Timeless Season 1 Finale Review: The Red Scare
With almost more twists than fans could handle, Timeless ends its first season with a whole slew of new story possibilities.
This Timeless review contains spoilers.
Timeless Season 1, Episode 16
The Timeless season 1 finale did just what it needed to do by pulling out a lot of ingredients that would be perfect moving forward for a season 2, should there be one. Some were unexpected twists and others were eye-opening moments that expanded the possibilities of what the show could explore. Although the quick turnabout for Flynn was a bit dissatisfying, there was lots to love about this finale for most of the other characters. Even the historical era of 1954 provided just the right background to this season ender.
Let’s face it: McCarthy rooting out communists wasn’t all that different from the search for Rittenhouse members in the past, which could easily have become a witch hunt. The extreme measures Flynn was willing to take to bring the group down felt very similar to the large-scale targeting McCarthy was doing on Rittenhouse’s behalf. Thankfully, Goran Visnjic’s accent wasn’t completely ignored, and although Wyatt’s and Lucy’s escape was a bit easy, it was nice to see the soldier kick some ass after pointing out McCarthy’s embellished military record, this week’s bonus history factoid.
The other admirable bit of oddly appropriate detail was having Lucy’s grandfather reveal himself as a closeted homosexual, a situation that would have been extremely dangerous in the 50’s, especially for a member of Rittenhouse. However, with Lucy revealing the whole time travel scenario to Ethan Cahill, it became quite credible that he could lead the double life she was asking of him by keeping their secret while he built a case against Rittenhouse for them to uncover in the present. What better person to keep a secret than someone whose whole life is one?
The one thing that was hard to swallow was the ease with which Lucy turned Flynn away from his violent plans to allow them to try using Ethan in this way. Even if she’s right that he keeps coming to her because of “some human part that wants me to stop you,” taking out Rittenhouse is only half of his motivation, and it’s hard to believe that he’d delay his plans to get his family back for such a long game. It just doesn’t seem very Flynn-like.
Granted, the arrest of Rittenhouse members — 150 according to Agent Christopher — was certainly satisfying and probably more effective in the end. The Benedict Arnold episode proved that killing members only shifts the power to someone else who took their place. Getting Connor Mason back to the side of good as a bonus didn’t hurt either, if we are to truly believe he was playing his own long game. The removal of the NSA and Benjamin Cahill from Mason Industries should be proof enough of the effectiveness of Lucy’s plan.
But is it? The big reveal at the end of the episode seems to indicate that Lucy’s mother is part of a remaining power structure for Rittenhouse as does the takeover of the mother ship by Emma Whitmore, who is likely still under the group’s control. Although it’s not immediately clear how Carol Preston’s health figures into the original timeline and how Lucy’s involvement may have sprung from keeping Rittenhouse royalty alive and well, but the twist definitely came about smoothly and without any giveaways beforehand. Well played, Timeless.
Nothing, however, could equal the shock surrounding Jiya’s seizures and the possibility of her becoming somehow disconnected from time. What appeared to be a story designed to bring either tragedy or heartwarming closeness to Rufus and Jiya ended up being so much more! The appearance of an as yet un-built Golden Gate Bridge was both subtle and mind-blowing at the same time. What on earth is going on here and how will it affect the role Jiya plays in the story?
So instead of a run-of-the-mill cliffhanger, Timeless has presented its fans with several different seeds that could grow into a myriad of plot threads for the writers to play with in season 2 if the show is renewed. Will Emma be using the mother ship for other nefarious purposes next season? Will Lucy be actively working against her own mother? Will Flynn be even more crazed with mistrust or will he change his tune — or be out of the picture altogether? And what will Jiya’s dilemma bring to the storytelling table? Hopefully, these stories and more will have a chance to be explored in a second season of Timeless.