Timeless 1×11 Review: ‘The World’s Columbian Exposition’

What we wouldn’t have given a month ago to have access to the Time Ship in order to travel forward a month and get our beloved Timeless back. There’s been a serious piece of my heart missing with Timeless on winter break. One that couldn’t even be cured with sweets and presents. But they say absence makes the heart grow fonder.

And boy does it.

It wasn’t until Timeless returned with its midseason premiere that I realized just how much I’ve been missing this show. When a show takes a break it’s easy to get lost in the business of life. It’s easy to let other things take over. But when you get that thing back in your life that you’ve been missing, you appreciate just how much you’ve depended on it and how much you’ve missed it.

It surely didn’t help matters that Timeless left off with a heart attack-inducing winter finale that separated our Time Team as Flynn kidnapped Lucy and left Wyatt calling out for her, all the well knowing what was happening. Wyatt and Rufus were left stunned – probably as much as we were as an audience – as the unthinkable happened. And then winter break happened.

Well, Timeless’s return surely did not disappoint. It created this sense of absence as Wyatt and Rufus struggled with Lucy’s disappearance and the implications that came with it. This wasn’t losing a coworker. This was losing a friend. This was losing family. This was so much more than the mission. As far as Wyatt and Rufus were concerned, there was no mission other than to get Lucy back. And, boy, was this hour one filled with emotion, magic, twists, and a cliffhanger that left our jaws on the floor.

Let’s break this down:

Reuniting the Time Team

The fundamental reason why Timeless works is because of the core dynamic between Lucy, Wyatt, and Rufus. Even with one of them missing there’s a sense of incompleteness that is felt. Luckily, Timeless hasn’t made us suffer too much in that regard. Anytime these three are separated they’re often quickly reunited.

But when you have four weeks to live in the reality that Lucy was kidnapped by Flynn and separated from Wyatt and Rufus, it makes it so much worse than waiting a single week.

Anytime one or more of these core three are separated from each other there’s something fundamentally missing. It’s like a missing puzzle piece. You can’t complete the puzzle or task with one of the pieces missing. And that’s what this mid-season premiere felt like as Wyatt and Rufus were forced to navigate the past minus their historian. It was cute to watch Wyatt and Rufus put to use the small bit of tactics and history they’d picked up from Lucy. But when they walked into a trap – and the setting of a serial killer – we were reminded that they still need Lucy.

But it’s more than the individual contributions that each Lucy, Wyatt, and Rufus contribute. There’s an emotional aspect that each bring to the table, as well. There’s a palpable sense of urgency when they’re separated. And that was felt in force when Lucy went missing. Perhaps it’s because she’s a civilian, or perhaps it’s because of a certain former soldier’s feelings for her, but Lucy going missing was something that was felt throughout the episode. It was the driving force for Wyatt and Rufus. It gave them the courage to navigate the past without her. And while they did okay, they ultimately led themselves into a trap, proving once again how vital each member is to operating this mission.

The reunion that we got to see reminded me just how close these three have grown. They would literally put their lives on the line for each other – in fact, they do it every week. But all of the pain, the fear, and the struggle that had plagued them up until that moment seemed to vanish as Wyatt and Rufus embraced Lucy. It was a scene that the writers used to remind the audience that this core dynamic is what drives this show. This show will only go as far as that dynamic goes.

The Time Team have had now 11 episodes to develop their relationship. It’s a relationship that has gone so much deeper than this mission that they have. When they go on these dangerous missions and travel to the past and realize that the dangers are so incredibly real – dangers of changing history and dangers of losing themselves – they develop a bond that nothing else can match. They have to have a level of trust, respect, and honesty with each other, which we’ve seen them work out the kinks this season. Their mission ultimately relies – and succeeds – on the effectiveness of their relationship. And damn it’s a beautiful thing.

Lucy Saved Wyatt, Wyatt Saved Lucy

One of the things that I wasn’t able to truly appreciate until it was gone for a month and then returned was Lucy and Wyatt. They’re a ship that completely snuck up on me and have since grown into a force of nature that leaves me clinging to my pillow and squealing every time they share a moment. So to get these two back was something that made my week.

Lyatt is one of those ships that you don’t see coming. You don’t see it coming until it’s taken you over completely. It thrives in the dangerous circumstances that the characters are in, as well as the raw emotions that they elicit. It’s one of those relationships that feels “meant to be” because so many things have had to line up in order for it to happen.

With that said, Timeless’ winter return did not disappoint on the Lyatt front. Almost immediately we were reminded of how Wyatt and Lucy were calling out to each other before Flynn kidnapped her. Then immediately as the episode began we saw that fierce protectiveness within Wyatt take over as he’d go to any lengths necessary to get her back. (Remind you of something?)

I felt like the entire episode I was waiting for these two to be reunited. Well, I was waiting for the entire Time Team (because obviously), but one part of that Time Team is Lyatt. So when the moment finally came, I was ready. The fact that Lucy recognized Wyatt’s voice and was able to save him and Rufus among others was something that made me swoon. Then they reunited with an embrace that even I felt, Wyatt cradling Lucy’s head in the process. It was everything I had been waiting for. A reminder that while they’re far from being romantically involved right now, that that’s definitely the direction they’re headed. They care too much for each other. When you care that much about someone and are such close friends, sometimes the next natural step is romance.

The amazing thing about this episode was how Lucy saved Wyatt and then how Wyatt saved her in return. First we saw Lucy save Wyatt and Rufus from that room. Then we had Wyatt save Lucy from the psychopath serial killer in the basement. It was one of those moments that defines what the word FEELS actually means.

Tempting Rittenhouse

As Wyatt and Rufus fought to find their way back to Lucy, it was easy for us to forget that there’s a greater danger out there than just Garcia Flynn. Rittenhouse is still at large, and their presence continues to be felt and their threat continues to be real.

As we’ve seen this season, Rufus has been instructed to carry a recording device with him on all missions. For awhile he didn’t know that it was Rittenhouse who instructed it, but once he did he tried to refuse and sever his connection with them. Only they wouldn’t let that happen. They made it damn clear that he wasn’t to disobey them unless he wanted himself or his family to suffer the consequences.

So after the Time Team returned, Rufus recorded a message to Rittenhouse basically saying he was done being their puppet. How he wasn’t going to be recording anything again. How this was the last message they were going to get from him. The confidence in Rufus was inspiring. But the fear on Mason’s face was enough to remind me that Rittenhouse isn’t an organization to go down without a fight.

Rufus has basically tempted Rittenhouse to come after him. It’s a dangerous game to play, but a part of me wants to believe that Rufus knows what he’s doing; that he has some kind of plan when it comes to facing off against Rittenhouse. But then the other part of me is running, screaming in the opposite direction as I await the consequences of Rufus’ disobeying them.

What Will Wyatt Do?

Leave it to Timeless to come back from its winter break and drop one hell of a bomb on the audience in the final moments. Also damn Garcia Flynn for being a jackass. Because somewhere deep down he knows that he’s somehow messing with the Time Team and resistance against him by setting this plan in motion.

In the final moments of the episode, Wyatt received a call from Flynn, which we knew from the start was suspicious. He proceeded to tell Wyatt that he was here to make good on his promise to Wyatt. Wyatt had helped him, so he was here to tell Wyatt the name of his wife’s killer. He also provided instructions on how to save Wyatt’s wife, Jessica. Basically, Wyatt would have to go back in time before he existed – basically the time of the killer’s parents being alive – in order to save her.

Part of me still doesn’t entirely trust Flynn at this point. Could he have been an honorable man at one point? Sure. Do I think he still is? Not really. For all we know this man that Wyatt is most likely to erase from existence is someone that is a member of Rittenhouse – and Flynn is playing Wyatt like a pawn in his sick, twisted game.

But even that’s better than the alternative. What is Flynn really is doing the honorable thing and keeping his word with Wyatt? What if Wyatt goes back in time and erases Jessica’s killer from existence? What if he manages to save Jessica? While I don’t think myself a terrible person and would never wish someone dead, the thought of Jessica coming back to life makes me incredibly upset. Somethings are just meant to be because they drive you to a greater purpose. For Wyatt, that purpose was being a part of this Time Team. Saving lives, saving history, and forming bonds with Lucy and Rufus that will last a lifetime. Also, let’s not forget about taking down Rittenhouse.

As I sit here speculating (because what’s a girl to do when she’s obsessing?), I can’t help but believe that Wyatt will get as far as coming face to face with the opportunity to kill the killer’s family (or whatever) but it’ll be Lucy and Rufus who pull him back.

Here’s the thing, this isn’t some honorable thing that Wyatt’s doing – or most likely will be doing. It’s selfish. There’s no glory in being selfish, no matter who it saves. So this upcoming arc where Wyatt will be forced to confront the information and proposal that Flynn gave him is incredibly important in Wyatt’s moral code. Does Wyatt honestly think that Jessica would be okay with Wyatt killing someone innocent (because remember, it wouldn’t be the killer he’d be killing but the killer’s family) in order to save her? Because she wouldn’t. And I have no doubt in my mind that Lucy and Rufus will be there to remind Wyatt of that – and ultimately save him.

Five Things…

  1. The Time Team isn’t complete unless Lucy, Wyatt & Rufus are together. So it was painful as hell to watch most of this episode with Lucy away from Wyatt and Rufus. But that reunion – and those hugs – more than made up for the brief absence. (Also thankful her missing from the Time Team lasted only an episode.)
  2. Lucy & Wyatt will be the death of me. The fact that they didn’t interact for most of the episode, and I still got more FEELS than most other couples on other shows says a lot. Then you had the reunion hug and him cradling her head. Then you had Lucy saving Wyatt and Wyatt saving Lucy. And everything just made me FEEL SO MANY THINGS. God, I’ve missed these two.
  3. Lucy working with Houdini was something I didn’t know I needed. I will never get over Lucy’s reaction to meeting famous people in history. But getting to watch Lucy interact with Harry Houdini was something special. She helped him (with getting his name out) and he helped her save her friends. And they made a damn good pair.
  4. Rufus challenging Rittenhouse has me incredibly concerned. I’m not going to lie. While Rufus has this confidence about being strong when it comes to this evil organization, he’s quick to forget everything that they’re capable of. And perhaps they’re capable of things we haven’t even seen yet.
  5. Wyatt’s morality is going to be tested. We all knew this moment was coming. The foreshadowing was there from the pilot. How Wyatt would do anything – anything – to save Jessica. And now he has his chance. But it’s a chance that’s laced with questionable moral implications that are sure to drive Wyatt’s arc – and affect his final decision – as the season winds down.

Timeless airs Mondays at 8/7c on NBC.

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