The first season finale of Timeless — and let’s hope it’s not the last — picked up right where we left off last time with a gravely injured Rufus just barely able to get the Lifeboat back to the present. But with his gunshot and loss of blood, it only seems sensible to get him to a hospital. But who knows if Rittenhouse has operatives there?
Luckily Lucy has a fiance who is a doctor and she drags him into their drama without telling him anything, for his safety, and breaking up with him, for his safety and her sanity. And she did all that after he patched up Rufus. And then the alerts sounded as Flynn traveled to 1954 Washington DC to carry out his plan to take out Rittenhouse once and for all.
With Rufus injured but still able to pilot, it was decided that Jiya would co-pilot … except the Lifeboat is not made to carry more than three people, so what kind of repercussions could a fourth person bring to the mix? It didn’t take long to find out. After Lucy and Wyatt left to find Flynn and the Rittenhouse summit, Rufus noticed what looked like a burst blood vessel in Jiya’s eye. It cleared up pretty quickly, but the next thing you know her eyes are rolling up in her head and she’s passed out. A panicked Rufus, taking advantage of her state, tells her that everytime he’s nearly died on a mission, he’s thought of her, wanting to tell her that he loves her but something always got in the way. And then Jiya started convulsing. Is this a result of being that extra body in the Lifeboat?
In the outside world, Lucy and Wyatt are attempting to get close enough to Senator Joseph McCarthy — a man who is accustomed to lying to stoke the public’s fears regarding un-American outsiders — so they can find the summit and stop Flynn, but Flynn is always one step ahead and has already alerted the FBI to the pair as Communist spies. It doesn’t take them long to be stopped and then freed (thanks Wyatt), but Flynn leaves Lucy with an ominous message: when he kills all the Rittenhouse members, he will also kill her grandfather, leaving her life pretty much up in the air. With grandpa dead, will Lucy ever be born? None of that matters to Flynn as long as he gets his family back, but is he actually trying to give Lucy the option to stop him? She seems to think so.
After Lucy and Ethan escape, they begin tracking Ethan Cahill, aka Lucy’s grandfather, hoping that he will lead them to the summit. He leads them somewhere, prompting Wyatt to say, “Is it just me, or is Rittenhouse way more gay than I thought it would be?” Yes, grandpa Cahill has a bigger secret than his membership in Rittenhouse, and when confronted by Lucy and Wyatt, thinks they are there to blackmail him. Once he realizes they just want information about Rittenhouse, he is more than happy to share that information, like a weight lifted from his shoulders. The entire scene as Ethan talks about denying who he is, subjecting himself to shock treatments, feeling that he’s sick because he can’t make his feelings go away was handled delicately but very well with Lucy telling him that there is nothing wrong with him, and Wyatt even chimed in. It was a brief moment but it was done well without preaching.
Ethan is so willing to lead Lucy and Wyatt to Rittenhouse because he desperately wants out (and knowing that they’d probably kill him if they knew his secret is a big reason), and he’s willing to act as a distraction with the guards so Lucy and Wyatt can get into the basement of the building where they find … Flynn and lots of C4 (conveniently labeled C4 so there’s no mistaking it). But Lucy manages to talk Flynn down off the ledge, as it were, convincing him that she really does have a plan to stop Rittenhouse, but it involves the future not changing the past.
Bringing Flynn and Cahill to the warehouse to prove to Cahill that they are actually time travelers from 2017, and that Lucy is his granddaughter, Wyatt and Rufus leave to get Jiya to a hospital while Lucy and Flynn (and presumably Emma, who is now the only member of Flynn’s crew since his last two henchmen quit) leave in the Mothership, but not before setting a plan in motion with Ethan.
Suddenly we’re in the present with an elderly Ethan Cahill in a nursing home, Lucy and Wyatt showing up for a visit, the first time Ethan has seen her since 1954. Turns out he carried out a mission for her over the decades collecting every bit of data he could on Rittenhouse. Turning an office full of documents over to Agent Christopher and Connor Mason (yes, he’s actually a good guy who didn’t want any harm to come to Rufus), they triumphantly returned to Mason Industries and relieved Agent Neville of his duty, having him and Benjamin Cahill arrested. Thanks to the documents, Rittenhouse operatives from around the world are being arrested, so it seems that Lucy’s plan to bring down Rittenhouse has actually worked. But what of Flynn?
She made a deal with him to provide him with the name of the man who killed his family and was going to give him one last trip in the Mothership to right that wrong. Flynn swore he’d never use the thing again, and as a show of good faith gave Lucy her diary, cryptically indicating that he’d been to the future and that’s when she gave it to him (setting up a potential plot line should the series continue). But just as he was about to leave, Christopher and her agents show up out of the blue, taking Flynn in and completely breaking Lucy’s trust. And just as we were beginning to see a softer side to Denise Christopher, she quickly reverted to her old self as she regained her power.
With Flynn in custody there are only a few loose ends to tie up. Mason is allowing Lucy one last trip in the Lifeboat to go “back to the future” to get her real parents together so her sister can return, and it seems Wyatt is having a hard time saying goodbye, with Mason inadvertently interrupting what was probably about to be a kiss. But before she leaves, Lucy has to go tell her mother what’s about to happen.
Trying to convince someone that (a) you’re a time traveler and (b) you had a sister who was blinked out of existence by something you did in 1937 is no easy chore. It’s even harder when you know the person you’re telling was gravely ill when all of this started. Carol has a hard time accepting this sister Lucy keeps talking about and she’s even more adamant in not accepting that she’ll be seriously ill because … Rittenhouse would never allow that to happen. Wait what?!
Carol drops the season’s biggest bombshell when she tells Lucy that she comes from a Rittenhouse family and that’s how she met Lucy’s father, making Lucy Rittenhouse royalty. (And how did Ethan’s documentation manage to not have this information? We’re as stunned by this information as Lucy is, but there’s more! Jiya seems to have the ability to travel without the benefit of a ship as she has another seizure and the Golden Gate Bridge outside her hospital window suddenly changes to an under construction version of the bridge before she snaps back to the present. And there’s one more bombshell to close out the season: Flynn’s newest pilot Emma is actually a Rittenhouse mole, killing all of the men guarding the Mothership (although we don’t know the fates of Mason or Christopher) before stepping inside. Which begs the question was she really hiding out from Rittenhouse in the 1800s or was she planted there, knowing Flynn was coming for her? She did say she knew a lot more about Rittenhouse than Flynn, so could she have been from the future?
Wow, that’s a lot of information to digest for a show that hasn’t been renewed. It certainly wrapped up a lot of the season’s overall arc with Rittenhouse being taken down, but it leaves just enough plot threads dangling — what did Flynn mean when he said Lucy doesn’t know what she’s done as he was being taken away? — to drive the fans a little crazy should NBC decide to ax the series. The biggest cliffhanger of all will probably not be answered until May when the networks solidify their fall schedules, so if you’re a fan of the show and want to see more, tell your friends to catch the complete season on NBC.com, the NBC app or Hulu. Show NBC that time has not run out for Timeless!
What did you think of the season finale? Do you think there should be a second season? Give us your thoughts in the comments section below.