12 Monkeys Season 3 Episode 9 Review

12 Monkeys Ep309 Review: Surrounded By Ghosts

“Thief” picked up right where the previous episode of 12 Monkeys left off… with the Witnesses parents staring at his creepy mask. This was his tale!

12 Monkeys Season 3 Episode 9 Review
Courtesy of Syfy

Interestingly enough, Cassie claimed the mask itself was different from the one she had seen on Titan. That version had tubes coming out it, giving it more of a gas mask vibe. The white plague mask was much sleeker, almost pretty and feminine. Was this the mask Jennifer’s dead lady wore in her vision? If so, what does it all mean?

A time traveler had clearly lived at No.1919, as there was an iPad sitting among dusty old books. Cole read his son’s journal, and pointed out there were hundreds just like it. Can you imagine being immortal in a way, and “witnessing” the atrocities human beings have been inflicting on one another for millennia? How would that affect one’s empathy? As you start to really think about it from that angle, then the red forest doesn’t seem like such an awful alternative.

12 Monkeys Season 3 Episode 9 Review
Courtesy of Syfy

Everywhere Athan looked, he was surrounded by ghosts. Brings new meaning to the phrase “The Walking Dead,” eh? He knew the dates and causes of death of everyone around him. He was splintering randomly through time. That shot of the Twin Towers was devastating. It’s still such an unsettling image. It made sense that Athan chose “freedom” from attachments as a coping mechanism. I mean, he never knew his parents and his closest friends inevitably left him. Was I suddenly feeling sympathy for this devil who killed 7 billion people? They say there are two sides to every story, and we were about to get the Witnesses side.

12 Monkeys Season 3 Episode 9 Review
Courtesy of Syfy

When the splinter vest broke and Athan found himself stuck in 1891, I had a feeling he was about to come across someone that would change his view of the world. What I didn’t see coming, was the episode’s titular “Thief” robbing him while wearing the white plague mask. Well, she robbed the store he was at, but did make off with the gold ring from the splinter suit. Naturally, he had to chase after her otherwise he’d be stuck in that time until his eventual death. The instant I saw James Callis and Claire Cooper together, I knew this was a love story. Our detached time traveler had fallen in love, but something had gone wrong. Would Eliza die, causing Athan to sink into despair becoming the Witness? Man, was I excited to hear this story!

Eliza was clever and tough, yet remarkably kind as well. She was a doctor for Pete’s sake. I had no doubt she was going to soften Athan’s gruff exterior. Wasn’t it cool to hear her explain the reasoning behind the mask? “Promising death, best to look the part” she told Athan. Yeah, the Witness had found his soul mate. Eliza had figured him out in no time. Now, we simply needed to learn her fate to know his.

I’ve got to tell you, this episode gave me a sense that Athan’s story would make one spectacular spin-off series. Naturally, Callis would have to star. Will some of that be explored in Season 4, I wonder? We weren’t even 10 minutes into the episode and I felt like I’d fallen for these characters already. Which confirmed they were heading toward total heart break. Terry, you love to torture us… don’t ya?

Then, Eliza crashed to the floor and I thought… Shit, he loses her to the plague! He’s got no vest, she’s goind to die and he is ultimately going to make the world suffer as he suffered. Nope, he saved her life because all she had was a staph infection. Give the writers time I thought, something tragic must be coming. Like a cramp in her leg? But not before the two shared a wonderfully unique courtship. That scene at the restaurant was fantastic. Athan had dazzled me as well. This wasn’t a guy who would destroy mankind, was it? Unless he had been driven to madness. Why couldn’t he see Eliza’s death in his visions? Were their death’s intertwined?

The fact Olivia was running the show in the future was ridiculously troubling. Jones was now following her lead, and Jennifer has warned on more than one occasion that woman can not be trusted. That scene with Jennifer speaking to her other selves was a trip. I certainly didn’t expect her to “use her head” in that way. Ouch! Hey, it got Deacon to free her. Did she splinter to that mausoleum in her vision? Where the heck was it and who’s the dying man?

12 Monkeys Season 3 Episode 9 Review
Courtesy of Syfy

Meanwhile in the past, Athan shared his worry of becoming the Witness with Eliza. Fascinating that he had visited both Cole and Cassie at different points in their lives. That makes so much sense. He was looking for an alternative to becoming that monster. Yet scav Cole was a disappointment, and his visit with Cassie went no better. She basically encouraged him to wreck time.

Ironic, that Eliza met her fate at the hands of the guy she stole from. Yes it was kismet, and totally heartbreaking there was nothing Athan could do to save her. He was prepared to share his big secret too, but death came for her. Cole and Cassie read in his journals that death always came for her. 607 times, to be precise. No matter what he did. Athan had changed by this point, into an angry and vengeful man. He took such pleasure killing Enslow Carver. Now _this_ was the guy you could imagine releasing a virus and destroying time.

“And now I finally understand what I must do. Return to the place of my birth and become the demon I have always feared” Athan shared with Eliza’s corpse. That was the only way they’d have forever… in the red forest.

Closing Thoughts…

This was not only the episode that humanized the Witness, but the season’s penultimate hour also gave us Athan’s reunion with his parents. I have enjoyed this season immensely, but the run is only as good as its final episodes. Well, I can confidently state that 12 Monkeys has never let me down. Each season the writers deliver a mind-blowing finale, and we’re clearly headed for another one. Does Athan become the Witness or do Cassie and Cole save his soul in the finale. If so, then does someone else take over the mantle?

There was an interesting moment between Jones and Olivia. All this did start with Jones, so was Olivia hinting that only she could finish it? Is Jones actually the Witness? Another observation I made, was both Athan and Olivia spoke about rearranging the puzzle pieces from above. I doubt that was a coincidence, so does it imply the two are somehow connected? Are the writers trying to tell us there’s more than one Witness? More than one reality? If you think about it, most of our characters have traveled through time witnessing one thing or another.

That’s enough for me, my head hurts. We’ve got one more hour to go and we should have all the answers we need. Well, most of them anyway.

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