Defying all kinds of odds, Timeless is returning to TV screens on December 20th with a two-part series finale, greenlit only after massive amounts of fan support, wanting the show to have some kind of real conclusion that could wrap up the plotlines left unresolved at the end of the second season. Ever since the show started, I have a bit of a mixed relationship with Timeless. For most of its first season, I felt its premise was more interesting than its execution; the idea of someone (or, as it would turn out, some evil organization) wanted to go back in time to change events in order to create a future that would be more favorable to them is an interesting one, but the show often got a bit too caught up in the various romps through time and lost sight of the overarching storyline for my liking. Much of this was fixed with season two, thanks to its shortened episode-count and the grander scope of its overarching storyline. By the end of the season, I was genuinely onboard with what the show was doing. I wanted to know why Rittenhouse was doing what they were doing and I wanted to see how the Time Team would ultimately stop them. And then, the show was canceled on an unholy cliffhanger: Rufus (Malcolm Barrett) was killed by a Rittenhouse agent and the rest of the Time Team had to leave him behind in order to escape. After getting back to the present day, they are greeted by future versions of Lucy (Abigail Spencer) and Wyatt (Matt Lanter) who ask if they want to save Rufus. The idea that the show would end with that cliffhanger was an awful one, so thankfully NBC is bringing it back for a two-hour series finale, The Miracle of Christmas. After the break, I will talk about what my hopes for the finale are. (Note: I have NOT seen the finale so all of this is speculation/wants and not teasers or spoilers.)
Reuniting the Gang
Chinatown left off on that pretty crazy cliffhanger featuring future incarnations of Lucy and Wyatt recruiting their past incarnations on a mission to save Rufus. So, naturally, I want to see Rufus get reunited with everyone. It’s obvious that that’s going to happen (and there are a number of promo pictures featuring him with the rest of the gang, so it’s not exactly a state secret that he’ll get reunited with everyone) but I still want to see just how they go about doing so. I love Rufus; aside from Flynn, he’s probably my favorite character on the show, so I am always excited to see him around and it’s always a lot of fun when shows do the “we have to save our friend from certain death” storyline, so I’m excited to see how Timeless handles it.
What’s Up with Future Lucy and Wyatt?
The season 2 finale ended with future incarnations of Lucy and Wyatt arriving in the present day, theoretically breaking all the time-travel rules set up in this universe. What’s up with that? I’ve read some interviews that suggest we’ll quickly learn just what happened in the future that led Lucy and Wyatt to this point and also how they’re able to come back in time and visit their past selves, so I’m definitely interested in how that all plays out. I like stories where future versions of characters break all the rules in order to interact with past versions of themselves and this is no exception. Finding out just what’s gone horribly wrong in the future will help raise the stakes for this two-hour finale as our present-day heroes know exactly what they’ll be fighting to stop and it gives them even more motivation to make sure the future they’ve seen doesn’t come to pass.
What’s Up with Rittenhouse
It feels like Timeless has never quite known what it wanted to do with Rittenhouse. For most of season 1, Rittenhouse was this scary name uttered by Flynn as the reasoning for why he was doing the things he was doing. According to him, they were the true villains and he was only doing his terroristic activities in order to stop them from enacting their plan. Then, in season 2, we’re introduced to them a bit more fully, but we never really understand exactly what they want. Yes, they want to take over the world so they can rule it or something and they’re doing so by strategically placing a bunch of sleeper agents throughout major historical events so that they can be changed to favor Rittenhouse’s desires. But then the apparent head of Rittenhouse, Nicholas Keynes, is killed by Emma (Annie Wersching), throwing Rittenhouse’s plans completely up in the air. So, with Emma in charge, what does Rittenhouse want? What does she want and how is she gonna go about doing that? I really hope the series finale spends some time focusing on that as Rittenhouse needs some serious development.
Ultimately, all of my wants can be summed up by a desire for resolution. I want resolution both in terms of plotlines and character arcs. The second half of season 2 kept dragging out a love triangle between Lucy, Wyatt, and Flynn and I just want that to be resolved as quickly as possible. I hate love triangles and this one was particularly frustrating to watch as Wyatt was deeply unlikable for most of the season and Flynn is… Flynn. I know a bunch of people are in it for the ships, but I just don’t care about them and I really don’t want too much of this episode focusing on them. Get them resolved and out of the way quickly and easily, please. I want the ongoing plotlines to be resolved; Rittenhouse needs to be defeated (or at least definitively stopped for a while), Lucy needs to get some resolution in relation to her sister (whether or not the sister is brought back to life doesn’t matter, it just needs to be dealt with), and there needs to be some kind of definitive end for the story of these characters. I know various interviews have said that the finale does have a bit of an open ending but still features closure for the ongoing stories and character arcs, so I can only hope that’s true. The fact that Timeless is even getting an extra two-hours to properly end the series is near-miraculous. Most shows that get canceled are just left unresolved; lucky ones get continued in comics or novels, but they almost never get a finale film, nor do they get picked up by another network this long after being canceled. This finale film is it for Timeless. This is where the story ends and so it needs to have the proper resolution to end it because it’s highly unlikely it’s gonna get another chance to do so.
I’m excited for the two-hour series finale of Timeless. It’s a show that was really fun but took a bit too long to find its feet and, as a result, struggled to succeed on a broadcast network. Might it have succeeded on cable or streaming? Maybe, but we just don’t know and, at this point, it’s unlikely the show will ever be given a chance to try. So, I just hope that the writers take this nearly unprecedented opportunity to properly wrap up the storylines of the show. I want to see some resolution to the story and I want it to have an ending. Leaving some things open for a life in other mediums is fine, but the core story of this show needs to be wrapped up in this finale. I have faith that it will be, but it’s a lot to try and wrap up and the recently-released synopsis doesn’t give me a huge amount of faith that the show will spend enough time on wrapping up those storylines. But I’m ready to be surprised and satisfied. I like shows like this and I liked this show. It sucks that it has to end, but at least it’s getting a chance to actually give the story an ending instead of being forced to end on that cliffhanger. Fingers crossed that they stick the landing here!
Timeless: The Miracle of Christmas airs December 20th at 8pm on NBC
As Christmas arrives in the Bunker, the Time Team is inspired by a visit from their future selves to find a way to try to save Rufus (Malcolm Barrett). But when the Mothership jumps to 1848 California, they’re forced to put those plans on hold and chase Rittenhouse back to the Gold Rush, where they encounter one of the era’s most dangerous villains. Then chasing the Mothership to Korea in the winter of 1950, our team helps a stranded, pregnant refugee attempt to escape a tragic fate. Stuck with no way out, our team faces its toughest challenge yet, and in the process, come to terms with their feelings for each other. Also starring Abigail Spencer, Matt Lanter, Goran Višnjic, Sakina Jaffrey, Paterson Joseph and Claudia Doumit.