Are you ready kids?! Last week had us running through the South looking for the King of the Delta Blues, and this week has us trawling through New York City trying to save the Mother of the Women’s Rights movement. Just another week here on Timeless!
We start with a women’s march that took place nearly 100 years ago (to the day) in which women were being beaten by cops for the right to vote. They were trying to get the attention of President Wilson before her flew to Europe to negotiate the Treaty of Versailles. There is an impassioned speech, and Wilson tips his hat. That is how it happens as we remember it, but what if it was different? This week’s episode of Timeless delves into the suffragette movement, and the gains that have and have not been made in women’s liberation since then.
We see our team much as we left them: Rufus and Jiya still kinda fighting about her visions of his dying (ugh what a drag for pillowtalk, amirite?) and Lucy thanking Flynn for a night of (giggles) whatever, before leaving his bunk. Of course Wyatt sees this because why not? While in the shower/bathroom, Wyatt decides to make Lucy’s life choices his personal mission and tells Flynn to back off, because when you sleep with someone and then run into your formerly dead wife, their personal choices are somehow yours to make. Flynn tells Wyatt basically this, and also tells him to take his shit up with Lucy, and heads out. I love a man who knows that a woman can fight her own battles.
Speaking of dickfaced dudes: back at Rittenhouse, Keynes pulls Emma aside to tell her to sit the next mission out, so she doesn’t hurt her pretty lady self, since he sent some men to do the wet work. Emma tells him she’s good with getting down and dirty, but he’s weirdly obsessed with her getting home safe, and Emma acquiesces. While this weird Misogynistic Protections shit is happening at Rittenhouse, team Bunker is wondering why the Mothership went to NYC to begin with. Lucy thinks “hey maybe they want to kill Wilson before he negotiates the treaty”, but other than that, no one knows, and Lucy, Rufus, Wyatt, and Flynn (much to Wyatt’s annoyance) hop on board and head to 1919.
Almost immediately we hear a gunshot in the hotel Wilson is staying in, but rather than anticipating Rittenhouse’s MO, the team immediately thinks Wilson was shot. Turns out he’s okay, but a minor senator was killed. Who the senator is doesn’t matter in the grand scheme of things, but the person arrested for shooting him does: Her name is Alice Paul and she is one of the heroes of the women’s rights movement. She’s also the woman giving the moving speech we saw earlier. The speech that turned President Wilson into a feminist, basically(okay that may be stretchingi t, but her speech did convince him to allow women the right to vote). Flynn immediately suggests a sleeper agent has killed an unremarkable senator and framed Alice, and the team splits up.
Lucy and Wyatt head to the police station to talk to Alice, and, upon being denied visitation to see her, find Grace Humiston, AKA Mrs. Sherlock Holmes. Since she’s a woman, she isn’t “allowed” to be a detective, but she was an unparallelled investigator of her time. Grace immediately susses out the weirdness that is Wyatt and Lucy before turning her attention to Alice, if only for a moment. See, Grace isn’t here for the suffrage movement, and thinks that women should earn their place in society (like all the white guys do?), but she still takes her case. Meanwhile, as the future of all women in America hangs in the balance, Wyatt decides this is the perfect moment to grill Lucy about her life choices. God save me from married men who try and dictate the lives of the single women they emotionally destroy. Lucy eventually tells Wyatt where to place his sanctimonious male rage and tells him to get on mission. Honestly I love this shit. Wyatt is being a class A dipshit and the backdrop to his kinda but not really subtle maneuvering and manipulating of Lucy is the goddamn women’s suffrage movement and I think it’s perfect.
Back at the hotel, Flynn and Rufus (if they ever make procedural, I want this pairing) are trying to find clues when Emma pops in, and pops an inconveniently suspicious cop while she’s at it. Emma proposes a one mission truce, because she’s a feminist too, when it helps her. She tells them of the plot to kill Lucy and the Rittenhouse/Time Team alliance begins.
Grace, Lucy, and Wyatt are still hunting for clues and learn that a shady bellhop planted the murder weapon linking Alice to Senator What’s-His-Name’s murder, but don’t get much further than that when they head back to the jail only to find Alice stone cold dead. Lucy is lamenting the dream of her right to vote right up until, at the suffrage headquarters, Grace asks for a vote. Now. I’m hoping if you’ve watched this episode, or gotten this far into the review, that you understand how huge the women’s suffrage movement was, This was only a hundred years ago. This was the first time women were allowed an official and legal voice in the running of this country, and trust me, it’s a big deal. Anyway, Grace, Lucy, and Wyatt head to the HQ to figure out what to do now,and, after some debate, the women decide a silent march/vigil is the best way to fight for their rights and honor Alice’s memory. Grace accepts the vote, but Lucy is upset enough that when someone suggests she make the landmark speech, Lucy accepts. Lucy is not here for some silent shit, but hey that’s the way the wind blew, so here we are.
While Lucy and a sulky Wyatt are trying to restore the 19th Amendment as we know it, Rufus and Flynn are just trying to keep one woman (Emma) from fucking up and killing them all. Eventually Emma explains her tragic backstory of an abusive dad and how women’s rights eventually saved her mom, but in the end, she’s only here for herself, it just so happens that the Team is on her same side this time around.
Once we get to the march, all the players are in it. Lucy is ready to speak and die, since there is surely a sleeper agent, and Emma is there, ready to fight and kill said agent. Meanwhile, all the boys are on the side, completely useless, when Lucy is snagged by the over eager suffragette from before. Lucy is pulled into an alley and threatened before Emma can kill the agent and save Lucy, all in front of poor pragmatic Grace,. While this is going on, the march continues. The police begin to beat the women, and try as she might, Lucy can’t get Wilson’s attention. But Grace can. Now her speech doesn’t have the punch of poetic nostalgia that Paul’s did, but it speaks to justice and the justice that all people deserve. Wilson tips his hat, and the team is satisfied that the job is done.
Everyone heads home then, with Emma telling Keynes that the Time Team got there too soon (before a gross make out sesh), and no one learns about the super shady shit Mason and Christopher found out about Jessica in the debris of operation Nothingness infiltrating Rittenhouse. Wyatt and Lucy talk about Wyatt’s bullshit concerns about Lucy’s lovelife, and after she assures him that she and Flynn aren’t sleeping together, I guess he’s okay. Not that Wyatt has any say in Lucy’s life and who she wants to bang, which I feel like is kind of the lesson behind this whole mission: women have a right to do what they want with whomever they choose, with no explanation to any man.
In case you weren’t sure where we are on the relationship front:
- Wyatt and Lucy: Angst laden, whiney bullshit because Wyatt has a wife and Lucy has morals.
- Lucy and Flynn: Nothing romantic yet, but dude doesn’t try and control who she hangs out with sooooo????
- Rufus and Jiya: Visions are kinda buzz-killing them, but they love each other a helluva lot
- Rufus and Flynn: Buy the roses, these two are in love.
Now, personally, I loved the idea of these relationship issues being brought to the forefront during an episode about the suffrage movement, because it highlights just how little progress we’ve made. Women fought and died for the right to vote and live free of men’s influence,and yet this entire episode is peppered with Wyatt trying to subtly control and influence Lucy and her feelings regarding Flynn, or really anything. Part of why I loved this episode was the time period in which it takes place (and the movement it involves), and part of it is because of how relevant it is today.