her mother? Who perhaps was prescribed a certain red tea while pregnant…? By Dr. Guy-who's-Olivia's-father…?

Perhaps this extra sense or sight is an ability resulting from engaging in the nasty in the past-y ((c) FUTURAMA =). Remember what Jennifer told Ramse in 2043…

JENNIFER: We're the daughters of mothers and midnight and fathers. It's all out of order. But there's still time. For you, and me. We have work to finish.
It's all out of order.


What happened to his hand? His left hand, right? Was he injured in 2043 before Splintering? Wounded during his fight with Cole in 1987? Oh! Maybe he had that hand outside of the Splinter stream, holding his gun on the technician who executed the Splinter? Given the layout of the Splinter lab, tho, probably would've been his right hand. Hrm…

One day Olivia interrupts Ramse while he's thinking of Sam, recalling memories from the future. The first time I watched, I heard…
OLIVIA: Time isn't perfect. Yet I'm envious how most of you seem to defy it.
She reaches out to touch him, he pulls away, and the scene continues, revealing how the Army has made strategic investments for profit and to help events along their proper, future historical, paths. She seems to be speaking of Ramse and humanity as something different from herself, ready to fight fate, time, mortality.

The second time I watched, I heard…
OLIVIA: Time isn't perfect. Yet I'm envious how most of you seems to defy it.
She reaches out to touch his hand, which he pulls away, and the scene continues… She's referring to most of RAMSE, not most of humanity.

For the most part, it appears that Ramse's aging has been arrested, or at least dramatically slowed. The only part of him that shows the signs of time's passing is his hand (and wrist/forearm). Visually, this was difficult for me to make out. Early on, I thought that his hand seemed to be coated or covered with something silvery/metallic, maybe some compromised protective gear? Later, in prison, maybe a brace or cast? Then, in a shot while in prison, it seemed to be scarred. Only when I properly (I think) heard Olivia's words with her actions and his reaction, did it click that it's meant to be age, and in contrast with the rest of his body (at least, of what we can see). I'm still not sure what it looks like, tho. Wrinkled? Gray? Oh! If it was his gun hand, maybe the metal/materials of the gun became embedded in his flesh? Combine that w serum-healing and that's kinda Wolverine!

Remember when Peters analyzed Cole's physiology back in 2015? Scans showed that he was running hot, featuring upgrades like enhanced strength and healing. I think he might have described his blood as a biological computer, too? When cumulative Splinter events don't drain away years of your life, the Splinter serum seems to act as something of a Super-Soldier Serum (w Vita-Rays, turned Steve Rogers into Captain America in the MCU). Would love to see that exploited in some superhuman feats and action scenes.


When Olivia comments on Ramse's moisturizing regimen, she seems to imply that she herself ages like a typical human being. Gotta say, it's difficult to confirm that by observation, right? It's 20 years from when she welcomes Ramse into the fold to when she confronts Aaron Marker outside the Army's container lab. She looks like an ageless replicant every time we see her.

When the pendant paradox mitzvah is complete…
TALL MAN: Your father was right.
OLIVIA: Yes. He has come.
And when Olivia meets Jennifer in 2014…
OLIVIA: My father was the same. He had plans for me. There was a thing in a box, with printed instructions. Difficult… Problematic.
Who is her father? What plans did he have for her? The only thing in a box we've seen thus far is the precursor, but it's only been in a box since the 1980s, and her father is spoken of in the past tense already in 1995. Huh, Jennifer has actually already seen the precursor when Olivia speaks to her. So, I'm thinking that the thing in a box that Olivia refers to is something else. Printed instructions. Some relic of the future—a box containing some artifact and perhaps a timeline or calendar, a written history or diary, which would be interpreted as instructions—deposited in the past, and passed down across generations.

I love that we get to see her—and so, the Army of the 12 Monkeys—as an influence behind so many people and projects we encounter in their more developed forms in the future. She and Ramse meet with Leland in 2011 because the Army's financial group is heavily invested in Markridge. She plants the seed of the Daughters in Jennifer's mind in 2014. She shows up at Senator Royce's office in 2015 because the Army is funding the "selective survival protocol" that will ultimately become Project Spearhead.
ROYCE: Tell you what, the investor is on their way over here right now, and they're looking for someone to spearhead the project…
The one big ticket item we haven't seen Olivia connected to (yet) is Raritan National Laboratory and Project Splinter. I think it's in the first episode that Cole describes to Cass that scientists from his time used technology from her time to develop a solution to beating the plague. In my head, I believed that Splinter was unfinished at the time of the outbreak, and that Jones's ragtag Spearhead refugees sought out the facility to complete the work. Hence the early ghastly test runs and results.

But—who's to say it wasn't operational before the plague and then abandoned, de-powered, and/or disabled? That would open up some very interesting possibilities. At the time of the growing outbreak, Splintering would have offered not a cure for, but an escape from the plague. Perhaps someone/s from the original Project Splinter is manipulating the manipulators to ensure that s/he is able to make the Splinter that save his/her life?

You see how a mild-mannered write-up of episode 11 would quickly get a bit superfantastical? Yeah, I might have a problem. =)


JONES: The greatest lie is believing we are shaping them, that we have any control. No. They make us. They can destroy us.
That's Katarina talking about how both Ramse's and her own actions are inspired by their children. Hannah's death set Jones on a path to change the past as they know it. Sam's life sets Ramse on a path to preserve it. Reminds me of another nugget of fried wisdom for Ramse (the not-Witness) from Jennifer in 2043…
JENNIFER: Death can be both cause and effect. That's how it works. No straight lines. You're ready. It's time… to go.
It seems the child pretty consistently destroys the parent in the world of 12 MONKEYS. Sam inspires Ramse into Atari (a situation he’d otherwise never fall into). Hannah drives Katarina to seek a solution that will erase her own existence. Marcus Whitley chooses Dr. Jones over his father. Jennifer Goines is in part responsible for events that lead to Leland's death (and legacy). And Olivia and Tall Man do speak of her father in the past tense…
Fun times!

Keep on keepin on~

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