In the series premiere of Timeless, we’re introduced to a world where time travel is possible. The pilot episode sees a team hastily put together to bring a time-traveling criminal back to the present day before he can rewrite the past and change the future. The only rule is that they can’t interfere with the past, though they find this is easier said than done.
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Past and Present
Opening with the Hindenburg disaster of 1937, Timeless shows us the passengers aboard the infamous blimp excitedly looking out the windows. Reporters below quickly snap photographs and jot notes into their notebooks. Hindenburg workers throw down ropes to people on the ground who start pulling the aircraft down. Then we see a hole inside the Hindenburg. A worker inside touches a metal railing which sparks and creates an explosion. The Hindenburg burns and crashes to the ground.
Then it’s back to present day. Clearly, Timeless is just getting started.
We meet Lucy, a history professor, recognized more for following in her mother’s footsteps than her own work. After her class, a colleague informs her that she’s not receiving tenure this year, which devastates her as she’s worked hard to become a staple at the school.
Saddened, she returns home, where her sister Amy sits next to their mother’s sick bed. Their mother lies unresponsive with oxygen tubes in her nose. Lucy and her sister leave the room to talk about Lucy’s disappointment at not getting tenure, and Lucy worries about paying the bills, joking that they can’t pay them with Amy’s podcast money.
A group of men invade a building, Mason Industries, where innocent coders and analysts eagerly await their weekly Taco Tuesday. The men threaten the workers with guns, shooting one of their security guards. They make their way into the giant machine in the center of the room, and, after much whirring, the capsule disappears into thin air.
Building the Team and Visiting the Past
The doorbell rings, and Lucy opens her door to find a man who introduces himself as Agent Kondo from Homeland Security. He informs her that they need her help. They travel to Mason Industries, where Lucy meets Agent Denise Christopher and another man, Wyatt Logan, who she’ll soon be working with. Connor Mason, the presumed company founder, soon joins them as they enter the headquarters.
Denise informs them that Garcia Flynn, an ex-NSA asset who previously killed his family, stormed Mason Industries with his men and stole a time machine. Lucy and Wyatt watch the security footage and can’t believe their eyes. Denise likely just learned about the existence of a time machine as well, as she remarks that Mason created it but didn’t tell the government until it was stolen by terrorists.
They present Lucy and Wyatt with their earliest time machine prototype, which they call the Life Boat. With it, they’ll be able to not only travel through time but also determine when (not where) Flynn has fled. Noticing the date of May 6, 1937, Lucy realizes that he’s traveled to the time of the Hindenburg disaster.
Denise informs Lucy that she needs her to travel back in time after Flynn. Lucy is alarmed, but Denise tells her that they need a historian to go back so the team can keep a low profile. Wyatt, a trained soldier, will also be going on the mission. Mason Industries’ coder Rufus is ordered to go accompany the two, although he’s understandably against traveling back in time at all. He points out, “I’m black. There’s literally no place in American history that’d be awesome for me.”
The trio changes into new wardrobes more appropriate for 1937 America, although Lucy finds flaws with the details, stating that the clothing isn’t accurate. She points out that underwire bras weren’t invented yet.
The team gathers in the time machine, and soon enough, they arrive in the past. Stumbling out of the machine, they look to the sky and see the Hindenburg traveling through the air.
After walking through town, they enter a bar. Rufus almost immediately feels uncomfortable, and Lucy tells him to wait outside and avoid eye contact with anyone. Lucy and Wyatt spot Kate Drummond, a known reporter. Wyatt is intrigued by her, telling Lucy that she reminds him of someone. They introduce themselves to her and ask if she’s seen the man in their photo, Flynn. She informs them that he was there about two hours ago, but he left to join the ground crew to help bring down the Hindenburg.
Lucy and Wyatt leave, and Lucy tells him that Kate will die that day. He seems upset, but she tells him that it’s Kate’s time, reminding him that they can’t change the past.
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On the field beneath the Hindenburg, Lucy, Wyatt and Rufus search for Garcia. Lucy approaches a man who she recognizes as Commander Rosendahl. She introduces Wyatt as Dr. Dre and herself as Nurse Jackie and informs the commander that they’re from General Hospital searching for one of their patients. She shows him the photo of Garcia, stating that he’s very sick and needs to be brought back right away. The commander, worried for the welfare of the ground crew, tells his men to look for Flynn.
Wyatt finds Kate in the crowd and runs to save her life. But instead of crashing, the Hindenburg lands gracefully on the field. They realize Flynn saved the Hindenburg by never letting the ropes touch the ground, protecting it from sparking and igniting. Meanwhile, Lucy chases after Flynn, but one of his men grabs her from behind. Luckily, Wyatt’s there to save her, shooting the man and killing him. Rufus finds what he originally thought was a radio on the man, but it turns out to be a detonator for a bomb. The three realize that Flynn didn’t want the Hindenburg to blow up upon its arrival; he wants to blow it up when it departs, catastrophically altering the timeline and killing important historical figures.
Before the team can stop Flynn, they’re arrested. In their cells, Kate asks Wyatt about his fascination with Kate. He admits that she reminds him of his late wife, Jessica.
They team soon switches its focus to escaping. Wyatt realizes he can pick the locks of their cell with the wire from Lucy’s bra. He tells Rufus to create a distraction. Rufus asks for a glass of water, but after being treated with disrespect from the cop, he begins ranting at him about how he hopes he lives to see Michael Jordan dunk and Michael Jackson dance. He tells him, “History is not on your side.”
The cop leaves but soon returns with another police officer, and they look ready for a fight. They approach Rufus’ cell with their batons out. Wyatt hurries to pick the lock and then, just in time, attacks one of the guards while Rufus knocks the other unconscious with his own nightstick. They hurriedly lock the officers in Rufus’ former cell and depart to save the Hindenburg.
The Hindenburg, Part 2
Aboard the Hindenburg, they encounter Kate again. She’s frightened by Wyatt, who she believed had attacked her during his initial rescue attempt, but they quickly tell her that there’s a bomb on the Hindenburg and that the man they showed her in the photograph planted it. She tells them that she saw Flynn in the kitchen. They enter and search for the bomb, only to find it underneath a counter. Rufus and Lucy head to the cockpit to convince the pilots to land while Wyatt tries to diffuse the bomb.
Rufus and Lucy hold knives to the pilots’ throats, threatening them to land the Hindenburg. Lucy tells them that they’re from the Anarchist Black Cross.
Wyatt struggles to determine how to stop the bomb when he is attacked by Flynn’s men. Eventually, he’s able to cut the wires in time to diffuse the explosive when one of the men fires his gun. The bullet misses Wyatt and ricochets through the Hindenberg, creating a hole that results in a fiery explosion.
The team and Kate hurriedly jump out of a window and land safely on the ground, but their mission isn’t over yet. Flynn grabs Lucy. He claims to know all about her, including her name, her father’s death and her wishes to follow in her mother’s footsteps. He shows her a book written in her handwriting. She says she didn’t write that; he tells her she will. Flynn then tells her to ask why she was chosen for the mission and to ask the people at Mason Industries what “Rittenhouse” is.
Wyatt approaches and shoots at Flynn, and Flynn shoot back. Wyatt moves out of the way, but Kate was behind him and takes the hit. Lucy and Wyatt hold her as she dies on the ground and the Hiddenberg burns around them.
Lucy, Wyatt and Rufus arrive back at Mason Industries. They learn that history’s been rewritten. The history books say that the Anarchist Black Cross was responsible for the event. Lucy soon asks Denise what Rittenhouse is, but she claims she doesn’t know.
Lucy theorizes that Flynn is trying to “kill Americans in the crib.” He wants to rewrite history before it’s even written.
Lucy returns home and calls for Amy. Not receiving an answer, she wanders into the kitchen and finds her mother healthy and cooking. Lucy cries with happiness, unable to understand how this happened. Her mother asks where Lucy’s engagement ring is, but Lucy dismisses it to instead ask where Amy is. Her mother doesn’t know who she’s talking about. Picking up a family photograph, Lucy realizes that her sister’s been erased from history. Her phone then rings. It’s Denise ordering her back to Mason Industries. They have another lead on Flynn. Lucy, determined to get her sister back, asks, “When?”
What’d you think of the premiere of Timeless? Do you think Lucy will be able to alter history to get Amy back?
Timeless season 1 airs Monday nights at 10/9c on NBC. Want more news? Like our Facebook page.
(Image courtesy of NBC)