Season 1, Episode 9 “The Last Ride of Bonnie and Clyde”
Written by Anslem Richardson
Directed by John Terlesky
Romance is in the air as our trio travels back to 1934 and the Great Depression. They are in the Public Enemy Era, a time when the term “public enemy” was used for Pretty Boy Floyd, John Dillinger, Baby Face Nelson and of course, Bonnie Parker (Jacqueline Byers) and Clyde Barrow (Sam Strike). It’s obvious that the show really wanted to do a Bonnie and Clyde episode, or something set in that era, because there is no fateful point in American history for Garcie Flynn (Goran Visnjic) to screw up. Instead, he is after a necklace that Bonnie is wearing and Clyde stole from Henry Ford. It appears that Ford may have been involved with Rittenhouse back then.
We open with Bonnie and Clyde dying the way that they did in history, by an avalanche of bullets in an ambush while they were in their car. Well, the last car they stole.
Lucy (Abigail Spencer) has a very awkward date with her fiancée. I have been wondering where he was and what he was up to. It doesn’t go well. He’s impatient with the first date vibe and wants to know if they are still engaged or not.
They know Flynn has gone back to 1934, but they don’t know why. Agent Christopher (Sakina Jaffrey) found a picture of a gold key on a chain, very heavy, from files stolen in the warehouse raid. She has no information about why Flynn wanted it. She also found mentions of Rittenhouse, but our team doesn’t tell her anything. We hear her talking on the phone to a child or grandchild who is having cold feet about a dance recital, so we know she has family that she cares about.
In the clothes closet, Wyatt (Matt Lanter) and Lucy talk about Lucy’s fiancée. Wyatt thinks she should cut him loose to find whoever he’s supposed to be with, since Lucy wasn’t with him in the original time line. He’s very earnest about it. Lucy is doubtful.
Rufus (Malcolm Barrett) and Jiya (Claudia Doumit) kiss goodbye.
It Happened One Night is on the marquee as our gang rolls into town in a stolen car. Wonderful movie, well worth watching. It swept the Academy Awards. When they get to their destination, Wyatt motions for Rufus to cut the recording and they discuss whether or not they should tell Agent Christopher what little they know about Rittenhouse. They step into the bank that was mentioned in the note accompanying the necklace when they are suddenly in the middle of a bank robbery, committed by the Barrow gang. Bonnie is wearing the necklace in question.
Rufus is outside waiting and he sees the G-men arrive, accompanied by Flynn. Wyatt and Lucy run after Bonnie and Clyde and end up in the middle of a gunfight between them and the law. They offer their car as a getaway car and they run off together and desert Rufus.
Lucy decides that they need to stick with Bonnie and Clyde so that they can get information about the necklace and where it came from. This is a dicey proposition at best because Clyde has an itchy trigger finger and is unpredictable, and because Lucy and Wyatt sold themselves as a couple on the run from the law, just like Bonnie and Clyde. It’s also complicated because Bonnie and Clyde are suppose to die at 9 am the next morning.
Rufus is grabbed and interrogated by the police. Of course, he genuinely knows nothing. Flynn keeps trying to get at him but he’s stymied by the man who killed Bonnie and Clyde, Frank Hamer (Chris Mulkey), who was nothing if not an honest cop.
Wyatt and Lucy spend the evening with Bonnie and Clyde. Lucy is impressed by their love for each other. “It’s even better than I read.” Bonnie assumes she means the papers, because they were quite famous at the time. They find out that Clyde stole the necklace from Henry Ford, who had framed Clyde’s letter praising his cars. Clyde broke in just to see the letter.
He then presented the necklace to Bonnie when proposing to her. Because she was already married, it didn’t seem appropriate to steal a ring. Lucy is still wearing her giant ring from her instant fiance, and Wyatt has to give a proposal story. He tells a story that is obviously him and Jessica. Clyde still looks skeptical so Wyatt grabs Lucy and kisses her without warning her first. It’s a good kiss. Lucy is totally into it and Wyatt looks surprised.
The lawmen bring in Henry Methvin (Billy Wickman), a member of the gang who gave them the information about where Bonnie and Clyde were going to be for the ambush. There are some unknowns in history about whether he turned them in in exchange for a deal with a murder charge, whether his father did it or whether his father did it but was under duress. In this scenario he definitely betrays them.
Hamer lets Rufus go despite Flynn’s objections since he’s innocent and they have what they need.
Wyatt and Lucy end up together on a narrow bed listening through the thin walls while the other couple do not fall asleep in a drunken stupor, which is what they had hoped for. They have a talk about love and keeping your options open. Just when they turn towards each other and something might happen, they hear snoring. Drat.
Wyatt gets up to get the necklace and he is caught by Clyde with a knife in his hand by their bedside. He covers by saying that he heard someone outside. Luckily for him there is someone outside. It’s Henry. I don’t know why Henry returned after he betrayed them. Bonnie leaps at him, thrilled that he’s okay. Bonnie, Clyde and Henry retreat to another part of the house. Lucy and Wyatt see Rufus coming up to the house. Lucy does a repeat performance of what Bonnie did. She grabs and hugs Rufus, thrilled that he is okay.
The others are not happy to see Rufus. Henry is quick to point out that he was talking to the police. Rufus says Henry is the one that betrayed them, and he has the recording device to prove it. Things get heated and the gang starts fighting. We see the law sneaking up to the cabin and a shot rings out. Clyde shoots Henry. He’s no loss. He survived in the original timeline and never turned his life around.
The law starts shooting at the cabin. Clyde and Bonnie run out. Clyde gets shot and Flynn grabs Bonnie, who wants to get to Clyde. He grabs the necklace and lets her go. She keeps crying that it wasn’t supposed to be this way as she picks up Clyde’s gun as Frank Hamer gets closer. Again, we hear but don’t see the shot.
Rufus, Lucy and Wyatt escape without the necklace and with very little information about it. Count this one as a bust.
Lucy and Wyatt talk while putting their clothes away. He apologizes for the kiss and she is gracious about it. Usually they do talk about very personal things, like her fiancée that morning, but they don’t flirt. This time they are flirting. It’s not what you say, it’s how you say it.
Agent Christopher persuades Rufus to tell her everything he knows about Rittenhouse. I imagine she is not long for this show.
Flynn uses the key on a clock that reveals a scroll. He reads it but we cannot.
Story-wise, they made a huge improvement to the ballad of Bonnie and Clyde. In the original story, they are ambushed and die instantly. In the revised version, Bonnie gets to prove that she doesn’t want to live without Clyde by committing suicide by cop. The traitor gets to face the people he betrayed and gets his just desserts. Even Frank Hamer comes out better. He still has to shoot a woman, but it’s one pointing a gun at him and not an unarmed one killed by ambush.
They started a little spark between Lucy and Wyatt. We will have to see if this continues in future episodes. I think Wyatt’s inability to let go of his wife is directly related to what he does. If time travel is possible, he can never let go of the thought that he could see her again or that she could be saved. I don’t see him moving on any time soon.
They also took great care to make parallels between our team and the Barrow gang. They are laughing about many cars they have stolen when they pull up to the bank. Lucy and Bonnie are alike in some ways. Bonnie is not uneducated, She likes to write poetry, She and Lucy respond the same way when a missing member of their gang comes home. And of course, Wyatt and Rufus have killed people. It’s only a matter or perspective that makes them good or bad guys. I still think that that perspective is important, though.
The actress who played Bonnie Parker did a good job, as did the actor playing Frank Hamer. Clyde seems to have been chosen for a vague resemblance to Johnny Depp. He was suitably wary, however.
It was a good take on a tired old subject.
Next week our team encounters Benedict Arnold.
Timeless airs on Monday nights, 10 pm/9 c on NBC.