REVIEW: Timeless S2E1- “The War to End All Wars”

My favorite shows are based on the premise of a small ragtag group of good people, a found family, working together to defeat a vast enemy hell bent on taking over the world. If you are looking for a show that does that and adds the element of time travel, I’ve got just the thing for you. If you’ve been sleeping on Timeless, it’s time to wake up and join the adventure.

From the jump, it’s easy to see season 2 is taking a darker turn. Lucy has been abducted by her own mother and assumes all her friends are dead since everyone, including Wyatt and Rufus, were victims of the bombing at Mason Industries. Immediately, we are reminded just how powerful Rittenhouse is and the lengths they will go to achieve their ends, including murdering entire corporations worth of people. Lucy, assuming her friends and team are all dead, is coerced by her Rittenhouse-royalty mother, Carol, and operative, Emma, to time travel to WWI France. Their mission? To bring back to the present a man named Nicholas Keanes. Carol refuses to elaborate on his value. Seems Lucy’s still an unknown quantity when it comes to her loyalty to the shadowy Rittenhouse.

Where Lucy is wary of an active warzone, her mother is nearly gleeful. What kind of woman gleefully tracks across the trenches full of the wounded and deceased? A woman who truly believes she’s entitled to manipulate all of time and history. That’s the recipe for a fantastic villain. Carol is a TrueBeliever and stands as a stark reminder to Lucy of everything she’s worked so hard to stop.

A Timeless trademark, weaving a historical figure into their fictional narrative, is usually run through Lucy, the historian. She acts as a perfect connection for the audience and lends credibility to the realism the show wants to create. “The War to End All Wars” keeps the streak going by introducing the audience to Marie Curie, famed scientist. It’s trench warfare. France. The women have been waiting for an injured soldier who finally arrives. How to help? Of course! An x-ray machine would be useful. What? X-rays in WWI? Marie Curie invented portable x-ray machines and taught over 150 women around the theater of war to use those machines in the field, helping the wounded. Convenient. Timeless always finds ways to weave the historic seamlessly in service to their adventure that week.

Thankfully, much of the Time Team has survived the bombing, and they have taken refuge in an abandoned military facility. They’ve spent weeks regrouping and repairing their time machine. Everyone, save Wyatt, believes Lucy has been killed by Rittenhouse. Thankfully, Wyatt refuses to believe this and with Rufus’s help, heads off to WWI France in search of Lucy. The heart of this show is the relationship between the three leads: Rufus, scientist and time machine pilot; Wyatt, ex-Delta force soldier; and Lucy, history professor. Over all of season 1 they worked together, each using their own special skills, to become a strong team. Season 2 opens by reuniting the team fairly quickly. That’s smart as the heart of the show is the Time Team.

The episode works toward its dramatic conclusion, Marie Curie at gunpoint, mother-daughter drama, and a well-timed rescue by Wyatt and Rufus to reunite our heroic Time Team. There’s no question of Lucy’s loyalty now. Back at the bunker, the rest of the season is mapped out cleverly. Sleeper agents tucked away in history should provide ample adventure as Timeless rolls out its sophomore season.

Timeless does so many things well; it really deserves to be a long-term fixture on your TV viewing plate. The production values are good enough to be believable (not always the case with genre shows outside Game of Thrones), and the heroes are diverse and interesting. No woman is a prop on this show. Seriously! The good guys and the bad guys have layers. Seriously, no one is a flat character. That’s immensely refreshing. I knew this show might have something when Rufus, the scientist and pilot of the time machine, says early in season 1, when told he would have to accompany Lucy and Wyatt to track down Garcia Flynn, “I can’t I’m black. There’s literally nowhere in American history that’ll be awesome for me.” Rufus is right. He’s 100% right, and I applaud the show for being blunt about it. How would a modern Black man navigate the Civil War? The Alamo? The 60s? The show doesn’t make Rufus a fish out of water for laughs. They do it to get the audience to think more deeply about how far we have, or have not, come in our history between each other.

For a family-centered genre action-adventure show, I’m not sure why this show has a Sunday 9pm/10pm time slot. It’s a TV-PG, and I’m happy to let my entire family watch it. I’d love for it to be on an hour earlier. I really look forward to how Timeless dodges and weaves its way through history.

Verdict: 5 out of 5 spins in the Lifeboat

You can watch “The War to End All Wars” at the Timeless page at NBC.com or on Hulu.

You can also stream all of Season 1 (catch up! It’s only 16 episodes) at NBC.com or on Hulu.

If you don’t have time, or a time machine to get you more time, you can watch a quick season 1 recap on YouTube.

Smithsonian magazine is even doing a weekly history fact check on each episode. Any show getting the attention, and approval, of the Smithsonian might just be ont he right track.

I’m a curious, creative, comic(al) woman. I am unapologetically Team Cap, but not HydraCap because there is a line in the moral sands of the universe and that whole thing is on the other side of it. I teach high school students all about the joys of mythology through comic books, graphic novels, and films. I wandered into the comic book world in 2015 and is a proud member of the #DoYouEvenComicBook gang.

I'm a curious, creative, comic(al) woman. I am unapologetically Team Cap, but not HydraCap because there is a line in the moral sands of the universe and that whole thing is on the other side of it. I teach high school students all about the joys of mythology through comic books, graphic novels, and films. I wandered into the comic book world in 2015 and is a proud member of the #DoYouEvenComicBook gang.

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