Building upon the success of the previous Season and starting where it left off, Season 3 of 12 Monkeys ups the ante and delivers a big, loud season that, whilst its improvements aren’t quite as significant as Season 2, answers enough questions throughout that it doesn’t feel too contrived when it ends on a cliffhanger again ready for its fourth (and final) season.
The story picks up exactly where Season 2 left off – with Cassie held in Titan and James Cole desperate to find her. As the story progresses, the mission evolves from stopping the virus and the end of time to stopping the man orchestrating the entire project, a man named The Witness. With the mission decided, (killing The Witness means saving the world) the familiar cast return to track them down and kill them. In true 12 Monkey style, the story is full of clever time travel dialogue that holds weight further down the line, references to events in previous Seasons and of course its trademark explosive finale and shocks.
If there’s one thing 12 Monkeys exceeds in its this. Once again, the season finale is outstanding and there’s some good twists throughout this season that come into focus and round out the ten episodes nicely. With 4 episodes less this time around, the story zips along at a decent pace and no episode feels like filler. Late on, there’s a decent episode solely devoted to The Witness and their life which gives some much needed focus and weight on the stakes at hand which is a nice touch too.
There are times though where character lives are at stake but at times it doesn’t quite hold the same elevated shock it did in previous seasons. After seeing the lead characters essentially “cheat death” by dying and then having their timeline reversed and saved, when characters do inevitably get hurt this season it never quite feels like it holds as much weight as it did in the first and second season. After all, we’ve seen these guys jump back and save them before so what’s to stop them doing it again? When the characters don’t jump back and explain why they can’t, its at this point where the shock occurs but its nowhere near the level it should be due to this mechanic.
The characters are good and the cast is largely unchanged from before. Jennifer is still as crazy as ever although, like last year, she gets enough dramatic scenes where she isn’t as over the top with her mannerisms which helps to balance her character out. Deacon, for a side character, is also well written as well with a decent paced anti hero outsider angle that works surprisingly well here alongside the cast. The rest of the characters are largely unchanged and follow their familiar tropes.
Overall, Season 3 doesn’t quite hit as hard as last year but is still a decent showing nonetheless. The stakes are raised and the improved focus on the main story helps to drive it forward without being sidetracked by complicated subplots. If more of the same is what you crave after watching Season 2, then this is right up your alley but don’t expect any major changes to the successful formula. This is a show that very much understands what it is, sticking to many of the same beats and its apocalyptic tale is well told with some unexpected shocks and turns along the way. Under-rated is a word that’s thrown around a lot but when it comes to 12 Monkeys, its absolutely justified as this show has proven more than worthy of being called a very good sci-fi thriller.
Verdict - 8/10