Who is the main villain that heads the army of the ‘12 Monkeys’ that wants to release a plaque on humanity?
The series revolves around the mysterious army of ’12 Monkeys’. The army is persistent on unleashing a plaque that will wipe everyone from Earth. The army is led by ‘The Witness’ who is the main villain on ’12 Monkeys‘. However, the goal of ‘12 Monkeys’ is much more than the plaque.
- Who is the main antagonist of the ‘12 Monkeys’?
- Was Olivia always the choice for the Witness?
- Athan, the villain of ’12 Monkeys’?
Who is the main antagonist of the ‘12 Monkeys’?
The Witness is the main antagonist of the ‘12 Monkeys’. The makers of the sci-fi series had always kept its identity under wraps, literally. For many seasons he or she was a mysterious figure that was guiding the army of the ‘12 Monkeys’.
Viewers only got to learn a few things about this mysterious character. Firstly, to come in contact with him or her, a form of liquid had to be ingested. The liquid was prepared out of crushed red leaves that must be from a plant’s life affected by time anomalies and brewed into a hallucinogenic red tea.
The Witness was first shown in an episode in which Jennifer Goines was kidnapped by the army of the ‘12 Monkeys’. The identity of the Witness was not revealed, as he or she was wearing a plague doctor mask. The mask seemed appropriate as the army was planning to release a plaque onto the world.
In another episode, when Olivia and the Pallid Man kidnapped Cassie, she was forced to drink this red liquid. After drinking the red liquid, Cassie began to hallucinate herself in a red forest. She made her way into a house made of cedar and pine. At the house, the Witness was waiting for her.
Finally, in season 3, Olivia was disclosed as the Witness. Many people didn’t expect her to be the villain of ’12 Monkeys’, but it somehow worked for her. If we recall, Olivia had an awful childhood. It made a certain amount of sense for her to act that way.
Was Olivia always the choice for the Witness?
Olivia’s character had gone from one of the most devoted members of the army of the ‘12 Monkeys’ to its most let down enemy.
In an interview with “TV guide”, the showrunner, Terry Matalas, was asked, if it was always the plan to make Olivia the Witness.
He explained how they always talked about it in season 1. In season 2, it started to make sense that they were watching the origin story of the villain on ‘12 Monkeys’. Then when they had the twist that Cassie was pregnant and the army of the ‘12 Monkeys’ believed this child to be the Witness, it seemed obvious to him that that just couldn’t be the whole story. Matalas personally didn’t want to watch a show where the next two seasons were about parents trying to kill their kid or, trying to turn him. So, that’s where they really started leaning into Olivia and started asking those questions.
Alisen Down, who played the role of the Witness, spoke about how she never was quite sure where Olivia stood. Though she did figure that it might be a possibility for maybe a few episodes in season 1. She didn’t really think beyond that because you don’t really have a secure future unless you’re the lead of the show, and even then, you don’t know.
“I was really happy when she was incarnated into a name, it wasn’t just ‘striking woman’, but I had no idea that it would lead to this”.
Athan, the villain of ’12 Monkeys’?
In season 2 of ’12 Monkeys’, the Pallid Man revealed to Cassie that she is carrying the Witness. She gives birth to Athan in 2047 and hands him over to the Guardians.
A major part of Athan’s life involved resisting the destiny that the army of the ‘12 Monkeys’ had laid out for him. However, he chooses to don the attire of the Witness only to save his parents in 1959. After safely getting Cassie and James out of Titan, he was detained by the army of the ’12 Monkeys’. In an encounter with Olivia, he told her that he wasn’t the Witness. It is at that moment that Olivia realises that she, in fact, is the Witness. Olivia, the Witness ends up murdering Athan.
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