Jennifer Goines, who is brilliantly portrayed by Emily Hampshire, is easily the series favorite. She is a gift to Gen-X, citing songs, movies, and books from late twentieth century pop-culture. Her best self-defining quote is “you have no idea how exhausting it is being crazy.”
Her plot line is excellent. Jennifer Goines is the daughter of a wealthy science mogul, who becomes the initial target of Project Splinter. Jennifer makes her first appearance in mental heath institution. She is one of a few characters with the special designation “primary”. It is difficult to sort out her intentions and allegiances in the beginning, but she soon becomes a resource to Cole and valuable to Project Splinter. In the end, she holds the key to decoding the final mission and saving all of humanity.
Jennifer Goines has the best soundtrack. Her “on meds” happy days are portrayed by Love is All Around by Joan Jett & The Blackhearts. When she takes the fight to the Monkeys with her Hyena girls, we hear Kelsy Karter’s Free. She gives us 99 Luftballons by Nena when the German soldiers march into French trenches. This is followed by her adventures in 1921 Paris, featuring I Love Paris by Ella Fitzgerald.
Jennifer nods to the best of 80s-90s pop-culture. She references Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure, MacGyver, Legend of Zelda’s Kakariko Village, Nintendo cheats, The Oregon Trail’s infamous outcome—death by dysentary, Thomas Crowne Affair, E.T. The Movie, the A-Team, Groundhog’s Day, James Bond, Braveheart’s Speech, Choose Your Own Adventure books, Diehard, and coins the term “Indiana DaVinci.”
Jennifer is situated perfectly for the post-apocalyptic scenario. She leads a tribe of Amazonian-style women called The Daughters, who eventually come alongside Project Splinter. Jennifer is a daughter. She is a corporate executive. She is a mother. She is both a young girl, and a grown woman. She is a strong leader, whose experience and intuitive nature not only saves the day, but she also saves the series.
Jennifer sees time as connected. “When the future is uncertain, the past never matters more.” Her insight is academically solid, but she goes about it in an unorthodox fashion. She is inspired and inspires those around her. She is brave, and faces up to some of the most difficult and intense events in the series. She is a truly devoted friend, and a faithful companion.
Let’s face it, the Twelve Monkeys series owes its fame to an amazing cast. Jennifer Goines is the best. It is only because the other characters are also so strong, and so well portrayed, that she steals the show only by a margin.
Twelve Monkeys is currently streaming on Hulu.