12 Monkeys Season 3 Episode 8 Review

12 Monkeys Ep308 Review: The Red Death Ball

1899 London. A Red Death ball. The big Witness reveal. Let’s be honest, 12 Monkeys doesn’t get much better than this, guys.

12 Monkeys Season 3 Episode 8 Review
Courtesy of Syfy
Forget thinking linearly, and these last three episodes of Season 3 shouldn’t be too tricky to follow. In the opening moments, we jumped back further than ever before to 1879 London and caught up with Athan (Jack Hamilton) as a young man. His loyal Guardian/teacher, Sebastian, seemed to have done a decent job raising the boy. “Athan, one day you will have all the power in the world. Only a man who has learned to live with nothing, can understand what wielding that actually means” Sebastian said. That sounds like a man who has his priorities in the right place, doesn’t it? Had Magdalena been the one to raise Athan in a previous timeline, creating a monster?

Like Jennifer, Athan was being haunted by voices and visions of death. Yeah, I’m not so sure being Primary is “beautiful.” I loved learning that it was Sebastian that suggested Athan make sense of his world by creating the Map of the Witness. That scene was glorious! Like watching Nostradamus write his collections of prophecies that haunt us to this day. There were so many familiar flashes, then sadly Athan witnessed the death of his only friend and companion. Who kills Sebastian and would that be some kind of decisive moment for the Witness?

Our next jump was to 1945. We’re all over the time map, but stick with me and you should be able to follow with minimal difficulty. This time period was basically Deacon and Hannah chasing after Cole and Cassie with the help of Jennifer’s visions. The shoe was now on the other foot, because you simply don’t stand a chance against those splinter vests. Jones would need to build one of her own to even out the odds. “Stop following us” Cassie warned Hannah. Yeah, like that’s gonna happen.

12 Monkeys Season 3 Episode 8 Review
Courtesy of Syfy
Back in 2046 Jennifer mumbled under her breath, “It shouldn’t even be a fight. They’re our friends.” The minute Deacon tossed Jennifer’s directions back at her, I got the sense causality’s fool was the smartest person in the room. Of course, she was misleading the effort. Hadn’t she ruined the map photocopy earlier to protect Cole and Cassie’s secret? The question was, how long before Jonesy realized it and what action would she take against Jennifer? It was interesting Jones could track Cassie’s suit by acquiring its temporal signature. Hannah was right though, they needed to get to a location before Cole and Cassie.

Olivia continued to play nice, and provided Jones with some excellent advice… “Stop thinking linearly.” Actually, that bit of wisdom applies to us, the audience, as well. In order to follow the story, we sort of have to let go of certain outcomes we’ve been holding on to. If we focus on the current storyline, all the wibbly-wobbly timey-wimey goodness should fall into place.

I understood what Olivia meant about Cole and Cassie retracing their steps and visiting the same time periods to throw their friends off. Clearly she was the person meant to bust Jennifer for deceiving Jones and company. However, when she mentioned there were two Guardians watching after the Witness, that threw me for a loop. Weren’t there four and three had been killed?

In my Episode 306 review, I questioned what the heck Jennifer was up to with the paradox in a half shell. Well, the payoff was a Terry the turtle paradox meant as a distraction so she could hop in the machine and travel back to 1899 London. I’m glad Lasky went along with her plan. I couldn’t help laughing hysterically as Jennifer splintered while shooting Jones the bird. Ha!

12 MONKEYS -- "Masks" Episode 308
Courtesy of Syfy
Next we hit 1899 London, where Cassie and Cole planned to attend a Red Death Masquerade ball. “Who’d celebrate a plague” Cole asked. Why, the damn Army of the 12 Monkeys… that’s who! Obviously, the adult Witness was about to make his 12 Monkeys debut, but how would he make his grand entrance? Was he a flashy villain, looking for attention or the more quiet sinister type?

I loved everything about this installment. From Cole teaching Cassie to pick pockets, to Cassie teaching him to waltz, to the amazing costumes, and the European sets. It’s safe to say that 12 Monkeys Season 3 Episode 8 is one of my favorite episodes of the series’ entire run. The couple’s sweet intimate moment was the one time this season I felt a real romantic love between them.

12 MONKEYS -- "Masks" Episode 308
Courtesy of Syfy
So, before we knew it our heroes were arriving at the ball. They had to stash away the splinter vests first. It was cute of Cole wanting to make an entrance. Man, the character has come a long way from that scav that had never tasted a hamburger. I know I praise Emily Hampshire all the time, but both Aaron Stanford and Amanda Schull have done a phenomenal job with their roles. It’s going to be tough saying goodbye to this cast next season. Speaking of Emily, where the heck was Jennifer during the creepy masked ball?

12 MONKEYS -- "Masks" Episode 308
Courtesy of Syfy
Sebastian spotted Cassie and somehow recognized her, mask and all. She knew who he was right away as well. Interesting that Sebastian had not seen Athan for nearly twenty years. Had they fallen out? No, apparently Athan no longer needed a protector. Then Deacon, Hannah and a very elegant Jones appeared catching Cole and Cassie without their splinter vests. I knew it was a bad move leaving those behind. Enter Jennifer, causality’s fool saved the day! Talk about making an entrance, eh? Anyone else believe, for a split second, that was the Witness when she walked in? Ah crazy Jennifer, you gotta love her.

Yup, Jennifer caused one perfectly timed helluva distraction. Everyone scattered wildly and then we spied the Red Skull mask. That’s right, the Witness was indeed present at the ball. What a revelation for Cole and Cassie to hear from Sebastian that their son wasn’t just Primary, but kind as well. Apparently he never wanted his fate and despised what he would one day become. So what pushed him over the edge? What causes the Witness to embrace his destiny? Those answers are coming, so you just gotta keep watching.

Sebastian was shot and killed, as Athan had seen in his vision. Luckily, Cole and Cassie grabbed their splinter vest and zipped off. They ended up at No 1919 Islington Road per Sebastian’s request. The home of the Witness and that mask…

In the closing moments, Athan paid his respects by placing two coins over Sebastian’s eyes. Welcome to 12 Monkeys James Callis. I honestly can’t think of a better actor to take on the role than Battlestar Galactica’s Dr. Gaius Baltar. Yeah, the upcoming final two episode are going to rock!

Closing Thoughts…

As I mentioned earlier, I loved everything about Episode 308 “Masks.” It’s easily one of my all-time favorite episodes of 12 Monkeys. That’s not to say what’s coming up won’t blow your minds. It’s just that I’m particularly fond of period pieces. Who knows, perhaps in a past life I threw insane galas like this one? This installment was not just different for the show, but the stakes were high as friends fought against friends for the fate of the world. The situation has twisted the dynamic of our team possibly beyond repair. Even if Cole and Cassie discover their son is irredeemable, can Jones really ever trust the couple again? If they somehow manage to save his soul, doesn’t that mean none of them will ever even meet? One thing’s for certain, you’re going to want to keep watching because the writers still have a few twists up their sleeve. Did you enjoy this episode as much as I did? Please share your thoughts below. I’d love your feedback.

12 Monkeys Season 3 premieres over 3 consecutive nights Friday, May 19 to Sunday, May 21 from 8-11/7-10c

  • patriciajames

    I loved Ep. 8 too. The waltzing lessons! What a great treat! I’m so happy Cole and Cassie are working side by side this season, rather than like last season when they were apart for most of the story. Season 3 was fantastic!