Travelers: Update
December 27, 2017 9:49 PM - Season 2, Episode 9 - Subscribe

Philip attends a disturbing historical update session. MacLaren's wife has a medical emergency, and Trevor learns something shocking about his host.

*Philip enters a darkened auditorium. Traveler A-26 of the archivist program welcomes the historians to Regional Update 4, and instructs those having their first update that they were given 2 green pills to be taken immediately after the update, and a bottle of yellow pills they will need to take regularly going forward. Updated historians may perceive 'projections', visual manifestations of one or more alternate timelines, a side effect of the update, and the yellow pills will allow them to focus on one timeline at a time. Per Protocol 2H, historians must not discuss the update with anyone ever. The update begins playing on the movie screen as a voice instructs them to 'open memory chain 1A.' The screen fills with rapidly changing text, and Philip is weeping by the end.

*At Carly's, Jeffrey has made her breakfast. At the condo, Kat tells MacLaren she has landed a restaurant design job she wanted, and isn't sure she should take it with the baby coming, but he says to go for it if she really wants it and they'll figure something out.

*At Ops, Marcy and Carly join Trevor and Philip. Philip claims to have been given winning lottery numbers via Messenger from the Director, who must have noticed the dire state of team finances. He gives Carly an $80K winner, and Marcy a $62K winner.

*David and Marcy go to a bodega, after a tai chi class in a park, and Marcy plays her winning numbers. Unbeknownst to Marcy, David peeks at her numbers and plays them too.

*At the high school athletic field, Trevor asks a former friend, Kyle, why he isn't playing football anymore, and Kyle says he can't believe that Trevor's concussion really made him forget what "the old man" used to do to them. As they walk away, a car drives up to Trevor - it's the travelers Hall and Luca (from season 1 episode 4). Trevor coms MacLaren that they are out of jail, and MacLaren sees in the FBI database that the charges against them were dropped.

*At Ops, Carly brings Philip most of her winnings, but says she kept some to pay for her car and things for her son. Philip asks how things are going with her and Jeffrey, and they share an awkward moment of anti-flirtation.

*Trevor and Kyle spar together, and Trevor confirms that the coach molested his host and Kyle and others, and is no doubt still at it. Trevor says they need to come forward to stop him from continuing to harm other kids, and Kyle reluctantly agrees to do it if Trevor will too.

*At the condo, Kat yells for MacLaren, he finds her bleeding in the bathroom and rushes her to the hospital. The doctor says that the baby is fine, but the ultrasound shows a small placental abruption, and he wants to keep her for observation.

*On the street, Luca approaches Marcy and says he just wants to talk. After Luca learns about Marcy's reset, he says he understands why she didn't visit him in prison. He still believes they were siblings in the future, but Marcy says there's no way of knowing. The conversation is interrupted by MacLaren telling the team that Kat has had a 'medical emergency' and he will be somewhat out of reach, and asks Marcy for her help. Back at Ops, Philip looks distressed with knowledge.

*David checks the lottery numbers in the morning and discovers his win. He calls Marcy to tell her he won $31K using her numbers, then realizes that means she would have won $62K if he hadn't, and says maybe he should give her his winnings. Later, he decides to give it all away to various of his homeless clients.

*At school, Grace greets Trevor in the hallway in exaggerated guidance counselor mode. He asks for her help. Later he tells her that Kyle was supposed to meet him after 2nd period but was a no-show and isn't answering his phone. The coach approaches with another player, Connor, and tells him Connor needs to practice with a good QB like Trevor, but Trevor just gives him a death glare. And Grace says she doesn't know anything about "sportsball." Elsewhere, Kyle sits in his car drinking, ignoring all the calls from Trevor.

*At Carly's, she and Jeffrey finish a workout. Jeffrey starts dancing at Carly, and she begins to join him, but the moment is interrupted by Jeff Jr. crying and she leaves to take care of him.

*At the hospital, Marcy tells MacLaren that Kat's test results show that she's stable. He asks what went wrong with the pills but she says they did all they could, and that this is best left to 21st century doctors, who are perfectly capable of performing a C-section if the baby needs to be removed early because of placental abruption.

*At an addiction support group meeting, Philip says that he has a secret. He tells them that he knows the future, for example he knows that someone in the group was recently diagnosed with cancer and has decided to ignore it, and while Philip doesn't know if treatment would be successful he knows when this person will die without treatment, but then the group leader breaks in, because actually Philip hasn't spoken a word beyond "I have a secret."

*Kyle calls Trevor back and says he's coming, but he's driving drunk and blows through a stop sign.

*At the hospital, MacLaren leaves Kat's room to get a drink from the vending machine as she sleeps. A masked hospital worker enters and injects something in her IV, and 'Recorded Time of Death 3:06' text appears onscreen. MacLaren returns to see the man exiting and asks for an update, and the man unmasks to reveal himself as the traveler Hall, who says he did what he had to, as a code blue is called for Kat's room. MacLaren coms Philip to tell him to get eyes on Hall leaving the hospital and not to lose him, then races back to Kat.

*Trevor bicycles rapidly to Kyle's location, but he has a recorded time of death of 3:09 when he would have driven in front of a train, and he becomes a host to traveler 5532 instead, and Trevor arrives to see Luca welcome the new traveler to the 21st.

*At Ops, Trevor asks Philip about the historical record of his coach, Carson Perry. Philip examines his future memory and says Perry gets arrested on 16 charges of sexual assault as well as possession and distribution of underage porn, but not anytime soon. Trevor says he has to do something. Philip cautions him against going vigilante, but Trevor says that now that he has learned that his host was being molested before his arrival, couldn't stopping Perry fall under Protocol 5 'resume the host's life'? Also he promised Kyle he would come forward.

*At the hospital, the doctor tells MacLaren that Kat survived but the baby didn't. He goes to Ops and the team is there with Hall and Luca, and the team stop MacLaren from attacking them. Hall says he was following the Director's orders, that Kat was originally going to die while delivering a stillborn child, that he gave her a traveler-synthesized drug to eliminate a blood clot, because she wouldn't have been in danger if MacLaren hadn't broken Protocol 4 in the first place.

*Carly goes home and holds Jeff Jr., and asks Jeffrey to tell her about when he was born.

*Back at the hospital, Kat tells MacLaren the baby was a girl, and cries in his arms.

*At the school gym, Trevor confronts Coach Perry and tells him he must either turn himself in to the police and face the consequences of his own volition, or it will be done for him. Perry tells him he'll do no such thing, and he knows Trevor isn't going to do anything. Trevor tells Philip on coms to release the materials, and leaves, and Perry gets bombarded with texts, emails, and phone calls as his the details of his underage porn trove is exposed.

*At David's, he tells Marcy that he gave all his winnings away to clients, and his own bike too. Marcy tells him she used some of hers to pay off debts but hasn't decided what she'll do with the rest (except to buy him new bike).

*At Ops, Philip watches the news while reciting along with it, but then sees a projection of the team at the table comforting a weeping MacLaren (presumably from the timeline where Kat died). As they disappear, he takes some of the yellow pills to stay focused on the current present.
posted by oh yeah! (12 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I really should have done an S1 rewatch, I had no idea who Hall and Luca were until the scene with Luca and Marcy jogged my memory enough to remember which old episode thread to look at. I also wasn't sure if I should have known who Kyle was, but, I guess that's moot since he isn't Kyle anymore.

Ok, turning in for the night, will get the last three episodes posted tomorrow, hopefully early in the day.
posted by oh yeah! at 9:59 PM on December 27, 2017 [2 favorites]

This seemed like the dude equivalent of a breast cancer episode with the high school kids. I had also forgotten who Hall and Luca were, but I'm not sure how much it mattered.

David is so awkwardly nice that I assume he's a saint in his own right in the future.
posted by tautological at 10:14 PM on December 27, 2017 [1 favorite]

every episode with David in it makes me go "oh, David..."

wow, I thought the Director would make them deal with Mac's baby but it's kind of amazing that both Kat and the baby were gonna die.
posted by numaner at 11:41 AM on December 28, 2017

I'm also an "Oh, David..."

But, I've grown to like the character.

Protocol 5 'resume the host's life'

Huh. This is a bit of an interesting ethical exercise, dependent on what outcomes the Protocols were intended to achieve.

In the prime timeline, Team traveler hosts were selected because they were going to die and no longer affect the world, aside from them dying. But, the whole reason for (Team) time travel is explicitly to alter the future (presumably for the better).

One could argue that dropping out of society as much as possible would create the least "ripples" in continuity, but merely existing creates its own ripples (ie., 001/Vincent was supposed to let his host die as in the prime timeline).

If the reason for time travel stands - improving the future, unintended consequences such as Shelter 41/Faction notwithstanding - then Protocol 5 makes sense... with the subtextual caveat of "living better lives."

Given that, Trevor pretty much nails it - stop being a bully, trying to prevent Grace from being travelerated, outing the pedophile coach, &c.

Which makes Hall/Luca/Director ~ Kat consistent (and recovers from MacLaren's Protocol 4 fumble - that was a surprise I did not see coming at all).

Giving the same motives to the Faction - improving the future (if there wasn't overpopulation there might not be a need for shelters/yeast tanks, but if there wasn't overpopulation there wouldn't be a Shelter 41 for an asteroid to destroy, and presumably no Faction) - it seems like Faction is an "ends justify the means" mindset whereas Team has at least some concern over the means (and are either ok with the overpopulation/human-lives-are-precious-regardless-of-quality or think they can find another accommodation for its effects).
posted by porpoise at 12:06 PM on January 2, 2018

Since pre-traveler Trevor was a bully and an all-around asshole, I was wondering if some of the released materials would implicate Trevor 1.0 as an aggressor at all.
posted by rmd1023 at 1:15 PM on January 3, 2018

would implicate Trevor 1.0 as an aggressor at all

Like, sexual aggressor?

It's not uncommon for molestation victims to acquire bully-like and other antisocial behaviours as a compensation/consequence of their abuse. For example, the cliche that bullies are bullied at home by abusive parents and creates intergenerational cycles of abuse.
posted by porpoise at 3:02 PM on January 3, 2018

Sorry, yes, sexual aggression - either in helping to groom other kids for the coach or else engaging in his own sexual harassment of other kids.
posted by rmd1023 at 4:55 PM on January 3, 2018

Any specific reasons for thinking that might be so, rmd1023?

I suspect that Philip would have had the foresight to do the unpleasant thing of vetting the evidence that he released, so even if Trevor 1.0 was compromised, that evidence would have been suppressed.

Personally, I didn't read that Trevor 1.0 is an abuser, but I could see how "grooming" other kids might possibly be a thing based on the looks between the other kid with the coach in the hallway and Trevor.

I think that it was more just a "mutual secret"/ "mutual shame" and (toxic) masculinity enforcing the code of silence.

Come to think of it, Trevor 1.0's relationship with his girlfriend could partially be compensation for his being sexually abused (ie., prove to himself/ demonstrate to the world that he's straight, although its certainly possible that he could be overcompensating to cover homosexuality denial).

Third thought; I think that Trevor 1.0's participation in MMA and his stubborn refusal to back down/ concede (leading to his death in the prime timeline) is Trevor's main compensation ("if only he fought his abusing coach harder/ didn't back down that first time") - I don't think he was abusing other kids, he's just damaged.

Fourth thought; his relationship with his buddy that (in the prime timeline) suicided would point against Trevor 1.0 sexually abusing/ complicity (at least with that particular buddy).

Fifth thought; some people are just assholes - doesn't necessarily mean that he also has a propensity for perpetrating sexual abuse. Trevor 1.0 is from a relatively socioeconomically elite family, people around him treat him like he's popular/ handsome, he's a star athlete in a high prestige sport, and no one has probably ever said "no" to him (he's even an asshole to his parents, and his parents have very little control over him re: mom's prescription drugs, dad living vicariously through him, Trevor 2.0 not being taken to task for disappearing while doing stuff for the Director [he's still living at his parents' at least some of the time, right?]). I've known too many people like that and most of the time, privileged assholes are just assholes.
posted by porpoise at 5:48 PM on January 3, 2018

Haha, it had just occurred to me that I was able to write that defense only because the character had been so well written over a couple of seasons - but who probably only showed up for a few episodes.

Trevor 2.0 has been my favourite Travelers character, so.
posted by porpoise at 7:41 PM on January 3, 2018 [1 favorite]

I was thinking less "what would true to this character" and more "what are the writers going to throw at them to fuck things up" and imagining how Trevor 2.0 would handle this (since he's had to handle a lot of things really delicately and well). I think this is the "watsonian vs doylist" thing of in-universe vs real-world explanations.

I think you're right about the MMA being a compensation - that makes sense. And, yeah, he's a really excellent character.
posted by rmd1023 at 8:38 PM on January 3, 2018

I don't play the lottery, but who literally uses the same numbers as another person? Also, don't winners get publicized? I know the big ones do, but don't runner ups make the media as well?

Oh, David. So sweet and yet sometimes you're just like, dude, don't blow ALL the money....

Aw, poor historians.
posted by jenfullmoon at 12:02 PM on January 28, 2018

David is so awkwardly nice that I assume he's a saint in his own right in the future.

During the one-sided call with Marcy about the lottery winnings, I thought, “David isn’t just second-guessing himself but he is up to about fifth- and sixth-guessing at this point.”
posted by ricochet biscuit at 12:54 PM on April 6, 2020

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