‘Timeless’ Finale Review: “The Miracle of Christmas”
The two-hour finale of Timeless aired on Thursday, Dec 20, and social media was certainly abuzz as the #Timeless tag on Twitter hit number one in worldwide trends throughout the course of the evening. Excitement was clear across the board, as members of the cast and crew had even gotten together for a watch party (videos and photos of which were shared via Twitter and Instagram).
— Annie Wersching (@Wersching) December 21, 2018
Fans laughed and cried, they yelled and rejoiced, as the episodes took a series of twists and turns to tie up loose ends and close out the Time Team’s story (for now, at least). The very existence of the finale itself is largely thanks to Timeless’ dedicated fans, who have never been afraid to make themselves be heard, despite the multiple times that the show has been canceled.
As a huge fan of Timeless myself, I have been eagerly anticipating the finale since it was originally announced. I followed the various interviews and sneak peeks, trying to piece together how the final episodes would end up playing out. To be completely candid, after finishing the episodes, I was ultimately left feeling somewhat disappointed.
That being said, I am truly happy that it proved to be beyond satisfying for many fans, because finishing this story meant a great deal to the cast and crew, and they have been nothing but excited to share it with us all. The love and effort put into the finale shines through clearly, even if there are plot points that not all may agree with.
In the following review, I will jump around to various noteworthy important events that occurred throughout the course of the finale.
Strap in folks, there are spoilers ahead!
The finale opens up with a monologue from Future Lucy as she writes her story in the almighty journal, paired with a montage of flashbacks of important moments that have occurred throughout the course of the series (foreshadowing events that would be touched on in the final episodes). It would have certainly been enjoyable to see the journal come to life over time (something this show has always been fighting for), but nevertheless it was fitting and necessary for it to be included at all.
After the opening scene, the episode picks up exactly where “Chinatown” left off. Future Lucy and Future Wyatt burst in on the bunker crew with cold, somber attitudes and a few useful gifts (“Merry Christmas, by the way”) before returning to their own time. The current day Time Team is left with an upgraded Lifeboat, the journal, and confirmation that Rittenhouse certainly cannot be stopped without Rufus in the picture.
The Logan Baby (or lack thereof)
The first real bomb of the episode was dropped on the team when Future Wyatt brusquely informs his younger self that Jessica had been lying about her pregnancy. It felt strange to see Wyatt’s ultimate turmoil with his wife, which was a major plot point throughout the entire series in various iterations, end with such a flat finality. However, wrapping up Wyatt and Jessica’s woes with a baby in the picture would not have been feasible without an entire extra season to work out the finer points.
The Harsh Truth of Time Machines
A bit further into the first half of the finale, a brief but crucial conversation occurs between Agent Christopher and Connor Mason. Agent Christopher voices her opinion that the existing time machines must be destroyed, while Connor makes an important point that another time machine can and will be built again by someone else, anyway. Their discussion is one of the first hints at the open-ended nature of the episodes, as someone will always be responsible for ensuring that the power of time travel is not used for nefarious means.
Garcia Flynn’s Final Mission
Love him or hate him, Garcia Flynn’s death was certainly abrupt and shocking.
Goran Višnjić‘s overall short tenure in the final episodes was partly due to a conflicting filming schedule with other projects. However it did not necessarily justify his death.
When the plan to eliminate Jessica was initially discussed around the fire, Flynn made a clear point in asking who would save the world if Wyatt, Lucy, and Jiya died on their mission to do so. This is what made his choice to dive out of the Lifeboat after setting it on autopilot to the location of the rest of the Time Team so very confusing and concerning. He was a part of the team to save the world, too, after all.
Flynn’s overall thoughts and feelings in this moment were slightly rectified and explained in his final letter to Lucy, and yet his death still felt unnecessary. Based on Flynn’s character growth in the second season, his obvious trajectory would have been to return and help the team in their mission to take down Rittenhouse once and for all.
For what it is worth, Flynn was still able to get one of the last things that he truly wanted: to see his family again. Though I am thankful he was given that scene to conclude his story, it was arguably one of the most heartbreaking scenes in the entire finale.
“Merry Christmas, Ya Filthy Animals!”
Rufus’ triumphant and unexpected return (as the team had initially thought Flynn was on his way to save them) was an epic, tear-worthy moment. It was a relief that the writers inserted him quickly and seamlessly into the episode (as Jessica’s erasure automatically brought him back) so that he could be present for the bulk of the finale.
Agent Christopher Travels Through Time
In an exciting turn of events, Agent Christopher is finally given the chance to time travel. Everyone else on the team has done it at least once, Connor Mason included, so the finale truly would not have been complete without letting her go on a mission of her own.
The scene itself was also satisfying, as Emma (who has always been a step ahead) is finally stumped when Benjamin Cahill (an interesting surprise addition!) and Agent Christopher corner her.
The writing team of Timeless worked painstakingly to neatly tie up and address a variety of romantic relationships throughout the course of the finale. Rufus and Jiya are ultimately reunited, and their story is finished off with the reveal that they have started their own company (Riya Industries).
The existence and extent of Flynn and Lucy’s relationship (which occurred in the future, but is now a different timeline from the current) is explained, and the two of them are given a brief but necessary scene to address the elephant in the journal. Flynn also writes Lucy a heartbreaking letter, which she is left to find in the journal once he does not return.
Lucy and Wyatt, meanwhile, are able to reconcile their differences and find themselves married with twins at the end. The twins are appropriately named Flynn and Amy. Lucy and Wyatt had clearly recognized the damage and distance between their future selves when they appeared in the bunker, and they acknowledged that they had the power to change that.
Romantic relationships aside, familial relationships are the aspect that left me feeling confused at the very end. A large portion of the two-hour special was dedicated to romantic relationships, time which could have alternatively been delegated to exploring certain familial ties as well.
Lucy’s driving motivation at the beginning of the series was to, hopefully, find a way to get her sister Amy back. Amy existed in Lucy’s original timeline before the events of Timeless unraveled, which always made it seem obvious that she would be brought back in the end. Understandably, the re-introduction of Amy would have certainly required an entire plot line of its own to be woven into the story. However, it was a necessary and missed opportunity. Knowing the character of Lucy Preston that has been crafted throughout the course of the series, it felt wrong that she would ultimately give up on the pursuit of her sister.
As said by Garcia Flynn in an earlier episode, “I know, somehow, someway, we’ll save the people we love.“ So why wasn’t Amy saved?
São Paulo, Brazil
For myself personally, seeing the revered São Paulo exchange was at the top of my wish list for the finale. This scene is the turning point that sets off the entire chain of events that allows the timeline of the show to exist as it currently stands. It was a welcomed relief to see it included at the very end, especially with the knowledge that creators Eric Kripke and Shawn Ryan initially disagreed with one another about having it included at all.
This scene, having been so important to setting the stage for the show itself, was not given the screen time that it deserved. If a third season had been on the table, São Paulo could and would have been its own episode. The sentiment and the emotions were certainly there, but the lines felt so clearly rushed (and not just because Lucy was feeling the painful effects of entering her own timeline).
Lucy’s candid admission to Flynn that he will not save his family, though honest and true, opens up far too many questions for the final 4 minutes of the episode. Based on the original timeline that is presented to viewers, Flynn’s driving motivation to take down Rittenhouse is rooted in his determination to save Lorena and Iris. I strongly believe that Flynn’s actions and attitude in the original episodes would have been entirely different if his driving motivation was to be a hero rather than an avenger, which would most likely have a domino effect on the current day that the trio returns to at the end.
“Maybe the Greatest Hero of Us All”
Despite the tragic ending of Garcia Flynn, he is highlighted as a true hero in the final moments. Following Lucy’s final words to him, an incredibly emotional montage of the beginning of his journey and clips of the rest of the team follows with a fantastic cover of the song “Time After Time” playing in the background. This was a wonderful way to close out the Time Team’s final mission.
The very end of the episode, which was already confirmed not to include any of the main cast, pans into the bedroom of a young girl. The girl is engrossed in writing at her desk as textbooks and paperwork surround her. The camera zooms in for the final shot to reveal pages full of handwritten equations for time travel and sketches of time machines.
Timeless closed the chapter of Rittenhouse with the finale, as it was necessary to do so. However, this scene is a reminder of Connor Mason’s warning that others will find a way to make their own time machines. The Timeless team has set the stage for a potential future for the show, while neatly tying up the overall story of the first two seasons.
What did you think? Do you have questions about the writing or making of the #Timeless movie ?? Join me for a Q&A tomorrow (Friday) 12/21 around 10 am!
— arikalisanne (@arikalisanne) December 21, 2018
I am a firm believer in acknowledging that opinions, especially when it comes to television and movies, need to be recognized for what they are: someone’s personal perspective. If you have two people, and one of them loves a movie and the other one loathes it, their opinions do not factually change the quality of the content of the film itself. So if you loved the finale, continue loving it and telling other people about it! Watch it again and again and get friends to watch, too. If you did not love the finale, focus on what you have enjoyed about the journey of Timeless as a whole.
Regardless, #ClockBlockers must continue to band together to remain loud and insistent about the future of Timeless. The story was left open-ended for a reason, after all!
What were your favorite parts of the finale? Let us know in the comments!