Timeless: 2.10 Chinatown
Talk about save the best for last. The season finale of Timeless season two took everything that had come before and built to a spectacular finish with one hell of a cliffhanger. If this really is the end of the show, it has gone out with a great but very bittersweet episode that will leave fans forever wanting more.
Things kick of exactly where the previous episode finished and Wyatt having to admit that he suspected Jessica was up to no good. Rufus is understandably angry and not in a forgiving mood; the women he loves has just been kidnapped by the wife of a man that he implicitly trusted. Even Lucy has second thoughts about defending him.
While the gang argue we find out what fate awaits Jiya; Grand Pa Keynes is delighted that Jessica has not only has she brought him a backup pilot but she has also stolen the Lifeboat. When Emma questions this, Keynes is happy to dismiss our heroes as inconsequential as they no longer have a time machine and those dastardly kids can't meddle with his plans anymore. Carol continues to play divide and conquer as she belittles Emma with a smug and so satisfied grin. At this point I am still unsure what Carol's long term goal is here; does she plan to take out Emma and hope she can convert Lucy to the ways of Rittenhouse? Keynes is just happy to watch the show as the two women argue over him.
I might have said some unpleasant things about Jiya this season, but when it counted she came through like a trooper; her plan to take out the hired muscle was inspired. I was actually left thinking you know that that might actually work in real life and filed it in the "in case I get kidnapped" file. Even on a powerful sedative, she has shown more common sense then the entire team has all season and she makes a daring run to the Lifeboat to try and get home.
Surprisingly there are no guards of any description minding the Lifeboat and Jiya is easily able to commandeer it with the exception of avoiding gun fire from Emma who just happens to walk by at that time. The camera work labours the fact that some of the circuits now have bulelt holes in them and it was almost inevitable to the viewer the Jiya won't be making it home. A moment of celebration quickly turns to horror for the Time Team in the bunker as the Lifeboat momentarily appears to return and then is lost.
Mason takes charge and acts like the leader that he should have been all season and rallies the troops, knowing full well that Jiya will try and somehow make contact. The team search frantically through books, news papers and periodicals looking for some sign of Jiya through the ages. What happens next requires so many coincidences that are just unbelievable but I am willing to overlook it as I enjoyed the episode so much.
Lucy spots a book about the history of San Francisco that just happens to be written by her and her mother, which Jiya has become obsessed with since her vision of the Golden Gate Bridge Are we to assume that Jiya's random picture ended up in this book by coincidental chance or had that picture always been there and she knew what fate awaited her? If was one Hell of a coincidece that a picture Jiya took in the 1880s ends up in a book that Lucy was co author on. The hidden message in Klingon was a great touch though.
In a quick Back to the Future 3 inspired sequence, the team hunt down the buried time machine; let's not even delve on how Jiya moved the Lifeboat hid it and it stayed undisturbed for almost a hundred and thirty odd years. Flynn who is always eager to go on a mission, shows some hesitation for the first time and openly questions whether the Lifeboat is a condition to make the trip.
In last wee'k review I commented on how little Keynes had been in the show and had pretty much accomplished nothing and man did that story line come to an end spectacularly. Having tracked down the photography studio that took Jiya's picture, the gang are ambushed by their evil counterparts. Emma who always looked like a odd fit for Rittenhouse shows her frustration and pumps lead into Carol in front of Lucy. As you are reeling from the shock of this and before Grand Pa Keynes can even finish a whole sentence trigger happy Emma puts a bullet in him as well. The writers did not hold back; they are cleaning house and really leaving the viewer on the edge of their seat. Suddenly you feel no one is safe and you know Rufus is on borrowed time.
In a touching moment Lucy and Carol get to say their goodbyes and Carol confesses that she gave up her other child in exchange for treatment for her cancer. There is some rambling but it eludes to that there is a lot more we don't know about the Rittenhouse family and that showrunners have/had big plans for next season. And here is my one and only real gripe with this episode; each week the team change time for the good or the worse, but they change it. The message of this episode seems to be no matter what you do you can't change the future, or is it the past or the present... this is all so confusing.
Wyatt and Jessica get to have their moment as well and her story is similar to most sleeper agents that we have seen this season; her brother life was saved by Rittenhouse and she was sent on a mission to infiltrate and learn as much as she could about the team and then kill them. Their story is left unresolved and the closing door almost seems to be a metaphor for the fate of the show.
When the team finally track down Jiya, she refuses to leave with Rufus, telling him that in her vision, he dies when they try and leave as the clock strikes seven. Instantly my first thought is, it isn't seven, just leave now, like right bloody now. For a character who I praised for being clever at the beginning of the episode sinks back into typical hysterics for plot reasons. Had they just left they would have all been back for evening tea and could have put their feet up and watched Netflix.
The inevitable showdown between both factions was a rollercoaster of emotion. There was the overwhelming feeling that Rufus will survive the situation that Jiya foresaw, the elation as he did, followed by shock and sadness as he died moments later . But there was no time to catch your breath as Lucy and Emma headed for a showdown and Lucy's character was tested to the limit.
What sort of person is she? When it counted, could this history teacher pull the trigger and take a life if needed? Does she have the morals of a good guy TV character who won't kill her enemy no matter what? After seeing her mother killed and her friend gunned down, learning that her sister was taken form her, if she had done anything other then blow out Emma's brains I would have been disappointed.
Emma is being set up to be the main villain of the piece and she adequately demonstrates her hatred for Lucy; she is a far more interesting character then Carol or Keynes and she has shown so many sides to her character over these two seasons that I really hope we get to see her take the helm.
In what would have otherwise been a really downbeat ending to the season there was one final twist that ended the show on a high note and left the audience gagging for a third season that may never come. At the time of writing this review their has still been no word from NBC as to whether the show will be renewed for third season; viewing figures haven't been stellar but they have been consistent and has been well reviewed by critics and audiences.
I have enjoyed both seasons immensely and Timeless really doesn't deserve to be put to pasture just yet; the show has still so much promise and damn it do you want to see them save Rufus or what?