The second episode of “Timeless” debuted on NBC Monday night, and we feel like it definitely brought a lot to the table. There were well-known historical figures, humor, action, and most importantly, action that continues to push the story forward in interesting ways.
As a matter of fact, we’d say that this episode was a nice improvement on a solid pilot, and makes the show one we’re looking forward to watching every week.
The central push of this episode revolved around Lucy, Rufus, and Wyatt traveling back to the time of Abraham Lincoln’s assassination in order to stop Garcia Flynn (which out our recent interview with Goran Visnjic here) from changing history yet again. This time, he apparently wanted to further the plot to ensure that General Grant, Vice-President Johnson, and the Secretary of State were all killed using more advanced weapons and with someone new in their corner.
What makes this show so effective is that you’ve got a clear adversary, and while you don’t know much about him, you at least know what he’s trying to do and how to stop him. There were clear stakes behind not drastically altering history, which is something that Lucy realized with the disappearance of her sister Amy in the pilot. Our three heroes had to pool their resources and think carefully to ensure that everyone survived … or at least those who were meant to survive. With President Lincoln, the moral dilemma became whether or not to save someone who deserved to be saved, even if history dictated he was killed at the hands of John Wilkes Booth. Due to the beginnings of a relationship with Lincoln’s son, Lucy was compelled at the last second to go against her original desire to let history take its course — but it was too late, and Flynn had killed him. This in itself was a slight change, as he kept Booth from going through with it out of fear he would fail in the execution with Lucy around.
In the midst of all this, we had a particularly moving scene in which Rufus found himself labeled a hero for saving the Vice-President, even if history did not remember him to be so. He was also able to give some other black heroes a reason to be hopeful for the future even after their President’s death. Another good scene contained Flynn telling Lucy that he had lost his family through some unknown phenomena, and that there is a reason for what he is doing — and that someday, he would want to help her.
Moving back to the present, tonight’s big reveal (other than Rufus unwillingly being a spy) came when Lucy realized that her father was never actually her father even in the original timeline. He ended up marrying someone who was originally meant to die in the Hindenburg, and he and her mother had never met. Therefore, Amy was wiped out of existence, but she remained only to learn that her biological parents are not on great terms.
Also, Lucy now has a new fiancee, so good luck with that!
Episode Grade: B+. While there were a few moving moments in this episode, it feels like “Timeless” will shine as this great, action-comedy-drama hybrid show that is a little bit like another Eric Kripke series in “Supernatural” minus many of the demons and angels running around. If this show routinely offers this sort of adventurous spirit, it should be safe for a long time.
Next week – We’ll have a full preview up soon over at this link.