Amanda Schull and Aaron Stanford On Binge-Watching ’12 Monkeys’ And The Cassie/Cole Relationship

12 Monkeys

Syfy’s 12 Monkeys consistently puts on a great science fiction show that offers a lot of time travel twists, loops and action. Now on its third season, which premieres this week, the show still has a lot of life left in it, as well as a lot of wibbly wobbly timey wimey adventure. For season three, though, Syfy plans on doing something a little different: the network plans on airing the entire show over the course of the weekend of May 19 through 21 from 8 to 11 p.m. ET each night, allowing viewers a chance to binge-watch the entire third season.

In a recent press call, 12 Monkeys stars Amanda Schull and Aaron Stanford discussed how this changes the game for fans of the show, but also talked a little bit about the third season and what we can expect, particularly with the complicated relationship between their two characters.

On Binge-Watching

“I think it’s a good thing because that’s the way I like to watch TV,” Stanford said. “You know, I think this show definitely, definitely lends itself to binge watching. Every single episode ends with a huge cliffhanger and you can’t wait to find out what happens next. And there’s so much going on that if you’re able to marry, string some of these episodes together, honestly it’s much easier to follow what’s happening, you know, if you can consume multiple episodes in one sitting. So I think it very much works for this show in particular. And I just think it’s the future. It’s clear that’s how people want to watch, that’s what it’s all moving towards, and I think this is just a step in that direction.”

Schull agreed, but mentioned that this airing format is far more versatile.

“But beyond that, you know, you don’t have to binge every single episode in that sitting,” she said. “You can TiVo it, watch a couple, take a break, come back, watch a couple more before in the morning and then watch a couple more at night. You know, I too tend to watch a lot of my favorite programming more than one episode at a time. I think it’s a little bit antiquated that people sit through weekly episodes now. And it was exciting also for us because it had been a long time in the making. We had a very long hiatus between seasons 2 and 3. And it’s exciting for us to finally get it all out there – the result, the product of our hard work and anticipation and to finally be able to share it with the people who care about it as much as we do.”

Season 3 Teasers

The two also shared a few teasers about the kind of conflict that fans can expect to see this season. Although it’s hard to keep from revealing spoilers, they did a good job of explaining what the third season of 12 Monkeys holds.

“The onus is on the writers to intensify things constantly,” Stanford said. “The stakes have to continually be raised. And when you start a series out where the fate of the world is in the balance it’s difficult to continue to build off of that but they have managed to do it.  And in terms of my own character, it has been a roller coaster. You know, he has been all over the map. And in the beginning of season three he is in a very, very desperate place. He has lost the woman he loves, he has lost his family, he has lost the only resemblance of a real life he’s ever had and he’s a man on a mission. He’s desperate to find Cassie and things are not going as planned. And he seems to be
the only guy in the room who doesn’t realize that the game has already been lost.”

Schull spoke about how Cassie starts the season in “a very low place.” And things continue to seem worse for her as each minute ticks by.

“So she’s as low as we’ve ever seen her, which was upsetting and sad and frustrating and disappointing and challenging and exciting all at once to be able to play, Schull said. “But at
the same time, Cassie’s got this tiny little kernel of hope which is why she makes a break for it at one point only to be very quickly stopped. But that one little fragment of hope and possibility, I think, fuels her.”

The Cassie/Cole Relationship

But what about the relationship between Cassie and Cole? Fans know that it’s been more than complicated, thanks to nature of time travel and the constant pressure to save the world. How will that relationship play into the new season?

“I’d say with Cassie what complicates it and what really hinders her is that she can’t come to terms with how head over heels in love she is,” Stanford says.

“I knew, I knew you were going there,” Schull said, laughing.

“She’s just hopelessly in love,” Stanford remarked.

“If we were in the same room, I’d be able to smack you,” Schull added.

“In a pool of adoration,” Stanford continued to tease.

“So many barfs,” Schull remarked.

The two actors then became more serious.

“There has been a lot of turmoil in their relationship, a lot of difficulty with them actually
finally finding their way to each other and then circumstances splitting them apart again,” Stanford said. “And in season three you do see more of that happening. You know, the one thing that brings them together is the shared discovery and secret that their child is in fact the Witness and is responsible for the destruction of the world. And they have to carry that burden together, and for a time it unites them and then I think eventually in the season the weight of it sort of splits them apart again.”

Schull agreed and explained further.

“Yes, I mean, it’s – their strange and unusual relationship but also their deep love for each other plays into effect in every single decision they make,” she said. “They’re united with this purpose to be able to stop the end of the world, basically, but almost every single mission they go on there’s also this kernel of knowledge in the back of their heads that if they do stop the plague, if they do stop all of these things from happening, that could also mean that they will no longer have met and they no longer have ever even known each other. So it’s a very unique and complicated bond, and there’s a lot of push and pull, one person feeling one way having respect and understanding for that and maybe going along with it or maybe really feeling a different way at another time. But at the same – by the same token – there is just this unique bond they have for one another underneath all of the decisions that come into play.”

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