Showrunner Terry Matalas and crew like to mix in some whimsy with the deadly serious 12 Monkeys premise. Last season, we got an episode that strongly resembled Ocean’s 11, and featured Alisen Down‘s version of Jennifer Goines. This season, we get Die Glocke. Still deadly serious. Adding Nazis will do that. Add in Jennifer’s concert, her moral imperative to change history, and Cassie’s weapons of mass distraction and I think we have seen this season’s “feel-good episode”. I loved it and can’t get that song out of my head.
The cold open for Die Glocke sets the stage for us. A Nazi doing his best Amon Goeth (The big bad in Schindler’s List) impression sets an example for the house staff at large manor in occupied France. When he discovers Maquis propaganda, he calls someone from the house staff to answer for it. A maid almost steps forward before another maid, maybe her sister, Katniss Everdeens her way into taking credit and getting shot. We now know this episode takes place in a very dangerous environment, especially for anyone posing as house staff.
Team Splinter gathers again for one of Jones’ least rousing motivational speeches, but at least we get the Cliffs’ Notes version of Die Glocke’s place in Nazi history. In an unusual twist, Jones accompanies Team Splinter on the mission, despite rapidly failing health. Turns out, they REALLY need a native German speaker to pull this off. That and a Photoshopped deed to the French manor. The bluff gets them in the door, but Jones decides the Glocke the find can’t be the right one. The cosmic clue handed down to Jennifer literally says, “Ring the bell.” The artifact they find looks pretty much like a bell, but more like something you’d find at Pottery Barn than a world saving weapon. Ever the trooper, silver-tongued Jones persuades Sturmbannführer Waesch to let her see the good stuff later.
Jennifer, now fluent in French, poses as a maid since… they’ve had a recent opening. When she hears her own record from 1922 playing in the ballroom, I felt so happy for her. She thought no one ever cared about it, but there it was. My heart then broke along with Jennifer’s when the French diva came in and shattered the record. At least the butler liked the record.
Cole and Deacon
Uni-lingual Cole poses as either a bum or a day-laborer at the estate. Jennifer pops by and Cole sends her right back to alert Jones and Cassie of the Glocke’s arrival. Before he can trail the real Glocke off its delivery truck, Deacon ambushes him. Before their conversation gets really interesting, German guards come across them both, or as they see it, a local holding a gun on another. The guards take them inside for a good, old-fashioned beating. When the guard in charge asks the Sturmbannführer for instructions, he keeps it simple. “Kill them,” he says.
Before the order gets carried out, Deacon admits to his true allegiance. The Nazi in charge, ( a guy that looks a little like Red Skull with pink make-up on) then takes special interest in Deacon. I’ve never seen a Nazi taking special interest in a person turn out well for that person. Deacon also feels increasing nervous as his scar-laden captor starts to disrobe. His instincts we right-on as the psycho starts to carve a swastika on his chest.
Meanwhile, Cole’s execution goes poorly for his own captors as he bests them both and fills their bellies with lead. Deacon’s screams prove too much for Cole and he plays Bruce Willis at the end of Pulp Fiction, saving Deacon. When Deacon pleads his case, it all makes sense, including the off-book execution of Elliot Jones last episode. I believe the guy. Even after he carves VII into his chest to replace the partial swastika.
Jennifer and Cassie
Inside, Jennifer runs into a cart led by the actual owner of the Maquis propaganda. When she peeks underneath, she finds what looks like a bomb. This puts her in the crosshairs of the Resistance-minded maid and her Nazi boyfriend. While they search for her, she’s talking to Cassie about all the new factors introduced to their project in the last few seconds. Save Cole at the cost of the bell? Go for the bell and lose Cole? What about that bomb?
Matters worsen when the resistance pair find Jennifer and Cassie. A brief parlay, timed for the audience with an important phone call in the ballroom, reveals that Hitler’s arrival is imminent. Just like another team we know can’t pass up one-time opportunities, they must act now to “cut off the head of the snake.” I love the continued resonance of the snake / serpent imagery throughout this season. Eventually, the maid recognizes the wisdom of letting them make a try at the Glocke and even lays out their entire agenda. How they knew of Hitler’s arrival before Waesch, we’ll never know.
The Operation Gets Messy
Waking dreams or hallucinations add themselves to Jones’ list of splinter radiation induced symptoms. When Cassie and Jennifer find, it looks like she’s tripping on a narcotic. Through her perspective, we the she’s back at Raritan. A not-completely-powerless Jennifer joins her and tries to talk her down. Nothing being straight-forward in dreams, Jennifer tells Jones to find what doesn’t fit. Looky there! That Nazi flag wasn’t hanging over the splinter chair when we left, was it? Adler! What are you doing when everyone’s away?
It’s then that Hitler himself arrives for the party, which Cassie describes as a complication. Cole and Deacon arrive and after a standoff with Jones, the mission gets back on track. Sort of. Jennifer discovers the resistance has accelerated the timeline by killing the night’s entertainment. Will that stop Jennifer, a born performer? Nope. J.H. Bond takes the stage once again. In my interview with Emily Hampshire, she promised the musical performance to top all of her others. Her performance of Pink’s U + Ur Hand delivers for me and apparently der Führer.
Downstairs, Cole and Cassie make their play for the Glocke, and… REALLY bring their A-game. Cassie provides the best distraction in the history of television, leaving the soldiers quite vulnerable to surprise attack. A very noisy surprise attack which alerts those in the ballroom of the emergency below. Upstairs, the Nazis scatter, further accelerating the bomb plot. Good thing for the home team that Deacon knows his way around explosives.
Once Cassie and Cole open the Glocke’s case, it removes all doubt that they’ve found the right bell. What are the chances of a sinister monkey-faced metal bell NOT playing into the plot? A little flash-forward tells us the necessity of this mission. One guard survived Cole and Cassie’s assault and stole the case. That guard went on to become the man trying to sell it in 1966, last episode. The weasel replaced the Glocke with the fake bell from the gallery!
Deacon confirms his Team Splinter membership by executing Waesch and the other guards holding Jones. Deacon, a constant contender for Best Line of the Episode, makes this episodes submission with, “Let’s boogie.” And boogie they do, just ahead of Jennifer’s causality-be-damned detonation of the resistance’s bomb, just a few feet behind Hitler.
Sure enough, Jennifer changed the timeline. As the team meets for the after action review at the Emerson bar, they find a newspaper bidding Hitler farewell. Jones and Deacon discuss the certainty of their deaths and hatch a plot.
If you were Adler, wouldn’t you want to come to the Emerson for team meetings whenever possible? He does so to help the team interpret the Glocke’s possible meaning to their fight. Upon it, they find another clue/invitation: 1491, Hartfordshire, England. Well, that clue was in English so any of them could have read it. I guess he just wanted a drink. when he brings up that the machine can’t actually reach 1491, Jones says to leave it up to her. How she’s going to handle that as Olivia’s prisoner at Titan, we have to wait a week to find out.
BTW – No, really. Where is Olivia’s daughter, Emma? And where the heck has Hannah been? Showdown of the daughters somewhere?
Season 4 Reviews:
Other 12 Monkeys Articles
Read Past Reviews:
Check out Daley Review on their own website: www.DaleyReview.com.
Like us on Facebook or Subscribe for instant notice of new posts.
Share this article using our Social Share buttons above.