Timeless Review: Karma Chameleon


By Kristen Tracy (@kristenmichele)
After last week’s harrowing adventure hunting infamous outlaw Jesse James, we learned that Wyatt is planning on stealing the time machine to go back and save Jessica – and he wants Rufus to help him.

And so, our story for this week’s episode begins…

Anyone else think that there was no way Rufus would agree to help Wyatt steal the time machine? And that Wyatt knocking on Lucy’s door at who knows what godforsaken hour was going to be him asking her to help him convince Rufus? No? Just me? Ok then. Wyatt still shows up at Lucy’s house, but it’s to tell her the plan. Naturally (and understandably) she thinks they are crazy. She doesn’t try that hard to talk him out of it, but it’s obvious that she is concerned for him. She quickly realizes that she isn’t going to be able to talk him out of it and turns around to go upstairs and change. But when Wyatt stops her and tells her that she can’t come, the concern on her face turns to sadness. This moment is a complex one, because it’s clear Wyatt and Lucy have feelings for each other. But despite his obvious feelings, Wyatt is still going back in time to try to save his dead wife. Isn’t that a bit odd? If I’m Lucy, how am I supposed to react to this? She tries to convince him that they need her to help with the historical semantics of the trip, but Wyatt assures her he has done his research and can handle himself. He doesn’t want anything jeopardizing her deal with Agent Christopher to get Amy back. Wyatt promises Lucy that no one is going to get hurt; he is merely going to go back and keep Wes Gilliam’s parents from ever meeting so that the killer is never even born.
Back at Mason industries, Wyatt has “kidnapped” Rufus and is “forcing” him into starting up the time machine. The parallel to the pilot episode is rather ironic. If you will recall, the audience is originally led to believe that Flynn is kidnapping Anthony Bruhl and forcing him to power up the time machine, but we later discover that it was all an act as Anthony went willingly. For 12 episodes, Wyatt has tried everything in his power to stop Flynn and yet in this moment, he has become him. So on to Toledo, Ohio in 1983 they go.
At a nearby warehouse where the mothership is being kept Flynn, Emma (the pilot who faked her death to escape Rittenhouse), and Anthony Bruhl have just finished having a conversation about the secret society’s ultimate end-game, though we don’t get to hear what it is just yet. Both Flynn and Bruhl are legitimately surprised by the information that Emma has just given them. Clearly they have underestimated their enemy. Anthony then decides that this “mission” has become too dangerous and that the best course of action is to destroy the time machine. Flynn is not ok with this and insists that they continue their original mission to erase Rittenhouse from history all together.
March 19, 1983: Rufus and Wyatt arrive at the Toledo, Ohio Airport where they plan to intercept Claire Gilliam, a stewardess, once her flight lands. At the airport, Rufus is geeking out over the fact that he is watching an episode of “The A-Team” air live. He even mentions to Wyatt that the three of them (Rufus, Wyatt, and Lucy) are kind of like the A-Team, but through time. Does anyone else just love it when Rufus geeks out like this? Though Wyatt may have done his research on where to find Claire Gilliam, he obviously didn’t research enough because her flight landed twenty minutes before the boys arrived and they have missed her. Posing as an old friend from high school, Wyatt is able to get Claire’s location from one of her fellow stewardesses. Uh oh. This lie is definitely going to come back and bite him. Rufus and Wyatt head to the Toledo Inn bar and see Claire. The problem? She’s sitting at the bar and has already met Joel, the bartender who she would have a one-night stand with later and eventually conceive the serial killer that kills Jessica. Things aren’t looking well for our buddy Wyatt right now.
Per Wyatt’s instructions, Lucy calls Agent Christopher and tells her everything about Wyatt and Rufus’ plan. What Lucy doesn’t count on is that Agent Christopher has been watching Lucy’s house (for her own protection), and knows that Lucy waited 20 minutes before calling. Upset that she is being spied on, Lucy defends Wyatt and tells Agent Christopher that she’s shocked he hasn’t tried stealing the time machine until now. She also reminds her of the deal that was made in regards to getting Amy back – and that nothing has been done to work toward that goal. Lucy is upset that the guys left her behind and she’s upset that her sister’s gone. Basically, you don’t want to mess with Lucy Preston right now. As the two women continue to talk, Jiya answers the phone and is shocked to hear Anthony Bruhl on the other line. He asks for Rufus and without giving any information as to where he is, Jiya tells Anthony he’s unavailable. Bruhl then insists on speaking to Lucy and Lucy only. He has to know that people are of course going to be listening in, right? I mean the guy designed a time machine and he’s naïve enough to not realize that he’s not speaking only with Lucy?? I don’t think so. With Agent Christopher, Mason, and Jiya listening, Lucy and Anthony schedule a time to meet because Anthony says that he has a plan to end the whole thing. What whole thing? The time machine? Flynn? Rittenhouse? Lucy doesn’t know for sure, but agrees to take the meeting. Bruhl warns her though that she better come alone. Ummm ok…like that’ll happen. Mason insists on going with Lucy to the meeting but Agent Christopher kiboshes that idea real quick. Lucy will have plenty of protection, just not from Mason.
Back in 1983, Rufus and Wyatt devise a plan to try to get Claire away from Joel long enough to keep them from ending up in her hotel room later that night. Rufus plays the careless jerk and “accidentally” bumps into Claire so that she drops her room key. In swoops prince charming Wyatt to help her. He is able to pull her away from Joel the bartender and the two begin to bond over their love of baseball. Just when it seems like Wyatt’s whacky plan is going to work, a severe storm warning comes on the television and an injured state trooper stumbles into the bar in need of first aid. Claire offers her help and Joel comes to Claire’s aid in bandaging the officer. Once again, Wyatt is pushed to the side. As his frustration mounts, Rufus suggests that maybe Claire and Joel meeting was never a “by chance” situation. Maybe them being together is fate. This idea definitely does not go over well with Wyatt and the guys go back to the drawing board on how to keep the two apart. Rufus assures Wyatt that he will stay on Joel all night if he has and returns to the bar and orders a banana daquiri (Really? That has the be the worst daquiri flavor there is!). Joel is anxious to get back to Claire and tries to talk Rufus out of it saying that he would have to go get the blender and all the ingredients. Rufus holds steadfast though and insists – and for a moment it appears everything is back on track. Silly us; it can’t possibly be that easy.
As Lucy prepares to meet Anthony, Jiya is visibly equal parts nervous and upset as she helps Lucy put on the secret tracker that Agent Christopher will be monitoring behind her ear. She is concerned that Rufus didn’t tell her in advance of the plan and that if you deeply care about someone (and maybe even love them), then you should tell them things like this. She asks Lucy how she found out that the guys had left and Lucy tells her that Wyatt came to her before they even left and told her the plan. Jiya gives Lucy the look that all of us wanted to give her. The look that says, “Girl, when are you guys finally going to admit that there is something between the two of you?” Lucy isn’t stupid though; she was able to read into what Jiya really meant. When Jiya asks Lucy how she’s feeling, Lucy tries to break the tension by making a joke about how at least it’s not the French and Indian War.
Lucy arrives to the arranged meeting place with Anthony. But instead of a civil union, Bruhl holds Lucy at gunpoint and demands that she go with him. He immediately knows to look for a tracker behind her ear and crumples it in tin foil so the signal Agent Christopher is following gets lost. He then leads Lucy through a crowded street and discreetly places the tracker on some strange woman’s briefcase. Thinking the signal is back, Agent Christopher orders her team to move in…but when they arrive, they’ve got the wrong girl. Meanwhile, Anthony has lead Lucy into and abandoned building and continues to point a gun at her. Maybe it’s just me, but I would think that if you wanted someone to cooperate and/or listen to you, pointing a gun at them isn’t the best way to do that. But that’s just my two cents. Anthony doesn’t say anything about Emma to Lucy, but he tells her that he knows he’s messed up and wants to make it right. He semi-clues Lucy in to the plan of Rittenhouse: they want to go back and attack key points in history to achieve the shiny and sterile brave new world they originally hoped for. He informs her of his intention to blow up the mothership, and suggests that the trio destroy their time machine as well. Lucy is not happy to hear this and questions how she knows she can trust Anthony. He tells her to have Agent Christopher turn on her satellites and wait for an explosion is Sacramento. Once that happens, they will know that he has gone through with blowing up the machine.
Meanwhile in Toledo, Wyatt and Claire are bonding over Mrs. Packman when she confesses to Wyatt that her relationship with her mother is estranged. Apparently, her mom didn’t think much of her, so she has decided she cannot go home until she’s either proven her mother wrong or has something to show her mother that would make her proud. Wyatt, still trying his hardest to keep Claire from spending the night with Joel, advises that she should go home. He tells her he is going to be seeing his family for the first time in a long time and that if she has the chance to see hers she should take it. Just then, a group of stewardesses walk in and head straight for Claire. And imagine Wyatt’s dumb luck when one of them is the one Wyatt conned into giving him Claire’s location. Completely horrified by how her and Wyatt came to meet (she thinks he’s a stalker!), Claire seeks refuge in her bartender Joel who has since kicked Wyatt and Rufus out of the bar. Once again, Wyatt is incredibly frustrated and tells Rufus that the new plan is to lure Joel away from Claire. Rufus becomes concerned by Wyatt’s tone and reminds him that he promised no one would get hurt. Wyatt assures Rufus this is still the case and that they are just going to keep the two of them apart.
After leaving her meeting with Anthony, Lucy meets privately with Agent Christopher in her car. The two of them discuss everything that Anthony said and how much of it they should believe. Both are cautious about the information that was given to them, but ultimately decide that if there is even a chance that Rittenhouse is doing what Bruhl said they were, it makes the most sense to destroy the machine. Lucy is equally as disgusted as to how Connor Mason can pretend to be on their side and still be a part of Rittenhouse. Agent Christopher said she is very close to being able to take Mason down; she now has pictures of Mason meeting with a confirmed member of Rittenhouse. As she shows the photos to Lucy, Lucy’s face is shocked and we can soon see why. The man Mason is meeting with her father, which means…Lucy just found out daddy is a member of Rittenhouse!
In a last-ditch effort to keep a serial killer’s parents from conceiving said serial killer, Rufus storms into the bar and tells Joel that there is massive flooding coming from the kitchen. As Joel and Rufus walk back toward the kitchen, a drunk man that Wyatt had a negative encounter with regarding Claire earlier in the evening stumbles into the kitchen and ruins the moment. This botched mission leads to the state trooper stumbling out of his office and ordering Wyatt to out his hands up. As he does, Wyatt’s gun becomes visible. And even though both Wyatt and Rufus try to convince the officer that Wyatt has a permit for the gun, Wyatt gets taken into custody by the trooper and is told they will be brought in as soon as the horrible storm passes.
Back with Flynn and Emma, Anthony is repairing the mothership and preparing to take it for another flight. Both Emma and Flynn offer to help, but he acts like he’ll be done any minute. What they don’t see though are the clocks of C4 hiding in Anthony’s bag. Looks like he’s serious about this whole destroying the time machine thing…
As Wyatt sits in the state trooper’s office, Rufus rushes in and tells the officer that there is a creepy looking kid named Haley Joel (hello sixth sense reference!) out in the street in the storm. As the trooper gets up to help, Wyatt attacks him and handcuffs him to his own desk. But it’s all too little too late, Rufus says. The bar is closed and Claire and Joel have already headed back to her hotel room. Wyatt looks depleted until he remembers that he saw Claire’s room key earlier and knows what room she’s in and busts in her room just in time to prevent them from doing anything. Wyatt gets Joel to promise that he will stay away from Claire. Joel agrees and starts to leave, but Wyatt says he can’t take that chance and forces Joel to go with him. As the two of them get outside into the horribly rainy and windy storm, Joel tries to escape. He and Wyatt struggle and Joel slips and falls, hitting his head on the curb on the way down. Initially Joel appears to just be shaken up but when Wyatt goes to help him stand, we see that Joel’s head is bleeding badly and before we can blink Joel has died. So much for no one getting hurt. Rufus finds Wyatt and the two of them rush into the time machine to head home. Wyatt is really broken up about what happened with Joel. Rufus understands but tries to encourage him by saying that Wes Gilliam will never be born now and they saved three lives.
As everyone waits for Rufus and Wyatt to return, Mason tries to get Agent Christopher to tell him details of Lucy’s meeting with Anthony. Agent Christopher refuses though and Mason gets angry about the fact that she is keeping secrets from him. Really Mason?! You’re angry that she’s keeping secrets from you?! Pot meet kettle! When the time machine lands, Wyatt is surrounded by armed officers. Before he is taken away, he eagerly asks Lucy about Jessica. Lucy reluctantly tells him that Jessica is still dead and her killer was never found. Rufus notices that the other two men Wes Gilliam killed are still alive though. Wyatt is absolutely devastated as he is escorted out in handcuffs. So, what does this mean? Did Flynn lie to Wyatt, or did Gilliam? During this all, Joya approaches Agent Christopher and tells her there was a massive explosive near Sacramento. When Agent Christopher and Rufus arrive to the scene though, they notice no wreckage of the mothership. They did find something of importance though: the body of Anthony Bruhl! And with two gunshot wounds to the chest, it definitely wasn’t an accident.
Once leaving Mason Industries, Lucy takes it upon herself to visit her father. When he answers the door she just barges in. She tells him that she knows who he is and what he’s a part of. Much to her surprise, her dad says that he is glad she knows about Rittenhouse and that there has been a misunderstanding. Lucy is a part of Rittenhouse, whether she wants to admit it or not. He then tells her that Rittenhouse is a gift and that the two of them have a lot to talk about.
See you guys next week when we visit Paris during the 1920’s!

Memorable Quotes

“What if you get into a sticky history situation and you can’t history your way out of it?”
“If there are parachute pants in there, so help me.”
“You know, we’re kind of like the A-Team…through time. Time Team!”
“If we can escape the Alamo, then we can damn sure ball block Rick Springfield over there.”
“Could be worse; could be the French and Indian War.”
“So you mean to tell me Rittenhouse wants to go back and nuke history even more than they already have?!”

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