Ahead of its fourth and final season, Syfy’s 12 Monkeys cast came to San Diego Comic-Con 2017. In addition to showing a new trailer, Aaron Stanford (Cole), Amanda Schull (Cassie), Emily Hampshire (Jennifer), Alisen Down (Olivia), Todd Stashwick (Deacon), and showrunner Terry Matalas talked to reporters about what the call the show’s deeply satisfying ending.
Perhaps the two biggest standouts in the trailer are the poem left by Cole’s mother and more glimpses of Olivia as the Witness. Though she seems to be happily embracing her role, it will take time to get there. “You will see some self-doubt in there,” said Down. While Down thinks Olivia is conflicted, she will eventually embrace becoming the Witness. “I think the darkness that Olivia feels comes from her childhood, but also, her sense of purpose, what she needs to do to create the Red Forest,” she said. Episode 3 is what Matalas calls a “coming of age” episode, where we’ll see some of her transformation. “I would be scared of Olivia,” warns Matalas.
Then he explained we won’t see Athan (James Callis) at all in Season 4, but he’s definitely left his mark. “They’re carrying the grief with them, and you see it in their behavior,” Stanford said of Cassie and Cole. “You see it in the way they meet the challenges, the way they rise to them.” And though we fast-forwarded through their time together, “You definitely see the result [on] Athan and Jennifer’s life. You will, for sure, how that affected everything,” said Hampshire. While Cassie isn’t certain Olivia killed her son, she has her suspicions. “Her son, who she never got an opportunity to raise or hold or love in a way a mother should be able to love a child,” said Schull. “Olivia’s going to pay for that.”
While it may have surprised viewers to learn that Athan wasn’t the Witness, Schull thinks Cassie always knew. “I don’t know that she ever really allowed herself to believe that she gave birth to the Witness,” she said. “She always knew that there was good. I think she loves Cole so desperately and sees this good in him that he couldn’t possibly see. And there’s no way that their DNA could create something as evil as what the Witness has done to all of humanity. Cassie “never thought it possible that Athan could be anything other than her baby — her 40-something-year-old baby.”
Because the showrunners knew they’d likely have a fourth and final season before they began writing Season 3, they were able to make them two parts of a whole. Back then, they were starting with a clear map to the end. “There’s a scene in the opening episode of Season 3 that’s in our series finale,” said Matalas. “We had to know exactly that they’re wearing — exactly, there’s a bullet hole.”
Someone who maybe could’ve used a map is Deacon.”I think Deacon is definitely part of Team Splinter. I think what you’re going to be surprised at is the direction, once he discovered he wasn’t on the Word of the Witness, he’s trying to find his purpose,” said Stashwick. “Because he wasn’t there, he has to define his purpose. The arc of Deacon is, we define who we are. We are not just our circumstances.”
With Cole focused on his mission to reset time, Jennifer is willing to go to battle with Olivia on behalf of him and Cassie. “Not only willing but will find a costume for it and will costume everyone else and will lead the battle like it’s a movie,” said Hampshire. “They are the first true friends, I think, she’s ever had. So, yeah, she would die for them.”
Final episodes are always tricky. Here’s how everyone described 12 Monkey’s series finale:
Matalas: “You have to stick the landing. I think we did.”
Hampshire: “Every character gets their due. I believe, as sad as I am for the show to end, I feel like we are giving the greatest gift to our fans, because they are getting an ending that’s the right one.”
Schull: “I think people will be satisfied with the ending. I’m not a spoiler, I won’t do it, but the series finale will be satisfying — and you can decide what that means.”
Stanford: “I’m very happy with the complete journey and what Terry and the writers envisioned for Cole’s end.”
Stashwick: “It is a deeply, deeply satisfying ending. There’s stuff that’s set up in Episode 1, Season 1 that is paid off by the end of Season 4. It is one crazy, Rube Goldberg puzzle that works and is clear, and is emotional.”
12 Monkeys airs its final season in 2018 on Syfy. Stay tuned for more San Diego Comic-Con news and previews.
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