Travelers: Helios 685
December 26, 2016 1:25 PM - Season 1, Episode 6 - Subscribe

The team prepares to fulfill its primary mission, which will save millions of lives but could possibly spell disaster for their own futures.

"We, the last unbroken remnants... Vow to undo the errors of our ascendants, to make the Earth whole, the lost unlost, at peril of our own birth."

*An elderly rapture-cult about to commit mass suicide become hosts to travelers instead.
*Wilson, the comatose antimatter convoy driver, wakes from his coma and tells Major Gleason about his truck being stopped by a woman standing in the road.
*Trevor's parents leave him the house for the night while they go to a party, but he immediately takes off with Carly for headquarters, where Marcy distributes injections for everyone, to counteract the effects of a deadly gas which is going to be released at Delaney's antimatter containment facility as they carry out their primary mission.
*The rapture-cult hosts, now on a school-bus, also inject themselves. And marvel at all the trees and birds they see.
*Delaney gets text from MacLaren saying to wait for him at the facility. A sergeant arrives and tells her to come with him, and leaves another soldier on guard, while he takes her to Gleason for questioning.
*Another traveler arrives in a host who was about to commit physician-assisted suicide.
*MacLaren, his team, and additional travelers subdue the guards at the antimatter containment facility, and infiltrate. Trevor and Philip set an explosive on a chemical tank and are discovered by the soldier, who is then killed by the gas when he refuses to listen to Trevor's urging him to run away.
*Bloom, from the hospice, arrives - she is Traveler 117, the engineer.
*She says that MacLaren and his team have been the subject of debate in the future, which led to their kidnapping.
*The primary mission is revealed to be using the antimatter to power an x-ray laser to deflect asteroid Helios 685 which in the original past timeline will hit the Earth in 18 months, causing a tidal wave which destroys the Eastern seaboard of the US, triggering wars and famines which humanity never recovers from. The engineer reminds them that if they succeed at diverting the asteroid they will almost certainly erase themselves from existence.
*Marcy leaves a voicemail for David saying she may be relocated and not to worry if she doesn't come back home.
*Philip's attempt to bypass the retinal scan Delaney installed on the containment unit triggers an alarm to her tablet, which allows Philip to locate where Gleason is interrogating her, and MacLaren is able to bluster his way in and distract Gleason while Marcy sneaks Delaney out to their van.
*The rapture school-bus arrives at the antimatter facility, load up with guns and ammo and take sniper positions.
*After MacLaren has left, Gleason remembers that he'd seen him pretending to fix the leak at the facility, and gives chase.
*Bloom, MacLaren, and crew tell Delaney the truth about their mission, and convince her to give them access to the antimatter (though Bloom says they will do it without her consent if necessary).
*The rapture-cult hosts and Carly exchange gunfire with Gleason and his soldiers, but eventually Gleason realizes they are not shooting to kill, while he is.
*Bloom orders MacLaren to get Delaney a safe distance from the explosion, since the future may need her.
*Gleason orders Bloom away from the anti-matter containment unit, and shoots her when she disregards him and attempts to turn the key activating the laser. Then one of Gleason's soldiers becomes a host and makes the attempt, forcing Gleason to shoot him. Then another. Then the third tries to kill Gleason. As the lone Gleason begins to feel the traveler consciousness intruding, he attempts to kill himself but has run out of ammo, and in the end the final traveler takes over and turns the key.
*MacLaren and team race away in the van with Delaney, and witness the antimatter explosion from a safe distance. Delaney asks if they've succeeded, but MacLaren isn't sure, since none of them have zapped out of existence.

Showcase Blogs - Episode 6 recap
posted by oh yeah! (9 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Gleason's been kind of a one-dimensional baddie so far, but the dawning horror of realizing that whatever happened to his men is about to happen to him, and his attempt to kill himself to stop it was surprisingly moving.

So, it's a giant-asteroid-dystopia then. I'm not so sure I buy that the destruction of the Eastern seaboard would really be the thing to plunge humanity into an unrecoverable tailspin. I mean, unless the wars they've been referring to are partly nuclear, I feel like other continents would muddle through somehow even if the US & Canada went all Hunger Games.
posted by oh yeah! at 1:39 PM on December 26, 2016 [4 favorites]

She says that MacLaren and his team have been the subject of debate in the future, which led to their kidnapping.

I was hoping for more on this! Are there factions? What was the purpose of the questions? Why is MacLaren's team a subject for debate when you have loose cannons like Hall out there getting his whole team killed?
posted by Squeak Attack at 9:05 PM on December 27, 2016 [1 favorite]

I wasn't quite clear on this: was Bloom not supposed to turn the key too early? Because if she had just turned the key before smoking her cigarette, Gleason's whole team could have lived.
I guess it's a good thing the people from the future are ethical; otherwise they could just all come back and takeover anyone. Or was Gleason's whole team already slated to die?
posted by gt2 at 5:40 AM on December 28, 2016

Or was Gleason's whole team already slated to die?

That was my assumption, since they were all at the blast site. (Though it gets into timeline questions - there wouldn't be a blast site for them to be at if MacLaren's team hadn't stolen the antimatter from the convoy truck previously, so how would their times of death be part of the historical record? Or were they considered fair game as hosts because they were among the 11,000 who would have been killed in the averted megaton explosion making them fair game for traveling even after the original time-of-death had passed?)
posted by oh yeah! at 6:40 AM on December 28, 2016 [2 favorites]

I'm surprised that they did the "reveal" so early, only 6 episodes into the season. I'm wondering if they'll cliffhanger this or be a one-and-done?

A big enough impact to destroy the entire Eastern Seaboard would probably be sufficient to throw enough ejecta into the atmosphere to achieve a nuclear winter situation. Since they keep referring to "the 21st," I'm assuming they're originating from at least the 22nd century.

I wonder which "side" is financing the temporal asteroid prevention effort(s?)?


Holy Hells.

No, Gleason's whole team was not slated to die. Not cool. But it was the asteroid or a bunch of jerks, I guess it's a no brainer (although from an armchair ethics pov, the overseer decided that the laser was going to fire. Period. It follows that the anti-mater reactor would have to be used. Bloom and anyone within the blast radius is thus considered a casualty. Therefore its ok to use them as hosts.).

But this is explicit evidence that they can take anyone as host, and have just restricted to "ethical" ones - as far as we know. If the asteroid was going to hit within a year anyway, the amount of "butterfly effect" being caused is probably irrelevant (I suspect that 99.5% of the 11,000 saved would have died in the asteroid strike - the team is in the NE US, right? - and have minimal effect on the current future). Like, it couldn't really get any worse so long as certain personalities drive macro-history and certain technological developments still get developed.

Interesting that the Engineer wanted to save Delaney; she probably would have survived to the impact event if she had not been 'tampered' with by travelers.

The 11,000 saved lives turns out to be a red herring; saving those lives was inconsequential to saving the antimatter to power the laser with.

I recall something about the future knowing when (and where!) people died from culling news/social media; how is the future able to target Gleeson's team? Can they peer back in time? There would have been no-one to report to the future that Bloom had been shot by Gleeson's team, only that the laser failed to fire.

Another weird thing is that Gleeson's team members were taken over one-by-one, as each of them is killed by Gleason. Do travelers report directly back to the future? (But they hadn't had time to be 'chipped' with the futuristic comm units?) If the future can see through travelers senses, as it were, then it would be trivial to eliminate travelers that the overseer didn't like, instead of implying that it was possible to go rogue and hide from other teams.
posted by porpoise at 4:04 PM on December 29, 2016

Oh, haha, the ethnic makeup of the extras is a(nother) huge reveal that the show was filmed in Vancouver.
posted by porpoise at 4:05 PM on December 29, 2016

Damnit, maybe the writing isn't as tight as I give the show credit for.

Why not shoot to kill? The soldiers would have been within the blast radius and by the above reasoning, already considered dead and acceptable collateral.

The nerve gas agent/toxin thing was pretty weak sauce. The future saw fit to give them the antitoxin when by the time the cult hosts arrive (albeit late), the toxin had already dispersed? Why not bus most everyone in after the toxin had dispersed? How much time elapses between the cult hosts arriving and Gleeson's team?

How convenient is it that Bloom orders the team to reach safe distance - if the team had stayed, they might have had enough firepower to overcome Gleeson but would have 100% perished whether the laser worked or not. By leaving, Gleeson's team got a shot at thwarting the laser but the team is still around when it appears that the laser failed (or the anti-mater reactor did and failed to power the laser and still ended up blown up).
posted by porpoise at 4:23 PM on December 29, 2016

I read it as Blue coming back each time into a different soldier (but i may be wrong as the next to last attempt was 2 at once) so the future must be able to read events of the travelers in real time (didn't one of the messenger kids have a message about the team being off-script and to stop doing that?)
My guess is that now the team is going to have to go completely off script and enlist Delaney to get NASA and whomever to find helios earlier and work out a new plan. Maybe this show happens in the Armageddon universe and Bruce Willy and lame Batman show up to save the day.
posted by OHenryPacey at 6:58 PM on January 19, 2017

I read it as Blue coming back each time into a different soldier (but i may be wrong as the next to last attempt was 2 at once)

Do you mean Bloom (the Engineer aka Traveler 117) in the hospice-woman host? No, she had that comment about how it wasn't fair that she wasn't going to get to be the one to turn the switch.

so the future must be able to read events of the travelers in real time (didn't one of the messenger kids have a message about the team being off-script and to stop doing that?)

Aleksander, the kidnapped boy, went into 'messenger' mode to tell MacLaren he and his team were off-mission, yes.
posted by oh yeah! at 7:17 PM on January 19, 2017

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