2×01 – The War to End All Wars – Recap/Review

My review of The War to End all Wars is here. This, instead, is a detailed recap with commentary (and by commentary I mean pterodactyl screeching and dying whale noises). And if you haven’t yet watched the episode you are forbidden to read this until you’ve gone here and caught up.

Timeless - Season 2
TIMELESS — “The War to End All Wars” Episode 201 — Pictured: (l-r) Abigail Spencer as Lucy Preston, Malcolm Barrett as Rufus Carlin, Matt Lanter Wyatt Logan — (Photo by: Justin Lubin/NBC)

The War to End all Wars dumps us in the thick of things, opening on September 14 1918, In St Mihiel, France. Warbirds are engaged in combat overhead, and the coloring draws us into the past.
Bodies lay on the cold dirt, fires burn, and a soldier calls for Captain Albright – who is injured, but alive. He pats his pocket, feels around beneath a dead soldier, and finds what he’s missing – a modern smartphone. Because Rittenhouse has never had any issues taking items back to the past with them (and nor has Flynn).

From that revelation, we cut to Mason Industries. Our boys, Wyatt and Rufus, are decked out in 70s outfits, answering a question I’ve had since the season one finale – would there be a time jump? There will be, but not right away. Right now, it’s just been an hour or so since Lucy left Mason Industries in the season one finale, and Wyatt and Rufus are readying to head back to ’79 to play cupid and get Amy back. One problem: Lucy isn’t with them, and she’s not answering her phone.

At Carol’s home, there’s been a struggle. Lucy’s phone lays on the ground, damaged. Lucy was clearly not the willing Rittenhouse member Carol was probably hoping she would be. In the lifeboat, the phone pressed to his ear, it’s only now Wyatt notices the gas cannister, the flashing light – the bomb. The best he can do is yell a warning to Rufus as the bomb explodes – and takes out Mason Industries with it.

Timeless - Season 2
TIMELESS — “The War to End All Wars” Episode 201 — Pictured: (l-r) Paterson Joseph as Connor Mason, Sakina Japery as Denise Christopher, Claudia Doumit as Jiya — (Photo by: Justin Lubin/NBC)

Time jump, and it’s six-weeks later, and what’s left of the team (Rufus, Jiya, Wyatt, Agent Christopher, and Connor Mason) are hiding out in a deserted warehouse, all but trapped there.
Wyatt’s sustained some gnarly injuries to his back in the explosion, and the shipper in me hopes Lucy sees these new scars. Our boy is frustrated, and he’s scared. He takes it out on a mirror as he stands before it in a towel, punching his fist to the glass just seconds before Jiya walks in. She’s apologetic at first, but then reminds him, when he snaps at her, that he’s not following the system they have in place. Which is very Wyatt. Not only are we seeing a darker Wyatt here, but a Jiya more ready to snap than before. Whatever has been happening to her since the end of season one is clearly taking its toll.

Wyatt dresses and moves to exit through a door, gun in hand, ready to take on the world single-handedly to find Lucy, only to find the door locked. He interrupts Rufus, who’s working on the lifeboat, and probably has been non-stop for the last six weeks,  and borrows his grinder to cut through the door.
Rufus, Jiya, they’ve all putting up with Wyatt’s deteriorating mood. Rufus wants to find Lucy too, but they don’t even know if she’s alive.
Agent Christopher busts them trying to leave, and she’s unapologetic as she keeps Wyatt from leaving. She has men looking for Lucy, but that’s not good enough for Wyatt. But if he leaves, Rittenhouse will kill him.

“I’m already down one asset,” Denise tells Wyatt
“That’s what you think Lucy is? An asset?” he asks.

 

Timeless - Season 2
TIMELESS — “The War to End All Wars” Episode 201 — Pictured: (l-r) Paterson Joseph as Conor Mason, Claudia Doumit as Jiya, Matt Lanter as Wyatt Logan, Sakina Jaffery as Denise Christopher — (Photo by: Justin Lubin/NBC)

The only way they’re leaving, she tells them, is via the lifeboat.  I am both in love with the strong, unapologetic, fierce Agent Christopher, who is trying to protect them, and a little angry for Wyatt that he’s cooped up there, unable to find Lucy himself. This is the second time a woman he loves has gone missing. Not only is he desperate to find Lucy, but he must be reliving a lot of raw emotions from the time between leaving Jessica on the side of the road, and her body being found. Last time, he wasn’t able to find the person responsible for Jessica’s death, and I think that’s being paralleled in his frustrations here, how being locked up, unable to help look for Lucy, is slowly eating away at him. Still, I appreciate Agent Christopher keeping them (her assets) safe, and she still remains one of my favorite characters in this show, even more so after this episode.

Rufus runs a test on the lifeboat, which ultimately fails, and it allows Malcolm Barrett to speak what is absolutely my favorite line of the entire episode:

“Aaahh frigging clockblocker!”

Admit it, you laughed.

And it’s here Riya are allowed a moment. Jiya calms Rufus’ frustrations, and he suggests she take a break too. I love these two a whole lot and I’m glad they’re still together – even if it seems like she’s not telling Rufus the whole truth about her “headaches”. That makes me worry about their relationship, about the future of it. I anticipate Riya angst. This hurts my heart.

Mason is trying to be helpful, but he’s out of practice and a bit out of his depth now. It’s sad to watch, because I’ve come to appreciate this character more in my S1 rewatch, and to see him having fallen like this is heart-breaking. He’s a broken man, a completely different character now as he works to rebuild himself, and works towards finding meaning in this new life.

Agent Christopher reminds Wyatt of everything Mason’s just lost. “Maybe he’s grieving like the rest of us.”
“I’m not grieving,” Wyatt fires back. “Lucy is not dead.”

We cut to a newspaper, the heading reads: Explosion at Mason Industries, 22 presumed dead. Connor Mason denies wrongdoing.” Lucy may not be dead, but she assumes Wyatt and Rufus are.
Lucy stands before a mirror, preparing for a trip back in time, the newspaper rests in front of her. She puts on a front for her mother, seemingly happy to be travelling back in time again. But its not happiness. It’s something much darker than that.

The mothership touches down in 1918, carrying Lucy, Carol, Emma, and a man they’ve brought as their security detail. It’s Carol’s first trip back, and she’s thrilled, pointing everything out to Lucy like they’re on vacation. But Lucy isn’t thrilled. She isn’t there to sight-see, and she isn’t there to help Rittenhouse. She’s there for one reason, and as it’s slowly revealed we start to understand how affected Lucy has really been by recent events.

Timeless - Season 2
TIMELESS — “The War to End All Wars” Episode 201 — Pictured: (l-r) Susanna Thompson as Carol, Anne Wersching as Emma — (Photo by: Justin Lubin/NBC)

They’ve been in the past two days now, waiting for Nicholas Keynes to show up, and Emma’s growing frustrated. Probably more so with the company than the mission.
Emma and Lucy bicker like siblings, and there’s some jealousy in Emma because of Lucy’s lineage. Rittenhouse is something Emma has worked to become part of, and so it frustrates her to see Lucy so easily be drafted – and yet be so unwilling.
They’re interrupted by a man bringing the injured Keynes to the house they’re hiding out in, just as history told them would happen.

Jiya and Rufus fix the lifeboat, and Wyatt gets to channel his inner-Lucy and plays historian. He reminds us he knows his military history by knowing exactly what the mothership has touched down in the middle of.
“No one is going in that seat except for Lucy. We’re bringing her home,” he argues when Agent Christopher tries to go with them. And damn straight, that’s Lucy’s chair. He’s a man on a mission, and no one is going to stop him now.

Timeless - Season 2
TIMELESS — “The War to End All Wars” Episode 201 — Pictured: Annie Wersching as Emma — (Photo by: Justin Lubin/NBC)

Back at the house, Emma and Carol work to save Keynes. The man who brought him in asks too many questions, so Lucy attempts to distract him before Emma loses her patience. He’s confused by the defibrillator, and thinks they’re killing Keynes. Emma pulls a weapon and shoots him in the leg. But even Carol knows Emma is a better shot that that.
It’s here that Lucy is forced to prove her allegiance to Rittenhouse, and if you thought watching her kill Jesse James was hard, this scene’s going to top it and take the prize for most devastating moment ever. This isn’t Jesse James she’s raising a gun to, this isn’t a bad man’s life she’s taking with one shot to the chest.
Her wavering lower lip, the torment in her eyes, her whispered, broken, “I’m so sorry.” The ringing of the gun after she’s fired it, her breathing in the aftermath. This will stay with Lucy forever – and it’s going to stay with the viewers too.

Timeless - Season 2
TIMELESS — “The War to End All Wars” Episode 201 — Pictured: (l-r) Kim Bubbs as Marie Curie, Susanna Thompson as Carol, Abigail Spencer as Lucy Preston — (Photo by: Justin Lubin/NBC)

Lying that she’s fine, Lucy knows how they can help the wounded Keynes, and she and her mother head off to track down a portable x-ray machine, where Lucy just happens to ask Marie Curie’s daughter, Irène, if she knows how to use it. Cue minor fangirling from Lucy as she realises who she’s just met.
Cue awkward fangirling Lucy as she meets Marie Curie.

Marie leads them away to show them how to use the portable x-ray machine, when Lucy fakes a cough. She heads off to find “water”, but she’s really looking for the means to ensure her plan succeeds. The plan to destroy the mothership, possibly with her and her mother in it, so everything stops. She’s handed a pitcher of water in a medical tent, but she’s just passing through. The tent she really needs is the one storing the weapons.
She finds grenades and smuggles a few into her bag. This is a more desperate Lucy than one we’ve previously seen, so changed by all she’s seen, all she’s done, all that’s been done to her through the course of season one, and the assumed loss of her friends. She’s just as driven, but her goals have changed so dramatically my heart physically ached for her throughout the entire episode.
2x01-timelessA hand falls on her shoulder, and she turns, arm raised, blocking a blow, ready to defend herself (and I can’t help wonder if Wyatt taught her that move) – when she comes face to face with one Master Sergeant Wyatt Logan.
They exchange, “You’re alive?”s , and you’ve never seen Wyatt so relived as you do in this moment. They laugh and hug and it’s a beautiful reunion. And it’s not just a hug, it’s a bone-crushing, never-letting-go kind of hug.
The only thing that ends it is Lucy’s joy to see Rufus entering the tent. Her arms shift, and she pulls both guys into a hug, and it becomes a glorious time team group hug.

Timeless - Season 2
TIMELESS — “The War to End All Wars” Episode 201 — Pictured: (l-r) Malcolm Barrett as Rufus Carlin, Matt Lanter as Wyatt Logan, Abigail Spencer as Lucy Preston — (Photo by: Justin Lubin/NBC)

Separating, she asks them to blow up the mothership, admitting that after she’d planned to blow it up herself she wasn’t going to return home. That wasn’t part of her plan. She leaves as her mother calls her name from outside, much to Wyatt’s frustration. He just got her back, and now he has to let her walk away again, to her Rittenhouse mom.

Rufus: “I’m guessing you’re happy she’s still alive, huh?”
Wyatt: “What? Yeah, course. We need our historian.”
Rufus: “Yeah, sure. Our historian.”
Because Rufus has got eyes too, you sly dog.

Mason is a man lost as he sits quietly, watching security footage of his beloved warehouse being blown up, with his people inside. Jiya finds him brooding and gives him a pep-talk, but midway through she has another episode, and collapses. When Mason suggests she rest she snaps at him. It’s out of character for Jiya, to be so short-tempered, and it’s hard to watch her going through this.

Timeless - Season 2
TIMELESS — “The War to End All Wars” Episode 201 — Pictured: Matt Lanter as Wyatt Logan — (Photo by: Justin Lubin/NBC)

As Wyatt and Rufus attempt to crank a car, to steal it, they’re caught by Captain Albright, and despite Wyatt’s best attempts to come up with a cover story, the captain isn’t buying it. He takes them to a tent where Rufus’ notices something off about a soldier. He calls to Wyatt and a fight breaks out. It’s brutal, and it ends with the captain’s particularly nasty death. None of this is fun for Rufus. He doesn’t enjoy travelling back in time; he doesn’t enjoy having to see first-hand how truly heart-breaking history was; he doesn’t enjoy nature; and he doesn’t enjoy watching his friends kill people – or doing it himself. The scene ends with Wyatt finding the captain’s smartphone. Huh. That shouldn’t be there.

Irène and Marie Curie use the portable x-ray machine on Keynes, but the x-ray comes out blurry, which is unusual. Suspecting it’s the battery, Irène teaches Lucy how to make sure the truck is connected right.

Irène: “We’ve trained over a hundred women to use these machines.”
Lucy: “I know. I mean: That’s amazing.”

Lucy and Irène bond over a shared history of overbearing mothers, and it’s a wonderful – if disturbing – juxtaposition. Marie steps outside, still having issues with the blurry x-rays, and considers it might be some kind of interference.

As Rufus and Wyatt drive to the farm house, Rufus speaks of how he has a mother and brother who think he’s dead. Wyatt might have felt like his hands were tied behind his back in the new warehouse, but Rufus really has family out there grieving for him. It’s something I hope is revisited this season, and it’s a reunion I hope we get to see.
In addition to that, Jiya’s sick, “and no one knows why”, which adds to my suspicion that she hasn’t told anyone a damn thing about her visions.
He’s happy to have Lucy back, but this isn’t solely about her for him. Not like it is for Wyatt.

“Look you spent the last six weeks worried about the woman you love. I think you’d understand,” Rufus says.
“What?” Wyatt bluffs.
“Lucy! You idiot. You’re in love with Lucy, just admit it.”

And Wyatt’s silence here has never answered a question so loudly. But also: LOOK AT HIS FACE. He has this little smile playing on his lips like OH HOLY HELL RUFUS IS RIGHT. I LOVE LUCY. It’s stinking adorable.

“Can’t call, can’t text, can’t email,” Wyatt says, holding up the smartphone, wondering what the captain had been using it for. They then speculate that to be able to gain trust, the captain must have rose his way through the ranks over time. “How long has this guy been here?” Wyatt ponders.  It’s an ominous question, and one that must instantly take their thoughts to Emma and the decade she spent in the cabin in Missouri.

Emma and Carol leave Lucy alone, and she uses the opportunity to attempt to smother and kill Keynes. Carol catches her, saddened Emma was right, that Lucy’s not on their side. She protects Lucy this time but warns that she won’t be able to protect her again. It’s here Lucy learns Emma and Carol are planning to take Keynes back to 2018 with them.

Wyatt finds documents of Rittenhouse’s plans for a time machine, written in 1910. They’ve been planning this a long time, how they could make little changes here and there, enough to be in control.

As the women carry Keynes to the mothership, Irène and Marie get there first, discovering what was causing the interference.
Emma pulls a gun, but Carol orders her to put it down – and she does. But when she raises it again, Lucy steps in, putting herself between them, protecting Marie and Irène. Lucy tries to argue she helped save Keynes’ life, but Emma brings out one of Lucy’s grenades, and asks what it was for.

“Someone who’s willing to die fighting against us will never fight for us.” – Emma

“You can’t protect her anymore,” Emma tells Carol.
“I can,” Wyatt announces, appearing just as Lucy was preparing herself to be shot.

Timeless - Season 2
TIMELESS — “The War to End All Wars” Episode 201 — Pictured: (l-r) Abigail Spencer as Lucy Preston, Matt Lanter as Wyatt Logan, Malcolm Barrett as Rufus Carlin — (Photo by: Justin Lubin/NBC)

Wyatt refuses to back down first, ready to put a bullet in Keynes’s head unless Emma lets Lucy go.
She does, and Lucy attempts to get her mom to switch sides, to “be on the right side of history” and come back with her.
“Lucy, this is so much bigger than you or me,” Carol tells her, before walking to the mothership with Emma. Lucy desperately calls after her mom, but Carol has chosen her side. It’s here we learn something interesting – and disturbing. Emma took trips on the mothership, multiple trips, to ensure Lucy can never get Amy back. Emma’s true character is coming out this season, and she’s showing just how calculating and cold she really is. Carol best be careful – because I don’t think even she’s safe from Emma’s ultimate goal.
Rufus manages to grab Lucy and hold her back before she can reach Emma and claw her throat out with her bare hands. And all she can do is watch as a flash of light signals the departure of the mothership, and her mother.

Timeless - Season 2
TIMELESS — “The War to End All Wars” Episode 201 — Pictured: Abigail Spencer as Lucy Preston — (Photo by: Justin Lubin/NBC)

The lifeboat returns to 2018, greeted by a very relieved Jiya and Mason.

Lucy surveys the new surroundings, a bit broken, sad, unsure. But Wyatt gives her a reassuring nod.

It’s good to be home.

Her quarters might make her think otherwise, though. There’s two beds,  one of which appears to already have an owner, a desk, little else in the spartan living arrangements. Wyatt enters as she’s surveying her new life.

“It’s not exactly what you were expecting to come home to, huh?” Wyatt asks.

“I wasn’t expecting to come home at all,” she replies.

This is a darker Lucy now, so changed by everything that’s happened to her since the Hindenburg, but even more so now, because of her mother, because she took a life.

And she admits this to Wyatt, that she killed someone. Wyatt tries to reassure her that she only did was what necessary, but she disagrees. She chose to do it. And it makes me think of a conversation these two had in a bar at the end of Stranded in season one, about the choices we make, and how that’s what history is: choices.
She did it, to prove her loyalty, because she thought Rufus and Wyatt dead, and she saw nothing to come back for. And she admits that her mother might not have stopped Emma from killing her, if she’d had the chance.

“I’ve lost everything,” a heartbroken Lucy laments.

Wyatt moves to her, and he’s got her in his arms before he even fully sits down. His lips graze her temple (THAT WAS A FOREHEAD KISS AND YOU CAN’T TELL ME OTHERWISE). He sits at her side, pulls her into a hug, and promises, “You haven’t lost me.” And the raw emotion in his voice makes us all wish we had a Wyatt Logan in our lives.
Lucy reaches up and cups his jaw (OH YES. I AM HERE FOR THIS). They shift, Wyatt slowly turning as Lucy pulls away from his shoulder and pulls him down to her. There’s still some hesitation from him, but Lucy’s ready to maul his mouth with hers (has been since Arkansas, I’m pretty sure), and their lips part as they both move in, Lucy caressing his face, Wyatt sill rubbing his hand up and down her back – and ask me if I’m okay? I’M NOT OKAY. Because they get THISGODDAMNCLOSE.

(Screeching pterodactyls had nothing on me in this moment)

AND THEN JIYA INTERRUPTUS walks in and ruins the moment. BUT WYATT DOESN’T STOP RUBBING HIS HAND UP AND DOWN LUCY’S BACK (this is where my dying whale impression kicked in). He just sits there with her, still holding her, still comforting her AND I AM DONE. BURY ME NOW. LYATT HAS KILLED ME.

Jiya’s there to tell them that they need to come see what Mason’s figured out, and at least she’s apologetic about ruining their moment. Between walking in on Wyatt in his towel and this scene I’m pretty sure Jiya just wants to lock herself in the lifeboat for a bit to avoid any more awkward moments.
Back to Lyatt… The reluctance as they separate is glorious and fanfic writers, I’m going to need all the I-couldn’t-sleep-so-I-thought-I’d-see-if-you-were-awake bed-sharing/snuggling fic. Now. Stat. Immediately. Get on that.

In six weeks the mothership visited ten different destinations, which Lucy wasn’t told about. Wyatt figures that they can’t have all had to do with Amy. Rufus has been reading Keynes’ notes, and between what he and Wyatt saw in the past with the captain, and what’s in the notes, the boys figure it out.

“Sleeper cells,” Wyatt says. “Think about it, the captain we met in 1918, he worked his way through the ranks. Emma, she’d been in the late 1800s for what? Ten years? Maybe they’re playing the long game here. I mean, what if they’ve already planted who knows how many agents in history? What if they’re all just biding their time? Living regular lives, just waiting to be activated.”

Lucy learns from her team that Nicholas Keynes wrote the plans, but she still doesn’t know exactly who he is. That reveal comes for the audience, however, as the scene shifts to Keynes waking up in the present. Carol tells him he was right about time travel, and that he’s with Rittenhouse in the year 2018.
“And who are you?” he asks Carol, and there’s something really dark and ominous about him, not helped by the foreboding music playing over the scene.
“I’m your granddaughter.”

Rufus, Jiya and Mason have printed out all the documents from the iphone but they’re not making much sense of it.
“There’s someone who might know,” Agent Christopher tells them.
She walks down a corridor, to prison cells. “Something’s happened, we need to talk,” she says to the man, bent over, praying.

It’s Garcia Flynn!

“Not to you,” Flynn tells her. “I’ll only talk to Lucy.”

 

Timeless is back, and this strong season premiere has me a level of excited I didn’t know was possible. I cannot wait to see where the writers take this season; I cannot wait for what is looking to be an emotional journey, and I am here for every twist and turn, for every laugh, for every tear. Because I know, no matter what happens this season, these characters will end up stronger, closer, and more determined than ever to end Rittenhouse.
I have some final questions:

Will Jiya tell the truth about what she’s seeing?

Will Carol survive the season?

Will Amy ever return?

Does Agent Christopher get to see her family at all?

Will Rufus be allowed to see his family again?

WILL LYATT JUST MAKE-OUT ALREADY?

Will any of us fans survive these ten episodes?

WILL NBC JUST RENEW THIS AMAZING SHOW ALREADY?

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