’12 Monkeys’ S4 Episodes 4-6 Review: Blackleaf, The Clue, and The Bell

On the second week of Syfy’s three episode binge of 12 Monkeys the stakes are raised even higher as Team Splinter has one final chance to stop the Witness from destroying time. We meet characters from the past that play pivotal roles in the race against time’s destruction and we see the scope of plans that have been in motion for decades.

Below are the must know epic moments from episodes four to six.

Welcome To Blackleaf, Montana

As Team Splinter prepares to head back to 1852 to try and find the weapon the primaries built for them, Cole reveals to Cassie in private that the serpent and the demon had been a bedtime story told to him by his father but was written by his mother. She thinks that this could be a new avenue for them and that they need to tell Jones and others, however he disagrees wanting to hold on to his idea of his mom. I highly doubt that is going to work out well for him.

Jennifer, Hannah, Cole, and Cassie are sent back to pioneer times Montana and the group soon encounter some hired guns whose job is protect a nearby town. As the three men are about to fire on them, Cassie and Hannah take them out first after Cole’s negotiation tactics fail. Except for Jennifer, the other three borrow some clothes from the dead folks as well as their horses and wagon. As they roll into town, Cole distracts a woman putting laundry out while Ms. Goines grabs garments from behind. The poor lady is super confused as the time traveler chats about being robbed by bandits by the watering hole.

That evening they enter the local saloon where things are very odd. While Cole finds out they don’t serve whiskey sours at this time, the bottle of liquor that they are served is actually from 1972. Jennifer notices a glock, a man wearing military tactical boots, and someone with an iWatch. She lastly points out that the tune being played on the piano is about 130 years too early. That’s when Hannah turns around and realizes that the man at the keys is none other than her father Dr. Elliot Jones. Just as they are asking themselves what the scientist is doing here, another invdividual enters the establishment and tells Elliot that his employer would like to see him.

His boss turns out to be good ol’ Pallid Man/Tall Man. The guy is actually kind of pulling off the cowboy hat look fyi. PM asks Elliot to make modifications per the request of the home office as insurance. Insurance for what is the question.

Titan In Progress

Team Splinter causes a distraction in the saloon with Cole posing as a robber with their real goal being to abduct Elliot and find out why he is working with the Army of the 12 Monkeys. As the scientist runs to the back of the building, Hannah appears and injects him with a tether that sends him back to the facility in 2043 with herself following moments after. As Katarina asks her ex-husband what he’s doing in the past he explains that he’s spent the last ten years building something monumental and that of course is Titan. As Jones fills him in on what his work had actually led to, we also see that the two still have unresolved feelings for each other. Elliot also discovers that his ex-wife went through with her pregnancy and that Hannah is their daughter. She also reveals that she has only about four weeks left to live thanks to extreme exposure to splinter radiation. As the two continue to chat, Elliot has an epiphany that Titan has enough power to create a massive paradox that punches a whole right through the structure of time and space. This is precisely what Olivia plans to do.

Back in 1852 Cole, Cassie, and Jennifer come upon the partially built time traveling complex after tailing the wagons that had been with Pallid Man. As the trio take a closer look they spot a core that looks incredibly similar to their own. Makes sense of course that the 12 Monkeys would build their time traveling city in the past because of labor and space. Soon however the locals notice them and know that they are outsiders. Shooting ensues but the trio are able to make their escape and regroup.

12 Monkeys

Unexpected Help

As the three are running away from minions of the Army of the 12 Monkeys, Jennifer declares that she wants out of this situation but Cole says no because she’s primary and they need her here. Cassie corrects him by saying that Ms. Goines WAS primary. The other woman confirms that the visions and voices have stopped and she doesn’t know why. Before they can do anything else however, a Native American suddenly appears with a face paint in the pattern of a monkey and tells them that he’s waited a long time for the primary. He takes them to his small hut where he has drawings of the Witness and other events posted. While Jennifer asks if he has seen them (the other primaries) but the man says that he has but not like her. It seems that this dude is doing what the minions of the Army of the 12 Monkeys have done. He sips the red tea and then talks to the primaries. Jennifer tries to take the drink herself because she needs to know what’s happened to her, but their host tells her that she must not because death only waits there. AKA Olivia will find them and the Witness must never know about the weapon the seers built for them. When Cole asks how they can find it, the other man says that they must climb the steps and ring the bell. Enigmatic much?

The ex-primary can’t help herself though and drinks the red tea in order to talk the other primaries. As she sees the group their leader calls her a fool because now the Witness will find them. Of course Olivia does and discovers all about the weapon and that Cassie, James, and Jennifer are in 1852. She even takes over Ms. Goines’s body and says hello to the rest of Team Splinter. Cassie slaps Jennifer to push Olivia out of the other woman’s body but it’s too late.

Preventing Titan From Weaponizing

Elliot and Hannah return to 1852 and he gives them a game plan. They won’t be able to stop Titan from becoming fully built but perhaps they can stop it from being weaponized by destroying all the power cores. If the 12 Monkeys don’t have enough juice they won’t be able to create a nuclear paradox. So Team Splinter is to set up explosive charges at each wagon holding the power cores while Elliot distracts Pallid Man. But since Olivia knows when they are now, she is able to get word to her folks and all hell breaks loose. Who does the Witness send? Deacon of course! He runs into Cassie and Cole, with the good doctor actually relieved to see the ScavKing, that is until he starts shooting at them. He runs into PM and tells the older gentleman that they’ve been compromised and to move Titan to a different time. PM is obviously annoyed but explains that he needs to get Elliot. Speaking of which father and daughter are running away when suddenly the scientist gets shot by Deacon which is very curious. Why kill the guy if he is needed to complete Titan? Hannah goes ballistic though and as he is about to shoot her as well, he gets hit with an arrow instead as Jennifer arrives with their Native American friend. As he lays dying, Elliot gives his kid a thumb drive that he took from PM’s laptop and tells her that at least he got to see the best thing he ever made.

12 Monkeys

No More Secrets

Back at Team Splinter HQ in 2043, the group discusses recent events. Cole says that the Deacon they saw is the one he’s always known but Jennifer disagrees. He snaps back that since she can’t see things anymore she needs to step back from this, while she retorts by asking him how he knew the story of the serpent and the demon. Cassie urges him to spill the beans with an emphatic use of his name when Jones announces that she’s dying from a lethal dose of splinter radiation. Well that puts things into perspective. She tells them that they are family and that her one dying wish is that they act as one. Cole then reveals that the story came from her mother Marion. Jones then finds a copy of his birth certificate from their records and sees the name Marion Woods but no age or birthplace listed.

12 Monkeys

Who Is Emma?

We are first introduced to Elliot Jones’s beautiful and brilliant assistant at the beginning of episode four as he is doing a demonstration of a prototype of the time machine to a class. Katarina is there and when her husband invites her to join in she shyly declines and so Emma jumps in instead. We get the sense that there was some sort of tense energy between mentor and mentee that Jones mentioned to her ex-husband when he was sent to her from 1852 to 2043 by their daughter. He didn’t confirm if an affair happened, but he did say that it wasn’t his finest moment. At the end of the episode we learn that Emma is in fact a member of the Army of the 12 Monkeys. Upon returning to her apartment she dons the robe and the emblem of Titan, drinks the red tea, and visits the Witness at the house of cedar and pine. Inside she is greeted by Olivia without the plague mask. Emma tells the other woman that she knows how to complete Titan and fulfill it’s true purpose. The Witness smiles and tells her to begin then so that they can both have forever in the red forest. The younger female, who actually has a British accent, responds with, “I want nothing more mother.” OH SNAP! Emma is 1971 Olivia’s baby all grown up.

12 Monkeys

Zalmon Shaw Returns

One of highlights of season three was the performance of Christopher Lloyd as Zalmon Shaw, father of Pallid Man and husband of Mantis. We learn his backstory in episode five, discovering why he chose to follow the Witness and who he wants to be reunited with in the red forest. It turns out to be the love of his life, his first wife Isabella whom he had known since they were children. Olivia commands him to find the weapon before Team Splinter does and if he succeeds she will return to him all of his precious moments forever. We then see him next with the group in 1966 after our heroes find the phrase, “climb the steps, ring the bell” scrawled on the wall of a picture with two unidentified men shot to death on the floor.

12 Monkeys

A Very Close Call For Team Splinter

Cole and Cassie head to 1966 after the team discovers that the two dead men where KGB agents trying to buy an ancient weapon that was immensely powerful. As they stakeout a motel where the exchange is supposed to happen, they hear shots fired and run to the room. Cole kicks the down the door only to find the two men dead already and the clue scribbled on the wall. He thinks that the killers left through the window but finds a very large briefcase full of cash. The motel room phone suddenly rings and Cole picks it up and bluffs his way to getting the seller to agree to meet at their suite in the Emerson Hotel. However, the Army of the 12 Monkeys have their eyes on the duo as Shaw and young Pallid Man are outside watching them depart the motel.

Cassie heads to the lobby acting as a watch to make sure that nothing goes wrong with their exchange. But of course chaos ensues. She bumps into the seller who is trying to be inconspicuous but she suddenly gets a massive headache of sorts and is forced to sit down and catch her breathe. Dr. Railly then sees Shaw enter the hotel and is told by a man that the seller is in room 607. She makes her way to him ready to get her gun out, but he anticipates her move and has his minions accost her. Soon after however Cassie is able to knock the men out with sweet moves.

Meanwhile the seller is greeted by Cole in room 607. They have some whiskey, chit chat a little and the time traveler shows the German man the money. Once the guy is satisfied he says that he has a man waiting at the bar downstairs who will give him a lead case. He asks Cole if he even knows what he’s buying to which the chrononaut answers a weapon. The German comments that is what the Ahnernebe thought, but no one truly knows what the item is. The Ahnernebe was a unit within the Nazi SS that researched and studied ancient texts, folklore, and rock engravings to uncover the accomplishments of the Germanic people’s ancestors. Just then the door bursts open with Shaw entering. While we don’t see what happens next, when Cassie arrives the seller is dead and Cole is on the floor unable to breathe. He starts to gurgle black fluid from some kind of poison. She activates her tether and goes back to 2043 to be sent back earlier so that she can warn him. Dr. Adler is only able to send her a few minutes earlier and we find out that the massive headache she felt earlier in the lobby was because the other Cassie was nearby.

Present Cassie heads to suite 607 and explains to Cole that Shaw is here and that she’s going to find him dying soon with the seller dead. He is stubborn though and doesn’t want to leave to head back to 2043 because the weapon is here and this is their chance. Cole lets the German into the room and she slips out. Thinking this is her chance yet again to get Shaw, she has her gun out as the elevator doors open but this time is foiled by young Pallid Man who has struck the back of her legs. He reveals to her that his love for his first wife Isabella is what motivates him to work for the red forest and ominously says that before the end of the day he imagines that she’ll understand too. Shaw then breaks into the room and quickly shoots the seller. He makes Cassie and Cole kneel before each other and has PM poison them both. In order to administer the antidote they must reveal where the weapon is. Cole eventually gives in and says that there is a man at the bar with a leather case. The time traveler tells Shaw to give Cassie the cure. But here’s a question, if the two of them die at that moment doesn’t that mess with the timeline because Cassie must somehow return to 2018 to eventually die at the CDC?

Meanwhile Deacon has also arrived and Shaw tells him about the man at the bar who has the weapon.

12 Monkeys

Jennifer and Gale To The Rescue

Meanwhile after Cassie is sent back to 1966, Jennifer and Jones brainstorm trying to figure out how to help. The ex-primary remembers that Cole had a friend who worked in the FBI but supposedly died in 1961, except of course that Agent Robert Gale didn’t. When he last met the time travelers in 1953, Cassie told him when he would eventually die and so he wore a bulletproof vest in Germany. He tells Jennifer this as she had come to 1966 earlier than when C & C were originally sent. While they are staking out the motel room next door to where the Soviets are, she runs out of patience and shimmies the door open to ask the question about the clue. Except the wall is totally blank and Gale follows her from behind shooting the men. They both then realize that they are the reason why Team Splinter finds the room like this and so Jennifer herself writes the message. Gale and her then slip back into the other room and close the door just as Cassie and Cole burst in.

The FBI agent is able to get activated charcoal to suck up the poison in Cole’s system and then they’ll have to give him a shot that will allow him to breathe again. Gale himself catches Shaw, young Pallid Man, and their minion at an alleyway and the law enforcement officer easily takes down the underling. Shaw says goodbye to his son and that they’ll meet again in the red forest. He turns around and is about to get something out of his pocket forcing Gale to shoot him. It turned out to be the jackstone from Isabella. The older man isn’t able to shoot PM though who looks at him angrily, grabs his father’s hat and runs away.

In the meantime Jennifer gets to room 607 and gives Cassie the charcoal and shot. Dr. Railly puts the charcoal down Cole’s mouth and tell the ex-primary to look for the man at the bar with a lead case because he has the weapon. After Jennifer leaves Cassie hides as her other self finds Cole poisoned and splinters back to 2043. Ms. Goines runs downstairs and into Deacon who already as the weapon in his possession. When she asks how he could do this because this isn’t him. He tells her that he’s exactly where he wants to be and gives her a big wink, the same kind that she had given him when she left the facility to go back to 2017 in season three. He starts singing, “don’t you forget about me” and she realizes that he’s acting as a double agent amongst the Army of the 12 Monkeys.

Gale, Jennifer, Cassie, and Cole regroup and the FBI agent suggests that they go back to when the weapon was first found. Cole then remembers the Ahnenerbe and the other man is able to gather information about the Nazi group for them. He provides his findings with Hannah and Jones in attendance. Gale says that there is an object that the group found called die glocke. In an interrogation report on a Nazi SS officer, the object was described as made of metal with carvings unknown symbology, possessing unknown radioactive properties with a unique effect on time. Looks like Team Splinter needs to go back to World War II.

12 Monkeys

Die Glocke or The Bell

Team Splinter plans to infiltrate a gala held by the Ahnenerbe in 1940 at a manor in France. This event is the only recorded time when the die glocke was exhibited as it was hidden from history during its creation and all the way up to the sale in 1966. This truly seems to be their last chance at the weapon. Jennifer is to pose as a French maid, Cole as a truck driver bringing in supplies for the party, Jones as a prominent German socialite with ties to Heinrich Himmler (head of the SS), and Cassie as her American niece. Barbara Sukowa is sublime as the scientist undercover! She stares down the Ahnenerbe officer in the face without so much as blinking, explaining that she actually owns the manor that he bought and that she’s contributed greatly to the war effort. Plus a little threat of a bad recommendation to Himmler (since her fake husband was childhood friends with the Nazi leader supposedly). Jones tells their host that she’s unimpressed with the artifacts on display based on the resources that was gifted to him. The man can’t seem to resist her bait and says that he does have an item that’s sure to impress and that perhaps once the entertainment is over she’ll be his guest to witness it.

The bell arrives soon after but just as Cole is trying to figure out how to get it, Deacon suddenly appears and they both get captured by the Ahnenerbe. The two men are tied up and being beaten as one of the Nazi minions tells his boss about them. Meanwhile inside the manor Jennifer stumbles on some kind of French resistance plot happening. Two members of the resistance, a maid and an Ahnenerbe officer explain to Cassie and Jennifer that Hitler is coming to see the glocke and the gala is just a cover for that. They plan to explode a bomb in the building during that time to kill the the Führer. If they want the bell they have until 7 pm to get it when the the German leader is to see it.

Jones is struggling as the effects of the splinter radiation continue to affect her body, but she also seems to be having visions. Could her mind now be exposed to the time stream as well as an accidental byproduct?

When the group is able to convene, Cole lets the others know that Deacon had been on their side and has a plan to get the bell. However, a problem comes up as the French resistance drugs the singer who was supposed to entertain the guests. Jennifer decides to perform to give the others more time. She has the band play an orchestral accompaniment to Pink’s U + Ur Hand and Hitler is enjoying it! While Ms. Goines distracts upstairs, downstairs Cassie dons a Nazi dominatrix outfit and gets the attention of the guards protecting the glocke with Cole sneaking in via a side door. Together they kill all the soldiers but the noise is heard above and the Hitler is rushed to safety. Cole and Cassie in the meantime open the case and we finally see the weapon, which appears to be in the shape of a monkey’s face. They leave the case so that eventually the Army of the 12 Monkeys will get it in 1966, but before they all depart Deacon moved the cart bomb into the room where Hitler is in and lets Jennifer activate the detonator as they drive away.

Deacon fills them in on what happened after he returned to Titan after 1966. Olivia opened the lead case and inside was another bell that was on display at the gala. He tells the Witness to send him back to when the switch could have happened and this is when he realized that Team Splinter could have gotten it. They have all reconvened at the Emerson sometime in the past as there is a fully operating bar with a bartender. However Adler is now with them! This must be the first time that the scientist as time traveled. But who is operating the machine then since Hannah is on another mission? While he examines the bell, he shows everyone another inscription that says 1491 Hertfordshire, England. Jennifer says that it’s an invitation to meet the group of primaries she saw when she drank the red tea. Adler says though that their machine can’t go that far back, but Jones says to leave that to her. She and Deacon have hatched some kind of plan as instead of taking the bell with him back to Titan, he takes her to see Olivia instead.

12 Monkeys

Final Thoughts

  • Emily Hampshire killed it performing U + Ur Hand!
  • Cassie agreeing with Shaw during her time of grief at nearly losing Cole makes me anxious. Don’t join the dark side Dr. Railly!
  • I’m happy that Adler got to time travel at least once, enjoy a drink amongst comfortable surroundings and enjoy a moment when it isn’t the apocalypse.
  • Olivia is getting massive eye bags, it must be from all the exposure to the time stream.
  • With how intricate the Witness and the Army of the 12 Monkeys have planned to ensure that they are able to destroy time, it makes me wonder if Team Splinter is able to use the weapon how will they make certain that their foes haven’t got another plan under their belt to compensate? If Olivia was actually killed I can’t imagine that she wouldn’t have some kind of protocol in place.
  • Holy crap that Olivia sent her own daughter back in time to insinuate herself into Elliot and Katarina’s life.
  • Can we talk about Deacon for a second? His character has been one of the most surprising developments throughout the entire series. It’s been so much fun seeing him grow while still retaining the grit and the hardness that’s at the core of his being. He’s a survivor.
  • Jones and Hannah got a chance to be with Elliot even for a little while, despite everything it did give them a measure of closure.
  • Emma must have a bigger role to play in all of this!
  • From a purely organizational and operational standpoint what the Army of the 12 Monkeys have done in their quest to destroy time is pretty amazing. They must have some killer project managers and some insane scrum meetings.
  • The series continues to have the perfect balance between drama, action, suspense, and comedy in unexpected ways. I don’t know what we’re going to do with ourselves once it’s all over.

And if you’ve got Pink’s song stuck in your head like me, enjoy!


12 Monkeys airs on Syfy Fridays at 8/7 Central.

Nicole C
Nicole Chttps://theworkprint.com
Nicole is the Features Editor for The Workprint. She may or may not be addicted to coffee, audiobooks, and sci-fi.

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  1. Emily Hampshire has put on a clinic since the show began. Is there any doubt that Aubrey Plaza’s Lenny character in Legion is a direct ripoff? I wonder how much is Emily and how much is the writers. Perhaps the team should get a special EMMY. Tonight we got Jennifer Goines giving Cassie and Cole advice about sticking to the butt-stuff. Jennifer singing her McGuffin song when they start the quest for Die Glocke, snd probably many more that I will only pick up on subsequent viewings. I LOVE JENNIFER GOINES/EMILY HAMPSHIRE! Did I say?

    Thanks again Nicole!

  2. This is essentially the last time we can talk about this, so do you think Hannah is Cole’s mom? I’m going by the picture that Terry Matalas dropped a while back on Instagram.. And the fact that Jones has a special mission for her in the right time frame. And the fact that she is the daughter of the people that invented time travel. And she now knows the poem. Marian Woods? Lake in the woods, horse in the woods, message for Katrina? Zeit is German for time.

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