Rittenhouse interferes with the start of rock and roll and the team adds a fourth seat to the Lifeboat.
In NBC’s Timeless 2×06, Rufus (Malcolm Barrett) and Jiya (Claudia Doumit) successfully add a fourth seat to the Lifeboat. They’re just in time because Rittenhouse travels to Texas in 1936 and Lucy (Abigail Spencer) can’t definitively determine why they jumped to that point in time. Connor (Paterson Joseph) surprises everyone when he’s well versed on the start of rock and roll, which inspired the cultural revolution and civil rights movements! Connor theorizes that Rittenhouse is going after Robert Johnson (Kamahl Naiqui) due to the detrimental butterfly effects from eliminating the start of rock and roll. The team agrees with Connor and they prepare to travel with a fourth seat available. Denise (Sakina Jaffrey) makes the call that Connor should be the fourth person to go on this mission, along with Rufus, Lucy, and Flynn (Goran Višnjić). She even trusts Flynn enough to hand him a gun for the mission! Denise needs Wyatt (Matt Lanter) in the present for a dangerous mission– to take out Rittenhouse for good.
In the past, Connor gets initiated into the intricacies of time travel– namely getting clothes and stealing a car. The Time Team goes after Robert and they have impeccable timing because he was almost taken out by a Rittenhouse agent! Missions rarely go as planned because Robert escapes. The team splits up to track down Robert and get the recording equipment. Rufus and Connor follow Robert while Lucy and Flynn follow his producer. Little do they know, there’s another sleeper agent that’s tracking their every move. In the present, Denise informs Wyatt of a top secret mission to gather intelligence on Rittenhouse. She can’t trust anyone else in the government because they don’t know who could be Rittenhouse.
Here to discuss Wyatt’s solo mission to gather intelligence on Rittenhouse, Connor’s knowledge of the King of the Delta Blues, and Lucy and Flynn growing closer this episode is our Timeless roundtable:
Kalena (@kalenahenden) – Fantasy/sci-fi fangirl, time travel junkie, moderator of RittenhouseTL, and keeper of Where To Watch Timeless Worldwide Masterlist.
Catherine (@Cat_grl6) – Researcher by day, TV addict by night.
Micheale (@highlandgirl65) – Mom, grad student, writer, and sci-fi/fantasy geek.
Robin (@robinrobinson24) – Concert-going, road-trippin’ mountain mama, Timeless fanatic.
Mark (@RenewTimeless) – Husband, dad, businessman, and fanboy.
1. Connor went on his first time travel mission. What did you think of his ability to help out the team in the past?
Kalena (@kalenahenden): Connor is a master of BS and was a successful tool for Rittenhouse before he turned on them so it’s no surprise he was able to use those skills to help them navigate the situation. More impressive was the bold quickness he used to kill the enemy to save Rufus. You never know the lengths you’re capable of until you’re pushed to the edge.
Catherine (@Cat_grl6): Connor was absolutely essential to this mission. No one else knew the important details they needed. Once again, I credit the writers for finding ways to incorporate everyone’s storylines in ways that don’t seem forced or cheesy. All of the characters on the show are crucial for the Time Team to work the way it does!
Micheale (@highlandgirl65): We’ve gotten glimpses of Connor’s frailties this season, a man brought to his knees as he watched his dynasty burn to the ground, so it was wonderful to see him as the expert on Robert Johnson in this episode. I was fascinated by his knowledge of the legendary bluesman and his ability to assume the role of historian, which he did so easily! Someone wrote an advance review of this episode (wish I could remember who) and said an alternate title could be “How Connor Got His Groove Back,” and I totally agree!
Robin (@robinrobinson24): This was an era that Lucy didn’t know a lot about, so Connor was instrumental in achieving their goal. Robert Johnson was key to the revolution. The music we love and listen to today would be a lot different in the current timeline without Connor.
Mark (@RenewTimeless): Connor’s contributions were critical to the success of the mission in this episode. First, he was the one who figured out Robert Johnson was Rittenhouse’s target. Then on the mission, he was able to use his knowledge of Johnson’s life to persuade him to record the music that would protect history’s countercultural movement. I found the reawakening of Connor’s belief in himself in this episode inspiring. Many of us have probably experienced times when we’ve doubted ourselves and if there’s a message in King of the Delta Blues maybe it’s that when chances come along to rebuild our confidence we should grab them with both hands.
2. Connor was conflicted about throwing in the towel or staying to fight, but Rufus encouraged him just like Connor encouraged Rufus in college. What was your favorite moment between Rufus and Connor in this episode?
Kalena: Rufus explaining how having his idol come to his rescue affected him. It really highlighted that what may start as an idol-fanboy relationship can become a really personal one. Even though their relationship started as a mentor-mentee, it’s closer to father-son now.
Catherine: The scene when Rufus gave Connor the pep talk about being a “fanboy” was the best, but I loved seeing them work together throughout the whole episode. It makes the show even more fun and meaningful when different characters get paired up for missions.
Micheale: I really loved watching the father/son-like relationship between Rufus and Connor play out in this episode. This was a first since Connor was focused on keeping Rufus in line last season. My favorite moment was Rufus telling Connor he was his fanboy and how Connor saved him during his senior year at MIT. Now it was Rufus’ turn to pay him back. I’ve been waiting for a scene like this between these two characters (and Malcolm and Paterson). It was beautiful.
Robin: I enjoyed when Rufus gave Connor the pep talk. It showed us the history between the two of them, it also lets us see the vulnerable side of Connor. There were no airs about him, just two men depending on each other to complete a mission, one that meant a lot to Mason.
Mark: I loved the exchange where Rufus was telling Connor he had to change Robert Johnson’s mind about giving up the guitar and, on top of that, take over Don Law’s role and record Johnson’s album. To Connor’s “fanboys don’t save the world” Rufus replies “I was your fanboy” as he relates how Connor believed in him when Rufus was at his lowest low before his MIT finals. I think Rufus was referring to more than just his college exams with his reply. Perhaps he was saying he could never be the person he was today, and would never have the courage to do what he still had to do, were it not for Connor’s belief in him.
3. Denise outsmarted Rittenhouse using modern technology and her GPS chip. What did you think of her plan to infiltrate Rittenhouse with Wyatt gathering intelligence on the enemy?
Kalena: I understand Denise sending Wyatt alone to the location of her capture because Rittenhouse knew it had been compromised. She was just sending Wyatt for any leftover scraps. It’s also true that there are only a few people they can trust. But once they had the location of their base, why didn’t Denise go with Wyatt? It was reckless to send him alone.
Catherine: Denise’s plan was very smart. It was risky for her to send Wyatt in alone, but it does show how much trust she has in him.
Micheale: I think it’s great that the Time Team is now on the offensive, gathering intel on Rittenhouse, and hopefully in a place to finally begin to predict where they could be going. I was wary of Wyatt going alone, though, but I understand why Denise made the decision. She knows she can trust him (I loved it when she said that!).
Robin: It seems to be a natural thing to do especially in the current timeline. Wyatt is a very capable soldier and the only one with this type of training. Agent Christopher has good reason not to trust anyone outside of the inner circle of time travelers. I think Wyatt thought if he shot Lucy‘s mother he may change too much and maybe lose Lucy.
Mark: On the one hand I understood why she didn’t want any outsiders involved for fear of word getting to Rittenhouse about the planned attack. I can also see how when the mission involving simply gathering intelligence that Wyatt could have carried it out alone. But when Wyatt went to the second location and it was obvious this was a bona fide Rittenhouse HQ, I thought at that point she should have recalled Wyatt and waited for the Time Team to return from 1936 so that Flynn and perhaps even Agent Christopher herself could provide support. To have Wyatt continue the mission alone means presumably she had some reason to believe that Rittenhouse needed to be hit now.
4. Connor fanboyed over his music idol on this mission. What was your favorite moment or scene from this episode that had you fanboying/fangirling?
Kalena: The team’s group reactions to Denise assigning Flynn to the mission and Connor admitting he’s never time traveled were hilarious in their shock and exasperation. Also, Rufus joyfully kissing Jiya after they successfully made the calculations to add another passenger to the Lifeboat.
Catherine: Almost everyone on the show has had their fanboy/fangirl moment in history. The best moment for me was when the team got back from the mission and Connor went to listen to his album and heard his own voice on the recording. I mean, how amazing would that be? And then he found his “name” in the album credits too!
Micheale: I’m a fan of Robert Johnson and his music, so this entire episode was one big fangirl experience for me! My favorite moments were watching Connor’s expressions while he acted as engineer for Robert Johnson as he recorded the album that changed the music world, and Connor listening to the album back in the bunker and realizing the “yeah” he’d heard was him.
Robin: I would have to say Connor was delightful in this episode. To see the pleasure he had was very enjoyable for me, it showed us another side of Mason. It was interesting to find out that he had never traveled himself and his own machine. Upon returning from their mission and him listening to the record of Robert Johnson and hearing himself on the record was very sweet.
Mark: I’m not sure if it’s exactly fanboying on my part but the references to Led Zeppelin and the Rolling Stones struck a major chord with me (pardon the pun). Growing up my older brother was a massive fan of Zeppelin and the Stones and when I was 16 he took me to see a Rolling Stones concert at Wembley Stadium. So I guess if Connor hadn’t persuaded Robert Johnson to continue with his music that concert would never have happened! Or it would have been a Pat Boone concert instead.
5. Wyatt went on a dangerous solo mission to take down Rittenhouse but hesitated when he saw Carol. What was your reaction to Wyatt hesitating?
Kalena: I loved that Wyatt couldn’t bring himself to kill Carol. He knows how much Lucy has lost and doesn’t want to take any more away from her. He also knows that deep down Lucy hasn’t given up hope her mother could choose the right side.
Catherine: It didn’t really surprise me that Wyatt hesitated to shoot Carol. She is evil, but she’s still Lucy’s mother. Plus she’s kind of important to the overall plot of the show– they can’t kill her off yet!
Micheale: Wyatt’s hesitation to killing Carol was further proof to me that he loves Lucy and couldn’t kill her mother in cold blood. Now, if he’d managed to kill Nicholas Keynes, I would have whooped for joy!
Robin: There could be many reasons for Wyatt not shooting Carol. One being he didn’t want to hurt Lucy by killing her mother, secondly, if he did shoot her it could affect the present timeline and Lucy wouldn’t exist at all. The way history changes with each mission Who knows what would have happened, other than Agent Christopher for being happy she was gone.
Mark: I couldn’t help thinking if the confrontation had happened before Hollywoodland whether Wyatt might have pulled the trigger. His feelings for Lucy are still so strong that killing her mother was something he just couldn’t do. He had also seen Lucy pleading for Carol to come over to their side near the end of The War to End All Wars so Wyatt knew that Lucy still thought her mother might yet turn against Rittenhouse. Carol’s “You can’t do it can you?” reaction to Wyatt was fascinating as well. Was it calculative in nature or was it realization hitting her that Wyatt loved her daughter this much?
6. Flynn and Lucy grew closer this episode when they bonded over their families (and the journal) while on the mission. What did you think of the growing friendship between Lucy and Flynn?
Kalena: Now that Flynn has given up his rampage, it’s unsurprising that he desires to become friends with the younger version of the woman who inspired and helped guide him in his revenge. With Lucy having been through hell and feeling isolated from her teammates, Flynn’s outsider status and understanding of losing family makes him a safe choice as a new friend. Flynn has been asking for a lot of trust from the team but especially from Lucy, I just hope he continues to be worthy of it.
Catherine: I can’t really blame Lucy for gravitating to Flynn. She doesn’t have anyone else to talk to, or drink with, and she’s lonely. I am not ready for things to get romantic with the two of them so I hope that doesn’t happen yet. It’s kind of amazing how willing everyone is to trust Flynn, even though he’s extremely charming and he has been very helpful so far. I still feel like he might do something to screw them over.
Micheale: I like seeing the friendship growing between Flynn and Lucy. They have a bond that no one else on the team has now since they’ve both lost people they love. I know a lot of Lyatt shippers have been upset at the prospect of a romantic relationship between them, but I don’t see that happening. Let’s face it, Flynn and Lucy both need someone to talk to. Why not each other?
Robin: I think it’s a natural scenario for them. With Wyatt and Jessica together, Lucy can’t help but feel a little jilted. I’ve always felt that something was going to happen between Lucy and Flynn. He does hold her personal diary and has read it inside and out, so it does give him a better edge as to what her thoughts are.
Mark: Watching the morphing of Lucy and Flynn’s relationship from what it was in season 1 to what it’s becoming now is the highlight of the show for me at the moment. I truly believe (but could obviously be wrong!) that in the version of the timeline where Lucy gives the journal to Flynn their relationship is a very strong friendship (not romantic) that is grounded in trust and mutual loss. It wouldn’t surprise me at all if their relationship is key to overcoming Rittenhouse in some type of final confrontation.
7. Jiya’s recent premonition is of Rufus dying! What do you think that means for Rufus and/or the team for upcoming missions?
Kalena: Jiya’s visions are only one possible future. While the man in Salem died a different way, that doesn’t necessarily mean he was destined to die. Because she told Rufus he killed that man but when the time came he refused to do it. That changed history but not his death. Now that she’s told Rufus about his death, he has a chance to stop it.
Catherine: I will be so upset if Rufus dies. That simply cannot happen. Unfortunately, her other premonitions have come true so I’m not sure how they can avoid it, but they have to find a way. I think this will make Rufus more cautious but I don’t think he will run and hide. The team needs him too much.
Micheale: First, I simply cannot see Rufus being killed. He’s too important to the stories and to the show. I think Rufus has to be willing to hear Jiya’s premonitions and put them in perspective. I’m hoping Jiya and Rufus will tell the rest of the team about them so they can protect each other in upcoming missions.
Robin: We have seen history change for the good and the bad with both time machines, so I’m not sure how it will affect future missions. Jiya and Rufus could keep it to themselves, therefore, he would try to be very careful on future missions. If he tells the whole team they may decide to bench him to keep him safe. Time will tell.
Mark: I have no idea! It could, obviously, mean that we do in fact see Rufus die. It depends whether Jiya’s premonitions are definitively unavoidable or whether they are only one possible version of the timeline. Right now we have 2 premonitions that came true, Rufus’s burnt arm and the death of the scar-faced man in Salem Witch Hunt. It’s not looking good based on a sample of two but let’s not kill Rufus off yet. Also of course even if Rufus does die, Jessica’s coming back from the dead shows it should be possible to go back and create yet another version of the timeline where Rufus lives (again).
Final Verdict: Connor was instrumental in preserving the history of rock and roll.
Thanks to Rufus and Jiya, they were able to add a fourth seat to the Lifeboat which was crucial to their success on this mission. The start of rock and roll wasn’t an area Lucy knew well, so Connor stepped in to provide important information. They may not have been able to stop Rittenhouse entirely though. One of the sleeper agents shot and killed Robert’s producer, so Connor had to step in so that history could remain as intact as possible. Even Flynn was helpful while on the mission by keeping the whole team safe, which should prove to the team that he’s trustworthy. Wyatt hit Rittenhouse hard, although it was only supposed to be an intelligence-gathering mission. Although he couldn’t pull the trigger when given the chance to take out Carol (Susanna Thompson). The Time Team proves that they can adapt even when the dynamic of who goes on mission changes, which is really a testament to how well they all work together and trust each other. Even Flynn is proving to be a useful asset on missions! It’s intriguing to see the evolution of Lucy and Flynn becoming friends and working together– something we would not have guessed from the pilot episode. We can only hope to see more of the journal’s origins in the remainder of this season.
One dangerous call this episode was to send Wyatt in alone against Rittenhouse. We understand that Denise doesn’t want to compromise the mission in case they have a double agent in the government. Jiya expresses her concern because he’s just one man that could be outnumbered. It’s not surprising that Wyatt can hold his own against the Rittenhouse agents. When he went to their second location, it would have been smarter for at least Denise to go with him. She can’t trust other agents in the government because they could be Rittenhouse, but she can also hold her own against Rittenhouse. If that would have happened, maybe Denise could have taken out Carol! But they can’t travel back in time to that moment, so all they can do is move forward.
In the next episode, Rittenhouse threatens women gaining the right to vote in 1919. Women’s suffrage was led by Alice Paul (Erica Dasher) in New York City. However, something goes awry in the past and she mysteriously dies– likely by Rittenhouse. In the original timeline, Alice gave a compelling speech that led to women’s right to vote. Now that Alice is dead, someone else must step in her place and Lucy speaks up. We’ll have to wait a week for Timeless to return to see if Lucy can make a similarly compelling argument.