Timeless ep 108, “Space Race” aired November 28, 2016
The mothership has landed…in 1969 as Team Lifeboat and Flynn engage in their own space race. Timeless returned tonight with perhaps their best outing so far this season. Like he does, Flynn travels back in time to wreck America’s future. He also takes time out this week to take care of a little personal business. More on that later. This week, he decides that the historic moonwalk from Neil Armstrong and company is a no-go.
I Come in Peace
In the present, Flynn and Rufus’ old mentor, Anthony (traitor!!!), pay a visit to Wayne Ellis. Turns out that Ellis worked in mission control during the moon landing. The time-travelers wanted to know if elder Ellis still had his old credentials from that time. Turns out that security was tight even then. Makes sense, couldn’t have the Russians sneaking in and gleaning any secrets that might put them ahead in the race to the moon. Ellis wishes he still had his old credentials because he’d make bank with them on Ebay. Too bad the creds were confiscated after the mission because Flynn and Anthony travel back to ’69 and meet up with young Ellis. What in the world the young NASA man must have thought when the mothership landed outside of his house?
As the historic Apollo 11 mission unfolds, the team needs to summon courage as they reach out to an unsung hero to thwart Flynn’s scheme. I may have giggled a little when Flynn said, “I come in peace.”
Clearly, Flynn was full of crap and Ellis should’ve hightailed it back in the house, but that wasn’t happening. Without a care for the ripples it might create, they kill Ellis and steal his credentials. It doesn’t stop there, no next up they call in a plumber, because while Anthony will be off sabotaging NASA, Flynn has his own mission. His target? Maria Thompkins. She works for the company that worked on the lunar module. She’s a talented engineer in the making, but she has a different significance for Flynn.
Rufus in Wonderland
This week’s episode belonged to Rufus. Portrayer, Malcolm Barrett, managed to infuse so much emotion into his character’s every moment in tonight’s episode. He was in awe of the people and activity around him at NASA’s mission control. Forget James Bond and Ian Fleming (miss that man!), Rufus had a full on fanboy moment watching heroes that likely drew his imagination growing up and made it possible for time travel. Would there be any time-travel without the space races of last century? Maybe. It’s always interesting watching Rufus trying to figure out his place in time as a black man.
There he is, a talented young mind and no one would buy him as being anything more than a janitor. Sure there is the amazing Katherine Johnson (she’s the real deal, you guys!). One of the true heroes behind many of NASA’s triumphs, but I never heard anything about her in any of the history books growing up. Actually, I didn’t realize who she was until hearing about the upcoming major motion picture, Hidden Figures. Of course, Rufus knows all about NASA’s secret weapon, “smartest person at NASA works in the basement” and she’s one of his heroes. With her help, Rufus and Lucy manage to reverse the damage done by the computer virus Anthony used to scuttle the mission to the moon. Of course at the end of the day, as it should be, Katherine receives credit for the huge win and she finally receives recognition for all of her hard work. This is one instance where I’m completely happy that the group altered history even if just a little. Katherine when on to become NASA’s first female flight director.
Mother May I?
I was pretty suspicious about Flynn’s connection to Maria Thompkins. You know after he didn’t kill her and actually put himself in her path to talk. Some vibe seemed to be happening in their scenes together and then enter Maria’s young son, Gabriel. I had to check IMDB again to be sure of Flynn’s first name. I knew it started with a “G”, but no Flynn’s first name is Garcia. For a while I wondered if Maria might be a fan of writer, Gabriel García Márquez. I waited for Maria to call out to her son his full name, but that didn’t happen.
Despite, Agent Mul…um Wyatt showing up and telling Maria that Flynn was a commie spy, it turns out that Flynn wouldn’t be deterred in finishing what he’d started. While Maria and Wyatt are talking, Flynn shows up out of nowhere and he injects little Gabriel with epinephrine. He tells Maria that after losing his own child he couldn’t stand for her to lose her own. Turns out that Gabriel has a deadly allergy to bees and Flynn knows Maria from the future. Hmm! Back in their own time, Wyatt and company find out that Maria is Flynn’s mother after all.
Lucy’s miffed that Flynn has accomplished the one thing that she and Wyatt want the most. Using the Lifeboat to save their family members. She reminds Agent Christopher of their deal. The other woman assures her that it’ll happen once they stop Flynn.
Other Notable Moments
- The police officer apologizing to Wyatt or “Agent Mulder” for stopping him.
- Lucy calling out the sexist jerk at NASA and doing so loudly enough to empower the other secretaries that were belittled and patronized for much of the episode.
- Katherine Johnson taking great pride in the fact that NASA’s mainframe computer is so impressive. “It holds two megabytes” and Rufus’ reaction “Two whole megabytes!!”
- There was also the moment when she was proud that it only takes ten minutes to download information on the mainframe. Depending on your connection that’s actually not that bad.
- Rufus proving Anthony wrong. Forget what you heard, Rufus is aces and performs quite well under pressure.
- Discovery that Anthony took the Lifeboat out on her maiden voyage and ended up in the hospital. Also, Anthony is intent on making sure Rittenhouse can’t use time-travel for their own purposes.
Here’s to another great outing with Team Lifeboat. Highly entertaining and I’m learning quite a lot. Gotta love when a show can completely transport you. Can’t wait to see where we land next. Be sure to hit the comments and let me know what you thought of the episode.
Timeless airs Mondays on NBC at 10/9c
Photo: Sergei Bachlakov/NBC