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Sunday, May 6, 2018

Timeless 2.8: Loops in Tales

A really excellent Timeless 2.8 tonight, in which a mission to save Reagan from being killed by Hinckley (not badly wounded) turns into a mission to save Denise - had she been killed, or even diverted from later joining the FBI and then Homeland security, there would have been no Timeless as we know it.

Since Timeless has existed for two seasons - even it's not renewed (which I fervently hope does not happen, as it's now developed into a first-rate time travel series) - Denise had to not only be saved, but saved on a course that would lead to the narrative in the television series as we know it.  But even given that unavoidable greater meta-loop, we still get an outstanding intra-loop of a story tonight, which ends (well, it's one of the final scenes) with one of the best exchanges of smiles I've seen in any time travel story with self-aware characters.

That happens when Denise in 2018 exchanges smiles with Lucy and Jiya - aka Cagney and Lacey - when they return to their home base.  Denise said she's been waiting all these years to thank them.  This implies that she knew all along, on the series, that Lucy and Jiya would put her on the right life's course.   But there's also the chance that her reality changed earlier in the episode tonight - that, originally, she was still on a track to put together our team, without Lucy and Jiya's help, because in that track Rittenhouse didn't send any sleepers back to stop her ...  See what I mean?  It gets complicated, but that's just what a superior loop in a time travel tale should do.

Next week is the two-hour season finale.   Here's my honest advice to NBC:  you have a series, in Timeless, which is breaking new ground, jumping through new hoops and loops in time travel in every episode.  A series that exults in and plays with paradox.  Renew Timeless!  Don't be the villain this meta-meta-time travel story and break the loop and let Rittenhouse win.

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