Timeless Finally Solves The Watergate Tapes Mystery
But raises some interesting questions about where our crew is headed.
And is it possible that the Timeless writers' room had an inside track on this election months ago? The timing seems a bit odd that this week the crew gets sent off to what will now be known as the second worst presidential administration in modern American history. I certainly don't think Trump and his crew of future hate-crime perpetrators are nearly smart enough to pull off anything nearly as sophisticated as Watergate. Instead we'll just be subjected to an unending series of weekly mini-constitutional scandals centered mostly on Melania's foibles with foreign dignitaries and the Trump boys hunting endangered species in the Rose Garden.
At the White House back in 1972, however, Nixon is attempting to subvert the democratic process by undermining the Democratic Party. Our crew is sent back to keep Flynn from stealing the famous Watergate "smoking gun" tape. By the time they get there, however, he's already got it. It turns out that the missing 18 minutes from the tape dealt with -- surprise! -- Nixon's connection to Rittenhouse and the need to retrieve a doc that could ruin him. Flynn wants the document and sends Lucy and Rufus off to get it, threatening to kill Wyatt if they fail. This leads to an encounter with Mark Felt, the infamous Deep Throat from All The President's Men, and the Black Liberation Army, a fictionalized version of the Black Panthers.
Turns out the doc Nixon mentions is not a document but "Doc" -- a black female historian who worked for Rittenhouse but left and is now on the run. Interesting geeky professional historian side note: Lucy mentions working with an "Old Man McNeill" at the University of Chicago, which is probably a reference to renowned world historian William H. McNeill. Somebody on this shows knows their historiography!
Rittenhouse orders Rufus to kill the Doc but some quick thinking sends Rittenhouse and Flynn into a gun battle against each other, while Lucy and Rufus rescue Wyatt and help the Doc escape. The crew returns safely but with a damaged relationship, since it came out that Lucy had several meetings with Flynn she had not told the crew about and Rufus had been spying on them for Rittenhouse.
Before we get to some potentially interesting questions, I have a bone to pick with the show. Each time the crew returns we find out the interesting ways their journey changed history, but this time we get nothing. The story revolves around one of the greatest political mysteries of American history and they chickened out! Did Nixon not have to resign? Was the tape made public? WHAT CHANGED, you bastards?! I feel cheated.
I feel cheated in several ways, actually, but now that our future is so bright we have to wear shades (to protect our eyes from the resumption of atmospheric nuclear testing that Trump will likely authorize as revenge against every state that voted for Clinton), let's take solace in questions that don't have nation-ending consequences to their answers.
Will Wyatt and Lucy hook up?
This seems to be coming down the pike pretty quickly. After blackmailing the Feds to keep him on the team, and grabbing his face and pleading "I need you" at the Alamo, Lucy clearly has some budding feelings for Master Sergeant Milquetoast. They skipped any mention of their relationship this episode but I'm convinced it's going to happen. Apparently they may be trapped in the past next week so maybe a little hanky-panky will occur off in the bushes while Rufus is trying to fix the giant time-travelling soccer ball. I'm totally unexcited about this relationship, though. There is pretty much zero sexual tension and the only reason I would want these two to hook up is to save the rest of the world from mistakenly dating them. Maybe an episode in which they travel back in time as participants in the Masters and Johnson sex study would jumpstart things.
How will Flynn's backstory and the crew coming clean to each other affect their missions?
We finally learn what motivates Flynn and it's not nearly as intriguing as I had hoped. Basically, he stumbled on to something about Rittenhouse and they killed his family as a result. He's hoping that by destroying Rittenhouse his family will return -- the same goal that Wyatt would like to achieve regarding his wife. Will this knowledge start to win the crew over to Flynn's point of view? Wyatt also decides that Rufus will now act as a double agent -- spying on Rittenhouse for the crew while he is also spying on the crew for Rittenhouse. We seem to be getting set up for a major confrontation among Rittenhouse, the crew, and Flynn but it's unclear who will be fighting who.
How deep has Rittenhouse penetrated the government?
We finally get some information about Rittenhouse! It turns out that the organization has been around since 1778. My guess is that the origin of the group is connected somehow to the Rittenhouses of Philadelphia. Also, its members are born into it, having no choice about being involved. The Doc was one of those people, and interestingly African-American. Her escape also sets up some intriguing possibilities since she was one of the group's only members to know the names of all the other members. Flynn also seems to understand how intertwined the government and Rittenhouse is but has yet to reveal any details. Could it be possible that even -- gasp! -- Agent Christopher is a member?
What will the fallout be from Lucy meeting her biological father?
Holy shit! Well, now that mystery is solved. His name is Benjamin Cahill and he's a member of Rittenhouse! Lucy is not aware of this yet but since Rufus has met the man three times I'm guessing there will be a scene with these three at some point soon. Cahill, obviously, knows who Lucy is, and after she stumbles through a brief meeting with him at his front door he immediately informs...someone on his phone. This goes a long way to explaining why Lucy was chosen for the team, although the details are still unknown. I have to say, after a week of nothing but bad news it's nice to finally get a few nagging questions answered. I hope it continues because TV may be one of the few sources of joy over the next four years.