The hit show 12 Monkeys hasn’t always been easy to follow with its root story arc of traveling through time to save the future of humanity, but the series has never been dull, and showrunner Terry Matalas has kept fans on their toes through the first two seasons. Now, 12 Monkeys will be delivering a third season, but not in the traditional way. Syfy will be forcing fans to either binge watch the entire series in a lump airing or opt to set their DVRs to catch the episodes for later viewing. In either case, Season 3 takes us three-quarters of the way through the series, as Syfy also announced that the fourth installment will also be its last.
Syfy Confirms Humanity Will Outlive 12 Monkeys
Gizmodo reports that 12 Monkeys, developed for Syfy by Terry Matalas, follows the 1995 film, Twelve Monkeys, fairly closely, keeping the character of James Cole (Aaron Stanford) and teaming him up with virologist Cassandra Railly (Amanda Schull). Together, the pair travels through time in an attempt to stop the Army of the 12 Monkeys, before they can release a plague that ultimately wipes out almost the entire human race. As might be expected, there have been some hiccups along the way and even a romance between the two leads wasn’t strong enough to outlast the plague of 12 Monkeys.
Now, it seems Syfy could do what Cole and Cassandra failed to do: bring an end to 12 Monkeys. The cable network has announced that Season 4 will be the last for the series. If that’s not enough, Syfy also revealed that the series wouldn’t receive a traditional airing for Season 3, which will debut on May 19. Instead, the entire 10-episode season of 12 Monkeys will air in a three-night block over that weekend with the final episodes airing on Sunday, May 21.
Episodes 1 through 4 of 12 Monkeys will air on Friday with three episodes airing on Saturday and the final three airing on Sunday.
While it would seem Syfy is rushing the series and metaphorically shoving the season down our throats to make way for other content, network executives say just the opposite is true.
“12 Monkeys has a dedicated and enthusiastic fan-base thanks to the epic storytelling by Terry Matalas, and the stellar cast and crew,” says Jeff Wachtel, president and chief content officer for NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment. “We are thrilled to be able to offer fans an opportunity to binge the third season as a reward for their lasting support, and we couldn’t be more excited to see where Terry takes us with the final chapter of this fabulous story in the fourth season.”
Terry Matalas Teases Season 3 Of 12 Monkeys And Offers A Thrilling Promo
Whichever view fans take of Syfy’s decision to air Season 3 of 12 Monkeys in this way, the actual event may prove to work for the series, due to its time travel premise and sometimes discombobulating story arcs. As Entertainment Weekly reports, that’s the view of Chris McCumber, president of entertainment networks at NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment, and he feels the suspense, action, and twists of Season 3 can be appreciated more fully in this way.
Meanwhile, Terry Matalas is excited just to be getting two more seasons and the 12 Monkeys showrunner promises that the three night Season 3 premiere is comparable to a “summer blockbuster” at the local movie theater.
As a show, 12 Monkeys has always been about family, at its core. In the first season, the theme of fatherhood was explored, while Season 2 emphasized the role of the mother. The new season will explore the burden of the children, as Cassie comes to discover that her child is the witness.
“It’s very much the life of one child as the show really explores what it means for these characters to have any kind of notion of family,” Matalas says.
For Cassie, family means something very different in 2163 than it did in her own time. Having traveled to that future, Amanda Schull’s character becomes imprisoned by the Army of the 12 Monkeys, and over time, comes to see them as her only family. It’s Stockholm Syndrome taken to the next level, as the rest of humanity falls victim to the virus.
This story arc will also give audiences an opportunity to delve deep into the psyche of the Army of the 12 Monkeys to discover their origin. Matalas shares that Christopher Lloyd was brought in for an important episode, playing the father of the Pallid Man and a recruiter for the army.
“We get to see the birth of the Army of the 12 Monkeys and how the cult came together,” the 12 Monkeys showrunner says. “The episode really dives into religious belief, cults and what kind of person would be drawn to this particular philosophy on time.”
There is hope in this season, however. Terry teases that Jennifer Goines (Emily Hampshire) may be able to set things right. There’s just one problem: Jennifer was lost in time in Season 2 of 12 Monkeys.
[Featured Image by Syfy]