12 Monkeys Season 3, Night One recap and review: The first four episodes

12 MONKEYS season 3 - "Enemy" Episode 303 -- Pictured: Amanda Schull as Cassandra Railly (Photo by: Ben Mark Holzberg/Syfy)

Credit: Ben Mark Holzberg/Syfy

By Jennifer Kelly Lovick

Titan – last time we saw the ill-fated time-traveling 12 Monkeys crew together things got a little out of hand. Words were said, punches were thrown, guns were drawn. Titan decided to exit stage left and splinter. In the chaos of it all, our merry band of misfits got split up, sprinkled across different points of time and space, as far as we can tell. Except for Cassie. Not only is Cassie stuck on Titan, she gets to see what the future (or the past, depending on how you look at it) has in store for her unborn child. I’d ask, “What could be worse?” but the truth is, when your child is The Witness, NOTHING could be worse.

After waiting 10 excruciating months, fans finally get to see what happens next. 12 Monkeys season 3 has aired over three nights and began with the first four episodes.

So how does the band get back together again?

Short Answer

Cole and Jones find Jennifer living it up as a Parisian actor, a one-woman show in the 1920s trying to find her way home. They rescue her from a would-be assassin who happens to be one of the guardians of the baby Witness. Seems Paris is a great place to raise The Witness, at least his four guardians think so. What are the odds, though, they’d show up in the same place at the same time in history as Jennifer? Hmmm….

Ramse teams up with Olivia who has a mutual hatred for The Witness and hatches a plan to take him down. Ramse brings Olivia in as his ‘prisoner’ and convinces Cole to go back to 2007 to kill The Witness. Part of me wishes this had been the actual plan. Things are never what they seem.

Deacon rescues Cassie in Titan after she’s given birth to and given up the baby Witness to the guardians, loyal followers and members of the Army of the 12 Monkeys. No worries, though, he’ll be well taken care of by his overbearing foster mother Magdalena. Thanks to Cassie and Cole’s strong bond and her love of butterflies, Cassie and Deacon splinter back to Jones and the gang. Too bad for Deacon, Cassie immediately ditches the unlikely hero for Cole upon their return.

Decisions, Decisions, Decisions…

12 MONKEYS -- "Enemy" Episode 303 -- Pictured: (l-r) Aaron Stanford as James Cole, Kirk Acevedo as Jose Ramse -- (Photo by: Ben Mark Holzberg/Syfy)

Credit: Ben Mark Holzberg/Syfy

If only Ramse had been telling the truth about wanting to kill The Witness. Really, Ramse wants to kill Cassie and prevent The Witness from every existing at all. Good thing Cole knows Ramse so well otherwise it would’ve been lights out for Cassie. I get that Ramse was seeking revenge for his son’s death, but had hoped he’d realize Cole is also family and he shouldn’t have betrayed him. I imagine it’s difficult to pass up that kind of opportunity, though, especially when it’s so neatly laid out for you by the like-minded Olivia who wants revenge in her own right. A shame it backfired and Ramse had to pay the ultimate price. Horrible way to go at the hands of your own ‘brother.’

Ramse’s Revenge Plot

Speaking of hands, the moment that inspired Ramse’s revenge plot in the first place, the death of his son, was truly disturbing. Sam, who had been living with Olivia for decades and trying to outrun the Army of the 12 Monkeys (Olivia parted from them under not-so-friendly circumstances), had been mortally wounded in an encounter with them. Olivia brings Ramse to his son, who is dying, and ends up suffocating him at his own request. I may have been screaming at my screen during this scene. So hard to watch, but SO GOOD. Not an easy task, I’m sure, killing one’s own son. I wonder if Cole will have the courage to do the same, to kill The Witness, to kill his own son, when the time comes?

While Ramse chose to avenge his son’s death and betray Cole yet again, Deacon chooses to not follow in his father’s footsteps or his own for that matter. After being imprisoned on Titan and near to death, he fights to live, fights to escape, and fights to rescue Cassie. I hope that his Mad Max-style, anti-hero moment is rewarded. He’s turned over a new leaf for the time being. Please don’t let his unrequited love for Cassie spoil it all.

…And more decisions

Dr. Grim (Jones’ alter ego) makes a short, albeit poignant appearance. Jones gets pissed off at Olivia for insulting her less-than-stellular parenting skills and decides to expose her to what it really feels like to splinter. Talk about torture! Thankfully, Hannah reminds Jones of her reputation outside the compound as Dr. Grim and instills in her the desire to show mercy to Olivia. I really like seeing this side of Jones. I also like knowing that even though the loss of Hannah is the reason Jones went to extreme lengths to save the world via time travel in the first place, she is also the reason Jones can show compassion even for her enemies. Like Deacon, I hope this display of kindness isn’t short-lived (knowing 12 Monkeys, I’m probably dead wrong).

Jennifer’s Epic Tale

Wow, Jennifer’s really seen it all this season. Not only did she survive the trenches of WWI, make it to Paris and transform herself into an up-and-coming (at least I like to think so) 1920s theatre actor, and splinter back to 2046 to reunite with Jones and the gang, she also figures out what the Army of the 12 Monkeys is up to – Horsemen without horses, paradox in a box. Future Cole was right when he said Jennifer was the key to everything.

We also get to see more about Jennifer’s connection with time and her adoration for the machine and obsession with the time stream. (I’d probably wave my hand through that pretty blue light too if I could.) In her eyes, the machine is so much more than a machine, going as far as to anthropomorphize it, giving it feelings and a female identity. I’ve no clue where this is headed, but I’m intrigued to find out more.

The Guardians of The Witness

The four horsemen of the apocalypse, the horsemen without horses, the guardians of The Witness, are central to season 3. They are charged with protecting and raising The Witness, allowing him to grow up and develop an understanding of time in its entirety before returning to Titan (whenever and wherever it may be) and leading his followers to the red forest and their salvation. A troubling upbringing to be sure, orchestrated by the Pallid Man and Magdalena. Poor Cassie, no new mother wants to find out they’re nothing more than a vessel, the belly that bears a child. Thanks Magdalena for making Cassie feel so special.

The guardians also have super-advanced splinter technology, compact enough to wear on their chests. (It results in an other-worldly appearance and reason why Future Cole seriously takes us by surprise in episode one.) What makes them seemingly unbeatable is that they can go back in time and warn themselves about future events (a supreme sacrifice for Magdalena), make course corrections, and re-write history. Who can compete with that? More importantly, though, how many times can they do this before it has a detrimental effect? Surely time can’t be on their side forever…right?

What’s Next for 12 Monkeys?

The end of episode four leaves us with Cassie and Cole silently acknowledging what we all now know. Their son is the Witness. Big question is, what are they going to do about it? Happy I’m not in their shoes.

The next installment of 12 Monkeys airs Saturday, 5/20 at 8 PM on Syfy.

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