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Timeless - Stranded - Review

Timeless “Stranded” was written by Arika Lisanne Mittman and was directed by Holly Dale, whose incredibly long list of credits includes Chicago Med, P.D., and Fire, as well as Law & Order:SVU, NCIS, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., and Castle… Mittman’s credits include Elementary, Dexter, and Medium. This episode sees the team come back together again. And sees the entire team use Star Wars to save the Lifeboat!

Unlike most episodes, this one begins right in the middle of the action – or so we think – with Lucy (Abigail Spencer), Wyatt (Matt Lanter), and Rufus (Malcolm Barrett) running full tilt through a woods at night. Lucy is dirty enough that it’s clear that they didn’t just land. We soon learn that it is September 15, 1754.

Lucy recognizes Louis Coulon de Villiers (Salvator Xuereb) – the only man George Washington ever surrendered to – as the man who has captured them as spies. Wyatt cuts her off – he’s not in the mood for a history lesson. FYI? She’s right. I LOVE me some history lesson! Lucy admits the situation is “not ideal” and Rufus snaps. “Not ideal is not having ketchup for your french fries!” He lets us know he doesn’t like roughing it – and there’s ample evidence in the episode to demonstrate he sucks at it – but he also lets us know they’ve been there 3 days already.

The three snipe at each other. Lucy insists that they have to work together, and Wyatt points out that Rufus is still recording them for Rittenhouse – and the way that Rufus looks at his chest confirms it. It’s hilarious as Wyatt gets Lucy to feed him a French insult to goad the guard so he can do his job – get loose. Unfortunately, he kills de Villers’ son in the process.

They get away and Wyatt asks to see the recorder. Rufus doesn’t hesitate to hand it over – and Wyatt throws it in the stream beside them. Rufus is rightly worried about what he’s going to tell Connor (Peterson Joseph). They still have no idea why Flynn (Goran Visnjic) has come to this time period. But when they get back to the ship, they find Flynn’s guys attaching explosives to the ship. They manage to blow a small hole in it – but it’s enough to disable the ship and strand them. Wyatt and Rufus run after them and Wyatt tries to hold on to the Mothership, but let’s go when Rufus tells him to. There is still some trust between these three even if they don’t want to admit it.

Lucy apologizes about keeping the journal secret, but Wyatt is a lot angrier about the deal she’s made with Denise (Sakina Jaffrey) to get her sister back. He clearly wants the same deal for Jessica. Of course, screwing with the timeline isn’t what poofed Jessica out of existence. Lucy reminds him that it was him who told her to find something worth fighting for and that’s what she’s done.

Rufus is freaking out because he can’t repair the damage. The thing that concerns him the most is that he needs a capacitor – and I loved that Wyatt immediately went to Back to the Future, and asks “A flux capacitor?” Rufus disgustedly says “those don’t exist.” Lucy pushes him and talks him through how he could possibly fix it and drags a maybe out of him.

Rufus’ second problem is that he needs to cannibalize the wiring from the navigation system and that means they won’t be able to control where they land – and then he remembers protocol. Protocol is awesome! He sends a message to the future via an airtight, non-biodegradable container. They have to bury the tube deeply because it’s going to be under a suburb of Philadelphia. It’s there only option as Rufus reminds them, as he finishes his detailed calculations, that they can’t send a text.

Flynn has been back for three hours, so control has figured out that there’s a problem – either with the lifeboat or the team. Denise worries that Flynn can jump with no one to stop him. Jiya (Claudia Doumit) is immediately concerned for the team. Connor tells her to stop moping and get her head in the game – and reminds her of the protocol. Jiya insists on being on site and is impressed that Denise managed to clear the entire block. Connor tells her that he’s noticed that she and Rufus are close. She tells him that they aren’t. They went out once, but most of the time he IMs her from his desk two feet away. Connor tells her that he thinks it would mean a lot to Rufus to know how worried she is. She’s touched. And it’s nice to see Connor step up to help Rufus.

Connor gets a call from Cahill (John Getz) telling him to fix it. Connor picks up on the fact that Cahill is only concerned about Lucy and starts to question Cahill’s interest in her. Meanwhile, Denise overhears the conversation and starts to become suspicious of Connor.

Wyatt stops Rufus from eating a poisonous berry, and this is a great scene. Wyatt is angry – because he’s afraid too – but on the surface because he’s already told Rufus not to eat the red ones when they are in a bunch. Rufus blows up back at him because it’s confusing and he knows he sucks at the outdoors, survivalist crap – but that’s what they have Wyatt for. Wyatt is Delta-Force. But Wyatt fires back that Delta-Force is a team and he’s just one guy – who’s he got to rely on? He needs a team or they aren’t getting out of there. Lucy seems a lot more ready to forgive Rufus – but then she has lies to be forgiven for too.

On the way to Fort Duquesne, they are pursued by de Villers and then captured by Native Americans – Shoshone. Rufus muses that he’d really like one last Chocodile – which is a nice little Kripke Easter egg as he tweeted they are his favorite too! It gets the three of them laughing. And then Rufus also wished he’d actually told Jiya how he feels. Lucy asks how he does feel – and Barrett is adorable in this scene as he bashfully admits that he likes her. He tells them that the two went on a date once and then he was terrified to talk to her about it again. He doesn’t know why talking to someone can be so scarey – yet that’s exactly how the team got to where they are.

Lucy then tells them about her mother reading her biographies for kids when she was little. She says she always figured there’d be time to read them to her kids. Wyatt chimes in that he’d always told Jessica there was time for them to have kids. Lucy apologizes again and says that he deserves to get Jessica back. And Wyatt finally seems to accept – he would make a deal if he could and he hopes she’ll get Amy back. Rufus asks what’s the point of having a time machine if you can’t fix your regrets. Is this the start of the team working together on their own personal missions?

The three are interrupted by the arrival of Nonhelema (Karina Lombard) – who really was a Native American Chieftess – though she was Shawnee not Shoshone. Again, I love that the show has taken another opportunity to highlight a famous woman in history – the kind of history that often gets overlooked. Lucy uses the cover of Dr Quinn, medicine woman – hilarious! As it turns out, Nonhelema isn’t a fan of either the British or the French. She is ready to kill Wyatt and Lucy but is going to spare Rufus because he didn’t choose to be there.

Rufus uses the truth to beg for Lucy and Wyatt’s lives. He tells her that Lucy and Wyatt are his friends and that they’ve saved each other. They just want to go home – they aren’t supposed to be there. Rufus tells her that if she kills them, she might as well kill him too. Her brother – who is very likely the famous Cornstalk – tells her to kill them. But it’s not his decision and she’s decided that if someone like Rufus is willing to die for the likes of Wyatt and Lucy, they really can’t be from around there. She spares their lives because of Rufus’ honor.

Meanwhile, they find the tube, but it’s cracked and the parchment has decayed – and all the writing is gone. They are able to recover only two words: Death and Millennium. Connor brings a drink to Jiya and tells her how he met Rufus. He was doing charity outreach in a run-down gang-infested Chicago middle-school. Rufus had a scale model of the entire city with a monorail that rain on recycled coffee grounds. He invites him to talk after the science fair, and Rufus turns him down because he’ll be late to pick up his brother. He was impressed by a genius with a sense of responsibility and wanted to make sure that Rufus came to work for him.

Jiya then tells Connor about how she and Rufus met. He saw the tribble she’d bought at Comic Con and told her that they’d never be friends – I loved the shocked look on Connor’s face. She goes on to explain that he said she was Star Trek and he was Star Wars. She goes on to insist he’s not dead – that he’ll be back like his favorite hero – Han Solo. And that’s all she needs to completely figure out what he meant – he was talking about the Millennium Falcon and the Death Star! ALL the bonus points to the show for this Star Wars reference!

Lucy thanks Rufus, and it’s clear that they are both on the same page again. Wyatt is going to use the uniform off a dead French soldier to help them infiltrate the Fort. His cover is that he’s had a neck injury – so he can’t speak! Of course he also can’t understand, so he might have come up with an injury to his hearing as well…

Lucy and Wyatt will stall while Rufus gathers what he needs to get them home. Rufus is a smart guy, so he learns what he needs to by watching the blacksmith for a few minutes. And then, luckily, the blacksmith takes the longest lunchbreak ever. Meanwhile, Lucy and Wyatt are intercepted by the most insistently helpful – and horrifying!!! – doctor ever! De Villers arrives just as they are about to leave.

Rufus makes the repairs and they get into the Lifeboat just as de Villers and his men pepper the ship with bullets. I loved that the ship didn’t just jump – just like the Millennium Falcon! Jiya catches them mid-jump, but the landing leaves a bit to be desired! Rufus and Jiya have a moment as he disembarks and then catch up in the costume department. Rufus almost lets her walk away and then starts babbling, leaving it up to her to kiss him. These two are adorable!

The episode ends with Denise putting surveillance on Connor. The team shares a drink to decompress and laugh over them making it into history as the first UFO sighting in Colonial history. Lucy presents Rufus with some Chocodiles.

Lucy says Wyatt never asked why she didn’t tell him about the journal. He’s ready to let it go, and says because it was a cheap fake. But what really has Lucy worried is that she thinks it’s real – it looks like her handwriting. And she’s worried that this is what she’s meant to be – helping Flynn. Wyatt insists that that isn’t what she’s meant to be. Lucy reiterates that she’s always believed that there was a plan for everyone that came from some – and Wyatt finishes – higher power. She tells him that she is a spiritual type. If her job is protecting history, how can she not believe in fate? In her own fate?

Wyatt tells her to take a drink, which she does. Then he asks her, did you decide to take that drink or was it part of some pre-written history? Wyatt tells her, it was a choice, and that’s what history is. Some small, some large, but all a series of choices. If she doesn’t like the history that Flynn has written for her, then all she has to do is change it.

I was really happy to see the team come back together. While it is inevitable that there will be arguments from time to time, I hope that in general, we will see the three work mostly in harmony. I loved the pop culture references in this episode. And of course, I loved the ability of the show to highlight historical figures who may not be familiar with everyone – kind of reminds me of those biographies that Lucy’s mother used to read to her! What did you think of the episode? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!


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