‘Timeless’ Review: When Cagney & Lacey Met Denise

(Photo by: Ron Batzdorff/NBC)

Can the Time Team change the future?

That’s the big question Timeless wants fans to ponder as we head into next week’s season—please be season—finale.

Considering Rufus’ life is on the line, we can all agree that answer better be a resounding yes.

Before we get into the bigger picture, let’s walk through the events leading up to the end of hour revelations.

(Photo by: Colleen Hayes/NBC)

“The Day Reagan was Shot” took a sharp turn away from the events of American history to focus on Agent Christopher’s personal history.

We caught a glimpse of her family life last season when she invited Lucy over for dinner. At the time, she asked her to keep a data drive chronicling her family in the time machine—just in case.

Thanks to Rittenhouse targeting a younger version of Denise (played by the fantastic Karen David), that drive came in handy.

Since Flynn missed the cutoff (you can’t travel back to a time where you already existed), Jiya jumped into the fourth chair for the journey back to 1981.

Hinckley’s plan wasn’t altered much; except he escaped before the police could catch him because they were distracted by a Rittenhouse agent shooting Denise.

(Photo by: Colleen Hayes/NBC)

Wyatt rescued Denise and then he and Rufus went after the sleeper while Lucy and Jiya talked to Denise. They wanted her help tracking Hinckley, but they discovered an even bigger problem.

She planned to stop fighting her mother’s wishes and agree to an arranged marriage. Not only would that jeopardize her future family, it could potentially affect her career and stop her from putting the team together.

Lucy had a terrific line about how we all make choices every day that don’t seem to matter. But every decision matters in the grand scheme of things. We never know when one simple choice will change our entire lives—and the lives of everyone around us, too.

The ladies did their best to show Denise why her career trajectory was the right path for her. And when that wasn’t enough, Lucy pulled out the big guns and showed Denise the drive.

(Photo by: Ron Batzdorff/NBC)

It’s mind blowing to imagine having that much pressure on one person. A comment Lucy offhandedly made to Jiya, who reminded her she had her own issues with knowing the future.

But can that future be changed?

Denise’s future was. Sure, she became an FBI agent, went on to work for Homeland Security and then put the team together. She still had her family, but she had one better than that: a good relationship with her mother.

Pre-1981 trip, Denise’s mother didn’t even know she was gay and had never met her grandkids. Now, there’s still tension between them, but the normal tension all families have when stubbornness is involved.

(Photo by: Ron Batzdorff/NBC)

What change led to that? It could have been the simplest thing or it could have been weighing on Denise’s mind the whole time. Maybe knowing the future gave her the courage to work a little harder to repair the relationship.

So, what does the team need to change in order to save Rufus? Could they keep him from going on any mission that might lead to cowboys or oceans? It’s probably not that simple.

And while we’re on the subject, can this please be the last time Rufus treats Jiya badly because of her visions?

I’m sure it’s hard for him to carry the weight of his potential death with him. But it’s hard on Jiya, too. And every time Rufus is mean to her or tries to push her away because he thinks it’s best for her, I want to slap him.

Speaking of the future, Lucy barged into Flynn’s room to question how and when she delivered the journal to him. Did anyone else shout, “FINALLY?” at their TV? Considering how big of a role the journal played in Season 1, it’s been frustrating how little it’s mentioned this season.

(Photo by: Ron Batzdorff/NBC)

Flynn shared the story of Lucy—maybe five years older than she is now—bringing him the journal, urging him to read it, and then walking away without another word. Lucy questioned how it was possible to return to a time where she’d already existed.

Good question. Flynn had a potential good answer: maybe Rufus and Jiya found a way. That’s one possibility. Perhaps there’s another one, too. Maybe Lucy was willing to take the risk because the future’s worse than they can imagine.

No matter what the answer, the two storylines must be woven together somehow. And I’m guessing Jessica’s bombshell will play a role as well.

Wyatt’s been questioning his life choices from the moment Jessica settled into her place in the bunker. He can’t shake his love for Lucy. And that’s allowing him the clarity to finally start asking more questions.

Why did Rittenhouse bring back his wife?

(Photo by: Colleen Hayes/NBC)

Judging by the story we learned this week of the two brothers and their different reactions to their Rittenhouse recruitment, it seems like Jessica’s tale might not be as black and white as we originally thought.

To be honest, as much as I am here for Lyatt being endgame, I don’t want to see Jessica be straight up evil. I’d much rather believe she’s been blackmailed into working for Rittenhouse because someone in her family made a deal to bring back her brother.

Or maybe she made the deal. I still think Flynn told the truth about Jessica’s murderer. And when Wyatt accidentally killed his father, Jessica probably came back into existence. Then, Rittenhouse took her and let Wyatt believe was still dead until they needed to activate her.

Is she really pregnant? It’s hard to judge how time works between episodes, but it doesn’t seem as if there’s been enough time for her to get pregnant and know she’s pregnant. It would make more sense that she said that in order to get Wyatt off her back.

We’ve only got two more episodes this season and more questions than answers at this point. But the writers haven’t let us down yet.

Whatever they’re planning for the finale, something tells me we’re going to need to lie down for a while after we watch it. Maybe even until Season 3 premieres.

Please give us a Season 3, NBC. We’re begging.


-Jiya’s love for the 80s was adorable. I don’t love the whole four seats in the time machine thing in general, but having Jiya along for the ride made it worth it.

-Like the rest of the team, Jiya sucked at coming up with on the spot explanations. But she gave it her whole heart. Lucy’s exasperation turning into acceptance by the time Jiya said they were prostitutes was the best.

-How great was that elevator fight scene? It reminded me a bit of Winter Soldier and if you don’t already think about Captain America when you’re watching Wyatt Logan do his thing, you’re missing out.

-Did anyone else feel bad for the sleeper agent? Not the one who got hit by the car, but the one who chose suicide rather than risk going home? Rittenhouse is the worst.

-Wyatt and Lucy pointing out all the times they almost died to Rufus was a nice throwback to Hollywoodland. Remember the happier Lyatt times? Sigh.

-Props to Flynn for tapping into his own grief to remind Denise why she needed to spend every spare second with her family.

-Denise thanking Wyatt for saving her life—in the past and the present—was lovely. She’s the best Mama Bear.

-Flynn’s holding something back about the journal, isn’t he? I think he knows something about the future. I also think he knows it could change. Maybe that’s why he’s not sharing.

-Where is the journal? I assume it’s not in the Time Team’s possession or they would have consulted it by now…right?

-Seriously, how are they going to pack everything into two hours next week? We should probably be afraid. Excited, but afraid.

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.

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