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12 Monkeys “Yesterday” 

Photo Credit: Ben Mark Holzberg/Syfy
Photo Credit: Ben Mark Holzberg/Syfy

OMG, right? So, I warned you that the where of Cole wasn’t as important and the when, and we’ll get to that.

I liked the division of labor on this episode as Cassie tracked things in the present and Jones tracked things in the future, both with the intent of putting Cole’s fate to bed (not liked, pervs…well, maybe like that, but not just yet).


Cassie isn’t at complete peace that Cole is gone and she’s no longer on active duty against the plague. She goes with Aaron to see his boss, who shuts them down that they need to move on, and no, he will not follow up on the bombing. Cassie doesn’t accept that, so she decides to take her CDC credits and go to Chechnya. Aaron realizes she’s not going to let it go until she sees for herself whether they have the all clear. They kiss goodbye after she invites him to come and he tells her that she needs to do that on her own.


Jones is exhausting every resource, activating a mini-jump that doesn’t return Cole, and eventually their flux capacitor starts to give it up. For the first time, there’s mention of Spearhead, another faction of survivors who happen to have the part she needs to bring her machine back online. She sends Whitley and Ramse to go negotiate for it. Once there, Whitley is reunited with his dad, another military guy, and Ramse is reunited with a long-lost love, Elena, and even more surprisingly, a young son he knew nothing about.

More remarkable than that is the fact that this other group is living a peaceful, thriving existence that’s just a little too shiny happy. The head of the community is Jonathan Foster, a former general who snapped when his wife died from the plague, killing several under his command right in front of Jones. Now he’s just shy of being a raving lunatic, into divine prophesying and whatnot that they have found a cure, and he says he simply cannot loan out his flux capacitor to save one man.

Ramse and Whitley tell Jones, so she comes calling herself. She shows Foster his long-destroyed wedding photos, previously retrieved by Cole, as proof that her machine works. He tells her saving the future is more important than correcting the past and sets fire to them. Then he taunts her about losing her young daughter and she slaps him. At a really awkward dinner party, he makes his case that he’s found the cure, for the right version of the plague this time, and she contests that, but he tells her no again. So she goes back home and stews and tries one more time to get Cole, and the capacitor shuts down.


Cole survives the blast (shocker!) and eventually hears people rustling around above ground so he calls for help (which I don’t really get, because, plague, but anyway…). He talks to a young girl for a while as they wait for help and eventually she starts coughing and he’s worried. She says he’s fine, and he’s warning her off, and then her friends arrive. They hoist him up and he asks if the virus got out, and she says “Of course. There is a plague all over the world.” He asks her what year it is and she says 2017.

We see this play out in jump cuts with what Cassie as she arrives at the same site in 2015, and happily calls Aaron to tell him they saved the world.

And credits!

So, 2017 was not at all what I was expecting, but it’s a terrific wrinkle that works to keep nudging the timeline and pushing the story around. It was great to see Xander Berkeley as Foster, equal parts calm and crazy. I loved watching him and Barbara Sukowa just testing each other. SO good.

The Ramse development was interesting because we’ve assumed Cole was it for him–there was nobody else. We don’t get any sort of explanation of whether he thought Elena was dead.

Again, I missed Stanford and Schull being together onscreen, but Berkeley and Sukowa were a great consolation prize. I liked the idea that Jones held so strong to her mission, which was against Foster’s, that she left Spearhead and a team followed her.

All of this sets us up for next week, when all the gloves come off.

12 Monkeys repeats throughout the week and will be available tomorrow on New episodes air Fridays at 9/8c on Syfy.

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