Timeless: The Day Reagan Was Shot

In my Timeless Season 1 recaps I talked about how Flynn was a bull in a chinashop when it came to messing with history; clumsy and not really caring how things changed, really, just that they did. I also mentioned wanting to see Rittenhouse be more sophisticated than he was, and this season has shown them to be just that. They have sleeper agents. They go for the scalpel, not the chainsaw. Last night’s episode shows how that precision can have much more devastating consequences than say, having someone other than John Wilkes Booth kill Lincoln.

The episode begins as usual, showing us history as we know it happened.

John Hinckley Jr.
John Hinckley Jr. source: Biography.com

It’s March 30th, 1981, and John Hinckley Jr. is writing his confession letter to Jodie Foster, explaining why he’s decided to assassinate President Reagan before we see him try to do just that (and swiftly be caught).

We then quickly hop back to 2018 and see Agent Christopher and her family getting ready for the day. It’s filled with complaints about screen time, talks about whether organic sugar is really better than conventional, and Christopher avoiding calls from her mother, who doesn’t know her family even exists. It’s nice to see more of Christopher’s domestic side, but it doesn’t bode well for her family that we’re seeing it. I mean, the only time we saw Rufus’s family was when they were in jeopardy.

Back at the bunker, Rufus is being weird and pulling away from Jiya, since he thinks he’s gonna die and that by being a  dickhead to her, he’s making things easier in the long run. Jiya calls him on his shit, and so does Lucy. Wyatt agrees, once they catch him up on all the things he’s been missing (like Jiya’s visions) while he’s been busy boinking his wife. Anyway, the alarm goes off and the team heads back, minus Flynn and Mason who were both alive in 1981, and plus Jiya, since she is a baby, although Rufus has to ruin the fun, saying she’ll need to know how to work this shit once he’s dead. Shortly after they leave Christopher shows up and when she hears where and when the team went, she ominously tells Flynn and Mason that they’re not there to save Reagan. Guess they should have waited a couple minutes!

Back in 1981, Jiya is proving herself useful as a shoplifter and the team just barely makes it in time to see Reagan be shot. Wyatt notices that the sniper isn’t actually aiming for Reagan, however, but is instead aiming at a young cop. Turns out that cop is none other than Officer Denise Christopher, which we find out when Wyatt tackles her. Turns out Rittenhouse doesn’t care if Reagan is President (I mean, why would they? Reagan seems right up their alley), but they are hella interested in killing Agent Christopher before she rises through the ranks, eventually pulling a ragtag team of time travelers together to stop a terrorist who was wreaking havoc on history, and then eventually the shadowy cabal said terrorist was also trying to stop. Basically, they’re trying to undo Season One. Maybe that was why the show was cancelled and then un-cancelled last year. Either way, without Christopher, the team wouldn’t meet and Rittenhouse would 100% have the Lifeboat by now. Oh, and Hinkley got away. Minor hiccup, I guess.

NUP_182086_0142.JPG
TIMELESS — “The Day Reagan Was Shot” Episode 208 — Pictured: (l-r) Karen David as Young Denise Christopher, Matt Lanter as Wyatt Logan — (Photo by: Colleen Hayes/NBC)

Surmising that if Rittenhouse wanted to kill Christopher they’d keep trying, the team heads to the hospital to check on her and catch the sleeper agent, who was one of Reagan’s Secret Service members. Wyatt recognizes the shooter and the team splits, with Jiya and Lucy checking on Christopher. Jiya is not great at the time travel thing, using her modern slang and calling herself and Lucy “Cagney and Lacey”. They don’t get much chance to talk to Christopher before her very worried mother walks in, and after begging Christopher to become a doctor, hauls in a nice boy (and his whole family) for Christopher to marry. Lucy and Jiya wait outside, where Lucy informs Jiya that Cagney and Lacey actually comes out that year, and before you can say Bob’s your uncle, Christopher and the nice boy announce their engagement, which is awkward since Christopher is very much married to a woman in 2018. Lucy pulls Jiya to the side and tells her this before the two of them get Christopher alone and tell her that they’re private investigators hired by Jodie Foster and that Hinkley is the one who shot Reagan, so Christopher can help catch him. They figure that it will help remind Christopher why she wants to be a cop in the first place, since a brush with death can make you do impulsive things. Like marry a dude when you’re a lesbian.

In a whole other area of the hospital, Rufus and Wyatt are following the would-be assassin. I’m glad that NBC decided that they couldn’t do a scene in a hospital without some sweet, sweet elevator action, but it’s not quite the same as on Grey’s. Once they’re alone together, Wyatt and Sleeper Agent Man throw the fuck down. Rufus is basically useless, but eventually Wyatt disarms the agent and decides to take him somewhere for a chat after Sleeper Agent Man promises to tell them everything. Wyatt finds a nice quiet place to talk, but it turns out dude doesn’t have much to say. He was only activated this morning, and the only reason he’s here is because his Madoff-like dad lost a bunch of money and killed himself. Turns out Rittenhouse bailed them out, and this was the price they paid. Sleeper Agent Man isn’t really that into it, but his brother bought the whole thing, hook, line, and sinker.

Wyatt, finally being suspicious like he’s supposed to (Image Courtesy of NBC)

Wyatt asks about Jessica, but dude doesn’t know shit. You’d think that Rittenhouse would have put their best on something this important, and hey maybe they have and the dude is just really good at his job, but this guy seems to only care about his family back home, and doesn’t have much intel to offer, which begs the question: Why is he still alive? Apparently it’s because Wyatt and Rufus are “the good guys” and don’t just kill people. Who knew?

Meanwhile, Christopher, Lucy, and Jiya go to Hinkley’s hotel and, after some awkward prodding, Lucy and Jiya get to the heart of the matter and casually drop that hey… some women dig other women, wink wink, nudge nudge. Christopher thinks Lucy is hitting on her, but after telling her that she’s actually with Jiya and they just “got a vibe,” Jiya talks about how hard it was for her to have parents with high expectations and how much she wishes she’d started making her own choices sooner.

Image Courtesy of NBC

That has some weight with Christopher, but not as much as her mom throwing a huge engagement party for her and the traditions and pressure of her culture do. We don’t get to see more, though, because they head up to Hinkley’s room, which is just as creepy and weird as you’d think it was. They find his letter, his plans, and a bloody straight razor in the bathroom. Christopher surmises that he must want to “see his work” and the only way into the ER when the President is there is to have an emergency, so she puts in a call and they head to the hospital. Once they make it there and Hinkley is caught, Lucy asks Christopher if she’s going to keep working after she’s married or not. While tragic, Agent Christopher not marrying her wife or having the family we saw her have wouldn’t have the overarching consequences of Christopher giving up police work. She tells them that her future in-laws are really traditional, so she would probably stay home once she got married, and that is the tipping point for Lucy. She tells Jiya they need to go to the Lifeboat quick, and then they have to stop  Christopher from getting married.

Now, in case you were wondering what all is going on in the bunker all this time, Christopher is trying to take her mind off her possible past death and the disappearance of her entire family by doing paperwork, when Flynn finds her and asks what the hell she’s doing. Christopher gets defensive, and says there isn’t anything to do to prepare for not existing, and Flynn calls her out. He tells her about the night his daughter was killed, and how she begged to stay up just a few more minutes, but like a good parent, he made her go to sleep. He’s so clearly full of heartbreak and deep regret when he tells Christopher that there isn’t anything he wouldn’t give or do to have even a second back. And, given what he has done, I think it’s safe to believe him. He tells her to go home and be with her family while she still can, and so she leaves. It’s a great scene, and honestly I’d take a hundred more with Flynn and Christopher.

Image Courtesy of NBC
Image Courtesy of NBC

Back in ‘81, Wyatt is still working Sleeper Agent Man over, and hey it turns out it wasn’t for nothing! Sleeper Agent Man tells them that his super believer bro is still in ‘81, and has Christopher’s address. Since he couldn’t get the job done, his brother is gonna have to do it. Wyatt and Rufus decide to just leave him there because that always works out, and rush to Christopher’s house.

Lucy and Jiya get there first, and are way underdressed for the event. Christopher is gorgeous in her Sari, but that isn’t why we’re here. Lucy and Jiya get her alone and come clean about Time Travel. She obviously thinks they’re nuts, but once Jiya pulls out her laptop and Lucy shows her the flash drive that Christopher gave her way back when to literally save her family, Christopher is convinced. The hopefulness in her face when she sees that two women can get married is enough to get Lucy to give her that last push. Though she doesn’t talk about Rittenhouse, Lucy tells Christopher that she can’t marry this man and that she has to tell her mother the truth about herself. Meanwhile, Believer Bro is outside with a gun, getting ready to destroy our show. While he’s taking aim, and Christopher is taking steps towards a better life by telling her mother the truth, the scene is intercut with Christopher in 2018, going home to see her family. Believer Bro can’t get a good shot from inside his car, though, so he gets out… and is promptly run over by Wyatt. EEP! Inside the house, Christopher asks Lucy what she should do now, and after giving her the flashdrive, Lucy tells her to take the job with the FBI and the rest will fall into place, and the team heads back to 2018.

Once they’re home, Christopher thanks them all for their help and it’s emotional all around. Turns out her mom eventually came around and, while she’s still a pain in the ass and it was hard sometimes, Christopher couldn’t imagine her life without her mother in it, and all is well in the Christopher family. YAY!

Things are still a bit tense between Rufus and Jiya, but after talking to Lucy about her visions, Jiya is convinced that knowing what happens can help change it. Rufus tells her he loves her, and Jiya vows to save him.

Meanwhile, Lucy heads to Flynn’s room and asks to know about how and when he got her journal. He tells her that it was two weeks after his family died, and she was maybe five years older than she is now (but still looked good, which okay why wouldn’t she still look good?). She found him in Brazil, where he was drinking his life away and told him everything. He tells Lucy that she said she had the way to stop them and he would need her help. So it looks like at some point, they’re gonna be able to travel in their own timelines and I’m not sure how I feel about that. I do know that I want to see more of Lucy and Flynn together, and that I desperately want to know what she told him when she gave him the journal. There are so many interesting dimensions to this relationship, and it’s one I’m anxious to see delved into more, should the show be granted another season.

Image Courtesy of NBC
Image Courtesy of NBC

Speaking of shit I’m not sure how to feel about, let’s see what’s up with Wyatt and Jessica! Turns out not everything about Wyatt’s training has been lost through fluid depletion, and there has been a niggling question in the back of Wyatt’s head about how or why Jessica is connected to Rittenhouse. The answer comes when she shows him picture of her brother in Instagram. Her brother who was supposed to die of Leukemia when he was two, but who was cured through “cutting edge” technology. When Wyatt tries to get more information from Jessica, she announces that she’s pregnant and hey I know how to feel about that, but if I roll my eyes any harder I won’t be able to type!

Jessica’s face is my expression upon hearing this shit. (Image Courtesy of NBC)

This episode was another mixed bag for me. I loved seeing more of Christopher and learning about her life, but at the same time, what is there to stop Rittenhouse from going further back and killing her mother? Or was her dad’s murder supposed to be her as well? This episode made it very clear that no one is safe and could vanish at any moment, and that is very scary, indeed.

Things I want more of:

  • Jiya on missions
  • Hell, Mason, too
  • Lucy and Flynn’s future relationship (the journal and whatnot)
  • The people outside the team

Things I don’t care about:

  • Jessica’s pregnancy*
  • Wyatt moping around and generally not knowing what is happening with his team.

*Unless it’s something that comes and goes with each trip, so every time Wyatt or the team goes on a mission, he’s not sure if she’ll be pregnant or not when he comes back, because that would be scarlarious!!!

What did you think of The Day Reagan Was Shot? Did you like seeing more of Christopher? Are you excited about the “twist” at the end?? Do you think Jessica is *actually* pregnant?

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