‘Timeless’ 1×08 review: The Eagle has landed

11:00 pm EDT, November 28, 2016

Timeless traveled back to 1969 to the famous lunar landing. Team Time needed to salvage the heroic accomplishments of Armstrong, Collins, and Aldrin, as well as save the space program.

We come in peace…or not

Garcia Flynn proved once again that anyone is expendable. In his mind, the ends always justify the means. He tricks an elderly moon launch staffer in the present into divulging the security specs of 1969, and then he goes back in time and kills this innocent civilian in order to get his security credentials.

Garcia Flynn is a “true believer,” but it’s obvious that Anthony Bruhl is having second thoughts. He’s not liking the senseless murders of civilians. Despite the second thoughts, he still supplies Garcia Flynn with information on punch tape, A.K.A. old fashioned flash drives, and continues with the mission.

Flynn’s plan

Flynn’s main plan was to eliminate the guidance officer from Houston Mission Control. This would result in stranding the astronauts in space thus scuttling the space program, and handing the advantage to the U.S.S.R. Presumably, this would have eventually resulted in the U.S. not negotiating with the U.S.S.R. from a position of strength in the nuclear arms talks in the decades that followed.

Flynn’s secondary goal was to get close to Maria Thompkins, a defense contractor secretary for the company in charge of the lunar module.

Can Rufus save the day?

Although Rufus and Lucy didn’t seem poised initially as a janitor and secretary to help, they actually were in the right place at the right time. Rufus finds Anthony, and manages to obtain Antony’s briefcase with the computer virus specs.

Rufus, knowing he needs expert help, enlists the aid of “the smartest person in the building” who was Katherine Johnson, the unsung hero of NASA. Although Katherine is rightly suspicious of Rufus and Lucy, she agrees to help. Ultimately, it is her experience with the equipment that saves the day. More importantly, it’s Rufus’ knowledge scientific history that sets Team Time on the right course, not Lucy’s textbook knowledge.

Anthony’s story

Rufus talks to Lucy about how he confronted Anthony regarding Team Time being stranded in 1754, and Anthony helping Garcia Flynn. Rufus senses that Anthony feels guilty, but Rufus doesn’t get the full picture as to what is going on in Anthony’s head.

Rufus tells Lucy a bit of his personal history with Anthony. Anthony was a changed man after his inaugural ride in the time machine prototype. He almost died. Rufus stuck by Anthony as he recovered in the hospital. For these reasons, Rufus can’t understand why Anthony would sell them all out.

The confrontation

Anthony might think he has Rufus totally pegged, but he doesn’t. Fortunately, for Rufus and Team Time, Garcia Flynn believes Anthony’s insistence that he knows Rufus, and that Anthony has everything under control. There is no doubt that Garcia Flynn would willingly kill Rufus if he were to get in the way.

When Rufus confronts Anthony in the lab, we learn that Anthony is haunted by what Rittenhouse intends to do with the time machine. This unknown horror is what is driving Anthony to side with Garcia Flynn.

Even though Anthony initially thought he knew what Rufus was capable of, it’s obvious that Anthony is wrong. Rufus no longer feels the same bond. Although he and Anthony had a firm relationship in the past, Rufus is loyal to Team Time in the present.

Flynn’s personal history

After wondering all episode why Garcia Flynn was enamored with the secretary, Maria, at the defense company, we find out that she is someone he knows in the present. In the present, she always has a sadness about her that Flynn attributes to her losing her husband and son, Gabriel. Flynn ends up saving her son dying from an allergic reaction to a bee sting.

When we return to the present, Agent Denise Christopher shows Team Time the un-redacted file on Garcia Flynn. We learn that Maria is Flynn’s mother. Due to Flynn’s actions, his half-brother, Gabriel, is now alive.

Both Lucy and Wyatt are deeply troubled that Flynn gets to save his family, but Lucy and Wyatt are without theirs. Agent Christopher promises that as soon as they catch Flynn, she’ll make sure that they’ll be able to pursue saving their loved ones. More importantly, Team Time has another person who is solidly in their corner.

History changed

Katherine Johnson is no longer a virtually unknown hero of the space race. Everyone knows that she single-handedly saved the Apollo 11 Mission. Regardless, time has been altered by Katherine hearing the term virus decades before it’s been coined and seeing modern technology. She also knows that someone like Rufus views her as a hero. Lastly, she hears all about the time machine and time travel.

Fun fact, unlike most of the historical figures that we meet in Timeless, Katherine Johnson is still alive. A movie about her and her other overlooked African-American colleagues, Hidden Figures, is coming out in limited release in December.

Team Time has also changed. Rufus killed a man in 1969 to protect Team Time, and instead of being broken up by it, he’s fine. Rufus asks Lucy, “What am I becoming?” He admits that he would have no issue shooting Anthony or anyone else if it meant stopping Garcia Flynn.

Do you think ‘Timeless’ will reveal Maria and Katherine in the present?

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