Murder, mystery, and misogyny, as the team solves a case in 1919 with 'Mrs. Sherlock Holmes.'
Lucy and Co. have encountered plenty of intrigue as they’ve investigated Rittenhouse’s mysterious machinations, but it’s about time we had a good ol’ fashioned murder mystery, isn’t it? This week’s mission lands the crew smack dab in the middle of the women’s suffrage movement, teaming up with one of New York’s most notorious detectives while simultaneously trying to sort through some thorny personal issues.
The setting: New York City in 1919, just a few months out from Congress passing the 19th Amendment, which guarantees women the right to vote. One of the leading advocates for the amendment was real-life suffragette Alice Paul (played by Erica Dasher), who famously clashed with President Woodrow Wilson and lobbied for his support of the women’s movement. But as always, Rittenhouse has other plans: A sleeper agent murders a senator and frames Alice, and it’s up to the trio to prove her innocence in time for her to give a speech and help convince Wilson to support women’s suffrage.
Well, make that more of a quartet. Ever since Rufus and Jiya installed an extra seat in the Lifeboat, our threesome has become a foursome, with Flynn tagging along on missions for extra support. Wyatt is thoroughly unhappy about this development, especially as he’s realized that Flynn and Lucy have become a little…close in recent episodes. He even catches Lucy sneaking out of Flynn’s room, although she insists that nothing happened; they just talked. Still, Wyatt is not having it. “We’re the Beatles,” he tells Flynn. “We don’t need Yoko.” Uh, Wyatt, last time I checked, the Beatles had four members, not three, but good try, buddy.
(For what it’s worth, Lucy is John, Wyatt is Paul, Rufus is George, and Flynn is Ringo. This is the only correct answer.)
The Not-Beatles head back to 1919, where they start investigating Alice Paul’s case. Lucy introduces herself and Wyatt as two attorneys named Ally McBeal and Johnny Cochran, while Rufus says that he is an investigator named John McClain, and Flynn is Hans Gruber. (See, Wyatt!!! Leave the pop culture references to Lucy and Rufus.)
Rufus and Flynn head off to to get some details on the senator’s death, while Lucy and Wyatt decide that they could use some help. So they recruit legendary lawyer and investigator Grace Humiston, a.k.a. “Mrs. Sherlock Holmes.” Humiston (played by Sarah Sokolovic) is brilliant, and just like Arthur Conan Doyle’s famous literary hero, she has remarkable powers of deduction and insight into human behavior. (Much to Lucy and Wyatt’s discomfort, she immediately picks up on their complicated relationship and his married status.)
RELATED: Get the lowdown on the Emmys with EW’s new CHASING EMMY podcast
As for Rufus and Flynn, they find themselves suddenly face-to-face with an unexpected ally: Emma. It turns out that everyone’s favorite Rittenhouse murderess isn’t so keen on this latest mission. She likes having the right to vote, and she’s not too eager to lose it. Rufus and Flynn are understandably skeptical, but she asks for a “one-mission truce,” promising to help them and kill the sleeper agent.
Rittenhouse’s history and motivations have always been murky, but here, we get a little bit of insight into who Emma is and why she’s aligned herself with such a nefarious organization. It turns out that she ran away from an abusive father, and Rittenhouse found her and recruited her. It’s a sympathetic story, but it doesn’t exactly explain her penchant for murder. Sorry, Emma. You’re still the worst.
Still, the team is probably going to need her help: By the time they get back to the jail to see Alice Paul, she’s been murdered. The suffragettes are shaken, and they want to march silently in tribute to their fallen friend. But Lucy desperately tries to convince them to raise their voices, knowing that it’s their only opportunity to successfully convince Woodrow Wilson.
Instead, they nominate Lucy to give the speech instead — only for her to be cornered by the sleeper agent. But at the last minute, Grace Humiston and — surprise! — Emma come to her rescue. In the end, it’s Grace who steps up to the plate and delivers a rousing speech advocating for women’s rights. Crisis averted.
This entire episode is filled with fraught personal relationships, from Lucy’s tentative friendship with Flynn to Rufus and Jiya’s uncertainty over what to do about her visions. But the main issue is the love triangle between Lucy, Wyatt, and Jessica (or love square, if you include Flynn). Throughout the episode, Wyatt is hurt to see Lucy pulling away from him, but she finally confronts him and lays down the line. “You are happily married,” she tells him. “I have to accept that and you have to accept that. We can’t keep living in the past.” It’s an emotional moment, but still, shoutout to Lucy for getting that time-travel pun in there.
As for Emma, she heads back to Rittenhouse, where Nicholas Keynes confesses that he has feelings for her, and they kiss. On one hand, they’re both murderous sociopaths who are perfect for each other. On the other hand, girl, have some self respect! He just tried to take away your civil rights by meddling in time and stopping your gender from getting the right to vote! That is not the foundation of a strong and healthy relationship!
More importantly, Nicholas and Emma’s romance raises the question: Do we know exactly what the Nicholas-Carol-Lucy family tree looks like? Yeah, Nicholas is Carol’s grandfather and Lucy’s great-grandfather, but who is Carol’s mom/dad? Did Nicholas father a kid before they plucked him from time and brought him to the present, or are we in for some time-traveling parental shenanigans? What if Nicholas bites the dust before he has time to further the Keynes family tree, therefore erasing Carol and Lucy from existence?
Worst of all, what if Emma winds up being Carol’s grandmother and Lucy’s great-grandmother? It’s not like Lucy doesn’t already have enough Rittenhouse psychopaths in her family tree.
(EDIT: D’oh! As several of you pointed out below, we do already know about Carol’s mom. But I’m still not ruling out any messy, time-travel-related updates to the family tree. Remember Lucy’s sister?)
And finally, there’s one more Rittenhouse-related surprise: Connor Mason has been digging through the computers they recovered from the raid on Rittenhouse, and he manages to salvage one disturbing piece of information: a photograph of Wyatt’s wife, Jessica. We already knew Rittenhouse had some interest in Jessica, since they meddled with time to prevent her murder, but what we still don’t know is why. Is she a target, or a secret double agent? Whatever the answer is, it’s not good news.