When it comes to time travel, anything can happen.
On Syfy's 12 Monkeys, which premiered last year, fans experienced that firsthand as they followed the adventures of James Cole and Dr. Cassandra Railly as they fight the future and the past in an attempt to save the world from a deadly outbreak.
Last season's finale, though, left Cassie and Cole stranded in different times, with no way of stopping the virus that will wipe out much of the world's population. This season sees the two working their way back together, although this time, they find themselves on opposite sides of how to proceed in saving the world.
Then there's Jennifer Goines, the ex-mental patient who is quite possibly the person behind the end of the world.
12 Monkeys stars Amanda Schull, Aaron Stanford and Emily Hampshire, as well as the show's co-creator and showrunner Terry Matalas, recently spoke to press about what fans can expect from season two, and yes, it's all going to get a little wibbly-wobbly timey-wimey.
For starters, season two will see a lot more time travel.
"This season, we really kind of jump into the wish-fulfillment aspect of it where we go to — many times — we go to the '40s, the '50s, the '60s, the '70s, and we really embrace the nostalgia of those places," Matalas said. "It's been a lot of fun."
Time travel, though, means that the characters must go through a series of choices and base those on what they feel is right, at least in the context of what they know of the future. However, this season sees many of those choices come out of events that happened last season.
"I think for Dr. Railly, she doesn't have as many choices available at her disposal by de facto that she's now living in 2044, which is — she has limited amenity at her disposal on how she can go about accomplishing the mission," Schull, who portrays Cassie, said. " She has now — she now needs to rely on a very different skillset than she had in Season 1. But Cassie is nothing if not adaptive. And she is very capable of succeeding in environments that a lot of people wouldn't be able to thrive in."
Cole, too, has a new perspective going into the new season.
"Cole has to face a lot of moral choices this season as well," Stanford, who portrays Cole, said. "At the beginning of season two, he's really a changed man and his world view has broadened and his perspective is a lot wider. And he really wants to go about things in a much different fashion than he did in season one. And he has come up — he comes to begin a lot of choices that he has to make. He's put in situations where he might have to take a life or do something violent and he has to make a choice whether or not he wants to engage in that behavior."
Jennifer, though, has probably gone through the most change on the series: she's gone from being a mental patient who rambles on and on about the end of times, to becoming the person potentially responsible for the apocalypse.
"In season one, we know that there's this old Jennifer who is this wise woman who has this army of women," Hampshire, who portrays Jennifer, said. "And so how does young crazy Jennifer become this wise old woman? And I think that a lot of the journey in season two — that Jennifer is really kind of discovering herself and then growing up and becoming who she is kind of destined to be."
The scope of this season also goes well beyond searching for the virus: there's so much more at stake than anyone originally thought.
"It's the reason we introduced the Army of the 12 Monkeys, the way they are, and have their connection to time travel, their ambitions to use the machine, the witness seems to know the future, and there's this thing, the Red Forest, and its house made of cedar and pine," Matalas said. "So we've always kind of set these things up to be part of the show. And we do get back to the virus in the episode you haven't seen yet, that does — it is a component of the show but it is part of a much bigger conspiracy."
This also makes things more difficult for the show's characters going forward.
"First of all, and obviously, it raises the stakes," said Stanford. "If the death of seven billion people is only the beginning and the conspiracy goes even deeper, then obviously it's a pretty big deal. And I think also, it knocks us completely off-balance because suddenly we have to question everything that we thought we knew. We thought we were coming to some sort of a solution. We thought we were finding answers to some of these riddles. And once we got close, they all ended up spinning off into infinite new questions and riddles. So it's just — it makes the journey that much longer and more difficult."
The second season of 12 Monkeys premieres on Syfy on April 18.