Travelers: Archive
December 16, 2018 3:07 PM - Season 3, Episode 8 - Subscribe

MacLaren urges Yates to help him when a Traveler with a mission vital to humanity's survival arrives in the body of a just-captured serial killer.

*A man sets fire to bloody clothing, a purse, a phone, and other personal items. Driving away, he drops the cigarette lighter and swerves off the road as a fire starts in the car. The TELL countdown starts and once overwritten the Traveler escapes with his legs burning. Passers-by help him and call 911, but are horrified when the man pukes up a human eyeball.

*At the FBI, Yates tells MacLaren they believe they've caught the Bellevue Butcher, Andrew Graham, a serial killer known for targeting abusive mothers and eating parts of his victims. They're charging him with desecrating a corpse for now, since they haven't identified the owner of the eyeball yet, and have no direct evidence linking him to the other murders.

*Philip has an alternate timeline vision of waking up in bed with Carly, then seeing multiple Trevors walking around HQ. Actual-Trevor observes and tells him he needs to take his medication, but Philip refuses, and Trevor tries teaching him to meditate his way to reality instead.

*Marcy trains David in the park, and he eventually succeeds in flipping her.

*Carly and Jeff enjoy a meal in a park while going over slang, then Jeff gets a text calling him away to his mystery solo mission.

*MacLaren and Yates interview Graham, having identified the eyeball as belonging to foster mom Linda McVicar. Graham recognizes MacLaren's name, and when Yates leaves to get him a glass of water tells MacLaren that he's Traveler 7189, that the historical record didn't know about the Graham being a killer, and that he needs MacLaren to set him free to complete his mission.

*In a university classroom, Samantha and Amanda share champagne over their world-changing scientific breakthrough and wonder if it could win them the Nobel Prize.

*MacLaren tells Yates about Graham being a Traveler, says it's vital that they release him to complete his mission, but she refuses.

*At the apartment, Marcy and David do yoga. David gets a text that Jeff missed a meeting, and is frustrated. Marcy starts getting shmoopy with him, but Carly comms that she's coming to pick her up, and Marcy says she forgot she had to be somewhere and leaves.

*Jeff and another guy are moving boxes, and are taken to see Dawn. Dawn accuses the other man of being a mole and zaps him, then tests Jeff's loyalty by giving him a gun to execute the mole, and he does.

*At the FBI, MacLaren watches Graham led out of the office, then the rest of the team follows the transport van, disables it, and steals Graham from Yates' custody.

*Dawn brings Jeff to where Faction are holding an Archivist and torturing her for information. They leave him alone to guard her, and he frees her and tells her the Director sent him to rescue her.

*Carly and Trevor take Graham to Humphries University, to one of the scientists (Samantha). Meanwhile Yates and her squad invade HQ.

*Jeff shoots his way free of Faction with the Archivist.

*At HQ, Philip explains to Yates that 20 years from now, a gamma ray burst from a singularity engine will kill 1.4 billion people in hours and then destroy the ozone layer in a civilization-ending event. Graham's mission is to talk to the scientists and explain that their engine is doomed to catastrophe and convince them not to publish their findings.

*Jeff brings the Archivist to David's, looking for Marcy, and uses her medic kit on the Archivist in her absence. He has David get his gun and come with him for back-up.

*At the university, Yates and MacLaren arrive to find Graham has succeeded in his mission, Samantha will convince Amanda they need to halt the project, and Yates takes Graham back into custody. She and MacLaren take him for a last pre-prison meal at a diner.

*Jeff takes the Archivist to her archive, and sends David inside with her while he stands guard outside. She tells David to put all the blood bags he can into cases, that the DNA-encoded nanites are how data gets transmitted to the Director in the future. Then the Archivist and David are gunned down.

*As Philip and Carly walk together post-mission, Philip has a timeline flash of a nuclear explosion, then snaps back to Carly telling him that there's just been a nuclear explosion in London.
posted by oh yeah! (10 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Nooooo, I don't want bad things happening to David, poor woobie! I wasn't sure how they were going to walk back him finding out about Traveler stuff again, but hail of bullets was not even in consideration. I did think Jeff's being left all alone with the Archivist seemed deeply incompetent of Faction, so I guess the entire escape was just a ruse to let her lead them to the archive.

Nice use of genre/Vancouver regular Christopher Heyerdahl, he was bound to show up in this production at some point, puking up a human eyeball is definitely in his wheelhouse. (And, victim Linda was Aleksander's former foster mother, right?)
posted by oh yeah! at 3:16 PM on December 16, 2018 [3 favorites]

Jeff's lack of suspicion when Dawn and the others just walk away and leave him with the archivist was a bit frustrating. Like, that's obviously a trap. She just said she was testing him, but he thinks he totally passed and they trust him implicitly now? Better run straight to the archive...
posted by misfish at 5:19 PM on December 16, 2018 [2 favorites]

I think the writers were hurried or something because not a lot that happens in this episode made any sense. To wit:

* Ew, but, can you even swallow an eyeball whole?
* Obviously blood based archival is a bad idea. Like, what?
* Jeff is a terrible tactician. A super smart AI picked this idiot to go back in time, get duped by the most obvious play ever into leading them to the archive, then says "you, guy who is the only character less equipped than me, should go inside while I stay outside and get surrounded, rather than using the nigh-impregnable bunker inside as a more defensible position."
* Dude was being recorded when he said he was a traveler, right?
* Why is the solution "don't use this technology and I guess just hope nobody else discovers it" rather than "find a way to fix this technology?" The idea that there are only a handful of people that can understand it, while maybe somewhat plausible, also suggests that there are a handful of people who could independently discover it.
* Nanites apparently do all the work, Marcy is mostly just uselesss, huh?
* Yates makes no sense. If you believe people are being overwritten that doesn't it stand to reason that you should try to avoid imprisoning him as he's essentially an innocent man now?
posted by axiom at 7:42 PM on December 16, 2018 [6 favorites]

I’m wondering if David/the archivist are in an alternate timeline? Or if the future will be changed?
posted by lucy.jakobs at 7:04 AM on December 17, 2018

Given some of the assumptions blood is not a bad choice. The planet has be blasted except for a few domes, there is no library or paper or hard drive that survived. But a few people have. The Director knows who is alive and who their ancestors are. There have been some experiments in encoding computer data in "junk DNA" so that is actual science to some approximation. Now with advanced genetic science they constructed blood with extra messages in the dna that would be passed on through the survivors. Take a sample, decode the hidden dna, secret message from the past!
posted by sammyo at 5:23 PM on December 17, 2018 [3 favorites]

Oh, poor David, my sweet cinnamon roll, too good for this sinful earth. Though looking at the title of the next episode...

I feel sorry for New Andrew. Poor schmuck.

I concur that blood and nanites sounded pretty inventive and practical for the future, under the circumstances. Until now, anyway.
posted by jenfullmoon at 9:01 PM on December 17, 2018 [2 favorites]

Goodbye David. You grew on me.

Heyerdahl - had no idea he was a Vancouverite. But yeah, very nice of him to land a role that both typecast his looks and de-typecast his role.

Er, nanites/blood DNA...

Human immune systems are designed to chew up stuff in the bloodstream that doesn't belong to itself. Yes, distinct DNA from fetuses can cross the placenta and enter the bloodstream of pregnant women, but it's highly fragmented. There are innate immune responses that specifically targets random floating-around DNA for degradation.

Yes, there's a thing called epigentics, but DNA (methylation, and DNA in general) has nothing to do with memory; memory is primarily the different connections, strength of connections, and associated meta-modifications of the "quality" or "properties" of those connections between between neurons (and probably glia/ astrocytes) through synapses. The "properties" of each of these connections (multiples more of them in each human brain than there are stars in this galaxy) are created through experience (frequency, kind, strength of messages through each synapse, affected by neighbouring or upstream/ downstream synapses) and while genetics (DNA instructions) influences how the experiences change the property of each connection, it doesn't dictate that/if/when/where/how a particular connection is made.

Even with "nanites," DNA (especially DNA in a whole blood solution) is complete nonsense when it comes to memories.

Yes, synthetic DNA can be synthesized to contain data (in quarnary+ above binary (1/0), quarnary+ because there are other nucleotides other than A(denosine)T(etc.)CG that can be incorporated into linear DNA strands (single/ double stranded - no, while triple+ stranded DNA is physically possible and some configurations have been demonstrated, they're not biologically useful in terms of information (it's mostly structural and akin to protein folding in enzymes, and typically is a part of a protein complex; tRNA being a easy exception) and the length of those complexes aren't very long (limiting data capacity) and suffer from a host of minimum energy folding issues that contribute to instability.

But if the show found a way to say a 0.07% efficient nuclear fusion thing can be boosted to 29% efficient (with the unexpected [?!!!] side effect of creating a gamma ray burst with some new math...), erh. Ok. (Show fails that, too?)
posted by porpoise at 8:58 PM on December 19, 2018 [1 favorite]

Fucking Jeff. What an idiot.
posted by Squeak Attack at 6:09 PM on January 1, 2019 [1 favorite]

I don't think !Jeff was all that idiotic, he knew how important the archivist was and the entire goal in a very short amount of time was to get her out, get her to the archive to upload the newest thing, and move that information to somewhere safe. He couldn't call the team because of protocol 2, and he knew David could be probably be mind-wiped safely once the day is done. Also, taking a defensive position in that box would be a terrible idea, it'd be like shooting monkeys in a barrel. It would've been a smarter play for him to hold them off while the archivist works. What I would like to know is where was the archivist' backup team that she called. I assume they did show up and also go killed/defeated.
posted by numaner at 7:29 PM on January 8, 2019

ahh I mixed up my protocols! that should be 6, not 2
posted by numaner at 7:41 PM on January 8, 2019

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