Last week on Timeless we saw how the Time Team fared without Lucy (spoiler: Not well), so it’s only fitting that we see how they do without Wyatt, who has been dumped into a Black Site, this week in The Lost Generation.
Right out of the gate, we get Lucy and her dad (Ben Cahill, Dad of the Year) talking for what seems like a really long time, since she arrives at his home at night and it’s full-on daylight when she leaves. He tells her how happy he is that she knows about Rittenhouse and that he understands her reservations since he (and his father) had them, too. The scariest and most disturbing part about this whole conversation, and Cahill himself, is how reasonable it all sounds. He tells her about the good she will see when she’s “inside” and asserts that Rittenhouse has evolved with the times. He is charming, and God help us all, likeable. When Lucy refuses, he doesn’t take offense, he just tells her it’s not a choice, it’s blood. Once she leaves her dad, Lucy goes to talk to her mom about him, who doesn’t shed much more light on the man who sired her.
Lucy and Rufus meet up with Agent Christopher (who is fresh from an interrogation with a snarky, self-loathing Wyatt in his National Park prison) and together, Lucy and Christopher tell Rufus that the asshole who has been threatening and terrorizing him is, in fact, her father. Rufus understandably freaks out, but gets ahold of himself after asking Lucy to please ask her dad next time they’re at a BBQ not to kill his family. They then get down to business. Flynn has left, going to 1927 Paris when Charles Lindbergh completes the first solo transatlantic flight. Obviously Wyatt isn’t going, and a fed up Lucy muses that maybe they should just let Flynn torch history, since Rittenhouse sucks, too. Rufus puts the kibosh on that though, saying pretty much that two wrongs don’t make a right. Yes, Flynn may have a point and be in the right to destroy Rittenhouse, but he also doesn’t give a shit who he hurts in the process, and that is where their duty comes in. They obviously can’t go without a soldier, though, and since Wyatt is… presently detained, his buddy, David Baumgardner AKA Bam Bam, is to replace Wyatt. He even calls Lucy “Ma’am” much to her chagrin. It’s not the cute “Remember When? What A Cute Story” way she is with Wyatt, though. The three climb into the Lifeboat, and Time Team part deux is off.
Meanwhile in Paris, Flynn gets some fun trivia from Emma about Napoleon, who apparently wasn’t an asshole because he was short. He was 5’7, but since he surrounded himself with “giants,” he really doesn’t have an excuse. Seems legit. Flynn isn’t willing to tell Emma about his (Lucy’s) journal when she asks, and then they shoot down Lindbergh’s plane. Just a regular Tuesday night. They don’t kill him, as Flynn just wanted him to land early, but they do snatch him up for what I’m sure is a friendly chat. Shortly after this, Time Team Plus Insufferable Bam Bam land, and we get some background. They get word that Lindbergh crashed, and we learn that soon Lindbergh will become a passionate Nazi sympathizer and anti-Semite. BUT, we also meet Ernest Hemingway, who can identify a bar from a cigarette butt and of whom Lucy is clearly a fan (I love when she geeks out over historical figures).
Time Team Redux arrives at The Dingo Bar and sees none other than the glorious, Josephine Baker, songstress, actress, ex-pat, and spy. If you don’t know who she is, do yourself a favor and look her up. She is extraordinary. Rufus knows this. I swear his comments about her album cover and his “lonely nights” was meant to just be a thought, but we are blessed.
Back in the present, it looks like the NSA and Jake Neville (played by guest star Jim Beaver) have taken over at Mason Warehouse, effectively booting Christopher to the sidelines, reassigning her. Neville is all conciliation about her essential firing, saying she is getting a raw deal, but he doesn’t hesitate to have her turn over her badge and GTFO. Christopher (somehow) manages to score a visit with Wyatt and lets him know what’s up, and Wyatt tells her that this isn’t a recent development; it’s a coup. No way could that many people be cleared overnight.
While hanging out, gazing at the “lost generation” of the Fitzgeralds and Picasso, Lucy and Josephine talk about the rawness of life, and how Lucy’s whole fact-based world is falling apart. When she tells Josephine that the “lost generation” is so named for seeing too much violence and being confused and aimless, Josephine corrects her and says that they’re not any of those things. They’re battered, and broken down, but (like the Phoenix) ready to rise. Their conversation is interrupted, however, when they’re told a friend of Josephine’s recognized Flynn from a picture they were showing around, and simultaneously, Emma comes to the bar to buy a bottle of absinthe. Time Team follows Emma, and winds up in a shoot out. Bam Bam (who has clearly been super useful up til this point) actually followed the rules and only brought a period gun, which pretty much leads to his death. RIP Bam Bam, we hardly knew ya, and barely cared
Once the remaining Time Team Plus Baker and Hemingway get to safety, they try to formulate a plan without the help of Wyatt, who normally says something out there that ends up making perfect sense. He’s not there, though, and they need a soldier. Unfortunately, all they have is Hemingway, who was in The Great War, but as an ambulance driver. Undeterred, Lucy, Rufus, and Hemingway head to the address Josephine’s friends gave them. They decide to split up, which is always a great idea, and Lucy gets caught while Rufus is hunting with Hemingway. Lucy and Flynn talk again about her future role as his ally, and she is rightfully salty about him not telling her about her father (who is now hanging out at Mason Warehouse as if it’s Take Your Father to Work Day) and Lucy is just a tad bit resentful that “everyone seems to know my future but me.” Flynn tells her his plan to kill Lindbergh, with which she disagrees, and offers to talk to him and convince him to change his mind on Rittenhouse. I’m not sure why Flynn didn’t just kill him outright on the landing, but oh well.
Lucy talks to Lindbergh, who is willing and honest after hearing her “pureblood” name of Cahill. He tells her that he’s supposed to become a monster as a scapegoat and distraction, so no one knows who is “really in charge” and the whole conversation resonates a lot more with me, given the climate in which we’re living. They talk about family and legacy and who gets to decide their futures, and Lucy convinces him to basically run away, since everyone thinks he’s dead anyway. Lindbergh tells her people may be looking for him, since he was supposed to meet Julian Charvet (owner of one of Europe’s largest car companies at the time) and Rittenhouse would “take care of the rest.” What neither of them knows, of course, is that Flynn and Emma are listening in, and Flynn takes off to “talk to” Charvet
Meanwhile, wandering the abandoned buildings is Hemingway and a fed up Rufus. He is so sick of the author’s bullshit. Hemingway is damn stuck on the Great War and drinking and screwing “for those who can’t” and doesn’t seem to give Rufus too much credit as a “man.” Eventually Rufus is just done, and lists all that he has been through, saying that even if he didn’t fight in “the most pointless war in the history of war (seriously),” he has fought. They toast, drop the booze, and Rufus figures that Flynn may be underneath the buildings, in the catacombs, rather than inside them. They somehow manage to not get lost, and thanks to a Hemingway Hook, knock out Lucy’s guard to save her and Lindbergh. Before they can escape, however, Emma happens upon them. Rufus tells her that she can come with or get outta the way. Emma chooses to step aside and Rufus cautions her to be wary of Flynn. They escape, and Josephine offers to help Lindbergh disappear.
The pair returns to a whole new world. Not the Aladdin kind, or the “we super fucked over history” kind, either. But the “Men in Black everywhere” kind. It’s like a revolution happened while they were in flight, which is kinda true. They’re debriefed by Neville, and told that Agent Christopher is out. When Lucy goes home, she looks up Charles Lindbergh only to find that nothing changed. He still came out as a Nazi sympathizer and history remembers him as a giant asshat. Her mom comes to check on her, telling her that she’s sorry meeting her dad threw her, and offering her a gift. Since the way they solve things is to write them down, her mom gifts Lucy with a journal. THE journal. Before we can get too into THAT can of worms, Lucy gets a call and rushes out.
Now I get what I want: Rogue Team Time. Christopher tells Rufus, Lucy, and Wyatt (who escaped his Black Site prison thanks to a paper clip, a meeting with Christopher, who still somehow has clearance, and a shit load of luck) that the NSA is in Rittenhouse, and they need to work on taking them down. So now the team is fighting both Flynn and their team, with Jiya in the middle, completely unaware. That will end well.
Last week, I kinda got into things that bothered me about this show. This week, I want to talk about something I dearly love about it: the representation of Black people, and Black historical figures. Early on I had made a comment about hoping that the show wouldn’t hit the single note of “how hard it was to be a minority in the past.” This is an important note, but not the only one. In recent weeks, we have seen some amazing, well thought out Black people who are portrayed as the smart, brave, innovative thinkers they were (Katherine Johnson, Josephine Baker, The Lone Ranger, and Grant Johnson, to name a few) who weren’t written into the story to serve as a backdrop for a “white savior” storyline. It is something I have truly admired about this show and something I think is important for all viewers to see. It’s important to not only remember the sins of the past, but also to celebrate the amazing contributions to humanity that people of color have given the world throughout history.