Timeless Season 1 Recap

Melissa Villy goes back in time with Lucy, Wyatt, and Rufus

If you are like me you’ve been waiting impatiently for the return of the quirky, pop culture referencing, time traveling show Timeless. A hit when it first premiered last fall, NBC ordered additional episodes bringing the full order to sixteen. However, as the season went on, the ratings began to drop, and ultimately the series was canceled. But, like a phoenix rising from the ashes the show was renewed three days later. Fans have been impatiently awaiting its return ever since, especially after that bombshell of information it dropped in its final moments.

I realize the premiere has already aired, but I thought we could all use a refresher course on the major events that transpired as the Time Team went gallivanting around history. If you haven’t been watching this gem of a show, then turn away now because in the words of another time travel show’s River Song: spoilers.

A Brief History of Time

Timeless

Tech mogul Connor Mason as built the world’s first time machine, however it has been stolen by rogue former NSA agent. Hired to stop him from changing history is Lucy Preston, a young history professor trying to live up to her dying mother’s status as a legendary history professor. Assigned to protect Lucy and catch Flynn is Wyatt Logan, a Delta Force soldier still grieving from the death of his murdered wife, Jessica. Finally, also along for the ride is Rufus Carlin, Mason’s protege, who is the only one left who can pilot the “lifeboat” prototype time machine. They are also assisted by tech guru Jiya and overseen by Agent Christopher of Homeland Security.

On their first mission to the Hindenburg in the 1930s, the team bonds, forming what we fans affectionately call the Time Team. The show also begins to make the first of its famous pop culture references as Lucy says they are Nurse Jackie and Dr. Dre from General Hospital in order to get by a checkpoint and Wyatt tells a woman his name is Buck Rogers. However things don’t go as planned as they are unable to stop Flynn saving the Hindenburg when it lands and blowing it up on it’s take off for the return trip.

As the team chase Flynn through time, there seems to be no clear reason for the events he picks. When cornered by Lucy, he reveals that he is using a diary written by her that she gave him, and that she should ask why she was chosen when she gets home. Further revelations reveal that he is trying to stop the mysterious Rittenhouse who is responsible for his family’s deaths. As the time team continue to chase him, Rittenhouse continues to pop up.

An Alternate 2017

Back in the alternate 2017 the team created, Mason, who is this universe’s Elon Musk, is pressing Rufus to spy on the team for someone else. When Rufus refuses, Mason warns him that “they” won’t like that. Rufus is also threatened to continue by a mysterious gentleman, or his mother and younger brother will be harmed. Rufus tells Agent Christopher, who reveals she has her own suspicions about what is truly going on.

Lucy is originally fascinated by the opportunity to travel through time, the initial awe wears off when she realizes it’s up to her to keep history on track and prevent Flynn from changing too much. Unfortunately, this turns to heartbreak when she arrives home after her first mission to discover that while her mother is no longer ill, her beloved younger sister no longer exists. This leads Lucy to investigate her family history, which in turns leads to revelations of a shocking and startling nature. The man who threatened Rufus is her biological father, and a member of Rittenhouse.

As the mystery of Rittenhouse continues, the Time Team allies with Agent Christopher and Jiya, especially after Rittenhouse tries to hijack command of their missions. Mason eventually joins them as well and reveals they funded the time travel project for unknown reasons and now control him, a decision he regrets doing.

Let’s Do the Time Warp Again

Even with all of this going on, the temptations of time travel prove too much. In his grief, Wyatt believes like Flynn, that he can bring his wife back if he changes the right thing. Rufus agrees to help his new best friend. Armed with the knowledge of a name Flynn gave them of a man convicted of killing two other women in the same way as Jessica. They travel to 1983 to prevent the man’s conception and are successful. However, they return home to find that they only prevented the murders of the two other women. This led to speculation that Flynn was lying, but I disagree. Why would one man wanting to bring back his family lie to another trying to do the same? I think it’s more likely her murder was meant to look like it was connected to the others, by none other than Rittenhouse. I’d be genuinely surprised if it turned out they didn’t kill her. After all, who knows what she got herself mixed up with while he was deployed.

When Rufus is shot during Rittenhouse’s take over of Mason Industries, Jiya accompanies the time team back to 1954. But the ship was only designed for three. Jiya loses consciousness and only recovers after her return to the present. However, she experiences another seizure-like episode and we see through the window of her hospital room an image of Golden Gate Bridge in ruins. It seems Jiya’s trip through time has affected her in unforeseen ways.

Lucy also attempts to bring back her sister and correct the course of her family’s history. However, before leaving to do so her mother reveals one more shocking piece of information. She too is Rittenhouse and they will never allow Lucy to bring back a sister no one else cares about and make her mother ill again.

All of Time and Space

Timeless

Each week is a new decade or century, although so far they haven’t gone further than the 1700s. Along the way, the Time Team interacts with many historical figures, several of which turn out to be Rittenhouse members. They do their best not to alter things too much, but arrive home on one occasion to find that a school is named after Lucy’s alias, Juliet Shakespeare, because she saved Ulysses S. Grant from assassination. They even get to participate in the Alamo and find out that the missing minutes of the Watergate tapes are about Rittenhouse.

They also make pop culture references throughout. From their aliases, which include Denzel Washington for Rufus, Fox Mulder for Wyatt, and Dr. Quinn for Lucy, to Wyatt, Star Wars’s own Matt Lanter, making a Jedi mind trick reference. Anther change that happens is that the team becomes Bond characters after interacting with Ian Fleming in 1940s Germany, making them part of the pop culture too.

This show has a perfect balance of sci fi, mystery, humor, and history. The show even has something for shippers with the will they won’t they of Wyatt and Lucy, or #Wucy, and the sweet budding romance of Rufus and Jiya. It’s truly got a bit of everything, and it’s a great show to watch as a family with older kids and teens.

Melissa Villy

I'm Mina, the Jedi Librarian. I'm a teen services librarian, lover of all the books, and a lifelong Star Wars fan. I'm also secretly a Jedi.

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