There isn’t really another word in American history that sums up courage in the face of unwinnable odds and grace under fire quite like The Alamo. In 1836 General Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna and his forces (1800+ strong) lay siege to the Alamo and it’s 100-200 men, slaughtering them all, and inspiring many Texans to join the Texas army and, soon after, ending the revolution.
We open on the eve of that fateful battle, with William Travis penning his now famous letter pleading for reinforcements, stating he “shall never retreat and never surrender, and signing off with “Victory or Death.” Are you ready to remember The Alamo?
In the present, we begin with our team separated. Rufus, still freaked out about what happened with the old man from Rittenhouse, is running late because he’s afraid to drive his car, since the computer was hacked and, well, that can’t inspire a sense of safety and well-being. My fandom brain whispered “Dean Winchester wouldn’t have to worry about this shit with Baby” as he’s relaying his encounter with the old man to Mason. Gas guzzlers or not, there is something to be said about classic cars. Not being able to hack into them is one of the perks. Mason, however, is weirdly glad to hear that Rittenhouse contacted Rufus directly. Now Rufus gets it. Mason is just as stuck. Honestly, I’d have a hard time believing someone “loved me like a son” if they were so willing to put me in the path of people this dangerous.
Meanwhile, Wyatt is being fired. How fucking dare you, Suited Asshole? Yes, it may be true that Flynn is still alive, and Wyatt has yet to dispatch him, but for fuck’s sake, it’s only been like, two weeks! Either way, Wyatt has failed to achieve his objective, and since the military is results-driven, he’s out and a soldier he served with (Baumgardner) is in. Wyatt takes it like the professional he is, and Suited Asshat lets him know that Agent Christopher fought to keep him. I get stuck here on this one thing: Just how many people do you want to tell about time travel? No wonder Mason didn’t tell the government. Fuckers can’t keep a goddamn secret. Before Dick in a Suit can shove Wyatt out the door, however, Jiya tells them that Flynn is active and in Texas, four days before the Battle of the Alamo. For once it’s not Lucy who pipes in about what the date means, it’s Wyatt. He’s a Texas boy, after all, and all Texans remember back when they were their own country.
While all this is going down, Lucy is home with her mom. I like this. I really would like to see more of the team’s lives outside of time travel. I talked before about stakes. I want to see them. Now, from what we know about Wyatt, he doesn’t really have anyone, but last week, it was made very clear that there are at least some people Rufus cares about. I want to meet them. Make me care, Kripke. Anyway, Lucy gets The Call, and tells her mom she’s gotta go. Her mom is understandably worried about her. In a very literal sense, she’s not the Lucy her mom knows. They argue, and Lucy leaves, but not before making a not so subtle dig about her mom not telling her who her father is. Take that, Mom!
Next up: an event that is synonymous with “gory, inescapable death”! Rufus, don’t ever change. You’re an American treasure. Wyatt has fabulous timing, and lets his team know that it’s his last mission, right as they’re leaving, and, hey! He brought grenades! He’s really fucking committed to killing Flynn, now.
Flynn is ahead of the team, though (of course). He’s also on the other side. Of course. Flynn goes to Santa Anna with some Spanish gold and a plan. He tells Santa Anna he has a plan to crush the rebellion once and for all. I find it funny that none of the team can understand what Flynn is planning. Yes, The Alamo is a devastating slaughter, and there isn’t a whole lot to do to make it worse, except there is. This is a pivotal point. “Remember the Alamo” became a rallying cry, and “Victory or Death” is something still quoted today. Not to mention the fact that Davy Crockett and Jim Bowie died there. It’s an important defeat.
When the team heads into the Alamo, Wyatt is surprised to see that it’s mostly ranchers and farmers (and their families). He expected soldiers. That’s understandable. We (in modern America) don’t see much of regular, untrained people fighting for their lives. It’s poignant and heartbreaking to see children in a place where we know will become famous for a slaughter. They see Bowie (Chris Browning), and Lucy tells Wyatt she’ll take the lead while they go and offer to volunteer their services. She fucks it up, but does so adorably, and I wonder (not for the first time) why they don’t come up with cover stories before they leave. Wyatt, on the other hand, is direct and even abrupt while warning Bowie about a man who is a Mexican sympathizer who might be lurking. He may talk like he understands being replaced, but the fact that this Texas born man isn’t even a little excited to see these legends tells Lucy otherwise. She and Rufus don’t take more than two minutes listening to the bombastic Crockett (Jeff Kober) telling the story of how he wrestled a bear before Wyatt reminds them that they’re not tourists. Gotta keep their minds on the mission. Sigh. Dammit, Wyatt. He’s having a hard time with this mission, and is confusing people from his own past missions with people in the here and now (well, the there and then).
Later that night, Travis is writing the now infamous letter. Flynn comes into the room, and tells Travis that he’s a great admirer of his. They have a lot in common, according to Flynn. They’re both radical revolutionaries and patriots. This is the closest we see Flynn to being a fan. When Travis tells him he was warned about him and pulls a gun, Flynn looks as though he truly regrets having to kill him. Travis’ gun has no ball, Flynn took it, and after telling him he “deserves a better fate,” Flynn kills him before he can finish the letter. In fact he’s barely started it. Wyatt hears the shot, and recognizes it for a semi automatic. He and Lucy rush to the scene, where she tells him that while Travis was doomed to die, he was supposed to pen his plea beforehand. Well, fuck.
Wyatt heads to the wall, and looking over the many men of Santa Anna’s army, he feels what I’m sure is the same hopelessness and grim determination as the heroes of that day. Santa Anna waves the red flag, warning that they will give no quarter. No one who surrenders will be spared, women and children included. This didn’t happen before, and it’s three days sooner. Wyatt may be distracted by his own demons, but he still tells Rufus that they need to find a way to get the women and children out, which is hilarious, since the whole point of the Alamo is that there is no way out. Wyatt then asks Bowie for a command of some men to lead. This is the most involved we’ve ever seen him, and it’s not really great. He tells Bowie, in front of his men, that no one will be getting out alive, and that goes over as well as you’d expect.
Flynn confronts Santa Anna about the red flag, something he didn’t know about, and pleads with him to spare the women and children. This episode is where Flynn seems the most relatable and human. He didn’t know what he was getting into with Santa Anna, and looks truly upset when Santa Anna tells him that if the letter shouldn’t get out, why should anyone else? Word will still spread if there are any survivors, and we get a taste of his cruelty, and the first whiff that Flynn may be underestimating his “ally”.
While Flynn is trying to appeal to Santa Anna as a father, Lucy is dealing with a serious case of writer’s block (holy fuck, I feel). She is trying to recreate Travis’s letter, but can’t remember the exact words. Wyatt still gives zero fucks, just write something and get it out. Nevermind that this letter basically created Texas. They argue about this fact while Rufus tells them he has some good new and some bad news. Good news is that there is an aqueduct that leads out of the fort. Bad news is that it’s a tiny opening and under three feet of stone. This news goes over well, and Wyatt has a minor meltdown over the fact that all this “preserving history” bullshit is fucking with his objective. Which is to kill Flynn. I can understand how hard it is to have such restraints on your mission, but for fuck’s sake, Wyatt. Get it together. While Wyatt is questioning whether he is the right man for the job, cannon fire erupts. The battle has begun.
Outside, Bowie and Wyatt are talking. The Mexicans aren’t full-on attacking yet, so there is still some quiet. Bowie knows they’re all doomed. He wants to get the women and children out, but can’t. Wyatt confides in him what has been nagging at him. When he was fighting, his team of six men held off 100 men, and he wasn’t there. They flipped a coin and he was sent out with intelligence. No one else survived and he can’t quite accept the “fate” his friend told him was his. An understanding passes between them, and after a moment, they make a plan to funnel the army through one entrance, to buy themselves some time, to save the women and children. They break from their huddle, and only then does Wyatt see Lucy, who has overheard everything.
Hearing Wyatt’s story inspires Lucy, and she is able to write her own letter. Rufus remembers the grenades and uses them to blow open an escape just as Santa Anna’s forces descend. Lucy tells Rufus she’s going to get Wyatt, but that is easier said than done. He can’t bring himself to leave Bowie and his men. In his own time he’s been fired, he has nothing to go home to anyway, and he may as well stay and go out in a blaze of glory. Lucy grabs his face and tell him that she needs him, she trusts him, and convinces him to come with her. As they are leaving, Crockett tells Rufus to say he fought off a thousand men, and Bowie refuses to leave his men, but gives Wyatt his knife, while Wyatt assures him that their deaths won’t be in vain. And with that, they’re gone.
After they return to the present, Lucy and, more importantly, Rufus,who is their only pilot, refuse to work with anyone other than Wyatt, saying trust is imperative. So, Wyatt keeps his job. Super Dick Suit Man leaves, and a hard day’s work is over
When Lucy gets back home, she and her mom have a heart to heart, during which her mother tells her a couple facts about her birth father, before slipping her his name…which we don’t see.
What did you think of The Alamo?