12 Monkeys: Terry Matalas Talks Season 4, Part 3

12 MONKEYS -- "Daughters" Episode 407

*** This article contains major spoilers for 12 Monkeys Season 4, Episodes 7, 8 and 9 ***

Talk about twist on a twist… on yet another twist! Cole’s mother wasn’t Marion Woods, nor was she Emma daughter of the Witness… but Hannah Jones. Whoa! I’m fairly certain mine wasn’t the only brain to explode with the big revelation. That’s right, this makes Cole the grandson of good ol’ Jones herself. Apparently it wasn’t merely a coincidence, but destiny that brought Mr. Cole and Jones together for their timey wimey adventure. I’ll be totally honest, I didn’t see the Hannah twist coming in a million years. This new information gives the plight to save Jones’ daughter brand new meaning. Clearly Hannah had to live in order to give birth to “the chosen one,” and for Jones to put him in her machine. It’s all mind-bogglingly perfect if you ask me.

The trip to 1491 England fully met my expectations. What a fantastic, yet violent episode (poor Deacon). The color-correction gave the hour a completely different feel for the show, and again the cast looked incredible in their medieval getups. Our heroes climbed the steps and rang the bell, only to learn the mystery machine’s true purpose was to erase Cole from every single timeline. In order to set things right, he’s got to be completely deleted from existence. I’ll say it now, that’s going to make for a ridiculously depressing series finale.

Are you ready to hear what co-creator/showrunner Terry Matalas has to say about Season 4’s third night of episodes? Check out our weekly chat below!


The TV Junkies: Christopher Monfette did such a beautiful job creating the contrast between Hannah and Emma’s lives. How did you guys go about crafting that perfect twist that Emma is “Marion Woods,” only later to shock us with an even bigger twist about Cole’s mother (which we’ll touch on in a bit)? In other words, was Emma always meant to be a red herring?

Terry Matalas: It was something we had to start with early. We knew we wanted a new character – essentially we wanted a “Monkey with a Dragon Tattoo” type character and the idea of Olivia resenting the Witness because she gave up a child. A mystery she never understood. We even put the sound of a baby cry back in the season finale of Season 3 when she learns from Athan that she is the Witness. We were setting that up back then. So yes, it organically became part of the narrative for the reveal of Cole’s mother.

TTVJ: Did Jones randomly pick March 9, 2007 for Hannah’s “mission of choice?” Is it possible she had some insight into Marion Wood’s true identity?

TM: Jones didn’t have too much insight. Just the newspaper article – the shoot-out at the club. And the birth certificate. I’m sure a lot of other Marion Woods were out there but easy to eliminate as possibilities. Jones chose a long length of time before the incident at the club so Hannah could have a chance to become a real girl. To experience culture and art and relationships. Then, if she decided to continue to fight, great, here’s a Hail Mary. If not, then before the end of the world happens, Hannah got to see the world as it was before the apocalypse.

TTVJ: Was watching Olivia kill Hannah over and over the straw that broke the camel’s back for Emma? That was brutal.

TM: Yes. She saw her mother’s cruelty.

TTVJ: We learned that Jones’ plan all along was to lead The Witness to 1491 England, but was the slip up with Deacon something Jones will regret?

TM: Yes. She will.

TTVJ: Jennifer’s sacrifice to travel to 1491 first, and her hug with Cole, was so touching. I’m a little confused by how old Jennifer appeared at the Emerson Hotel. Did she just know she had to be there/then before her ultimate death September 23, 2044? 

TM: You don’t sound confused at all. Yes, she remembers the day she splintered to 1491, so she stopped by NYC to give some vital info and more to Team Splinter. It’s 2043. Old Jennifer is alive and well and remembers her adventures perfectly. Loops. Cycles. All part of it.

12 MONKEYS -- "Demons" Episode 408

TTVJ:I’ve been a fan of Simon Merrells since Spartacus, then Tomorrow People and Dominion. Since Andrus is primary, why turn on his fellow primaries? How did he come to believe in the Red Forest? Anything you can hint about that white streak he ultimately shared with Cassie?

TM: Andrus hated the voices in his head. He could hear the other Primaries. He thought if he could kill them all, then he’d have silence. Some people hate what they are. I’m not sure he believes in the Red Forest. He just digs the fact that Olivia wants to kill the Primaries. He’s down for that.

No hints about the white streak, I think what you see there is what you get. Just don’t touch a paradox and you won’t get a white streak aging parts of you.

TTVJ: I loved that “Demons” brought us full-circle with the season premiere. If Nicodemus (Ben Cross) wasn’t primary, how did he have designs worthy of Leonardo da Vinci himself? How did he and the primaries manage to build a time-machine in the middle ages?

TM: He tells our gang that he didn’t build the weapon. The Primaries did. They’re connected to time and would have an idea how to do that. Not him. He just makes some Da Vinci-like things. A builder. But he’s just brilliant. Just like, say… Da Vinci!

TTVJ: The gang finally climbed the steps and rang the paradox bell, which was so damn cool. Was its purpose truly to erase a Djinn? Is Cole a Djinn/Demon? I’m a tad confused about all this.

TM: Again, you don’t sound confused. Yes. That’s exactly what it was designed to do. Cole is absolutely a Djinn. Something that could not exist without time travel. And as the first traveler, he who drove time insane. He is the demon. Not Olivia.

TTVJ: Just so I’m clear, since Hannah’s his mother and she had him in the past that makes him a Djinn? The ultimate chicken or the egg scenario, eh?

TM: Yes.

TTVJ: Deacon certainly went out a hero. That was a barbaric death scene, but quite memorable as well. What did Todd Stashwick think when he learned Deacon’s fate? The character came such a long way.

TM: Todd has always loved Deacon’s journey. We had a blast crafting it together.

12 MONKEYS -- "One More Minute" Episode 409

TTVJ: The yellow chalk callback to Season 1 blew my mind. Was the line “If you gave me yellow, I could paint you the world” always meant to tie-in with the final season? 

TM: Yes. We knew it would come back.

TTVJ: Those primary symbols were wildly intricate. Did you have a hand in establishing the artwork? Who came up with those designs?

TM: We worked closely with the art department. Those symbols were really tough to get right. I might’ve driven a few people crazy.

TTVJ: “One More Minute” name-dropped The Night Room, and flashed the Annapurna Remains. I remember asking you about the origin of the virus’ eyes way back when. Was the plan always to circle back around to the virus? I thought we had left that far behind.

TM: Always were going to come back to it this way.

TTVJ: Cole cut himself on the Markridge virus vial, correct? Then they rebooted the entire event. Can you speak to that at all?

TM: He did, but that’s not relevant.

TTVJ: So, Hannah is Cole’s mother. Wowza! Brooke Williams was phenomenal in her final episodes. I didn’t see the twist coming, but when did you know?

TM: I’ve known from Day One. On Brooke’s first day on set in Season 2, I told her what was going to happen – how she was Cole’s mom. I’m glad we got to tell her whole story. We dropped tons of hints throughout the series.


Well, what are your thoughts on this latest batch of 12 Monkeys Season 4 episodes? Did you suspect Hannah was Cole’s mother? Is there no alternative but to erase him forever? Go ahead and leave your comments up to this point below. There’s just two hours of this amazing series left. Are you ready for the massive two hour finale?

12 Monkeys airs Fridays at 8 p.m. ET on SYFY in the U.S. and at 10 p.m. ET on Showcase in Canada.

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