Timeless: Hollywoodland
March 25, 2018 8:34 PM - Season 2, Episode 3 - Subscribe

Lucy, Wyatt, and Rufus team up with Hedy Lamarr to foil the mission of a Rittenhouse sleeper agent in 1941 Hollywood.
posted by oh yeah! (15 comments total)
It seems clear that whatever kind of agent Denise Christopher is, it's not one where she got one lick of training or experience managing assets. Anyone she hasn't alienated yet? Shape up, pal, you're not even on the poster so you're expendable.

I will confess to a very palpable feeling of yay! at Lucy and Wyatt getting together, though I'm disappointed they didn't allow them any time to settle in before dropping the resuscitated wife bomb. I'm hoping that it'll be more interesting than her being back and her relationship with Wyatt intact. Let them be estranged or seperated or something, and please let Lucy handle it some other way than immediately asking to put things on hold while he Figures It Out. Which might be the smart relationship methodology when dealing with suddenly returned loves, but pretty boringly cliche tv.

It's hard to imagine how they have Wyatt and his wife together conventionally anyway. The status quo still involves him in lockdown on a secret project where he isn't supposed to have seen the light of present-day in over three months (though he has a cellphone getting... what, google alerts for "not dead" I guess?) so presumably he wouldn't have seen her in this time. And presumably Agent Christopher, with her knowledge having shifted along with history, would know that to be the first place to look for him.

The more I think about it the more I dislike it. I eagerly await the show surprising me but timeline changes to create a love triangle leaves me cold. Lucy's difficulty navigating a relationship that she has no memory of was marginally more interesting, though I don't feel like they did a whole lot with that situation. I would have had more interest in seeing this come to pass if Lucy and Wyatt hadn't connected, so we could look at them dealing with one getting the change they want and the other seeing no path to restoring her sister.

Also interesting was Rufus tampering with Lamar's history and Lucy not minding it one little bit. I wholeheartedly support this. Come join me here in time nihilism! Shrug off your shackles of loyalty to the original timeline which no longer is all that original anymore anyway! You've dabbled with leaving time capsules in prison walls, now set up some interest bearing accounts. Buy some IBM stock and create a trust.

Hell, if Rittenhouse was really all THAT visionary they'd go back four hundred years and create a colony. They clearly know how to set up a secret society. Create your structure full of people who know they should actually trust and respond to the messages they get, no matter how many decades down the road they get them. Fund it by mining some gold before it actually gets found and just dole it out via written directive to the trust managers by mail. Lucy, Rufus, and Wyatt can't really stop you if your trip to NYC 1902 just was so you could drop a letter in the mail to your agents in California.

Or, you know, go back 400 years and get that gold and leave it in an investment you collect in 2018. Who gives a toss what the world looks like if you've got sufficient billions to go buy that private island now? Science fiction shows would be way more complicated if the characters in them had ever read any science fiction.
posted by phearlez at 11:26 AM on March 26, 2018 [4 favorites]

I totally fell for the sucker-punch plot twist of resurrected Jessica -- partly because I was so damned entertained by the episode as I was watching it that I was firmly 'in the moment' rather than ever going off into speculation mode, and partly because I'd been fooled by the 'reboot' nature of the season so far as to think that the 'save Jessica' plot had been abandoned same as 'save Lucy's sister' seems to be. I'm not thrilled with the prospect of an angst triangle, but, Jessica seemed so unenthused by Wyatt's presence that I'm not sure what to make of this until I know more.

For anyone not clicking through to all the recaps, the EW one identified Lucy's stolen party costume as being Katherine Hepburn's from The Philadelphia Story.
posted by oh yeah! at 4:36 PM on March 26, 2018 [5 favorites]

Yeah, I'm sorta hoping the next episode starts with Jessica going "who the hell are you?" (possibly but not requiring her to *pow* *smacko* "Weirdo!", but I'll take what I can get), but she was wearing a wedding ring. Maybe she's married to Dude WWI whose name I haven't caught and who is so generic white dude that I can't identify him in the IMDB cast listing. That's the sort of mustache twirling, cigar chomping baddie this show needs!

I dunno. I enjoy it for Our Team, the Rufus / Wyatt / Lucy hijinks are interesting. The larger arc is sort of struggling. Like they never really fully resolved whether Flynn is actually _bad_ or just ruthless and working from Lucy's Future Diary in which Bad Things Happened to try and prevent those Bad Things. I dunno, sort of the same complaint as I had the other episode - without an objective gold standard truth for goodness, it's all a huge moral gray area, and if the timeline is always sort of in flux, all we get as a constant is Our Team, and lord knows they gave up any pretense of not changing the future long ago. On the other hand, without an antagonist, where's the story? Next thing you know it's Time Tunnel all over again, and nobody really wants that.

Do we think Jiya is making shit up about her doctor visit, or is she both renewed _and_ slipping into psychosis as a result of her lifeboat foursome? Or maybe they traveled back to a future where Jiya didn't ride back in time with them. Ugh.
posted by Kyol at 9:02 PM on March 26, 2018 [1 favorite]

Thank-you, thank-you, thank-you, oh yeah! Lucy's cream and gold dress was driving me crazy all episode. I knew I had seen it (or some version of it) somewhere and I just couldn't figure out where. I was actually going to post here about my reaction to that dress, hoping somebody would be able to ID it for me.

I guess maybe the reason it didn't trigger for me, despite having seen the Philadelphia Story more times than I can count, is that I've never seen the dress in colour. I mean it was pretty obvious what the colours were, but it's different knowing what something should be and registering it visually--or that's the excuse I'm using for not placing it.

That just leaves me to whine about Wyatt's poor shaving job. That scruffy look was certainly not going to fly in Hollywood of that era. He should have cleaned it up before doing the time jump. At least Lucy's lipstick was better than it was in the last episode where it was way too heavy, and overpainted. This time it was still on that end of the spectrum but it was much better.

I have trouble believing Flynn especially and even Lucy couldn't decipher what that image was supposed to be.

I also think Jiya should have said something like "I'm seeing visions of the future that appear to be coming true," especially as she has already admitted that they're more than visions. Maybe if she did, she could save the team from peril. (For example, Rufus, watch yourself, you could get burned.)

As soon as Wyatt's cell phone went off, I knew it was going to take him back to his wife, and you're absolutely right, phearlez, they should have let the relationship develop a bit longer, just for pacing reasons. You're also absolutely spot on with your comments about Lucy's post-history alteration relationship, changing history, and agent Christopher's lack of people management skills.
posted by sardonyx at 9:04 PM on March 26, 2018 [1 favorite]

Since we're clearing up mysteries, any idea where the Logan and Preston aliases come from?
posted by sardonyx at 9:09 PM on March 26, 2018

Those are just Lucy & Wyatt's last names, sardonyx.
posted by oh yeah! at 9:12 PM on March 26, 2018

(I mean, I enjoy the shows, but this really is a show that needs the MST3k maxim applied to it more than most.)

Bill S. Preston ESQ, and Ted Theodore Logan from Bill & Ted. I had to laugh. I suspect it's a recycled joke, but still.
posted by Kyol at 9:12 PM on March 26, 2018 [2 favorites]

Oh, duh, I forgot about that. Plus Rufus Carlin.
posted by oh yeah! at 9:17 PM on March 26, 2018

Now don't I feel stupid. I guess I never think about them beyond Lucy and Wyatt. And with this show there is usually some dumb in-jokey alias that's thrown to the audience. I guess I was just expecting more of the same.
posted by sardonyx at 9:19 PM on March 26, 2018

Yeah, all the way back in S01E01. Rufus didn't pick up the "Carlin" surname until episode 6.
posted by Kyol at 9:26 PM on March 26, 2018

I'm not thrilled with the prospect of an angst triangle, but, Jessica seemed so unenthused by Wyatt's presence that I'm not sure what to make of this until I know more.

The more I think about it the more I think they must be divorced/estranged, because of something else we got in this episode: Wyatt talking about the whole reason he took this assignment was that it was dangerous and he was in a dark place. It seems unlikely that was in there for no other reason. Since he's still a part of this deal presumably he was still in some bad place, but for a different reason.

Perhaps she left him for someone else? Perhaps he ran around on her? Who knows. But I think we may be getting an inversion of Lucy's situation last time: she had someone she didn't know who she didn't want. Here I'm betting we have Wyatt wanting someone who doesn't want him. That might be a little more interesting than typical, we we have him dealing with needing to accept that she's alive but doesn't want any part of him. Can he accept this different but same situation and just move on with Lucy?
posted by phearlez at 1:09 PM on March 27, 2018 [1 favorite]

Is running into Hedy Lamarr becoming the new trope of time traveling shows? Although, I think Legends of Tomorrow's Hedy Lamarr (played by Celia Massingham) looks more like the actual woman than Timeless' version (played by Alyssa Sutherland).
posted by numaner at 1:14 PM on March 27, 2018

As I get closer and closer to what I know is the final episode, I get madder that there aren't going to be any more seasons of this show. That's why I'm talking to myself in the bottom of these comment sections!

This was such a strong episode, and I love the fact that they let these people be funny in a sort of gentle, natural way that real people are. Getting newspaper space in a Hearst newspaper is actually a pretty decent evil time traveler plot which I didn't anticipate, although as to other plot twists...even if I could tell from the previews that this was where the Dead Wife Resurrection Bomb was going to go off. And although I am a filthy Garcy shipper (and an old enough fan that portmanteau names still give me the icks, but I guess this is what we do now) I am also a trashy multishipper and here for the Lyatt too, apparently. Jesus, that was hot. They probably brought Jessica back too soon, but I guess they already knew they might not come back and may not have time to pull that plot thread? I don't know how precarious the show was at this point.

Jiya needs to just own up that she's having visions of the future, not just hallucinations. They deal with time travel, this can't be so far off the map that nobody will believe her.

Anyway, I love the use of the standard bag of time travel tricks, like planting something in the past to be unraveled in the future. I also am pretty happy about Rufus telling Hedy Lamarr to hold on to her patent because her story is so unusual and cool and hey, I am pro-her founding a tech empire. I'm probably going to go back and start rereading Kage Baker's Children of the Company books, which are some of my favorite time travel/exploring history works.
posted by PussKillian at 6:45 PM on July 20, 2018

They probably brought Jessica back too soon, but I guess they already knew they might not come back and may not have time to pull that plot thread? I don't know how precarious the show was at this point.

Having been cancelled & uncancelled at the end of season 1, the writers knew they couldn't count on there being a season 3. I forget if I've said this already in another thread, but, watching season 2 live, I was reminded of the line from Gattaca, when Ethan Hawke's character was talking about swim-racing with his brother "I never saved anything for the trip back." The writers didn't hold back on any of their plot-bunnies in S2 in hopes of using it for S3, if they had an idea they used it. I'm sorry you're having to watch the series already knowing it's doomed, but, I don't know that it's any worse than for we who watched it with some hope of renewal. See you in the finale thread, PussKillian.
posted by oh yeah! at 7:17 PM on July 20, 2018 [1 favorite]

At least if it hadn't been for all the people who were vocal about it being canceled, I'd never have started watching. It was one of those things that looked fun but I didn't believe it could actually be good, so I didn't make any effort until it started popping up on various social media things. Sigh.
posted by PussKillian at 7:46 PM on July 20, 2018

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