12 Monkeys boss Terry Matalas sets up tonight's Season 3 premiere

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Jan 8, 2019, 11:00 AM EST (Updated)

Spoiler warning: The following describes plot points from Season 3 of 12 Monkeys, premiering tonight on Syfy.

Not content to simply be a show about time travel, 12 Monkeys is actually going to take viewers on a voyage across ten weeks in the span of just three days. Eschewing a traditional weekly episodic format, Season 3 of the Syfy series will roll out as a bingeworthy event, with four episodes tonight, three on Saturday and another three on Sunday.

And showrunner Terry Matalas can’t wait for audiences to see him on the other side.

"I am really proud of Season 3, and wanted to get to this point with our characters," he said on a recent visit to the Toronto set, where production on Season 4 is commencing. "We explore new aspects and new dynamics; there's a little bit of emotional terrorism in each episode."

He adds that he viewed Season 1 of the series as a pilot in a way, with Season 2 being the beginning of the main story. Meanwhile, Season 3 is a midpoint.

“There is much more mythology you'll learn," said Matalas. "We'll go deeper into who the Army of the 12 Monkeys are, deeper into the philosophy of the Red Forest, and why these religious wackos believe what they believe -- and there might be a good point to some of that."

Regarding the mythology, and how the characters of Cole (Aaron Stanford) and Cassie (Amanda Schull) fit into it, Matalas said, "We lean into the time travel twistiness in a way we haven't really seen before."

He adds that this season won't have the show breaking the rules of time travel so much as going deeper into them.

"The notions of loops, cycles and a snake eating its tail – the Ouroboros – is what we are leading to in Season 4 … You set out to solve a problem to discover you were the cause of the problem … How do you stop something that never really, truly began?"

And along the way in Season 3, there's also a game-changing piece of time travel tech called the splinter suit, a bubblegum music video for "99 Luftballoons" set in the trenches of a war, a series of Spielberg plays in post-war France, and a heist in the 1980s. Unsurprisingly, more than a couple of those moments involves Emily Hampshire's delightfully unhinged Jennifer Goines.

"In the season opener, you have a horrible World War I opener, sandwiched with a Katy Perry video, and then a pregnant woman tries to kill herself," laughs Matalas. "I thought, 'I may go to director's jail for this.'"

But, he adds, that he loves that this show allows him to play with different storytelling elements.

"What is the most creatively satisfying part of this show is I get to do science fiction, comedy, horror, and we get to do romance – and Episode 9 is going to blow you away."

As for that heist in Episode 5, Matalas teases that Jennifer Goines is the mastermind of this Ocean's 11.

"Four ends with such a heavy weight, and five is where we take a breath for a second," he said. "We lighten it up a bit and play with our characters in a fun way."

And when viewers reach the conclusion of Season 3 on Sunday night, they will have been on a journey with an end in sight for Season 4. For Matalas, that's something to be proud of.

"It's a rare thing to be able to tell a beginning, a middle and an end. And we're definitely going to tell an end."

Let us know in the comments below what you're looking forward to Season 3 of 12 Monkeys, and check back for more from the cast.

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