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The 'Timeless' Series Finale Doesn't Disappoint
December 20, 2018  | By David Hinckley  | 1 comment

NBC’s time-travel drama Timeless has been given a rare shot to wrap up its short-lived but eventful TV run, and the creators don’t blow it.

The TV finale, in effect a two-hour movie, airs Thursday at 8 p.m. ET.

Giving the fans this closure speaks well for NBC, where Timeless has drawn modest ratings and a passionate fan base.

There have already been rumblings that the story could continue in additional movies, and without revealing any spoilers, the ending of Thursday’s show doesn’t preclude such further adventures.

So we get some level of resolution for the specific drama set up in the show’s previous 26 episodes while at the same time we don’t see time-travel itself necessarily coming to an end.  

It’s a challenging line, deftly walked, which is not to say that every character gets a fairy-tale resolution. Lethal threats have permeated Timeless, and they don’t go away just because this storyline is wrapping up.

Continuing the focus from the show’s two episodic seasons, the finale revolves primarily around Lucy (Abigail Spencer, top), Wyatt (Matt Lanter, top) and Rufus (Malcolm Barrett, top), the unlikely trio put together to save human history.

More specifically, an evil entity known as Rittenhouse stole a time machine known as “Mothership.” The company seemed poised to use it by going back in time and changing history so things in the present would be better set up to give Rittenhouse more money and power.    

The ancillary havoc this would wreak, needless to say, could endanger all of humanity. So Connor Mason (Paterson Joseph) built a second time machine, known as “Lifeboat,” to thwart what Rittenhouse wanted to do with the first one.

The other key figure here has been Garcia Flynn (Goran Visnjic, right), who began as a Rittenhouse operative and then switched sides. That development in a sense turned out to be kind of a swap since Emma Whitmore (Annie Wersching) started on the Mason team and ended up at Rittenhouse. Both Flynn and Emma figure prominently in Thursday’s drama.

Did we mention that one of the Rittenhouse masterminds, Benjamin Cahill (John Getz), is Lucy’s biological father? Small world, even when you’ve got all of history available.

Much of the fun in Timeless has stemmed from the way our heroes and their quarry have visited various critical moments from history: the assassination of Abraham Lincoln, the Watergate scandal, the Salem witch hunt, those sorts of times and places.

The finale takes us on two last trips, to the California Gold Rush and the start of the Korean War. As usual, those choices aren’t as random as they might sound.

During the course of the show, naturally, romantic attractions have developed, one of them involving programming wizard Jiya (Claudia Doumit, right, with Spencer). As Bob Dylan once noted, “Strange how people who have suffered together have stronger connections than those who are most content.”

So that area of Timeless is also addressed in Thursday’s episode. Addressed at some length, in fact, with the bonus of time-machine technology that enables us to go both backward and forward.  

No show in history has ever satisfied every fan with its final episode. Timeless comes admirably close.

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Sean Dougherty
Old time radio fans will never forgive this show for perpetuating the myth that Bass Reaves inspired "The Lone Ranger."
Dec 20, 2018   |  Reply
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