We do a lot for love. In fact, you could even say we do everything for love. Sometimes it might be the love we have for ourselves, or the love we have for our significant other, or family, but feelings play a big part in every decision we make, every step we take.
Love can make us discover a part of ourselves. Love might make us brave. In some cases, love can even leads us to make questionable choices. And, when that happens, what do we focus on? The love or the choice?
In a midseason finale filled with moral ambiguity, our characters face the ultimate choice between saving the people they love and doing what’s “right” – and the funny thing is, we can’t really blame them for the decisions they make.
Wouldn’t we make the same ones if we were in their shoes?
So let’s explore the choices, the relationships and, of course, the shocking ending to “The Capture of Benedict Arnold”
Well, that was sufficiently creepy, wasn’t it?
Rittenhouse has been our elusive bad guy for a while, and though I’m pretty sure none of us expected that to be an actual man, the fact that he is – and the fact that he’s gone – probably won’t have the effect Flynn (or Rufus) would like.
But it’s a masterpiece of a move for a show that has always had trouble with just Flynn as its bad guy. Why? Well, because Flynn is not really a bad guy. He’s a villain in a sense, yes, and our heroes are tasked with stopping him every episode, but his background makes it so we can’t really blame him for all he’s doing. And every story needs a bad guy. A real bad guy.
This episode plays the Rittenhouse card perfectly, with Flynn, and our Time Team realizing that if they want to get rid of him, they have to work together. Of course, that goes wrong rather quickly, because the fact of the matter is Flynn is willing to do anything and everything to stop this evil, and our team just isn’t.
Does that mean that their end goals don’t align? Not really. I’m not naïve enough to believe this is really the end of Rittenhouse, after all. But the enemy of your enemy isn’t always your friend, especially if the methods differ as much as they do. Will our team get to the same place Flynn is? Debatable, but always a possibility, especially because this episode gives Rittenhouse a face, yes, but it also lays the foundation for it to be so much more.
Clockmakers. The guys pulling the strings of history. All the strings. And what’s more scary than that?
THE THINGS WE DO FOR LOVE
Garcia Flynn is, as we’ve previously surmised, willing to do anything and everything to save his family. But, in a way, so is Rufus. So is Wyatt. And though Lucy hasn’t been faced where a situation where she had a choice between doing the right thing and saving her sister, what would she do if she were? What would we do?
The striking thing about Flynn, the one that makes him even less of a villain, is that he clearly recognizes what he’s doing is wrong. He just thinks the end justifies the means. And he’d be willing to walk away from his family not to taint them, as long as he gets them back.
But that also proves that Flynn doesn’t really get it. He’s not a bad guy, and he’d do everything to save his family, but he wouldn’t do anything to make his family happy. Because, if he did get them back, would they want to be without him? Would they be proud of the man he’s become in their name?
The answer is probably no.
Moral ambiguity is the name of the game this episode, as just about everyone makes a questionable choice in order to protect the people they love. In fact, you could even say the people that don’t just haven’t been faced with the choice yet. But knowing Timeless, the choice is coming. For all of them.
After all, what could be more devastating than this midseason finale? Well, maybe Wyatt having to make a choice between getting his wife back and saving Lucy and Rufus. Maybe Rufus having to decide between his family and Wyatt and Lucy. Maybe Lucy having to decide between her sister and Rufus and Wyatt.
What? You don’t think it’s coming? I do. I’m prepared. Or, as prepared as I can be for something that’s going to rip me apart. And it might seem like a long ways off, but they changed a lot of stuff in this episode. A lot. Who knows what the present they go back to will look like? Who knows if everyone they love will still be there? Who knows if some of the people they lost might be back?
WE’RE ALL IN THIS TOGETHER
One of my favorite things about Timeless it’s that it hasn’t become so enamored of one dynamic – even one that works as well as Wyatt/Lucy, for example – to neglect all the other relationships. Lucy, Wyatt and Rufus, in particular, are a team. They’re not a couple and a sidekick, no. They’re a team of three and they make the decisions together. They care about each other. They protect each other.
They’re each other’s people, as simple as that. Doesn’t mean they don’t get to have other people – though Wyatt clearly doesn’t and Lucy is struggling with realizing she doesn’t have to be the person her other self was – it just means that they’re family.
And hey, just as Wyatt and Lucy had clearly discussed the Rufus/Jiya situation, and maybe even placed bets on it, are we thinking Rufus and Jiya, hell, maybe even Agent Christopher and Connor have had a “You see what’s going on between Wyatt and Lucy” talk? Because at this point, if they don’t see it, they’re blind.
Wyatt and Lucy have always liked each other, and they’ve grown to both respect and care for the other, but it’s not till now, after their adventure with Bonnie and Clyde, that you can see there’s an awareness that pulsates between them, a sense of possibility that neither of them wants to admit.
For Wyatt, because admitting that, committing to it, means letting go of Jessica and the things he thinks he can get back. For Lucy because actually feeling the things she could feel for Wyatt means a loss of control that she’s never experienced and she’s not sure she wants to.
But it’s coming. There’s no escaping it. It’s as clear as Wyatt’s look of annoyance at Lucy and Flynn’s private conversation. It becomes even more obvious when you consider that Lucy whispers Wyatt’s name as soon as the knife goes to her throat and she screams his name when Flynn is taking her away, even if she has no way of knowing if Wyatt is close.
And hey, if you had any doubts after that, consider Wyatt’s strangled Lucy in response. She says his name because when she’s scared Wyatt’s the one she thinks of. He responds like he does because he can’t bear to see her hurt.
This is OTP material right here. And yes, it might take a while – we might have to put up with sort-of-fiancé and obviously-returning-wife before we get it. But it’s there. It’s not going away. And we don’t ever want it to.
Other things to note:
- The development of Agent Denise Christopher was not just long overdue, it was perfectly done. It made sense for her to ask Lucy to help her preserve, if not her family (no one can promise that), her memories of them.
- “Before the time machine my worst fear was losing them. Now it’s that I could lose them and not know they were ever here.” – Isn’t that the scariest thing?
- Riya continues to be goals. VIDEO GAMES. Also, Jiya’s apartment seems like the kind of place I’d want to hang out in. Plus, she can get the pizza.
- “These are idiotic, unenlightened times.” – Spot on, Flynn. Spot on. But we’re all glad that Rufus had to stay behind. VERY GLAD.
- “You’ve had better jokes.”/“Well, I’m nervous.” – I need an episode to focus on the Wyatt/Rufus bromance ASAP.
- Yeah Flynn, call the boy you want to kill. He’ll come. *rolls eyes*
- Basically being a woman sucks, no matter what time you’re in.
Timeless airs Mondays at 10/9c on NBC. It’s currently on hiatus, and it will return on January 16th 2017.