John "Jack the Ripper" Stevenson gives H.G. Wells a deadline to hand him the time machine. Will he make it?

By LaToya Ferguson
March 12, 2017 at 10:00 PM EDT
Giovanni Rufino/ABC
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“My name is H.G. Wells. My friend John is Jack the Ripper. He’s escaped from 1893 in my time machine and I am the only one who can catch him.”

Huh, Time After Time is already “Out of Time.” How unfortunate. Just kidding, but those are the types of easy jokes you set yourself up for when you title an episode of an already iffy time travel-premise show “Out of Time.” And it should also be acknowledged that while episode 2 aired with the pilot last week as the second half of the two-parter, this third episode actually falls more into the classic second-episode pattern: some reiterating of the premise (like how John Stevenson will kill a “person” every day until he gets the time machine and its key from H.G. Wells), some new series regulars, some more confusion on 2017 things (this time from John as well) and some more science mumbo jumbo that actually means nothing but will hopefully get the audience to tune out enough to be excited for other scenes. Things haven’t changed too much, though; Freddie Stroma still has the perpetual look of confusion one would expect from a time-traveling good guy, and Josh Bowman is still the dark kind of eye candy.

Case in point on that latter, the episode opens with a gratuitous bathroom scene for John, complete with a lower energy (compared to Blondie, of course) cover of “Call Me” blasting on the soundtrack. Be honest, Kevin Williamson experts — you had Stalker flashbacks over such a specific soundtrack choice, didn’t you? John obsessive compulsively plans out his suits for the week, but the actual moment of intrigue is as he tries to figure out how to microwave a frozen burrito. He almost uses the toaster, but context clues, baby. Again, no offense, but Wells is the inventor/visionary — it wouldn’t kill him to use context clues more. (In his defense, he actually takes that advice later in the episode as he tries to figure out how a car works.) Conveniently, the television is also on, and that’s when John sees that the local news is talking about him. Well, the killer they’re now calling “The Key Killer.”

“The Key Killer” might actually be the lamest serial killer name of all time, which is truly quite the achievement. From “Jack the Ripper” — which is possibly the coolest serial killer name of all time — to “The Key Killer.” If you’re thinking like a YouTube commenter now (“I was born in the wrong era”), these very serial killer names might be on your side. Luckily, the actual “Key Killer” designation is not as integral to this plot as the episode synopsis would have us all believe. Instead, it’s Killer’s Day Out, which is a lot like Baby’s Day Out but actually with less mayhem and destruction.

By the way, John’s place is absolutely exquisite. That’s because it’s not his place, and the actual resident returns home to ask him who he is and why he’s wearing his suit… and where Bella, his roommate, is. (We saw this guy’s closet. It’s really hard to believe he has a roommate, but it’s not hard to believe John broke into this place, too, like he did with Jane’s apartment, so we’ll just let Time After Time move this all along.) “She’s in bed,” John tells him, and that she is. Dead in bed. And not just dead — John literally painted the room red with her blood, in case you’re wondering if he got that whole “violence towards women” thing under control. Yes, John then also kills Bella’s roommate, but unsurprisingly, there’s no actual depiction of that or the aftermath. But then John eats his microwave burrito, and serial killers do the darnedest things, right? (The episode skips the part where he has a violent reaction to this processed food, perhaps because it’s not as sexy.)

As for Wells, we have yet to see him eat 21st century food, and we should probably be worried about that. But we don’t have time to be, because the time machine has been moved to Vanessa’s place (her ballroom, to be exact) so Wells can fix it after all that wire yanking he did in episode 2. They’re also keeping somewhat updated on John’s actions — there have been no new reports on any victims, and we don’t even get an update on if the cops ever find Bella and her roommate — and Doug (Elliot Villar) and the rest of Vanessa’s security team is on it. You know, the same crack security team that let one guy with a blade get past them and all their guns. (Spoiler alert: They’re not able to track him, because he’s advanced enough to use burner phones and dispose of them quickly. Can we please find out John’s been watching Burn Notice as a crash course on life in the 2000s?)

Just when you thought the time travel in the series premiere really didn’t make any concrete sense, Time After Time decides to make things even more complicated by throwing in a magic (“science”) pink crystal: “That is an Alexandrite gemstone. It focuses the light into a specific wavelength that allows the machine to breach the fourth dimension. It is the very heart and soul of the time machine.” (It also ends up meaning that Wells invented a laser in 1893. That’s the extent of answering “why.”) Some might suggest that this entire crystal aspect of time travel is just an excuse to have the audience stop thinking about the series’ time travel semantics by zoning out every time it’s discussed. Those people would be right. They’d also be right that Wells’ explanations about the gemstone only work because of his accent. Should Wells have just taken that from the machine when John was using it instead of yanking out wires? Probably. But since this is our first time even hearing about it, it’s probably safe to assume it’s one of those plot points that only even existed after the pilot got picked up to series.

While Doug may not be good at security detail (this thread continues in this episode), he did manage to move some of Jane’s stuff into Vanessa’s place; she’s staying at the mansion and taking some time off from her dead-end job of museum curating under the guise of doing inventory of Vanessa (who pulled the entire Wells exhibit, along with the time machine). There’s awkwardly timed flirting between Jane and Wells, but ultimately, Wells wants to make sure Jane even wants to be involved in this — presumably because she has no skills in law enforcement or martial arts. She says she’s in it to win it. Well, she’s in it because she wants to “see this through.” She kind of has to, though, as apparently John has her phone number. Obviously they need to keep contact with the guy, but maybe she shouldn’t answer calls from numbers she doesn’t know? Just for safety purposes.

After some sarcastic banter about how Jane made John decide to be a better person, John repeats the whole “I want the time machine and key” song and dance, telling them he’ll give them a time and location, and then they’ll have five minutes to bring it. If you’ve seen the size of the machine, that makes zero sense, at all, and while Wells doesn’t say that, he does remind him the machine is currently broken. “You saw me sabotage it yourself,” Wells says. “I saw some smoke and loose wires,” John replies. “Nothing the father of time travel can’t remedy.”  Wells is able to convince John to give him some more time to fix the machine before they have to answer to that ridiculous proposition. In 12 hours they’ll be hearing from him again.

Assuming he doesn’t get waylaid. Only he does. He really does. And that’s not even because he’s being stalked by that baseball cap/ evidence wall guy from the premiere. In fact, he’s able to lose his tail, which is a lot better than Wells did in the premiere (or Doug does in this very episode).

NEXT: We are the Crystal Gems

So it’s about time for a new character. Enter Martin Scott (Omar Maskati), who works in the innovation division at Vanessa’s company. He’s going to help bring the time machine into the 21st century (using computers to control things besides an all-powerful key). He’s also going to probably blog about knowing who H.G. Wells is, because you can’t just go around telling everyone H.G. Wells and time travel are happening without proper vetting. And you know there’s no proper vetting, because Martin is DTF — down to fill Wells in on the life Wells hasn’t even lived yet. He brings up books Wells hasn’t written yet; he brings up the movies based on them; he even brings up Wells’ idea for “the world brain” (essentially a computer), which Wells hadn’t even begun to imagine yet in 1893. He basically breaks rules A through at least P of time travel just in his small talk with Wells.

Also, there’s a bit where Wells asks about movies. “As in moving pictures?” Jane has to explain they’ve “evolved a lot since” his day, but remember, the pilot had Wells watch an entire wall of television screens, taking in these moving pictures (even if they weren’t feature films) and the imperfect world. He watched the news on Jane’s TV. The time to question movies was last week. Pick up the pace, Wells — John is eating frozen burritos and wearing Armani. Anyway, Wells wants Martin to change things so the machine doesn’t return to where the key is after use — it moves to wherever they want it to move. “I want it to return directly to this ballroom once John Stevenson is inside.” Good? Good.

Meanwhile, Vanessa’s boyfriend, Griffin Monroe, shows up (and calls her “baby,” which is uncomfortable), as they’re both being interviewed by a real pot stirrer of a reporter. The woman’s first question for them, in an interview that’s clearly supposed to be mostly about Griffin’s political career, is about whether or not wedding bells are in their future since they’ve been together for two years. She then brings up how Griffin is a “decorated war veteran” and Vanessa is one of the richest people in the world, calling Vanessa out for their “mutually beneficial partnership.” Not even “mutually beneficial relationship.” Then she somehow manages to judge Vanessa for doing a lot of philanthropy yet not having much publicity about any of it. “Why maintain such a low profiles?” she asks. Vanessa explains that she’s private and that she believes “our actions speak for themselves,” so you can probably guess the face the reporter makes at that. It’s definitely a choice. The love story of Vanessa and Griffin is probably the least interesting of all of Time After Time so far, so it sticks out when such a confrontational third party shows up. Just like it sticks out when Vanessa’s home shakes like an earthquake just hit it.

That earthquake would be the test run of the time machine. After Martin spouts some nonsense about how he connected the time machine to his computer (“the equations you used to calculate the subatomic compression rate necessary to breach the fourth dimension were super complicated, but I think I’ve got them all inputted into the computer”), Wells test to see if the machine is still functional. NOPE. It’s a “system malfunction.” And as Vanessa sees when she comes to check on them, “the surplus energy from the power source has cracked [the gem].” That’s not something he can fix. “It’s destroyed. We’ll never meet John’s deadline now.”

Then it’s a good thing John’s preoccupied, right? In fact, he finds himself roaming a New York tourist trap, presumably looking for his next victim. He also spots his baseball cap stalker and manages to lose him, which is when he bumps into a woman named Brooke (Jennifer Ferrin). After some meet-cute banter, where Brooke points out the “insufferable hero complex” and “slice first, ask questions later” nature of all surgeons, the two of them go off to grab a drink. She’s a neuropathologist, by the way, a field John is of course interested in because he’s interested in why his lizard brain is the way that it is. Yes, she’s just the woman to tell him he’s not bad, he’s just drawn that way. Also, for future reference, besides the fact she’s a series regular, it’s safe to assume Brooke is more than what she seems, as she is presumably a New Yorker who has no purpose for being where she currently is.

Back with the Crystal Gems — wait, that’s taken. Back with the Wells Bunch (“the WB,” for short), Wells explains why they can’t just get another gem so simply. “The Alexandrite was mined in the Ural Mountains in the 1600s. It was rare in 1893, and it must be this exact size and cut.” So it probably doesn’t even exist now. Jane is bold enough to ask how the stone allows time travel, and that’s when we get the laser answer. But does it really matter? Not when Jane has a plan: She’s going to contact a gemologist she met through the museum. You see, while Jane may not have law enforcement or combat skills, working as an assistant curator does mean having access to a gemologist. Jane has a gem guy, which is actually pretty cool. Less cool is Doug giving them all the burner phone update on John, just to remind us Vanessa’s security team is useless before we move on.

NEXT: Stalk dirty to me

After losing John, the stalker ends up at a creepy old house to visit (and possibly hurt?) an old woman. However, he actually does come in peace: The woman is his mother. And his name is Chad, by the way. Chad is only staying for a few minutes, while his mother’s nurse Sam is gone to get groceries. But these few minutes are very important, as he has news for his mother. “It’s happening… the time machine. H.G. Wells… He’s in New York. He’s here now. He came in his time machine.” His mother’s response? “Are you sure it’s really him? Did he bring the Ripper with him?” Hmm.

Chad: “Yes, they’re both here. It’s all real, mom. Just as you said.”
Chad’s mom: “Then you can stop them. There’s still time. Don’t let them go back. You can stop this all from happening. Please. Stop this!”

You know what? This is actually interesting now, which was certainly unexpected from Chad’s appearances before this scene. Chad has to rush out as soon as Sam returns, but not before he tells his mom he loves her and kisses her on the forehead, effectively making a good portion of those watching Team Chad. Yep, don’t know how it happened, but Chad ends up having the most emotionally affecting scene of the episode, just by having clear-ish motivations. He loves his mom and wants to help her. And if we’re being honest, all of this would probably be better if Wells and John weren’t around to mess things up. Just saying. Go Chad go!

While Chad is off being the good son, Griffin is trying to figure out what’s in the ballroom and why it’s such a secret. The reporter is long gone now, very confused but possibly excited to turn a puff piece into a hit piece, and Griffin just wants to know what happened. But Vanessa obviously can’t tell him, and she’s super sorry about that. “You’ve been apologizing a lot lately,” Griffin says. “Instead, how about you tell me what’s going on?” Of course, she “can’t,” so he throws back the “our actions speak for themselves” line when she tries to say she still loves and trusts him. If you love me, you’ll tell me about your secret room. The oldest trick in the book.

Less complicated is Brooke and John’s “date,” as they drink martinis together and stroke each other’s egos praising their respective professions. She calls his work as a surgeon “a form of performance,” while he expresses envy over the fact that her work allows her to make mistakes and then just test again if she doesn’t get the right result. But she can’t deny that “surgery is primal,” unlike the test-heavy neuropathology, which opens the door for him to talk about the power of holding someone’s life in your hands and the “addictive quality” of that. That causes her to bring up the “hero complex” again, but as we all know and John confirms, it’s more about “power, control, who lives, who dies,” not heroism.

Brooke gives John credit for being honest, since most egotistical surgeons wouldn’t, but can John honestly say it’s about “who lives” to him? It’s all about “who dies” for him — if it weren’t, he’d get just as much of a rush taking someone to the brink of death but allowing them to live, which is not what he does. That’s why he’s a serial killer; he kills. But taking what he says at face value, Brooke continues. “The only reason our brains tell us we’re flawed is so that we can find a way to be better,” she tells John. “And besides, there’s nothing wrong with the occasional evil thought.” Raise your hands if you think this is it — this is the time John will choose not to kill someone. Then someone make sure to count all the hands of those who just got played. Imagine if Jack the Ripper was just driven by an “occasional” evil thought. That would be anti-climactic, wouldn’t it?

Here’s the thing about the Brooke and John scenes, even before the episode’s final twist: It’s like moving up from the kids’ table to finally hang with the grown-ups. Both Wells and Jane spend most of their scenes either confused or shocked, when they’re not flirting instead of solving the big problem. Vanessa and Griffin are as bland as a billionaire philanthropist with no ulterior motive and an aspiring straight-laced politician sound. Brooke and John are drinking martinis together, discussing the human condition and speaking like two adults on the same level. It’s like they’re on a different show or at least waiting for everyone else to show up (which, by the end of this episode, feels like it might start to happen when it comes to Griffin). They “get” each other, but there’s no talk of fate and sparks — even though there are definitely sparks between them — because they also both think things through way too much to even entertain such topics. And, you know, they’re grown-ups.

All this while Jane is trying to tell Wells none of this is his fault, even though it actually is. He even says it himself: “Yes, it is. All of it. I brought John here. Every person he harms, it’s my fault” — both because he made the time machine (suggesting we should all be worried when he decides he needs the firsthand experience to finally write The Island of Dr. Moreau) and because he kind of should have known John was Jack the Ripper, despite what Jane thinks. After all, based on the opening teaser of the pilot, John was really bad about not killing where he socializes. And he kept his bloody butcher’s knife in his surgeon’s bag. And he can’t enter a scene without just acting like a serial killer. That last one is more a 2017 John thing though. “These people, they’re not supposed to die now,” Wells says, even pointing out that their deaths are probably messing up the timeline more, since “time travel is meant for observation only.” Then — and it’s probably not supposed to come across as this careless, but it does —  Jane asks him how he can be so sure of that, bringing “fate and destiny” into it. Sorry, dead people, Jane and Wells’ fate and destiny are the reason you had to be brutally murdered. This, however, distracts Wells enough for him to admit he’s “completely blinded by” Jane, and they’re about to kiss when Paul the gem guy texts Jane back. So they’re off to see the gem guy.

And Chad is off to see Wells, taking one last look at his evidence wall before grabbing his gun and place it in the back of his pants, basically asking to accidentally shoot himself.

NEXT: When H.G. Wells Met Paul the Gem Guy

Doug takes Wells and Jane to see Paul at the Institute of Gemology, and in that car ride, we get some Wells excited over gas pedals and talking about GPS, as well as a backstory on Doug’s business relationship with Vanessa. He’s worked for her for 13 years — eight as head of security at her company, now five as her personal detail — and before that he was an “Army boy.” In none of these 13 years, apparently, did anyone teach Doug to (1) go along with the person he’s supposed to protect, for actual safety, or (2) check for a tail, as Chad followed them all the way to the Institute, completely undetected. Luckily Paul the gem guy is here to take our minds off how bad Doug is at his job. 13 years.

And wow, from moment one, Paul is obviously trouble — but the kind of trouble where he’s trying to be Mr. Steal Yo’ Girl, not Mr. Kill Yo’ Girl. Like Chad, Paul is taking us to the gun show, but this time, we’re talking arms. Please, do yourself a favor and go back and watch the moment he hugs Jane. Bam! His arms are clearly highlighted by the fact that he’s dressed like Dexter (of Dexter) when he’s about to kill someone. In fact, that wardrobe detail almost makes it seem like Paul might be bad news, considering he keeps leading them down a never-ending hallway to a basement. But Paul is legit, in terms of not being a serial killer, and besides, Chad is already a threat, as he breaks into the building and attempts to locate Wells. But who cares about that when the greatest exchange of this week’s episode occurs:

Paul: “You know, Coldplay was at the Garden last week. Thought about you.”
Jane: “Really, Coldplay?”
Wells: “What is Coldplay?”
Jane: “Coldplay is a band. They have this one album that we both really like.”
Paul: “You don’t know Coldplay?”
Wells: “No, I’m sorry.”
Jane: “’George’ is from London.”
Paul: “So is Coldplay.”

Just know that this is the second best Coldplay exchange to ever happen on television. The actual best also happened on an ABC show, 2004’s Life As We Know It, as teenage boy Ben Connor yelled at his father, “If I’m gonna go to a concert, it’s gonna be Coldplay, not one of mom’s stupid things at the Civic Center!”

First of all, Coldplay has seven studio albums, so hopefully he didn’t go to see them at Madison Square Garden and boo every time they played a song from one of the other six albums. Don’t even get him started on B-sides… Also, you just know that the “one album” from Coldplay that Jane and Paul really like has to be something post-Viva la Vida. Paul probably tried to listen to Parachutes once (because someone told him he should listen to their older stuff if he’s such a fan) and he turned if off 10 seconds into “Trouble” (and that’s being generous to say he even got that far) because he couldn’t get his heart rate up to it. And Jane saying that “George” (H.G.’s name to civilians) doesn’t know what Coldplay is because he’s from London almost makes up for the fact that this episode introduces characters named Paul and “George” and doesn’t make a Beatles joke for Wells to get even more confused about.

Now as we can clearly see, a rush of blood has certainly not gone to Paul’s head when it comes to Jane. He seriously does not stop flirting with her, and Jane doesn’t ever suggest it’s inappropriate. And you know it’s inappropriate when even the perpetually confused Wells can suss it out. When Paul tells Jane that he’s been doing Crossfit (“Really been working my core, you know? Upping my game at the gym”), Wells makes the single most appropriate facial reaction in response to anyone who has ever preached about Crossfit, to the point where you’d think Crossfit was also in the 1890s. It’s just as worthy of going back to watch as Paul’s arms. Then when they finally get to the gem room, sassy Wells comes out to play:

Paul: “So uh, you and um—”
Wells: “George.”
Paul: “George! Yes. A thing? I’ll stop flirting with you if it is.”
Wells: “Oh, I doubt that.”
Paul: “Excuse me?”

Remember how Jane’s lack of self-esteem really shone through in the pilot? Well, the lack of backbone is part of that, as she says she and “George” are just “friends” (“thought so” is Paul’s response) and doesn’t even think to shut down Paul’s flirting at all, after he’s just so bold. When she and Wells have a moment alone (as they found the gemstone and Paul has to go get paperwork), she tells Wells to “ignore him, he’s just being a guy,” which speaks to that “bad picker” Jane talked about having as well. Wells actually says Paul doesn’t seem like her type, which means he basically didn’t listen to a word she said in the pilot. Maybe the problem with dating is that she lets guys be creeps around her? Maybe. Anyway, she and Paul went on a few dates, but there were “no sparks.” He clearly didn’t get the memo, because she tells Wells this and not him, but the sparks are visible between her and someone else. (It’s Wells.) Jane then brings up Wells’ ex-wife, Isabel, and he admits they never had sparks either. His excuse is that Isabel just wasn’t into his exploratory nature. Neither one of them mentions the whole he married his cousin thing, for obvious reasons — those reasons most likely only being that Chad knocks Paul out, and now he’s shooting at and chasing them. (Vanessa ends up having to pay off Paul, of course. This is some crazy stuff.)

The only thing that saves them is that Doug hears the gunshots and shows up at the last minute to shoot Chad dead. So if you’re looking for answers from Chad and his mission… they’re not happening in this timeline.

NEXT: Ask and you shall receive (more questions)

Griffin gets answers, however, though not the ones that he wants. Vanessa finally comes clean with him, asking: “What if I told you that ‘George’ is really H.G. Wells, who traveled here in that time machine that is now sitting in my ballroom?” The answer is simpler: “I would say you’ve lost your damn mind.” He then thinks she’s being played, even after she shows him the DNA test, and calls Wells “some punk” who’s “taking her for a ride.” What good word choices, right?

While Wells and Jane run from a gun-wielding stalker and Griffin wants to have Vanessa committed, John and Brooke are just feeling the post-coital afterglow. In case you thought Wells had all the smooth lines, John tells Brooke the reason she’s single is because she’s obviously a goddess who “will settle for no less.” Yet he recoils when she tries to get more intimate — because he has some serious issues. He does promise to stay the night, though, after he gets himself a drink. And looks for a knife, of course. He’s Jack the Ripper!

Back at Vanessa’s, Wells wants to know how that mysterious man we know as Chad knew about him and the Ripper. It’s a good question; too bad Doug killed the guy. And there’s no time to dwell, because Martin is ready for Wells to install the new gemstone. In this scene alone, Martin says “initiating remote activation sequence now” and Wells starts talking about the “time-space continuum,” which is perfect zoning-out material until Vanessa arrives in the ballroom with Griffin. “Actions speak for themselves,” she tells him. “Well, watch this.” It’s funny how an entire plot in this episode is dedicated to misquoting “actions speak louder than words,” right? Anyway, they test the time machine without the key — thanks, computers — and it works, to the point where Griffin Monroe reveals he’s just as ‘80s as his ‘80s villain-sounding name by saying, “No way.” The trap is ready, and John will only go where they want him to go.

Unfortunately, John is too busy trying to prove that he’s the big bad wolf to contact them. Instead, he opts to send Wells “a movie” on his untraceable burner phone he’s at least had all day. (Vanessa’s security team is bad.) He explains that he’s “unable to honor [their] deadline” because he’s been quite taken by a lady — one who makes him feel human, even. But he has to remind Wells that he’s just an “animal,” saying, “There is no redemption for my soul… I must be true to my nature.” The twist? “I will feel regret.” It’s important to note John is also a little drunk, which doesn’t excuse him now being an introspective serial killer (still a serial killer, you see), but hey, now we know Jack the Ripper is a chatty drunk. One assumes Wells is a happy drunk who loves everyone. Their friendship now makes a world of sense.

But also, this introspection is essentially hitting the pilot’s beats that Jane mentioned when she was under John’s possession, though it works a lot better than her attempts to armchair therapize (with her art history major?) a serial killer she just met. John blasts the music to wake Brooke up and mask her eventual screams, knife prepared to plunge into her, but she surprises him with a syringe to the neck. Then she deletes his recording (which, thinking back, could make a really great vlog web series called lonelyripper15 or something). Upon seeing the knife fall out of his hand, she muses: “It’s about time. I was beginning to think you’d gone soft.” First of all, ha! Second of all, he kind of did. And now he’s out like a light.

Meanwhile, Wells is wrenching things (literally) on the time machine, wondering why John hasn’t called yet, hoping he hasn’t killed again. Serious life-and-death thoughts. But Jane wants to talk about them, about how the scariness of today got her all “in”… on them. There’s more talk about fate and how she thinks she’s “supposed to be here,” and then they kiss as sparks shoot from the time machine. It’s really a good thing John didn’t get to kill again, because how tone deaf would that be if this scene happened after another slaughter? (Kind of as tone deaf as their flirting after the audience sees John start the morning with two murders under his belt, actually.)

Now, if you thought any character with the name Griffin Monroe was not a person to be trusted — especially when they’re such a smooth-faced Will Chase — then you were correct. After all that talk about trust and throwing back Vanessa’s words to get her to tell him the truth, it turns out Griffin is sinister himself, telling an unknown party on the phone (possibly Brooke?) that things are “all good” on his side: “Worked like a charm. I now have access to the time machine.” It’s like the old saying goes: “If someone tells you their name is Griffin Monroe, believe them. Because ‘Griffin Monroe’ is just another way to say ‘untrustworthy.’” It’s not a particularly concise saying, but it still gets the job done. But Griffin tells his contact that there’s a problem, as someone else knows about Wells. They “need to find out who else is out there.”

If he wasn’t talking to Brooke, then the answer to his question is her. (And also Chad’s mom, of course.) John eventually wakes, strapped down in Brooke’s mad scientist lab. It’s awesome. And it’s not just that she knows who he is: “I’m someone who’s been waiting a very long time to meet you.” You know those people who write letters to inmates and then end up marrying Charles Manson? That’s definitely the vibe Brooke gives here, and it’s, well, awesome. And you know what else? If Brooke’s last name turns out to be Frankenstein, I’m willing to call Time After Time one of television’s greatest achievements. But Frankenstein or not, this episode has a lot of what Time After Time needs — more out-of-control twists and turns, and everyone and their mother in on some time travel conspiracy. More gem guys! It can ease up on the “science,” but that’s only until it can come up with an actual time travel explanation that isn’t just the conjecture of an 1893 author who didn’t even think his time machine would work until Jack the Ripper stole it. That’s all I ask.

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seasons
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  • 03/05/17
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