Timeless “The Capture of Benedict Arnold” shows just how far the team are prepared to go to change the future. As Flynn says, “The things we do for love.” It is for the love of his family that he is prepared to go all the way. Even though, as Flynn tells Lucy, he will walk away after ensuring that they live.
Wyatt agrees to the assassination of Rittenhouse because Flynn promises to tell him who killed his wife. Lucy agrees in order to get Amy back and Rufus’ love for his family prompts him to agree to the deadly plan. All of the players agree to a heinous thing because of love.
As foretold by Flynn, Preston and her team help him in this latest mission. This is their chance to kill Rittenhouse before he can take over. The first surprise, after learning that Flynn needs their help, is that back during the War of Independence, “the Rittenhouse Group” was one man.
(On a sidenote: Armin Shimerman, who has made a very successful career out of playing unpleasant characters like Buffy the Vampire Slayer’s Principal Snyder, was the perfect choice to portray the original “Rittenhouse.” No one else could have pulled off the necessary degree of nasty snottiness required so effortlessly.)
In many ways the character of Flynn, in this episode, mirrors the Bruce Willis character in the 2012 film “Looper.” Like “Old Joe,” Garcia knows that killing a child will damn him. Flynn may cry for a moment for his soul but like Joe, he is prepared to do what is right, regardless of the consequences to himself.
At long last, Flynn and Lucy team up to defeat the Rittenhouse group. It does not go smoothly and Rittenhouse’s son escapes. By the end of the episode, Garcia grabs Lucy and they disappear in the time device leaving Rufus and Wyatt in the past.
This episode of Timeless suggested that things could be changing rather dramatically even before the trio started this week’s mission. Agent Christopher brings Lucy home to dinner. This is, says Denise’s wife, something that has never happened before.
At the end of the meal, Christopher reveals why she invited Lucy home. It all boils down to Lucy’s missing sister Amy. The one who disappeared after the Hindenburg mission. Denise hands Preston a thumb drive with pictures of her wife and their child “in case.”
She wants Preston to guard the memories in case one of the missions causes her family to disappear, leaving her with no recollection of her “prior” life.
Before this week’s mission, Connor Mason turns up at Jiya’s apartment where she and Rufus are playing a videogame. He tells Carlin that the Rittenhouse group know that he is “editing” the tapes. A drunken Mason explains that on this next mission, Rufus must record everything. Otherwise, he says, Rufus’ family will be in danger.
Even without these portents, we know the instant that the group agree to team up with Flynn in a unanimous decision, that this “time” will be different. It is also clearly apparent that Rittenhouse will die and that Rufus, relegated to stay away from the original head of the organization, will be instrumental in saving the group.
Another signposted event was the escape of John, the heir apparent of the Rittenhouse vision. The kid was sensitive, despite being brainwashed by poppa, and his survival was almost guaranteed. Had Flynn been on his own, John would have been toast, but Lucy was there to plead for the youngster’s life.
As she argues with Flynn, the boy makes his escape. Timeless has been pretty loose with history after setting up Preston to make sure the timeline is changed as little as possible.
The very first mission changed a lot. Saving all those people who should have died on the Hindenburg eradicated Amy, Lucy’s sister, from existence and restored her mother’s health.
From that moment on, it was clear that each mission would cause a number of changes. This not only allowed the series to make changes in each episode’s timeline, but it also gave the show plenty of room for “liberties” with the real history of the times visited.
Lucy has now been kidnapped by Flynn and it looks like Rufus and Wyatt will be chasing their teammate down. There has been no indication of what changes were caused by Rittenhouse’s death, and the escape of his son, but it appears that the focus of the show may be changed now that Preston is with Flynn.
“The Capture of Benedict Arnold” also served to vindicate Flynn’s assertion that he never wanted to change the US or destroy it. He wanted to stop Rittenhouse, the organization that murdered his family and who control the country’s reins of power.
Timeless will, according to the promotional teasers on the network, return in the new year. Rufus and Wyatt will now be chasing Flynn down not to stop him but to rescue Lucy.
This has been a pretty satisfactory mid-winter finale. Spencer and company have knocked it out of the park and Goran Visnjic has managed to make Garcia Flynn more human in each episode.
Timeless airs Mondays on NBC. Tune in and see where the team head next in their quest to save their teammate.
- Abigail Spencer – Lucy Preston
- Matt Lanter – Wyatt Logan
- Malcolm Barrett – Rufus Carlin
- Goran Visnjic – Garcia Flynn
- Paterson Joseph – Connor Mason
- Sakina Jaffrey – Agent Denise Christopher
- Claudia Doumit – Jiya
- Matt Frewer – Anthony Bruhl
- Susanna Thompson – Carol Preston
- John Getz as Benjamin Cahill