Did Dr. Julia Batiz Die At The End Of ‘Triptych’? What Did Her Experiment, “The Triad Project” Symbolize?

Oftentimes, we come across characters who are over the top, a little mad or filled with rage. Julia Batiz is almost like a beautiful Disney villain who is obsessed with science. As she says in “Triptych” herself, “How is it that whenever there’s a grand plan, people assume it’s a man’s work?” How far can one go for their obsession, though? What is the limit to reaching psychopathic levels (as Tamara called Dr. Julia at the end of “Triptych”)? Dr. Julia started out as an assistant in the “Triad Project” in the 1960s under Dr. Meyer. The Triad Project was an experiment to answer the big question: nature vs. nurture: what shapes a child’s personality?

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Julia even refers to ‘Skinner’s theory’ which indicates that a child’s behavior is consequential to its response. I.e., if a child receives a positive response to a certain behavior, they are likely to repeat that behavior. Julia always worked in the service of science, and so when Meyer’s project ended abruptly because of legal worries, she was absolutely devastated. How can one leave such an important experiment halfway? She was made to return to Mexico, where she began working as the head of the psychiatric ward at the Humanis Vita Hospital. There, she decided to take up the experiment on her own.

At the end of the series, the big question is revealed: who is the biological mother of the triplets? It is, in fact, Julia herself. She was so immersed in her experiment that, luckily for her (definitely not saying the same for the kids), as a woman, she was able to donate her eggs and create triplets in the lab. Julia was never actually a mother; the eggs were then implanted in a surrogate for birth. For the experiment to work, Julia had to separate the kids with identical genetic makeup into three families of different socioeconomic backgrounds to understand what different nurturing could do to their behavior. After monitoring them for two months, the children were separated, causing them severe separation anxiety. Throughout their lives, Julia monitored the triplets. Aleida was sent to a rich family; Becca was in a middle-class family; and Tamara was given to a drunk single mother.

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Over the course of time, Julia went further and further into her madness. When Aleida’s father, Fredrico, found out about the experiment, Julia had to act fast and remove him from the picture, but in doing so, she would have to implement the same loss on the other two girls, hence killing Tamara’s mother and Becca’s father within a few days of each other. Alex, on the other hand, Aleida’s son, was an anomaly in the experiment. As Julia says herself, there is free will, and she cannot do anything about it. But the mania that was caused in Aleida by Alex’s death rippled through the other two girls as well. At the same time, Becca and Tamara torched Solana’s car and the meth lab, respectively, causing Aleida to see fire as well. Solana was Becca’s monitor, and according to Julia, he was the most effective because he had to observe and encourage Becca’s alcoholism.

After the episode, Aleida was institutionalized to get better, but Julia had been gaslighting her believe that she was mentally unsound for thinking she had sisters. Aleida did all the research she could through private investigation regarding Rebecca and Tamara, even finding Tamara and meeting her. Unfortunately, though, she was unable to talk much before the cops arrived to get Tamara for torching the meth lab. Finally, Aleida was able to convince Eugenio, her husband, that she was of a stable enough mind to leave the hospital on her 33rd birthday.

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When Eugenio got her out, though, Aleida fled and caused a scene at Julia’s residence, even shooting two people. All she wanted to do was get the media involved so Julia could tell the world the truth about her experiment. In the process, though, Aleida and Julia got shot. Everyone was made to believe Aleida was dead in the hospital, but in fact, she was alive and in the hands of Julia. Even Aleida’s husband didn’t know anything about the experiment. Through the course of “Triptych,” Becca investigated till she came to the conclusion that it was, in fact, Julia who was the culprit of it all. But she trusted the wrong guy, Solana, who took her and Tamara directly into the mouth of the lion.

Julia Batiz was so focused on her science that she began to consider herself “God.” While explaining her experiment to Becca and Tamara, Julia compares herself to Victor Frankenstein. She talks about the ancient myths where the “creature” is pitted against the “creator.” Julia was clearly narcissistic and believed that she was entitled to experiment on her own children in the name of “science.” Her incredible lack of empathy led her to bring sadness into her daughters’ lives. Julia was never a psychiatrist because she incited Aleida to believe her sisters were not real, driving her more deeply into her mania.

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Later, she even “captured” her own children when they found out the truth about her. Excitedly, she explained to them how she had ruined their lives and separated them. Julia made the world believe Aleida was dead but kept her to herself to continue the experiment. She even encouraged Becca’s drinking habits. The only time Julia felt powerless was during Aleida’s big meltdown. She finally believed she would actually die that day, but things worked out for her in the end. Funny, Julia said to the girls that her intention was never to hurt them, not even realizing that her entire experiment had done exactly that and worse.

As the monster in Frankenstein couldn’t find peace after the death of Victor, it is possible that the triplets would lead a miserable life after having saved themselves from Julia. They escape her physically and trap her somewhere deep in the house where nobody can find her (according to Becca, at least). Julia’s next phase was “meet the maker.” She wanted to play God right in front of the triplets in the last phase. Probably, even react to each other and understand their similarities and differences. Julia’s end is poetic because, in the end, she is trapped like a lab rat by her own “daughters” or “creatures.” Was justice served to the three women? We wouldn’t go as far as to say that, but at least they won one battle and found each other. Due to Julia’s experiment, each of the girls is permanently damaged internally. But for the sake of goodwill, we can say their lives turned out happy together while Julia suffered a painful death.

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Ruchika Bhat
Ruchika Bhat
Ruchika, or "Ru," is a fashion designer and stylist by day and a serial binge-watcher by night. She dabbles in writing when she has the chance and loves to entertain herself with reading, K-pop dancing, and the occasional hangout with friends.

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