Get your flux capacitors ready, because Christopher Lloyd is going back in time again, but it doesn’t have anything to do with a DeLorean. Lloyd will play a character named Zalmon Shaw in Season 3 of Syfy’s better-than-you-think time travel series 12 Monkeys, and better yet, his character is related to one of the show’s nastiest villains.
Shaw is described in a press release as “a charming but deadly cult leader who preys upon other’s tragedies and losses in order to recruit new members into the apocalyptic cult the ‘Army of the 12 Monkeys.’” This is a guy actively trying to enlist people into the show’s doomsday cult, so it goes without saying that Shaw is going to be added to the show’s long list of very bad dudes. But it’s compounded by the fact that Shaw is the father of the Pallid Man (Tom Noonan), the series’s grim reaper-esque bad guy. The last time we saw the Pallid Man, in the he was making sure a pregnant Cassandra Railly was alive and well in 2163 — but only so she was fit enough to give birth to the show’s mysterious main villain, the puppetmaster pulling the strings of time, the Witness.
Lloyd’s casting as Shaw is the first solid detail we have relating to the plot of Season 3, and it’s admittedly not a lot to go on. But considering the character’s relation to the Pallid Man, we can speculate on a few things about where this inevitably mind-boggling season is headed.
Most importantly, if Shaw is the Pallid Man’s father, that also means he’s Olivia’s father. We found out in the Season 2 episode “Fatherland” that the Pallid Man was Olivia’s brother after Cole, Ramse, and Cassie splinter to East Berlin circa 1961. There we met Dr. Kirschner (Matt Frewer), the Nazi war criminal in hiding and member of the Army of the 12 Monkeys who created the Witness’s time-destroying Messengers, but that’s not all.
In a nice little causality loop, Kirschner also created Olivia, the future head of the Army who was birthed from the ova of Mantis (Scottie Thompson), the female Messenger sent back in time who eventually dies in 1971 in the episode “Emergence.”
This seems to indicate Shaw will show up in 1961 to help create Olivia, if not actively indoctrinate a young incarnation of the Pallid Man into the Army of the 12 Monkeys with Mantis’s help.
It’ll be one big not-so-happy time-traveling family out to destroy the world and time itself. Season 3 is only going to get better and better.