Timeless Season 2 Episode 2
Gear up Clockblockers! We’re headed to Darlington, South Carolina September 4, 1955 for the Darlington 500! Our favorite time travelers are tasked with finding Rittenhouse’s sleeper agent and putting an end to whatever plot they have brewing – but they’re going to need some help. I’ll admit when I first read the episode summary I wasn’t as excited as I have been for other episodes. Fancy cars and fast driving? Not my thing. But Timeless is my thing so I dove in head first and came up pleasantly surprised. Dive into my review to see why!
The Price of Information
When the alert of the Mothership’s time jump comes in, Lucy and the rest of the team are stumped as to why Rittenhouse is so interested in South Carolina 1955. There’s no major historical event or person of significance connected to that time and place. At a loss as to what Rittenhouse is up to, Lucy convinces the team to let her talk to Flynn – who knows more about Rittenhouse than any of them. After a bit of back and forth between the two, including a stab at Lucy not knowing her own mother was Rittenhouse, Flynn gives them an address he found on a Rittenhouse agent he killed. 145 Fuller St, Darlington South Carolina. As Lucy and Agent Christopher leave his cell Flynn lets them know that while this information is free, the next time they need his help it will cost them.
Oh Flynn. Morally ambiguous, cunning, ruthless Flynn. I have missed you. You may only have a small bit of screen time this episode, but you steal the scene. I really hope the writers have more Flynn in store for us as the season progresses. It would be a waste of such a compelling character if they didn’t.
The address Flynn gives them turns out to be just a house owned in 1955 by a Ryan Millerson. The name means nothing to most of the team but Wyatt jumps on it immediately explaining that Ryan Millerson is one of NASCAR’s greats. I’m pretty sure the blank looks he earns from the rest of the team mirror my own when it comes to anything to do with race car driving. The fanboying doesn’t stop with Ryan Millerson though, oh no. At the track Wyatt is every kid in Disneyland. Pointing out the cars, original stockcars not restorations you know, and falling into a state of awe when he sees Wendell Scott, the first African American NASCAR driver. After helping Wendell deal with a bit of trouble from another driver, Wyatt’s fanboy admiration only grows as the two bond over Wendell’s car and mutual bootlegging history. His excitement is adorable and almost contagious. Almost.
Shining a Light on History
Speaking of Wendell Scott, I’d never heard his name prior to this episode. I just passed that off as not being a NASCAR fan but when I talked to a few racing fans they didn’t recognize the name straight away either. Take a moment to let that sink in. NASCAR fans didn’t immediately recognize the name of a driver who made history in the sport. THAT is just one of the many reasons why Timeless is not only a good show but an important one. Along with making history fun and interesting it also shines a light on historical figures that sometimes get forgotten. It makes sure their stories are told and I love that. I absolutely love that!
I may not have known the name Wendell Scott before this, but “The Darlington 500” peaked my interest and now, after some research, I’d feel reasonably confident giving a school report on the man.
Wyatt’s adorable fanboying comes to a crashing halt when he learns that childhood hero Ryan Millerson is the sleeper agent that Rittenhouse planted. It was actually a pretty nice twist since the beginning of the episode had set Ryan, and his pregnant wife, up to be Rittenhouse’s targets. You do have to give Ryan credit for a part well played. Lucy, Wyatt, and Rufus had no idea he was who they were after until they discovered the bomb under the hood of his car. A bomb that is intended to take out all the big car company CEOs and their top engineers, giving Rittenhouse control of the booming car industry. Well played Ryan, well played.
Speaking of Rittenhouse and its agents, if the goal of the Timeless writers is to make me dislike Emma more and more each episode they are off to a brilliant start. She did have some really cute shoes this episode though.
Some Painful Personal History
Thanks to a little help from Wendell in the form a fire extinguisher grenade and some fast driving our team is able to escape before Emma can have them killed. Back at Wendell’s garage Wyatt shares some of his personal history. I won’t give away all the details because Matt Lanter’s performance here is well worth the watch if you haven’t already. Hell, it’s worth a rewatch even. I know I did, multiple times. I will say it has to do with his childhood, a father who doesn’t deserve that title, and what put him on the path of running illegal substances over the Texas border. It was raw. It was emotional. And it was nice to see a character like Wyatt dig that deep. I know I said it before but I’m going to say it again (and probably again), I love the way the writer’s handle Wyatt’s character.
Yeah they had their own heading last week and they’re getting their own again this week. They’ll probably have their own heading every week with the way things are going.
Wendell agrees to help sneak them back onto the Darlington 500 track. Everyone there is on the lookout for the three of them so they have to get creative. This means Lucy and Wyatt end up in the hidden compartment in the trunk of Wendell’s car. Claustrophobic Lucy is not handling that well so of course Wyatt’s answer is to have her hang onto him. Smooth Wyatt, very smooth. The Lyatt shippers thank you very much for that. Their conversation does help to bring them closer together though. After learning what Wyatt’s father did she knows he understands the feeling of having a parent you’d admired let you down in the worst possible way. He gets it and will be there to help her come to terms with and get through her mother’s betrayal. It’s another bonding platform in this relationship they are slowly building.
And yes I’ll admit there was a little fangirl squealing at the kiss that almost was. But only a little. Honest.
Second Guesses and Hesitations
There were a few times where I though Ryan Millerson would get cold feet and walk away from the mission Rittenhouse assigned him. He’d been there nearly 10 years, had fallen in love, gotten married, and was expecting a child. He’d built a life and there are moments where it seems like he doesn’t want to give that all up. Any doubts he may have been having were forced away when Emma brought his pregnant wife to the track though. Ever classy, Emma threatens to kill her if he doesn’t follow through. No way is Ryan backing out now. Wyatt not only learned that one of his childhood heroes was actually Rittenhouse but he ends up having to shoot him. But not before Ryan had armed the bomb. The upside to that is we get to see Wyatt’s pretty badass driving skills.
Past Meet Future
Back at the beginning of the episode while Rufus is doing some repairs on the Lifeboat, Jiya has another one of her visions. This time it’s of a burn on Rufus’ arm. While in Wendell’s garage Rufus does burn his arm, exactly the way that Jiya saw it. She’s pretty freaked out when she sees the burn herself.
Can’t really blame her for that. I’d be freaked too if I was seeing glimpses of the future.
Mason is really having a difficult time being stuck in the bunker. So difficult he schedules himself to speak at a tech conference, something Agent Christopher is understandably against. I feel for Connor Mason, I do. If I were in his shoes I would go stir crazy too. I would want to start trying to salvage my reputation and lay the blocks to begin rebuilding my business but doing so while Rittenhouse is still out there is just plain stupid. While this side story didn’t really hold my interest, it didn’t take away from the episode either which is good, and I have a feeling that it’s going to lead to something bigger down the line.
It appears up until this point Nicholas Keynes hasn’t been the great leader that Rittenhouse had hoped he would be. He’s been rejecting modern technology like tablets opting instead to print out Wikipedia articles, demanding 1900’s era comforts like a Victrola, painting, and wanting pickled eggs (yuck). Emma, in particular, shows a great lack of confidence in him despite admonishment from Carol. That all changes when Nicholas reveals a mural he painted. A map to the better future they will creat. Perfection everlasting.
While the mural and his speech inspire awe in Emma, Carol suddenly looks a little apprehensive. Is granddad’s big scheme suddenly too much for her now that she can see it so clearly?
Despite my initial misgivings I’ll admit to loving this episode. The piece of his past that Wyatt shared brought a better understanding to who he is and why and it brought him and Lucy a little closer together. Rufus got to meet another important historical African American in Wendell Scott, who knew NASCAR would never give a trophy to a black man but raced anyway to prove he was the best. Rufus may even had invented the head nod. More about Jiya’s visions were revealed. And Rittenhouse’s plans are now, literally, painted out. It was silly and serious. Fun and intense. Sweet and a little scary. It was fantastic!
Fancy cars and fast driving still aren’t my thing, though.
Missed my review last week? No worries! You can find it here!
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