Timeless Episode 5 – The Kennedy Curse
I LOVE THIS EPISODE!!
I don’t know about the rest of you, but the thought has been in the back of my mind since season 1: What would happen if, instead of our heroes travelling back in history, the history traveled to their time. Timeless did just that this week with “The Kennedy Curse” and it worked! It worked so damn well!
Put That Thing Back Where It Came From (Or So Help Me)
We start off at a boarding school in Wallingford, Connecticut on September 17, 1934 where we see a Rittenhouse agent disguised as a teacher taking a shot at a student. They don’t come right out and say who the student is, but if you know your JFK history, you probably figured out it was the young future president. Lucy confirms his identity when Wyatt and Rufus show up at the bunker with the young man in tow. Flynn being left behind to deal with the sleepers. Lucy was left at the bunker because of the injury she received in Salem. The plan is to recharge the Lifeboat and then take John back to his time and pick up Flynn. (Yes Rufus you do have to pick him up.)
Oh the best laid plans.
Things go from bad to worse when John makes a run for it. And really, can you blame the kid? I’d run too in his shoes. The team is in a panic to find him before Rittenhouse does. A world where JFK does not become the 35th President of the United States of America is a bleak world. (Thanks for the reminder Lucy.) We’ve seen our team tackle some pretty high stakes but none, I think, higher than this.
We knew with the addition of Flynn at the bunker that things would change, but with the addition of Jessica they haven’t just changed – they’ve done a complete 180. The easy and seamless camaraderie between everyone has become strained and awkward – especially between Lucy and Wyatt. They keep falling back to how they were before only to suddenly remember that things are very different now and then having to readjust. Jessica isn’t helping at all. She is trying hard to fit in and help, but doesn’t realize that she’s just making things more awkward and off-balance.
Unless my ‘Jessica is Rittenhouse’ theory turns out to be correct… In which case she knows exactly what she’s doing and she’s doing it on purpose. Bitch.
Knowledge is Power
Alone in the modern world, young John wants to get as far way from where he’s at as he can. Using his infamous Kennedy charm he hitches a ride with 3 friends on their way to Palo Alto. He ends up connecting with one of them, Kayla, enough to tell her the truth of what’s going on. Like any normal person Kayla doesn’t believe him, but she doesn’t brush him off completely either. She takes him to a party at her place where they bond more over books. Then comes the part that made me go “WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU DOING?” She pulls up JFK’s wiki page and tells John about the Kennedy Curse.
So here we have JFK learning all about how his eldest brother is killed in WWII, how his sister is killed in a plane crash, and how his brother Bobby and himself end up assassinated. Innocent enough information to Kayla who lives in a world where all of that happened decades ago, but damning to John who lives in a world decades away from it happening. I was freaking out at this. Knowing what was to come could change EVERYTHING once John ends up back home. Armed with the knowledge of fate wouldn’t you do anything you could to change it?
I think John may have tried if it hadn’t been for Kayla. Lucy may have been the one to tell him he becomes one of the greatest Presidents in history, but it was Kayla who gave him hope for the future. While he heeds Rufus’ warning to not go to Dallas on November 22nd, 1963 he seems to let everything else play out as it was meant to, preserving the future he experienced. Kayla’s future. (Yeah okay fine. I may have shipped the two of them a little bit.)
A round of applause please for Grant Jordan and his phenomenal portrayal of young JFK. He captured Kennedy’s charm and the vulnerability of a young boy alone in a strange place perfectly.
Fate vs Free Will
Jiya saw Rufus shooting a man in Salem. Rufus makes the decision not to pull the trigger but the man still dies. Rufus tells John not to go to Dallas. John goes to Austin and still ends up getting shot in the head. History doesn’t change as easily as we want it to. It seems that some things are meant to happen no matter what choices we make. Cornerstones of history so to speak. I love that Timeless is toying with this concept and it makes me wonder what it means for Rittenhouse’s plans.
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