Timeless Roundtable 2×11 and 2×12 “The Miracle of Christmas Part I/II”
The Time Team goes out on a mission to save Rufus and save history from Rittenhouse.
NBC’s Timeless once again graces our screen after being canceled and brought back not once, but twice! While the network didn’t pick up Timeless for a full third season, they did add a special movie to wrap up loose ends and give their fans — aka Clockblockers — some closure for the series. For those not familiar with Timeless, this episode catches you up on with you might have missed. Then the episode picks up right where they left off, with the Time Team being visited by a future version of Lucy (Abigail Spencer) and Wyatt (Matt Lanter) with the hope of saving Rufus (Malcolm Barrett). Shocking both the team and the audience, the future Lucy and Wyatt reveal they’re from 2023 and still fighting Rittenhouse. They’re not immune from the side effects of going back to your own timeline and they leave quickly. Lucy gives her future journal to herself and their Lifeboat from the future, but the Time Team is left with more questions than answers.
Lucy and Wyatt try to decipher the journal when they get word that the Mothership jumped to California during the gold rush in 1848. The team is torn between going after Emma (Annie Wersching), or going back to save Rufus. Denise (Sakina Jaffrey) reminds them that Rittenhouse can’t be left to decimate history. Lucy, Wyatt, Jiya (Claudia Doumit), and Flynn (Goran Višnjić) follow the Mothership to 1848. Rittenhouse has their own motives for traveling to the gold rush and they put up “Wanted” signs for the Time Team to try and stop them. While on mission, the team simultaneously tries to figure out what Rittenhouse wants and how they can save Rufus. Everything in Lucy’s journal points to Jessica (Tonya Glanz) being the reason that Rufus dies in Chinatown. While they’re willing to risk everything — even their own lives due to time travel side effects — it’s Flynn that conducts a secret plan to eliminate Jessica to save Rufus.
Flynn decides to take a solo mission back to 2012 when Jessica was murdered in the original timeline. He starts feeling the effects of time travel with intense headaches, but still manages to carry out his mission. Jessica puts up a fight but Flynn still manages to remove her from the timeline, effectively changing the course of events after their mission to Hollywood. He sets the Lifeboat to autopilot back to 1848 and he stays in 2012 to see his family one last time. In 1848, Rufus rescues the team from a hostage situation, and to their surprise he has been with them the entire mission. They’re not able to stop Rittenhouse from getting gold, which sends other plans into motion. When Emma returns from a solo mission, she finds out that Jessica has been removed from the timeline and she has a renewed vengeance for going after the team. The Mothership jumps to 1950 North Korea and the Time Team follows after them in the Lifeboat. They don’t quite know what Rittenhouse is planning, but Denise and Connor (Paterson Joseph) find an article that four Americans — the Time Team — were murdered during that time. Without the Lifeboat, they have to figure out a way to save the team in 1950 and stop Rittenhouse for good.
Here to discuss our favorite moments, Flynn’s ultimate sacrifice for the team, the surprising team-up between the Time Team and Rittenhouse, and so much more is our Timeless roundtable:
Catherine (@Cat_grl6) – Researcher by day, TV addict by night.
Andrew (@AngryRedHead86) – Movie and TV fan, enjoys music and books.
River (@MISSYriver) – A single mom with a Fangirl heart and passion for writing.
Mark (@RenewTimeless) – Husband, dad, businessman, and fanboy.
Heather (@xoheatherkw) – Senior microbiologist, writer for TV After Dark, dog mom, and fangirl extraordinaire.
1. Timeless got resurrected for one last episode, and the network has said it’s truly for the fans. What was your favorite moment from this episode?
Catherine (@Cat_grl6): I have two favorite moments — one was when Rufus busted in wearing his cowboy hat to rescue the gang, and the other was when Lucy told Wyatt “I love you. I’ve loved you since The Alamo.”
Andrew (@AngryRedHead86): So many great moments that is hard to choose. I have to go with Rufus showing up and saying “Merry Christmas you filthy animals.” Just because it was at the right time, and it was a tad unexpected so it was a good surprise. Rufus usually has the best lines.
River (@MISSYriver): It is hard to chose there was so many moments I was laughing and crying over. I think I cheered when Jan was mentioned. I also loved happy Lyatt, and Rufus saving the day. Seriously can I list the whole episode? I could go on.
Mark (@RenewTimeless): There were so many wonderful moments for the fans in this episode it’s hard to choose just one. Rufus’s “Merry Christmas you filthy animals!” was obviously one highlight but my personal favorite was when they were in North Korea and Rufus looked up to see what the noise was overhead and said “Heliclockter?” My mind immediately went back to San Diego Comic-Con in the summer and that awesome moment when the helicopters finally appeared from behind the building and then a little later, to cap it all, Malcolm Barrett walks over to celebrate with us all!
Heather (@xoheatherkw): There were so many great moments, it’s difficult to choose just one. I loved Rufus’s return to the team, and it was in such an unexpected way. I almost thought they’d save Rufus at the very end of the episode, so to have him reunited with the team early on was great. I also loved the look into the future at the end of the episode, to see how life turned out after time travel.
2. Flynn risked everything to go back and save Rufus. What were your thoughts on him going back to take out Jessica?
Catherine: Of course it was sad that the team lost Flynn, but he saw what needed to be done and wanted to take care of it. It was nice that he ended up being a hero after all. Even though he wasn’t always a “good guy,” he was a fun character to watch!
Andrew: Pretty hardcore, since he probably knew he was not coming back. Also the fight between Flynn and Jessica was suspenseful. I think that Flynn also suspected that Wyatt would be unable to take out his wife. The decision had to be made by someone “more expendable.”
River: From villain to hero, he sacrificed everything to save the future in the name of love. He broke my heart and gave us hope again.
Mark: Bittersweet, definitely. A big part of me was really pulling for a scenario where Flynn saves and is reunited with his family. If I couldn’t have that the very least that I wanted was a recognition on the part of the Time Team that Flynn was an ultimately honorable man who they had badly misjudged (albeit obviously with some justification based on his acts) for too long. I thought Wyatt’s “Let’s not let him down” and Connor’s “to Garcia” toast after the team had learned of Flynn’s death was a fitting and just recognition of this. If Flynn couldn’t live, he at least died a hero.
Heather: It was heartbreaking. I was hoping they could save Rufus another way. But Flynn saw how willing the rest of the team was to going back into their own timeline, and he didn’t want the entire team to risk their lives if it wasn’t successful. I think he saw that as penance for his actions. He was truly the best of them.
3. Throughout two seasons Lucy and the rest of the Time Team have tried to keep history intact. What do you think about their new philosophy to save the people, instead of just saving history?
Catherine: It’s definitely an interesting twist for them to focus on ordinary people in the past. If they help someone survive who wasn’t “supposed” to survive an event, they are changing the timeline and it could have repercussions on future events.
Andrew: They only change history for the better. Just like Back To The Future by the third movie, or the Terminator series. Also most of their changes are not as drastic, particularly their recent one which saved one family. Most of their missions end with history remaining more or less intact.
River: It is about the living in the moment for them. Saving the person standing beside you.
Mark: I have a friend who was with the British Army in Iraq and I’m reminded of a conversation I had with him once about how after the troops had been out there for awhile they got to know the local Iraqi civilians very well. My friend said that the longer he was out there the more upsetting it was to see these civilians suffer and, in some cases, lose their lives. What was initially supposed to be impersonal became personal simply through living the experience of the war with them. Perhaps something similar happened with the Time Team. They were no longer simply protecting events in a book, but protecting lives of people among them.
Heather: I loved that they aren’t just out to save history anymore. Time travel has taken a toll on the team and they don’t want to stand by and allow history to happen the way it should. Lucy probably knows the best out of all of them what their future holds, and she can’t let Rittenhouse (or history) harm any more lives.
4. There were so many heartbreaking moments and reunions. Which one hit you the hardest?
Catherine: Having Rufus back and seeing him reunite with everyone was the best. But I think the scene that hit me the hardest was when they were in Korea and Lucy thought Wyatt was dead, and then he showed up (carrying a newborn baby) and all of our Lyatt hearts rejoiced in the Miracle of Christmas!!
Andrew: Flynn seeing his family for the last time. Poor guy never found happiness, really. But he did find peace.
River: The end, completing the time circle. The music montage to the best show.
Mark: Flynn’s visit to his home where he saw himself and his family through the window was hard for me. He knew he was dying and that he was unable to do anything about what would happen to his wife and daughter just two years later. I can only think he was so desperate to see his family one more time he couldn’t help himself. I can’t imagine how horrific it would be if I was in the same situation where I knew something terrible was going to happen to the people I love but I couldn’t do anything about it.
Heather: Flynn sacrificing himself to save Rufus, and the “Time After Time” flashback. To see everything come full circle for the team and Flynn just gets me every time.
5. Emma teased that she could have gotten Amy back. If Lucy had decided to trust Emma, do you think Emma really would have helped them? Why or why not?
Catherine: I think even if Emma had helped Lucy get Amy back, it would have created another new timeline and someone else would have died. Either way, it was just Emma being her usual manipulative self.
Andrew: No. Trusting Emma would be really foolish, since she is a liar and a killer. She said whatever she had to say to get Lucy’s attention.
River: The only person Emma is willing to help is Emma. There is no way she wouldn’t have tried to escape, kidnap, strand or kill one of team members. It is not in her nature.
Mark: I think Emma was just trying to manipulate Lucy by saying she would get Amy back. Emma has never given me any reason to believe she is looking out for anyone but herself. I think it’s more likely she saw an opportunity not just to escape the situation but also to eliminate Lucy, who she still saw as a threat to her plans to lead Rittenhouse.
Heather: Emma can’t be trusted. She’s proven that again and again. She was only making a last ditch effort to save herself.
6. Things seemed pretty bleak for the Time Team in North Korea when the article surfaced to Denise and Connor. What were your thoughts on their team up with Benjamin to get the Mothership back?
Catherine: I was very surprised at Benjamin’s return. It was a convenient way to wrap up the Rittenhouse story line. I know they had to squeeze a lot into a 2-hour movie, but it seemed way too easy after everything that’s happened throughout the course of the show. But at the same time it was exciting that Agent Christopher finally got to time travel!
Andrew: It was a necessary deal with the devil, and Denise and Connor knew that. At least the team was saved, although it came at the cost of allowing Rittenhouse to survive.
River: Denise was willing to do anything to save her team. I’m glad it was through Benjamin because he also got his redemption.
Mark: I think it was a smart move by Denise to use Benjamin Cahill against Emma. Cahill had been left behind bars while Carol teamed with Emma and then Nicholas Keynes to take Rittenhouse forward after the arrests made at the end of season one. Cahill probably knew Lucy’s life had been in danger with Emma running things so he would have been only too happy to help topple her.
Heather: I was so shocked! I thought they would take the Mothership by force, but to use Benjamin to come to a mutual understanding that benefited them both was really smart.
7. This episode wrapped up a lot of storylines but still left it open-ended. If Timeless got picked up for another season, what would that look like to you?
Catherine: This is a tough one. I would love another season. I would love 10 more seasons. But if I’m being honest, they wrapped up so many plot lines, I’m not sure how it would look going forward. They aren’t fighting Rittenhouse anymore and they really shouldn’t be going back in time and messing with things. So I think the show would be very different if it came back. I think it would focus on future time travel and not the past.
Andrew: Well that one girl creating her own time machine seems huge. I wonder if the team might end up traveling into the future at some point. Also I would like to see Lucy and Wyatt’s kids go on an adventure. There were many plot lines they could have gone with in Season 3.
River: Since I’d hate for them to jeopardize their present timeline I’d want them to come back in a few years to lead/teach a new team. Be the Bunker Parents to a new team. Add a few dad jokes and have Time Team family time. Of course, they’d need a threat to their existence to keep it exciting.
Mark: From the point of view of material, there are enough interesting and important events in history to support many more seasons and stories. The question now is what will be the jumping off point into these stories now that the Time Team is in 2023, Rittenhouse is defeated and Flynn is dead? In my opinion if you have good writers and a cast with chemistry – and Timeless has both – this question will get figured out. Good writers in particular can do anything – even bring back Flynn!
Heather: While I think they could’ve showed so much more if the special was longer, I really like how they wrapped things up. If Timeless came back, I’d love to see more background on how the technology was developed, and how this young woman’s designs were realized. Maybe she could even be part of the team. They could introduce a whole new bad guy, and there’s a lot of history to mess with, so the Time Team would have their work cut out for them (as long as no one disappears from the timeline, please). I’d love to see both Flynn and Amy return in some capacity — you never know how something will turn out when you change the past. Maybe something that happens on a mission would bring them back somehow.
Final Verdict: Timeless delivered a heartwarming episode to thank their fans and give us the closure we needed.
Timeless had a tall order to wrap up storylines, save Rufus, and save history — but they succeeded. The future, or past, wasn’t promising once the article surfaced from 1950 North Korea. Denise and Connor made a surprising deal with Benjamin (John Getz) to acquire the Mothership and rescue the team. While they didn’t intend for Emma to get taken out, she gets in the crossfires and dies. On the mission to North Korea, we see the team help a woman that isn’t significant to history, but they’ve come to realize that everyone is important to history. They return to the present and see that the woman led a full life with her family. They have both time machines in their possession, so it would be safe for Lucy to go back and save her sister from being erased. In a surprising and heartbreaking twist, she doesn’t want to go back and save Amy. She has seen the damage time travel has caused, and even if she means well doesn’t mean that they wouldn’t change something else — and possibly for the worst.
Now that they’ve stopped Rittenhouse, they could safely destroy both time machines so that they couldn’t fall into the wrong hands again. Considering one person invented the technology for time travel, someone else could develop it in the future. Denise wisely keeps the Lifeboat under their protection, just in case. Then the show jumps forward to 2023, which looks very different that the 2023 from the beginning of the episode. Lucy and Wyatt are living in Palo Alto with their twin girls, named after the people they’ve lost — Flynn and Amy. Rufus and Jiya have a successful company together and inspire the next generation in the field of technology. They reunite to make one final mission, for Lucy to visit Flynn in 2014 and give him the journal that started the course of events since the Mothership was stolen. In another heartbreaking montage, we see the events that are set into motion, bringing everything full circle from the pilot.
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The Timeless writers has the difficult task of wrapping up all the storylines into one last special, but they managed to exceed expectations. The Timeless holiday special was filled with heartwarming moments, happiness, sorrow, and gives us hope that the good guys can prevail. They even gave several nods to the fans in references to the heliclockter, Jan, and our favorite ships Lyatt and Riya — Jiya and Rufus even name their future company Riya Industries. Had they been given the go ahead for a third season, they could have easily expanded this movie to show the nuances between relationships and how the couples slowly worked their way back to one another. They succeeded in saving Rufus, even though it’s not how we thought it would happen, stopping Rittenhouse, and giving the team back their lives. Thanks to Flynn changing the past, the hardened versions of Lucy and Wyatt in 2023 never came to be. Most intriguing is the last scene where a woman is drawing designs for what seems to be a time machine. If by some miracle, Timeless gets another season they left the possibility that someone else will create a time machine. And if need be, they have the Lifeboat if it falls into the wrong hands — to save history, yet again.