Matt Grant

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Timeless Recap: Party at Castle Varlar

Photo credit: NBC

Photo credit: NBC

Inevitably, every time travel movie or TV show winds up being compared to what's come before it. 

In my mind, every modern time travel story is at least somewhat indebted to either the Back to the Future trilogy or Groundhog Day. Last week, Wyatt made a passing reference to BTTF when he attempted to send his dead wife a telegram from the past. This week, it's hard not to feel like Timeless is suffering a little bit from Groundhog Day fever.

Every episode is becoming redundant and predictable. The team at Mason industries tracks Flynn's mothership to wherever he's going in the past (which, by the way, Flynn hasn't yet picked up on the fact that he's just going to get followed wherever he goes? Why doesn't he try to sabotage their time machine?), meet someone famous, predict that Flynn is up to one thing when it's actually something completely different, Lucy runs into Flynn and he argues that he's actually a good guy, and then they narrowly miss capturing/killing/stopping Flynn, only to jump back to their present with some piece of history slightly altered.

This time, Flynn is in 1944, specifically December 7, in the middle of Nazi Germany. The second World War is in its final year, the bombing of Hiroshima is only eight months away. But the Timeless Trio have other things on their mind: Flynn and Anthony still have an atomic bomb in their possession now. Since history never repeats itself, their first assumption is that Flynn wants to end the war a different way. 

Luckily, while they've been gallivanting through the past, Mason and co. have been building an entire warehouse of vintage period costumes! He must have done it when the series got picked up for a full season and he realized the gang was going to need a whole lot more costumes. Oh, and also, Wyatt speaks German now! Yay for convenient plot devices! 

Anyway, our intrepid travelers make the jump and arrive in the past, where Wyatt promptly kills two German soldiers. He's getting really good at time travel, you guys. Lucy utters some lame attempt to stop him, mentioning something about "preserving history" but Wyatt is a soldier, dammit, and he's going to kill people if he wants to. Especially if those people are Nazis. 

The gang then has to jump into a ditch as Indiana Jones and Henry Sr. ride by in a motorcycle and sidecar. 

If only. No, it's really just a Nazi entourage with a really large missile. They follow the motorcade to a tavern where they are corralled by a British undercover operative with MI-6 who is gathering intel on the Nazi operation. The operative is none other than Ian Fleming, the author of James Bond. YES James Bond was a book character before he was a movie star. Fancy that. Being the great spy that he is, Fleming give himself away as an undercover British agent within ten seconds of meeting Lucy and Wyatt. 

Fleming alerts the team that the Nazis are set to test a V-2 rocket into Belgium from Castle Varlar. They worry that Flynn will strap the atomic bomb to the rocket. Fleming sneaks them in, and sure enough Flynn shows up. Since it's Wyatt's nature to just kill whatever, he pulls out his sidearm but Lucy stops him when another person steps into view, inadvertently shielding Flynn. This is Wernher von Braun, the German scientist who is credited with creating the V-2 rocket for the Nazis and, in a stunning plot twist, was later pardoned and created NASA for the Americans. Okay, he didn't really create NASA, but the reason we have it is due to von Braun's contributions. 

Now things get complicated, as they tend to do. Fleming's brother Michael was killed in an air raid he wants von Braun, along with the whole Nazi entourage, to pay. Wyatt agrees (he really likes killing), but Lucy and Rufus protest that without von Braun, other significant historical events are not possible. At the Castle, Flynn again hijacks Lucy, mentioning Rittenhouse and that he is acting for a "greater good." We get it, we get it. Turns out Flynn's grand plan is to turn von Braun over to the Soviets instead of the Americans, so they win the space race instead, and thereby he's a patriot who really cares about history after all. Suuuuuure, Flynn. Whatever helps you sleep at night. 

Rufus blows something up, there's a scuffle over Flynn and von Braun, but ultimately the trio is able to keep von Braun away from Flynn to assure that America gets the advantage in the future space race. They return to the present, where the only consequence is that there's now a new Bond movie that never existed before, involving a rocket and a castle ("One of Connery's finest," Mason says). 

Throughout this ordeal, Lucy was having some issues with her nerves during this mission. Her hand kept shaking, and at first I thought we were seeing some real-world time travel consequences like radiation sickness, but it just turns out that the pressure of preserving history is getting to be too much for her. Wyatt tells her that she needs to figure out what she's fighting for, and that will give her the strength to go on. When she gets back to the present, Lucy insists that Agent Christopher help her find her missing sister. 

 

Meanwhile, Rufus still wants out of Mason's larger plan until the mysterious RITTENHOUSE finds him. A man makes Rufus pull over on a dark road, and tells him that he must continue spying on Lucy and Wyatt in order to keep everyone safe, including Rufus' family. Seems like a bit of a hollow threat seeing as how we have never seen or heard of Rufus' family, but apparently he does have one, because he is SCARED. Fade to black.

Next week: the Timeless Trio saves Texas. At the Alamo.