Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Timeless 1x09 Review: “Last Ride of Bonnie & Clyde” (A Romantic Tragedy)

“Last Ride of Bonnie & Clyde”
Original Airdate: December 5, 2016

One of the most frustrating things to me is when people model their weddings after The Great Gatsby or Romeo and Juliet. (And apologies in advance if you’re one of those people.) Because even though both stories have romantic elements, they’re ultimately considered tragedies, not romances. Characters suffer from broken hearts and the losses of the ones they love most dearly. Because of external or internal circumstances, these romances are doomed and all that’s left in the end is death. In this week’s episode of Timeless, we get to watch another romantic tragedy unfold — the story of Bonnie and Clyde. Admittedly, I didn’t really know anything about their story besides the obvious: they’re two infamous criminals and killers who also happen to be in love. But what Timeless does when it’s really good (and this episode was really good) is humanize history for us. Whether you’ve heard the tales of these notorious criminals time and time again, or this is the first time you’ve heard of them, the writers make sure to construct characters who aren’t just archetypes or ripped from the pages of history books. We actually empathize with them, and we ache for Bonnie when she loses the love of her life.

Timeless continues to succeed not because of the plot surrounding Flynn — honestly, that’s the least exciting part of this show — but because of the commitment to telling stories from history in a new way. In the process of telling these stories, we’re allowed deeper into the lives of our core characters: Wyatt, Lucy, and Rufus. Last week’s episode (apologies for not reviewing it, but I was in a bit of a writer’s rut) focused a lot on Rufus and what time travel has done to him. He’s feared it’s made him more callous about human life. Lucy is there for him, however, when he opens up to her and it’s a beautiful little moment. With an episode focused on Rufus last week, it was inevitable that we would get one that focuses on Wyatt and Lucy. And “Last Ride of Bonnie & Clyde” definitely delivered in spades. Not only did we get the opportunity to learn more about the titular iconic duo, but those characters were used to illuminate Wyatt and Lucy — and even kick-start what will likely be their romance.

Let’s discuss, shall we?


I can usually call chemistry from the pilot episode of a television show. It’s from the pilot that I began to ship Nick and Jess together on New Girl, and I haven’t looked back since. When Timeless began, I knew that there was something special between Wyatt and Lucy. They had a connection and a mutual respect for one another. They seemed to click effortlessly, and whether that would turn into something romantic was yet to be seen.

Flash forward a few episodes, and you have Wyatt and Lucy willing to die for one another, Lucy insistent on not leaving Wyatt behind at the Alamo by grabbing his face, and Wyatt walking Lucy through what it’s like to be a soldier. When you’re thrust into life and death situations every day, you bond pretty quickly with the people around you. There has always been a hint of chemistry between the two — something teasing in their glances and words, but also a deep connection and admiration. My favorite thing that the show has done without ever overtly mentioning it is have Wyatt buckle Lucy up and hold her hand whenever the ship encounters turbulence. It’s these little moments that snowball into bigger ones.

Like the kiss the two share in this episode.

I’ll back up for a second to recap the plot though: when the team is sent to the 1930s in order to chase Flynn before he gets his hands on an important Rittenhouse necklace, they stop at a bank and are held up by none other than Bonnie and Clyde themselves. When Lucy notices that Bonnie is wearing the necklace, Wyatt and Lucy follow the pair out of the bank, only to be ambushed by Flynn and the local police he’s working with. Wyatt and Lucy gain the trust of Bonnie and Clyde by fleeing with them and protecting them as they do so.

The four escape to a remote cabin, where Bonnie and Clyde tell stories of their bank-robbing escapades, but also reveal the origin of the necklace itself (Henry Ford?!). As they begin to open up, Lucy sees a whole different side to Bonnie than the gun-toting outlaw she was portrayed as. Bonnie is sweet, sensitive, and writes poetry. She loves Clyde deeply, even though she’s technically married to another man. She wants an epic love story and won’t settle for anything less. Bonnie is an incredible character and incredibly fascinating to Lucy. Why? Because she’s a human being.

So often, Lucy is used to thinking of history as this abstract thing with abstract people. But when she meets Bonnie and Clyde, she’s clearly affected by them and their love. Lucy, if you’ll recall, is engaged to a man she doesn’t know because Team Timeless screwed up history. So while she’s supposed to be happy in this alternate universe, she can’t be — she doesn’t know the man she’s meant to be in love with. Meanwhile, you have Wyatt who is grieving his wife and is finding happiness elusive too.

But Lucy asks a question of Wyatt later in the episode (a dangerous one, if you ask me): is it possible for both of them to be happy with other people? Is there truly only one person for you in the world? And what happens when that person is gone? Are you doomed to be unhappy and alone forever? Lucy proposes that maybe both she and Wyatt be more open to possibilities. You can tell in the scene that Wyatt wants to say something, and maybe Lucy does too (she looks more ready to kiss Wyatt again though than anything else), but they’re interrupted.

Speaking of that kiss, can we discuss it for a moment? When Bonnie and Clyde are regaling our duo with romantic tales, Wyatt decides to spin one himself. Except that it’s not a made-up tale. Bonnie notices the engagement ring on Lucy’s finger, which she forgot to remove before time-traveling, and Wyatt tells the story of how he proposed to her. It’s really the story of how he proposed to his wife, so bringing it up is bittersweet. But it affects Bonnie and Clyde. And it also affects Lucy. Wyatt is really vulnerable with her a lot — more so than he is with anyone else, it seems. In this moment, he’s at his most vulnerable, recounting the story that reminds him of true, deep love.

When Clyde still seems skeptical of the two (mostly of Wyatt, because he’s not a great actor — remember this statement, folks), Wyatt concludes the story by grabbing Lucy and kissing her. “True love,” Clyde mutters as Wyatt and Lucy break apart. It’s a really important moment in their relationship and you can tell that the kiss startles both of them. (My favorite little part is Lucy keeping her hand on Wyatt’s face afterward, because I’m a sucker for the little details.) For Lucy, it’s maybe the first time in this entire journey and her entirely new, upside-down life that she’s felt normal and right. For Wyatt, it’s probably the first time he’s kissed anyone since the death of his wife. And you can tell that even though he initiated the kiss, the emotions he felt caught him off-guard. He expected it to be part of their act — something he could do to just play along with the charade.

But that kiss proved that these two have real emotions bubbling beneath the time-traveling personas they adopt. And how they proceed will make all the difference. So how do they proceed, you ask? Well they continue to be snuggly and adorable together while around Bonnie and Clyde. But then, as the cabin is ambushed, the pair flees (with Rufus in tow because thankfully they found him) and barely make it back to the present-day alive.

Bonnie and Clyde are killed in the shootout at the cabin (which is different from how they were supposed to die — in a car, after being betrayed by a cohort of Clyde’s), and Flynn escapes with the necklace that opens a really weird, creepy box with a scroll. Meanwhile, I really felt for Bonnie as she watched Clyde die in front of her. She wanted to be together with him, and go out with him. She had a feeling they wouldn’t live very long, given the lives they lead. And she got her wish, in the end, to die with him. It’s a tragic tale, akin to Romeo and Juliet or any other romantic tragedy, really. I wasn’t expecting to feel as much for those two as I did. But here we are.

And as the episode concludes, Wyatt tries to explain away the kiss — they were in the moment and had to sell their relationship, so it didn’t mean anything. Wyatt and Lucy seem to agree that it was just a kiss for show, but as they walk away we get the chance to see both of their faces. And both of them are clearly affected by what happened. This isn’t something they can just bury and forget — that kiss stirred up some very real, very powerful feelings for one another. It’ll be interesting to see where the show takes them next.


Agent Christopher is smart. Like, too smart for her own good — a fact that Rufus tells her at the end of the episode. While everyone is off traveling through the 1930s, our friendly leader is trying to determine what shady business Connor Mason is dealing in. In last week’s episode, she decided to start a full-scale, covert investigation of him and his ties to outside organizations. She’s stumbling dangerously close to figuring out what Rittenhouse is — or at least how it’s tied to Connor Mason — and Rufus tries to subtly warn her to back away. Agent Christopher has a daughter, after all, and Rittenhouse won’t be afraid to use that as leverage against her.

But when Agent Christopher insists that it’s her job to take care of the people she loves, not Rufus’, the young man decides to come clean with what he knows. And not about Connor Mason. About Rittenhouse.

I’m poised to believe, based on every procedural I’ve ever watched, that Agent Christopher will learn something vital and then die in the finale or midseason finale, but I hope that isn’t the case. I like her. She’s smart and resourceful, and willing to bend the rules for Team Timeless for the sake of the greater good. Hopefully she proves to be a help to the team.

A lot is changing on Timeless, and it’s all leading up to next week’s midseason finale where I think the team might accidentally (or purposefully) change the past.

Timey-wimey bits:
  • Jacqueline Byers was so, so, so perfect as Bonnie. I could not have loved her more even if I tried.
  • Wyatt helped Lucy pick out her dress for the 1930s which for some reason I think is adorable.
  • "Is it happening? I told you it was happening!" Lucy and Wyatt apparently talk about how cute Rufus and Jiya are together and whether or not they’re actually dating. I find this to be so cute.
  • Rufus’ quiet, “… what the hell?” after Wyatt and Lucy leave with Bonnie and Clyde is so perfect.
  • "How much worse could this day get? ... You had to open your big mouth."
  • "His name is Wesley Snipes." I LOVE RUFUS’ ALIASES.
  • That kiss though, you guys.
  • "The Latin on the key means 'the key to the beginning of all time and the key to the end of all time.'" "... That's not disturbing at all."
  • "See you later... babydoll." "See you around... sweetheart."
  • Who else is calling a twist with Wyatt's wife being brought back to life because a timeline gets altered?
What did you all think of this episode? Sound off in the comments below!


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