Timeless

#1

Greetings, friends. I had the urge to post after such a long dry spell and thought I might try my hand at providing official recaps of a new sci-fi show (that’s actually on a prime network, no less! Shocker!) That show would be NBC’s Timeless, which I watched the pilot for last week and rather enjoyed. I like doing summary recaps since it lets me comment on specific scenes in the moment rather than all at the end; no worries, I’ll put the ol’ spoiler warning out in front just in case you haven’t seen the episode yet. I’ll end with a hopefully not-too-long-brain-spluge of my thoughts and impressions for everyone to comment upon (if not enjoy).

Thanks!

#2

SPOILER ALERT - 100% plot spoilers for the pilot episode of Timeless are below. If you’ve not watched the episode yet and don’t want to know anything in advance, stop reading now. You’ve been duly warned!

Summary - Part 1

In 1937, the German airship Hindenburg is coming in to land in New Jersey. A crewman walking in the gangway beneath the hydrogen envelope touches a railing, creating a spark which engulfs the entire zeppelin in flames. People on the airship and on the ground die a fiery death, including a female reporter directly below who is crushed by the burning frame as it crashes to earth.

In the present day, we’re introduced to Lucy Preston, a history professor who urges her students to get into the minds of the historical figures they’re studying. After her lecture, the department head says that her tenure meeting is being cancelled - something that she’s understandably upset about, especially since we find out that her mother was instrumental in building the department where she now works. At her home, we find out that she has a younger sister named Amy, and that their mother is bedridden and comatose due to chronic illness. Amy advises her older sister to quit, but Lucy is unwilling to walk away and abandon her mother’s legacy, despite her sister urging her to forget about the department and ‘make her own future.’

Cut to a stereotypical government warehouse-based lab, where a group of smart, young nerds are listening to alt-rock and monitoring something strange, white, and eyeball-shaped on their computer screens. Outside, a van filled with bad guys in jumpsuits make their way through the gate, as one of them asks another if he ‘really trusts’ the hand-written book that he’s looking through. The second man nods in the affirmative as the clearly doomed security guards ask them for ID.

The nerd in focus, an awkward black computer guy named Rufus Carlin, is reminded by his boss that it’s his turn to make the weekly taco run, and that he should take his (attractive, female) co-worker Jiya with him, as an alternative to his usual routine of shooting sidelong glances at her twelve hours a day. Before he has a chance to do so, a shot rings out, and the aforementioned bad guys bust in, kidnap the boss, and climb into the round white eyeball, which lights up and begins spinning before it disappears.

Back at the Preston house, Homeland Security suddenly shows up, spiriting Lucy away to the warehouse and sticking her in a waiting room with a sleeping guy (who’s not actually sleeping) and a sign that says ‘Mason Industries’. Neither one knows why they’re there, but they’re soon greeted by another HS agent, Denise Christopher, who we find out is a fan of Lucy’s mom’s books. We also find out that the not-sleeping guy is Master Sergeant Wyatt Logan, Delta Force.

We then learn that the guy with the book is Garcia Flynn, an ex-NSA asset who killed his family a year before and has been off the grid since. Lucy and Wyatt watch the surveillance video of Flynn stepping into the eyeball thing and disappearing, which, contrary to Wyatt’s question, is not a special effect, but a ‘closed time-like curve’, as they are told by Connor Mason. He’s the cool, rich, bald, black dude with an English accent (did I mention cool?) who apparently invented a time machine and didn’t tell anyone, including the government. (Our boy Mason clearly has issues with the feds). Turns out that there’s a second time machine, a functioning prototype (why build one when you can get two for twice the price?) that can be used to pursue the one that Flynn stole, courtesy of a linked CPU that allows them to track when (but not where) it went. Conveniently, a dead bad guy had the address of a tavern in New Jersey, enabling Lucy to easily identify the date, time, and location as the Hindenburg.

Mason defines the problem; if Flynn kills people in the past, then history (and reality) changes. There’s room for three people in the time machine to go in pursuit; however Lucy flips out, claiming it’s crazy to send her back in time to go after a terrorist (“I’m not a soldier!”). Agent Christopher states that they already have a soldier; what they need is an historian who ‘knows the customs’, so they can blend in and stop Flynn without attracting attention. Lucy still doesn’t even believe time travel is possible, but Christopher appeals to the historian in her, touting the chance not only to go back and see history, but also to save it.

Back inside, Mason intends for the Rufus to be the third man. He’s also not exactly stoked to go; he’s a coder who doesn’t like to leave his desk, and he brings up the valid point that America of the past is not exactly the nicest place for a black man to be. Mason puts his foot down, stating mysteriously that ‘they both know why it has to be you’. Lucy, apparently convinced, is however not happy with her new 1930’s getup; the skirt is from the 40’s, the blouse is the wrong fabric and she’s wearing an underwire bra. Nonetheless, they’re rushed into the time machine with an admonishment not to be noticed and not to change anything. Rufus, at the controls, is their unlikely pilot, taking them through a somewhat rough first ride through time.

The eyeball lands safely in 1937 as the Hindenburg floats by overhead, en route to its fatal landing four hours away. They make their way to the New Jersey tavern, where Rufus spends a few awkward moments before deciding to wait outside (where it’s not exactly any safer). Across the bar, Lucy and Wyatt both spot Kate Drummond, the reporter fated to die at the crash later that day. Chatting her up for information, Kate reveals that Flynn had been there two hours earlier and has gotten a job on the ground crew to help ‘bring down the Hindenburg’. Outside, Wyatt takes exception to Lucy’s casual attitude towards Kate’s impending death; clearly the Master Sergeant has a thing for the reporter as she ‘reminds him of someone’. Lucy calmly reiterates that they can’t change anything, not even Kate’s demise. (“Today’s her day.”)

At the airfield, Lucy quickly cooks up a story that Flynn has Spanish flu to galvanize the military personnel on the ground to look for him, with the three splitting up to do the same. Wyatt is adamant that they tell him if they spot Flynn, but is then distracted as he spots Kate standing below the airship, foiling Lucy’s efforts to beckon him when she sees Flynn walking off the field. Wyatt physically tries to drag Kate off the field as the moment of the disaster arrives…then passes with no explosion occurring. Furious, Kate runs off as the passengers disembark safely. Lucy follows Flynn to a nearby hangar, only to have one of his henchmen get the drop on her. He says Flynn wants to talk to her, but Wyatt overpowers him and holds him at gunpoint, demanding to be taken to Flynn. The man begins to charge and Wyatt shoots him several times with a silenced pistol, killing him as Lucy looks at the intact airship that Flynn has apparently saved.

#3

Summary - Part 2

Rufus realizes that the ground crew has wrapped the mooring ropes rather than drag them on the wet grass, preventing the ship from grounding and causing the spark in the hull. Lucy is more concerned with the ‘why’ than the ‘how’; when Wyatt asks if preventing the deaths of 37 people is really a bad thing, she states that this could change the future in ways no one can predict. Searching the dead man, Wyatt finds a walkie-talkie; Rufus proposes rewiring it to track the other walkie’s signal and thus, Flynn. At the hangar door, Lucy admonishes Wyatt for bringing a modern gun into the past and for running out onto the field to grab Kate, rather than doing his job to take down Flynn. Wyatt states that sometimes things get messy, angering Lucy (“It’s my job to make sure there is NO mess!”); Wyatt replies that there is ‘always a mess’ and they now have to improvise to take out Flynn. Rufus is unable to rewire the walkie because, as it turns out, it’s actually a detonator. Consulting Kate’s news column, Lucy realizes that Flynn’s plan is actually to destroy the Hindenburg on its way back to Germany, when many prominent individuals will be on board (including John D. Rockefeller, Omar Bradley, and Igor Sikorsky).

At that moment, they are found by the police, with a dead guy in the corner, and arrested. (Turns out they’ve been set up by Flynn). The police lock them up, ignoring Lucy’s frantic warning that the Hindenburg is in danger. Wyatt could easily pick the old lock on the cell door IF he had a hairpin, which Lucy doesn’t have. They have only until dawn to prevent the ‘new’ destruction of the airship. In their cell, Lucy digs into Wyatt, trying to unravel his strange obsession with Kate. Reluctantly, he reveals that the reporter reminds him of his wife, whose death he blames himself for. On the Hindenburg, Kate bumps into Flynn while one of the cops puzzles over Wyatt’s gun. Wyatt, remembering the nature of Lucy’s modern bra, whispers to Rufus to cause a distraction. Rufus taunts the racist Jersey cop poring over the gun, who rushes out in a fury. Lucy quickly tosses her bra to Wyatt, who pulls out a length of wire from the underside before tossing it back to her, and manages to open the cell door just as the two cops return with billy clubs, intent on violence against Rufus. Wyatt promptly lays the hurt on the cops, aided by Rufus through use of an appropriated club.

The three make their way onto the Hindenburg, where they are able to persuade Kate that there is a bomb on board, placed there by Flynn. Kate directs them to the galley, where Wyatt finds the bomb, set to go off in five minutes. The ship has already taken off, leaving Wyatt no choice but to try to disarm the bomb while sending Lucy and Rufus to get the ship back on the ground. The two grab knives and break into the cockpit, with Lucy identifying themselves as ‘the Anarchist Black Cross’ and demanding they land while holding the crew at knifepoint. On the ground, Flynn and his men watch as the ship begins to land again; one of them scales up the line, attacking Wyatt and Kate in the galley. The two of them overpower him long enough for Wyatt to disarm the bomb; he recovers momentarily and draws a gun that is grabbed by Kate, sending a stray bullet ricocheting into the hydrogen envelope. The descending airship falls burning to the ground; this time, however, it is low enough to enable all of the passengers to escape alive.

While Wyatt and Rufus help rescue the survivors, Flynn confronts Lucy in front of the burning airship, seemingly aware of things about her life that only she could know. As he shows her the contents of his mysterious book, she realizes that it is in her handwriting; Flynn is somehow in possession of a book that Lucy has not yet written. Cryptically, he informs her that she is meant to be more than a teacher, pressing her to ask the Homeland Security agents why they selected her and to ask them what ‘Rittenhouse’ is. Seeing Lucy confronted by Flynn, Wyatt leaves Kate and draws his gun on Flynn, leading to a standoff with Lucy between them. Wyatt adjusts his aim, wounding Flynn in the shoulder while dodging Flynn’s wild return shot, which hits Kate, who has followed Wyatt back onto the field, in the chest. Flynn escapes as Kate dies on the ground in front of the Hindenburg, seemingly confirming the inevitability of her death despite all of Wyatt’s efforts to prevent it.

Returning to the present, they consult with Mason and Agent Christopher and find that their actions have altered the timeline, with the Hindenburg having been hijacked and destroyed a day later, with Flynn’s henchman and Kate Drummond recorded as the only casualties. The three of them are the only ones who remember what the original timeline was; to everyone else in the present, history was recorded as having matched the events that took place due to the trio’s ‘improvising’. Wyatt wants to go back to try to straighten things out, but is reminded that they cannot do so by Rufus; they cannot travel back to any time they have already been to, lest they risk running into themselves, with potentially deadly results (“There are no do-overs.”).

Lucy theorizes that Flynn is trying to destroy America in its infancy, going back in time to attack its institutions before they are well-established. Agent Christopher swears them to secrecy, forbidding them to tell anyone about their new ‘job’ under pain of treason and making it clear they are still ‘on call’ to respond when Flynn makes another jump through time. Mason meets with Rufus quietly off to the side; apparently Rufus’ real reason for going along is to spy on Lucy and Wyatt, recording as many of their conversations as possible and handing the recordings off to Mason. Lucy follows Wyatt outside, questioning if she was considered expendable when he took his shot at Flynn and raising the notion that Kate’s death - and his wife’s - might have been unpreventable. Wyatt, still clinging to the idea that he can go back in time and prevent his wife’s death, is clearly skeptical that some things might just be fate.

Back inside, Jiya excitedly questions Rufus about what it was like to time travel; Rufus says he will take her to dinner and ‘tell her all about it’. Wyatt goes to a bar and stares at a tattered, folded up photo of himself and his wife, while Flynn continues to pore over Lucy’s ‘almanac’. Lucy herself returns home to her mother’s house, calling her sister’s name, only to find her mother mobile and healthy, free of cancer…and is shocked to discover that her younger sister Amy no longer exists, having been somehow erased from the timeline by Flynn’s actions. As she begins to confront her mother about her sister, her cellphone rings, with Agent Christopher telling her that the car is coming back to get her; Flynn has taken the time machine out again.

#4

My Thoughts

I enjoyed the first episode of Timeless. I found it to be fast, smart, funny, and well-written, with a good mix of action, sexual tension, and humor. I did think it felt a bit rushed, as is the case with many 1-hour pilots, where the writers and producers are forced to front-load a massive amount of character and plot info into a tight confined space and hope the audience is smart enough to keep up. I don’t think a 2-hour pilot would’ve been a good idea, but a closer to full-hour pilot with limited commercials might’ve done the trick to slow things down just a smidge. As it is, I think they did a good job of making things as clear and understandable as possible by sticking to a fairly straightforwards story and keeping the characters distinct and limited to a manageable number. The writing doesn’t veer away from tough moral, ethical, and racial questions that are painfully topical in today’s current socio-political climate, creating a number of scenes that can be difficult but also very compelling to watch.

The one ding I have against Timeless is that it is a VERY tropey show. This thing is laden to the bilges with very standard sci-fi/time travel tropes, which extends into the good but somewhat predictable characterization (brainy white girl named Lucy, stoic, emotionally damaged soldier named Wyatt, not-quite-token black guy named Rufus). There was nothing here that bordered on outright cliche, but some of it did veer towards cliche-border-adjacent. All in all, it tossed in enough hooks and mysteries to raise questions and make me want to see the next ep. Of course, being a history buff, history major and alternate history fan, all of the scenery and the plot was admittedly eye candy for me.

Crowning Moment of Awesome: Watching Rufus tear into the racist white New Jersey cop, taunting him with the likes of Michael Jordan, Michael Jackson (“pretty much any black guy named Michael”) and Barack Obama was epic (and pretty much what any decent, intelligent person would love to be able to say to any dumb racist they happen to encounter), as the socially awkward, seemingly unassertive nerd summons up the nerve and the raw, unfiltered anger to stand up to someone who is an awful human being just by dint of being completely and utterly WRONG (“history is NOT on your side”). Of course, the inevitable, terrible Newtonian reaction to that is for the cop to come back with a partner, both armed with billy clubs to do terrible, one-sided, unfair and brutal things in response. Thinking on it now, I think it could send a bad message that the nerd tells the truth to his oppressors, only to have to cower as they come back ready to punish him for doing so and having to be saved only through the intervention of a jock. However, Wyatt is infinitely more responsible and intelligent than just a dumb jock (he’s a trained soldier, a good guy with a teammate to defend and a mission to complete), and Rufus is given the opportunity to literally strike back by seizing the billy club from the distracted cop and exact his own two swings’ worth of karmic justice on the bad guy. Normally I’m not one to advocate for nerd rage, but in this case I think it’s presented appropriately and is justified.

#5

Wow…ok, so, I literally had no idea how much typing it would take to completely recap a 45-minute TV pilot. I have alot more respect for screenwriters now, I think. Now I know why nobody ever does this - ever. If anybody actually read all that, congrats, and I’m sorry.

#6

SPOILER ALERT
(I’M LAYING OUT A TON OF SPOILERS HERE FOR SEVERAL MAJOR PLOT POINTS FOR THIS SEASON OF TIMELESS. IF YOU’VE NOT WATCHED AND PLAN TO, PLEASE READ NO FURTHER.)

Ok, so it’s been more than a month since I demonstrated that I’m very bad at summarizing. (I’ve gotten better at it in recent years but not nearly good enough, at least for most of the time.) I’m also bad at keeping up with things; I meant to do alot of what’s in here alot sooner (and perhaps in smaller, more manageable chunks) but I’m easily sidetracked. We’ve had quite a few episodes of Timeless air in the weeks since; some good, some middling. Nerdist.com has posted good, if short recaps of half the episodes over at their site; they don’t touch on nearly everything, but hey, they’ve got alot to pay attention to over there. I think they make some good points about everything, some of which I might disagree with slightly (though I can see their point of view), but overall they seem to get it.

So far (since the pilot) our trio has gone back to 1863, 1944, 1963, 1836, 1972, and 1754. In the 2nd episode, Lucy found out that it was, in fact, because someone survived the Hindenburg crash that her mother never developed cancer (and her sister was never born). Turns out that saving people who were supposed to have died, even for altruistic reasons, is not always a good thing. For all of her protestations against changing the timeline in the pilot, the 2nd episode begins to change all that for Lucy, given that she has (not a front-row seat, but rather a balcony seat) witnessed first-hand the assassination of Lincoln. At first she is adamant that they maintain the timeline as is, preventing all the other assassinations that Booth and his co-conspirators had planned that night but never pulled off. Wyatt and Rufus are pretty gung-ho about tracking Booth down and straight-up ending him, given all the terrible repercussions that Lincoln’s death had for African Americans in the century after. Of course Flynn has already nailed Booth down, and ultimately ends up murdering Lincoln himself before Lucy can prevent it. Later, at the Alamo, Lucy has no choice but to alter the timeline when Colonel Travis is murdered by Flynn before he can write his famous speech; hours later, just before the last stand, she is forced to compose a replacement speech so that Texas can achieve its independence, as it must. Talk about a deadline helping motivate you to put words from your heart to paper.

I’m not sure how well the show is handling its villains, to be honest. The writing for Flynn seems uneven at times, brilliant at others. From the start he’s portrayed as this ruthless and cunning mastermind, who’s always one step ahead of our heroes. Of course, he’s not nearly so one-dimensional; like most good villains he doesn’t see himself as such, and it’s his single-minded determination (and the reveal that he was framed for the murder of his wife and daughter) that makes him so compelling. We’re teased about the existence of the mysterious Rittenhouse, which Flynn is obsessed with destroying and that is apparently pulling the strings behind Mason Industries, including Mason himself as well as Rufus. Things are good and cryptic until Rufus decides to take a moral stand against spying on his two teammates, at which point the show’s men-in-black appear to intimidate him. The portrayal of Rittenhouse as shady types in suits (including a non-smoking, but very ‘Smoking Man-esque’, token sinister old dude) is tropey to the point of borderline cliche, including their ability to apparently manipulate technology (at least in modern cars and old rotary phones). Perhaps due to its sound-similarity to Westinghouse and their connection to the high-tech Mason Industries, I at first supposed that Rittenhouse would be some sort of sinister conglomerate, an unholy onscreen merger of everything we don’t like about massive tech companies like Apple, Google and Facebook combined with the fossil fuel/military industrial complex. Then we find out in ‘The Watergate Scandal’ that Flynn is trying to destroy America only because Rittenhouse has somehow been inextricably linked with the rise of the U.S. since the beginning; he can’t take down one without the other. We’re subsequently told that Rittenhouse is something that ‘you’re born into’, ‘no one ever leaves’, and ‘no records are kept’; all the secrets are committed to memory by its members. So Rittenhouse is apparently not some massive 21st century tech conglomerate and is instead some sort of weird, creepy Masonic cult-equivalent that apparently felt the need to have a real tech genius build them a time machine…to maintain control? I can understand them trying to kill Flynn to keep themselves hidden, but the fact of the matter is, had they not backed the time machine project, there would have been no way for him to threaten their plans for world domination…or whatever their motivation is.

Even Flynn’s seemingly carefully thought-out plan fails to stand up to scrutiny, as he reveals to Wyatt in the same episode; turns out he’s just as inept at manipulating time as our heroes are, and he’s basically flying through time willy-nilly style, hoping against all odds to hit upon the right temporal shift that will wipe out Rittenhouse and somehow magically bring his dead wife and daughter back to life. In this way he’s only different from Lucy and Wyatt in the lengths he’s willing to go to bring back his lost loved ones. And still, he’s had his moments, such as when his attempts to manipulate Santa Anna backfire, or his conversations with Lucy about the journal that she’s not yet written, but apparently will write in the future. (Oddly, Flynn has it on him before he even steals the time machine…does that mean that future Lucy left it in the past for him to find?)

The B-side to all the time travel stuff is the interactions between the heroes and the glimpses into their day to day that we get. So far Lucy has had the roughest time of things, given the loss of her sister, the appearance of a fiance who she’s never met before, and the realization that her ‘dad’ was not her biological father, but a mysterious professor that her mom had an affair with in college. (Who of course turns out to be the creepy old Rittenhouse guy. Big surprise, right?) I have to say, despite the tropey-ness of the ‘scarred soldier’ stereotype, I think they’ve done a compelling job with it in Wyatt, particularly in ‘The Alamo’ episode. Watching him relive the trauma of the ambush and standoff that killed his squad, mirrored in the events of the siege, and reach his breaking point, managing to pull it together and get the job done only with Lucy’s help, was very compelling. It was a nice quid pro quo after he was able to help Lucy face going into a castle full of Nazis in the previous episode, and to help her figure out what her real motivation for going on these missions really is. The visiting of all these different eras in American history has also given the showrunners a great opportunity to examine racial issues, and I’m glad that they haven’t shied away from it. Just as in the pilot, these are the moments when Rufus really gets a chance to step up and shine, to honestly be the moral compass and not just the comic relief. It’s his very real concern for his family’s well-being that compels him to record every conversation on every mission, and it’s harrowing to watch him try to thread the needle between doing what’s right and doing his job.

That’s all for now, I think I’ve touched on a good amount of the generalities so far. We can get into some of the nitty-gritty specifics of the first six episodes if we’d like. I’ll try later this week to touch on some of the points that were made in last night’s quite atypical (and quite good) episode, ‘Stranded’.

#7

SPOILER ALERT

(SPOILERS FOR S1 EPISODES 7 AND 8 OF NBC’S ‘TIMELESS’ ARE BELOW!)

While I have a soft spot for each of the three main characters in this show, I think that the most interesting so far has been Rufus. A huge part of that is in the writing, and the other major part, I think, simply lies in who he is. Right off the bat he has the ‘nerd’ and ‘black guy’ boxes checked off on his character sheet, which gives the writers a huge block of material to mine from. Each one of these people is a trope, and while I don’t think that Rufus was necessarily the most tropey of the three, I do think that at the time of his introduction, he had the shortest starting runway to work with. The writers had to get him off the ground as quickly as possible and give him room to improve sooner than the other two, I think. I believe they realized that, though, since I personally feel that he’s the main character who’s gotten the most opportunities so far to break out of his mold.

The last two episodes have been very Rufus-centric and have, I think, placed him in a dead heat with Lucy as far as the most compelling main character on the show. Our team of time-travelers was very much on the ropes after the truth-bombs laid out in ‘The Watergate Scandal’, with Flynn revealing the nature of his illicit chats with Lucy regarding her journal and Rufus having to come clean to Lucy about being forced to record their conversations for Rittenhouse. In many ways I feel that Wyatt, despite his emotional baggage, is very much the ‘straight man’ of this trio, the one who keeps everything grounded, focused, and on track. Of course he’s a soldier to his bones, and trust, as he elucidates quite clearly, is what soldiers need to be able to operate effectively as a team, and this trio is no different. He wastes no time in telling both of them that he no longer trusts them, and while she doesn’t outright say it, it’s clear that Lucy doesn’t trust Rufus anymore either.

‘Stranded’ sees the three of them sent back to 1754, in the area that will (one day) become the city of Pittsburgh, though of course at this point it’s an untamed forest. They have no chance to even start looking for Flynn or figuring out what he might be there to screw up before they’re captured by the French, and by the time they manage to escape, a pair of Flynn’s goons have sabotaged their time machine. (Honestly, where does he find all of these guys? There wasn’t that much room in that van in the pilot!) Their chances of getting back home seem next to nil, as Rufus rattles off a seemingly-impossible list of things he’ll need to jury-rig a fix to the ship’s navigational system and power supply. Their attempts to evade the pursuing French, combined with the stress of knowing they might be stuck forever in 1754, just highlights and exacerbates the cracks in the rift between them. It’s not until they’re captured by the Native Americans and faced with death that they’re able to get past the issues dividing them and start seeing themselves as a team. It’s here that Rufus really gets his big moment; realizing that he’s going to be spared and the other two are going to be killed, he manages to convince the female chief of the Shawnee to let Wyatt and Lucy live (‘These people are my friends. They’ve saved my life on more than one occasion. We look out for each other.’)

This episode breaks from the usual weekly plot format largely because it must; the three heroes are not where they’re supposed to be (both literally and emotionally) and it takes the twin specters of death and permanent dislocation to jar them back to where they need to be, in order to continue functioning as a team - an utter necessity in order for them to get back home. The last half of the episode indeed showcases how all three of them must use their own special skills in conjunction to infiltrate the heavily guarded Fort Duquesne and get out with the materials needed to fix the lifeboat. We also learn that Mason’s contingency plans for dealing with such emergencies could use a little work, at least as far as using sturdier containers for their time capsules. But this aspect of the episode also lets us get to know Jiya - Rufus’ love interest - a bit better, giving us an additional lens through which to examine Rufus.

The following episode, ‘Space Race’, is possibly the closest our team has gotten to having the upper hand. Flynn is clearly not expecting them to show up, believing them to still be stranded in 1754, and as a result we see him thrown off his game a bit. It’s odd that he complains about delegating when he leaves the main plan almost entirely to others to carry out, himself being distracted by his own side-mission involving the woman whom we find out is actually his mother. For him, the disruption of the first moon landing seems almost secondary to his personal agenda, which feels odd given his usually single-minded obsession with taking out Rittenhouse at any cost.

Even more so than Lincoln’s assassination, the moon landing is perhaps the first historical event the team has gotten involved with that Rufus has an emotional stake in, which drives him more than usual to ensure that they prevent Flynn’s plan. Of course, from the start it seems more like Anthony’s plan than Flynn’s, and therein lies the crux of the episode. Rufus’ boss Anthony (played by sci-fi veteran and Eureka alum Matt Frewer) was introduced briefly in the pilot, being seemingly kidnapped by Flynn as a pilot for the mothership; in episode 3, however, we realize that Anthony was actually a willing participant, having helped Flynn as an inside man from the get-go and crafting an independent power source from a stolen atomic warhead to make the mothership more mobile. We learn in ‘Space Race’ that Anthony was the first man to pilot the prototype, with near-disastrous results; he and Rufus became like brothers in the wake of Anthony’s subsequent recovery and both considered themselves to be like the original Project Apollo astronauts - pioneers pushing a new scientific frontier. To realize that his friend is willing to destroy that to help Flynn definitely changes something in Rufus, to a degree that neither he nor Anthony expects. In fact, it is Anthony’s overconfidence in this familiarity that helps to undo his plan - he thinks he’s still dealing with the same old Rufus that he knew, and is totally unprepared and caught off guard by the emergence of ‘new’ Rufus as the episode unfolds. This culminates in Rufus holding Anthony at gunpoint and then unblinkingly shooting one of Flynn’s hired toughs to death. Anthony’s shock in realizing what Rufus is willing to do certainly seems genuine; now that the cat’s out of the bag, we’ll have to see to what extent Rufus is able to use that to his advantage, if at all.

Much like Lucy’s struggle to cope emotionally with what she faced in Nazi Germany, I feel as though Rufus had a similar experience in this episode of having to realize what he was fighting for. So far, all of the events they’ve had to repair have, for him at least, been relatively abstract - the moon landing was the first one that meant something to him personally, on a deep emotional level. He confesses to Lucy at the end of the episode that he’s not sure what he’s turning into; personally, I feel like Wyatt might be better-equipped to help Rufus deal with the emotional fallout of having killed a man and apparently not feeling one way or the other about it. Given all the pressure that Rufus has been placed under on all sides, it was only a matter of time before something finally gave; faced with a hard limit, even the most non-aggressive person will break in some way. Rufus has proven to have perhaps the strongest moral code of all the three - while these people may start off as the good guys, that same morality can also push them to do things under extreme duress that they never would have done otherwise. Hopefully the writers will take the time to explore the angle of Rufus’ personality shift from Wyatt’s perspective - I think that would be interesting.

#8

SPOILER ALERT

(SPOILERS FOR S1 EPISODES 9 AND 10 OF NBC’S ‘TIMELESS’ ARE BELOW!

So tonight, the first of the remaining new episodes of Timeless return after the show’s winter break. Admittedly, I’m still unsure how I feel about episode 9, ‘Last Ride of Bonnie and Clyde’. I’ve never been a huge fan of the mythos of the gangsters of the 1930’s, and the episode itself I felt was somewhat light on the progression of the characters or the overall plot. The main focus was on the mysterious golden key that Clyde burgled from Henry Ford, who (surprise, surprise) we find out was a member of Rittenhouse, along with possibly every other major industrialist in American history. The two bandits wound up dying in a running gunfight at their cabin hideout rather than in their historical killbox car on the road, with Flynn making off with the key. I found myself imagining the conversation between Rufus and Agent Christopher after the end of the episode, where, having had the increasingly-suspicious Mason placed under surveillance, she is able to worm out of our favorite nerd the connection between Mason Industries and Rittenhouse. It’s doubtful that she realizes the hole she’s digging herself into; she’s almost arrogantly confident in her ability to protect her team and her own family, while Rittenhouse certainly has no qualms about eliminating people to protect their own interests. The sinister Rittenhouse chief says as much to Mason during their not-quite-clandestine meeting in the limo. Rufus being the bad liar that he is, he doesn’t put up much of a fight when confronted by Agent Christopher about Mason’s business ties; I like to think that he, off-camera, threw in a cautionary line about the dangers of digging into Rittenhouse - after all, the last person who did that was, of course, Garcia Flynn, who wound up framed for the murder of his wife and daughter.

Agent Christopher confirms that Rufus has been filling her in about Rittenhouse at the start of the following episode, ‘The Capture of Benedict Arnold’, as she and her wife have dinner with Lucy at their home. We get to see her more relaxed, human side, and the sense that she’s not just brushing off Lucy’s determination to restore her sister to the timeline. In fact, she clearly understands how chaotic the effects of time travel can be, as she asks Lucy to safeguard a flash drive containing information about her own family, as a contingency against her wife and daughter ever ending up being erased from her life.

Rufus, meanwhile, gets an ominous visit at home from Mason, who gives him a final warning to stop tampering with the mission recordings; Rittenhouse knows that he has been omitting things and apparently will no longer hesitate to do very bad things to Rufus’ family if he doesn’t cut it out. While it’s good that Rufus has finally made the move to start things up with Jiya, I have no idea how he’s going to walk that tightrope with his new girlfriend from here on out. Mason himself seems to be on an even narrower tightrope, with both Rittenhouse and the government on his case. He reiterates to Rufus that he’s ‘not a bad guy’ - at one point he was just a smart, handy kid who wanted to make his mother’s life better - but his failure to maintain focus and keep control of his massive and unwieldy business have now left him in the position of being completely beholden to Rittenhouse.

The team is deployed to the year 1780, where General George Washington has uncovered General Benedict Arnold’s treason. The team is captured walking onto Arnold’s estate in Philadelphia, only to be saved by Flynn, who is impersonating Austin Roe, courier for the Culper Ring. Flynn convinces Washington that they are all members of the ring, and they are charged with the task of hunting down and capturing Arnold and returning him for trial. Flynn reveals that Henry Ford’s key led him to a secret letter written by Arnold, who is revealed to have been a founding member of Rittenhouse. In spite of the fact that Rufus is recording the entire conversation, Flynn wants the team to help him capture Arnold and interrogate him, enabling them to destroy Rittenhouse at its founding and (hopefully) restore the timeline; if they do so, he will hand over the mothership and put an end to his trips through time. He also convinces Wyatt to go along by promising to reveal the identity of his wife’s killer.

Washington arranges for them to be pursued to British lines, where the four of them ‘defect’ and are taken to Arnold. For a former spy, Flynn’s never been terribly subtle, and this case is no exception - he winds up shooting the two redcoats with Arnold and tying him to a chair. His interrogation techniques also could use some work; it’s Lucy, with her intimate knowledge of Arnold’s career and motivations, who gets him to admit that Rittenhouse is, at this point, a single man. Flynn convinces Arnold to bring them to Rittenhouse for an introduction; if they don’t return Arnold to Washington within three days, then Arnold’s wife will be executed.

The five of them travel by wagon to Rittenhouse’s plantation. On the way, Flynn claims that the Journal stated that they would work together. He then admits to Lucy that if he returns to the present and finds his wife and daughter alive, he will walk away from them forever; because of everything he has done in order to ensure the destruction of Rittenhouse, his conscience won’t allow him to expose them to the horrible person he has become. The evil, clock-making mastermind, David Rittenhouse, is a cookie-cutter assemblage of sexist, misogynist bad-guy tropes so as to be almost two-dimensional - though Armin Shimerman plays him to slimy, oily perfection. His young son John fills us in on the Rittenhouse philosophy - neither monarchy nor democracy is a viable path, and ‘peasants’ can hardly be trusted with self-government. Democracy is merely to provide the ‘peasants’ with the illusion of a voice, while true control is exercised ‘by the clockmakers’, ‘from the shadows’. Thus Rittenhouse is clearly not so much an oligarchy as it is a cabal, not aligned with any government and operating to maintain control in secret.

Rittenhouse soon arrives and performs a disturbingly clinical, eugenic assessment of Lucy’s reproductive potential, then quickly sees through the team’s ploy of being ‘volunteers’, as Flynn’s murderous intent is all too obvious to hide. Lucy is taken away, and he then proceeds to turn on Arnold, laying bare his character flaws and inadequacies before killing him by shooting him repeatedly with Flynn’s modern handgun. He marvels at the weapon, declaring that he can figure out how it works (fat chance!) and is about to execute Wyatt and Flynn when Rufus, who had been separated and left with the plantation slaves, crashes through the window with a musket stolen from an unsuspecting goon. The three men quickly take down Rittenhouse’s guards and Flynn retrieves his gun. Rittenhouse defiantly states that his movement will live beyond him; Flynn, unsurprisingly unconvinced, wastes no time in executing him. They retrieve Lucy; Flynn then realizes that young John is missing and rushes off to hunt him down, believing that the boy is indoctrinated and will continue his father’s twisted agenda, carrying Rittenhouse through the timeline regardless of Flynn’s efforts. The team splits up to stop him; Lucy finds the boy seconds before Flynn does and puts herself between them. She implores Flynn not to kill John, trying to appeal to his conscience and using his previous admission about his wife and daughter to try to convince him that he can in fact go back, that he’s not yet beyond redemption. She stalls him long enough for John to escape; furious, Flynn grabs her and carries her off to the waiting mothership for reasons unknown. Wyatt and Rufus then arrive on the scene just as the time machine disappears.

It’s doubtful that Flynn’s efforts will have been successful, and episode 10, while shedding some light on Rittenhouse’s origins, leaves more unanswered questions. Given the likelihood that the team has failed, the consequences of having the unedited recording of them conspiring with Flynn to take down Rittenhouse revealed could potentially be dire. John states that his father is ‘obsessed with time’, perhaps giving a hint as to why the organization was so keen on funding the development of a time machine, but we still know nothing about their true motives. Are they simply obsessed with power and control, or do they genuinely have some sort of grand design at work? What is their master plan? Furthermore, how does Lucy play into the grand scheme of things? We’ve learned that Rittenhouse is something a person is born into, and she certainly qualifies in that sense, since we know that the sinister Rittenhouse agent is her biological father. We don’t know why Flynn kidnapped her, either - perhaps it has something to do with the Journal. He gives her several pages from it at the start of this episode, though we still don’t know specifically what any of it actually says. Could it be that her captivity with Flynn is somehow the catalyst that starts her on the path to writing it? Hopefully we’ll find out when the season continues tonight at 10pm.

#9

SPOILER ALERT

(SPOILERS FOR S1 EPISODES 11-14 OF NBC’S ‘TIMELESS’ ARE BELOW!)

Apologies for another long delay, folks. Between the finale of Vikings, ABC moving Quantico to Mondays (in direct competition with this sci-fi gem I’ve been blogging about), the glorious return of The Expanse, a handful of other shows (new and returning), combined with gaming distractions and other IRL BS, I’ve been neglecting my self-appointed recap duties. Since I’m now five episodes behind, I’ll try to keep things to the point.

Our heroes have been drawn steadily closer to the darker side as plans unravel and events unfold; hopefully things will deepen and remain interesting for (fingers crossed!) Season 2. Lucy in particular seems to be edging towards the dark horse that apparently is to become ‘Journal Lucy’. Contrary to my predictions, her unwilling sojourn with Flynn was not prolonged, which makes sense; she was not yet at the place she needed to be to become the prophesied guide-against-Rittenhouse the Journal makes her out to be. Our heroine is beginning to show that she’s not above using her knowledge for dark (albeit righteous) ends; first, in ‘The World’s Columbian Exposition’, even while trapped in a coffin by horrific serial killer H.H. Holmes, she uses Wyatt as her proxy executioner, convincing him to pull the trigger by stating that Holmes’ pre-execution confessions to the press were lies that never brought peace to the families of the victims. Then, in ‘The Murder of Jesse James’, she completes the triumvirate of mains who have killed a bad guy, this time upping the ante by shooting him herself; ostensibly in retaliation for the outlaw killing a man who had just saved her life, but that only goes so far in leavening the fact that she shoots an unarmed man in the back. As with Rufus’ own taking of a life (which is addressed briefly for the first time in this episode) there’s not much time or energy given to her processing of this; it’s clear, however, by her attitude in the same scene, that she’s approaching her burnout point, as all three of them seem to be, though in different ways.

Another note: when a character proclaims that he’s ‘not a bad guy’, that’s usually a dead giveaway that he’s about to do something that will, by definition, make him ‘a bad guy’. Having confronted Rufus about his tampering with the recordings, Mason finally goes over to the dark side after Rufus proclaims that he will no longer be Rittenhouse’s spy. To be fair, Rufus was somewhat hopped up on life, having survived being locked away in a Victorian gentleman serial killer’s murder hotel, when he proclaimed himself indispensable to the program as the only pilot; Mason promptly decides to cut that lifeline down to a six-month window by promoting Rufus’ own girlfriend, Jiya, to pilot training. Flynn, at the same time, also gains a pilot - Emma Whitmore, one of the original test pilots, who faked her own death and hid out in the Old West, as she apparently managed to learn a great deal about Rittenhouse’s plans for the time machine and was scared shitless as a result. This, unfortunately, makes her old friend Anthony considerably more expendable, particularly when he tries - and clearly fails - to destroy the stolen time machine to keep it out of Rittenhouse’s hands, leading to his murder by Flynn.

Wyatt’s crash landing occurs in fairly dramatic fashion, as he convinces Rufus (in an odd mirroring of Flynn and Anthony’s actions in the pilot episode) to help him steal the time machine. Props to any time travel show that travels back to the glorious weirdness that was the 1980’s (in this case 1981); Rufus and Wyatt show up in ‘Karma Chameleon’ looking like Tubbs and Crockett on a warped case worthy of Miami Vice. Wyatt gets to do double duty as the infogeek and the muscle and accordingly ends up in over his head; in his quest to prevent his wife’s killer from being born, things quickly go awry. (Apparently there’s nothing quite like the pressure cooker of a tornado-sealed hotel to make it impossible to keep two sexy singles from hooking up and having unprotected hanky-panky…lucky for them AIDS wasn’t yet a thing)…Subtlety not being Wyatt’s strong suit, things devolve into mugging a cop and forcing the two unwitting parents out of the hotel room at gunpoint. Not only does the bartender accidentally wind up dead from a skull fracture in the parking lot, but Wyatt returns to discover - unsurprisingly - that while the serial killer’s other two victims were spared, his wife is still deceased. I think the odds are pretty high that Flynn simply lied about the true identity of Jessica’s killer; prior to him giving Wyatt the info, I had the theory that her death was somehow linked to Rittenhouse in some way, so now that’s reverting to being my go-to on this.

With Wyatt locked away in some government detention center, Rittenhouse flexes whatever tendrils it has burrowed into the U.S. government, ostensibly using the theft of the time machine as a pretext for having Agent Christopher replaced by a goon squad of robotic-seeming NSA agents. Wyatt openly refuses to defend himself, despite Christopher’s urgings; he knows he’s guilty and no longer has the fight left to even contest his wife’s apparent ‘fate’, much less this. His replacement, meanwhile, doesn’t last long; he doesn’t share Wyatt’s propensity for bending the ‘modern-day items’ rules where weaponry is concerned, and as such, ends up catching a bullet in the first shootout with one of Flynn’s goons. Left to their own devices amongst ‘The Lost Generation’, Lucy and Rufus have to rely on the help of an alarmingly drunk (but somehow not quite as inept as expected) Ernest Hemingway in 1927 Paris. Flynn’s target this time is Charles Lindbergh, having shot down and captured the most famous man in the world who - like Lucy - is a hereditary member of Rittenhouse. By now she has already learned from Agent Christopher that Mason’s Rittenhouse contact is her biological father, Benjamin Cahill; she confronts him at his home, where he tries to convince her to embrace her creepy proto-fascist roots, but she’s having none of it. Taken captive by Flynn for a second time, she convinces him to let her try to talk Lindbergh out of following his family’s plans for him - apparently (in this timeline at least, sadly not in ours) Lucky Lindy’s eventual slide into anti-Semitic, pro-Nazi, America First isolationism was intended as some sort of publicity diversion by Rittenhouse (though to what end I can’t imagine). In the end, she apparently succeeds; the two of them are rescued from Flynn’s hideout in the Catacombs by Rufus and Hemingway, with Lindbergh stating his intention to live a quiet life in the French countryside, out of the spotlight. Upon returning to the present, however, Lucy learns that his personal history has not changed, despite her efforts; the decision to blow off Rittenhouse and defy its will is clearly not an easy one to make or keep. Her mother, meanwhile, turns out to be the person who gives her an item that we ominously recognize; it’s none other than The Journal.

Agent Christopher revisits Wyatt in jail to offer him his confession to sign; he changes his mind, however, once she fills him in on Rittenhouse’s sudden takeover of the time travel project. Wyatt recognizes the move for what it really is - a coup - and manages to escape. As he and Agent Christopher meet up with Lucy and Rufus in one of those out of the way warehouses that are apparently very popular for secret meetings, the boys are let in on the revelation that Lucy is the daughter of the creepy guy who’s been terrorizing Rufus. Wyatt is very awesomely beginning to channel his inner Jedi; in spite of everything, he’s come through it all to truly become a man with a mission. He realizes finally that his purpose is to protect Lucy and Rufus; how exactly he’s going to do that now that he’s a wanted man, I have no idea - but given that they all proclaim in solidarity that they’re determined to fight, I feel like it might involve a parallel one-man war against Rittenhouse. I can’t help but be struck at how similar Wyatt and Flynn have become over the course of this season so far; I daresay that some of Wyatt’s hostility has come as a result of him recognizing just how easily he could end up in the same boat. It’s fairly clear that the heroes and the supposed villain are practically on the same side, but our team has a much narrower and more dangerous line to walk if they want to have any kind of chance at success.

#10

SPOILER ALERT

(SPOILERS FOR S1 EPISODES 15-16 OF NBC’S ‘TIMELESS’ ARE BELOW!)

Well that was a lot of twists. The final two episodes of Timeless definitely left more loose ends than were tied up, leaving me with fingers crossed for Season 2. This show is very well cast and I thoroughly enjoyed nearly every minute of it, in spite of some of the hiccups in the writing.

‘Public Enemy No. 1’ has Wyatt busting out of jail to rejoin his team in yet another isolated, empty warehouse. Of course, this is after Lucy and Rufus tranq-dart their next replacement soldier (a swarthy goon with about as much personality and charm as a robot stormtrooper) and hijack the lifeboat, with Rufus planting a computer virus at Mason Industries to throw the NSA off their trail. Despite their intent to make things right for Lucy’s sister Amy, they are immediately alerted that Flynn has timejumped with the mothership yet again, this time to 1931 Chicago. Our favorite rogue NSA agent helps Al Capone evade prosecution for tax evasion, then assassinates Elliot Ness in his not-so-safehouse during his meeting with the team, forcing Lucy, Wyatt and Rufus to turn for help to Capone’s long-lost brother Jimmy, who is, of all things, a Prohibition agent.

Jiya quickly finds herself in hot water on account of being Rufus’ girlfriend, with both Mason and Mr. NSA creepazoid grilling her after catching her with a burner phone. She and Mason in particular get into it as she compares him to a phony wizard (‘the man behind the curtain’) while he coldly asks her if she really thinks that childish snark will help her. A defiant nerd to the end, however, she honors Rufus’ request to keep the team’s tail clear, assembling a hacking laptop from spare parts and reversing Mason’s efforts to bypass the virus.

Flynn uses his influence with Capone to get his hands on crooked Chicago mayor Willy Hale Thompson, member of Rittenhouse, who spills the beans on the upcoming once-in-a-lifetime, all hands on deck Rittenhouse retreat, which will apparently not happen until 1954. Lucy - who apparently should be a U.N. negotiator, with how persuasive she is, honestly - manages to convince Jimmy Capone to bring in his own brother, thus gaining the team access to Al Capone’s well-guarded suite. Of course, the more they try to preserve history, the more they end up changing it (time travel is clearly just as susceptible to the Heisenberg Principle as anything else) and Flynn (surprise, surprise) has set them up for yet another trap. Al’s last favor to Flynn is to take out Rufus, leaving them without a pilot; a gunfight ensues, with Jimmy and Wyatt taking out Capone and his bodyguard, but with Rufus catching a round in the gut. Taking him to a segregated hospital in 1931 is not an option - Lucy and wyatt struggle to get him back to the time machine and it’s a race to get back to the present before their friend bleeds out.

I feel like the show takes advantage of our emotions to get away with a cheap cliffhanger by having Rufus pass out at the controls mid-jump, then cutting to the team safe and sound in their hideout the next episode. Lucy has called in her medical doctor fiancee Noah to perform surgery on Rufus, cloak and dagger style, then cuts him loose, finally showing him the door but still without being able to tell him why. Agent Christopher has somehow managed to get Jiya out of Mason Industries (how she does that is handwaved away) but Rittenhouse is now fast on their trail. Despite being extremely lucky that no serious damage was inflicted, Rufus is still in no shape to fly through space & time on his own, forcing the team to drag Jiya along with them as co-pilot, even though she’s clearly not up to snuff yet (“I’ve been logging alot of time in the simulator, but I’ve…died - alot.”) The team +1 makes their escape just as the NSA/Rittenhouse busts inside, leaving Agent Christopher to face off with a very smug Connor Mason.

‘The Red Scare’ lands the team squarely in the midst of the McCarthy Era, circa 1954. Flynn blackmails Senator McCarthy for the location of the Rittenhouse summit, then sets up Lucy and Wyatt for the FBI by framing them as Russian spies. (Gee, this seems oddly familiar…haven’t I seen something about this in the news lately?) Rufus and Jiya are left to hang out with the time machine, where she suddenly falls ill with mysterious seizures. Apparently, bad things happen if you send more than three people through a wormhole (odd, since Stargate Command routinely sends four or more people through a wormhole on a regular basis with no ill effects…guess it’s the kind of thing that only happens when you try it without a Stargate.)

Wyatt, shoved in a room with McCarthy and a pair of MPs, pulls no punches in calling out the phony Senator as the paranoid bully that he is, then proceeds to lay a very thorough, 21st-century special forces beat down on the guards with their own nightsticks before putting ol’ Joe down for a nap. Lucy recalls from her convo with her father, Benjamin (aka creepy Rittenhouse guy) that her grandpa Ethan is a White House staffer, whom they tail that night, following him to a gay bar. Turns out grandpa is deep in the closet, as being gay is not only illegal in 1954, but also apparently against the rules in good ol’ fascist Rittenhouse. The three of them share a car ride to the Rittenhouse summit, where Lucy’s grandpa recounts the harrowing tale of how he learned about his heritage, following a brutal beating by his father after being ‘found with a friend’. It’s heartbreaking to hear Lucy tell him there’s nothing wrong with him after he tries to dismiss his sexual orientation as some sort of sick habit, and she pokes at his obvious discomfort and apparent reluctance to be involved with Rittenhouse.

I have to admit to being very surprised with Mason’s arc in this episode. After going the bad guy route for most of the season and acting like an especial dick in the last two episodes, he seems to top it off by offering Lucy’s Dad an electronic skeleton key to accessing all the personal info and surveillance data that Rittenhouse would ever want or need. Turns out, he’s been playing a very long long game this whole time. Neither he nor Agent christopher like each other at all; however, he reveals to her that he’s used the program as bait to fool Rittenhouse into revealing all their secrets - he’s assembled a full dossier on Benjamin Cahill, enough for the government to build a case against him and, by extension, Rittenhouse. He trusts her, a ‘dull, boring’ person, to bring the info to the dull, boring authorities. Mason claims no illusions about who he is or that he doesn’t deserve what he has coming to him; however, he’s not willing to allow Rittenhouse to eliminate Rufus.

Flynn is busy in the basement of the Rittenhouse retreat, setting up enough C4 to turn the whole place into a smoking crater. Yet again, Wyatt and Lucy sneak up on him in another underground setting; yet again Lucy interferes with Wyatt shooting him. Against all odds, she once again manages to appeal to Flynn’s inner demons, convincing him that they can beat Rittenhouse without killing. They bring Ethan back to the lifeboat, where he gets to watch firsthand as Wyatt, Rufus, and Jiya blink back to 2017. Lucy reveals to him that she’s his granddaughter from the future; he realizes that he recognizes her because she looks like his own mother. Once again, she hitches a ride with Flynn in the mothership, willingly this time, and goes to retrieve a motherload of recordings and documents from what seems to be every Rittenhouse-related anything since 1954; she’s enlisted her grandpa as a double agent to stay in and provide evidence over the course of the last sixty-three years. Agent Christopher shows up to clean house at Mason Industries, as all of the Rittenhouse/NSA spooks are placed under arrest, along with countless other Rittenhouse members around the world.

Lucy meets with Flynn one last time, letting him know that the plan worked and Rittenhouse is being taken down; he is all set to take out the mothership one last time to save his wife and daughter, but never gets the chance. Lucy’s been followed and Flynn is arrested by Agent Christopher and a tac team; yes, they’ve captured a ‘terrorist’ (as they call him) but have also condemned two innocent people to death. Good job, U.S. government. Jiya, meanwhile, is in the hospital and seems to be experiencing some sort of bizarre temporal flux; she literally watches the Golden Gate Bridge deteriorate into some kind of post-apocalyptic wasteland in the blink of an eye. (Somebody get that girl a time stabilizer, quick.)

Lucy finally decides to come clean with her mom about the time machine and Amy…only to get slammed with the revelation that her dear old mother is also in Rittenhouse (‘how do you think your father and I met?’) and doesn’t really seem to give a damn about her daughter’s sister. We then get to find out that Emma, who we (and Flynn) were lead to believe was a Rittenhouse-fleeing time refugee, has actually been a secret Rittenhouse agent all along…and she now has control of the still-intact mothership. In spite of everyone’s efforts, the bad guys are already throwing their Hail Mary pass. (Son of a bitch. I hate time travel. And cliffhangers.)

#11

I’m super bummed. Word came out yesterday that perennially-run-by-idiots-network NBC decided to pull the plug on Timeless. Was the show perfect? No - it did have some issues in the characterization and plotting (as I’ve mentioned here before) but there was nothing about those that was fatal. Yes, like all freshman shows (genre or otherwise) it suffered from a major drop in viewings from the pilot to the season finale, but apparently it still grabbed close to 5 million pairs of eyeballs per episode. Like all network shows nowadays, it was at the mercy of executive short-sightedness and impatience, myopathy, and seemingly incurable, continual stupid adherence to an obsolete system of measurement.

If only NBC Universal had an affiliated network that they could shift production of a time travel show to - someplace ostensibly geared towards science-fiction based programming. (I doubt they’ll be smart enough to do for Timeless what they did for Merlin, which enjoyed several more seasons of life on SyFy to the point that it survived long enough for a series finale. SyFy can find room for one more genre show with an already built-in audience…like I said, it probably won’t happen, but right now all I can do is dream. Still super bummed.)