Timeless’ first season had us rooting for the Time Team to save history from Flynn, and now Rittenhouse is taking drastic action by planting sleeper agents in time!
The Show: Timeless
The Network: NBC
The Genre: Science Fiction, Drama, Time Travel
The Challenge: Give a show four episodes with which to draw you in, impress you, challenge you, make you feel something deeply. Four episodes for the chance to find out if you care what happens to the characters you’re watching enough to become invested in the story. If after all that, it does none of those things for you? Then no biggie. You gave it a good shot and you can move on. But if you love it, you’ll be glad you stuck around.
The Premise: Timeless is a time travel drama where Connor Mason’s (Paterson Joseph) time machine was stolen by terrorist Garcia Flynn (Goran Višnjić). Connor turns to the government for help and Agent Denise Christopher (Sakina Jaffrey) recruits historian Lucy Preston (Abigail Spencer) and soldier Wyatt Logan (Matt Lanter) to accompany pilot Rufus Carlin (Malcolm Barrett) to stop Flynn from changing history. Lucy, Wyatt, and Rufus, aka the Time Team, stopped Flynn in season one, only for a larger threat to emerge in season two– Rittenhouse. Rittenhouse is a secret organization intent on shaping history in their favor, which would likely look more like tyranny than democracy. And even worse, Lucy’s mother Carol Preston (Susanna Thompson) revealed that she is a part of Rittenhouse!
Season two raises the stakes on drama and we quickly find out that Rittenhouse’s plans for history are much worse than what Flynn did to history. Season two goes bigger and better each episode and that has viewers wanting more. And to think, we almost didn’t get a season two! NBC briefly canceled Timeless after just one season, and the fandom spoke out! NBC and Sony changed their mind three days later to renew for a 10 episode season two. After that season one cliffhanger, the fandom couldn’t be more thrilled that their favorite show was returning. The Timeless writers are making the most of their ten episodes and are introducing plot twists by the third episode– that would normally be closer to a season finale. You think that it would be too fast paced with trying to jam pack ten episodes with content, but so far it’s working!
The audience is rooting for the underdog– the Time Team
The Time Team is truly the heart of Timeless. We’ve grown to love the characters throughout season one from them learning to work together and trust each other, to their perseverance at stopping Flynn, and their noble goal of keeping history intact. The Time Team working together provides consistency in their ever-changing world of time travel. They constantly need to trust each other to navigate their missions and minimize drastic changes to history. Every episode is a new time period with new challenges they must face together. The sets are so realistic and it’s easy for the audience to believe they’re actually in the time period in each episode. The Timeless crew creates incredibly immersive sets that transport the audience to the past.
The Time Team is the epitome of the good guys. They’re intent on minimizing changes to history while Rittenhouse wants to shape history to lead to their ideal present. Timeless sets up characters that are complex, relatable, and pretty badass. Lucy, played by Spencer, is the team’s voice of reason while on mission. She reminds Wyatt and Rufus of potential problems that would alter history too much. She’s also their leader who calls the shots on the missions, which is a refreshing change to see a woman in charge, and she does it well! She’s well versed in the history and can determine what might, or might not, alter their present too drastically.
Another strong leader is Denise, played by Jaffrey. Denise is the fierce protector, or mama bear, to the team. She’s intelligent and uses her experience in the government to manage multiple threats to the team and which ones need to take priority. She has to make tough decisions, like forcing the team to hide out in a secret bunker for their protection against Rittenhouse. She unapologetically makes decisions that will protect her team, rather than make her well liked. The team wouldn’t be as successful in their missions if it weren’t for Lucy and Denise. Timeless places strong female characters as crucial roles within the team and we can never have enough strong female leads on television! Lucy and Denise are both passionate about their careers and protecting their newfound family. Their drive and passion resonates with the audience and we can’t help but love them.
“Creating an entirely new, historically accurate period every single week is incredibly painful. So that part’s been hard…. But I think the audience is the beneficiary. I think because we’re really setting a very high bar of production quality…. We’re trying to really bring people into a visceral, dusty reality of what those times were like, and that level of detail takes an incredible amount of effort.” – Eric Kripke (executive producer)
Wyatt, played by Lanter, is the team’s soldier who is willing to do anything to protect his team. As an operative in the U.S. Army Delta Force, he knows what it takes to get the mission done, but also recognizes that he can’t just shoot first when dealing with their time travel missions. Lanter perfectly exhibits the conflicted emotions of Wyatt with the pained glances and small hesitations. But he’s not just a soldier. He’s experienced grief in the loss of his wife and the loss of his team in Afghanistan. His wife returns to their timeline in 2×03 and you can see the mix of emotions across his face– shock, relief, and a little bit of guilt because he just started a relationship with Lucy while they were on a mission. His reactions resonate with the audience and we’re heartbroken right alongside Wyatt and Lucy who just couldn’t get their timing right.
The team’s pilot and expert on hotwiring cars amongst other mechanical and electrical knowledge is Rufus, played by Barrett. Rufus is their expert programmer and engineer who can MacGyver his way out of nearly any problem. He makes an impressive fix to the Lifeboat after sustaining serious damage from Rittenhouse’s attack on Mason Industries in the first episode of the season. Even more impressive is their ancient technology and lack of resources, but he can still use his ingenuity to solve any problems that arise. Rufus is smart and articulate while keeping the mood lighthearted. He often jokes and makes pop culture references as that’s his way of coping with their complicated, and often dangerous, job to protect the past.
The complexity of these characters is beautifully done by the writers. The characters have multiple layers and we’ve enjoyed watching them navigate the new challenges this season. While we can’t relate to the aspect of time travel, the characters and how they face these challenges is what keeps us coming back. We want to know more about the team, how Flynn got Lucy’s journal, and how they’re able to take out Rittenhouse for good. Plus, the production sets take us on a realistic trip to the past each week which just adds to the mystery– where and when will Rittenhouse target next? Every episode draws the audience in and makes us want to know more.
The Time Team goes up against a secret organization intent on bending history to fit their ideal society
If you thought Flynn was a dangerous villain, just wait until you see what Rittenhouse is planning! Flynn stole the Mothership in season one to allegedly stop Rittenhouse from doing more damage to history. An added complexity to Flynn was that a future version of Lucy gives him a journal that details their missions and tells him that one day they would work together to stop Rittenhouse. We would never have thought a friendship between Flynn and Lucy was possible, but Timeless proves us wrong in the second season when Lucy leads the charge to break Flynn out of prison.
This season, Rittenhouse attempts to change the past by eliminating civil rights and preventing prominent figures from accomplishing what history has already written for them. Rittenhouse’s ideal present day is one where they control the government and reduce the rights of citizens so they can’t speak out against the injustice. It’s a clear and moral choice for the Time Team to protect equal rights and stop Rittenhouse because what person would want to set the United States back fifty years? Apparently, Rittenhouse!
The Time Team is at a disadvantage this season because Rittenhouse already planted multiple agents in time, and they only have one-time machine to keep up. The sleeper agents could change history, and the team wouldn’t even realize that it happened. One thing Flynn and Rittenhouse have in common is their motives keep the audience guessing and we anticipate each new piece of information that could clue us into the bigger picture. They both play convincing villains and by the end of season one, we saw Flynn start to redeem himself by working with Lucy and the rest of the team. Flynn and Rittenhouse are complex villains that draw the audience in with their mysterious plans and we can’t wait to tune in each week to find out what’s next.
“Lucy’s mom is really going to be one of the big bads in season two. Rittenhouse does have their hands on the time machine, so that’s way worse than Garcia (Visnjic) having his hands on the time machine.” – Eric Kripke (executive producer)
Rittenhouse’s plans are strategic and allow for them to change history at multiple critical points all at once. If the Time Team is in the present when sleeper agents alter history, their memories would change without any recollection of the prior timeline. And if that were to happen, Rittenhouse could change history and be the only ones to know what changed. Carol and Emma (Annie Wersching) kidnap Carol’s grandfather from 1918 who inspired Rittenhouse’s plans to change history. With his guidance, they devise a plan to shape history in their favor. They play complex villains and it’s yet to be seen why they’re planning to change history and what they could gain. But they have us on the edge of our seats to see what bold move they’ll make next.
Rittenhouse has dangerous plans to change the past and transform the present into tyranny with fewer free speech rights or equal rights. Despite all odds, the audience is still rooting for the Time Team to prevail because they’re on the right side of history. Timeless questions your morality and what you would do given the opportunity to time travel– do you try to improve history, or do you alter it for your benefit at the risk of others? While we don’t know the reason behind Rittenhouse’s plans for history, changing it into something unrecognizable and detrimental to the U.S. citizens could never be a good thing. We can only hope that the Time Team stops Rittenhouse this season– or at least prevent history from changing too much.
Rittenhouse doesn’t let the Time Team (or us) know the full extent of their plans, which is a smart move from the writers. We slowly find out bits and pieces of their plans and we want to see what they’re planning and how they want to change history. When the Time Team finds out that Rittenhouse jumps in the Mothership, they theorize about possible events or people they could affect. It’s thought-provoking to realize how one event could change so many aspects of our present day. To think if history went a different way, our present might look very different! Rittenhouse is dangerous and one thing is for sure, they’re willing to risk everyone and everything to accomplish their goals.
Have you seen the diversity on Timeless?
Timeless has a diverse cast list from their series regulars, like Rufus, Jiya (Claudia Doumit), Connor, and Denise, to their guests each episode in the time periods they travel to. American history tends to lean towards the accomplishments of white men– but Timeless recognizes that there’s so much more to history. Have you ever heard of Hedy Lamarr? What about Wendell Scott? Timeless does a fantastic job of giving lesser-known historical figures a platform to tell their stories. Thanks to Timeless, the audience was able to see Hedy as the intelligence behind the technology used to create Wi-Fi and Wendell as the first African-American to win in NASCAR’s highest level and stand up against racial prejudice.
Season one was all about preserving history, even with all the mistreatment of women and minorities. When faced with difficult decisions, like letting Abraham Lincoln die right in front of you, the team lets history happen the way it should. In season two, the Time Team is questioning their preconceptions regarding keeping history intact and are actually changing history for the better– at least for the people they interact with. It’s refreshing to see their change in perspective, and we’re loving the change in their narrative. It makes the characters even more relatable and gives them another layer of complexity. The Time Team knows the difficulties ahead for minorities– racism, persecution, or even death! The diversity on Timeless is also a reminder that racism and sexism are still issues today. Strides have been made over the years, but equality isn’t a given in the present when talking about being singled out based on race or equal pay in the workplace.
“The thing that we really found this year, that we really love about the show is we really, like, are very proud that we were able to tell these very positive, really inclusive stories about history, stories about women and stories about minorities and stories about gay people — that everyone contributes to the history of this country… History is for everybody, and America is for everybody.” – Eric Kripke (executive producer)
It’s difficult to say what you would do in that scenario of time travel, and we’d like to think that we would change history for the better as well. Because given the chance, why wouldn’t you take the opportunity to improve someone’s life? Especially if you know the struggles and persecution they would face or even death like in the Salem Witch Trials. Timeless poses a thought-provoking question to its viewers– what would you do if given a time machine? Would you preserve history like the Time Team, or would you use it to your advantage at the expense of others? Although time travel is not without consequence.
Timeless shows the real impact of time travel, like Lucy losing her sister in season one, or the sudden reappearance of someone that Wyatt thought was dead for years. But the Time Team doesn’t stop changing history in life or death situations. Rufus gave Hedy business advice which led her to become a billionaire rather than letting her patent expire and seeing no profit. Those changes to history may not have made a big impact on America at large, but they sure made a world of difference to those individuals.
We’re thrilled to see the Time Team taking risks in the past, even though it might change their present. This captivating modification in story resonates with the audience and we cannot wait to see how the Time Team will improve upon other people’s lives in the rest of season two. Their change in perspective on altering history resonates with the audience because the team wants to help people in the past rather than use the past to their advantage. It’s difficult for their expert historian Lucy to theorize how history might change by changing events to help minorities, but they still take that risk of not recognizing the present– perhaps for the better!
We have to talk about that plot twist– Rittenhouse brought Wyatt’s wife back from the dead!
Over the course of season one, the audience finds out that Wyatt’s wife Jessica (Tonya Glanz) died and he blames himself. Wyatt makes multiple attempts at saving his wife, from sending her a telegram like in Back To The Future to taking out her alleged murderer. But he couldn’t save Jessica. It’s a long road to acceptance for Wyatt, but he eventually makes his peace with not being able to save his wife and opens himself up to the possibility of a new romance with Lucy.
Unfortunately for the Lyatt (Wyatt and Lucy) shippers, Jessica seemingly returns from the dead the very same episode that Wyatt and Lucy give in to their feelings and get together. In episode 4, Rufus and Lucy find out that Wyatt’s wife Jessica is alive. From a quick search, Rufus discovers that Rittenhouse took the Mothership to 1980 San Diego for an hour while they were on another mission, which likely eliminated Jessica’s murderer.
It’s a risky move from the writers perspective; they just delivered on a popular ship (Lyatt) and seemingly take that chance away from Wyatt and Lucy with Jessica’s return in the very same episode! However, there’s something to be said for the choice Wyatt now faces– work on his marriage, or continue his relationship with Lucy? Prior to Jessica’s return from the dead, Lucy was his only option. We hope that Wyatt thinks over the choice and that he is absolutely certain in who he wants to be with. And we’re definitely hoping he picks Lucy! The actors have an undeniable chemistry and the characters have faced larger challenges than most of the audience have ever faced, with life or death consequences.
Wyatt: “Lucy, I’m so sorry.”
Lucy: “Wyatt, I’m thrilled for you.”
Wyatt: “Yeah, but you and me.”
Lucy: “She’s your wife and you love her. I mean this is everything that you’ve wanted, everything you’ve been hoping for. This is– this is a good thing.”
Jessica disrupts the Time Team when Wyatt brings her to the bunker as he’s determined not to keep any secrets from her. The writers created a likable character in Jessica. From what we’ve seen of Jessica, it’s very difficult to dislike her. She has a history with Wyatt and had the stressful life of a soldier’s wife. She’s dealt with the difficulties of their marriage and considers divorce. She is comprehending Wyatt’s work the best she can considering she just found out time travel is real and until recently her husband thought she was dead for the last six years.
It’s hard to comprehend multiple timelines and alternate versions of her reality, but she takes it in stride. As much as Lyatt shippers love Lucy and Wyatt together, Jessica is his wife and he wants the chance with Jessica that was taken from them. Jessica’s reappearance is suspicious at best, especially at Rittenhouse’s hand. Why would Rittenhouse want to bring Jessica back? Is it solely for the purpose of distracting Wyatt so that Lucy and Rufus are down a soldier? Or will they attempt to use Jessica as leverage against Wyatt? It’s possible they could go to Jessica for information. There are also some fan theories going around that Jessica herself is Rittenhouse! That puts the team at risk in case Jessica reveals information regarding the team or their location. Only time will tell what will happen with Jessica, and what her return means for the blossoming relationship between Wyatt and Lucy.
Final Verdict: Timeless season two is captivating and witty, and we cannot wait to see what’s next for the Time Team!
Timeless barely got a season two after NBC originally canceled the series, but we’re so thankful they renewed! Season two builds upon the foundation of season one and starts off with a bang from the very first episode– pun intended. The writers are making the most of this season and deliver on diversity, the ships, drama, and a bigger evil, all while keeping it lighthearted with jokes and pop culture references. Every episode portrays the difficulties minorities faced in history, whether it’s women or people of color, and the Time Team intends to help them in some way in addition to stopping Rittenhouse.
It’s a tall order, but the Time Team makes it work the best way they can. The writers also delivered on the Lyatt (Wyatt and Lucy) ship as well as Riya (Rufus and Jiya). Although Jessica’s return could not come at a worse time for Lyatt! They were just starting their relationship when Rittenhouse had to throw a wrench into that. It’s hard to be mad at Wyatt because Jessica is his wife and he went to great lengths to try to save her life in season one. Riya is staying strong this season, with the added complexity of Jiya’s vision. Her visions are mostly of Rufus, and she’s trying to understand what they mean and if they’re the future or only one possibility of the future. If she tells him what she sees in her premonitions, can he prevent the events or is it a self-fulfilling prophecy? We keep getting glimpses of Rittenhouse’s plans for history, but we’re not privy to the full picture. Rittenhouse is the overarching antagonist this season and not even Lucy can convince her mother to switch sides to be on the right side of history.
We cannot get enough of Timeless. This season truly delivers on creating immersive time periods each week that takes the audience on an entertaining history lesson. Timeless continues to portray the struggles of minorities and now the Time Team is looking to improve the lives of the people they interact with. The chemistry between the actors makes their friendships and relationships even more believable. Timeless even has a 100% on Rotten Tomatoes!
If you aren’t already watching Timeless, what are you waiting for? Watch a few episodes and you’ll be hooked. Join the fandom, affectionately termed “Clockblockers,” as we tune in for the rest of season two.