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TIMELESS Recap & Review of Special Series Finale: The Miracle of Christmas (Parts 1 & 2)

Amanda Mason & Mike Vicic - December 21, 2018






Once upon a time, Mr. Mason built a time machine… And then all hell broke loose.

Plots were thwarted. Friendships were forged. Love blossomed. Hearts were broken. Some enemies became allies, while some allies (and family, no less) became enemies. It’s been one hell of a ride for our Time Team over the past two years – and until the death of Rufus in the Season 2 finale, hope always remained…


TIMELESS recap and review of "The Miracle of Christmas (Parts 1 & 2)" (airdate: Thursday, December 20, 2018).





A Dark Future
That hope never returns, according to the future versions of Lucy and Wyatt that stand before team – fresh from 2023. (Actually, “fresh” might not be the most accurate descriptor here, given that they look like they could use a shower and a couple boxes of Tide Pods.) The loss of Rufus takes its toll on everyone, fracturing the team and rendering them useless in the fight against Rittenhouse.
The two Futures have a plan, though. If they can somehow save Rufus, then perhaps they can change their own fates and save the world. Future Lucy thrusts the journal into Present Lucy’s hands, instructing her and Wyatt to read it and come up with a plan together. Present Wyatt wants to know about the baby. Future Wyatt is quick to tell him that Jessica was never pregnant and that she lied about it to manipulate him. Then the Futures are off, leaving their tricked-out Lifeboat for their Present counterparts and taking the antique.

An Enlightening Read
Lucy and Wyatt set about mining Future Lucy’s journal for clues on how to save Rufus. Unfortunately, diving into the journal also means reliving the heartbreak of their short-lived love affair. It also details some things that have not yet happened – a mission on the Titanic and, holy smokes, an affair Lucy has with Garcia Flynn. Because that’s not awkward or anything.

Reading it also makes Wyatt come to terms with the fact that not only was Jessica to blame for the sorry state of his love life, but she is the reason that Rufus is dead. Without her return from oblivion – and Wyatt’s invitation to the bunker – Jiya would never have been kidnapped and Rufus wouldn’t have been killed on the rescue mission. He vows to make things right somehow.

For her part, Lucy confronts Flynn about the affair detailed in the journal – and why he didn’t give her a heads-up. He tells her that he didn’t really believe that it happened because of his past treatment of her – and besides, the affair in the journal ends badly because Lucy’s heart always belonged to Wyatt.

Gold in Them There Hills
After the catastrophe that was the Nicholas era, Rittenhouse is a little strapped for cash. Emma and Jessica – now running the organization – decide to use the California Gold Rush to remedy that situation.


Pictured (L-R): Claudia Doumit as Jiya and Matt Lanter as Wyatt Logan.

(Photo by: Darren Michaels/Sony/NBC)


Like clockwork, Lucy, Wyatt, Jiya, and Flynn follow to 1848 Columa where they quickly learn that Emma and Jessica have placed a bounty on their heads. They steal horses and get out of town before anyone see them. Unfortunately, the victim of their horse theft is Joaquin Murrieta, a vaquiero hell-bent on avenging the death of his brother. After a rocky start – a situation diffused by the increasingly-badass Jiya – Murrieta agrees to help them in exchange for tips on finding gold. Fun Fact: Also known as The Robin Hood of El Dorado, Murrieta was the inspiration for Johnston McCulley’s Zorro.

Bah Humbug
Back in the present, Connor plays Grinch to Agent Christopher’s Who. In desperate need of an outlet for her nervous energy, Denise is decorating the bunker for Christmas, but Mason is not in the mood. Not until Rufus is saved. While chatting, she reminds him that once the missions are complete, the time machines must both be destroyed. He reminds her of what happened with Oppenheimer and atomic weapons. Once a technology is out there, somebody will find a way to use it for nefarious purposes – and what happens when the good guys lack the tools to stop them?

Pictured (L-R): Paterson Joseph as Connor Mason, Malcolm Barrett as Rufus Carlin,

Claudia Doumit as Jiya, and Matt Lanter as Wyatt Logan

(Photo by: Darren Michaels/Sony/NBC)


Merry Christmas, Ya Filthy Animals
After letting their guard down for a mere moment, Lucy, Wyatt, and Jiya are captured by men intent on collecting the Rittenhouse reward money. They’re in for the ultimate Christmas surprise, though, when they are rescued by none other than Rufus (complete with a signature wisecrack)! How is this even possible?

The Ultimate Sacrifice
Knowing that the deaths of any of the original time team members will result in further chaos, Flynn takes the Lifeboat on a joyride to 2012 to kill Jessica and then uses its autopilot function to send it back to 1848. Rather than travel back with the machine, Flynn elects to stay in 2012 to see his murdered family one last time. He leaves Lucy a note, thanking her for being the one thing he couldn’t hate after his family died and wishing her the happiest life. Once back in the present, the Time Team raises a glass to their once foe and vows to honor his sacrifice.

Jessica Who?
Our team isn’t the only one missing a team member. Emma gets back from a side mission to Korea to discover that Jessica has been eliminated. As such, the gold that she collected on Rittenhouse’s behalf in 1848 is now gone, too. Hell hath no fury like a power-hungry, cash-strapped Rittenhussy… Emma channels that fury into hiring a sleeper agent in 1950 Korea.


Pictured: Annie Wersching as Emma Whitmore. (Photo by: Darren Michaels/Sony/NBC)


The Frozen Chosen
Where Emma goes, the Time Team follows and it’s not long before Rufus, Jiya, Wyatt, and Lucy are trudging through the freezing snow on their way to HÅ­ngnam to see what business Rittenhouse has with the Christmas Cargo evacuation. They’re soon flagged down by a U.S. Marine who offers to fly them to the port in his helicopter.


Pictured (L-R): Abigail Spencer as Lucy Preston and Claudia Doumit as Jiya.

(Photo by: Chris Haston/NBC)


That Marine, unfortunately, is Emma’s sleeper agent. In the unseen skirmish that follows, Wyatt kills the sleeper agent, but the helicopter crashes. The team walks away with minor injuries and continues on their journey. Along the way, they befriend a pregnant Korean woman, who they decide to take with them (thus saving her from being murdered by Chinese troops). Things take a turn, though, when the woman goes into labor en route. Rufus and Lucy run to seek medical attention, while Wyatt and Jiya stay behind to help.

Just as Rufus and Lucy begin to head back with a doctor, an explosion erupts in the area where they left their teammates. Both are devastated, thinking that their loves have been killed. When they finally arrive at the explosion site, though, they’re ecstatic to find everyone alive – including the adorable infant that Wyatt now cradles. Lucy is, as they say, shooketh by the sight.

The Chapel of Love
Their new friend safely evacuated with her family, the team begins to make their way back to the hidden Lifeboat. They’re forced to seek shelter when they hear the gunfire of Communist troops. Both couples use their time to have much-needed conversations.


Pictured (L-R): Claudia Doumit as Jiya, Malcolm Barrett as Rufus Carlin.

(Photo by: Chris Haston/NBC)


Rufus and Jiya realize that though they are both changed by their recent traumas, they’re still “them”. They love each other and are in this together. Lucy tells Wyatt that seemingly losing him, only to find him again (holding that baby, no less), forced her to admit to herself that she’s irrevocably in love with him – and that she’s loved him for a very long time.

Not on Her Watch
Agent Christopher and Connor are shocked to see a historical news article showing Rufus, Jiya, Lucy, and Wyatt dead after being massacred outside the very church in which they’re hiding. Denise sets about rewriting a little history of her own. With the help of Benjamin Cahill – Lucy’s biological father (last seen in season one) and Rittenhouse elder – she tracks down Emma and the Mothership.

Just when it seems that the Chinese troops are moving in on the Time Team in 1950, Denise and Emma arrive. Emma tries one last time to recruit Lucy to Rittenhouse – even going so far as to offer to help get Amy Preston back – but Lucy turns her down. As she later tells Wyatt, Lucy isn’t willing to risk anyone else’s life in the quest to recover her sister.

A Bunker Family Christmas
Back home in 2018, Rufus and Jiya discuss what happens next now that Emma’s been captured and all time machines have been secured. They’ll need new jobs and to find a new place to live. In his adorably awkward way, Rufus asks Jiya if she’ll move in with him. Duh.

Lucy and Wyatt relax in their room and read up on what became of their Korean friend. The baby Wyatt delivered went on to become a teacher and have to children of her own. They happily look forward to spending their own foreseeable futures together – which they kick off with one hell of a make-out session.

Christmas morning, Denise gifts everyone with homemade scarves. They all marvel at the fact that they actually defeated Rittenhouse – something that would not have been possible without Flynn. Though he knows the havoc it created, Mason sulks at the dismantling of his beloved time machine. Denise surprises him, though, by announcing that the Lifeboat will remain operational for emergency situations. (It seems Connor’s earlier point about Oppenheimer was taken.) The time machine will be kept under lock and key, a project that will now be headed up by herself and Wyatt.

A Brighter Future
Five years later, we’re back where we started in the episode: 2023. And things are definitely more colorful than they were for the Futures we met at the end of season two. The newly-tenured professor Lucy and Wyatt are married with two unbelievably adorable twin girls – Flynn and Amy Logan. Rufus and Jiya, meanwhile, head up the wildly successful Riya industries. Jiya, in fact, seems to enjoy a Sheryl Sandberg-like celebrity status. While at a science fair, the power couple meets and is impressed by a young girl with an improved Leyden jar.

Both of our couples meet back up at the bunker for one last trip on the Lifeboat – one that will ensure that this life they’re all living and loving is preserved. The Time Trio loads up and they’re off to see an old friend…

Greetings From Sao Paulo
It’s Christmas Eve, 2014, and a lonely and devastated Garcia Flynn drowns his sorrows on his first holiday without his family. He’s approached by Lucy, while Rufus and Wyatt stand watch at the other end of the bar. Lucy gives him the journal and tells him that while he never gets his family back, that he’ll go on to sacrifice himself for the good of humanity – making him the greatest hero of them all. She kisses him on the cheek before she goes.

From there, we see time play out as we’ve known it over the past two years. The adventures, the love, the friendship, the heroism… Everything as it should be.

Oh, Paulina. What Hath Thou Wrought?
Suddenly, we’re in a bedroom that we’ll soon recognize as belonging to Paulina – the teenager Rufus and Jiya met earlier. She works intently on her homework while her mother yells at her to come down to dinner. As she finally goes, we see what she’s been focusing on: Paulina is designing a time machine.

Final (?) Thoughts
It’s hard to say goodbye to a show like TIMELESS and, while not entirely probably, there’s still a chance that the show could come back on a different network or, preferably, a streaming site such as Hulu, Netflix, or Amazon. As a fan, the final fifteen minutes of the show were immensely satisfying, but also frustrating. The entire episode was tightly written (partly by necessity), but those last fifteen minutes displayed the show at its best and actually played out like a micro pilot episode. Writers Arika Lisanne Mittman and Lauren Greer set the stakes – Lucy and Wyatt’s family, Rufus and Jiya’s legacy – and then showed us what could very well be the key to their undoing.

Young Paulina appears to be of Korean descent – is she related to the woman they saved in North Korea back in 1950? If that woman was supposed to die in the church massacre, then Lucy basically broke her own rule of leaving history intact. (Remember the Kate Drummond storyline in the pilot episode?) The consequences of that decision could very well become personal now that (presumably?) the woman’s granddaughter is designing a time machine of her own. It wasn’t explicitly clear, but it also seemed that Rufus and Jiya were sponsors of the students in the science fair they attended. If so, they unknowingly incubated the situation.

Mention was also made of Lucy’s young half-brother -- raised by Benjamin Cahill to be part of Rittenhouse. In exchange for Cahill’s help in tracking down Emma, Denise offered protection and immunity from prosecution for the young man. Could he come in to play? What if he lures Paulina to the dark side? Then Denise, too, has a hand in all of it! Also worth noting is that with both of these characters being in their teens and early twenties, they’d be able to visit more recent years without side effects – something that the current team can not. 

This is the kind of ending that during my network days would have had me rushing a script to my boss. I’m hoping that somewhere out there right now is an assistant furiously e-mailing with his or her boss (hopefully while away from the office on holiday!) insisting that they save history one more time.