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'12 Monkeys' recap: 'Tomorrow'

Cole makes the best of his time stuck in 2017 while Jones makes a troubling choice.

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Ben Mark Holzberg/Syfy)

12 Monkeys

TV Show
Current Status:
In Season
Aaron Stanford, Amanda Schull
SyFy Channel
Adventure, Drama, Mystery

While “Yesterday” took the time to offer some much-needed character development, it was still all very much setup for the thrilling events of “Tomorrow”—which is unsurprising given the two episode titles.

Cole is still stuck in 2017. Jones still needs a power core for the time machine. And Foster still promises that time travel isn’t the answer to humanity’s decline. “Tomorrow” addresses all of this and more, but it once again has Cole and Cassie take a backseat to the supporting cast. This time around, though, it’s Jones who receives her time in the spotlight.

And it’s a good thing she does. Though Jones has enjoyed relatively small screen time, she is arguably one of the most important characters on the show. She’s the reason all of this time-travel insanity is happening, but the convictions behind her plan drive her into dangerous territory in “Tomorrow.”

Before addressing the unhinged madness of Jones, let’s rewind to where “Tomorrow” first picks things up after last week’s slow but important episode. Cole, stuck in 2017, is left to wander through the streets of Chechnya, unsure of his next move. He sees a familiar face, though. Cassie is on TV, warning viewers about the plague and asking for survivors to come to Baltimore’s CDC location.

Baltimore is a distant dream for Cole at the moment, but at least it gives him some sense of purpose as he tries to escape the quarantined town. Thankfully, Cole is recognized by the soldiers at a sectioned-off town exit and brought to a U.S. army member who informs him that a chopper is waiting to bring him to Baltimore. Well, isn’t that convenient!

While things are looking up for Cole, the battle between Jones and Foster for a power core wages on in 2043. She reassures her team that Foster’s promise of a cure is not only false but impossible. Their mission is the one true mission, and either willingly or by force, they will take Spearhead’s core.

The inevitable war concerns at least one of Jones’ soldiers—Ramse. He sneaks off to Spearhead to warn Elena and his newly discovered son Sam that their home is no longer safe. She refuses, but Ramse won’t stand idly by while his ex-lover and son are thrown into the middle of a firefight. He eventually convinces her to come with him, but she doubles back to Spearhead’s lab to grab something before they leave. Foster catches them in the act, locking them in as the Spearhead leader is called away to welcome a new guest.

Jones appears and makes a power play, sitting relaxed in Foster’s own study to throw him off guard. The two argue, rehashing their arguments to little avail. But Jones has changed this time around. She promises him that she’s not here to ask for the core. She will have it no matter what, but he can decide how this transaction goes down.

Here again, 12 Monkeys chips away at who Jones really is, revealing perhaps as much about what’s driving her in one episode as has been uncovered since the show began. She recounts a story about her daughter, another casualty of the virus, but one that is clearly at the forefront of her mind, the impetus for this whole ordeal. And suddenly it becomes all the more clear as to her true intentions. Sure, Jones would love to restore humanity’s culture. She really would. Even more so, she’d love to hold her daughter one last time, to tell her one more story about the stars. And her time-travel schemes may allow her to do what so many could not, see a lost loved one.

She’s willing to do just about anything to make that a reality, and proves so when she shoots Foster point blank in the chest and allows him to bleed out. It’s a rash move, but it’s only the beginning of the slaughter Jones will leave in her wake.

NEXT: Jones learns the true cost of killing Foster.