And not just because I refuse (though I refuse, I refuse, I refuse), but because it’s not fair. And okay, sometimes life is not fair. Sometimes television is not fair. But, in this day and age, especially with what’s going on in the world, we all have to believe in something.
I’m going to choose to believe that NBC executives will see in Timeless a show with a loyal niche audience (who won’t leave), a diverse show, a show with strong female characters, one that teaches its audience history and one who makes us fall in love with a ship, a team, a group of characters.
I’m going to choose to believe this is not the end – it can’t be. I’m going to choose to believe that we’ll get to see more of the Rufus/Wyatt friendship, that we’ll get to see more Rufus/Lucy bonding, that we’ll get more Riya, that Agent Christopher and Jiya will get more character development, that we’ll learn more about Rittenhouse, that Lyatt will get to live out the epic love story they’re meant to have.
And I’m asking you to believe with me. And to keep pushing for it. To talk about the show, write to NBC, re-watch the first season over and over again (preferably on the NBC app) and keep the show on the spotlight even after it’s gone. It’s all we can do as fans to make sure these people get to tell their story.
So, with that out of the way, let’s go into the good, the bad and the bat-shit insane of “The Red Scare”:
EVERYONE’S THE HERO OF THEIR OWN STORY
It’s a matter of perspective, something the show has done a great job of playing at in these 16 episodes. Do we ever see ourselves as the villains? Or is our outlook so narrow, our needs to encompassing, that we can’t see beyond our own wants and needs?
Is Flynn a villain? Maybe. Is he a hero? Maybe. Did he do plenty of bad things, was he willing to do many more? The answer to that is clearly yes. But the question remains – was it all worth it? Does the end justify the means?
The answer is deeply personal. Flynn clearly felt the answer was yes, and, considering the ending, considering how they nearly brought down Rittenhouse and then didn’t because Rittenhouse is bigger than they could have ever expected, it almost feels like Flynn’s was somehow justified in his thinking.
And that’s where the show excels in a way few other shows on TV do – in that I’m here, waxing poetic about the villain. In that, when he was taken away, when his chance to save his family slipped away, I felt bad. A part of me – and not a small part, either, was rooting for him, the so called “bad guy.”
But, like in real life, Timeless makes it clear that there are no real bad guys. Everyone’s the hero of their own story. It just kind of depends of where we’re standing and who’s been tasked with the role of storyteller. In our story, the Time Team are the heroes. But, what about Rittenhouse’s story? And Flynn’s?
Just the fact that I’m asking this question means the show has done something right. And, of course, it means the show deserves a chance to keep weaving this tale.
THE WOMEN OF TIMELESS
Bad-ass women are everywhere on TV these days. They still get the short end of the stick more often than not, but they’re not as uncommon as they were twenty years ago, and shows are getting better at giving them realistic story-lines that encompass all that being a woman is. And yet, it’s still somewhat of a miracle to see a show with so many strong, diverse women.
We see the world through Lucy’s eyes, yes, and Lucy, our heroine, is not just a woman who knows about history, she’s a woman who cares about more than what’s on some books – she cares about people. All people. The ones she’s close to, the one she doesn’t know. She’s kind, and warm and funny, and so, so smart and resourceful and yes, sometimes she breaks, sometimes she’s scared, but she always, always tries.
Jiya is probably one of, if not the smartest/most technologically savvy person in every room she’s in, and yet she’s not a stereotype, not in any way, shape or form. She doesn’t follow Connor Mason blindly, or Agent Richards or even Rufus – Jiya makes up her own mind about things, and when she does, she will not be deterred, or kept in a glass cage. She’s not a princess, she’s a warrior, and she’ll fight all the battles she has to fight.
Agent Richards is not just a token woman in a position of authority, there to add diversity or look pretty while getting in the way of our heroes – she’s a smart woman with a keen intellect and a strong temperament. She doesn’t back down from doing what she feels is right, even at great personal cost, and when she chooses a side, she doesn’t stray. Ever.
These women that Timeless has given us, these role-models, are so completely different and yet so alike in that they’re the embodiment of what all women want to be these days – independent, strong, caring, kind and no, not perfect, but kick-ass nonetheless. They’re proof that a show can thrive with more than one strong woman, that little girls can look at Timeless, look at what TV has to offer and feel like they can be either the math geek or the history major or the feisty type and still be the heroines.
We need more women like them. And we need them, for many more seasons to come.
THE MEN OF TIMELESS
The men of Timeless get their own section too – or at least Wyatt and Rufus do, because, in a show that does so well diversity wise and with so many strong female characters, the men stand out in a very different way than they do in other shows.
Wyatt is a privileged guy – or, he should be. He’s a while male, so traveling in time is way easier for him than for Lucy or Rufus. He’s also ex-military and exceptionally skilled. You could add the same regular tragic backstory – which he has, even if we’ve only scratched the surface, and Wyatt would be just like any other hero. Except he’s not.
He’s just …a guy with a tragic past who still cares so very deeply, even when he pretends not to. He’s a guy who never seems to have a problem deferring to Lucy or trusting Rufus’s intelligence, and also a guy who doesn’t make a big deal about the fact that he’s doing it in the first place. He’s a guy who’d lay down his life for those he loves, and a guy who never begrudges someone else what he can’t have.
He’s the white male hero we want, no, the one we deserve.
If he’s the while male hero we deserve, then Rufus is the POC hero we deserve. In another show he’d be relegated to sidekick, the one who makes the jokes and stands aside as the two main white people make out. In Timeless, however, Rufus is the smarty-pants who gets the other two out of trouble, sort of like a cross between Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger, but with potential to be Harry Potter any given week.
He’s a guy with his own love-story, his own family, his own separate friendship with both Lucy and Wyatt, his own insecurities, his own problems, and yes, his own faults. He’s a real person who walks, talks and speaks like regular people we know.
Because these characters don’t fit a mold – or at least, they don’t fit any mold we’ve ever seen before. And just like the women are trailblazers just by being diverse, strong and present, the men manage the same by being anything but placeholders for the macho culture we live in. And as much as we need to see more of Lucy, Jiya and Denise, we also need more Wyatt and Rufus – and even Mason – to show that even if these people are fictional, they reflect the world we live in. They inform it. And, by existing, they make it better.
I LOVE YOU/ I COULD LOVE YOU
Rufus and Jiya are, in a way, the perfect parallel to Lucy and Wyatt. For Riya the journey has already begun, and yes, despite that there’s a huge element of fear involved, because giving into love is scary, because letting yourself go means accepting that, from now on, it will never be just about you. It’ll always be about this entity that you’ve created with another person. You’ll be part of something – forever.
Because that’s what love is – letting go. Love is putting your heart into a living, breathing person, one who can one day choose to leave you or die, but who can also complete you. And Rufus, for all that he’s been dragging his feet, has taken that plunge. So has Jiya. They’re ready for the next step of the journey, the one that involves living with the complexities of love.
Lucy and Wyatt, meanwhile, are just beginning. They began that day on the jail, with Wyatt confiding in Lucy, that day on the Alamo, with Lucy stating that she needed Wyatt, that night on Lucy’s house when Wyatt came to say goodbye. And yet, they never really began till that instant at the end of the episode when they looked at each other and finally saw what was there.
She’d seen it before, processed it, and, in a way, let go of it. He’d seen it too, but he’d never let himself grasp it. He needed to let Jessica go first, he needed to accept that, time machine or not, he couldn’t always fix the mistakes of the past, and that, sometimes, all he could do was do good in the present.
They were never in the same place, in the same moment in time, both accepting, not what was, but what could be, what was there to be seized.
Because they haven’t gotten started yet – their love story is in its infancy. And yet, now they both know that the other sees it, that he other wants it …that they could have it. Not all at once, because that’s not how great love stories go, but little by little, with the solid foundation of friendship and trust that they already share.
You want OTPs? This show has OTPs. Amazing, heart-wrenching, brilliant OTPs that make you collapse into a puddle of feels with just one look. And they deserve more time. We deserve more time.
FOCUS ON THE PRESENT
Funny how a show about time-travel would be so clear in its message – the future is now. The past is prologue. We have to live our lives in the today, change our actions in the now. That’s how we change the future. That’s how we make things better.
Lucy took this message to heart, and by reaching her grandfather, crippled Rittenhouse. And yet she didn’t completely beat them – not only because then the show would be over, but because evil, especially nuanced evil, is never so easily conquered. It takes time, and perseverance. It takes tenacity.
And, in this case, it’ll take the Time Team, going after these guys, over and over again. After all, as Wyatt said last episode, if not them, who?
Now all they need is a chance to go change things – for the better. And for that, they need our help. They need NBC’s help.
Renew Timeless. For Lucy, Wyatt and Rufus, but also, for us. For what we are. For what we see. For what we could be because of them.
Give us more.
Other things to note:
- “Is it because of that guy”? – Why do men always have to assume that if a woman doesn’t want to be with them it’s because of another guy? No. It’s because of Lucy. It’s because she’s not the woman you fell in love with, and she’s finally accepted that she’s never going to be.
- “I’ll hold them off” Agent Christopher is not kidding around. I got goosebumps when she just stood there as the cavalry showed up.
- The 50’s suck. The wardrobe, however? That’s good. Lucy’s light blue dress was gorgeous.
- “Rufus is a lot faster at that, by the way.” HA.
- I don’t trust you, Connor Mason. I don’t. I don’t trust your long game, I don’t trust that you care about Rufus – I just don’t trust you. So, give me a season 2 so I can gloat about being right.
- “He’s looking at me like I’m a piece of meat.” / “Can’t imagine what that’s like” – Lucy speaks for all women EVER.
- Both Lucy and Wyatt telling Lucy’s grandpa that there’s nothing wrong with him was beautiful and poignant.
- I collapsed into a puddle of Lyatt feels at that hug. I can barely type like this. Can someone make me a supercut of all Lyatt scenes? For science.
- Also, this was me at the Lyatt scene at the end:
- Okay, theories on what happened to Jiya? Is she somehow stuck between two times? Is she a living time machine? Is her past changing? Is this Slaughterhouse-Five? DID SHE FORGET RUFUS?
Love it? Hate it? Have a lot of Timeless feels? Share with us in the comments!
Timeless Season 1 is available to stream on the NBC App.