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TIMELESS Review: “The Day Reagan Was Shot”

By on May 7, 2018

TIMELESS — “The Day Reagan Was Shot” Episode 208 — Pictured: (l-r) Karen David as Young Denise Christopher, Matt Lanter as Wyatt Logan — (Photo by: Colleen Hayes/NBC)

 

TIMELESS REVIEW: “THE DAY REAGAN WAS SHOT”

BY JENNIFER HOBBS

 

LET’S MAKE HISTORY REPEAT ITSELF

 

Well, Time Team, we’re coming down the home stretch on the second season of Timeless, and the cast, crew, and creators are once again imploring Clockblockers to help secure another season of the show. This makes it more important than ever to tune in for next week’s 2-episode finale, which starts at 9pm, but honestly . . . after last night’s episode, I’m already counting down the hours!

In “The Day Reagan Was Shot” we find the team traveling back to, you guessed it . . . 1981 D.C. on the day Reagan was shot. But surprise: the episode doesn’t focus so much on Reagan as it does a young Agent Christopher.

Rittenhouse, kicking it into high gear after last week’s attempts to change history were thwarted by none other than Emma, decides to go straight to the source this time. Taking out Agent Christopher means they can erase the Time Team’s existence, since Agent C is the one who originally brought Lucy & Co. together.

This means the stakes are especially high: not only does Rittenhouse have the opportunity to undo all of the hard work the Time Team has put in over the past year, potentially destroying life as we know it, but Agent Christopher’s life, her family – her very existence – are threatened by this latest scheme.

 

FLASH DRIVE FORWARD

Unfortunately, the rules of time travel mean that Flynn, Mason, and Agent C herself are sidelined, as you can’t travel back to a time when you existed. So, Jiya gets the fourth seat in the Lifeboat, even though she and Rufus aren’t exactly seeing eye-to-eye on how to handle her visions.

Indeed, Riya shippers join Lyatt fans on the relationship roller coaster this week, as Rufus and Jiya have yet another fight, resulting in Lucy suggesting that Rufus is “brooding like a Real Housewife.” (Real Housewives of The Bunker, anyone?)

It seems as though Rufus has fully accepted his impending death, but Jiya isn’t quite so resigned. Nonetheless, he encourages her to accompany the trio back to 1981, as “We’ll need a new pilot when I’m dead.” Ouch.

TIMELESS — “The Day Reagan Was Shot” Episode 208 — Pictured: (l-r) Abigail Spencer as Lucy Preston, Claudia Doumit as Jiya, Malcolm Barrett as Rufus Carlin — (Photo by: Colleen Hayes/NBC)

So, with two pairs of couples who could probably use a few counseling sessions (to say the least!), the Time Team takes off for our nation’s capitol, prepared to save President Reagan.

Yep, you read that right. The team doesn’t yet realize that Agent Christopher is the real target, as they have to make the jump before she arrives at the Bunker. So, while Jiya is regaling the team with her love of the 80s, “On our way home we have to stop at a roller skating rink!” Christopher is stuck in 2018 unable to do anything to save her younger self.

The fab four get to the scene of the shooting just in time, and Wyatt, in full Master Sergeant mode, notices that another shooter has a sniper trained on a cop. Wyatt shouts for everyone to take cover, and shoves the officer out of the way in time to save her life. As he checks on her injury, he realizes who she is . . . Officer Denise Christopher.

Lucy is panicking for a different reason – John Hinckley, Reagan’s would-be assassin, has gotten away, which isn’t supposed to happen in the original timeline. So, the team takes off for the hospital, hoping to keep Christopher and Reagan safe while they come up with another plan.

Rufus and Wyatt spot the sleeper agent at the hospital, and corner him in an elevator. It seems like Wyatt’s been working on his close-quarters fight moves because he LITERALLY RUNS UP A WALL, and with an assist from Rufus, takes down the agent.

Meanwhile, Jiya introduces herself and Lucy to a recovering Christopher as “Cagney and Lacey.” (“Cagney and Lacey premieres later this year, you know,” worries Lucy. “I like to live on the edge,” replies Jiya). Before they can question her and try to get a handle on the situation, her mom barges in, already brought up to speed through the local rumor mill. As Christopher notes, “Who needs a phone when every Indian in DC knows each other?”

It quickly becomes apparent that not only does Christopher’s mom not approve of her choice of career, but she also doesn’t know that Christopher is a lesbian, as she discusses Christopher’s impending arranged marriage to a man. The still-rattled cop resigns herself to the marriage, and suddenly, the Time Team has another crisis to avert.

TIMELESS — “The Day Reagan Was Shot” Episode 208 — Pictured: (l-r) Karen David as Young Denise Christopher, Claudia Doumit as Jiya, Abigail Spencer as Lucy Preston — (Photo by: Ron Batzdorff/NBC)

While Lucy and Jiya regroup, Wyatt and Rufus take the opportunity to interrogate the captured sleeper agent, who swears he’ll “tell them everything.” It turns out that the agent was forced into working for Rittenhouse when his dad killed himself and left his family in debt. Carol Preston bailed out the agent’s family, and in exchange, he and his brother had to work for Rittenhouse. While his brother was “brainwashed” by Rittenhouse, the sleeper agent only obeyed because he has a wife and two kids in 2018 whom he wants to keep safe, and whom Rittenhouse has threatened. He didn’t even know until that very morning that his “job” would involve killing people.

Rufus, ever the voice of reason (and hilarious one-liners!) sympathizes with the sleeper agent, perhaps because he knows first-hand what it’s like to have your family threatened by Rittenhouse. But Wyatt still wants answers, especially about Jessica, and smacks the agent around to no avail.

Back at the hospital, Lucy and Jiya Cagney and Lacey convince Christopher that they were hired by Jodie Foster (whom Reagan’s shooter is obsessed with) to track down Hinckley. They convince her to accompany them to the Hilton Hotel, where they know he is staying, and arrive to find that not only did he leave lots of evidence behind, but he also injured himself in order to gain entry to the hospital where Reagan is being treated. Christopher is able to call the Secret Service, alert them to his presence, and Hinckley is captured.

Yet while Reagan is safe, and Christopher is safe from bodily harm, her future is still jeopardy. Lucy and Jiya try to talk her out of accepting the arranged marriage, encouraging her to stick to her career and be true to herself. They even go so far as to pretend to be lesbian partners, but despite Lucy’s awkward attempts to seem less straight, Christopher is convinced that she needs to honor her mother’s wishes.

They learn that Christopher’s dad died trying to stop a carjacker. A female cop apprehended the criminal, and inspired Christopher’s career path: “I’d never seen a female cop before. She said she wanted to stop the bad guys.” Yet despite her personal convictions and passions, Christopher also promised her mom that she wouldn’t lose her like she lost her dad. The close call on her life has her accepting the safer alternative of arranged marriage.

TIMELESS — “The Day Reagan Was Shot” Episode 208 — Pictured: (l-r) Claudia Doumit as Jiya, Malcolm Barrett as Rufus Carlin, Abigail Spencer as Lucy Preston, Matt Lanter as Wyatt Logan — (Photo by: Colleen Hayes/NBC)

Present-day Christopher seems just as stoic as her younger self, much to Flynn’s chagrin. She sits in the Bunker working on paperwork until he finally confronts her: “One night, three years ago, I was putting my daughter to bed. The next time I saw her, she was dead. Do you know what I would give if I had three more minutes with her?! Get the hell back home and look at your wife and children while you still can.” It’s a heart-wrenching speech and it seems to do the trick, as Agent C goes home to her family.

With Jiya and Lucy brainstorming how to get a younger Christopher’s life back on track, Rufus and Wyatt stumble upon some news of their own, thanks to the captured sleeper agent. The agent’s brother is still in 1981, and is going finish off Christopher for Rittenhouse. The boys rush to get to Christopher in time, and the scene parallels with 2018 Christopher arriving home, hugging her kids, and kissing her wife. While all the action is taking place, Lucy and Jiya play their last card, and bring a laptop and flash drive from the Lifeboat to Christopher’s house.

Remember all those episodes ago when Agent Christopher gave Lucy a flash drive with photos of her family on it, in case one day they were erased from history? Well, looks like it comes in handy.

TIMELESS — “The Day Reagan Was Shot” Episode 208 — Pictured: (l-r) Sakina Jaffery as Denise Christopher, Matt Lanter as Wyatt Logan — (Photo by: Ron Batzdorff/NBC)

Lucy and Jiya tell a shocked Christopher that time travel is real, that she’ll one day be recruited by the FBI and work for Homeland Security (which doesn’t even exist yet), and that she’ll save their lives. They show her the images of her wife, Michelle, and her kids, Mark and Olivia, and she is amazed: “Two women can get married?” She questions why Lucy would tell her all this, and Lucy replies, “because in 2017, you take me into your house and you ask me to. In case they disappear from history.” She pleads with Christopher to trust her, and so the future agent goes to talk to her mother, just as Wyatt and Rufus crash a car into the second sleeper agent. Another crisis averted, go Time Team!

With history saved, the four arrive back to the Bunker and find that Agent Christopher is safely there. Even better, they learn that Christopher is close with her mother, something that was not the case in the original timeline, and which their trip back to 1981 corrects. They reunite, and Agent C delivers this gem: “I’ve waited 37 years to say thank you.” Ahhh, too many feelings!

 

TIMING IS EVERYTHING

But don’t rejoice just yet, Clockblockers. There are still a few plot twists left in this episode . . .

Rufus and Jiya make up, and he realizes “Whatever time I have left, I want to spend it with you. Even if it’s a Lord of the Rings extended edition marathon.” While this might be the sweetest, nerdiest line ever spoken, Jiya believes that there’s hope: “We’re problem solvers, Rufus. We find a way. We make more time.”

Indeed, as Lucy notes, “I used to think that history was set in stone. Unchangeable . . . But if we can change the past, there has to be a way that we can change the future.” With this in mind, she tracks down Flynn and decides to finally get to the bottom of her mysterious journal. What he explains to her shouldn’t be possible.

Apparently two weeks after his family was killed, Flynn was alone and in hiding in a bar in Brazil. Lucy – or rather, a version of her that is “5 years older but no less . . . you looked good” (hmmm, a little Flucy flirting going on here?!) walks in and tells him that there’s a way to stop his family’s killers, but that he’ll need her help. She gives him the journal and leaves. WHAT DOES THIS MEAN, CLOCKBLOCKERS?! Future Lucy puts the whole Time Team in motion? She somehow manages to travel to her own timeline, despite the rules?

Before our heads can explode with from that reveal, we cut to Wyatt and Jessica, who are catching up post-mission. Wyatt realizes that Jessica’s brother Kevin, who dies from leukemia at the age of three in the original timeline, is alive in this one. Jessica is evasive when he asks how her brother was cured and how her family got the money to afford private, cutting-edge treatments, but before we can find out if Rittenhouse had something to do with Kevin’s miraculous recovery, Jessica declares, “I’m pregnant.”

I repeat: WHAT DOES THIS MEAN, CLOCKBLOCKERS?! Is she lying to distract him from the fact that her family is in league with Rittenhouse? Is she pregnant, but not with Wyatt’s child? Who killed her in the original timeline and why would Rittenhouse save her in this one? What does this mean for Lyatt shippers?

There are only two episodes left and still so many unanswered questions. Each week Timeless seems to be upping the stakes, making us even more invested in the characters thanks to moments like Flynn’s speech about his family, and Christopher’s struggle to come out to her mom. There are no one-dimensional characters on Timeless, and there’s a lot to cover in next week’s finale. It makes me root even harder for a third season, as there’s still so much storyline left for these characters, not to mention all the little-known history lessons that Timeless has yet to spotlight.

So strap in to the Lifeboat, Clockblockers! I’ll see ya next week for another (and hopefully not final) wild ride!

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