Timeless movie review: Who died, who survived, and was there a cliffhanger?

Tonight, the Timeless movie aired on NBC and from start to finish, it feels clear that this was meant as a big closing salvo for the time-travel series. Just in case this is the end of the road for the series, this movie is meant to offer up a sense of closure — and, by the end of the episode, we think that it provided that.

Let’s start by detailing the obvious — Rufus was in fact saved. Yet, what happened in order to bring him back was the time team having to deal with other matters of life and death. In order to ensure that nothing ever happened leading up to Rufus’ death, there needed to be a way to eliminate the real catalyst that led to him being in Chinatown at the time of his death — Jessica. A life for a life. They didn’t necessarily have to kill her, but they had to find a way where she could never get back to the present so that she could surprise Wyatt and upend his entire life.

Well, in the end Jessica was killed — and it was Flynn who did it by going back to the time of her original death and being the one who ultimately did the deed. He opted to allow himself go in this timeline as a way to ensure that Jessica could never do what she did. He spared his own life in order to ensure that Rufus could have his and that the team could actually save the future. Before that, we did actually learn that there was a time in the future (had he survived and Rufus remained dead) where he and Lucy did get together romantically, but it didn’t last. It’s another complex layer to what is one of the show’s most-fascinating relationships … or what was.

We’re sad about the idea of Flynn dying in the movie but what it achieved was rather poignant — a chance for his legacy to be that of a hero. He was someone who was fueled so much by anger that he flew too close to the sun. This was his chance for redemption and to go out in a way that was fully heroic. He knew enough about what the future would be to know that his way wasn’t necessarily the right now.

Of course, even with Flynn stopping Jessica, there was still another problem: Emma trying to eradicate the team from the timeline already by disposing of them in North Korea in the 1950’s. While there, we did see the team of Rufus, Jiya, Lucy, and Wyatt at their best — saving history, but also saving the people who were a part of that history. That included a woman who wanted nothing more but to ensure that she could be reunited with her husband and her family. Yet, along the way the team just had to figure out to survive once it was clear that they were wandering into a trap. This constituted the second part of the episode, which was about survival and, beyond that, getting a chance to really see exactly how they could figure out some of the relationships that were important to them.

For Rufus and Jiya, this part of the story was about them realizing that they had some things to work out and that Rufus needed to see Jiya for the person that she was after she spent three years trapped in 19th-century Chinatown. She wasn’t necessarily the same person and she was worried that he wouldn’t accept her. He did. Lucy and Wyatt, meanwhile, were in a bizarre timeline where, in the minds of others, they were already together. Without Jessica around, this is something that couldn’t happen; yet, her being gone from the timeline changed that. It shouldn’t be a surprise that they ended up together … at least after dealing with Emma once and for all.

How the writers figured out a way to bring Emma to the past, with the Mothership, was smart. It was the only way to save the heroes after they were lost in the North Korean cold, and it was the handiwork of a plan orchestrated by Agent Christopher and also Connor Mason in order to ensure that Lucy’s incarcerated father could be used in order to make sure that Emma did what they said. She was handcuffed as she went on the Mothership with Christopher and Mason into the past, and after trying to break free, she was shot by one of the soldiers ready to ambush the group. With that, Emma is also gone and with that, Rittenhouse as we know it seems to be gone for good.

So … what happens now?

Well, the end of the episode flash-forwarded five years. Lucy and Wyatt are together and have a pair of twins named after Flynn and also Lucy’s lost sister Amy, who she decided not to save in fear that it could cause someone else a life. Jiya and Rufus were extremely successful, with Rufus acting more as the silent partner. Everyone was happy, but they had one more mission to take on: Lucy going back in time in order to give Flynn the journal before the start of season 1. She did this and with that, everything was full-circle and the loop was closed.

Or … are things really done? While Mason did destroy the Mothership, the Lifeboat was kept intact just in case there was an occasion in the future it was useful. As it turns out, they could run into that very thing courtesy of someone designing their own time machine in the closing seconds. While this may not amount to anything in terms of a season 3, this is Connor Mason’s vision coming to life — someday, someone else could design another one. Maybe this is a season 3 tease, if we ever get one.

CarterMatt Verdict

Was this a fitting ending? We do think it tied together the story in a heartfelt and fitting way — it’s a lot like the Firefly movie Serenity in that regard, especially in killing off a main character in Flynn. We do think that there was almost a half-season’s worth of content pushed into two hours and it was a lot, but we get it — this had to be a finale if there are no more episodes coming in the future.

We are still hoping and crossing our fingers that someone will come out with more Timeless down the line, but for now, this was both a fitting end to the story and also a nice way to celebrate the show’s fandom with some Easter eggs throughout.

What do you think about the Timeless movie overall? Be sure to share some of your thoughts right now in the attached comments.

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