TIMELESS “HOLLYWOOD LAND” REVIEW
TIME STANDS STILL IN LYATT LAND
BY JENNIFER HOBBS
Season Two of Timeless has given us the same fun, quirky, clever, and fascinating history lesson masquerading as a compelling entertaining TV show that we came to love in Season One, but it’s a much sharper, more focused version, and Timeless is all the better for it.
Never is this more apparent than in Sunday night’s episode, “Hollywood Land,” which hits all the right notes – literally and figuratively – as our favorite trio finds themselves strapped into the Lifeboat for a trip back to the 1940s.
It’s also the episode that Clockblockers have been impatiently waiting for since the first hints of a Lucy/Wyatt romance started brewing, and on Sunday night, #Lyatt shippers finally had their moment . . . albeit briefly. But we’ll get to that in a bit.
A PARAMOUNT MISSION
Thanks to yet another assist from Flynn (who’s still stealing scenes and getting all the best lines), the team tracks the latest Rittenhouse sleeper agent to Paramount Pictures.
A brush with studio security leads to a great bit where Rufus pretends to be Langston Hughes, because “who knows what writers look like?” and introduces Lucy and Wyatt to the studio president, Balaban, as “the white people” in a movie he’s pitching.
Balaban summarily rejects Rufus’s Lin-Manuel Miranda ripoff: “Hamilton. As a musical? It’ll never work,” and then Hedy Lamarr (famous Hollywood actress, lesser-known inventor of what’s basically modern day WiFi) barges in. Lucy fangirls, to Hedy’s displeasure: “Any girl can be glamorous. All you have to do is stand still and look stupid,” and finally, in the midst of all these hijinks and epic one-liners, our heroes learn that Orson Welles’ controversial film, Citizen Kane, has been stolen.
Thankfully, Lucy is there to explain to Wyatt, Rufus, and all of us history noobs why this is significant. Citizen Kane’s unflattering depiction of a not-so-thinly-veiled character based upon newspaper mogul William Randolph Hearst makes him a prime suspect, and so the Time Team breaks into a conveniently-located costume warehouse, decks themselves out Old Hollywood-style, and heads to Hearst’s party.
Here they again encounter Hedy, who calls Rufus on his Langston Hughes bluff, and despite a solid attempt to pass off a few lyrics from the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air theme song as poetry, the jig is up. Rufus quickly regroups and lets Hedy in on a mostly-true version of their secret: the trio is friends with Orson Welles, and they’re here to rescue his film. Hedy, clever gal that she is, marches off with Rufus in tow to track down Hearst and the now-identified Rittenhouse sleeper agent.
Meanwhile, Lucy and Wyatt are left to maintain cover as “the next Fairbanks and Pickford” by singing to entertain the crowd. Wyatt begs off on account of his terrible voice, and Lucy is forced to carry the crowd with a rendition of “You Made Me Love You.” Cue Lyatt shipper freak out number one.
Abigail Spencer’s Lucy not only steals the scene but the entire episode (sorry, Sassy Flynn), in these moments. Initially apprehensive, she sings tentatively to Wyatt from across the room, before finding her groove and breaking out (“Hit it, Buster!” she tells the pianist) into a charming performance for the crowd. With the last few lyrics, Lucy stares into Wyatt’s eyes and the glitzy Hollywood cocktail party seems to fade away around them, as they finally realize the depth of their feelings for one another.
Meanwhile, Rufus and Hedy have bonded over some science stuff and eavesdrop on the bad guys. The fab four head back to Hedy’s place, where Wyatt confesses to Lucy that she’s “not hideous,” in one of the most endearingly personal scenes we’ve seen from the two of them. Cue Lyatt shipper freak out number two.
Lucy and Wyatt make their way to the bedroom and FINALLY kiss without any interruptions or cover story promptings. It’s cathartic to see these two characters whom we’ve really been rooting for finally allow themselves to let go of the past, and realize that no matter what else Rittenhouse throws at them, they have each other . . . for now. Cue Lyatt shipper freak out number three!
The next morning Rufus awkwardly barges in on the lovebirds, and they head off to save Citizen Kane. After a shootout and some bloodshed (that poor innocent security guard!) they take off for . . . prison.
While the Time Team hides a key, gas mask, and escape plan in a just-built cell, the scene cuts to the present-day, where Agent Christopher slips Flynn a note. Turns out the best time for a prison-break is 77 years in advance!
So, Flynn’s back on the team, our trio is safely back in 2018, and Jiya is back to “normal?” (The subplot of this episode is Agent Christopher and Connor Mason discovering Jiya’s seizures, though she STILL hasn’t told them that she’s having visions of the future; arguing about what’s best for her health; and then finding out that not only is nothing wrong, but the heart murmur she’s had since childhood is gone! Still worried? Yeah, me too.)
But don’t breathe easy, Lyatt shippers, because Timeless is about to top the most epic prison break of all time (haha, get it?) with an even bigger plot twist. Moments after they return from their mission, Wyatt gets a text message, breaks out of the bunker, and runs off to a nearby bar where he finds . . . JESSICA! His not-so-dead-after-all wife! Cue Lyatt shipper Full. On. Meltdown.
I’m going to be honest with you – I called the return of Jessica last week after watching the teaser for “Hollywoodland.” Would there ever be a better time to conveniently bring back Wyatt’s wife and throw the ultimate clockblock into Lucy and Wyatt’s newly redefined relationship?
What I’m less sure of is where Timeless will take it from here. I’m certain there will be some love-triangle drama, and all-encompassing awkwardness, but both Lucy and Wyatt seem too decent to be petty or jealous, which just makes me want them to find happiness together even more! I expect that Lucy will try to distance herself from Wyatt (indeed, teasers for the Salem Witch Trials episode seem to indicate that Wyatt stays behind and Flynn accompanies Lucy and Rufus instead) and allow him time to reconnect with Jessica. I’m betting that Wyatt realizes he’s romanticized his relationship with Jessica since her death, and that he and Lucy are a much better match than he and Jessica ever were. And Jessica? Well, I’m hoping that she’ll turn out to be Rittenhouse.
- Is Lucy’s recurring baseball cap supposed to be a disguise? Really?! I feel like even the bunker could provide more effective options than that!
- Sassy Flynn is my favorite. “I don’t want any damn Netflix subscription!” (His spot-on response to Agent Christopher’s half-hearted attempt to bribe him into cooperating with the promise of improved prison conditions). When he finally does get free and arrives in the bunker: “I left prison for this?”
- The pop-culture references in this episode were off the charts. Stranger Things, the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Hamilton, Jurassic Park, fake news . . . Kudos to the episode’s writer, Matt Whitney, for so many blink-and-you-miss-them quips.
- As if you needed a reason to love her more, Abigail Spencer’s singing was live! They used her live vocals instead of the studio-recorded version. Damn, Lucy!
- Rumor has it that “The Kiss” was supposed to happen in Hedy Lamarr’s pool. #Lyatt shippers, you can spend next Sunday night scouring the Internet for that deleted scene, and maybe it’ll tide you over until Timeless returns on April 8th.