Timeless: The Salem Witch Hunt
April 8, 2018 8:48 PM - Season 2, Episode 4 - Subscribe

While Wyatt sneaks away to face an unbelievable truth, Lucy, Rufus, and Garcia chase the Mothership to the Salem Witch Trials, where they must prevent the execution of the mother-to-be of Benjamin Franklin.
posted by oh yeah! (11 comments total)
Okay, I really wanted more of Jessica's reaction to the whole time travel reveal. And while I didn't really like them bringing Wyatt's wife back from the dead so soon after Wyatt and Lucy finally decided to get together, I can appreciate the way it's being done -- with Wyatt longing for something that didn't really exist in the current timeline. Of course that's just going to make Lucy hurt more, but it seems like the most interesting approach: one that has the possibility to go in a number of different directions.

Now that Garcia has gotten a taste of going on missions with the crew, how are they going to keep him locked up in the bunker (or whatever they're calling it)? Yes, I know the ship only holds three, but he will be itching and pushing to go along.

Rufus was definitely wrong to blame Jiya for the judge's death. I can see this being used to build a wedge in the relationship.

I'm really not liking the plot with the Rittenhouse genius brought from the past. He's just annoying, and they haven't done enough to sell the character as a visionary who will remake the world.
posted by sardonyx at 6:18 PM on April 9, 2018

Flynn sure did manage to fire a ridiculous number of shots from that musket in a short amount of time.
posted by oh yeah! at 6:34 PM on April 9, 2018 [1 favorite]

yeah I don't really like the genius guy either. he's annoying. especially as the writers are trying to wedge in "lol i'm from a more primitive time and i'm fascinated by everything" jokes without also being overtly offensive to the only two women that are actually helping him.

i think at this rate they're going to bring back Lucy's sister as an agent of Rittenhouse, given them more cause to be less non-lethal with Lucy, since they'd already have a legacy.
posted by numaner at 8:38 AM on April 10, 2018

I did enjoy the "she was dead?!" stuff. You have to think, if you were Jiya, you'd start to question the experience of having your boyfriend come back every time to a situation where what you remember of your relationship isn't necessarily what he remembers of it.

I wonder if Scar-Judge getting run over by the runaway cart was supposed to make us think anything about there being an inertia to time, or an inertia to Jiya's visions. Or was it just a face value trying to react to a thing that hasn't happened might make it happen story?
posted by phearlez at 9:45 AM on April 10, 2018 [2 favorites]

I wondered that, too...

I hope they do more with all the time/memory/future themes and touching on the different levels of their reliability. I loved that things were probably not perfect in the Jessica's Murder timeline and Wyatt has spent the past several years romanticizing it. It would be awesome if they went to some point in history where the history books were wrong.

I think about Flynn, too. Some person from the future brought back Lucy's diary and the confirmation that they'd worked together -- was that Flynn? Is there a danger of two Flynns being in the same place within the next year or so? Wouldn't that make things collapse?
posted by mochapickle at 11:14 AM on April 10, 2018

The Lucy Wyatt Jessica triangle was exactly what I expected and (kind of) hoped for. It was inevitable that Lucy would insist on backing off so that Wyatt could pursue his relationship with Jessica but I felt the phone conversation was a beautiful piece of work from Abigail Spencer especially. The divorce wasn't at all surprising given that Jessica died after storming off during an argument after a night out. Obviously all couples argue but up until now this and the proposal were the only insights we had on their relationship so I was expecting that the reality wouldn't live up to Wyatt's (very understandable) idealised visions of how it would have been. I also loved the pairing of Rufus Whaaaat reaction with Jiya's bewildered shrug when Lucy announced that she's still alive.

On the other hand I was not superimpressed with Rufus' reaction to Jiya's revelations. Yes visions of the future (the future in the past?*) are unbelievable but so is a time machine for Pete's sake and Jiya was very obviously trying to tell him something serious and important to her. As he's been shown so far Rufus is a considerate boyfriend who loves Jiya so I would have expected a better initial response. And while I can make some allowances for him being shaken up afterwards I was not at all happy about him blaming her for having told him about the premonition.

*Jiya's visions are definitely interesting. The first one of the Golden Gate bridge was a vision of the past (the bridge under construction) and her most recent visions have been of a future event as far as Rufus' personal timeline goes but both events that happened while he was back in the past. I'm feeling a bit wary about them getting too deep and metaphysical on timeline stuff. It's never likely to make sense and I'd rather they just used a loose conceit to generate plots than probed too deeply and came horribly unstuck trying to have it all make sense...

Garcia's smugness was glorious and his very violent problem solving was a good contrast to Wyatt's usually more considered strategy and teamwork.

I am also not enjoying great-grandfather genius or Rittenhouse generally. Emma and great-grandfather are a bit cartoonish expecting Carol to kill off her own daughter to demonstrate loyalty. I am crossing my fingers that the sleeper agent plan will come together in a way that makes sense but at the moment it's (necessarily) just mysterious evil-doing.
posted by *becca* at 6:08 AM on April 11, 2018 [2 favorites]

And while I can make some allowances for him being shaken up afterwards I was not at all happy about him blaming her for having told him about the premonition.

I thought that was well handled and believable. Rufus neither overtly blamed her nor did he totally absolve her of any responsibility, which I thought was very consistent with his character and how upset he was to have caused someone's death. Rufus has always been the voice on this team of "stop harm," where Wyatt would do whatever it took and Lucy was - at least vocally even if she flinched when the moment came (see: Lincoln) - someone who said they had to let the dead stay dead. For him to be really freaked out about this killing and be less than delicate in pushing for actions that might stop it from happening again seemed exactly right.

Is it the most sensitive course of action, absent of hubris that will come back to bite them all on the ass? Of course not. But that's necessary for conflict and making us yell no you fool! is good, where making us say that person would never do that is not. I bought this entirely from Rufus, even as I thought it was a bad strategic and relationship move.
posted by phearlez at 7:57 AM on April 13, 2018 [2 favorites]

Rittenhouse seems to have built a fundamental flaw into their system - they recruit people via bloodline and stress how important it is, and then they do things like expect a mom to be blithe about killing her daughter or are surprised when an agent builds a family after they dump him off in the past for a decade and a half.

Great grandpa isn’t doing much for me either, although is he going to go into the field with Emma now? Maybe he’s just going to tell her to go get it done.
posted by PussKillian at 7:57 PM on July 24, 2018

The core Rittenhouse philosophy to me seems to be to form an elite and ensure that they have as much power, wealth & control as possible. I think the keenness on bloodline is based more on assumed genetic superiority than genuine familial love.

Presumably continuing to support a daughter who has proved unworthy or settling down and having a family when you're supposed to be on mission is viewed as weakness and failure to support the central mission.
posted by *becca* at 9:35 AM on July 25, 2018

Yeah, I get it as a good way of driving the plot and building in conflict, especially for Lucy's mom. And you understand that Great grandpa doesn't have any sentimental ties to Lucy because her blood relationship to him may be a fact but it's not like he was a part of her life and build a bond. I suppose all I'm saying is that when I build my time traveling evil cult, I'll try and plan things better so people aren't working against their own psychology.
posted by PussKillian at 3:00 PM on July 25, 2018

Indeed Lucy's father chose not to be part of her life or build a relationship with her so sentimental ties doesn't seem to be something Rittenhouse are big on. He did (IIRC) appear to be at least very mildly saddened that she wasn't delighted to meet him after he'd threatened a colleague into spying on her, although not to the extent that he seemed to regret any of his actions....

I agree their tactics could use some work, I can't help but think they'd do better if they indoctrinated their children from an early age rather than springing the whole supersecret evil empire on them as young adults.
posted by *becca* at 2:35 AM on July 26, 2018 [1 favorite]

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