So far, Timeless has made time travel look pretty fun. Sure, Rufus, Wyatt, and Lucy have spent most of their time chasing after a homicidal terrorist, but they’ve also hung out with some pretty cool people, from Davy Crockett to Abraham Lincoln. And I mean, come on: They got to face off against Nazis with the real-life James Bond. That’s pretty cool.
But “Stranded” finds them, well, stranded…in a pretty nasty part of American history. Our time-traveling trio has chased Flynn to September 1754, smack in the middle of the French and Indian War. Past missions like 1960s Vegas or 1970s Washington have been kind of glamorous, even enjoyable at times, but there’s nothing fun about being stuck in the woods in the middle of the 18th century.
To make things worse, we didn’t exactly leave our heroes in a great place, and they’re all still mad at each other for various (and legitimate!) reasons. Wyatt and Lucy are still ticked off at Rufus for secretly recording them for Rittenhouse, and Wyatt and Rufus are angry at Lucy for not telling them about Flynn’s journal. And Wyatt? Well, Wyatt is kind of being a jerk about the whole thing, so Rufus and Lucy are annoyed with him.
The good news? Nothing brings coworkers together like being stuck in the 1750s on the run from French soldiers. After getting accused of being British spies and escaping from the French, Lucy, Wyatt, and Rufus stumble upon Flynn’s men, who’ve attached explosives to the Lifeboat. Wyatt manages to take most of them out, but not before they blow some considerable holes in the ship and take off with the Mothership, leaving our heroes trapped in time.
If you had to pick a time period to be stuck in, the 1750s probably wouldn’t be anyone’s first choice. Not only is this the height of the French and Indian War, but there’s also smallpox to worry about, as Lucy helpfully keeps reminding everyone. So, Rufus decides to follow Mason Industries protocol and leave a message in a bottle, buried three feet in front of the Lifeboat, hoping the company will find it 250 years later. In the meantime, the three of them decide to set out for the nearby Fort Duquesne in the hopes of gathering enough supplies to patch up some of the Lifeboat’s holes.
Before long, however, they’re kidnapped by the Shawnee, a Native American tribe led by a woman named Nonhelema. A real-life 18th-century chieftainess, Nonhelema stood more than 6 feet tall and was an accomplished leader, and Lucy has a total history crush on her. Distrustful of both the British and the French, Nonhelema frees Rufus, thinking he’s a slave, before ordering the executions of both Lucy and Wyatt — but Rufus pleads for his friends’ lives, and it’s enough to convince Nonhelema to let them all go. After a short trip to Fort Duquesne (and some skillful evasion to keep under the French soldiers’ radar), they’ve gathered the materials they need, and Rufus can get to work on (sort of) repairing the Lifeboat.
“We’re short a couple capacitors,” he says.
“Like a flux capacitor?” Wyatt excitedly replies.
NEXT: Inspiration from a galaxy far, far away
Back in 2016, Agent Christopher, Connor Mason, and Rufus’s colleague, Jiya, have started to worry the trio haven’t returned yet. Even Benjamin Cahill is starting to fret, and it’s here we get our only new clue about Rittenhouse’s involvement in this whole thing. Last week, we learned members are born into Rittenhouse, which makes the fact that Cahill is Lucy’s biological father all the more complicated. Here, Mason asks Cahill why he was so insistent Mason Industries hire Lucy as their consulting historian, instead of literally any other qualified historian in the country. Cahill brushes him off, but once again, it’s clear Lucy’s involvement in this whole mission is far more mysterious and goes far deeper than we ever thought.
As for Jiya, she finally gets to take an active role after popping up in the pilot and promptly getting sidelined. Remember Rufus’s crush on her? Where he asked her out just before we forgot about that story line? Well, that romance is apparently back, and she’s doing everything in her power to get Rufus home. That involves digging up his two-and-a-half-century-old time capsule in suburban Pennsylvania and trying to decode his message. And she does! She determines he’s making a Star Wars reference based solely on the words “death” and “millennium.” Way to go, Jiya. She’s smart enough to figure out Rufus is referencing the Death Star tractor beam that sucked in the Millennium Falcon, and although he’s repaired the Lifeboat enough to get them back to 2016, she needs to guide it back to Mason Industries. Not surprisingly, she pulls it off, and she and Rufus are so happy to see each other again that they finally fess up to their feelings and kiss. Aww. Rufus deserves a little happiness in his life, especially after being shot at, kidnapped by French soldiers, and threatened by Rittenhouse.
Honestly, Jiya seems like the smartest person on this show. Maybe she should be the one traveling through time.
So nothing has really changed! We never really get a sense of Flynn’s plan this episode, beyond “strand Lucy, Wyatt, and Rufus in 1754.” Which doesn’t make a ton of sense, especially if Flynn needs Lucy to write the journal in the future (and not die of smallpox in the 18th century). I guess the minds of international time-traveling terrorists work in mysterious ways. Still, it’s nice to have the gang back together and on the same page after several episodes of secrets. Lucy, Wyatt, and Rufus are at their best when they’re working together — and nothing forces people together like running from murderous French soldiers in the woods.
Best Rufus one-liner: “Not ideal? Not ideal is having French fries without ketchup.”