Timeless took a turn into post-Depression era America with its latest episode “The Last Ride of Bonnie & Clyde”. Ill-fated lovers Bonnie (guest star Jacqueline Byers) and Clyde (guest star Sam Strike) are just a day away from their death when the Time Trio arrive in town. The reason they are there: Flynn is after a necklace that Bonnie is wearing when she was killed. The necklace is actually a key, and Agent Christopher has learned that it’s connected to whatever a Rittenhouse is.
Oh yeah, Agent Christopher knows that there is this “Rittenhouse” out there and like a dog with a bone, she is planning on getting to the bottom of it. I think this is going to get her killed next week – especially after that episode wrap-up scene between her and Rufus. We are left to assume that Rufus is going to give her the Rittenhouse 101 before next week’s episode. Seeing that Benedict Arnold is the main character next week – well you can just speculate the correlation for yourself.
Back to the mission: Lucy and Wyatt end up in the bank that Bonnie and Clyde are holding up. When Flynn and Wyatt get into a shootout while the police are shooting at the Barrows, Lucy is able to maneuver their way into Bonnie and Clyde’s confidence and help them escape. While they are hiding out, they get a good look at the infamous couple behind the crimes, which makes it hard to watch the couple meet their fate.
I was very impressed with the Timeless writers and their adherence to detail to these characters. Bonnie and Clyde are often romanticized in American mythology for their crime spree, and have been the subject of many movies, books, a Broadway Musical, and multiple tv specials including a very entertaining multi-network miniseries back in 2013.
Timeless captures their romance still, as well as specific details about their lives. For instance, Bonnie was still married to Roy Thornton – who was in a Texas prison – during this time. She was even wearing her wedding ring still when she died. She was also a poet. As for Clyde, they remarked about the letter that he wrote to Henry Ford about his cars. This letter is still on display at the Ford Museum. The tiny details are great in this.
Except one – which is a big problem for those who follow time travel stories. It all starts when Rufus, after having been released from police questioning and possible interrogation by Flynn, arrives. It starts to break down the trust that the Barrows had built with Wyatt and Lucy. When Henry Methvin arrives, Clyde is willing to believe his friend over them. Rufus reveals the very futuristic piece of equipment (voice recorder) to replay Henry giving them up to the police, and Clyde kills him.
Rufus! You don’t know that they are going to die anymore at this point so showing them proof of time travel = BAD! That’s just completely against the time traveler’s rule-book.
But the biggest problem I have is the killing of Henry. In reality, Henry lives for another 14 years after the deaths of Bonnie and Clyde. It was his father, Ivan, who tipped the police off and helped them kill Bonnie and Clyde in return for his son not getting the death penalty. Now yes, most of those years he spent in and out of prison and he finally dies when he steps in front of a train. But that is 14 years of influence that Henry unconsciously has to the future. People he met, children he may have fathered… that is a good chunk of time to alter.
When they did this with the Hindenburg – changing a lot of people in who lives and dies – we got all of the complications including the loss of Lucy’s sister. Last week, there is now the addition of Flynn’s brother being saved and living to modern day when he was supposed to die as a child. They’ve also killed a bunch of soldiers back during the French Indian War that we don’t know their footprint in history. And now there’s Henry dying a decade and a half early.
It’s frustrating to me to see that one of the character’s main motivations is based on this kind of time shift, and yet in Timeless we see this happen time and time again with no reference to how it alters modern society in their world. Lucy constantly got angry at Wyatt for wanting to save his wife to remind the audience through him of the dangers – but when it does happen we are given no visible consequences.
There is hope that Flynn’s reason for saving his stepbrother’s life is more than just making Maria have a happier future – part of me is hoping this is connected to future Lucy and her journal. But unless there is a fallout bomb waiting to be dropped on the viewers… the more it happens, the less important that fact is going to become in the rules of the Timeless world.
Now I know I have complained in the last few episodes about my disappointment with the balance in Timeless in regards to character development versus plot and action pacing. We even got a bit of a tease in Lucy and Wyatt’s tightening circles around each other with a kiss. AND WYATT DESCRIBING HIS PROPOSAL TO JESSICA! *sniffle* The emotional investment was perfect in that scene by both of them.
This episode was one of the better-balanced episodes, and I really enjoyed that. It made the episode a lot more engaging and interesting, and I had a lot more fun viewing it. I am going to take this as a good sign and hope that the writers have found their groove by the time they wrote this, and future episodes will keep this balance.
So next week is the mid-season finale, which means things are going to end badly or on a cliffhanger. When I go into the preview look this weekend, I’ll talk a bit more on my predictions (like my feelings on Agent Christopher I talked about above). But I will say one thing – knowing Kripke from Supernatural means that no matter what happens, it’s going to be some kind of plot twist no one is expecting – especially the main characters.
Hit me up on Twitter at @aliskyrichards or @ThreeIfBySpace about your feelings on this week’s episode, and join me next Monday to live tweet during the Timeless mid-season finale. Also, if you have people looking for gifts for you this holiday season, make sure you share with them my handy Gift Guide for the Timeless Fan so they can get a few good ideas. And as always, hit subscribe to stay up to date on all the Timeless news as I hear it!