Timeless and the Miracle of Christmas: A Message of Hope

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Image Source: NBC

Sweet clockblockers, our time together has wrapped up in a sad little bow but that’s okay. The best things in life don’t always last a lifetime, sometimes, the best things can be found in two seasons plus a movie. And Timeless was special from the very first jump to the last — it never once failed in evoking all sorts of emotions, and I suppose, in reality that’s the best kind of final episode. Do I wish certain things went differently? Yes, and I won’t go quietly about it, but in the end, I found myself filled with hope above all things engulfed with gratitude because this show gave me one of my favorite characters in existence (Lucy Preston), and one of the most exemplary showcases of friendships that series in this genre are often lacking in. “The Miracle of Christmas” wasn’t perfect, understandably so, but it was a beautiful finale meant to showcase the power of goodness above all things.

Timeless’ final episode reminded us of what the show’s often done a gorgeous job of representing — free will and the significance of our choices. The ongoing debates of fate vs. free will has easily been the reason I’d decided to write about this show in the first place, and in “The Miracle of Christmas” especially, it tackled those themes in a way that felt suitable for the holiday spirit remarkably. And I suppose, it’s only when I avidly choose to look at this way that I can understand why my least favorite part of the finale had to happen. Garcia Flynn has had one of the strongest character developments I’ve seen in a long time, and I was rooting for his happiness from the very beginning. I was rooting for him to find himself in the aftermath of defeating Rittenhouse and I was rooting for him to find a purpose in the world again despite the encompassing grief that had fueled his actions. There’s always a clear distinction between heroes and villains, and while the world of fiction benefits from multifaceted characters who are neither, in this case, Garcia Flynn’s place in the hero column and the acknowledgement matters.

It matters because it’s a clear authentication of the fact that his choices brought him to a place where he’s not only deserving of great praise, but he’s worthy of more than what he was given. The saddest part in all this is how it mirrors reality, and I suppose, that’s something that’s often demanded in the realm of fiction. Because even on a show that involves time travel, a show where the past, present, and future are in the hands of mere mortals, loved ones can’t always be saved. Which would then take us back to the argument of fate vs. free will — how much of it do we actually control and how much of it is set in stone? As a Christian, I’ve always looked at it with the idea that while God knows what’s in store for us, while we’re given the free will to choose for ourselves, the things that are meant to be, the paths we’re meant to take, we’ll eventually get to. And though it often opens up a monstrous, easily mind rattling “clusterblock” (See what I did there?) of questions on top of questions, at some point you just come to accept that it is what it is and you made the choice you did. After that, there’s only so much that could be said or done. Do I personally think Flynn was meant to die like this? No, but I am neither God nor the writer of this story. But the sacrificial death isn’t what made Flynn the story’s hero, it’s the choice he made to follow the trails of a story that came to him in the form of a journal on the darkest night of his life. He made the choices he did knowing he’d get no form of tangible happiness in return, and frankly, I don’t know many people who’d do that. There aren’t too many people in the world that’d risk all that they have for the sake of preserving history and saving the world.

But Garcia Flynn and Lucy Preston are two of those people and the more I think about it, the more I think of It’s a Wonderful Life — ‘tis the season, right? We watch George Bailey learn what the world he lives in would’ve been like without him to save him, which allows the audience to understand that each human being serves a colossal purpose in the world no matter how big or how small. And while I’ve taken some time to think about the next point I’m going to make, I’ve gathered that I still don’t agree with the approach that was taken. Amy Preston was an important character in the series from the very beginning, unlike Jessica or the Flynn family, she didn’t “die” in the hands of Rittenhouse prior to the first jump — she “died” as a result of the Hindenburg Disaster. And while we could argue that perhaps she was always meant to, perhaps that was her fate, but the obliteration from existence isn’t the same as death. And in all honesty, I wish the series figured out a loophole around this. While Amy’s temporary existence shaped Lucy’s life tremendously, the fact that no one else remembers her is just, something else. And again, I get it, they couldn’t go back to that time without undoing everything else, but in a fantasy genre, I would’ve suspended my disbelief and taken whatever they gave me in bringing her back. (I’m certain I’m not alone in this either.)

This leads me to perhaps the most heartbreaking aspect of the series finale — Lucy’s character and the decisions she’s had to make throughout the episode. To know in her heart that she’d given Flynn the journal and that it’d eventually lead to his death must’ve been the hardest decision she’s ever had to make. To then live with the decision for the sake of history, I cannot even fathom. (I have a lot to say about how much I adore Lucy Preston, but I’ll save that for a post dedicated solely to her character.) But I have got to commend the writers for making Lucy mention that Flynn won’t get his family back, for it’s what brings his character full circle revealing the fact that he knew what he was getting into the entire time. He did everything that he did with the understanding that it wouldn’t save his family, but it’d save the world, and something tells me that his family would have been proud of the choice he made. No one would ever want to pay a price this enormous, but in the words of Clarence the angel, “no man is a failure who has friends.” And at the moment, if there’s any quote that reminds me of Garcia Flynn, this is the one. He succeeded in saving the world, he succeeded in saving Rufus, he succeeded in defeating Rittenhouse, and in the midst of it all, he became a part of a team who’d cherish him with every breath they took. His choice to take the biggest risk he’d ever take brought belief into Lucy’s life — the kind of belief that’d always remind her of the fact that good deeds aren’t done for some kind of a reward, but people exist who’d do them even when they know that there’s nothing they’ll get in return. And that’s a tragic reality some people face for reasons we could never understand because bad things happen to good people all the time. And this is the one moment throughout the show that’s been so hauntingly mesmerizing, I don’t know when or if I’ll get over the magnitude of emotions it evoked. Abigail Spencer and Goran Višnjić were such great scene partners in the way they played on the other’s emotions. And that final scene at the bar was an enamoring display of a captivating, life changing relationship at its finest — they’d both impacted one another tremendously, and for the brief time they’d known each other, they were just what the other had needed.

Once upon a time, I watched a show where a newborn was named after a character that wasn’t the real hero and the series kind of, sort of forced us to believe in that. And I’ll admit that because of that reason, naming children after dead characters is now a little tainted for me. However, Timeless may have just warmed me back to the fact that it’s actually beautiful and poetic to remember those we lost by naming our children after them. Because now, when the world looks into the eyes of Flynn and Amy Logan, they’ll see kids who’ve got goodness running through their veins — kids who were named after good people who tragically didn’t live long enough to see how far their legacy ran and the enormous impact they’d made. While Amy unfortunately never had the choice, with Flynn, his heroism comes from the decision to do as he did knowing he’d lose everything because of it. And one day when those little girls are old enough, they’ll probably know the story of their namesakes and do all that they can to be just as loving.

“The Miracle of Christmas” was a plethora of things, and at the top of that list was saving Rufus — reminding the world that good can indeed win. Flynn’s selfless decision to make a pivotal choice on Christmas Eve to sacrifice all that he has for a cause kickstarted it all and gave the Time Team a Christmas they’ll remember. A Christmas where they could believe in miracles and sacrificial adoration. And because it’s Christmas-time, I can’t help but state that Jesus, too knew that he’d die after everything, but he did so anyway. And that’s the whole point of goodness taking us back to the fact that when it’s done without expecting anything in return, it’s truly the most magical form of it. Rufus making his grand entrance with “Merry Christmas ya filthy animals” is every bit the perfect pop culture nod this show’s exceptional in. (And it may be the thing I’m going to miss most.) One of the things Timeless needs to be commended on is their treatment of people of color, LGBTQ, and minorities. It’s such a sad thing to give a show credit for, because it should be a norm, but the need to credit is showcase of how little diversity is actually out there despite how far we’ve come. And I’m thankful to have watched a show where none of these characters were killed off for shock value — the series valued Black history, women’s history, minorities and so forth, so well, it became it’s shining contribution to the television world, and the main reason I’m so sad to see it go.

And in the end, it gave us a Lebanese-American woman and a Black man, happily in a relationship running a big business together (Riya Industries). I mean, c’mon! Blessed be. Riya Industries (Though I’m not too fond of the ship names actually used in canon, personally.) is more than just science and community, it’s the future. It’s two people who’ve been through hell and back diving into something bigger than they could’ve ever imagined helping make the world a better place than it used to be. When you know how dark history was, you’ll do everything in your power to ensure that the future is better, and the choice to give back time and time again is so perfectly suited for this pair. We knew they’d do big things, but here’s the proof that they did in fact do big things and do so together. To have both their lives serve as a massive purpose after everything they’ve been through to preserve their futures is so rewarding to see as a viewer, and it allows the characters to shine in a way that’s truly so riveting. If we were given the chance to see more, I would’ve loved to see how they go into the future dealing with the time they’d spent apart, it would deal with some of my favorite tropes as a viewer and it’s saddening that we’ll never get that opportunity. But what’s always made Rufus and Jiya such a breath of fresh air has been their ability to laugh together — loud and proud, the two of them have always had an exquisite language in their means of communication making them such a sweet and memorable duo.

From the very beginning, Timeless has emphasized one of the most important themes in life, which Parks and Recreation mentioned so beautifully, too “Nobody achieves anything alone.” And it doesn’t diminish human strength or individuality, but it accentuates the fact that human beings are not designed to be alone — we’re strong and capable individually, but with a partner, a team on our side, we’re unstoppable. And that’s the one thing the Time Team had that Rittenhouse didn’t — an actual team, steadfast loyalty, and sincere love. A love that’s been the very anchor from day one that’s always had them coming back to each other in the end. A love that’s made each of them better, stronger versions of themselves. And to celebrate that love at Christmas time especially warms my heart to bits. Whether it’s the sacrificial love of a man who’d found purpose again, the love of an incomparable leader like Denise Christopher who’s adored each of the team members like family, two nerds appreciating every bit of one another, or two lost souls finding their way back to each other and understanding that they’ve been meant to be all along, I’m solid.

And from the very beginning, there’s always been something special between the soldier and the historian. Wyatt and Lucy finding their way back to one another was the icing on top of an already tasteful cake. But most importantly, their future served as a reminder of the fact that loving someone is a choice, meant to be or not, you choose to love someone every day of your life. I appreciated Wyatt making it clear that he’d chosen Jessica out of duty, out of honor, and because of the genuine belief that it was the right thing to do. And if you’ve been reading my reviews from the beginning, then you know that all I’ve ever wanted for these two was for Wyatt to choose Lucy even when Jessica was in the picture. It’s been Wyatt and Lucy all along, two people who’d grown to love one another as they are while being the beacon of  hope and strength the other’s needed. Lucy’s goodness, her heartfelt, steadfast desire to do the right thing inspired Wyatt significantly showing him the meaning of life after his had ventured in a negative direction. And Wyatt’s encompassing adoration, his unwavering belief in her has been just what she’s needed. I’m grateful we got to see them in a yet another stunning moment of casual intimacy because the two have always been most compelling in spectacles where they unveil just how much they treasure one another. And also, the scene with their daughters in the future made my heart explode into a thousand little pieces of adorable unicorn tears. I couldn’t end this without revealing that.

I have a complaint about this finale and a bone to pick with the editing department for the headache inducing lighting, but I’ll choose to talk about hope, forgiveness, and churches. A church is a place of hope — no matter your faith, when you’re inside of a church, for a moment, all we have is our belief. Our faith, and the desire to have hope. The choice to believe that God is listening to our greatest, innermost longings and working alongside us to make it a reality. He’s guiding us, filling us with immense, incomparable adoration, and hope. And that’s exactly what I felt watching both couples declare their love for one another — hope. I’m infinitely thankful that one of my favorite shows included a scene this profoundly evocative because personally, it makes it that much more special. Churches are made for prayers and promises, whether good or bad, they’re made to remind us of something that’s bigger than ourselves. When I was a little girl, it would bother me that both unions and funerals took place in a church, but as I got older, I understood that they’re both a part of life. And while funerals mean an end, churches promise us that we’ll see those people again someday. It’s an end for those of us mourning, but it’s a beginning for those departing. Thereby, giving the two couples a chance to declare their love for one another in quiet, intimate moments inside of a church was something I didn’t know I needed until we got it. It was a time for apologies, a time for heartfelt declarations, and a time for unspoken promises. And most importantly it was about choice. It was a reminder that we’d see Flynn again someday. It was a reminder that the present deserves to be seized, because when two people love each other, nothing should matter other than their unwavering loyalty to one another.

At its core, Timeless has always been a show about togetherness, it took ridiculously smart but neglected individuals and put them on a quest to save the world when they couldn’t even save themselves. And the realism behind that has been the very thing that gripped me from the beginning — none of these characters were ever perfect; in the two years we knew them, they’ve each screwed up in some way, but in the end, they chose to better themselves. They chose to believe in each other, and in the midst of the chaos, they choose to knit scarves for Christmas gifts with the hope of giving them. (It was little moments like this that I could honestly write novels on. Denise Christopher’s choice to bring holiday cheer to the bunker made the episode what it was — realistic. Living in the midst of the troubles, especially around the holidays is what life’s all about. P.S. are those scarves for sale because I’d like one.) They chose to celebrate each other. They chose to apologize, they chose to believe in the impossible, they chose to take risks, they chose to trust, and most importantly, they chose to love time after time. And in what may just be the absolute greatest montage I’ve ever watched, we were reminded of the very foundation of this show’s beauty. (No, but seriously, I was tempted to just have this entire review be centered around the montage. The shot of Flynn opening the journal while the Stranger Things-esque melody began stunned me. Then for it to end with the team back at Mason Industries? I was in full-blown tears, my friends.) The show’s built and fortified through a love that’s truly unbreakable — the Time Team, all seven of them, would do anything for each other. “The Miracle of Christmas” was rushed, there were parts of it that were anti-climactic, messy, and some aspects still don’t make the kind of sense it could have had the writers had more time, but it was beautiful nevertheless. It was the kind of finale that did its job of reminding viewers of what matters in this world: love, friendships, empathy, acceptance, and hope. It gave and it took, but it did so with some profoundly moving moments. I’ll be talking about this finale and the montage for a long, long time. The good, the bad, the ugly, “The Miracle of Christmas” was a conclusion I’m choosing to be grateful for.

What are your thoughts on the Timeless finale? I know this is very different from the reviews I’d written in the past, but if I stuck to that method we’d have over ten pages of emotions. Thank you all for sticking with me the past two years — watching this show has been a gift from the beginning, and writing about it has been so rewarding. Now that it feels like a little mini-series, I’ll never stop rewatching it — who’s with me? Cheers, Timeless. Thank you to all involved.

ByGissane Sophia
Check us out on Twitter@MarvelousGeeks_

 

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