Tonight's Episode 10 of Journeyman was a wonderful, satisfying chapter, in many ways.
First, it daringly courted but avoided paradoxes. Dan's traveling back to stop the guy who shot him risked unraveling Dan's and everyone's reality: had Dan gotten to the boy, gotten him out of his abusive home, then the boy might well have grown up not to do the bad things he did last week, and not to shoot Dan tonight.... Which would have left Dan - and us - where? A lot worse off in the narrative than Dan being wounded and seriously infected.
Speaking of which - I liked that Dan got infected because he carried bacteria back with him two decades, which were resistant to antibiotics back then. Very nice time traveling touch.
Also helpful to maintaining the time travel sanctity of the show was the bad guy killing the FBI guy. Although I'll miss Paul Schulze and his fine acting, the character clearly knew too much to continue on his course. He either had to brought into the fold - not likely if he was FBI - or eliminated.
Which brings us to Jack - the most satisfying development of all in tonight's episode. Jack has been edging closer in previous shows to believing Dan. Tonight Livia comes to see Jack in the present - because Dan needs his help - and that of course finally convinces Jack that his brother is not crazy, and is really time traveling....
Which brings us to the contest winner. At the end of tonight's episode, Jack asks Dan if this - the near insanity, the brushes with death, everything Jack went through tonight - is the way it always is.
To which Dan gives a fine answer: "Welcome to our life."
And Matt Pollari of Gustavus Adolphus College in Minnesota emailed me with the correct answer within 30 seconds: "life"!
An autographed copy of The Plot to Save Socrates will be in the mail to Matt tomorrow! Congratulations, Matt!
For everyone else who answered, and who keeps watching the show: If you've already answered the question correctly - but got it in after Matt - or if you tell me Dan's last word on the next two shows,* I'll be happy to send you, via e-mail, a copy of my 1997 award-nominated time travel novella, Loose Ends (first published in Analog Science Fiction and Fact Magazine, and widely reprinted, including on Fictionwise.com).
And, further, for anyone who answered tonight's question correctly, or who e-mails me Dan's last word on the next shows,* I'll be happy to autograph and return to you at my expense any copies of The Plot to Save Socrates that you send to me between now and the end of this year.
My email is Levinson.firstname.lastname@example.org
But Matt gets the free copy.
*NOTE ADDED 3O NOVEMBER 2007: I've decided to continue the contest for the next three episodes of Journeyman, and give a free, autographed copy of The Plot to Save Socrates to first person, after each show, who e-mails Dan's last word on the show to me! See Extending The Plot to Save Socrates - Journeyman Contest for details.
And, you know, "life" is an apt last word. Journeyman has more life than ever now. I want to see Dan and Jack finally working together. Years ago, in the 1960s, NBC made a mistake and canceled Star Trek - I hope they don't make the same mistake with Journeyman.
My reviews of other Journeyman episodes ... 1: NBC Quantum Leaps Into Journeyman ...2 ... 3 ... 4 ... 5 ... 6... 7 ... 8. Livia's Story ... 9. Dan Unravels His Present 11. Livia' Beau//Save the Newspaper, Save the World ... 12. The Perfect Time Travel Story ... Lucky 13
The Plot to Save Socrates
"a Da Vinci-esque thriller" - New York Daily News
"Sierra Waters is sexy as hell" - curled up with a good book
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Read the first chapter of The Plot to Save Socrates .... FREE!