Timeless Review – Season 2, Episode 5: “The Kennedy Curse”

by Rachel Bellwoar

“The Kennedy Curse” is another reminder of the cast members on Timeless who have had to make due in the background because the Lifeboat only seats three people. It also contains the most dramatic consequence from that design flaw since Jiya’s visions. In order to ensure JFK (Grant Logan) doesn’t meet his end at the hands of his English teacher (Adam Pilver), Flynn stays behind in 1934, as the era of Lifeboat musical chairs continues.

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

That’s right. Rittenhouse wants to assassinate teenage JFK, and to save him Wyatt and Rufus bring him to 2018, where he promptly escapes the bunker and goes missing.

I don’t know why I’ve never realized what a soothing voice Sakina Jaffrey has but if Agent Christopher came to me after a week like Lucy’s had, and asked me how I was doing, I would spill everything.

What’s incredible about Agent Christopher (who gets more screen time this week, due to the search taking place in the present) is this isn’t the first time we’ve seen how important family is to her and how much she has to lose, staying on this job. It’s the counterpart to how important family is to Rufus. We’ve never met his mother, but then the reason Agent Christopher’s daughter appears is Carol is threatening her. How Agent Christopher resists bringing that up, when Lucy refuses to quit, is hard to imagine, but it also warrants the question: why has Rufus’ home and work life been allowed to remain separate? Budget and casting restrictions? Last season threats were made, but while it must drive Rufus crazy, not being in touch with them, Rittenhouse has left them alone. Will they leave Jessica alone, since they brought her back, or is there blackmail in Wyatt’s future?

Jessica knows about Lucy now (another uncomfortable position for Lucy to be in), so there’s no reason to think she’s leaving soon. Wyatt’s brought her into the fold, and if the Time Team were going to try and tamper with someone’s memory, it would be JFK’s, for learning about the Kennedy Curse.

It’s hard to think of a worse person to find out their future in advance than JFK. You can’t expect him to not try and interfere, when his siblings are meant to die, but Rufus encourages it, and eventually history won’t be so resistant to change (as here, Kennedy is assassinated in another city). Will something bad come of the Time Team changing history or are we wrong to fear changing the past, when changing the future can be a good thing?

Goran Visnjic and Abigail Spencer (Photo by: Paul Drinkwater/NBC)

Other thoughts on “The Kennedy Curse:”

  • “The Kennedy Curse” is a huge break from format for the show, and yet I can’t help thinking of ways they could take things further. What if Flynn was allowed to carry an episode, or if instead of catching the tail end of Lucy’s sick day we spent the whole hour experiencing a mission from the bunker?
  • Flynn can’t have had an easy time, facing the sleeper agents alone, but Wyatt and Emma steal his thunder with their hospital brawl. Watching them fight in person overshadows knowing Flynn fought people eighty-four years ago.
  • Another thing you have to witness to appreciate: JFK’s flirt game, which is already remarkably well-developed.
  • Besides our regular cast members, there are some great guest parts this week. Rittenhouse tends to put a damper on thinking well of humanity (and a cashier (Jared Wernick) isn’t required to be a memorable part), but the one JFK runs into at the gas station couldn’t be more thorough, when Lucy and Wyatt try to grill him on Jack’s whereabouts. The same is true of Kayla (Reina Hardesty), who doesn’t believe JFK’s the future president, but wants to help him anyway. These are people who have no reason to be nice to a stranger but are, just because. Rittenhouse has nothing on them.

Timeless airs Sundays at 10 PM EST on NBC.