Sunday, February 19, 2017

Timeless 1x15 Review: "Public Enemy No. 1" (Ruh-Roh)


"Public Enemy No. 1"
Original Airdate: February 13, 2017

If you've ever gotten to the point where you're not sure which way is up — where you can't see the path ahead of you and feel like you're stumbling in the dark — then you'll know how Wyatt, Lucy, and Rufus feel in "Public Enemy No. 1." As we know from last week's events, they're struggling in the wake of Rittenhouse controlling everything about their missions and operation. And with Wyatt and Agent Christopher off the team, Lucy and Wyatt know they have to be extra careful to not tip off Rittenhouse that anything is wrong. Oh, except for the fact that they're going to steal the Lifeboat so that they can get Wyatt back and then also get Lucy's sister back. Things don't go according to plan at all this week (including some historical rewriting), and the episode leaves us wondering about the fate of one of the members of Team Timeless.

FAMILY COMES FIRST


Before the team decides that chasing Flynn must remain their top priority, Wyatt insists that they're going to find a way to bring Lucy's sister back. He gives a rousing little speech — Agent Christopher doesn't seem as inspired as Lucy does — about how the fact that they're no longer working for the government can become a benefit for them. They don't have to follow orders. They're now time-traveling outlaws, looking out for the greater good. And that includes finding a way to reunite Lucy with her sister. If Wyatt can't be reunited with Jessica, then he's determined to bring resolution and happiness to someone else's story. But, as usual, the team needs to prioritize finding and catching Flynn over finding a way to bring Lucy's sister back.

Lucky for the team, the theme of family doesn't end here. When Flynn jumps to 1931 Chicago, Team Timeless follows him and discovers that Flynn has managed to exonerate Al Capone. The only person who can bring Capone down is the famous Eliot Ness (played by Misha Collins, of Supernatural fame). Lucy, Wyatt, and Rufus pose themselves as private investigators, seeking to bring down Capone and the tall, dark-haired man in his inner circle. At Ness' hideout, things go from bad to worse for Team Timeless when one of Capone's men comes in, machine gun blazing, and takes out Ness. Alas, Misha Collins. I hardly knew ye.

Lucy is freaked out, understandably so, because this change history dramatically. If Ness doesn't take down Capone, who knows what could happen in the future as a result? So the team seeks to find a way to bring down the infamous bad guy. There's a scene in the getaway car between Team Timeless where Wyatt gets to deliver a mini monologue/message, and Lucy panics. Nothing is going according to plan, and there's no way they can try to catch Flynn AND stop Capone at the same time. Wyatt recommends they all take a few breaths, calm down, and tackle one issue at a time. They'll stop Capone first, and then set their sights on Flynn.

And that's when Lucy develops her plan: there is one person left who can bring down Capone, and it's his secret brother, Jimmy. Pleading with the man, Lucy reveals that Capone has taken out wanted ads in the newspaper looking for Jimmy. This seems to touch the man and he agrees to go visit Al Capone and do what Team Timeless wants. I think that the theme of family is what really drives this episode. Because, thematically, Lucy and Jimmy had to make similar decisions. They prioritized the greater good, in the end, over their families. Lucy decided that stopping Flynn had to be more important than finding her sister. Jimmy decided that stopping Capone's reign of terror and saving innocent lives had to be more important than the bond he had with his brother.

It was a really nice and subtle way for Timeless to tie the present-day with the past in this episode. Unfortunately, not everyone emerged from the confrontation between Jimmy and Al Capone unscathed. In the ensuing gunfight, Rufus takes a bullet to the chest. And, before the team is able to jump back to the present-day, Rufus passes out. Ruh-roh.

JIYA IS BETTER THAN PRETTY MUCH EVERYONE


I'm really glad that our B-story this week focused on Jiya's intellectual ability and her loyalty to Team Timeless (and what she believes in). With Rufus stealing the Lifeboat and crashing Connor Mason's systems, Jiya is — rightfully — suspected for having a hand in the escape. It's only when she talks to Rufus, via a burner phone that he leaves in her pocket for her, that our Big Bads decide to punish Jiya by locking her in an abandoned room filled with technological parts. (First mistake, Big Bads.)

Mason tries to get Jiya to give up information on where Team Timeless went, but Jiya sarcastically refuses. After he threatens her, it seems like her resolve is weakened. But that's not quite true. Because Jiya uses her solitary confinement to her advantage. While Mason tries to get the systems back up and running so he can locate where the Lifeboat is, Jiya is hard at work building a computer that'll do the exact same thing. Because she is an incredible genius, and might actually be MacGyver, she builds a computer and hacks into the systems, disabling power and preventing Mason from being able to track where the team went.

When Connor Mason confronts Jiya, she's hidden her makeshift computer and is sitting atop the table in the abandoned room, innocently. Guys, Jiya is amazing. She's perhaps the smartest character on this entire show — even smarter than Rufus. And she's loyal, which is even better. For the most part, plots in this story usually end up with the girlfriend caving and betraying her friends and loved ones. But not Jiya. Not only did she prove that she could go toe-to-toe with Mason, but that she could WIN against him. It was a beautiful sight to behold.

This week's penultimate episode of Timeless ended with a cliffhanger: what's going to happen now if the team is stranded in the 1930s? Will Rufus survive? What's going to happen back at Mason Industries? I'm looking forward to this week's finale to see the resolution to this story!

Timey-wimey bits:
  • Team Timeless jumped to the 1960s originally, because they were instructed by Rittenhouse to kill Flynn's mother and prevent him from ever being born. Horrifying? You bet! And that's the reaction that Lucy and Wyatt had to the news that they would be taking part in the murder of an innocent woman. Also the logic, "Well, she can't be totally good because she raised a sociopath" doesn't really hold up, Rittenhouse dudes.
  • Also speaking of Rittenhouse, it turns out that Flynn jumped to the 1930s because the mayor of Chicago was a part of Rittenhouse.
  • "Ma'am." "Don't 'ma'am' me!" DON'T DO THAT. IT'S WYATT'S THING FOR LUCY.
  • Wyatt got a giant hug from Lucy in this episode and it was adorable.
  • The scene between Jimmy and Al Capone was really good. Kudos to the actors for that.
What did you all think of this week's episode? Sound off in the comments below!

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