Timeless Review – Season 2, Episode 3: “Hollywoodland”

by Rachel Bellwoar

[**Spoilers for 2.3: “Hollywoodland” below!]

“Hollywoodland” may wait until the end to make its biggest reveal, but that’s not how this review’s going to work. Jessica’s alive, Wyatt’s run away, and the timing couldn’t be worse. TV’s done it again.

Matt Lanter, Abigail Spencer, and Malcolm Barrett (Photo by: Paul Drinkwater/NBC)

I’ve already outed myself as a Lucy and Wyatt fan, but Jessica (Tonya Glanz) being alive isn’t a bad direction for the show to go in. Having Jessica’s return cause problems in Wyatt’s relationship with Lucy makes sense, too. They were married, and he felt responsible for her death. That makes her an important person.

What the show shouldn’t have done was consummate Lucy and Wyatt’s relationship the same episode they brought Jessica back, and what he shouldn’t have done was break out of the bunker without saying anything to Lucy. She was right there when he learned the news. He wouldn’t have had to go out of his way, and while their romantic relationship might be fresh, their friendship’s not. Forget the petty points, like he didn’t break out when he thought Lucy was in trouble. It’s the fact that he deliberately kept her in the dark that’s problematic.

Both “The War to End All Wars” and “The Darlington 500” teased Wyatt and Lucy’s first kiss (“Last Ride of Bonnie and Clyde” doesn’t count). Better they had gotten it out of the way. Having it happen in “Hollywoodland” leaves the moment tarnished, and while television has a habit of dropping these sudden twists (the first show I thought of was Alias toying with Sydney and Vaughn), that’s only made fans more sour to them.

Rufus was the odd man out this episode. His individual storylines were awesome (using science with Hedy Lamar (Alyssa Sutherland) to listen in on a conversation; Lucy feeding him lines to keep his cover as Langston Hughes). Lucy and Wyatt’s chemistry has never ostracized Rufus before, but I guess that goes with having to pursue your feelings on the job.

Putting romance aside for a moment, should the Time Team need a fill-in for Wyatt next week, Timeless has two promising candidates in Jiya and Flynn. Both have great storylines this week. Flynn is in top form, talking about getting stabbed, and his prison break was masterly executed. Meanwhile, Jiya might be looking to volunteer. The next episode is titled “The Salem Witch Hunt” and it sure looked like Rufus was dressed like a pilgrim when he shot someone in her latest vision.

Claudia Doumit and Malcolm Barrett (Photo by: Justin Lubin/NBC)

Other thoughts on “Hollywoodland:”

  • How did Wyatt find out about Jessica, anyway? Did somebody text him? Jessica recognizes him at the bar but is the wedding ring theirs? Lucy didn’t remember her new history when she was supposed to be engaged to that guy in Season One. How long has it been since Jessica and Wyatt saw each other?
  • Was it the security guard’s death that changed the course of Jessica’s history, or Lucas (Teddy Sears), the sleeper agent’s? Or did Rufus tipping Hedy Lamar off on her patent set off this chain of events (which, however deserving Hedy was, seemed slightly irresponsible)? When you stop trying to force things, sometimes life works itself out. Could the same thing happen to Lucy’s sister, Amy?
  • Lucas marks the first time we’ve followed a sleeper agent from the moment he was planted. Like the other sleeper agents this season, he doesn’t last the episode, but it might’ve been interesting to have him stick around for a little while. His relationship with his father was wild and another familiar face (not to mention one who’d have to adjust to another time period after 15 years) could’ve brought some meaty storylines.
  • From Lucas getting away with harassing women in Hollywood, to William Randolph’s Hearst’s “fake news” yellow journalism, Timeless‘ history was on point this episode, and my favorite of the season. McCarthyism (which they did last season) might’ve been a more obvious choice for a modern metaphor but turns out the 40’s were crappy, too.
  • There’s not really time to concentrate on Connor sending Jiya to what he thinks will be her death, but any other day and he’d be skewered. Time travel’s always dangerous and they broke the rules, but he sat on information of other attempts that ended terribly. As seen by his reaction to her clean bill of health, he had no prospects for Jiya’s safe return. Jiya cites being expendable as the reason she didn’t say anything to Agent Christopher. Clearly Connor saw her as that.

Timeless airs Sundays at 10 PM EST on NBC.