It’s that time of year again. Tis the season for mid-series finales. The drama of all our favorite fall TV shows is about to reach a boiling point, followed immediately by an agonizing hiatus that will keep viewers waiting with bated breath well into the new year. But don’t dust off your copy of Elf on DVD just yet. Tonight on NBC is the fall finale of Timeless, and it promises to be an episode you won’t want to miss.
If you haven’t started watching Timeless yet, don’t worry. The first part of season one is now streaming on HuluPlus, and it’s totally binge-worthy. I myself joined the fandom five episodes in, intending to watch just the pilot and go to bed. Instead, I ended up staying awake almost all night so I could watch every available episode. Ever since then, I’ve been eagerly anticipating Mondays, and there aren’t too many things that make me say that.
When a criminal intent on rewriting history steals a top secret time machine developed by a lucrative tech company, three unsuspecting individuals are recruited by the CIA to chase after the villain and keep the most important moments from America’s past from changing.
Excited yet? If that short summary doesn’t have you hooked, here are six more reasons why you should be watching Timeless:
1. The History
If you love historical dramas, but can’t settle on a time period for your next binge-watching sesh, Timeless is definitely the series for you. Each episode travels to a different point in American history, covering everything from the Revolutionary War to the explosion of the Hindenburg to the Watergate Scandal. There’s a lot of story to squeeze into 40 minutes, so events are greatly condensed and actual textbook history is used sparingly. Instead, an episode will concentrate on just a couple of hours within a historically significant day, providing speculation on how a different outcome to that day would’ve changed the course of our future. You probably shouldn’t watch Timeless in place of a Ken Burn’s documentary, but the show does provide interesting cultural insight on the periods it covers, and it allows viewers to speculate on some pretty poignant “what-ifs.”
2. The Suspense
The drama in Timeless never quits. Not only is every episode a cliff-hanger, but I frequently find myself groaning in frustrating when the show cuts for a commercial break. If the fade-to-black doesn’t happen while someone is dodging death with a gun held to their head, then there’s probably been a partial reveal about the life of one of the main characters. In episode one, something happens during the destruction of the Hindenburg that drastically changes Lucy’s family history. It becomes an ongoing subplot throughout the rest of the show where she experiences unexpected consequences from the way her family background has changed. Things she knows to be true suddenly aren’t anymore. Likewise, the villain of the show, Flynn, may have more to him than meets the eye, and the rules about who the good guys and bad guys are is in constant danger of shifting.
3. The Characterization
Timeless already has a lot going for it in regards to plot and setting, but what keeps me tuning in every week is how much I’ve come to love Lucy, Wyatt, and Rufus. The first nine episodes did a good job of setting our time-traveling trio up with interesting backstories. Lucy is a history professor following in the footsteps of her academic mother. She has a lot of family drama due to the unexpected consequences of time travel, and this disaster colors the way she pursues each subsequent time-travelling adventure.
Wyatt is an ex-soldier who lost his wife in a tragic accident. He’s also suffering some emotional scarring following a traumatic war experience. His past is revealed in bits and pieces, and in a way that makes you love him, despite the slightly overdone trope of the gruff war hero with a heart of gold.
Then there’s Rufus, the shy and awkward computer programmer who is too scared to ask out the coworker he’s secretly crushing on. He makes no secret that he’d much rather be behind his desk than piloting the time machine he helped develop. These characters aren’t just endearing. They also have complicated personal lives, and you will find yourself rooting for their individual happy endings as much as you root for them to save history.
4. The Friendships
The relationships these three characters form is an integral part of Timeless. Can they all trust each other when their lives are at stake? Although they have their ups and downs, the show often makes a point of ending the episode with a poignant moment involving two or more of the main characters. I’m particularly enjoying Lucy and Rufus’s platonic friendship. It’s obvious the two share a bond. They lack Wyatt’s gun-slinging skills for ambushing the bad guys and often have to work together to rely on their wits. They also bond over both being marginalized minorities in history. Rufus is African American and struggles with having to pretend he’s a slave in pre-Civil War time periods or having to otherwise disguise himself as the uneducated accomplice in more recent decades.
Lucy likewise has to prove she is just as capable as Wyatt and Rufus when it comes to going undercover as a spy or government official, as most men in history assume she merely exists to get them their coffee. Rufus and Lucy face a history that isn’t kind to either of them, but the friendship they form because of those struggles will make you want to find your bestie and give her a hug.
5. The Romance
What fun would all that action and adventure be if it wasn’t heightened by a little romance? It’s obvious even in episode one that something will happen between Lucy and Wyatt. At the end of the pilot, Lucy seems to find Wyatt annoying. He keeps insinuating she’s older than he is by calling her “ma’am,” so you can’t blame her. However, it also quickly becomes clear that Wyatt cares about Lucy more than he wants to admit. Whether he’s checking to make sure her seatbelt in the time machine is secure or making jealous faces whenever another guy flirts with her, there is definitely some sexual tension between them. Then again, who wouldn’t have sexual tension with Matt Lanter? If Lucy doesn’t snap him up soon, I may need to invent a time machine so I can chase him through history myself.
6. It’s Escapism at its Finest
Timeless probably won’t win a lot of Emmys. The premise is a little campy, and the occasional plot hole won’t impress the hardcore sci-fi geek any more than the attempt to compress the Watergate scandal into a 40-minute episode will impress the history buff. Yet, I find myself falling increasingly in love with this show. You will definitely need to suspend your disbelief to buy into any of the wacky time-bending plot lines, but the writing has all the elements of a solid television drama. For an hour every Monday night, you too can be whisked away to another time period with a cast of complex characters. But be careful. If you find yourself lured into the time machine, you may find you don’t want to return to reality.
Have you been watching Timeless? Tweet us @litdarling and let us know!
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