REVIEW: Timeless, S2 Ep3 – Hollywoodland

“Hollywoodland” captures all of the glitz and glamor of old Hollywood in a way that only Timeless can: transporting our favorite time traveling trio into their own screwball comedy-esque adventure full of intrigue, romance, and even a surprise musical number.

The Lifeboat sweeps Lucy, Wyatt, and Rufus off to 1941 Hollywood, where they’re left to figure out what Rittenhouse could possibly want on a studio backlot. Due to those pesky budget cuts and the explosion that destroyed their archive of period accurate clothing, they have to shoplift their latest outfits. Which is probably going to become a problem for them at some point down the line, though right now it’s interesting to watch the team’s resourcefulness without a ready-made costume department at their disposal. In any case, Lucy steps onto the backlot giving off some serious Peggy Carter vibes (Does that make Wyatt Captain America?) and the guys look dapper as hell, so they’re doing all right for themselves so far.

Before they’re forced off the backlot for trespassing, Rufus saves them by pretending to be Langston Hughes. He bluffs his way into a meeting with the president of Paramount Pictures Barney Balaban, pressing on even though Lucy has to quickly correct him with her refined catalog of historical knowledge. He gets the right names pretty much, but his timeline is just a little off. The rapid-fire exchanges, brilliant one-liners—Rufus quips, “Who knows what writers look like?”—and the pop culture references lend themselves perfectly to the episode’s fun, lighthearted mood. And it’s Rufus taking the lead that makes the whole thing so enjoyable to watch; his comedic timing and knack for a good pop culture reference really shines here. He pitches Hamilton (to which Balaban exclaims, “It’ll never work!”) and touts Lucy and Wyatt as the next big musical duo “Logan and Preston.”

timeless s2e3 time team

Their meeting is soon interrupted by actress Hedy Lamarr (Alyssa Sutherland), who apart from her onscreen roles as a seductive, gorgeous leading lady, was also a scientific genius. Timeless devotes much of its episode to Hedy’s latter achievements, though she’s still very much a striking, glamorous presence. Her inventive spirit and ingenuity paved the way for the technology that would give us Wi-Fi and cell phones, and true to form, Timeless makes sure to linger on the history that’s not always widely known. Lucy fangirls accordingly, starstruck to meet the famous actress in person, even though Hedy assures her that any woman can appear glamorous.

“Hollywoodland” gives the Time Team a little more room to breathe during their trip to the past, a chance to really soak in their surroundings and enjoy it. There’s still a dastardly Rittenhouse mission to thwart, of course, but this one’s less frantic; no assassination plots or explosions to be found here, just the possible insidious spread of propaganda. The Time Team finds out that the first—and only—cut of Orson Welles’ Citizen Kane has been stolen. Yes, the Citizen Kane, the visual masterpiece that will inspire decades of films after it. It was hidden under the codename RKO 281, but obviously that would mean nothing to an organization with the advantage of historical foresight. The likely culprit is William Randolph Hearst, wealthy newspaper tycoon and Welles’ inspiration for the main character of Citizen Kane.

So the Time Team crashes Hearst’s swanky party, exuding every bit of old Hollywood glamor—Wyatt and Rufus cut handsome figures in tuxes while Lucy has pilfered Katherine Hepburn’s stunning white-and-gold dress worn onscreen in The Philadelphia Story from their raid of the backlot costuming warehouse. The party’s just as luxurious as we could imagine, from the palatial Hearst mansion to the gleaming 1940s automobiles and the gowns and suits of the Hollywood bigwigs rubbing elbows. The team gets to mingle a bit, and Hedy asks “Langston Hughes” to recite some of his poetry. Which leads to Rufus rapping part of the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air theme, and Hedy is so not impressed. (But we are because the moment is hilarious). Hedy sees past the Time Team’s cover stories but is no less eager to help them, since she’s under the assumption that they’re all mutual friends of Orson Welles.

timeless s2e3 lucy wyatt rufusHedy points out a certain producer who’s been developing some harebrained idea for a dinosaur movie named Jurassic Park. So, it’s not just our Time Team who’s been pitching those modern-day ideas. Rufus and Hedy zero in on the Rittenhouse agent-turned-RKO producer, slipping away to eavesdrop on his conversation with Hearst. The two of them teaming up to do some science is a delight; they rattle off stuff about acoustics and Rufus becomes just as starstruck as Lucy. They also procure the information they need: in exchange for stealing the film for Hearst, Rittenhouse wants a column in his newspapers, a prime spot to spread their ideologies to the masses.

It’s an exchange 15 years in the making, as this Rittenhouse agent was dropped off as a young man by his father (presumably someone important in the organization) and has since grown and flourished into a big name at RKO. He’s got a cushy job, a nice house, and apparently makes the rounds among Hollywood’s starlets. He considers staying behind in the past, inviting his father (who’s now pretty much the same age) to join him. His father keeps him on track, but again, the conflict is there. It’s something that’s been so fascinating for Timeless to touch on in these past two episodes. Not every sleeper agent is as focused on the mission as Emma; their cover stories have blossomed into something they never anticipated having an attachment to, disrupting the delicate balance between their duty and their own emotions.

Meanwhile, Lucy and Wyatt have been roped into showing off their musical talent to entertain the partygoers. Lucy isn’t pleased at being pushed into the spotlight, but once she powers through the first rough notes of “You Made Me Love You,” she leans into the whole Hollywood starlet thing and completely owns it. Abigail Spencer’s performance is a highlight of the episode, her clear, pleasant voice giving us a wonderful rendition of the classic tune. (So, how about a musical episode, Timeless?). And it’s the perfect song choice for her, a commentary on the progression of their relationship as Lucy sings her feelings to Wyatt in true movie musical fashion. And, well, Wyatt spends most of the song making heart eyes right back at her. They hold each other’s gazes across the room as Lucy sings out the final note, all of those feelings they’ve danced around suddenly thrown into the forefront. Lucy sang to Wyatt, and we’re absolutely not getting over this anytime soon. Your faves could never.

While sharing a drink poolside at Hedy’s house, Timeless makes all of its Lucy/Wyatt shippers’ fanfiction-y dreams come true. Lucy and Wyatt exchange some awkward but adorably flirty banter, which leads to them finally opening up about their feelings. All of that tension, lovingly crafted in meaningful looks and moments over episodes of amazing chemistry between Abigail Spencer and Matt Lanter, reaches its peak at last. And we finally get the kiss between them that we’ve been waiting for. It’s not a we’re-fake-married kiss (though that one was pretty good, too), but an honest, real kiss shared by two people who’ve just realized the person they truly care about and love has been right there in front of them this entire time. It’s a kiss that’s well worth everything it took to get there.

timeless s2e3 rufus hedy

When we check in with Lucy and Wyatt again, they’re cuddled up in bed the morning after, and it’s just as precious as we’d all hoped it would be. They’re both so happy and content with one another that we’re probably just going to keep replaying this scene to soothe our broken shipper hearts from the messy aftermath of this episode. (But…we’ll get to that). Rufus walks in on their comfortable moment in bed, then teases Wyatt about it later while looking positively giddy. He’s so glad it’s finally canon. Same, Rufus.

The Time Team does succeed in getting back the stolen cut of Citizen Kane—Wyatt takes out the Rittenhouse agent and an innocent security guard who got caught in the crossfire—but they have another mission while they’re in the past. (Before they leave, though, Rufus makes sure to tell Hedy not to let the patent on her frequency-hopping tech run out). A cleverly composed parallel sequence shows the trio hiding items in the wall of a recently completed prison complex, and over seventy years later, Garcia Flynn uses them to break out of his cage.

Only on a show like Timeless could you have such a unique prison break, time traveling accomplices and all. Agent Christopher reluctantly aided in the escape, recognizing Flynn’s value against their shared enemy, Rittenhouse. Understandably not everyone is pleased to have a new bunker mate (and Flynn himself isn’t too impressed with their new underground digs), so this living situation is bound to create a whole new level of tension.

But the team has new problems to contend with. It turns out that going back in time on a regular basis has unexpected, far-reaching consequences. Jiya’s weird time travel seizures/visions have been revealed to Agent Christopher, who’s trying her damnedest to take care of her crew at the bunker. She goes into Mama Bear mode on Jiya, who sees a doctor to rule out any possible health complications since Mason lets it slip that two previous pilots suffered similar symptoms. One of them is being treated for schizophrenia, the other died of a brain aneurysm, but Jiya’s trip left her healthier than she’s ever been—a lifelong heart murmur is now nonexistent.

And just when we’re finally enjoying the comfortable, casual relationship blossoming between Lucy and Wyatt, the plot drops a big bomb on us. Typical. Wyatt gets a mysterious text, disappearing into the bunker just when we were probably going to get another adorable kiss. The bunker’s alarm system is triggered, but no one’s broken in…someone’s escaped. Flynn seems pretty nonchalant about the whole scare, so maybe he’s got something to do with this wrench in the plot.

It’s Wyatt that’s escaped, and in the closing scene, we see him reunite with his once-dead wife Jessica, whose wedding ring is prominently on display. She recognizes him, though the mix of emotions on her face doesn’t reveal much before they embrace. Which leaves us sifting through so many questions on top of our very hurt feelings. What sort of time travel shenanigans caused her death to be prevented? What does her relationship with Wyatt look like now? Where does she think he’s been? Are they even married to each other? There’s a ring on her finger, sure, but events could’ve shifted so much that maybe they still know each other, but she’s with someone else. Is this Flynn’s handiwork? Or something Emma did in all of her travels to erase Amy from Lucy’s life? Hedy also took Rufus’ advice about the patent and subsequently left acting to become a billionaire in the tech world, so maybe that had consequences on the timeline, too.

timeless s2e3 lucy wyatt

So. Many. Questions.

We kind of had a feeling this would happen, since Jessica’s storyline and Wyatt’s past with her never felt like it had been truly resolved. It sparks just the right amount of frustration that she’s showed up when Wyatt was ready to move on with Lucy, the woman who saved his life and made it worth living again. But what’s a great love story without a good dose of angst, right? It hurts like hell and then some, but it’s necessary for the progression of their romance. And whatever this storyline brings, we have a feeling that Lucy and Wyatt are going to come out of it together. They’re endgame.

We have quite a bit of time to mull over the possibilities, theories, and speculation, since Timeless is taking an agonizing two week break.