Ben’s Breakdown | Series Review: “Timeless”

When Timeless first premiered it was a show that had I had reported on, and even had an interest in watching. However, as with all things, before we even had a chance to look at it the show fell off of our radar and we really didn’t give it much of any thought. That is until we ran out of shows to mainline (my term for binge-watching) and saw this series sitting out there. The show had already been canceled and saved by the time we got to watch it, but we then learned it had suffered the network axe yet again, and with that we found it hard to finish watching the series. So it was with great excitement that we learned that NBC gave the green light for a two-part episode allowing the writers and cast to finish the story. When that happened we agreed to not watch the last episode of season 2, but would watch it back to back with the new series closer.

Much happened to our crew. In short, people died, people came back to life, new allies were introduced only to discover they weren’t allies at all, and unpleasant antagonists revealed new layers to their character and became the most stalwart of allies. The government liaison (Agent Christopher played by Sakina Jaffrey) showed some of her personal life making her one of the most passionate and beloved characters in the show. The engineering mastermind Connor Mason (Paterson Joseph) was shown to be a lover of old blues music, which helped to remove any appearance of being cold and dispassionate that might have previously been there.

The criminal Garcia Flynn (Goran Visnjic) became more than just a hostile teammate, but proved to be a hero. Poor Wyatt Logan (Matt Lanter) had his heart torn up more than once as he finds himself falling in love with Lucy Preston while a ghost from his past suddenly reappears, and Lucy (Abigail Spencer) finds herself falling for Wyatt while trying to deal with the revelation that her family is not what she thought it was, not to mention wrapping both her head and heart around this new person who is suddenly now in Wyatt’s life.

As this TV series continued through its run all the way through to the closer, the one thing that the showrunners never lost focus was keeping this as a character driven series. Even as the characters started to acclimate to this new life of traveling through history, we never seen them properly adapt and become accustomed to meeting historical figures. They’re never given the chance to catch their collective breath and learn to walk through history unnoticed. They never fully blend in when meeting the likes of John F. Kennedy, or Harriet Tubman. They continually get caught up in their excitement and awe when encountering such notable figures from history, which again begs the question, what would YOU do if you met a young John F. Kennedy?

Despite the show’s focus on making it character driven, there is still the great story-arc that connected the episodes. While the idea of a huge secret society bent on altering history to better fit their vision does seem to be more than just a stretch, it’s the characters behind that secret society that allows for the suspension of disbelief. The way they are presented and portrayed gives them so much life that you accept who they are and what they’re doing. Even when a new character (Emma Whitmore played with great duplicity by Annie Wersching) shows up and is completely bonkers, we believe it. The character writing is just that strong (of course it helps that each cast member is amazing in what they bring to this show) that we are never taken out of the show watching experience. We are immersed and invested in everything that each of these characters does.

Timeless does get a bit, if I may use another Doctor Who reference, timey-wimey. It’s almost as if the writers, because they were limited in how much story they could tell to wrap the series up, ignored a vital bit of their own established canon in the final episode. It sort of screamed at me as I watched it, as I’m sure it did to many other geeks who couldn’t wait to see how this series ended. Nonetheless, there was something so poetically beautiful in how the series resolved and the lives that these beloved characters ended up having. If you like good character-based drama, you will love Timeless. If you like lighthearted time-travel stories, you will love Timeless. If you are a hopeless romantic, you will love Timeless.

For all of these reasons, and more, I loved Timeless.

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