It’s always darkest before the dawn. And right now, it’s midnight for Timeless fans as Jessica’s return has prompted an outpouring of heartbreak and hopelessness. But as a veteran of angsty ships and the shows that run them, I feel more than confident when I say that I know things will work out. I know that, in the end, this will end up being more of a benefit than a burden.
“Salem Witch Hunt” wasn’t my favorite episode of the season, but that’s mostly because the previous three have been so incredibly strong and emotionally pleasing. But in the end, “Salem Witch Hunt” might end up being that episode we look back and say, That had to happen. This pain, this angst, this heartbreak, it has to happen. Ultimately it’ll serve to strengthen Lucy and Wyatt’s relationship and remind us that true love — the kind of love that people dream of — doesn’t come easy. You have to fight for it. You have to endure. You have to realize what you had so that you never lose it.
Here are 10 moments from Timeless’ fourth episode of season 3, “Salem Witch Hunt” that we can’t stop talking about:
1. Lucy & Wyatt’s Phone Conversation
The epitome of pain stems from that phone conversation between Wyatt and Lucy, where Wyatt told Lucy that Jessica was alive and subsequently Lucy’s own future with Wyatt was dead. It was yet another brilliant scene by Abigail Spencer and Matt Lanter, who both exuded the longing and pain that comes with a future dashed by an evil organization’s actions. The raw emotion on both Lucy and Wyatt’s faces was physically painful to endure. It’s the kind of angst that proves that this relationship has substance and meaning. Here was Wyatt telling Lucy that his dead wife wasn’t dead anymore. Here was Wyatt giving Lucy an opening to tell him to stay with Lucy. Here was Wyatt wanting Lucy to give him a reason to stay with her. But instead, Lucy did what we all would’ve done: She told Wyatt to try with Jessica. Because that’s the type of person Lucy is. She did this for her own self preservation. But the thing is — even though she isn’t right now — Lucy has to learn to fight for what she wants. If she doesn’t, she’ll lose Wyatt.
2. Lucy Stepping Off the Lifeboat
It’s truly unbelievable to fathom that we got just two Lucy and Wyatt scenes in this episode — any only one of them had them in the same room. But when you can make those two scenes feel like defining moments, you know you’ve got something truly special. With Wyatt distracted by Jessica, Flynn filled in for him on the latest mission. Watching Lucy emerge from the Lifeboat and watching Wyatt go to her — with a look that morphs from relief to realization to pain — only to step back once he realizes that things aren’t how they used to be. Watching Flynn step out beside Lucy in an almost protective stance and watching that register with Wyatt. It was a brief scene that held so much significance and emotion. But you have to keep in mind that actions speak louder than words. The way Wyatt involuntary gravitates towards Lucy speaks volumes.
3. Rufus Blows Up at Jiya
After Jiya told Rufus about her vision of him killing a man during the Salem Witch Trials, Rufus struggled the entire episode to try and prevent that vision from coming to fruition. But at the end of the day, Rufus couldn’t prevent what was meant to be. It was something that clearly shook Rufus to his core. And instead of handling it in a productive way, Rufus lashed out at Jiya for telling him in the first place. This scene, while infuriating, is important in how it allowed Rufus to make a mistake and be all the more complex and human for it. Because the thing is, Rufus was acting selfish. He was so worried about how this was affecting him that he didn’t stop to realize how this was affecting Jiya. He didn’t see how much she was hurting, and instead of being that shoulder to cry on, he pushed her away.
4. Jessica Serves Wyatt Divorce Papers
I’ve never seen a fandom so excited about papers in my entire life. But given that these were divorce papers, a fandom party was more than deserved. Just as we got a glimpse at the end of “Hollywoodland,” we learned that Wyatt and Jessica’s marriage wasn’t this perfect thing Wyatt had crafted in his head since after she died. Wyatt had his issues. Jessica had her issues. They had issues that, ultimately, led Jessica to want to file for divorce. Wyatt had idealized his marriage to the point where it was completely unrecognizable. He idealized Jessica and crafted this perfect image of her and their marriage in his mind to the point where the fiction became a reality he believed. But as those papers showed us, that couldn’t be farther from the truth. And the only thing wrong with the situation was the fact that Wyatt didn’t sign those papers right then and there. But Wyatt has a journey to go on this season. He’ll get there on his own. And next time, he’ll be the one knowing this marriage has been over for awhile.
5. Wyatt Brings Jessica to the Bunker
I love you, Wyatt, I do. But my God have you done some stupid things over these past two seasons. Stealing the Lifeboat to try and bring Jessica back is definitely the stupidest. But bringing Jessica back to the bunker — a place that serves as a sanctuary from the evil that is Rittenhouse — is definitely right behind that. It’s moments like this where it not only makes sense but it’s obvious that Rittenhouse is behind Jessica’s return. Because they know the effect that she has on Wyatt given what happened to her. Rittenhouse counted on Wyatt making stupid mistakes like this. Letting Jessica into the bunker? If that’s not a blaring neon sign of “I am Rittenhouse, thanks for welcoming me into your home,” then I don’t know what is. This is going to backfire so hard. But that’s exactly what Rittenhouse was counting on.
6. Carol Serves Lucy an Ultimatum – Rittenhouse or Death
Get your shit together, Carol! Just when you thought this mother-daughter relationship couldn’t get more complicated, Carol tried to have her daughter hung for witchcraft in an attempt to lure her over to Rittenhouse. With Nicholas and Emma dead-set on eliminating the threat that is Lucy and the Time Team, Carol decided that the only way to solve this was to bring Lucy to the dark side. And it’s no surprise, really, because we’ve seen her attempt to do that just in the season premiere. But putting your daughter in a position where death is a possibility is just going too far. It makes you wonder if Carol really can be redeemed. It makes you wonder if Lucy and Carol’s relationship can ever be salvaged.
7. Rufus Can’t Stop Jiya’s Vision
Oh, Rufus. Poor Rufus, who was so terrified by the thought of Jiya’s vision — of him killing a man in cold blood — that he obsessed about it to the point of losing himself. Rufus was so distracted by the vision and the thought of that future coming to fruition that he wasn’t fully there. He didn’t notice that Jiya was hurting. He didn’t notice that Lucy was hurting. He was so focused on his own hurt that it became the only thing that existed. That pivotal moment when Rufus came face-to-face with the man he was to kill, he tried to stop it. He tried to do anything to prevent it from coming to the point where he’d have to shoot him. He didn’t want to kill this man; this father. And while he ultimately prevented himself from killing him, Rufus couldn’t stop him from dying by carriage. But that didn’t stop Rufus from hurting or blaming himself. Hey, some things are just meant to be.
8. Flynn Subs for Wyatt on the Time Team
It’s not the same. It’ll never be the same. I don’t want it to ever happen again. I’m sorry, but the Time Team is not the Time Team without Lucy, Wyatt, or Rufus. Two of them doesn’t feel right. It’s all or nothing. So when Flynn subbed for Wyatt — who Lucy knew had to deal with the Jessica situation so she didn’t tell him or their mission — we got a different look at a team that doesn’t hold a candle to the Time Team. It didn’t feel right. There wasn’t a sense of family. There wasn’t a sense that Flynn would lay his life on the line for Lucy and Rufus the way Wyatt always has and always will. While Flynn certainly can be an asset for the team, he’ll never be a part of this team; this family.
9. Lucy’s Time with the Salem Women
One of the amazing things about Timeless is how this show takes us on a new adventure and teaches us a history lesson each and every week. In traveling to the Salem Witch Trials, we got to meet some of the women that suffered at the hands of people that were horrified and terrified about things and people that were different. Women were accused of being witches simply because they were different. It’s horrifying especially in a time, now, where people are more accepting of people’s differences. Getting to see Lucy among these strong, courageous women and celebrating their differences was a powerful moment.
10. Flynn Loves His Guns
I’m not going to lie, I was thoroughly amused by Flynn and the way he was on edge because he needed to get his hands on a gun back in Salem. The team refused to give him a weapon — and rightfully so, because they don’t trust him — but when you go back in time where a gun is necessary, it can put a guy on edge. The way Flynn was vibrating with unease and eagerness to get his hand on a gun, any gun wasn’t the kind of humor I expected, but I really enjoyed it. Like how he sensed there was a musket in that man’s house. And when he finally got his hands on it. It was satisfying. Almost as satisfying as when Flynn didn’t use it to hurt the team.
11. Nicholas Keynes and Rittenhouse Want to Kill Lucy
DON’T YOU DARE LAY A HAND ON LUCY PRESTON. Never mind what I’ll do or what this fandom will do. No. You have NO IDEA what Wyatt Logan would do to you if you so much as touch Lucy. If there are three things I’m certain of in this life it’s this: 1) Love is the most important thing in this world; 2) Timeless is the best show on television; 3) Wyatt Logan loves Lucy Preston and will protect her with his life and end anyone’s life that dare threaten her’s. So as Nicholas and Emma take it upon themselves to end Lucy, know that Wyatt will never let that happen. And when they get close, he will burn them all to the ground.
Timeless airs Sundays at 10/9c on NBC. You can stream it on Hulu or NBC.com.