To save a young John F. Kennedy from Rittenhouse, the team brings him to the present!
In NBC’s Timeless 2×05, Lucy (Abigail Preston) is still out of commission from her injury in the prior episode. The Mothership jumps, forcing Wyatt (Matt Lanter) and Rufus (Malcolm Barrett) to follow them to 1934 without their historian. Instead, they bring Flynn (Goran Višnjić) along for the mission. They barely figure out who Rittenhouse is targeting and when they’re cornered by sleeper agents, Wyatt makes the call to escape with a young John F. Kennedy (Grant Jordan) and leave Flynn behind. The team deals with the aftermath of bringing a prominent historical figure to the present, while John escapes from the bunker.
Denise (Sakina Jaffrey) runs point on the team searching for John when an unexpected figure drugs and kidnaps her! Carol (Susanna Thompson) tries to reason with Denise on their shared maternal instinct to protect their children. Rittenhouse desperately tries to take out JFK in the present since his civil rights movements are counterproductive to their goals. Nicholas (Michael Rady) orders the Rittenhouse agents to stop the Time Team by any means necessary, including murder! Emma (Annie Wersching) goes after JFK, while Wyatt, Lucy, and Jessica (Tonya Glanz) try to locate him first. In the midst of their present-day mission, Lucy puts aside her personal feelings for Wyatt and speaks to Jessica about giving him a second chance.
Here to discuss Wyatt’s call to leave Flynn behind in 1934, Lucy convincing Jessica to give it another shot with Wyatt, and the new dynamic with Flynn in the bunker is our Timeless roundtable:
Catherine (@Cat_grl6) – Researcher by day, TV addict by night.
Mark (@RenewTimeless) – Husband, dad, businessman, and fanboy.
River (@MISSYriver) – A single mom with a Fangirl heart and passion for writing.
Andrew (@AngryRedHead86) – Movie and TV fan, enjoys music and books.
Amie (@TheForceFangirl) – Proud Jedi-Cat lady who thinks way too much about fictional characters.
1. Missions rarely go as planned. When they were down a historian, Wyatt made the call to bring JFK back to the present and leave Flynn behind. What would you have done in that scenario?
Catherine (@Cat_grl6): I would have done the same thing Wyatt did. Flynn ran most of his missions alone last season, so we know he can take care of himself!
Mark (@RenewTimeless): I admit to being surprised Wyatt felt they needed to bring young JFK back to the present as opposed to trying to keep him safe in 1934 while dealing with the Rittenhouse sleeper agents. You would think Rufus could have hidden with John somewhere while Wyatt and Flynn dealt with the agents. I can only think they thought it was so critical that JFK not die in 1934 that the risk of bringing him back to 2018 was outweighed by the risk of him falling into Rittenhouse’s hands.
River (@MISSYriver): Honestly it made no sense to rush back toward the Lifeboat. They couldn’t have been parked that close to the school. A daylight kidnapping by Wyatt and Rufus with shots being fired sounds like a lot of chaos. I would have found cover and concealment. I can only imagine the amount of arguing and snark that was thrown around on that trip, without Lucy holding them together.
Andrew (@AngryRedHead86): Considering that JFK was almost killed and Rittenhouse agents were on their trail, Wyatt and Flynn did not have a choice. Getting to see the aftermath of a mission instead of witnessing it in the episode was cool. Their plan was risky, but it worked out in the end.
Amie (@TheForceFangirl): I think I would have made the same choice of leaving with JFK if it meant he’d be killed in 1934. Taking him into the future for a bit would have way fewer repercussions on history and the future than if JFK were to die.
2. Carol was backed into a corner by Nicholas. She was unable to question his authority so she kidnapped Denise and threatened her family. What was your reaction to Carol’s risky move?
Catherine: It’s not that surprising that Carol would threaten Denise’s family. She’s proven that she’s capable of almost anything. Collateral damage means nothing to her.
Mark: Carol’s kidnapping of Agent Christopher demonstrates that, ultimately, her love for her daughter outweighs her loyalty to Rittenhouse. We’ve heard Carol’s story about accepting one’s Rittenhouse responsibility reluctantly as a child before from others like Charles Lindbergh and Ethan Cahill. It isn’t surprising that for some this reluctance reappears later in life when those they love are endangered. The question for Carol will be how far would she go to protect Lucy? Would she openly defy Nicholas knowing he would probably have no qualms about killing her too? My sense is that ultimately she would if it meant saving Lucy’s life.
River: I am not surprised by the lengths Carol will take anymore. Carol is losing her grip on the situation and taking whatever means necessary to stay in control. She is being pulled in two directions and it is only a matter of time before she snaps let’s hope it’s on the right side of history.
Andrew: Nicholas is slowly becoming a Bond villain. Denise is tough and knows the risks, so Carol threatening her and her family did not scare her. However, she still tried to talk Lucy out of going on the missions. Even though she knew it would not work, something that she said to Carol. Eventually, Carol is going to have to side with her daughter, a choice she keeps putting off.
Amie: To me, this is just another sign that Carol is slowly falling apart trying to save Lucy while being loyal to Rittenhouse. Carol will eventually have to choose between the two, something I think she’s coming to realize.
3. The entire Wyatt, Lucy, and Jessica situation was awkward at best this episode. What surprised you the most in this love triangle?
Catherine: I LOVE how the writers are handling this. Of course, Lucy is being her usual sweet self, but instead of pitting them against each other they have made Jessica a nice person too. I was upset last week when Wyatt brought Jessica to the bunker, but this week I kind of loved her. So my feelings toward Jessica are what surprised me the most. Of course, it’s still awkward and there could still be a twist we don’t see coming. Some people are speculating that Jessica is Rittenhouse. I’m not sure how I feel about that.
Mark: Part of me was surprised that Lucy didn’t fight for Wyatt more and that she didn’t adopt a more hostile approach to Jessica. Part of me was also surprised that Wyatt seemed to decide so quickly and easily that he wanted another chance with Jessica despite the intensity of the feelings he had developed for Lucy. On reflection, however, their actions are in line with who they are as people. Lucy loves Wyatt so much she will go along with whatever makes him happy, even if that means losing him. For Wyatt, Jessica is the original love of his life and – in this version of the timeline at least – he cannot contemplate loving anyone else now that Jessica has returned.
River: My biggest surprise is liking Jessica. She is trying to understand an upside down world and has only had a few days to adjust before realizing this new Wyatt had feelings for Lucy. She made a few hiccups but I still liked her.
Andrew: I was surprised that Lucy convinced Jessica to stay. She wants to see Wyatt happy. I guess for now Wyatt and Lucy are just friends. Sorry Lucy-Wyatt shippers. The “see you around” line was a nice reference to “Last Ride of Bonnie & Clyde” from Season 1.
Amie: I was very surprised that Jessica was so ready to go and give up Wyatt to Lucy after seeing them together. As if it wasn’t a big deal. Something is off about her to me. And I am beginning to think Wyatt senses it too.
4. It must have been shocking to John to find out what happens to him and his family regarding the Kennedy curse. Do you think he used any of the information to try and save his family?
Catherine: It’s possible that John tried to change the fate of his family. I think that would be a normal response for anyone.
Mark: I’m certain he would have tried, particularly as John returned to 1934 without an appreciation of the potential negative impact on the timeline of his family members all surviving. If he tried to save Joe (perhaps by warning him somehow about being shot down during the war) it seems that didn’t work since John believed Joe would be President instead of him and at the end of the show history still recorded JFK as President.
River: The real question is how could he not try to change/save his family? A phone call here, a letter there trying to change a flight plan or warn them not to stay at a certain hotel. He would have to avoid telling them how he knows the information, but he would have kept trying.
Andrew: I think that JFK tried, but based on the fact that he still died (in Austin, not Dallas) it did not matter. It reminds me of Doctor Who, and how the Doctor tells everyone that there are fixed points in history that cannot be altered or changed. The “Kennedy Curse” is one of those. And since JFK died in a different city, perhaps his family still died only in different places or ways.
Amie: I think he might have. Maybe once or twice until he gave up because it didn’t work. His family members would most likely die anyway, just in a different way. It would be just like what happened when Rufus tried to spare that man’s life in Salem only for him to die anyway. It’s looking like when it’s your time, even changing history can’t save you.
5. Rufus tried to save JFK by telling him to avoid the city where he would be assassinated, but he still died in Austin instead of Dallas. Do you believe it was inevitable, or can you change your fate?
Catherine: I think this is a really interesting question because of all the conspiracy theories surrounding JFK’s assassination. Was Oswald a lone gunman, or was he working with other people? If you believe the latter, then it’s not surprising that the assassination still happened, just in another town. On a side note, the excellent book 11/22/63 by Stephen King really explores the JFK assassination and the events surrounding it, and it’s also about time travel! It seems like with most time travel shows, books, and movies, the answer would be no, you can’t change your fate. It seems like whatever bad thing is trying to be avoided ends up happening anyway, just in a different way. In real life though, I think if your life is headed in a direction you aren’t happy with, it’s certainly possible to make changes to better yourself and your life.
Mark: We’ve already seen in the Salem Witch Hunt episode when Rufus tries to change what happened in Jiya’s vision that certain historical events might be preordained even if some of the details are allowed to change. Perhaps JFK’s assassination has such a major effect on the timeline that although the location where it happens can change the assassination itself must still take place. The broader question of changing one’s own fate is something else. How do you know what your fate is and if you even want to change it unless you have a time machine?
River: Changing the location does not change the perceived reason John was assassinated. He still went to Texas.
Andrew: In this case, fate and history are both cruel. JFK being assassinated was a milestone in modern history, and thus was destined to happen. Plus Rufus did not give JFK enough information about his demise, so perhaps that could have changed things. Maybe not.
Amie: It’s looking like in Timeless, even changing history can’t save your life. You will still meet the fate you were destined to. In the pilot, Wyatt saves the photographers life only for her to die a different way. Same with Rufus and the man from Jiya’a vision. And now with JFK.
6. Lucy made the personal sacrifice of her own happiness to give Wyatt the chance he never had with Jessica. What was your reaction to Lucy’s decision regarding Wyatt and Jessica?
Catherine: I think Lucy made a grown-up decision to remove herself from the love triangle. At the same time, it was really the only choice she could make for now. It’s not like she could just tell Jessica to leave the bunker, or tell Wyatt to give up on his marriage.
Mark: I think it was the right thing for her to do. As I said earlier I believe Lucy acted consistently with her love for Wyatt and her desire for him to be happy. I also think she knows deep down that if she had tried to stop Wyatt getting back with Jessica and had succeeded, her relationship with Wyatt would be undermined by doubt. Wyatt would have doubt about whether he had failed Jessica by not going back to her and Lucy would have doubt about whether Wyatt loved her as much as his wife.
River: My heart aches for Lucy. She loves him and wants him to be happy. She figures she was only a consolation prize and now his true love is back and she doesn’t stand a chance. This isn’t an easy situation for anyone involved. As much as I want Lucy to take her man, I also want Wyatt to declare his love but they both need to let go of the past so they can have a future together.
Andrew: She made the right call. It still hurts her, though. Lucy will be okay in the long run, probably. As long as Jessica does not affect Wyatt’s decision making, which was fine in the episode. I wonder if we will get Wyatt, Jessica, and Lucy together in the Lifeboat. That would be interesting.
Amie: I am so proud of Lucy. She loves Wyatt, and so she is letting him go. Because she knows if she doesn’t then he will never forgive himself for not seeing it through. Lucy deserves the world and I know Wyatt knows that too, and I can’t wait to see them back together!
7. We already knew Flynn could hold his own in a fight, and now we’re seeing his softer side at the end of the episode with Lucy. What do you think of the new dynamic in the bunker with Flynn?
Catherine: My feelings are all over the place here. I was prepared to hate Jessica forever, and now I like her. I thought Flynn was evil, but he saved JFK this week! I’m still not on the Flucy ship, but give me another week and who knows.
Mark: I love the new dynamic with Flynn. It has added tremendously to the show. And it’s still developing. Unlike some other Clockblockers, I personally don’t believe the connection between Flynn and Lucy is or will become romantic. I see it as a strengthening relationship built on a shared sense of loss that in some way will be a lynchpin of overturning Rittenhouse. The dynamic between Wyatt and Flynn is complex. I wonder if there may be something we don’t yet know concerning Wyatt and Flynn’s backgrounds (perhaps something to do with Jessica) that when in the open will either bring them closer together or push them even further apart.
River: Flynn has always had a softer side with Lucy even when she was trying to capture him. I love watching him with everyone, that snark and sarcasm… swoon. Flynn only truly listens to Lucy. It makes me wonder how older Lucy won his trust so he would even take the journal. That should be addressed in season 3– flashbacks to the first timeline.
Andrew: Flynn giving her a beer was nice. He is not all bad, which is why his character is one of the best things about the show. He has gone from being the bad guy to a member of the team, something that other shows have done in the past. Whether or not it will last, remains to be seen. I think a fight between him and Emma will happen, sooner or later.
Amie: I really like bunker Flynn! He’s so annoying that it adds a funny dynamic to the bunker. I love his dynamic with Lucy. It’s very parental or older sibling. I am dying to find out why Flynn had her diary and trusts her so blindly like he knows her.
Final Verdict: Rittenhouse is making bolder moves and the Time Team has to adapt
The Time Team had quite a few close calls this episode, but they were able to successfully return JFK to 1934. And to think, we nearly didn’t have President Kennedy when the half dollar briefly changed to Nixon instead! The team, once again, prevents Rittenhouse from drastically changing history. Rufus risks their present changing by giving JFK information to avoid his assassination. However, it doesn’t change JFK’s fate. His assassination occurs in Austin instead of Dallas. Against Wyatt’s better judgment, he brings Flynn back to the present after returning JFK to 1934. Denise doesn’t give in to Carol’s threats so easily. She correctly guesses that Lucy won’t give up the time travel missions for her own safety since the entire team is risking their lives. Jessica quickly catches on that there’s more than friendship between Wyatt and Lucy. In a moment of selflessness, Lucy convinces Jessica to give Wyatt another chance at their marriage after everything he went through to try to save her life. The conversation between Lucy and Jessica felt honest. In fact, it was refreshing that they didn’t compete against one another over Wyatt. The dynamic in the bunker is changing fast, but one constant is that everyone in the team will do anything for one another.
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It’s unclear as to why Emma didn’t take out Lucy when she had the chance. Perhaps she valued her own life more than Nicholas’s orders. Lucy heartbreakingly lets Wyatt go because Jessica’s return is all he wanted the entire time she’s known him. And Jessica is so darn likable! The Lyatt shippers are heartbroken, but we’re hopeful for Wyatt and Lucy, especially after that throwback to the “see you around” line that parallels season one’s “Last Ride of Bonnie and Clyde.” The Timeless writers packed a ton of information into this episode, but it keeps up a good pace to match the rest of this season and has us wanting more. We can only hope that the questions raised will be answered this season. And if not, that NBC renews for season 3!
The Time Team shakes up who goes on missions in the next episode. Connor (Paterson Joseph) travels with Lucy and Rufus to the start of rock and roll. Although he doesn’t fit in quite as well as he hoped. The team is also working on engineering the Lifeboat to carry additional passengers. Luckily, we only have to wait one week to see the newest episode.
Timeless returns Sunday, April 22nd at 10/9c on NBC
For the first time, the past comes to present day for the Time Team.Rufus questions the fate laid out for JFK and gives him information to avoid his assassination. Unfortunately, the assassination still occurs. This begs the question, was it inevitable, or are you able to change your fate? While you ponder that question, catch up on Timeless roundtables as we await the next episode. Make sure to return for live-tweeting with TV After Dark, more roundtables, and reviews.