Timeless Review – Season 2, Episodes 9 & 10: “The General/Chinatown”

by Rachel Bellwoar

With so many questions left unanswered (including whether Timeless will be back for a third season), here are a few I’ve been pondering since watching the season finale:

Megan Liu, Malcolm Barrett, and Claudia Doumit (Photo by: Ron Batzdorff/NBC)

How does Rittenhouse work without Preston blood running the show?
Emma claims leadership, after taking out Carol and Nicholas, but is that her position to take? Rittenhouse hasn’t seemed as grand this year, but a disturbance this massive is bound to cause some heads to poke out of the shadows.
This isn’t a pick and choose what you agree with organization. You’re supposed to be all in, and Emma’s shown that she’s not willing to put Rittenhouse first on points upon which they disagree (like the sanctity of the 19th amendment). Her first duty is to herself, not the big picture, and she has a time machine at her disposal. She can change the entire agenda if she wants…unless her new authority doesn’t stick.
Can Rufus be saved?
Things were already shaken after Carol and Nicholas (though not even Lucy had much to say about Nicholas), but killing Rufus… that is not how Doctor Who would’ve solved this problem. Where’s the last-minute creative loophole? I kept waiting for someone to suggest Rufus stay in Chinatown, for instance, but a black man in 1888 can’t have had it easy. If Jiya’s visions were going to be taken seriously, Timeless had to go through with Rufus’ death. The way things played out, too, nothing Jiya did should’ve prevented her vision from coming to pass. In fact, when Rufus didn’t die after the initial shootout, it was great news, but didn’t feel right (he doesn’t deserve such a fate, but then when has that stopped death?). She’s in no way responsible, but did Jiya really think her friends wouldn’t come if she reached out to them? And overall, I’m surprised they didn’t stick to the original plan and take two trips, instead of leaving Rufus’ body in 1888.
Can the Wyatt-Lucy relationship ever be resurrected, post-Rufus?
Sure, Rufus encouraged Wyatt to tell Lucy how he felt but he also called him out for being so absorbed in his soap opera, that he lost sight of the job. How could he make Rufus’ death all about him? Choosing that moment to proclaim his love for Lucy was in poor taste and I’m glad Lucy didn’t say “I love you” back. His timing couldn’t have been worse anyway. Jessica’s been unequivocally outed as a member of Rittenhouse, so it’s not like he chose Lucy over her. The decision was taken away from him. Lucy was the last woman left. It’s honestly insulting, and the way he’s been treating her, too, like he has some say over her love life. Flynn is busting to tell Lucy he loves her, too, and I don’t know what that relationship looks like, but I hope she gives him a chance, over Wyatt right now.
Who are Future Jungle Explorers, Wyatt and Lucy?
Their Lifeboat might be upgraded, but they look like they just came out of safari, and why are they by themselves? Besides the twinge of hope that it would be Rufus on their Lifeboat, wouldn’t Flynn or Jiya have come along, since it seats four?
Does their arrival mean it’s ok to interfere with your personal time line, or are they from a parallel universe? Or are they from another time line (though then why would they stick their necks out to save this time line’s Rufus)?
Abigail Spencer and Matt Lanter (Photo by: Ron Batzdorff/NBC)

Thoughts on the second season as a whole:

  • The best part of Timeless getting a second season was the chance to devote more time to Jiya, Flynn, Agent Christopher, Connor, and Emma. All five benefited from their additional screen time.
  • Jessica changing sides should’ve had more impact, but like Nicolaus, her appearances were extremely minimal. She basically existed to be revealed as a traitor. Jiya mentions how they were friends, and logically that makes sense (since they were always alone in the bunker), but we didn’t see their relationship unfold, so her betrayal doesn’t hurt. You just want Jiya to be ok.
  • Wyatt’s behavior ever since Jessica came back has caused his character to nose dive. Rufus also took a hit, but not because of anything he did. Too much time was spent on Wyatt and Lucy’s love life. Especially since they were planning to kill him off, the show should’ve devoted more time to Rufus.
  • History also played second fiddle to Rittenhouse this year. The two have always been connected but greater attention was paid to the larger mythology of the show. Episodes were more concerned with taking out sleeper agents who weren’t supposed to be there, then spending time with Harriet Tubman (Christine Horn).
  • Best episode this season: either “The War to End All Wars” or “The King of the Delta Blues”

Timeless aired Sundays at 10 PM EST on NBC. If you’d like to see Timeless return, be sure to tweet #RenewTimeless this week.

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