REVIEW: Timeless, S2 Ep7 – Mrs. Sherlock Holmes

timeless s2e7 alice paul

This week, Timeless—as it so often does—visited a particularly relevant moment in history, using the past as a commentary on the present. “Mrs. Sherlock Holmes” delivers a fast-paced episode with an empowering, inspiring central message, pushing the women in the show (and history) to the forefront.

The episode covers a lot of ground and moves quickly to do so, but somehow the action manages not to feel too rushed. The Time Team (this week comprised of Lucy, Rufus, Wyatt, and Flynn…an addition that Wyatt is not happy about in the slightest) hurries off to 1919 New York City, where at first they believe Rittenhouse’s plan of attack is to assassinate President Woodrow Wilson. But when gunshots ring out minutes into their trip—a hell of a day at work they’re having, right?—they find the president safe, but a senator has been murdered. He’s not anything important to Rittenhouse’s sketchy machinations, but the woman they’ve brought into custody, and the alleged murder, is Alice Paul.

Alice Paul (Erica Dasher), who some might know from the film Iron Jawed Angels, was a leader in the Women’s Suffrage Movement, a feminist and women’s rights activist who helped lobby for the 19th Amendment allowing women the right to vote. Timeless sends our heroes into the fray right before Alice is due to give a speech that will eventually win President Wilson’s support of women’s suffrage. Now that Alice has been framed for murder by the Rittenhouse sleeper agent, the future of women’s rights is in a lot of trouble. While Flynn and Rufus sneak around for clues about the sleeper agent, Lucy and Wyatt head to the NYPD with the hopes of paying Alice Paul a visit.

timeless s2e7 alice paul

They don’t get very far, thanks to the curmudgeonly, misogynist police officer working the front desk. But all isn’t lost: Lucy, our astute history nerd, is tipped off to someone who might be able to help them. That someone is Grace Humiston, who earned the nickname “Mrs. Sherlock Holmes” from her work assisting the NYPD. Grace (Sarah Sokolovic) was the first female United States attorney and was recruited to help investigations in 1917 after solving a cold case that involved missing girls. Timeless deftly weaves her story into this intriguing plot surrounding women’s suffrage to offer a different point of view, highlighting a woman who’s been all but lost to history.

Grace is quite a force to be reckoned with and she’s not at all what Lucy expects. Lucy, of course, looks at her all starry eyed and tries so hard to contain her fangirling but fails spectacularly. We can’t really blame her. For all Grace’s bluntness, she’s got an impressive set of detective skills, a keen eye for observation and deduction, and an uncanny ability to pick out details based on someone’s behavior. The moment Lucy and Wyatt walk into her office, she reads the two of them—and their fraught relationship—like a book.

“Sorry, I don’t take romantic disputes,” Grace says once they’ve walked in. “If you want my advice, you have better things to do than waste your time and your keen intellect on a married man, even if he is a soldier and a war hero.”

It’s a humorous (and slightly awkward, but mostly for Team Lyatt) scene, if only because someone who’s not even spent a lot of time with Lucy and Wyatt knows that there is a lot that’s going unsaid between them. And someone else has finally said it. Lucy and Wyatt are long overdue for a talk about their feelings, and it only makes sense that in an episode about women’s rights that Timeless has the central storyline paralleled by Lucy’s fierceness in protecting herself.

Things aren’t going much better for Flynn and Rufus, which is what happens when you pair up with a guy who spent the majority of the previous season trying to murder you. Flynn continues to weasel his way into the Time Team (which is sort of working…) and into Rufus’ good graces. The latter is going to take quite an effort, but the two of them paired up this episode provides some great comedic moments. Especially when Rufus orders Flynn to “Flynn it up” once their investigative efforts are interrupted by a nosy officer. Flynn doesn’t get the chance—the officer is dispatched by Emma.

timeless s2e7 emma

Adding to the complicated, often smudged line between good and evil on Timeless, Emma offers her services in a “one night only” alliance. Rufus and Flynn are reluctant to take it, both of them united in their skepticism. Despite her loyalty to Rittenhouse, Emma isn’t on board with the shadowy organization’s latest scheme to eliminate the right for her to vote.

In a rare moment of emotional vulnerability, Emma sheds some light on her backstory and why this particular fight is where she draws the line. It turns out that she and her mother escaped her abusive, drunkard father and built a new life for themselves; one where Emma was able to thrive and eventually become recruited into Rittenhouse’s elite ranks based on her skill and intelligence. She’s still obviously a murderer with a history of dubious actions (including a plot to kill Lucy), but Timeless manages to give her a layer of depth we weren’t expecting. We don’t want to like her—though she kicks a lot of ass and it’s awesome to see such a multifaceted female villain—but Annie Wersching makes us empathize with her plight.

The quest to clear Alice Paul’s name takes a sharp turn for the worst when Grace, Lucy, and Wyatt discover Alice dead in her jail cell. Lucy’s devastation is heartbreaking (it’s always a shock when Timeless kills off someone with historical significance), but she uses it to fuel her for the rest of the episode. She takes on the fight to preserve Alice’s legacy as any good historian would.

After she and Grace deliver the news to the rest of the suffragettes getting ready to march, Lucy attempts to get someone else to take on Alice’s speech. Lucy and Grace’s opposing views clash; Lucy’s fierce determination to get Grace to stand up with these women against Grace’s view that protests and marches don’t work. Lucy, at the end of her patience, is as outspoken as we’ve ever seen her: she implores Grace to quit being a hypocrite and fight for other women who don’t yet enjoy the privileges she’s been afforded in her own work. But all Grace does is help them vote to march silently in honor of their fallen suffragette. Some of the women are inspired by Lucy’s words, though, and suggest that she give the speech. And she almost gets that chance, if it weren’t for the meddling sleeper agent.

timeless s2e7 grace humiston

Rittenhouse’s latest agent hid within the suffragettes, posing as one herself to gain their trust. That’s the insidious poison of Rittenhouse, spreading in secret before it’s nearly too late. For Lucy, help comes from an unlikely source: Grace Humiston, who’s two steps ahead of Rittenhouse and steals the bullets from the gun that could’ve killed Lucy. Emma kills the sleeper agent and hightails it back to the Mothership before the Time Team can do anything about it.

Lucy rejoins the suffragettes in their march (how amazing this moment must feel for her to be among them and see it happen herself) and it should be noted here that Wyatt walks alongside her from a distance. Even though they aren’t together, and he can’t stop her from putting herself in harm’s way, he still wants to protect her. That’s love, Wyatt, and you should probably realize it before it’s too late. The men of the Time Team are the only ones to come to the aid of the marching women once things get ugly, too. The rest are too busy hurling insults and taunting the marchers with sexist comments that women continue to have directed at them in 2018.

In the midst of the chaos, Grace is caught up in the action, tossed around by the wave of marchers against the NYPD. It’s there that she sees the fight with her own eyes—the sexist shouts, the police brutally attacking women, the perseverance of those same women who keep going despite it all—and finally, she understands. Her outrage fuels her to give the speech meant for Alice Paul. And it’s a hell of a speech; easily one of Timeless’ most powerful sequences to date.

“When we stay silent, we’re just as much to blame as those we fight against,” Grace tells the crowd, including President Wilson, who’s stopped to watch the march. They’re stirring, truthful words that resonate not just in 1919, but in 2018. Words that remind us of how far we’ve come and how far we still yet have to go. Just try to watch this scene without getting all teary eyed…it’s difficult not to be moved by it.

Back in the present, the episode winds down by dealing with messy interpersonal relationships. At wherever Rittenhouse has now set up their operations, Nicholas Keynes puts the moves on Emma. He claims she’s the only one he can trust and he has plans for her. And they kiss. Eww. Nope. Not only is Grandpa Rittenhouse over a hundred years old (technically), he’s also the same guy who was okay with taking away women’s rights. That’s not a guy you want to kiss. But maybe Emma is playing the long game? Who knows what her motivations are, but could she be angling to take over Rittenhouse?

timeless s2e7 lucy

At the bunker, Jiya and Rufus make up after a nasty spat over Jiya’s premonition about Rufus’ doomed fate. It’s good to see the two of them working things out because Lucy and Wyatt’s issues have finally surfaced and it’s not exactly pretty. Wyatt spent the whole episode in jealous anger (which he totally deserves) because of Lucy and Flynn’s newfound friendship. Lucy called him out, telling Wyatt that he has no business feeling like he’s been slighted when she’s the one whose world abruptly crumbled once Jessica showed up. Though Lucy confirms that nothing happened between her and Flynn (except the two of them hitting that bottle of vodka pretty hard), she affirms that she’s allowed to make her own choices. And she’s right.

“You are happily married,” Lucy reminds him. That he needs this reminder is a telltale sign that he still needs to sort out his feelings. “I have to accept that and you have to accept that. We can’t keep living in the past.”

For as much as she loves Wyatt, Lucy doesn’t want to come between him and Jessica. It’s just not who she is. Wyatt at least is grateful that she is such a noble person. It’s a sweet little moment that smooths things over just a bit, but Wyatt’s going to have to do a lot more to make up for his behavior in the long run.

…Especially because his relationship with Jessica may put the Time Team in danger. Timeless drops quite a bombshell this week. After combing through evidence gathered from Wyatt’s raid last episode, Connor Mason and Agent Christopher find a picture of Jessica within Rittenhouse’s files. We knew there was something shady going on if Rittenhouse decided to prevent her murder. Will the picture unlock the details of just how they were able to do that? Is Jessica a Rittenhouse sleeper agent? Anything is possible on this show.