Reviews

‘Timeless’ Review: They’re Hanging All the Witches (Even if You Aren’t One)

(Photo by: Chris Haston/NBC)

If you needed to lie down after the latest episode of Timeless, don’t worry. You’re not alone.

(And if you’re still lying down as you read this? That’s okay, too).

Let’s all take a collective deep breath, hug our comfort food/drink/pillow/blanket of choice a little tighter, and talk about “The Salem Witch Hunt.”

Jessica’s back. Wyatt’s in shock. Lucy’s stoically holding in her pain. Rufus feels for Lucy, but he’s got his own problems. And Flynn just wants a damn gun.

(Photo by: Colleen Hayes/NBC)

While NBC’s overly spoiler-y promos for “Hollywoodland” touted the moment when time stopped and everything changed, tonight’s hour sped by in a whirlwind of brand new dynamics and vicious heartbreak.

It’s hard not to be gutted by Jessica’s return. Sure, we know how TV works and understand that this is something that needed to happen. Wyatt and Lucy are end game (just look at the season’s poster), but complications are necessary to make their love stronger.

(Ugh, writing that sucks. I’ve seen this episode three times now and I continue to want to break my TV each and every time Wyatt begs Jessica for a second chance. But that’s the fangirl in me talking while she cries into her cookie dough).

Here’s the thing we need to focus on now: Jessica did not seem happy to see Wyatt at the end of the last episode and she continued to look at him as if he was something gross she stepped in (which is so offensive because how could anyone look at that face this way? Pretty sure this constitutes a crime).

(Photo by: Colleen Hayes/NBC)

But Jessica’s fed up with her husband. In her eyes, he’s put her on a pedestal and sees their marriage through rose-colored glasses. To her, he’s a mean drunk who keeps too many secrets. That’s why she has divorce papers ready, waiting, and already signed.

Wyatt insists he’s changed and wants to prove that to her. He obviously has changed. It’s been six years in his world and as he told Lucy during their epic scenes in old Hollywood, he didn’t have much to live for before he met her and joined the Time Team.

That’s going to be important going forward. Sure, Wyatt’s all about fixing things with Jessica now. But that’s because he feels guilty. Don’t forget; in his mind, he’s the reason she was murdered. That’s a huge weight to live with and he wanted a second chance for so long. Of course he’s going to do everything in his power to make things better.

And of course Lucy Selfless Preston is going to encourage him to do exactly that. Because she’s used to not being first in anyone’s world. She’s used to being lonely and unhappy and she’s too good of a person to put herself in the middle of someone’s marriage. She’d much rather let Wyatt be happy.

(Photo by: Chris Haston/NBC)

As heartbreaking as it was to watch that phone conversation (Lucy had to lie down, you guys!), I couldn’t help thinking about the last time Wyatt said goodbye to Lucy when he thought he was going to get Jessica back. Neither of them were willing to acknowledge their growing feelings at that point, but they struggled with what they thought would be their final words to each other.

They’re going to struggle now, too. If you don’t believe that, go back and watch the scene where an injured Lucy steps off the Lifeboat. Wyatt forgot all about Jessica right up until the moment Lucy spotted her. Then the guilt was written all over his face. Not to mention the gut punch when he saw Flynn escorting Lucy down the stairs.

And, for the record, I don’t think this moment or the seatbelt moment was about adding Flynn to this already complicated love triangle. The seatbelt thing was like when the other soldier called Lucy “Ma’am.” She wasn’t having it. And if her shoulder hadn’t been falling off, she would have put it on herself.

Wyatt needed to see Flynn helping Lucy; not because it was a moment of romantic competition, but a reminder that he’d missed out on something. Wyatt made it his mission in life to protect Lucy and Rufus and he failed because he wasn’t there. They went on without him and that’s an entirely different kind of jealousy.

(On that note, I know there was a lot going on, but is anyone else upset we didn’t get to see Wyatt’s reaction when he learned Flynn went on a mission in his place? Come on, show. That’s the comic gold we live for).

(Photo by: Patrick Wymore/NBC)

One final thing on Jessica before we get to the hour’s other storylines: isn’t it a bit suspicious that her biggest complaint about Wyatt is his secrets? She married a man in Delta Force. Secrets literally come with the job.

How are work-related secrets worse than alcoholism and rage? They’re not. So why was Jessica harping on that point? Maybe because doing so would lead to Wyatt taking her to the secret bunker—the only thing keeping the team and the Lifeboat safe from Rittenhouse?

We know the organization brought her back. Maybe just to mess with Lucy’s head and to take Wyatt out of the game, but maybe it’s something more than that. Maybe she’s one of them. And her mission is to gather the team’s secrets and eventually lead the rest of the killers right to their doorstep.

(Or maybe that’s my Lyatt shipper wishful thinking talking?)

(Photo by: Patrick Wymore/NBC)

But come on. It’s definitely suspicious that Rittenhouse traveled to San Diego 1980 and now she’s alive. I still believe Flynn was telling the truth about who killed her because he had no reason to lie to Wyatt. Is she a sleeper agent, too?

Carol knows the answer. Too bad she ignored Lucy’s question. Although, I suppose, in all fairness, they did have bigger fish to fry at the moment since Lucy was sitting in jail about to be hanged for witchcraft.

Except that was Carol’s fault—she made the trip to 1692 in order to make sure Benjamin Franklin’s mother Abby joined the ranks of women killed on the worst day of the trials. And then she decided to add Lucy to that list by publicly accusing her. In Carol’s mind, she would save her and Lucy would be so grateful she would rejoin Team Rittenhouse on the Mothership.

Lucy told her mother she’d rather hang.

BAMF.

(Photo by: Patrick Wymore/NBC)

Lucy Preston is an amazing character for many reasons, but one of the most important ones is how she does not back down even in her lowest moments. She’s still reeling from what happened with Wyatt, but she can’t dwell on it because there’s work to be done. And then her own mother sends her to jail.

For a moment, it did seem like Lucy was ready to let it all go. I think we can all relate to that. Not so much where we’re willing to be hung for fake crimes, but where the fight drains out of you and it’s easier to just let the evils of the world overtake you than fight back.

But Lucy drew her strength from the women around her—women who were just living their lives and being persecuted for it because others don’t understand their choices—and that’s what kept Lucy going.

On a side note, it’s sad how little has changed between 1692 and now. Women are still being told we’re not equal and we don’t have the same rights as men do when it comes to making choices for our bodies, our minds, or how we want to spend our time. And because of that, watching the trials turn into a rebellion—and delete “witch hunt” from history—felt incredibly gratifying.

(Photo by: Chris Haston/NBC)

As for Carol, she returned to 2018 with another failure under her belt. And Nicholas, who has finally adjusted to our modern conveniences, declared she needs to be removed from Lucy duty. Emma (aka the worst) was delighted by the change.

While I still think Carol’s change of heart happened too fast and too late, the writing appears to be on the wall for her. She’s going to betray Rittenhouse, whether it be by turning herself in or getting between Lucy and Emma’s next bullet, but I’ll be surprised if Carol survives the season.

And as angry as Lucy is with her mother, it’s still going to be another heartbreak she does not need nor deserve.

Speaking of heartbreak, Lucy and Wyatt were not the only ones on shaky relationship ground. After Jiya told Rufus the truth about her premonitions, he had a hard time believing her. Because apparently in Rufus’ world, time traveling makes sense, but seeing the future is a bridge too far.

Really, Rufus, really?

(Photo by: Chris Haston/NBC)

But when the scenario played out in Salem, Rufus took Jiya’s warning to heart and attempted to stop a murder. Too bad the man ended up getting run over by wild horses instead of dying at Rufus’ hand (seriously, this show is the best). Unfortunately, Rufus put the blame on Jiya’s shoulders and told her not to share her visions with him again.

Ouch.

As much as I love Rufus, I wanted to shake some sense into him when he suggested the man would not have died without Jiya’s interference. First, that’s not necessarily true. It was obviously his time to go. Second, Rufus is usually way more supportive than this. I get that he’s freaking out, but so is Jiya.

Third, is it really a good idea to ignore her visions? She’s having them for a reason. It might be a good idea to pay a bit more attention and try and understand the why of it all. Also, show, if you could slow down the romantic drama, it would be appreciated. Our hearts can only handle so much worry at once.

(Photo by: Patrick Wymore/NBC)

Finally, we have to talk about Flynn. Is he 100 percent trustworthy? Of course not. Does he add something new and different to the team dynamic? Absolutely.

Flynn provided the comic relief during the episode between his taunts and his desperate need to find a gun. He also pulled Lucy and Rufus into the darker side of time travel. Not that either of them, especially Lucy, needed a huge tug in that direction.

No one on the Time Team has ever enjoyed not being able to save good people in order to preserve history. And once or twice Wyatt’s been overly aggressive during interrogations. Not quite at Flynn’s level, but no one’s hands are completely clean.

Lucy turned her back when Flynn tried to beat the information out of a man, but she made no effort to stop him. She also didn’t think twice about letting all of the accused witches go. And Rufus vocalized his support of this darker version of Lucy.

That being said, I don’t think the team needs to go all dark and twisty in their efforts to bring down Rittenhouse. I’m a little worried about how fast and loose they’re playing with history this season, but I trust the writers will give their actions consequences at some point.

In the meantime, it’ll be interesting to see how Flynn’s shoot first, question last attitude holds up against Agent Christopher’s rules. She might allow Lucy, Wyatt, and Rufus to bend them, but I doubt she’ll be as easygoing when it comes to Flynn.

Until next week, Clockblockers.

Feel free to leave a comment with your thoughts or go ahead and remain in the fetal position.

You’re not alone.

About the author

Mandy Treccia

Mandy Treccia has served as TVSource Magazine’s Executive Editor since 2016, formerly as Editorial Director from 2012-2016. She is an avid TV watcher and card carrying fan girl prone to sudden bursts of emotion, ranging from extreme excitement to blind rage during her favorite shows and has on more than once occasion considered having a paper bag on hand to get her through some tough TV moments. Her taste in TV tends to rival that of a thirteen-year-old girl, but she’s okay with that. Follow her on Twitter at @SourceMandy.