EXCLUSIVE: Arika Lisanne Mittman and Lauren Greer talk Saving Rufus and Saving the ‘World’ in the ‘Timeless’ Movie Event

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: Saving Rufus almost seems like saving the world. And hey, it could be the beginning of saving Timeless!

The show, twice cancelled, twice revived, will air a two-hour movie event that’s supposed to sort of wrap up the story-line, while still leaving open a possibility of more, because with this fandom, how can you ever give up?

Rhetorical question. You can’t. Have you met a Clockblocker? They won’t give up, it’s just not in their vocabulary.

We had a chance to talk to Arika Lisanne Mittman and Lauren Greer, who penned these upcoming two episodes of Timeless, and during the next few days we’ll be bringing you our conversation in installments, because boy, did we have questions, and they were gracious enough to give us a ton of information to share.

Starting with, of course, Rufus! Because this is all about saving Rufus, first and foremost. Save Rufus, save the world! Fans made banners about this very subject. #SaveRufus was trending on Twitter.

To this, Lauren not only agreed with our assertion that Rufus was, in many ways, the heart of Timeless, but expressed that they always knew they would get to a point where Lucy and Wyatt would be willing to sacrifice everything to save him.

“Ever seen It’s a Wonderful Life?” Lauren started her question by asking, and oh, the parallels. The parallels! If you haven’t watched this movie, let’s just say you need to before the movie event airs. “A timeline without Rufus kind of feels like that, only Rittenhouse is winning and our Time Team is completely fractured.” The darkest timeline indeed. “The Time Team has grown into a family over the past two seasons. They’ve discovered what they’re fighting for: each other. And now, without Rufus, they’re incomplete.”

And that’s not everything, Lauren told us. “Without him, they might not be able to stop Rittenhouse.”

TIMELESS — “The Miracle of Christmas Part l ” Episode 211 — Pictured: Malcolm Barrett as Rufus Carlin — (Photo by: Darren Michaels/Sony/NBC)

Save Rufus, save the world indeed.

But, though the plan was always to save him, the plans regarding Future Lucy and Wyatt – or, as I like to call them, Tomb Raider Lucy and Hot Youth Pastor Wyatt – were a little more tenuous, and way more far reaching – or at least, the cause/effect part of their coming, as Arika confirmed they “had to truncate plans for the Lucy/Wyatt story from a season-long arc into 2 episodes.”

To which I’ll say both ugh, and yay less angst? Although, I would have gladly taken the pain if that meant a season three. I really would have. And I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one.

Lauren added to that they found themselves “realizing that Future Lucy/Wyatt showing up in the bunker actually causes more problems than they solve.” And we get that, we really do. Logistically, it was probably a nightmare, not just for the actors, but for the writers, considering this future, the one they’re coming from, is anything but fixed. Visually, it was pretty darn cool to end Season 2 like that, though. “Certainly made our heads explode for a few days, but it was fun to explore what their characters were like and the dynamics between Future Wyatt/Lucy and how they differ from the Lucy and Wyatt we know and love.”

And differ they do. But different isn’t always a bad thing, and on a show like Timeless, no future is set in stone, which opens up a ton of possibilities, especially because, as Arika confessed, “while we planned for quite some time to introduce Future Lucy and Future Wyatt into the equation, we really didn’t have a long term plan fleshed out for them, per se.”

They just wanted future Lyatt. We get it. We did too. Do too. And, hey, if they have to leave, we wouldn’t object to their own spin-off comics, or something.

What? A girl can dream.

Either way, they were always meant to be a temporary thing, though the minutes on screen changed when they were faced with squeezing everything into two hours. But “there was never a world where we spent all season with 2 versions of both characters,” Arika promised, and we have to say we’re kinda glad. We like the journey.

TIMELESS — “The Miracle of Christmas Part II” Episode 212 — Pictured: (l-r) Abigail Spencer as Lucy Preston, Matt Lanter as Wyatt Logan — (Photo by: Chris Haston/NBC)

Getting to future Lyatt – whatever version of them we end up with – is part of the fun.

But this movie event isn’t all about Lyatt. As much as we love them (and I really do), part of the reason why I love Timeless, and why so many people have felt drawn to the stories the show tried to tell us, is that every character on this show gets a chance to shine, every character has fans, and every story is important.

“They are all so fun to write, and with our cast in mind…how can you NOT get excited?” Lauren asked, a rhetorical question if we’ve ever seen one, before continuing. “I personally had a blast writing for Jiya and Emma.”

Which just leads us to – Timeless really and truly has some of the best developed female character around, doesn’t it? Why aren’t we assured a third, fourth and fifth season of this show again? Maybe THIS is the Bad Place.

“Adding the 4th seat to the Lifeboat certainly helped showcase the other characters, but I’d definitely say seeing our characters LIVE together in the bunker really helped develop the Time Team dynamics,” Lauren also said, which goes right to the point she made before, about how these people are now family, and they’re really and truly fighting for each other.

“We got to see them in quiet moments both triumphant and somber, which provided the opportunity to get to know them as relatable human beings — not just heroic time travelers,” she continued, and it’s refreshing to see that Timeless, that it’s writers, get this, as I feel that’s, often, half the reason people even write fanfic in the first place, to see these moments, for that little sliver of character development.

So, for fans of Denise, Mason, Jiya, and Flynn, here’s some great news from Lauren: “Let’s just say that everyone does their part to save the world.”

That’s what a true team does.

TIMELESS — “The Miracle of Christmas Part II” Episode 212 — Pictured: (l-r) Sakina Jaffrey as Denise Christopher, Paterson Joseph as Connor Mason, Claudia Doumit as Jiya — (Photo by: Darren Michaels/Sony/NBC)

Arika agreed with this assessment, adding, “That’s one of my favorite things about this finale: Each character in our cast is instrumental to saving the world. If any one of them hadn’t been there — if they hadn’t all been working together — they’d fail.”

It’s almost like the Clockblocker family that has formed online, the one that has fought for this show, over and over, reflects that same spirit the writers have tried to cultivate in the show: the spirit of family. It might not be perfect, there might be disagreements, but in the end, when it matters, everyone comes together and fights for the same cause.

Everyone includes Flynn, our once-villain turned antihero of sorts, and someone who has certainly been on the path of redemption the last few episodes – even if what happened in Season 1 makes that redemption anything but straightforward and easy.

To that effect, Lauren gave us probably the best comparison for Flynn we’ve ever heard. “I love Harry Potter, so I make a lot of comparisons…Flynn reminds me a lot of Severus Snape,” she shared, and I swear, my brain just stopped for a while as I tried to figure out why I, who grew up on Harry Potter, never thought to make this connection before. “Like Snape, Flynn’s drive deep down is always motivated by love.”

Cue the Snape/Lily and Flynn with his family comparisons. Someone, make this gifset!

“I would say his motivation in season one certainly conflicted with the Time Team’s goals…but not anymore,” Lauren also shared, which is always good to hear, as we kinda like the Flynn we got at the end of the season two, the one that’s capable of being a supportive friend, and the one who’s got sass for days!

“He may not wear his heart on his sleeve,” Lauren sentenced, “but his heart is why he has become one of my favorite characters,” not before warning me. “If you’re not careful…you may just fall in love with him in these two episodes.”

Like that warning is going to do me any good. I’m already in love with all these characters, and there’s really no going back for me.

The Timeless two-hour movie event airs Thursday, December 20th, at 8/7c on NBC.

Lissete Lanuza Sáenz

Co-Executive Editor

Lawyer. Dreamer. Geek. Eternal optimist. Fangirl since the dawn of time. Hates the color yellow, olives and cigarettes. Has a recurring nightmare where she’s forced to choose between sports and books. Falls in love with fictional characters.