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.
For the past few years, this category’s been the most difficult — trying to pick through my favorites without too much repetition from past years and the desire to give other characters the opportunity to be on here as well. But my inability to choose could’ve been due to the fact that there just weren’t that many options in the first place. And this year’s special — in both the TV verse and cinematic. And these ten characters are ones I’m certain I could not love more even if I tried. Some old with exceptional growth and some new pushing me into a state of gratitude for just how great TV’s been this year.
For more end of the year reviews, check out our Top 10 Performers, 10 Relationships and 10 Episodes.
- Lucy Preston
I don’t think there’s ever been a character as adored as quickly as Timeless’ Lucy Preston. And season two pulled the darling historian through the darkest of revelations only to have her come out of it even more generous than before. Lucy’s heart is inexpressible –there hasn’t been a character like her in a while, and it’s been a stunning ride watching her continuously open her heart despite the fact that the one person she trusted most in her life turned out to be the villain in her story. Whether it was fighting alongside the women who were to be executed during the Salem Witch Trials, standing with Suffragette Alice Paul, or welcoming Jessica to the team despite her feelings for Wyatt — Lucy’s benevolence is selflessness in its most evident form. She is nobility personified, for even when she could be choosing for herself, fighting for her own future, the other person’s effect is always taken into deep consideration, too. But the thing I appreciate most about Lucy is that even with all the compassion running in her veins, she’s not one to allow anyone to take advantage of her — she understands that goodness and naiveté aren’t the same thing. She’s fought back when she needs to. She’s cried when she’s been in pain. She’s doubted. She’s believed. She’s gotten excited. She’s shown viewers a wide range of emotions authenticating the fact that women are beautifully complex. She’s many things, but above all, she’s a woman who’s walked through fire and instead of letting it burn her, she’s used it to fuel the good fight instead. She’s walked out with the flames as phoenix feathers — stronger, wiser, and even more compassionate than before.
Who lives. Who dies. Who tells your story?
Episode Summary | Time in History: Where didn’t we go is the question? What didn’t we do? Who didn’t we meet? Timeless’ explosive, remarkably bold two-hour finale did a number on our hearts and there are no words. (Seriously though, there are no words. I’ve been staring at this article for an hour now.) Both “The General” and “Chinatown” carried the weight of sincerity in an encompassing finale that explored raw human emotions beautifully. Timeless and its characters are a representation of its viewers, they’re terrorized, broken, privileged, hurting, loving, fearful, strong, and so much more. And if this two-part finale reminded us of anything, it’s that the world we live in is not only far more vast than we can imagine, but it was an acute ode to the fact that every human being’s story matters. We are made up of our beliefs, our fights, our journeys, our heartaches, and sometimes, our quiet solitude. It’s been one heck of a season with none of our characters in the same place as they begun and if that’s not superb character development through intricate storytelling, then I don’t know what is.
There’s a fight in all of us. There’s a fight in all of them. And to find that fight is to find ourselves, only we must be cautious that through every little change, we choose each other over and over again. The human race is dependent on kindness. It’s dependent on adoration. And it’s dependent on stories. As much as this is a homage to season two, a review of these episodes that aired, it’s also a plea for a renewal — it’s the choice to dissect why these stories matter. And no matter what this show’s future holds, this two-part finale left us with an extraordinary message — find your fight and run towards it. Don’t stop until you have it.
Episode Summary | Time in History: 1981! Sometimes, we save historical figures but other times, we save one of our own, and this week on Timeless, that’s exactly what we did. When the time team follows the mothership to the 80s, they quickly come to find that the Rittenhouse sleeper agent’s objective is to wipe out Denise Christopher from existence. Jiya accompanies them in the fourth seat because Flynn’s alive at the time so he can’t do so. Rufus is still extremely anxious over his forthcoming “death” (let’s be real, that’s not happening, or at least, it better not.) Jessica drops a massive bombshell on Wyatt. Flynn and Lucy discuss the journal. And once again, conversation saves the day. Also, Denise Christopher for President.
Timeless continues to shine for its authenticity — consistently being the series that chooses to have significant conversations through a groundbreaking, organic approach. While there’s a great amount of progress that’s taken place in our world today, there’s still a lot of hesitation, cultural and religious approaches that play a massive role in the lack of acceptance. But the importance of conversation is the key to achieving that all-inclusive love that I presume all Holy books discuss. While I can personally only vow with the Christian perspective as The Bible is the only one I’ve read, I imagine that every religion’s foundation is love. There’s no holy book out there that teaches the world to hate, and to deny this fact is an insult to the God who’s served. That said, incorporating both Indian culture and Hinduism into the episode in order to tell us Denise Christopher’s story was a remarkable way of illuminating something that’s a rarity in the television realm. It was a bold, beautifully raw form of representation that easily left me, and presumably many others, speechless. It’s not often that we see an Indian woman in charge of a prodigious operation, and it’s even rarer when they’re a part of LGBTQ+ community, which is where Timeless excels at giving us diversity at its supreme.
This is a show that chooses to tell the stories that aren’t often told because there’s a great understanding of diversity, the celebration of all sorts of human beings and its importance for future generations. “The Day Reagan Was Shot” had very little to do with President Reagan himself but everything to do with our Time Team and the choices they’ve made to be where they are today. And it’s the choices they’ve made to engage in honest conversations that has led to impeccably life altering moments, all while saving their lives.
Be loud. Be proud. “It was we the people, not we the white male citizens, but we the whole who formed this Union.”
Episode Summary | Time in History: 1919, New York City and a lot’s at stake for women when Suffragette Alice Paul is arrested then killed by a sleeper agent before she makes her noteworthy speech meant for President Woodrow Wilson. The team, now accompanied by fourth member, Flynn attempt to save the day by seeking the help of detective Grace Humiston, our very own Mrs. Sherlock Holmes. A surprising ally however manages to help the team save women’s rights as we know it and while rummaging through the products they’ve collected from the Rittenhouse raid, Mason and Agent Christopher make a discovery about one of their bunker mates.
I keep thinking that perhaps Timeless is done surprising us, but the reality is each episode will probably feel like a punch in the guts when we look back at how far we’ve come and how far we could still go. And as a woman writing this, “Mrs. Sherlock Holmes” was as evocative as an hour of television can be, managing to stun me so often that live-tweeting became challenging. (Sorry, show, but you’re just too good.) There was a great deal to appreciate about this episode and there’s a great deal to discuss, but the choice to remind us of the fact that our voices matter was bravery at its finest. Credit where it’s due is always something that I’m a fan of, which is why it’s so important to acknowledge that Timeless show runners are men because so often, writing of this caliber is done by women, and it’s amazing to see that on this show, it’s men, showcasing as proof of the fact that we can be equal in gender stereotypes without the hidden misogyny that’s unfortunately present in fiction when men attempt to tell stories through the eyes of women. So, hats off, gentlemen – this show’s certainly a special one. And hats off to episode writer David Hoffman for the astounding screenplay.
“Mrs. Sherlock Holmes” gave us a glimpse into a darkness that isn’t often revealed and it did so by reminding us of the fact that our characters are all so multifaceted, so exceptionally complex it’s the ultimate treat to have the thematic elements of the show be brought to life through their eyes.
Justin Timberlake, Taylor Swift, and Lando Calrissian walk into a bar. . .
Episode Summary | Time in History: Over the hills and far away some life changing deals are made. Music is saved and all is well with Robert Johnson’s musical career with the help of Lando Calrissian, in our world known as Connor Mason who’s finally been given the terrifying opportunity to travel in his own time machine. That’s right, the fourth seat is now available and Connor gets to accompany Rufus, Lucy, and Flynn to 1936 San Antonio.
“The King of the Delta Blues” was the kind of episode that effortlessly served as proof of the fact that the relationships we have with others are ridiculously important and potent to our growth. And it also served as an acute reminder of the fact that this show’s impeccable with developing its dynamics. They’re all so easy to love, it almost seems surreal. In the case of ensemble casts such as this one, each character deserves the opportunity to shine on their own and through the relationships they’re in. And finally giving Connor Mason that moment in an episode that emphasized the importance of being someone’s fan was an excellent choice. (Kudos to Timeless for the fact that they’ve not had a filler episode so far.) This week, we’re diving into a time period that would impact music hugely and that’s easily appreciated here because not only are we massive music fans, but we’re excited to explore history apart from politics, too.
Choices. They matter. And I suppose, beer does, too.
Episode Summary | Time in History: A long time ago in a … just kidding, we didn’t actually time travel this week, well we did, but not in the traditional sense. We actually just brought young John F. Kennedy to the present with us — all the way from 1934! Yikes. But it’s still an adventure when Kennedy escapes from the bunkers, finds himself partying, and the Time Team needs to make sure they find him before Rittenhouse does. Flynn’s left behind to take care of the sleeper agent in 1934, and Jessica accompanies Wyatt and Lucy on their mission. Agent Christopher deals with her own little adventure in the hands of Carol Preston, and Rufus and Jiya coordinate things from the bunker.
“The Kennedy Curse” was yet another solid episode authenticating the fact that where there’s good company, hardships are bearable. It’s not only vital to confide in people, but it’s absolutely necessary to speak up about the things that are within us because there’s nothing more therapeutic than conversation. There’s nothing that strengthens people the way that honesty and vulnerability does — they’re traits of great importance that ultimately make for exceptional television, and thankfully, Timeless has got it covered. I know that perhaps I shouldn’t be surprised at how great this season is so far, but I’m a big believer in TV’s terrible two — so kudos to Timeless writers for somehow making this season as great as the first, a genuine rarity in this verse. “The Kennedy Curse” took each of our characters on emotionally moving journeys allowing for their circumstances to be changed based off the choices they made in order to make things better and worthwhile. And all while trying to preserve history, because if Kennedy never became President, who knows what could’ve happened to America.
All in good time. Isn’t that how the saying goes?
Episode Summary | Time in History: Centuries ago in 1692 — a dark time in Salem Village Massachusetts where over 200 women are accused of witchcraft and 20 were executed. In Timeless’ realm our very own Lucy Preston is also accused of it as is Benjamin Franklin’s mother, Abiah Folger. The Time Team with the help of Flynn and the exclusion of Wyatt travel back to find the sleeper agent before Rittenhouse does, and compelled by the truth Jiya told him earlier, Rufus makes some choices that leave him puzzled. Wyatt tries to clear things up with Jessica and in the end, we’re left with the mystery of what their future will be.
We don’t think about our choices as candidly as we probably should, but if someone watched our lives as they were occurring, the thematic essence of fate vs. free will would be a topic of great importance. And it is, truly our choices matter — they matter to the t so what happens when we’re presented with a clear vision of what the future will hold? A catastrophe of foreboding occurrences, a walk in the park, or an incredibly grey area that’s too complicated to properly analyze. Timeless has done a superb job of laying out the foundation for fate vs. free will from the very first episode when the show was meant to be about preserving history. Today, Timeless is a show about saving the world even if that means changing history, it’s about conscious choices our team must make in order to ensure that greater trauma isn’t found in the face of Rittenhouse — the threat we may have underestimated for a while. Whether it’s in their personal lives or for the sake of this great mission that’s tied to everything, I have a feeling the potency of our choices will be an ongoing theme, and one I’m most certainly okay with.
“Hollywoodland” | Timeless
And now that The Americans is officially back — Spring TV is blossoming exceptionally. (We’re just waiting patiently for the new season of New Girl!) We kicked off with a hugely impactful episode of Madam Secretary, a sweet showcase of marriage on When Calls the Heart, an incredible episode of Brooklyn Nine-Nine, an exceptional episode of Black-ish, a frustrating, but simultaneously intriguing episode of Riverdale, and a hilarious half hour of Superstore. A Series of Unfortunate Events made its second season debut and we’re definitely intrigued because the first four episodes will be covering my favorite books. But much like everyone and their mothers, we’re still buzzing about NBC’s Timeless.
Guess who’s back!? Back again …
Episode Summary | Time in History: It’s the 1940’s in Hollywood and Citizen Kane (Secret Code Name: RKO 281) is in development, except Rittenhouse sleeper agent, Calhoun (Teddy Sears), is missioned to take and deliver it to William Randolph Hearst in order to ensure that once a month, Rittenhouse is granted access to publish anything they want, no questions asked. Agent Christopher learns the truth about what’s going on with Jiya and insists that she a doctor. Wyatt and Lucy take their relationship to the next level, but it’s short lived because guess who’s back! Famous movie star Hedy Lamarr (Alyssa Sutherland) befriends our Time Team and Rufus inspires her to rightfully explore her expertise in technology.
When we go on and on about Timeless being the best thing on television right now, we aren’t exaggerating – not even a little bit, and “Hollywoodland” is tangible proof of that fact, a remarkably written episode by Matt Whitney. This is a show driven by its characters, and this week, its character drove one another towards a type of growth that’s beautifully present amongst two people who’ve effortlessly changed one another for the better. It happens in presence of love, whether platonic or romantic, the unification of people who are each other’s halves is often the very definition of a poetic masterpiece. And sometimes, poetry is tragic, it’s unexpected profoundly life altering tragedy. It aches and tears away at parts of the being that words cannot even begin to touch and the places where hope used to dwell, despair and darkness follows. But in the bleak process of said darkness, tremendous, unparalleled growth also happens, and the deepest, most potently heartfelt choices are then made.