Timeless 2.08 - The Day Reagan Was Shot
Up until now Timeless has resisted going into the recent past; traveling into a time period where you already exist can have grave consequences. When I saw this title I was intrigued as to how they the team would travel back during their own lifetime, only to learn that the core team of Lucy, Wyatt and Rufus were not even born in 1981. This episode made me feel old!
Rittenhouse isn't playing anymore. In a more sensibly thought out plan they decide to take out Agent Christopher years before she can recruit the time team and essentially take Lucy and Wyatt out of play without harming them. While the plan was sound it once again seems to have been unnecessarily complicated, the Rittenhouse sleeper agent used the shooting of President Reagan, by John Hinckley, to cover his tracks. It just seemed like so much could go wrong and there must be far easier ways to do this.
Which leads me to something I have mentioned in previous reviews, Rittenhouse agents seem to be stupid and this week that was somewhat addressed. Not all those serving Rittenhouse are willing agents and point in case this weeks agent was simply paying of a family debt with a side order of blackmail. The price of failure to comply would be the death of his family in 2018 which goes along way to explain why these hits come across so amateurish; hese are not trained assassins or even folks that are hardcore in to the Ritthouse indoctrination.
As both Mason and Flynn were both alive in '81 Jiya steps up and gets to go on the mission and for once gets something to do other than look distressed and pretty. Both Jiya and Lucy make a wonderful pairing as Cagney and Lacey as they learn the back story of Agent Christopher. No one can accuse Timeless of not being diverse and we get it in bucketfuls for Agent Christopher who is torn between her culture, her dream of being a cop and being a closet gay Indian women in 1980s America. It's a nice touch and not only do you get an insight into Agent Christopher's past but it is a great reminder of how far society has come in just a few decades. For once there were a lot of things for me to relate to in an episode of US network drama and the slap in the face Agent Christoper receives for calling off her wedding wasn't just over dramatic drama but so true to life.
This storyline does also bring with it a big head scratcher and the fun of time travel. Lucy shows young Agent Christopher the contents of the USB drive that future Agent Christopher gave her and gives the younger version the drive to keep. So does the younger version who becomes the future version of Agent Christopher give the same drive back to Lucy in the future? And then does she have to buy another drive to give to Lucy again at the end of the episode? But most of all can you imagine what it must have been like for young Agent Christopher to see a computer with a USB port some 20 years into her future? And to keep quite about it almost another 20 odd years? Its moments like this that make me love time travel drama so much.
As Wyatt and Rufus interrogate their captured Rittenhouse sleeper agent they have the age old discussion of what a good guy is supposed to do with a bad guy, Wyatt is all for killing him while Rufus takes a stance that if they do that they are no better then Rittenhouse. Normally in such a situation you would have a villain that deserves to die but as you listen to the Rittenhouse agent it becomes clear that he is just a pawn in a much larger game and it is difficult not to have sympathy for them.
Ultimately Wyatt keeps on adding to his body count as he kills the agent's brother who was sent to kill Agent Christopher (okay that last part sounds like soap opera territory). Again the killers action seem to so rash and not well thought out. And here lies another major crux of the problem, Rittenhouse has a time machine they can go back and attempt this 100s of times until they succeed.
Flynn is reduced to the agony aunt this week as he gives future Agent Christopher some advice bordering on a lecture about not wasting what time she has doing mindless paperwork and going home to spend time with her family.
But Flynn does get to have one heart breaking scene, and when I say heart breaking I mean for the fans, as he describes events five years into Lucy's future where she gives him the fabled diary that has all the information required to fight Rittenhouse. I say heartbreaking as it is unlikely the show will be around long enough for viewers to get to see this moment. Which makes me incredibly sad as this episode demonstrated so adequately that Timeless when done well is heartwarming, riveting and most of all just so much damn fun.
And just when you thought the episode is done and dusted Wyatt notices an inconsistency between his original timeline and his new one, where Jessica's bother had originally died when he was very young. Events from earlier in the episodes come into play as Wyatt questions how her brother's life would be saved and that it must have been very expensive. Just before he can question her further and put two and two together Jessica plays the ultimate conversation changer. She is pregnant fade to black.
Poor old Wyatt; the next two episodes are going to be so emotional for him, you just know he is going to have to chose between his resurrected pregnant wife and saving Lucy. Will he be so willing to put a bullet in her?