Timeless: The Capture of Benedict Arnold
December 13, 2016 4:35 AM - Season 1, Episode 10 - Subscribe

A shocking turn during the American Revolution causes the trio to question whether they're fighting on the wrong side. Also, Agent Christopher anticipates the worst as the trio encounter George Washington and make a dubious pact.
posted by oh yeah! (11 comments total)
ok ok. Time Travel.

I was on the edge of my seat for that moment when Flynn shoots Rittenhouse and then crazy timey-wimey paradox-fixing magic and they all suddenly gets transported to the new alternate timeline asap. But then I realized the time machines in this show and its travelers are immune to their shenanigans with history. But then like, so if Rittenhouse, the group, not the man, never fully formed, then nothing would encourage/sponsor Mason to build the time machine and Flynn's family might still be alive and his past self wouldn't have cause to go jaunting around time killing Rittenhouse. Soooo.. either history and the time force itself have to reorient to where they are now in the alternate timeline, or now these time machines are their own abberations because their own history have been erased.

I dunno man, this show... I'm really liking the characters, but whew they're fast and loose with time travel. Even Arrowverse stick to some rules.
posted by numaner at 8:11 AM on December 13, 2016

Lucy was really giving off the Snow White vibe in this episode, wasn't she? (I think that burgundy cape was the clinching detail.)

Maybe I'm a heartless person, but I was with Flynn--I think the kid has to be disposed of in a way that won't allow him to pick up his father's mantle.

Finally, somebody on the team has enough brains in her head to demand that the Lifeboat carry some important historical data. The fact that it's just Agent Christopher's family photo album is a bit disappointing, but I guess all we can expect is baby steps.

Rufus is turning into an action hero in his own right. I can't say I expected that development, but it's definitely welcomed.

So in addition to carrying modern weapons, Flynn is wearing some kind of fancy digital watch. Okay, I get he's the bad guy who doesn't care about mucking up history, but you figure a detail like that might be hard to explain to the people he is trying to manipulate in the past.

At this point I've just decided to ignore the time travel rules and consequences. There is just no way to make sense of any of it, and if the writers can't be bothered to try, I don't think it's worth my time to bother either. I think I'm allowed one completely dumb, turn off the brain and watch the pretty people wear an assortment of costume shows.
posted by sardonyx at 3:27 PM on December 13, 2016 [1 favorite]

I really loved the Agent Christopher scene - I didn't know where it was going when it started, so it got me in the feels.

Armin Shimerman was so creepy it went kind of over the top for me (or maybe it was because I burst out saying "Quark!" the second he appeared?). Also I don't know about them using the name of a real guy, seems unnecessarily slanderous.

Anyway, I'm looking forward to finding out what the present looks like for the characters when the show starts up again, time travel logic be damned.
posted by oh yeah! at 5:06 PM on December 13, 2016 [1 favorite]

Lucy was really giving off the Snow White vibe

I was kinda mixed with "Wolf" or "Beast", so is Flynn going to be Lucy's knight savior beast lover or will he "eat" her?

ok.. spoilers, but I think I know the series finale. The after killing off a few years of a mish mash of semi-historical figures the difference between what's on the thumb drive and what the world looks like is so askew they decide to just go kill off Flynn's grandparents, everything re-winds and the current time seems all back to normal, the sister is back, the black helicopter blimps (season 7) gone..... then the three meet for coffee and see a news broadcast with an announcement by President Hitler the IV and they give each other "the look" and dash for the time-life-boat.
posted by sammyo at 8:10 AM on December 14, 2016 [5 favorites]

I knew they couldn't/wouldn't shoot a kid. Honestly, I expected Flynn to grab Rittenhouse, Jr. and put the kid on the ship, or the rest of them to take him on the lifeboat.
posted by The Wrong Kind of Cheese at 10:57 PM on December 15, 2016 [1 favorite]

I can't believe Flynn shot Cornwallis. That was sloppy. Flynn brushed it off, saying that history would find a way to replace him, but then he turned around and thought taking down D. Rittenhouse and his kid would stop the organization. Wouldn't history find a way to replace D. Rittenhouse? I kind of wish they'd done a 2-3 episode arc where they had to hunt down the various Rittenhouse conspirators (and still miss the key one that would keep Rittenhouse going). I love that particular era and I wish they'd spent more time there.

Why, exactly, did Flynn grab Lucy at the end? I feel like I missed something.

I love Rufus.
posted by mochapickle at 10:05 PM on December 16, 2016

Yeah, I'll admit I mostly got to this point in the season going "Well, maybe Flynn isn't the bad guy? He just has goals and he's going to accomplish them?" And since the 3 nominally good guys have been more or less ineffective at managing Flynn's changes, well rah rah bad guy?

I'm conflicted.

And it seems like in the first few episodes they kind of made a big deal that the future was changed oh waily wail holy crap and lately they just sorta go "oh so there was a 4th Star Wars movie in 1986, cool." I mean I know they can't keep obviously diverging from the "known" reality, but it was fun in a way. I sorta miss it, although it stifled those early episodes.

I think they had done a good job of leaving Rittenhouse a sorta vague menace though.
posted by Kyol at 7:03 AM on December 21, 2016

Finally, somebody on the team has enough brains in her head to demand that the Lifeboat carry some important historical data.

It defies reason to me that a nerd the flavor of Rufus wouldn't be taking the current wikipedia dump (actually is that still a thing? yep! Could take it on a 64g USB stick) and have some sort of comparison tool set up to identify changes automagically. Make two stick between every mission, take one with you, compare them when you get back.
posted by phearlez at 1:14 PM on April 17, 2017 [1 favorite]

This is the episode that spawned a glorious but sadly impossible theory for a few beautiful moments that actually Lucy is Flynn's wife in the first timeline and that's why he won't hurt her. Then I remembered the tombstones, but still. That would be the best ever.
posted by corb at 12:55 AM on May 1, 2017

phearlez: and that would be an even more obvious thing to after the next episode where they lose Lucy and are stuck without their historic context provider.

The problem with Agent Christopher's plan is that what will it mean to her if the timeline changes and someone rocks up with pics of her 'real' family when in the new timeline she is perfectly happy with a different wife and kids or as God Empress of the Footur?
posted by biffa at 8:38 AM on September 14, 2017 [1 favorite]

I'm watching this much later on Netflix and I just had to find this Fanfare and post.... COME ON!!! "You let the kid go,we'll just have to come back a FEW YEARS LATER and kill him then." Oh no, can't find him!!

REALLY? Why do they not go back 10 or 20 years EARLIER and kill Rittenhouse before he gets the stupid thing started?? Even with all the looseness in the time-rules, this is a no-brainer.
posted by CathyG at 5:03 PM on April 22, 2020

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