What Happens When It’s Time to Meet the Parents on The Time Traveler’s Wife?

The Time Traveler's Wife episode 5 ponders the implications of knowing the future.

Theo James and Everleigh McDonell in The Time Traveler's Wife episode 2
Photo: Macall Polay | HBO

This The Time Traveler’s Wife review contains spoilers.

The Time Traveler’s Wife Episode 5

This week on The Time Traveler’s Wife, Henry and Clare still have complications dealing with friends and family. How do you tell your family you’re dating a man you met when you were six but he’s a younger version of the man you met? How do you become best friends with a guy who you can’t stand but everyone swears you’re besties in the future? Let’s discuss what happens.

The episode begins with Gomez and 28-year-old Henry getting drinks at the local bar. Their meeting takes place after the awkward dinner party. Gomez admits meeting Henry is the first interesting thing that’s happened to him since being a lawyer is boring. (All of those legal dramas lied to us.) Henry admits the only thing in common they have is that they both are very attracted to Clare. Gomez denies this but the audience knows he’s lying through his teeth after last week. Henry says Gomez is doing a lousy job hiding his feelings for Clare. Henry also can’t believe Gomez becomes his best friend as Older Henry says because right now he can’t stand him. How does that work? They leave the bar at an impasse because Gomez never answers the question of how he recognized Henry before the dinner party.

The opening credits serve as a transition to a flashback to 16-year-old Clare meeting Henry in the clearing. She has a sketchpad along and she’s drawing Older Henry sitting on their favorite rock. Henry is wearing jeans and a button-down shirt, but Clare is drawing Henry naked. It’s obvious that Clare is drawing out the fantasies in her mind. She refuses to show Henry the drawing. 

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After the bar meeting, 28-year-old Henry and Clare are on the road to visit Clare’s parents. Gomez keeps calling Henry to finish the conversation from the bar but Henry once again makes a joke about the situation to evade the discussion. At the same time, Henry asks Clare why she’s avoided introducing him to her family before now and also about why she keeps comparing him to older Henry. Clare’s parents Philip and Lucille plus her brother Mark greet Henry at the door to the house. Mark makes a reference to Henry and Clare’s love life which quickly sours the polite but distant mood. Thankfully Henry forgetting Gomez’s real name as Phillip is also a lawyer is a good distraction from Mark’s creepy aura. 

After those formalities, Clare gives Henry a partial tour of the house but she avoids showing her the meadow where she used to meet Older Henry. Henry tells her the only time that matters is now, not her past. There’s a montage of Baby Clare playing checkers and other memories with Older Henry. As if meeting Mark wasn’t awkward enough, Clare’s younger sister Alicia introduces herself by trying to get Henry to kiss her while he’s in the bathroom. Alicia knows about Henry’s time travel secret because Clare was annoyed by her questions. Alicia teases Henry about the mysterious drawing because she claims it’s her sacred duty to troll Clare’s dates. The stress of Alicia’s introduction triggers Henry to time travel.

Clare now has to stall lunch so that Henry has time to get back from wherever he ended up. We then see Henry land naked on top of an angry biker gang member outside a bar. Henry’s vastly outnumbered by these biker dudes in the scuffle that results. Suddenly Gomez arrives and scares off the gang by pointing out that nearby surveillance cameras are catching their illegal activities. We find out Henry landed in September 2022 and Gomez came to the rescue because he was told to show up there earlier on. Once again Henry and Gomez try to bond over drinks. The security cameras don’t actually exist but at least Henry was able to get away from the bikers with only minor injuries. Gomez tells Henry his feelings for Clare will never be resolved because of the infamous drawing. Henry disappears in front of the waitress who wasn’t expecting supernatural things to happen on the night shift. 

Henry comes back to lunch with Clare’s parents looking worse than when he left. Henry telling everyone about his parents leaves a good impression. Lucille brings up that years ago Alicia wanted to be a cellist but she gave that up for hairdressing. Unfortunately, the convo does not provide enough of a distraction to explain why he has scars on his face.  Both of them try to come up with a cover story but Mark grills her like she’s on the witness stand. Clare snaps and yells at everyone for being annoying, creepy, and setting unrealistic expectations. Honestly, we’re all cheering Clare on because Mark and Alicia should have been cursed out earlier in the episode. Clare storms off leaving everyone to wonder what’s going on. 

Initially, it looks like Clare went to her bedroom but Henry and Alicia see her running towards the clearing. Alicia finally shows Henry the drawing and it’s an obvious sign of Clares’ love and desire for Older Henry. Henry asks Alicia to help him out by giving him a makeover. Clare is discovering her magical meeting place looks different with adult eyes. There’s garbage everywhere and an industrial plant blowing smoke in the distance. Henry calls out to Clare and her anger melts away as she realizes 28-year-old Henry looks a lot closer to Older Henry. The episode ends with Clare saying yes to Henry’s earlier marriage proposal. 

Are Clare’s family hiding other aspects of their family dynamic? What will Clare’s wedding dress look like? Hopefully we’ll find out next week on The Time Traveler’s Wife.

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The Time Traveler’s Wife continues next Sunday the 19th of June on HBO and on Monday the 20th on Sky Atlantic in the UK.