12 Monkeys Season 3 Night 1 – Intro
Phew! THAT was a lot of story we just digested. When moving from season to season in any given show, viewers always wonder if they’re favorite show will crash and burn when it returns. (Heroes fans, anyone?) Did Cole jump any sharks? Has Cassie married her brother? Did the Witness actually father himself? Let’s go over everything and find out.
301 – Mother
Main Character Catch-up
Season 3 picks up a short time after Season 2’s climax. Cole drives himself and the Team Splinter staffers to the point of exhaustion in his search for Titan and Cassie. Meanwhile, Cassie’s pregnancy shows much more than last we met as the Witness’ people keep her under house (is Titan a house?) arrest. Magdalena (Hannah Waddingham), the season’s new boogey-person introduces herself, as she explains the plan for her, not Cassie, to raise the baby. Cole finally catches up with Titan and almost runs inside when he encounters a future version of himself wearing a “splinter-suit”. This future Cole (“Future Ass Hole” or FAH), wants to redirect Cole and get him on Jennifer’s trail. Apparently, Jennifer has been forgotten in the intervening months and FAH says she and her primary-ness are actually the key to the universe. Go Figure.
Jennifer’s apprehension by German soldiers in a World War I trench gave me a chuckling fit. The hallucinated rendition of Nena’s 99 Red Balloons served as a great reminder of Jennifer’s mental stability and what to expect from her point of view. It also reminded us that Jennifer’s status as Primary means she can see through time and multiple timelines at once. She just doesn’t have any control over it.
Cassie’s captors converted her house arrest into imprisonment following an attempt to take her own life. Their only goal is to protect the Witness and in their estimation, Cassie is a danger to him.
Some New Characters and Characteristics
Last season, we saw the Pallid Man oust Olivia as the Witness’ top lieutenant and overall leader of the Army of the 12 Monkeys in his absence. He also commands Titan and runs motivational seminars on the Witness’ teachings all day long. In Titan, the Witness presides as their deity and the Pallid Man became the pope. In addition to Magdalena, we also meet Mallick (Faran Tahir). He ranks highly in the 12 Monkey organization, but acts more sympathetically to Cassie than the others.
Recognize Magdalena, but don’t know from where? Shame!… ding. Shame! … ding. Does that “ring a bell”? That’s right, she was Cersei Lannister’s persecutor in the last couple seasons of Game of Thrones. Mallick I recognized as the captain whose command fell to George Kirk when he was killed by time-travelers at the beginning of JJ Abrams’ Star Trek.
The butterfly image made an appearance. Last time we one, Cole gave a butterfly pin to Cassie for Christmas. This time, Cassie had a hair… knife(?) decorated with a butterfly that she used to make a break for it from her escorts. Butterflies usually symbolize transformation, so I’m going to assume Cassie still has some changes coming.
Are FAH and Cassie still together? They seemed very cool with each other.
Why did future Cassie hide from Cole during FAH’s pep talk?
Is Cassie part Primary? She’s still having hallucinations without the aid of red tea.
302 – Guardians
I missed Jennifer. I know starting with Cole and Cassie began the season on the right footing, but I have to thank SyFy for the binge concept if for no other reason than feeding me a Jennifer-centric episode on the night of the premiere. If I ever travel through time by mistake and get stuck in the past, I will steal credit for all the great stories of our time, just like Jennifer. Hurley tried the same idea in LOST with The Empire Strikes Back. Jennifer re-created Jaws, Alien, ET, and Charlie Chaplin for a post WWI French audience, all in an attempt for time and more importantly, the press, to notice her. But she used a stage name to hide from the bad guys. Oh, Jennifer.
Jennifer’s story in this episode revolves around trust and respect. She felt abandoned by Team Splinter. Cole and Dr. Jones’ all business approach when they enter the theater only wounded her more. She may have resigned herself to never having Cole’s interest as a lover, but she can’t allow him to treat her like a burden either. Maybe next time, Cole will remember Jennifer is Primary and can see multiple timelines at once before he tries to play coy.
The Ramse story offered emotional peaks, some disappointment, and ultimately reasoned satisfaction. I didn’t do the math at the end of last season or maybe I missed a detail. I came into the season expecting Ramse to reunite with a young Sam. My mistake. Instead Sam was a grown man that been blown up the day before Ramse reached him. Tough Luck. Since this is a binge-review of a binge-event, let’s assume we all watched all four episodes aired tonight. Assuming that, we might credit Sam’s tearful good-bye with setting Ramse off on the misadventure that got him killed. If only Sam could have died sooner (but we’ll talk about that later)! I guess that aging Sam might have avoided the uncomfortable idea of smothering young Sam. Either way, we needed Sam’s dying wish for Ramse to work with Olivia to forge Ramse with the recklessness for what followed.
Not a lot of Cassie action this week. Just enough to show the audience the contents of the “paradox in a box” (whispers: it’s her son).
The scenes where Magdalena reports to a past self and then disintegrates herself really amp up my sense of her dedication. At a certain point, can she be expected to keep killing herself?
In my notes, I refer to Magdalena and her three fellows as the “four horseman”. Something about the way they carried the “paradox in a box” reminded me of imagery related to the Ark of the Covenant (yes, that Ark), thereby invoking a biblical connection in my mind. Plus, anytime I see four anythings whose mission relates to ending the world… well, you see where I’m going.
What is Olivia’s game? Is she truly rogue or playing a long con for the Witness? Or something else?
303 – Enemy
So many characters to follow in this one! Let’s talk about the most unexpected of the bunch: Deacon!
After Deacon fell under a swarm of stabbing 12 Monkey soldiers, I thought his story was over. I wanted more Deacon though, having fallen into Terry Matalas’ trap of seeing Deacon as redeemed. What a tortured guy! Deacon had to recover from the aforementioned stabbiness in less than ideal conditions, pine for Cassie, AND deal with visions of his dead, antagonistic father. Ultimately, we find out the least exciting reason Deacon’s dad was a terrible father: his own father was terrible too. <Gasp!> We could have guessed that one! Why not, “I never liked you,” or, “I’m just an asshole,” or something new? Either way, the hallucinations provided Deacon with the strength he needed to survive the plague and the will he needed to escape Titan. He may not ride in wearing shining armor, but he was the right man to break Cassie out of there.
At first blush, I thought this episode could depict a parallel story of two prisoners: Cassie and Olivia. Not even close. The Pallid Man held Cassie against her will, true, but we find out at the end of the episode Olivia intended to be captured. I doubt Olivia expected Dr. Jones to resort to time-machine-torture, but that Messenger DNA of hers makes her tough. Cole’s approach, the time-dungeon, had elegance and should have worked.
Freaking Ramse. Before the season even started, I knew Ramse would find a reason to continue his track record of betraying Cole. He talked a good talk, but did anyone have their heart crushed when the show revealed his plan to fool Team Splinter with Olivia, to put him in a position to kill Cassie? Not me. Ramse has been bad news for a long time and now he’s after Cassie. He made next episode’s resolution too easy for Cole with that decision.
Never count Deacon out. But that’s not new, is it?
Also, Dr. Jones has always been a hard-ass, but I think this is the first time she physically tortured another person. If nothing else, we can tell the stakes have risen from how desperate she now acts. Ironic that Hannah’s presence raised those stakes, but Hannah can’t stomach how far her mom will go to protect her.
Mallick has a lot more going on than just following the Pallid Man’s orders.
Jennifer’s evolution starts here. Her grasp of her Primary powers increases with every episode she spends in Cole’s time. She operates more and more by feeling (not that she was ever super thought out), but these are feelings getting more attuned to how she can perceive time as a Primary.
What is Mallick trying to do? Hedge his bets by helping both sides of the struggle? Or is he trapped in the 12 Monkeys organization and wants to bring it (and the Witness) down? Why save Deacon? Does he know about Deacon’s fondness for Cassie?
Did Ramse forget this show isn’t about how he avenges his son? No one cares, dude!
Speaking of what this show is about, is it about two people whose son will end time as we know it unless they find a way to stop him (without killing him presumably)?
304 – Brothers
Ramse brought it on himself. He always considered himself Cole’s teacher and in some ways, his better. Even though this whole plot to either save or destroy time has revolved around Cole, Ramse never took the opportunity to take a fresh look at him. Maybe he would have seen things had changed. Maybe he would have realized Cassie had taken over the number one spot in Cole’s heart and second place fell far short of the mark. Still, Ramse had his mind made up and a mission for vengeance before him, come hell or high water. Well, hell just came calling and left your good-for-nothing carcass in the woods in 2007.
Deacon, the friendly delivery man, and Cassie, mother to the destroyer of worlds, escape Titan with a little help the enigmatic Mallick. We all know Deacon still carries a flame for Cassie, but now Cassie has me wondering. I -want- Cole and Cassie to save the day and ride off into the sunset together. However, when Cassie didn’t explain her pregnancy to Deacon I couldn’t guess her motivation. Too much to explain right then? Or was it that by telling Deacon she and Cole had conceived a child, she would be shutting Deacon down? Did you watch LOST? Of course you did. Cole is the Jack in this situation and Deacon is clearly the Sawyer.
Heck yeah! Ding dong, Ramse’s dead! Please, Cole, don’t find a way to reset him. He will ALWAYS find a reason to betray you. Act smarter than that!
Cassie and Deacon bring Team Splinter back up to full strength. I checked with HR on this, we promoted Hannah to Ramse’s old spot. You’ll never even notice he left.
I liked the usage of the butterfly, an image we last season in tonight’s first episode on a hair pick, as a bookend for tonight’s binge session. We started with Cassie trying to escape, using the butterfly pick as a dagger, and ended with Cassie making it home, thanks to time travel tethers hidden under butterfly graffiti.
We saw the time travel facility blown up, just a couple years down the road. Were they attacked? Did the machine cause an explosion? Did everyone survive?
Cole couldn’t bring himself to kill Olivia (I would have). She still has a purpose in the story then. Does she have her own personal beef to settle with the Witness for forsaking her? Or has she been a plant this whole time?
Night one of SyFy’s 12 Monkey’s binge experiment is in the books! I for one hope they received the ratings and accolades they deserve.
In a way, the first four hours of the third season contained the story of getting the band back together, in a satisfying way. Remember at the end of season 1, when Cassie was shot and the show left us on a cliffhanger? Do you remember the let-down when Dr. Jones fixed her up, without any side-effects, in no time flat? Tonight’s solution gave us near-instant gratification in getting the story moving forward again, but it was allowed to take the time necessary to do it well. I think that’s pretty smart.
So, onward, to Night 2! See you again tomorrow with another review on episodes 5, 6, and 7.
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