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The Time Traveler's Wife - 1.2 - Review

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  The Time Traveler’s Wife “Episode Two” was written by Steven Moffat and was directed by David Nutter. The theme of this episode was that you can’t change fate. What’s meant to be is meant to be and there’s no stopping it. Once again the episode focused primarily on Clare (Rose Leslie) and Henry (Theo James) with Henry telling Clare a lot more about himself – and his mother Annette (Kate Siegel) and father Richard (Josh Stamberg).

While the episode picks up on Clare and Henry’s second date, the story is really about Henry. A lot of time is devoted to giving us a very little bit more information on how time travel works in the show. Again, unlike most time travel narratives, in this series, not only can multiple iterations of Henry be present at any given time, they can also interact, like 24 year old Henry wrapping 8 year old Henry in a blanket after the car accident that killed Annette. And then, of course, there’s that sex scene with Henry at 16! He’s not wrong… most 16 year old boys would at least think about it! I loved Clare teasing him about turning gay for himself. And yes, that is right out of the novel in case you were wondering.

I really liked that we got such an in-depth look at Henry’s mother. We only got glimpses of his dad, and I wonder if he is still alive. There was a lot of cool things that time travel brought to the story – such as Clare and Henry hearing Annette answer her question – and that they were both hearing it for the first time. Not so cool, was the fact that Henry is drawn back to moments of trauma, in particular.

There were a couple of other moments that stood out in the episode for me. I like that when Clare pointed out that Henry had molded and shaped her to love him – and only him, Younger Henry – “asshole” Henry – finally figured out that Clare was there to make HIM the better version of himself that she fell in love with! I also loved the cryptic remark from Henry that he would tell Clare why he’s said when she’s served a banana latte by a waiter with green hands on the shore of Lake Cuomo… and then it happens in the most unlikely way possible. The banana latte isn’t what she ordered, it’s delivered by a waiter (Major Attaway) who is also a children’s performer – ready for his gig later that afternoon – and there’s a painting of Lake Cuomo hanging in the cafĂ©. In fact, Henry was taking Clare to a different restaurant, and she decided to prove that fate had nothing to do with them and you could always change what was going to happen…Fun! Also? Attaway is terrific as the waiter in this scene.

I have to admit that I was really agreeing with Clare that Henry was an asshole until we got to see so much of his childhood trauma, and how he was essentially forced to watch the worst moments of his life again and again. James is also fantastic as 24 year old Henry trying to teach 8 year old Henry (Jason David) how to steal. His desperation to get the younger version of himself to pay more attention to the lessons and take them more seriously because of the danger he’s going to be in constantly comes through clearly. Older Henry also has to convince his younger self about fate – which is a nice parallel to his doing the same with Clare. Leslie is equally good in the episode as she struggles to understand this younger version of the man she fell in love with.

I thought this was another solid episode. What would you especially like to happen in the next few episodes? What did you think about this episode? If you could time travel, when would you go? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!

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