12 Monkeys: Review: Series 1 Episode 8: Yesterday

12 1.8With Cole stuck in the past, the Splinter team have to take desperate measures…

Unlike the previous time there was an episode which filled in some of the backstory of the 2043 portion of the 12 Monkeys tale, this one maintains the tension throughout, while still providing a considerable amount of insight into both the characters we’ve been spending time with, and the world in which they find themselves. Cole and his predicament take a back seat while we absorb these very interesting new pieces of information about the reaction to the plague, and its aftermath. Some elements feel a little cliché – Ramse discovers his old girlfriend, who is looking after his son; the leader of the group seems to have gone overboard with religious fervour – but they’re treated in a different enough way that they work in context.

As for Cole and Cassie, the producers are now confident enough to start playing with the audience’s expectations. There are certain facets of the visual infrastructure of the series that we’ve come to expect, and we start to overlook them, perhaps not always realising that they’re not there (I’m being deliberately a little obscure since I don’t want to spoil the surprise). There’s other sleight of hand at work too, all of which leads to a quite downbeat ending (although that’s hardly a rare occurrence in this series!).

Verdict: It feels as if the series is entering a new phase; so far, so good. 8/10

Paul Simpson


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