12 Monkeys Season 3 Episode 2 Review

12 Monkeys Ep302 Review: Paradox In A Box

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Though the hour was titled “Guardians,” it was Emily Hampshire that stole the show. 12 Monkeys really is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for such an amazingly talented actress. She’s the real deal, folks.

What a cool image, those “Four Horsemen” with the mysterious Titan box. What the heck were they carrying in there? It couldn’t possibly be the baby, right? Ah, not so much. My first thought was, why would they appear in Paris? Then of course I remembered that good ol’ Jennifer was stranded in France during World War I. Yup, they were there to end her. Makes sense. By the way, the Eiffel Tower opened in 1889, so it’s an ideal time travel landmark as its been around over a hundred years.

Jennifer’s twist on the phrase, “Where am I right now?” was terrific. What do you do when you’re stranded in the wrong time? Send a message to the future, naturally. I vaguely remember Jennifer saying she spoke several languages, so her fluency in French didn’t surprise me. That said, learning that Emily herself spoke French was a nice surprise. Jennifer’s theater antics were absolutely brilliant. So that’s where Spielberg got the idea for ET and Jaws. Ha!

12 MONKEYS -- "Guardians" Episode 302
Courtesy of Syfy
The hour really was a Jennifer-centric showcase. I loved watching her recreate the story of The Witness and Titan. “Je splinter” she said mimicking the motion of the machine. The audience reaction was on point, but her response to the theater owner claiming “No one understands time travel” cracked me up. “Uh. The smart ones do” Jennifer told him. Sean Tretta you were in rare form, my friend. Bravo!

Anyway, I can go on and on about Emily, but suffice it to say she never fails to dazzle me. I will continue to follow her career long after 12 Monkeys ends next season. Were you surprised Cole and Jones showed up so quickly? Less than 10 minutes into the episode. It wasn’t the play that brought them, “causality’s fool” had been pegged for murdering her boss. Whatever works, right?

Jones and Cole had to locate the Guardians, because the splinter vest was definitely a game changer. That wasn’t going to be easy. Would they dispatch the Four Horsemen that quickly?

Catching up with Ramse (Kirk Acevedo) and Olivia (Alisen Down) was crucial. She claimed to have been protecting Sam for years, but you can never trust a word that woman says. Sam confirmed she had kept him safe though. Ramse being forced to end Sam’s life was brutal. The poor guy can’t catch a win, can he?

Elsewhere, Cassie wasn’t even allowed to see her son. Instead she was brought to a creepy ass shrine housing the mask of The Witness. Those monkeys play some serious mind games, don’t they? Mallick (Faran Tahir) offering to help Cassie was an interesting twist. Will he help free her? Yup, the wicked Pallid Man placed The Witness inside the box and Cassie watched as his Guardians splintered him away.

Ultimately, it was Jennifer who located one of the Guardians though Cole and Jones were hot on their trail. How about that distraction dance, eh? Our heroes took out two more Guardians, so there was just Magdalena left. Cole being shot was a shocker, but he did get a chance to hear the “paradox in a box” crying out before time changed around him. Magdalena’s fond of visiting her past self to alter the timeline, isn’t she? I love that, “Thank you for your sacrifice” bit.

Everything reset, and this time Cole had a chance to let Jennifer know he needed her. It was quite an emotional moment. Much better, indeed!

Closing Thoughts…

“Guardians” is classic 12 Monkeys and already one of my favorite episodes of the series’ entire run. Rewriting the timeline makes it tough for our heroes to get the upper hand. Portable splinter vests FTW! Hey, at least we know future Cole gets his hands on one at some point. That should even the odds a bit. It was interesting that Jones and the scientists hadn’t put two and two together to figure out the baby was the Witness himself. I mean, we are talking about “Grandma Time” here. I get it, the writers need to allow the story to breathe in order for the drama to build. Hey, at least the audience is in on what’s going on… right?

Now the chase through time continues, with the Guardians always one step ahead. Ramse arriving with Olivia in the closing moments means they might have a slight advantage. Can they get any real intel out of her? Does Olivia know when to find Titan to help free Cassie? If so, what does she want in return. It’s not like she does things out of the kindness of her heart.

12 Monkeys Season 3 premieres over 3 consecutive nights Friday, May 19 to Sunday, May 21 from 8-11/7-10c

  • kd94025

    Hi Hank! so much Monkeys!!!

    I don’t think that the guardians took the Witness to France to find Jennifer. I think that Jennifer ended up there perhaps because of her odd relationship with time itself – a theme of this episode. I love her character and hate the derision she gets. One of the best parts of this episode was Cole’s SECOND try at showing he appreciates Jennifer and needs her. (I think he needs her way, way more than he recognizes).

    I thought Jennifer was profoundly clever in her attempts to get the attention of the team. They would have found her sooner, but they honestly weren’t actually looking too terribly hard for her. It’s a miracle they found her from the murder clipping and that was only because it was GIVEN to them!!

    Wheels within wheels. The show is fascinating.