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Syfy debuts season 4 of 12 Monkeys tonight, and you better hold on to your era-appropriate hats because it’ll all be over in three weeks. Talking time is always confusing with this show that revolves around time travel and a war to constantly nudge history by two opposing sides: the Army of the Twelve Monkeys and the inventor of the time travel machine: Dr. Katarina Jones. But this year they will be dropping 3 episodes at a time, over three weekends, as they continue to experiment with tight summer schedules. This show has been brilliant from the jump and is easily the best reboot this side of Karate Kid Cobra Kai.
Last year’s finale opened with two young children ghost hunting in a haunted mausoleum, where they found Jennifer Goines. Jennifer was waiting for a dying man. Far in the past in 1881, Cole and Cassie finally caught up to the timespace that their son Athan was in before he chose to go back to the future and assume his destiny as the foretold Witness. All three were wearing those neato time travel jackets, and a cat and mouse chase across time ended with all three of them stranded in “the house” in 1959 – the paradoxical point outside of timespace where he was conceived, which should no longer exist because of changes to the fabric of reality.
In the 2140s, Jones had 12 Monkeys lieutenant Olivia imbibe the magic tea leaves from the red forest to enter a vision state to figure where in time they were. She was determined to stop the Witness. He told her his location, knowing the Army would come for him if they knew where he was. As Olivia came out of the vision, the Witness revealed itself to her, unmasking and showing their true identity. Aided by her daughter and the remnants of the Daughters an old form of Jennifer once led, Jones surrounded Cole, Cassie, & Athan, threatening them at gun point. She wryly pointed out in one of the best lines of the season, “What happens next, happens last.”
During that standoff, a lightning storm erupted, announcing the arrival of time-traveling city from the year 3000 and home base to the Army of the 12 Monkeys: Titan. Inside the house, we got a Mexican standoff: two moms, one dad, a son, and a daughter all pointing guns at each other. Athan got shot in the chest, but the time travel jacket got him out before he had time to die. In the temple of the Monkeys, Olivia killed the Pallid man, thusly ascending to the highest rank in their hierarchy. We were then shown how “recently” she had escaped holding in Jones’s compound and killed Deacon in the process. She was told by Jones, “The Witness is dead,” as she’d just shot Athan. After a moment of shitty diatribe, Olivia stabbed (killed?) Jones.
Jennifer finally got the dying man she was waiting for when Athan arrived in her mausoleum. She nursed him back to health, and he returned to rescue Cole & Cassie, only to be slashed by Olivia. After, he revealed she was always meant to be the one behind the mask, the true Witness. After that, all of the “good guys” time ported out. We ended the season with Cole as a child in 2015. A slip of paper with the iconic image of an ouroboros drawn on it, (a snake in a circle eating its own tail). Cole’s father mentioned Cole’s mother.
I can’t wait to see where this season goes, and we won’t have to wait long to see. I know they are daring to go even further in the past than last season’s use of Victorian England. And Jennifer is going to make some huge changes and impacts based on an interview I read recently. Just gotta get me one of them nifty time travel jackets, and I’ll be set.
On tonight’s first episode, “The End,” the final conflict with the Army of the 12 Monkeys begins when the Witness returns to Project Splinter. Then on the second episode, “Ouroboros,” Travelers come face to face with ghosts from their past when they find themselves maneuvering around their own timelines. Finally, on the third episode, “45 RPM,” Cassie travels back in time to confront a younger Olivia while Cole helps Jennifer find the meaning behind her final Primary vision.
Don’t miss the first three episodes of the final season tonight on Syfy starting at 8/7c.