Secrets and lies are the name of the game in this week’s Timeless when the Time Travelling Trio head back to a purer political time: The Watergate Scandal.
Holy shit. Rufus has a family. Probably the best kept secret so far in Timeless. We open on a domestic scene of Rufus and his mom talking about his little brother. Rufus feels bad that he missed his brother’s basketball game, but his mom is like “You literally pay for all of this. You can miss a game, it’s okay. But they lost, so you can always wonder if you being there would have changed things.” Okay I added that last bit, but come on, it’s not like Rufus is feeling enough guilt over lying to literally everyone he cares about. Let’s really heap it on. Speaking of guilt, Rufus heads out to go to work and lo and behold! Rittenhouse has car service! Old Man Creeperson is waiting for him, along with Mason to let him know a couple things: First, that Flynn went back to Watergate era Washington. There is a ton of (pretty famous) recordings of Nixon, and the most interesting part of them is the 18.5 minutes of deleted bit. Rufus is to intercept it, and report back while he’s there. Oh, and the second thing is that it’s okay if Rufus misses his little bro’s game; Rittenhouse was there to watch! Awww, this really is a full service Evil Corporation!
Having a less terrifying, but more pathetic morning is Lucy, who is lurking outside her biological father’s house, trying to get the guts to go to the front door. She tells Wyatt about it as they’re getting ready and the two have some cute banter, which is impressive, considering that Wyatt “looks like Greg Brady.” They head off and blow around the hair of (barely there) Jiya and they’re in the 70s!
They have a lovely welcome, as they’re almost immediately picked up by Flynn, who gasses them, ties them up and has a nice Villain Monologue. He’s not all bad, though. He brought them to the same (now run down) hotel they stitched Wyatt up in back when he killed Lincoln. See? Just misunderstood. While he has their undivided attention, Flynn plays the missing 18 minutes from the Nixon recording, and wouldn’t ya know? It’s about Rittenhouse! The odds, I tell ya. He also takes the time to screw Lucy (figuratively, ya pervs) by telling Wyatt and Rufus not only about the journal that has been his guide (and in Lucy’s hand), but the fact that the two of them have chatted a couple times and she failed to mention it. Flynn then gives Rufus and Lucy five hours to retrieve the doc referenced in the tape and bring it to him, or he’ll kill Wyatt.
Rufus plays the pot here as he gets on Lucy’s case about keeping secrets from the team, while she tries to explain that it couldn’t be her, because the idea that she did these things is too much to bear. They then decide to call every William M Felt in the phone book, since, ya know… Deep Throat. If you don’t know, watch All the President’s Men. While Lucy is on the hunt, Rufus calls his contact with Rittenhouse and tells them about the document Flynn wants. The man on the other end tells him to find the doc and destroy it. Simple enough.
In what is probably the most wasted and underutilized scene in the episode, Lucy and Flynn confront Deep Throat and compel him to help them. He says he doesn’t know about any document, but he does know that the burglars at Watergate hit the room one floor up first, and the only clues was a drawing of a fist with horns. The issue here is that this scene could have been so much better, if they’d just let it breathe a little, or cutaway. As it stands, it’s sorta blasé, which is a shame. While Lucy and Rufus are making new friends everywhere they go, Flynn opens up a bit to Wyatt. Yay some more depth and nuance to this potentially awesome villain! Turns out, Flynn is truly unhinged. He worked for the NSA, and when he found that a lot of money was going to Connor Mason for his time machine, and was under Rittenhouse’s umbrella, well, they had his whole family killed. He escaped, and they framed him. He tries to form a bond with Wyatt over mutual loss and betrayal by reading what Lucy (who sometimes doesn’t sound like the Lucy we know) wrote about Wyatt’s grief over his wife. The difference thus far, though, is that Flynn is willing to destroy everything we know to wipe out Rittenhouse and save his wife and daughter (I mean, I’m a parent. I get it) while Wyatt at this point, is not. Wyatt uses this time to pick his handcuffs with a nail he worked loose and try to escape. He gets some good punches in and is this close to freedom before Flynn pulls a gun and he’s back where he began.
While Flynn and Wyatt are bonding, Rufus and Lucy are running down their lead. Turns out the fist with horns is the symbol for the Black Liberation Army, a militant group Rufus knows all about (ahhh those college crushes, amirite?). Now, I’ve mentioned before how the topic of Rufus’ blackness as a hindrance in some way, or something we are told a lot, rather than shown, gets frustrating. It’s all been worth it, though, when Rufus throws Lucy’s “Wait outside and don’t make eye contact.” Line from the first episode back in her face. Rufus heads inside and is cute and awkward while trying to be hard. He uses modern slang like “brotha” and calls himself Kanye. Just when it looks like he has the same luck Lucy would have had, he talks his way into the doc’s location.
When Rufus, his piece on the side AKA Lucy, and their escorts find the doc, they learn that it’s not actually a document, but a person. The Doc is a young woman who was born into Rittenhouse, and is the only non-leadership member who knows the roster of members since Rittenhouse was founded in 1778. So basically they’re like evil Freemasons. She is trying to escape, and it becomes clear why everyone wants her now. Rufus secretly calls his contact again to tell them The Doc is a person, to which they’re like “Yeah? And what exactly do you think has changed? Destroy The Doc.” Rufus is, not surprisingly, not down with that, nor is he good with just telling them the address so they can “take care of it” for him. He hangs up, but not soon enough for Lucy to miss the tail end of his conversation. She wants to know what the hell he’s doing, and he comes clean to her about recording all their missions before destroying the device. Lucy, understandably, has an “Are you fucking kidding me, you were giving me shit for a journal and you’ve been feeding the enemy info this whole time” moment, but they have shit to do and not a lot of time. Ironically, time travelers on a schedule. Ha. Rufus calls Rittenhouse back and gives them the address, Lucy calls Flynn and does the same, and then they and The Doc make haste and get the fuck out before the two enemies shoot the fuck outta each other.
What follows is easily my favorite part of the show. What can I say? I’m a sucker for prat falls and adorableness. While Flynn is having a showdown, Lucy is on a rescue mission. She climbs, well falls, into the window where Wyatt is, and when he tells her where the nail is, she valiantly tries to be helpful and pick the lock on his handcuffs. Their interchange is adorable and then added to when she tries to help him beat up his guard (who inspected a noise in the hallway) with a lamp. They manage to escape and help The Doc get away, off to live an anonymous life with her son, whom she wanted to free from the shackles of Rittenhouse.
After the dust settles, there are some real issues that the group has to face. Lucy and Rufus both lied pretty majorly to each other and, to Wyatt, who no longer trusts either of them. He tells Rufus to work as a double agent, and they head home. It’s not a celebratory end for the mission, but I am sure they’ll work it through. If Kripke is good at one thing, it’s communication skills with his characters(LOLOLOL).
In the final moments, we get a couple more revelations: Old
Man Creeperson was Rufus’ contact in the 70’s, and is, even more surprisingly (until we look back)
Lucy’s father. Garcia visits his wife’s grave, and we learn that Wyatt has not
stopped looking into his wife’s death, if the giant newspaper/map wall display
can be believed.
Alright, I haven’t quite decided about this episode, but it
really felt like a step back after The Alamo last week. There was a lot of good
information and character interactions, but it felt like the scenes I wanted
more of were rushed, and the scenes that weren’t as interesting were really dug
into. I’m so happy that Flynn got more development this week, and the new
tension in the team will be interesting to watch. What did you think of