Timeless 1×05 Review: The Power of the Human Spirit

With each episode of Timeless, audiences are not only transported to significant moments in history, but they’re also gifted with the exploration of the human spirit. We get personal with these moments that we’ve read in our history books that is unlike anything we’ve experienced to this magnitude. It’s one thing to read about it, it’s another thing to watch a mini-movie of it every week and feel the emotion that comes from the weight of the circumstance and its lasting impact.

Timeless’s latest installment, “The Alamo,” was emotionally moving and inspiring in all of the right ways as it brought to the forefront a significant moment in history that tested the character of the people who fought for us to “Remember the Alamo.”

Each episode of Timeless has a distinct tone that it plays off of depending on the moment in history. While it always manages to maintain some semblance of brevity, “The Alamo” was one of those episodes that required the serious tone that defined it. It was unlike any of the previous episodes in that it placed our characters and us in a moment that we know would end in a massacre. It not only upped the stakes on an emotional level, but it also upped the stakes for our characters as we saw them faced with perhaps their toughest challenge to date.

The great thing about Timeless is that it doesn’t hone in on just the serious nature of these historical moments – that have all proven to be bad to some degree. Timeless also manages to have fun with the initial exploration of the time period. We get to watch our Time Team interact with men like Davy Crockett and James Bowie, as they become accustomed to the time period. That’s been one of the saving graces of Timeless as it manages to not take itself too seriously while also doing justice by the seriousness of the history it explores.

Every episode of Timeless has a message – or messages – that the audience takes away. Every episode has left me thinking about that message and that hour of television long after the episode has aired, which is something truly wonderful. It reminded me of how I’d leave my American History class in middle school every day still thinking about these significant moments in history. Only Timeless does it on a massive scale where it literally puts us, the viewers, in this time period alongside Lucy, Wyatt, and Rufus.

The Battle of the Alamo is the perfect example of the power of the human spirit. These were men that you have to suspect knew that they were not going to make it out, and yet they fought inspired until the end. It was their courage, their strength, their human spirit that inspired others long after their deaths. Their sacrifice was the reason that Texas is here today.

This episode also brought up the question of fear. Surely these men, like Bowie and Crockett, were fearless in their defense of their mission. While we don’t know for sure, Timeless did a good job addressing how being fearlessness isn’t the mark of a hero. It’s the courage, the sacrifice, the relentlessness to give up and give in that defined the heroes of the Alamo. It’s also a message to us albeit on a much smaller scale.

It’s okay to be scared. There’s nothing wrong with being scared. It’s all part of being human. But what truly defines you are your actions. Do you remain sitting or do you stand up? Do you run away or do you run forward? Do you give up or do you keep fighting? The people of the Alamo stood up, they ran forward, and they kept fighting, which really goes to show you the power of the human spirit.

When you think about the outcome – how “Remember the Alamo” essentially led to the inspiration of a people to defeat Santa Anna and create Texas – it’s not exactly worth it for those people to have died, but they died for a great cause. Their deaths meant something. There was a great moment as Wyatt was escaping through the aqueduct where he promised Bowie that their deaths would mean something. And they did.

Getting an up-close glimpse inside this recreation of the Alamo – seeing how inspired these men and women were, how these soldiers refused to quit even against insurmountable odds – was something truly emotional and inspiring to witness. Good luck topping this one, Timeless. But I have a feeling you’ll find a way.

Survivor’s Guilt

“The Alamo” was the perfect episode to highlight the character exploration of Wyatt. Here was a soldier being put in a situation where he was a soldier once again, only the stakes were much higher given Wyatt already knew how this story ended. Wyatt is a character who we don’t know much about other than his wife was killed some four years ago, and it continues to cut him to his core. It’s something that he carries with him everywhere, every day, and he has shown no intention of ever giving himself forgiveness.

Each member of the team has a job: Lucy’s the historian, Rufus is the pilot, and Wyatt is the soldier, and his job on this Time Team is to take out Flynn. How easily we forget that this is a job and that it’s dependent upon results. Lucy has done a fair job of preserving history, but Wyatt hasn’t exactly managed to deliver Flynn on a platter. But it was still a shock when Wyatt was essentially “fired” in the opening minutes of the episode because he failed to kill Flynn. But given how there wasn’t enough time to get the new guy ready, Wyatt found himself going on one last mission…to the Alamo.

Suddenly Wyatt found himself with one last opportunity to accomplish his mission and take out Flynn. But there was something that was different about this mission, as well learned pretty quickly. Wyatt was hallucinating modern day soldiers as they were being killed. It wasn’t until Wyatt opened up to Bowie that we learned an important part of Wyatt’s story, which also explains why he is the way he is.

When Wyatt was in the Army, he was on a mission where one person needed to get some significant evidence out. By the flip of a coin, Wyatt was the lucky guy. His six men fought tooth and nail to help him escape and fell to their deaths. Wyatt left his men to die, and he got a medal for it. At least, that’s how Wyatt sees it. It’s evident that that’s part of the guilt he’s carried with him alongside his wife’s death. In his mind it’s almost as if he’s made himself believe that he’ll eventually lead his teams to their deaths. It also explained Wyatt’s decision near the end of the episode.

Given the current circumstances – how Wyatt was fired from the team and essentially left with nothing left to fight for – Wyatt had decided that he was going to do something meaningful and not leave these men – now, his men – behind. He was not going to do that. Not again.

Of course Wyatt was drowning in guilt over his past tragedies and he let that dictate his way of thinking. Luckily Lucy was able to find him and talk him down. It’s not that she didn’t understand – she understood completely after hearing his story – but this was about preventing Wyatt from making a sacrifice that he didn’t have to make. This wasn’t Wyatt’s fight. Wyatt’s fight – and his team’s fight – is stopping Flynn. And Lucy was able to get through to him in time to prevent Wyatt from making a huge mistake.

Matt Lanter really tapped into some truly emotional stuff in this episode. He was given some great character story to explore and I truly felt the pain that Wyatt was experiencing. Wyatt is a character that has remained the most closed book of the core three. And there’s a reason for that. Wyatt isn’t someone who’s shown that he’s willing to open up. But we’re seeing that change the more he’s around Lucy and Rufus. And Lanter does a fantastic job of showing that gradual progression of Wyatt’s character.

Lucy and Wyatt

There’s no denying that there’s a natural rapport and connection between Lucy and Wyatt. It’s something that’s been evident from the pilot, but it’s also a relationship that Timeless has taken its time with. This is a relationship that doesn’t exist in a pure romantic sense. These types of strong relationships flourish in that trusting foundation that we’re currently getting to see explored. It’s about building that trust, that respect, that friendship, that love. And we’re truly blessed to be getting it.

These last two episodes of Timeless have given us a taste of what can be with Lucy and Wyatt. In “Party at Castle Varlar” we saw the flirting, the jealously, and the protectiveness. It was all part of developing this relationship while also exploring the potential future. In “The Alamo,” we saw how that trust is forming and how that connection is what is holding both of them. When Wyatt was at his lowest – when he was ready to sacrifice his life because he felt like he didn’t have anything left to live for – Lucy put herself in danger to find him and talk him down. She told him that he does matter. People do need him. The team needs him. Rufus needs him. She needs him. It was a powerful moment that was filled with so much admiration, respect, and care that it hit me, and I’m sure others, emotionally in the heart.

Please keep giving us more of these defining moments between these two characters. These characters continue to thrive as individuals, as a team, and as a pair. That bond continues to grow and the chemistry continues to light up our screens week in and week out. Keep the slow burn going!

Timeless airs Mondays at 10/9c on NBC.

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