Timeless Recap: The Murder of Jesse James
By Kristen Tracy (@kristenmichele)
Before I begin, let me first say that if you are loving “Timeless” as much as I am, please please please try to tune in live every week! Did you see how many times I used the word “please?” I mean business! I know it’s on late, but this show is currently considered a bubble show. This means that it could get picked up for a season two, but it could also get cancelled. And the only way to save a bubble show is to get more people watching; just ask the guys of Supernatural. They were a bubble show for about 4 or 5 seasons but their fans saved them. While the overall ratings for “Timeless” are good, the live ones aren’t…and those are unfortunately the ones that count the most. So tune in if you can! And if you can’t, get the show trending across social media using the following hashtags: #Timeless, #TimelessSeason2 #SaveTimeless. There’s still a lot of history left to save folks! Let NBC know how much you want this show to stick around!
Ok, now that that’s out of the way, get ready. Because A LOT happened in this episode…
Can we first just all agree that the fact Wyatt killed the world’s first serial killer in last week’s episode is probably the coolest thing to happen on this show to date? I mean, how awesome is that?! Too bad he can’t go home and brag to anyone about it…
WARNING! SPOLIERS AHEAD!
After a very eventful trip to the Chicago’s World Fair, Flynn keeps his promise to give Wyatt the name of his wife’s killer: Wes Gillman. And of course, Wyatt does not take this news lying down. Instead, he heads straight to visit the man responsible for his heartache, who admits that he remembers Jessica and admits that he killed two additional women. The look on Wyatt’s face is one of defeat, but I can’t help but wonder which is worse for him: the fact that he finally knows who killed his wife, or the fact that Garcia Flynn kept his word and was right. Gillman confesses to Wyatt that if he could go back and change everything he would, but that neither of them had the ability to do that, to which Wyatt responds with, “not unless I had a time machine…” which he of course does, but Gillman doesn’t know that. Uh oh, I sense a plan hatching.
Meanwhile, Lucy comes home to find her sister Amy standing in the kitchen, but she isn’t happy because her sister forgot her birthday. Could killing H.H. Holmes really have changed history enough to bring Amy back? Unfortunately for us, that glimmer of hope doesn’t last long. Lucy wakes up and we find out it was all only a dream, or nightmare, in Lucy’s case.
At Mason Industries, we happily find that Jiya and Rufus are definitely an item! Jiya plants a huge kiss on him to tell him the great news that she’s just been chosen as their next pilot. Rufus fakes his enthusiasm for her by saying she deserves it, but he knows that Connor is only doing this because Rufus refuses to cooperate with Rittenhouse. Putting Jiya in his place means that not only will she be put in the same danger he’s been put in, but that he will soon become expendable. Jiya then announces that Flynn has jumped again – to April 3, 1882, the day the infamous outlaw Jesse James died. Lucy, still completely out of it from the encounter with her “sister” earlier, tells the group that James was killed by brothers Robert and Charles Ford, who ran with James but ultimately made a deal with the Mayor to receive immunity if they killed him. The Ford brothers agreed and shot James in the back when he was dusting a painting. Why would Flynn be interested in Jesse James? According to Rufus, it’s because “great psychos think alike.” So, The Three Time Traveling Musketeers set off on an adventure to the Wild West.
When we meet Jesse James (played by Daniel Lissing – perfect casting if you ask me), he is sitting on his couch reading an article about his most recent conquest out loud to Robert and Charles Ford. He is reveling in the way the writer describes him having the strength of five men combined. When James puts down the paper, his smolderingly dangerous eyes and cocky smile mean trouble. But when he notices the painting hanging on the wall directly behind him “never gets dusted,” he turns around and begins to clean it. We see the Ford brothers reach for their guns and just as we expect that to be the end for the handsome outlaw, Flynn busts in and kills both brothers, but not before James draws both his weapons as well. Flynn is able to reason with James and explains the deal that had been made in exchange for his death. Flynn tells him that he needs his help and offers to buy him a drink at the local saloon. As the two men discuss the mission Flynn needs help with, James is upset to learn that there is no treasure at the end of this but that it is instead a cause Flynn is fighting for and this mission leads to a person. Two Marshals then enter the saloon and Flynn suggests they try to sneak out the back for fear that he the outlaw will be recognized. Jesse James has other plans however, and calls out to the Marshals. He makes sure they know exactly who he is before he quickly draws his pistols and shoots them both dead.
Wyatt, Lucy, and Rufus arrive to James’ house too late and discover the Ford brothers are dead. They see the two Marshals in town being put into coffins and know that James and Flynn already have a head start. Wyatt sets out guns blazing to go after them, but Rufus reminds him that they are heading into Indian territory and they cannot go in alone. The two guys notice that Lucy has been acting strange and tell her that they need to know what to do. Lucy leads them to the house of Bass Reeves, a U.S. Marshal that the Lone Ranger is rumored to be based off of. The three are able to convince Reeves to help them catch Jesse James because he spent time in the Indian territory they will be crossing and is welcome in that area. Reeves has one condition though: James must be taken alive. He is not to be killed. Wyatt reluctantly agrees to this and Reeves enlists the help of Native American Grant Johnson (aka Tonto) to help the team navigate their way through.
Back in present day at Mason Industries, Jiya is struggling with her first test runs as pilot. She suggests to Connor that it may help her to see some video flight logs from previous pilots, but he quickly tells her that they were destroyed in a fire. Ok, sure Mason. If you say so…
Flynn and Jesse James are stopped on a mountain when Flynn notices that Lucy and the gang are headed their way. James however, is practicing his draw and shooting off his pistol without any regard for the fact that they being followed. Flynn barks at him to stop but James seems to think they have plenty of time. Seriously though. Was Jesse James really this arrogant and self-assured? Or did they just make him a more exaggerated version of who he really was? Either way he’s entertaining, that’s for sure. And as much as I hate to admit it, charming as all get out. I know, what’s wrong with me?
(Side note: This show does an excellent job at making you forget that these storylines are actually historical events that really happened. At points, I actually found myself rooting FOR Jesse James. Does that make me sadistic somehow? You know what? Don’t answer that)
As Flynn and James proceed to kill all the Indians standing in their way, the rest of the gang catches up only to see the slaughterhouse that was left behind. They all agree that the men need proper burials and that they will camp out there overnight to allow the horses to rest. Wyatt confesses to the group that he went and saw the man who killed his wife. He makes it known that he wants revenge and that he will do what he needs to in order to get it. Rufus warns of the impact being so cavalier about killing people will have. Wyatt looks to Lucy to back him up, but she says she doesn’t know what to feel anymore. She tells them how she forgot her sister’s birthday and how she just wants this to all be over. They all do.
When James and Flynn reach their destination, an isolated cabin in the woods, they are greeted with assault fire. And although Flynn is able to talk the shooter down by saying that they are from the same place and that he has a ship to get them home, we are shocked to learn that the fire was coming from a woman! The woman agrees to let the Rittenhouse hunter come into her home, but Jesse isn’t so keen on waiting outside. Flynn tells him that Bass Reeves is the one leading that group that has been after them. James is intrigued by the idea of a showdown with the famous lawman, but is quickly distracted when he notices Flynn’s semi-automatic rifle. As the woman escorts Flynn inside, he notices dozens of modern conveniences (laptops, video games, etc.). What?! Turns out the woman is Emma Whitmore, a former Mason Industries employee and pilot of the same “ship” Flynn has stolen. Flynn can see the panic on Emma’s face and assures her he isn’t from Mason Industries or Rittenhouse (again, what?!). As we find out from Flynn and through those video flight logs that were supposedly destroyed (and Jiya working her magic in hacking in to “recover” them), Emma was being blackmailed by Rittenhouse. It became so dangerous for her and her family that she had to fake her death during one of her missions. She says her partner knew nothing of Rittenhouse, so she “disappeared” during a flight and her partner came back with the news that she had died and her body could not be recovered. Hmmmm…I call another not-so-fast on Connor Mason. He knows everything. Surely he knew that she hadn’t actually died. But he played the fool well.
Emma agrees to leave with Flynn and stop Rittenhouse. Flynn parts ways with Jesse and gives him the rest of his money. James isn’t going quietly though and insists on payment in the form of that semi-automatic, which Flynn reluctantly gives up. Did anyone else realize at this moment that our favorite history-saving team could legitimately be in danger here? We see how quick Jesse James’ draw is with an 1800’s revolver. Can you imagine the damage he could/probably would do with a 21st century semi-automatic weapon?
Turns out that paranoia was valid because right as Bass Reeves and company storm the abandoned cabin, they are met with a hailstorm of assault weapon fire; but not before Rufus notices Emma’s flight suit in the corner and realizes she’s still alive. As the team tries to find cover from the infamous outlaw, Grant Johnson is shot and killed. While Lucy tries to help him, she notices that Wyatt is missing. He has snuck out into the woods and shoots James in the arm. Right as Wyatt is about to kill him, Reeves points two pistols (one in each hand) at Wyatt and James. Reeves tells Wyatt to holster his weapon as Jesse James says he wishes to surrender freely and drops his weapon. As Reeves is trying to talk Wyatt down, we hear a gunshot and see on James’ face that he was the one hit. We assume it is Wyatt who shot the outlaw, but as James falls to the ground, we see Lucy standing behind him with a gun in her hand pointed at his back! Lucy is the historian of this group guys. She had to make sure that they don’t change history too much. And that meant that James had to die by being shot in the back. So, she takes history into her own hands and pulls the trigger.
Back in town, Bass Reeves gives Lucy the reward money for killing Jesse James. She tries to tell Reeves to give it to Grant Johnson’s family, who could use it now that Johnson is dead. He refuses though and tells her that she shot an unarmed, injured man who was about to surrender and that she needs to live with that guilt.
Back home, Rufus tells Connor and Agent Christopher that Emma is still alive. Mason acts shocked but again, not buying it. Wyatt and Rufus then meet up at a bar and Wyatt confesses to his travel buddy that he has something big planned…and he needs Rufus’ help. The plan? Wyatt wants to steal the time machine to go back and save Jessica! Oh boy. We’re in for a wild ride!
“I have an abundance of admirers.”
“At least they died looking at something pretty.”
“The Lone Ranger is black? Awesome!”
“Dude, we’re in a posse with the Lone Ranger!”
“So it’s like a scary version of blazing saddles.”
“Wait a minute, all this fussin’ for a woman?”