TV Club: 12 Monkeys: “Yesterday”

Up to this point, 12 Monkeys has wrangled its story—a world brought down by plague, a scientist sacrificing subjects to forge a road to the past, a single man striving to prevent the outbreak that killed seven billion people—by keeping a tight focus on the mission, the man, and the moment.

“Mr. Cole is the priority, then we worry about the core,” Jones tells her team in tonight’s episode. She’s speaking of the tracer signal: Staying locked on Cole, tracking him in time and space, is the single most important task. All future missions rely upon calling him back, and that need eclipses all others, including the need to preserve the machinery. But it functions as a metaphor for the show as well. Stay locked on Cole and the story stays strong. Lose sight of him and it falters.

The characters and emotional arcs of 12 …

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