Season 1, Episode 16 “The Red Scare”
Written by Arika Lisanne Mittman
Directed by Matt Earl Beesley
Well, I wasn’t expecting THAT. This is a terrible place to leave the series, and we don’t know as of this writing whether there will be a second season of Timeless.
We open with Garcia Flynn (Goran Visnjic) looking for monsters in his daughter’s bedroom. He promises to always be there to protect her. It would be a touching scene except for two things. One is that he just had Al Capone shoot Rufus (Malcolm Barrett), so I really don’t care. The other is that he’s looking for the monster while holding a real gun. Who uses a real gun in looking for monsters in the closet or under the bed? Unless you’re on Supernatural, of course. It strikes me as odd.
Flynn wakes to find Emma (Annie Wersching) telling him two guys have taken off.
Then the time team has to deal with the fact that Capone shot Rufus. Lucy (Abigail Spencer) calls her McDreamy doctor fiancée (Daniel DiTomasso), whom we haven’t seen in quite some time. He patches Rufus up, but he’s not happy about it, and he takes an instant dislike to Wyatt (Matt Lanter) as well. Lucy finally has to talk with him and says that she is never going to be the girl that he fell in love with. He asks if it’s about Wyatt and at about the third “no” I think he decides that she is protesting too much.
Since Rufus is still in no shape to drive, they take Jiya (Claudia Doumit) aboard, knowing it might cause problems because the lifeboat was only built for three. The fiancée and our time traveling foursome get out just before Rittenhouse finds their hiding place, leaving Agent Christopher (Sakina Jaffrey) to take the heat.
Flynn goes to Joseph McCarthy (Spencer Garrett) to get the time and place for the big Rittenhouse meeting. McCarthy is played with histrionic exuberance. Lucy gives us helpful information on McCarthy in case the audience doesn’t know about him. I suppose there’s an irony there that McCarthy, who is always looking for conspiracies, is part of the biggest one of all. It makes sense to me, though. He has ample reason to believe they exist.
Flynn gives McCarthy Wyatt and Lucy’s pictures and tells him they are commies. I guess he read ahead in the script and knew Rufus wouldn’t show. Maybe he thought Rufus was injured or dead. Of course they could have hidden out somewhere to let Rufus heal, because they have a time machine, but they didn’t.
Lucy has a heart to heart with Flynn and learns that her grandfather will be at the meeting. Wyatt is questioned by McCarthy and gets to show off by taking out three of his goons.
Connor Mason (Paterson Joseph) surprises us all by saving Agent Christopher and giving her information about Lucy’s father. The plan to kill off Rufus after Jiya learned to pilot the lifeboat was the final straw for him.
After the time trip, Jiya suffers a bloodshot eye and then a seizure.
Lucy and Wyatt follow Lucy’s grandfather Ethan Cahill (young version played by Johnathan Tchaikovsky, older version played by Bruce Gray) only to find that he is at a gay bar and not at the Rittenhouse meeting. He takes them to the meeting and they encounter Flynn, who’s trying to blow the place up. There’s a tense talk between him and Lucy and Lucy talks him down. Wyatt, Lucy, Flynn and her grandfather go to the time machine.
Flynn and Lucy leave together. Wyatt and Rufus take Jiya to the hospital. Jiya and Rufus have a romantic moment but Jiya’s eyes roll up in her head. One wonders if they cast the actress for that particular skill. While she is having the seizure the Golden Gate Bridge in the window behind her becomes an earlier form that is under construction, then back to the modern day again.
Lucy persuaded her grandfather to gather dirt on Rittenhouse over the years. He does it in spades. There’s a whole room full of files. They gather the information and arrest 150 Rittenhouse people. Agent Christopher arrests Jake Neville (Jim Beaver) herself. He looks shocked.
Garcia Flynn and Lucy meet. She has the information he wanted, the name of the man who killed his family. Unfortunately, Agent Christopher grabs him and makes a liar out of Lucy. This is sure to be a big mistake if the show gets another season..
However, Christopher has arranged for Lucy to make one more trip in the mother ship to go back in time and make sure her lost sister Amy comes into the world. Wyatt and Lucy try to say goodbye. Wyatt concedes that it’s not goodbye yet, because he wouldn’t miss going to save Lucy’s sister with her. But they stand there and look mushy, and they’re alone, and I’m yelling at the screen “Kiss her! This could be your last chance. Kiss her!” But since Wyatt isn’t thinking about potential cancellation, he doesn’t.
Before she goes off to rescue her sister, Lucy goes home to tell her mother, Carol Preston (Susanna Thompson), that she’s trying to restore a timeline that could make her sick. Her mother reacts by reassuring her that it’s fine, Rittenhouse would never allow her to make changes in time that would cause her to be sick. Why, they’re Rittenhouse royalty. She’s very cold about Lucy’s sister. She doesn’t care about the loss of a child she never had.
Even now, Rittenhouse is sending out the mother ship to put wrong what Lucy just put right. They have a double agent on board Flynn’s time machine. It’s Emma. She’s surrounded by dead mercenaries. It’s probably what happened to the two she said ran off at the beginning of the episode.
So this is where we are. There were several major twists in this episode. Jiya appears to have a new time ability, or time sickness. This is probably brought about by overloading the lifeboat, but it may just be something that happens to people sometimes. You never know about the rare side effects until a lot of people have tried something. We don’t know exactly what it means, but I would like to see it developed further.
Lucy’s mother is Rittenhouse. This should not be a surprise. Because her mother and father were never married, and Lucy was supposedly the result of a fling between a professor and his student, we didn’t suspect that both sides were Rittenhouse. It looks now like it was more of an arranged breeding, but if so, why did she never get the Rittenhouse speech that everyone seems to have gotten as young adults? Maybe the original Lucy’s mom, who had cancer and was married and had another daughter, was not as happy being Rittenhouse as this Lucy’s mom is. It’s not just that she is Rittenhouse and presumably knew everything all along as it was happening, it is that she is on the other side. Against Lucy. It’s a terrible shock for poor Lucy.
Emma is a double agent. This is a huge surprise. Not because she isn’t cold or sly enough to be one, but supposedly she spent ten years hiding in the rustic wilderness to escape them. She must have made a deal with Rittenhouse after Flynn fetched her from the past. She didn’t want to be killed like Anthony.
They are finally getting to the point where Lucy might actually join up with Flynn. They’ve been teasing us about this since the beginning. If Rittenhouse can undo what she has done, she may have no choice but to wipe them all out, like Flynn plans to do.
I don’t know what the chances for renewal are. The ratings aren’t good, the show is expensive, and it still has a lawsuit hanging over it. But if it doesn’t come back, we’ll never find out what happened to Jiya, Lucy and Wyatt will never get together, and Lucy won’t get her sister back, hopefully along with a nicer mom.
They might as well bring it back because they already have that wonderful wardrobe with all the clothes in their sizes, sorted by time period. They can’t waste that!