Timeless s2 ep 12

The final episode ever – I think we can safely say that now – and the Time Team is stuck in North Korea in 1950, around the time of the Hungnam evacuation, and facing certain death; they need to get to the Lifeboat through thousands of advancing Chinese soldiers, and in the present day we’ve already seen that they will be killed in the attempt. 

So what the hell: if we’re gonna die anyway, they conclude, let’s pick up a random Korean and take her to the evacuation point first. In fairness, it’s a young pregnant woman, but still. “Is she important to history?” Wyatt wonders, not unreasonably. “Everybody’s important”, ripostes Lucy, again not unreasonably, echoing both the Quran (and the Talmud): whoever saves one life, it is as if he had saved mankind entirely. They save her, and they get their reward. Because, back home, Denise has gone round Renee from 24 and negotiated directly with Benjamin Cahil to use Rittenhouse’s time machine to save Lucy. Yes, family connections trump Renee’s more, uh, technocratic approach to Rittenhouse’s goals, whatever they are. And I appreciate that after two seasons and a couple of specials it’s my bad that I’m not more on top of the Ritten-genda. Renee offers Lucy the chance to bring Amy back, and Lucy decides, finally, that she’s had enough of all this; sometimes you’ll lose people you’ll love, and that’s just how it goes.

And with that out of the way, we can deal with the important business. “I’m still totally shipping Team Lyatt”, Rufus metas to Lucy when they’re in Korea, and sure enough Lucy and Wyatt are shipping themselves as well. Proving again that this finale is total fan-service, Lucy reveals to Wyatt that she’s in love with him and has been since the Bonnie and Clyde episode, which – not coincidentally AT ALL – was the episode in the first season in which they had to pretend to be a couple and got Unpopcult squeeing.

It’s therefore no surprise at all that when we jump forward to 2023 Lyatt is a thing – endgame, folks, been saying it all along – and they have twins, inevitably called Flynn and Amy. Rufus and Jiya are also together – would it be heretical to say that they’re actually a little sweeter as a couple? – and have formed a tech company. There’s one more journey to be taken, mind you, and one final plot loophole to be closed: back to 2014 we go, so that Lucy can find Flynn, sitting in a bar, drunken and desolate, and give him her journal, thus proving that there’s something he can do about Rittenhouse. It’s a really good scene.

And finally finally: Denise decided in 2018 to destroy the Mothership, because time travel  really isn’t a great idea, but hangs on to the Lifeboat just in case someone other genius invents time travel again. So there’s a delightful little coda, in which a gifted teenage girl, sitting in her bedroom, appears to be designing something which looks not unlike a time machine. And with that, we’re done. I’m quite happy for the show to finish here, and very happy that we got closure on Lyatt and everything else, possibly including Rittenhouse’s plans for the world. Or maybe not; that was always the aspect of the show I least cared about, but the rest more than made up for it.

Timeless s2 ep 11

When I reviewed the very first episode of Timeless I remarked that I was generally uninterested in time-travelling dramas and everything that went with them: “all of that plot-holed changing-the-past-to-change-the-future nonsense”. I was won over by Timeless, though, because although it made room for a bit of that, it was never allowed to get in the way of the fun, the costumes, and the shipping. 

Which is why I was a little concerned about the final scene at the end of the last episode: having FutureLucy and FutureWyatt existing at the same time as Lucy and Wyatt is exactly the sort of nonsense with which I can’t be doing. I therefore hoped against hope that FutureLyatt would, in this episode, quickly explain what they’re doing and what they want, then get the hell out of the way. And – mirabile dictu – that’s exactly what happened: we’re from 2023; here’s your journal, Lucy, so you and Wyatt can work out what needs to be done to destroy Rittenhouse; oh, by the way, Jessica wasn’t pregnant after all;  goodbye and good luck.

Excellent. And so to the action: Renee out of 24 is trying to ensure that Rittenhouse can, without further pesky interference from the Lyatt/Flynn/Jiya axis, do whatever it is it wants to do (something on which I’ve never been entirely clear, but I don’t suppose it matters much), with Jessica, Wyatt’s #stupiddeadwife, as first lieutenant. Rufus is dead, Lucy’s sister never existed, #Lyatt isn’t happening, #Flucy might or might not be on, and we have two episodes to sort everything out. 

First stop is California in 1848, with Rittenhouse activating its last sleeper agent, with the Gold Rush and Zorro – or, at least, dude who inspired the creation of Zorro – providing the period colour. Wyatt realises that if Rufus is to be brought back to life, Jessica needs to be “taken out of the timeline” – cold, dude, cold – and while everyone else is asleep Flynn does just that, travelling to 2012 in the Lifeboat, and taking Jessica out, full stop. He also has one last look at his own family, then still alive, and dies himself. (If you travel to a time when you were alive, it’s a whole… thing. Side-effects. Again, it doesn’t matter much.) 

Meantime, the rest of the team has been captured, which allows the newly-alive-again Rufus to make one heck of an entrance and rescue them. But, once everyone is back in the present day, there isn’t much time to relax: Renee has jumped to North Korea in 1950, specifically to the Hungnam evacuation, and has put in motion a scheme which is revealed, in the present day, to lead to the deaths of the whole team. It’s a solid build up to a series-ender; perhaps a little too much Rittenhousery for my tastes, but if you’ve only got two episodes to wrap up your story arc you need to do it properly, I suppose.

Public Service Announcement 28 of 2019: Timeless, Blindspot

We thought Timeless was dead when the final episode of the second season was broadcast with no word on renewal. But for some reason – and I assume money’s at the root of it somewhere – NBC relented just a little, and ordered a two-part finale to allow the writers to wrap things up properly, and give viewers a bit of closure. After this, we’re definitely done. (Probably.) These episodes were shown in America a few months ago, and although I am entirely unspoiled, I assume that #Lyatt is endgame. Otherwise, why bother? (Tonight and next Tuesday, E4, 10pm.)

And perennial Unpopcult favourite Blindspot returned last night from a midseason hiatus. However, its American ratings aren’t great at the moment, so this might be its final run. I assume that #Patdotcom isn’t endgame, but it should be (Mondays, Sky Witness, 10pm).

Timeless s2 ep 10

What an incredibly busy finale.

As we all suspected, SPOILER 1 is indeed a fully paid-up member of the Rittenhouse “family” and everyone is furious with Wyatt for not dishing the dirt on the Not Dead Brother in time to stop her. Everyone except Lucy that is, who is sympathetic and understanding to a point but also distraught and sore since Wyatt, who really could not have made more of a mess of this season, manages to accidentally punch her in the face while fighting with Flynn. Yeesh.

Left to her own devices, however, Jiya – who is something of an action hero this week, go Jiya! – proves by far the most level-headed of the bunch, extricating herself and the Lifeboat from Rittenhouse’s clutches tout de suite, but unfortunately ending up stuck in 1888 because of my-God-can-she-not-die-already Emma. This setback doesn’t even remotely phase Jiya, though; she manages to reunite Time Team and Lifeboat no problem, with strict instructions to just leave her out of the whole business. As if anybody’s going to listen to her. Oh dear.

Off we all go to 1888, then, where, well, stuff happens, and Emma does everyone a favour for once – ok, for twice, I haven’t forgotten the suffragette episode – by getting rid of SPOILER 2 and SPOILER 3, because she, like me, has had enough of the pair of them. Bye bye, murderous fascist nutbars! Please don’t come back if there’s a season three.

Rittenhouse’s change of management doesn’t signal much of a change in strategy, though, the main thrust of their plan still seeming to be “kill the main cast!” Unfortunately, the main cast can’t reciprocate. SPOILER 1 disabuses Wyatt of the notion that she’s some sort of victim, but keeps him (and everyone else who might be tempted) from killing her right back because she still says she’s carrying his kid and it now seems like it might be true. Which I HATE. And even though Emma actually does kill SPOILER 4 (this is getting a bit tricky) – which would seriously have SHOCKED me, if I hadn’t already been well and truly spoiled for most of this ep – Lucy can’t kill her because they need a villain in case season three turns out to be a go. Or because she runs out of bullets. You choose.

This is all quite frantic and distressing, and the scene where everyone returns to Time Base without SPOILER 4 and the truth dawns on Denise and Connor is properly sad. Poor SPOILER 4. Connor is kind of great this episode – he’s improved a lot this season – and his scene with Jiya afterwards is genuinely moving. Denise is quietly upset. And Lucy is shell-shocked, but still finds it in her to be kind to Wyatt who has finally realised what a prat he’s been since episode 4. Okay, she doesn’t say she loves him back, but she still does, right? SPOILER 1 said so. And I’m pretty sure Flynn – who comes pretty close to making a declaration to Lucy himself but ends up having to content himself with saving her from Emma and cradling her tenderly instead – knows it as well. *AND* it’s not Lucy and Flynn who show up together all badass and ready for it in that brilliant final scene, is it? SQUEE. And WHOA.

Which is where Timeless season two comes to a stop. No news about renewal as yet, and after the show’s resurrection from the dead last year, who knows whether it’ll happen or not. As a diehard Lyatteer, I’ve had my problems with how the show shook up the main team’s relationships this season – all right, I hated them bringing Jessica back, I hated them breaking Wyatt and Lucy up, and I hated Wyatt being a complete jerk to Lucy – but I have to admit that the rest of the cast got more of a chance to shine as a result, and they took it. Connor, Agent Christopher, and – through my gritted teeth – Flynn were all infinitely better-developed, and loads more fun to watch than they were last year, and Jiya really came into her own as well. As for Lucy, well her heart was broken by both Wyatt and her mother, but yay for her picking herself up and just getting more awesome as a result. I’d like to see more of all of them, and learn more history with the show but if we don’t get that chance, this ending – grief, hope, and a wildly cool new beginning – seems as good a place to leave it, before everything gets too complicated, as any. So goodbye and good luck, Timeless. See you if we see you.

Timeless s2 ep 9


In a rare instance of British tv’s delayed screening of an American tv show working out quite nicely, Jed and I each ended up watching this week’s Timeless on 2 June, the 155th anniversary of the Combahee River Raid which happens to be the subject of the episode itself. Which is a pretty cool coincidence. To my shame, I was only vaguely familiar with the name Harriet Tubman before, so once again thank you to Timeless for encouraging me and anyone else in the same boat to learn a bit more about an inspiring historical figure.

No thank you to Timeless, however, for what has happened to Wyatt this season. His behaviour is even worse this week although, in fairness, it’s easy to see where he’s coming from and why he’s behaving the way he is. When I think about it, I feel sorry for him too. I really do have to think about it too often though, because he’s being a proper asshat to just about everyone.

My sympathies for Flynn on that particular front are limited. He’s much more likeable this year and as Jed and Kay have both pointed out, he’s brought a fresh fun energy to the team – so much so that, in spite of myself, I like having him around now – but he can definitely stand to take a bit of the cold shoulder from “Captain Sunshine” and anybody else who remembers the things he did last season. After a year of being mortal enemies, it’d be bizarre if they were suddenly best buds so a bit of frostiness there is fine, I think, even if it has significantly more to do with jealousy as opposed to history than Wyatt cares to admit.

Wyatt’s attitude to Agent Christopher and Connor for giving voice and context to the suspicions he very clearly already has about Jessica, and to Lucy for basically everything is another matter, though – it sucks, and the only bearable thing about it is that it won’t suck for much longer. That impulsive, heartfelt hug Lucy gave him suggests that, like me, she hasn’t completely given up on her soldier yet, and I’m guessing that that cliffhanger (!) means we’re all going to be rewarded with an immediate and drastic change in Wyatt’s attitude next week. Which will not be a moment too soon, since a) it’s the season, possibly series, finale, and b) even I can only defend you so long, Wyatt, get a grip of yourself.

As far as this week goes, though, Wyatt’s current jerkishness doesn’t stop him (or at least Lucy, who is quietly awesome this week, doesn’t let it stop him) and the team from getting on with the mission: stop Rittenhouse from stopping Harriet Tubman and changing the course of the American Civil War. The stakes are high, Harriet is a “proper badass” and Lucy’s right: Rufus and Wyatt really do work well together. Their battle with the sleeper agent is ace. I’m not sure the more mystical theme of trying to link Harriet’s dreams and visions (albeit apparently the real Harriet did indeed have them) with Jiya’s works all that well, but both she and Jiya are great and, as well as Civil War history, we get some Mason Industries/ time machine history, so it’s all good. Wyatt sulking aside (handsome really is as handsome does, dude), I really enjoyed this.

Timeless s2 ep 8

A break from the Jessica/Wyatt/Lucy/Flynn love quadrangle is more than welcome this week. As Flynn teaches the boss a lesson or two back at base, Wyatt, Lucy, Rufus and Jiya head back to “The Day Reagan Was Shot” in 1981, thinking – as at least one viewer does – the obvious about what they need to do. It turns out that Rittenhouse chose that date for a very different reason, however, and the episode is much more interesting for it. As a shipping obsessive, I can’t quite believe I’m saying this, but splitting the fab four into non-romantic pairs helps focus everyone’s minds and the story as well, so while Wyatt and Rufus deal with the macho action and “interrogation” stuff (Wyatt looked far too comfortable rolling up his sleeves to get stuck in to that sleeper guy for my liking) it’s Lucy and Jiya, sorry, Cagney and Lacey, who do the real heavy lifting, in a deceptively simple but significant storyline that turns out to be unexpectedly moving and poignant. All that and everybody looking awesome in their 80s gear means this is great.

Timeless s2 ep 7


Two’s company, four’s a Time Team – for now, anyway – as Wyatt, Lucy, Rufus and Flynn (despite Wyatt’s dog-in-the-manger protests) head off to 1919 New York to try and save one iconic suffragette and end up getting to know another rather better. It’s a decent, interesting story but I’m not entirely sure the show does Mary Grace Quackenbos Humiston justice. Yes, she was nicknamed “Mrs Sherlock Holmes” and yes, her Patrick Jane-style sizing up of everyone she meets is impressive (albeit less surprising to the modern audience who’s seen quite a lot of this preternaturally-smart, solve-it-on-sight sleuthing template on tv over the last few decade or so). But the real Grace was absolutely amazing for a number of reasons and accomplishments, and it’s a shame the show couldn’t have given us more of a hint about them. On the other hand, though, the episode’s only 40-ish minutes, I hadn’t heard of her at all before, and it did prompt me to go look her up so maybe it didn’t do too badly on that front after all.

Setting the history aside however – which any actual historians watching must find incredibly difficult to do each week – what of the ep? The stakes are high, Flynn and the slightly over-confident Rufus – the moment when Flynn points out to him that just because he’s not going to die right now doesn’t mean his kneecaps won’t get blown out is hilarious – make a nicely knockabout team, and their brief alliance with REDACTED sort-of-makes-sense although I’m not sure it’ll be as one-off as everyone says. If Keynes has a problem with women’s rights, he’s going to have a problem with REDACTED’s pretty soon, no? Romance or no romance.

Post-romantic stress meanwhile (as identified immediately by Grace) is causing difficulties for Wyatt and Lucy, although significantly more for Lucy who, finally, thank goodness, stops being so gosh-darned polite about it and gives the big jerk a piece of her mind, even if her comments are significantly milder than mine might have (or already have) been. After the first couple of episodes of the season suggested he might be brighter than we thought, Wyatt’s treatment of Lucy post-Jessica’s return indicates he’s a complete idiot but I guess “I would really appreciate if if you would stop acting like you’re the one who got screwed” does get the necessary point across. Since Lucy and Flynn are just friends (for now) and (yay Connor!) it looks like the Jessica Problem might be about to take the turn we’ve all been waiting for, there’s still hope for Wyatt to redeem himself, though, so come on, dude. Get it together. Time’s-a-wastin’.