After a couple of frustrating outings for Time After Time, the show seems to have finally found its footing with the fourth episode “Secrets Stolen.” Of course, more questions are raised but they’re not as frustrating now that things are beginning to make a little bit of sense.
The episode picked up right where we left off, with John in the lab of his doctor friend, after she sedated him at her apartment. She was telling the truth about being a doctor, and she is studying DNA and how to manipulate it to help change the way the brain functions. She needs John as her guinea pig, basically, claiming to want to help him change his violent urges to kill. Of course, John has no desire to change and finds his way out of Brooke’s basement lab. But not before learning two key things: she has another test subject on the premises with even more violent tendencies than John, which he unfortunately learned first hand (or rather fist). Who is this man and is he a failed result of Brooke’s experiments? Secondly, he learned that the time machine is in the hands of Vanessa Anders and that H.G. is helping her, or vice versa, sending John on a mission to get to the machine and get away.
John also learned one more interesting fact that may be a big clue as to why Brooke is so interested in him. It seems John, unknowingly, had a son born of a prostitute in 1891. The boy eventually went to medical school in Paris, became a doctor and died in 1982. Brooke mentioned her DNA experiments were a continuation of her father’s work, which leads me to believe that she is John’s great-granddaughter. It’s still unclear, however, how she knew John and H.G. would show up at this particular point in time.
H.G. and Jane also got more information about Chad, the man who had been following him and who was killed while attempting to kill H.G. at the gemologist’s. Posing as Chad’s friends, they went to his apartment to do a little snooping and discovered photos (H.G. didn’t know Chad was also following John) and a mysterious satchel with the initials HR on it. They did find a note, with the same symbol that was on the note H.G. had given to Vanessa years earlier, with coordinates, a date and a time. Only one way to really discover what Chad was up to — take the time machine to 1980.
And there H.G. and Jane found themselves in the back yard of Vanessa’s family home during a garden party where H.G. was greeted by a three-year-old Vanessa. They also met her parents and a hilariously gossipy friend of theirs who knew all the dirt on everyone at the party. One man in particular caught their eye as he and Vanessa’s father seemed to be having some harsh words. The man also had the same satchel that was in Chad’s apartment because … he was Chad’s father. What do Chad’s father and Vanessa’s father have in common?
Seems Chad’s father had stolen files with lists of different medications that are partof something called Project Utopia. But Chad’s dad showed up a bit unexpectedly and Vanessa’s dad didn’t have the money on hand to pay for his handiwork, so when he refused to turn over the files, Vanessa’s father smashed Chad’s father over the head with a wrench, killing him instantly. While stashing the body in his trunk, he had no idea that H.G. and Jane were witnesses to the entire scene, leaving them both with the conundrum of telling Vanessa or keeping quiet. But her father did realize after seeing them outside the garage that they did witness what happened but they returned to the time machine and got back to 2017 before he could catch up to them.
Back at Vanessa’s home, unaware that she was having a party for her fiancé Griffin, H.G and Jane did have a moment to ask her if she knew about Project Utopia which she claimed she did not, but she would check her father’s files. Unbeknownst to them all, John had also found his way to the house, but could not get into the room that held the time machine. Someone else also showed up at the party uninvited — Brooke. Who also happens to be Griffin’s sister! Which would also mean, if my theory holds true, that he is also John’s great-grandson, and would explain his intense interest in the time machine (so much so that he stole a key card to get into the room).
Once everyone is alerted that John is on the premises, they know they need to keep him from accessing the time machine. But Griffin has an unfortunate encounter with John leaving him wounded and unconscious inside the room while John takes off for points unknown. Luckily, he does not know that Wells has the machine set up with a remote return and when it comes back, empty, they are baffled as to his destination which we see in the final shot is Paris, 1918. Why would he go to Paris? I believe he’s going to see exactly who his son is. But will any interaction with the now 27-year-old man cause major ripples in the future? And was Vanessa lying about her lack of knowledge about Project Utopia?
One other big question still lingers about Chad and his family. We know his connection to Vanessa now, but we still don’t know the meaning behind what his mother told him last week about finding Wells and Stevenson and stopping things from happening. We assume she was referring to the murder of her husband, but again, how did she know those two people would be coming to 2017 at that point in time? I don’t think she was the gossipy woman at the garden party, but she did know an awful lot about Chad’s father. Aside from Vanessa’s parents and young Vanessa (who said she doesn’t remember meeting H.G.), she was the only other person at the party who had any interaction with H.G. and Jane. It would make sense that in the present she knew of Wells, but not Stevenson, so we’re just going to have to keep guessing for a few more episodes!
Are you watching Time After Time? Think you know what’s going on? Share your theories in the comments section below!