Review of 12 Monkeys 3.8-10

"Up at the Ritz"

Review of 12 Monkeys 3.8-10

The concluding three episodes of the penultimate season 3 of 12 Monkeys on the SyFy Channel last night -- soon to be rebranded in all caps -- was as good as the first seven, which is to say, superb indeed, and you can put that in all caps any time.

Jennifer's best line, among many: "fate's a real bitch, rarely puts you up at the Ritz". I've never been to the Ritz, so I can't exactly confirm that, but as for 12 Monkeys, it left us mesmerized, at loose ends, at loggerheads of impossible logic - or, exactly where we want to be for the next and final season in 2018.

This was mostly the story of Ethan Cole, aka the Witness, except, in a nice twist at the end, it turns out he's not the Witness after all. He witnessed a lot, as he says, but the evil Witness with a capital W is Olivia. Locked up like Irina Derevko in Alias for a lot of this season, Olivia turns out to be even more powerful and sinister than Irina - or Ethan. And Jennifer called it, or almost, or slightly, did.

Ethan's story was well played and told, and another version of Anakin becoming Darth, because he lost his beloved Padme. Except, since this is time travel, Ethan tries hundreds of times to save her, in a heart-rending rendition of you can't change fate (which is one kind of fine, classic time travel story).

And the kicker is, although he says he's going to destroy time and the world as a result of his loss, his parents and/or his innate goodness means he won't, and he instead sacrifices himself to be killed by Olivia.

Except - this is time travel, so who is really dead? Well, apparently the woman Ethan loved, but does this apply to Ethan too? (Hey, I'm not even sure it applies to Ranmse.) Ethan has a lot on his side for the final season, including now Jones back on the same side as Cassie and James, and of course the peerless, timeless Jennifer.

12 Monkeys started out in its first two season as often excellent, but sometimes meandering and too complex for its own good. In its third season, it has really found itself, and is well on its way to being a masterpiece of a television series.

And I'll see you back here with more reviews of 12 Monkeys, next year.

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Paul Levinson
Paul Levinson
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Paul Levinson

Paul Levinson's novels include The Silk Code (winner Locus Award, Best 1st Science Fiction Novel of 1999) & The Plot To Save Socrates. His nonfiction including Fake News in Real Context has been translated into 15 languages.

See all posts by Paul Levinson