In “Karma Chameleon,” Timeless takes us to the 1980s as Wyatt attempts to stop the parents of his wife’s killer from ever meeting. But while you can expect plenty of timely pop culture references, there’s nothing fun about this trip to the past. Will Wyatt succeed in saving his wife from the hands of a murderer? Read on to find out.

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Following a Plan

“Karma Chameleon” begins with Wyatt knocking on Lucy’s front door. He apologizes for the late hour but informs her that he’s stealing the time machine with Rufus to travel back in time and prevent his wife’s murder. After reminding him how much trouble he’ll get in if he steals the Lifeboat, she turns to get dressed, but he stops her. He reminds her that she has a deal with Agent Christopher that can help her get her sister back, and he doesn’t want her to jeopardize that. She asks what he’ll do if he and Rufus get into a history-based predicament, but he assures her that he’s done his research and will be fine.

Lucy asks what she can do, and Wyatt instructs her to call Christopher after giving him a 20-minute head-start. He wants her to tell Christopher everything so she won’t get into any trouble with the law. Lucy wishes him good luck, and he leaves.

Wyatt and Rufus enter Mason Industries to steal the Lifeboat. Rufus has his hands raised, and Wyatt aims a gun at him in order for it to look like Rufus is his hostage to prevent Rufus from facing blame later on. Rufus makes Wyatt promise that he won’t hurt anyone. Wyatt swears that he doesn’t plan to harm anyone; he just wants to prevent the parents of his wife’s killer from meeting.

Finding Claire and Joel

We briefly catch a glimpse of Flynn, Emma and Anthony talking about Rittenhouse and about the capabilities of the Mothership. Anthony wants to destroy the time machine, and he believes that he could get Rufus to destroy the Lifeboat. But Flynn, knowing that it’d only be a matter of time until Rittenhouse builds another time machine, insists that they follow through with their initial plan: destroying Rittenhouse.

Wyatt and Rufus, meanwhile, arrive in 1983. Wyatt shows Rufus photos of Claire and Joel, who will have a one-night stand later that evening and conceive his wife’s murderer. Unfortunately for Wyatt, Claire, who’s an airplane stewardess, arrived 20 minutes early to the airport, and he’s missed her. He approaches a group of stewardesses and asks if they know Claire. One admits that she does, and, as she’s under the impression that Wyatt and Claire are old friends, she tells him that he can find her at the Toledo Express Inn.

In the present, Lucy has called Christopher to tell her about Wyatt and Rufus. Christopher’s angry, not only because of Wyatt’s actions but also because she knows Lucy waited 20 minutes before calling her. How does she know this? Because she has a car watching Lucy’s every move in an attempt to keep her protected. Lucy informs Christopher that she would steal the Lifeboat herself if she thought it’d bring her sister back and, she believes, so would Christopher if any of her family members had to be saved.

Later, Anthony calls Jiya, looking for Rufus. Since Rufus isn’t around, he demands to speak with Lucy instead. He wants to meet face-to-face to discuss how to end all of their Rittenhouse troubles. He warns her not to wear any wires and to come alone. Lucy and the Mason Industries team debate letting her go, but, ultimately, they all decide to give this meeting a chance.

Changing Plans

In the bar of the Toledo Express Inn, Wyatt’s disappointed to learn that Claire and Joel have already met. To stop them from talking, Wyatt bumps into Claire and begins chatting with her. Rufus hovers at a table nearby, watching classic ’80s TV shows and talking about Manimal with a flirtatious woman named Becky. But just as it seems like Wyatt has the situation under control, a TV report issues a tornado warning for the area and an injured police officer bursts through the bar’s doors, informing everyone that they’re trapped there, as a tree is down on the main road. Joel, the bartender, grabs a first aid kit and hands it to Claire, who helps the officer. But Wyatt soon has the situation under control again, as he invites Claire to play a game with him, and she agrees.

Lucy, in the present, prepares to meet with Anthony. Jiya places an adhesive tracker on Lucy’s neck while complaining about how Rufus didn’t tell her that he was leaving. She says that you’re supposed to tell the people you love when you’re going away. She then asks Lucy when she found out the boys were missing, and she admits that Wyatt told her before he left.

When Lucy arrives at the meeting spot, Anthony knows immediately that she’s wearing a tracker. Although Lucy denies wearing one, Anthony soon finds and disables it. Holding Lucy at gunpoint, they make their getaway, and he puts the tracker onto a random passerby’s briefcase to lead Christopher and the team off their trail.

Once in private, Anthony shares what he knows about Rittenhouse. He tells Lucy that Rittenhouse plans on controlling everything and will completely alter history to fit their desires. The only thing standing in their way, he explains, is Flynn. But Anthony doesn’t want to be a part of Flynn’s team anymore; he wants out. He plans to destroy the Mothership, and he urges Lucy to destroy the Lifeboat as well. Understanding that she wouldn’t take him at his word, Anthony tells Lucy to listen for news of an explosion near Oakland; it will have been the Mothership. He also warns Lucy about Mason, sharing that he doesn’t trust him.

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Distractions and Curveballs

Wyatt spends time with Claire, but soon a man approaches. He claims to be someone from the flight Claire was on, and he insists on buying her a drink. She doesn’t want one, and he becomes defensive. Wyatt, however, quickly makes the man back off, standing up to him and warning him to leave. Unfortunately, that’s not the only curveball Wyatt’s thrown. A group of stewardesses, including the one he had asked about Claire, enters the Inn. The stewardess is happy that Wyatt found Claire but soon learns that Claire never met him before that night. She steers Claire away from him, and Joel kicks Wyatt out of the bar area, as it seems to everyone else that Wyatt’s a stalker.

Wyatt grows increasingly desperate, trying to figure out how to get Joel away from Claire. He decides to lure him to the back room and then take him for a ride. Rufus helps by telling Joel that there’s a flood in the kitchen. But as Rufus and Joel approach the back room, the man who tried buying Claire a drink spots Wyatt and starts a fight. Wyatt punches him, but unfortunately the cop from earlier enters and breaks them up. And as if that weren’t enough, the cop also notices Wyatt’s gun. Since Wyatt doesn’t have an ID on him, the cop arrests him.

The cop brings Wyatt into a room and, on the phone, tells the station that he’ll be bringing Wyatt in as soon as the storm eases up. Knowing that they need to act fast, Rufus rushes into the room and tells the cop that a creepy-looking young boy named Haley Joel has been hurt in the street. The cop hurries to help, and Wyatt takes advantage of his turned back to beat him. Rufus expresses alarm that Wyatt would hurt the innocent man, but Wyatt has more pressing matters at hand. He asks Rufus where Joel and Claire went and learns that they headed to a room together.

Rushing to Claire’s room, he breaks in and separates the two would-be lovers. He tells them that he doesn’t want to hurt anyone; he just can’t have them be together. Joel tries to leave, but Wyatt won’t have that. He decides to take Joel outside to go for a ride together. In the parking lot, however, Joel escapes Wyatt’s clutches. Unfortunately, due to the storm’s strong winds, Joel flips over a car and slams his head against the pavement. Wyatt goes to help him, but the man’s injury is too severe and he dies within seconds. Rufus hurriedly drags a stunned Wyatt away to the time machine.

Back to the Present

While Wyatt deals with Joel and Claire, Lucy’s speaking with Christopher about her meeting with Anthony. Alone in a car, Lucy admits that she believes they should destroy the Lifeboat once they’ve altered history to save her sister. Christopher worries about the trouble they’d be in, but ultimately, the two decide to destroy the time machine together. Christopher also echoes Anthony’s mistrust regarding Mason. She shows Lucy the photos she has of Mason meeting with a member of Rittenhouse, and Lucy quickly recognizes the man as her father.

In the Lifeboat, Wyatt worries how he’ll be able to look his wife in the eye after essentially killing an innocent man, but with Rufus’ help, he realizes that he’s saved the lives of not only his wife but also the murderer’s two other victims. Plus, even if she can’t stand what he’s done to save her, at least his wife will be alive.

The pair arrives back in present-day Mason Industries, and Wyatt is eager to learn about his wife. But Lucy has bad news for him: while the other two women were saved, his wife was still found dead, and no one ever found her killer. Wyatt’s devastated and expresses his disbelief before being handcuffed and taken away by police. While Wyatt’s removed from the site, Jiya informs Christopher that there was a large explosion in Oakland. The team travels to the area, but Rufus notes that there’s no debris from the time machine. Unfortunately, Christopher and her team do make a discovery: Anthony’s body. He was shot twice in the chest, presumably by Flynn, who had uncovered his plan to blow up the Mothership.

Lucy, meanwhile, travels to her father’s house to tell him that she knows about Rittenhouse. He says that he’s glad she knows about Rittenhouse and that it’s been difficult being away from her for so long. He also claims that Lucy is also a part of Rittenhouse, that it’s in her blood and that it’s her legacy.

How did you like this episode of Timeless? Was “Karma Chameleon” what you’d hoped it would be? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below.

Timeless season 1 airs Mondays at 10/9c on NBC. Want more news? Like our Facebook page.

(Image courtesy of NBC)

Emily Surpless

Contributing Writer, BuddyTV