SPOILER ALERT: This article contains details from tonight’s episodes of Timeless.
As the fate of Timeless hangs in the balance, business went on as usual on Sunday night in a two-episode finale. The two episodes titled “The General” and “Chinatown” aired back to back tonight as the action drama put a bookend on its second season leaving the audience wondering what will be in store for the time-traveling crew.
On Sunday morning, NBC chairman Bob Greenblatt said that no official decision has been made about renewing the series. The uncertainty will sure cause anxiety for the fans, but Timeless co-creator/executive producer Eric Kripke remains hopeful, but cautious about the show’s renewal chances tweeting “I’m nervous. Could go either way. He urged fans, which are affectionately called “Clockblockers” to watch the finale tonight saying, “We have to show a ratings spike. Spread the word! FIGHT! This is up to you now! (And it’s a GREAT finale).”
That said, the finale does deliver some Timeless-brand action and adventure that is sure to please fans, but it’s the ending of the two-episode finale that will get people the most excited.
After returning from last week’s adventure from 1981, where the gang relived the drama of the day that Ronald Reagan was shot, they make a jump to South Carolina in 1863 — to which Rufus (Malcolm Barrett) sarcastically says “Yay.”
But before they go on this new adventure, there are couple of snags — particularly for Wyatt (Matt Lanter). His wife Jessica, who revealed in the last episode that she has gone preggers, might be working for Rittenhouse, according to Connor (Paterson Joseph) and Denise (Sakina Jaffrey). They basically want to lock her up because they don’t know if she is the real Jessica.
With that in the back of his mind Wyatt joins Rufus, Lucy (Abigail Spencer) and Flynn (Goran Visnjic) to head back to the Civil War to thwart Rittenhouse’s plan of sabotaging the Combahee River Raid, in which a regiment of mostly Black soldiers planned an attack on Southern plantations in the middle of the night to free hundreds of slaves. According to history brainiac Lucy, if Rittenhouse stops it, “it’s a serious blow to the Union.” The attack was led by Harriett Tubman who was also known as “The General” — hence the name of the episode.
They get to the deep south in the 19th century and run into Tubman, who is played with snarling and at times, over-the-top badassery by Christine Horn. With the information they have on Rittenhouse’s plan of sabotaging Tubman’s raid, the rest of the crew try to tell her that if she goes on with this attack, she and her army will be killed. She doesn’t believe them and thinks that she can handle her business all on her own.
Even though Tubman doesn’t think Colonel Montgomery won’t give her the troops she needs for the raid, Lucy goes with Flynn to request troops from anyway while Rufus and Wyatt — who is very emo at this point — stay behind with Tubman and company to go undercover and infiltrate a plantation.
Meanwhile, Jiya (Claudia Doumit) is back in the present with Connor. She insists to be introduced to Stanley, a disgruntled pilot that Connor has been keeping under lock and key. He, like Jiya, has visions — but he sees a lot more. So much more that it’s wildly intense and Jiya is eager to learn.
Back in 1863, Lucy and Flynn are having a difficult time trying to convince Montgomery to give Tubman the troops she needs but he ain’t budging on his decision. Lucy puts her foot down and says “Tubman needs your help and the union needs her so you need to listen to me because I know what I am talking about.”
Things start escalating on the plantation as Tubman shoots a soldier threatening her while she’s helping some of the slaves escape while Rufus and Wyatt’s cover gets blown and a gunfight ensues.
Soon after, Lucy and Flynn bring the cavalry as promised and all is well. Rufus and Tubman have a moment where he recognizes her legacy before the gang heads back to HQ.
Turns out they did alter history a tad bit. They read history books and see that the Combahee River Raid is now called the Willow Glen Plantation Raid.
There’s still the issue of Jessica’s questionable involvement with Rittenhouse. Wyatt still has an “If you go, I go” attitude about her as she is his baby’s mama. And something odd happens after Jiya tells Rufus about her visions. She throws her head back and enters a trance.
The next morning, Wyatt wakes up to find Jessica gone. He runs to the lifeboat to see that Jessica has held Jiya at gunpoint. Before he can do or say anything, they jump to an unknown time and he is left with his regret.
The eventful set up of “The General” bleeds into last episode of season two (and possibly the series finale): “Chinatown.” Everyone is scrambling to figure out where in the hell Jessica took Jiya. Well, it looks like she took her to Carol’s (Susanna Thompson) lair where Nicholas (Michael Rady) and Emma (Annie Wersching) are lurking about.
As a pilot, they need Jiya and she is forced to take a pill and is imprisoned. Jiya turns to Jessica and is disappointed in her betrayal and says the funniest line in the entire finale: “We watched an entire season of Vanderpump Rules together!”
She may be imprisoned but she is savvy. She escapes from her cell by strangling a guard with a bedsheet and rushes to a lifeboat — but Emma is hot on her tail taking shots at her and damaging the lifeboat. Even so, Jiya gets on the lifeboat safely but instead of going to homebase like she had hoped, it ends up going to 1888 San Francisco.
Rufus and the time-traveling gang of emotional despair detect that Jiya’s lifeboat has jumped in time but they don’t know that she went to late 19th century San Francisco. Even though they are clueless, they are hellbent on finding her. They know that she is living somewhere in history so they diligently research sophisticated databases, history books, microfiche and all sorts of media until they find a photo of Jiya in Chinese garb taken in San Francisco in the late 1800s. It looks like one of those old-timey, novelty black and white photos that you would get at an amusement park.
Rufus immediately notices that Jiya has cleverly included a message in Klingon for him, championing his glorious nerdiness. She gives the coordinates of a lifeboat that she has stashed and also says “Don’t come” for her. Of course, everyone ignores the warning.
They find the lifeboat and after repairing it, Rufus, Wyatt, Lucy, and Flynn head to 1888 San Francisco Chinatown to rescue Jiya. Keep in mind, there’s still a rift between Rufus and Wyatt because Rufus is still placing part of the blame of Jiya’s disappearance on Wyatt. If it weren’t for Jessica’s maybe-or-maybe-not allegiance to Rittenhouse (at this point, I’m pretty sure she is working for the bad guys), Jiya would still be here. That said, it must have been a very tense ride to the late 1800s in that lifeboat.
Dressed in petticoats, waistcoats, bolers and other fussy, high-collared garb, they find the photo studio where Jiya took the picture and meet a young Asian girl. They question her about Jiya, but little do they know, Carol, Emma, Jessica, and Nicholas — looking just as old-timey and fancy — are in the back of the studio armed and ready to attack because they were expecting them.
Emma wants to jump the gun and kill the whole lot of them while they are disarmed. Carol says they don’t play like that but Emma is totally aggro and goes off the rails. She shoots Carol and then Nicholas. This causes a bit of a stir. Emma and Jessica run out of the studio and Flynn and Wyatt go after her.
Lucy goes to the aid of her dying mother (no one really cares about Nicholas, apparently). In her dying last breaths, Carol basically said she has failed her as a mother because she hasn’t revealed much about their family and hasn’t joined the cult of Rittenhouse. This messes with Lucy’s mind, obviously.
With Carol dead, crazy Emma on the loose and Jessica’s undying allegiance to Rittenhouse eating away at Wyatt, things aren’t going too well — until the little Asian girl Faye tells everyone that Jiya is working at a saloon.
Excited, they all go to the saloon and Rufus immediately sees Jiya and makes a beeline for her. She basically says, “Dude, I told you not to come and get me.” To which he says, “But I love you.” She breaks it down and says that she has seen him die in the saloon at the hands of Emma’s yellow-toothed goon. He, along with everyone else takes her vision with a grain of salt.
That’s when Emma, Jessica, and her goons come into the saloon and a gunfight breaks out. Things get intense and Emma and Jessica run out. Jiya is scared because she sees her vision unfolding at that very minute. A yellow-toothed goon comes out of the shadows and is about to stab Rufus, but Jiya takes a gun and shoot. It turns out her vision was wrong! Yay!
The gang exit the saloon to MORE gunshots. Flynn is shot in the arm and Rufus is shot — and it doesn’t look good for him. Hate to burst your bubble, but he ends up dying. Looks like Jiya’s vision of his death was true…but not exactly the way she initially saw it. Sorry folks.
In yet another foot chase, an emotionally volatile Lucy runs after Emma with Flynn not too far behind. Lucy and Emma get into some petticoat fisticuffs. Lucy holds a gun to Emma’s head and delivers a soliloquy about how Emma has taken away everything she loves. This gives Emma enough time to pin her down and get a few slugs in until Flynn shoots at her. She escapes and Flynn and Lucy have a moment.
Wyatt, Jiya, Lucy, and Flynn return back to the present. Connor and Denise are excited to see everyone but they realize that Rufus isn’t with them. Their somber faces say, “Yup, he’s dead.”
Jiya is livid that he’s dead while Wyatt — with the influence of the spirit of Rufus — takes this time to tell Lucy that he loves her. This is an uneventful moment because there are clearly more important things in this narrative. Everyone is sad until they hear another lifeboat land at HQ. They are totally confused at the sight of the lifeboat that looks super upgraded and more sophisticated than the one they have on hand.
The door opens and out comes a Lara Croft-ified version of Lucy and a bearded version of Wyatt that looks like he is part of the cast of The Predator reboot. Everyone looks at them in shock as they say, “You wanna get Rufus back or what?”
Timeless seems to have gone all-in with these wild and jam-packed episodes in hopes that this is enough to convince NBC that it is worth keeping. Stakes are high, people are (presumably) dead, and now we have new, video game versions of Lucy and Wyatt. Last year, it was uncanceled which makes it very vulnerable. The finale left us with a cliffhanger that may or may not be answered with a season three. Clockblockers will just have to wait for the next time jump or will have to deal with an unresolved ending.