12 Monkeys Review: “Masks,” “Thief,” “Witness”

While 12 Monkeys does a good job of telling a story in each episode, the series relies heavily on the story arc, and so the final three episodes of the penultimate season are being considered as a piece.

We learn the truth about the Witness, with one season left.

We’re all frakking witnesses!

Titles: “Masks,” “Thief,” “Witness.”

Cast and Crew

Directors: David Grossman (“Masks” and “Thief”) and Grant Harvey (“Witness”)
Writers: Tony Elliott, Sean Tretta, Terry Matalas

Aaron Stanford as James Cole
Amanda Schull as Dr. Cassandra Railly
Emily Hampshire as Jennifer Goines
Barbara Sukowa as Katarina Jones
Alisen Down as Olivia
James Callis as Athan
Claire Cooper as Eliza
Jack Hamilton as Young Athan
Todd Stashwick as Deacon
Kathryn Alexandre as Old Jennifer Goines
Rupert Graves as Sebastian
Andrew Gillies as Dr. Adler
Brooke Williams as Hannah Jones
Murray Furrow as Dr. Lasky
Stewart Kennth Moore as Watchmaker
Tom Noonan as The Pallid Man
Kelly McNamee as Beautiful Woman
Toby Halpin as Dying Thomas
Jim High as Enslow Carver
Christina Dixon as Nurse
Faran Tahir as Mallick
Jack Fulton as Young Cole


Characters move through time, Athan writes down the Word of the Witness, becomes a wealthy man-about-town in nineteenth-century England, falls in love, and has parental issues. Jennifer buys a mausoleum and waits, while Olivia reveals her endgame.

In the final moments of “Witness,” we encounter Cole as a very young child. He receives a cryptic message from his mother, who may have been hiding in plain sight for three seasons.

High Point

The twist at the end doesn’t feel forced; it actually makes strategic sense.

While these episodes mostly belong to and Ethan (James Callis), Jennifer Goines continues to give outstanding performances. Crazy and brilliant is hard to do, without simply chewing scenery.

Low Point

The fragile and not-remotely-tamperproof nature of the time-vests seems like the sort of thing that would have been fixed after the inventors tested the prototype.

The Scores:

Originality: 4/6

Effects: 5/6 These episodes boast some strong effects. I do have one question: does Titan exist in perpetual night?

Acting: 5/6 I’ve already mentioned Emily Hampshire, but the show’s other stand-out in these episodes is James Callis as Athan.

Story: 5/6 I’m really impressed by how they’ve juggled so many timelines; there is no way this show should work as well as it does. I am left wondering why Olivia had to conceal her identity until this specific time.

Emotional Response: 5/6

Production: 6/6 The show does an excellent job of skipping through time, with more settings than we’ve seen in past seasons.

Overall: 6/6 I am a fan of the source movie(s), but the show has now become something entirely different, and well worth watching.

In total, “Masks,” “Thief,” “Witness” receive 36/42