Timeless 2×01 “The War to End All Wars” Review

Timeless “The War to End All Wars” Spoilers Ahead

Lucy Preston, Rufus Carlin, and Wyatt Logan in Timeless "The War to End all Wars"
Source: NBC


Episode Summary | Time in History: Oh, World War I, the war to end all wars … or begin them. We’re accompanied by mother/daughter duo Maria and Irène Curie who serve as a healthy example of what the bond should be like as opposed to what our heroine, Lucy is dealing with. After the explosion, Mason Industries has been destroyed, the Time Team are on a desperate quest to get their girl back, and Rittenhouse is even more terrifying than ever. They later become roommates in a safe house that’s in desperate need of finer decor, and Lucy’s great-grandfather is brought to the present. On an incredibly vital note, Garcia Flynn was sorely missed.

Timeless is back and we’re complete again. We aren’t joking when we say that this is the best show on network television, and the only one we’re certain of won’t fall into the season two curse. A premiere episode as promising as this one is already a rarity amongst television and being able to write about it again is a treat of its own. Timeless’ “The War to End All Wars” was yet another deeply riveting episode, which dealt with the importance of free will and the choices people make, allowing us to see the significant growth that our Time Team has been on, and the horrific ramifications that are bound to follow the actions of this episode.

This ride is going to be anything but easy, it’ll be anything but beautiful; however, we can be certain that it’ll all be worth it in the end, shaping them in ways nothing in their lives could have done before.

Most Noteworthy Performance: (Here’s your obligatory reminder that this entire cast is unbelievably gifted and we are a blessed bunch to watch them bring these characters to life.) But in this week’s episode, Abigail Spencer took the crown from the moment we were reunited with her. Spencer made sure that Lucy’s pain was palpable—incredibly raw and evocativeAnd we felt them all—from the moment she was shown working on her hair, her physicality said everything. The Lucy we knew in the “The Red Scare” was a completely different woman—today, the Lucy that stood before us in “The War to End All Wars” has been heartbroken, she’s desperate and wounded in a way no one deserves to be, and she’s on the type of quest she doesn’t believe in. Based off of the belief that she’s lost everyone she cares for, she’s now on a suicide mission forced to make choices that’ll break her even further.

And through it all, Spencer wore hollowness poignantly—a beaten expressiveness that’d once been filled with hope, excitement, and belief became the only constant in her eyes. The remnants of what she had and who she was silently cried out at every instant you looked at her. Whether it was the complete disbelief and heartache of having to kill an innocent man to prove her loyalty, or the sunken smiles that’d subtly approach the moment her mother was out of sight, each move Spencer made was thoroughly and meticulously crafted to bring this character’s innermost emotions to life. And Lucy’s fairly expressive, she’s one of the characters we know most about, but it’s easy to appreciate just how Spencer chooses to emphasize each of her layers. It’s easy to appreciate the colossal amount of work that went into delivering the myriad of emotions our heroine experienced.

Most Exquisite Scene: (I can’t believe I have to force myself to choose only one scene when Timeless is 45 minutes worth of exquisite scenes.)

But that said, I suppose the final moments between the Time Team must take the crown. Wyatt’s in love with Lucy—we see it, Rufus sees it, Jiya sees it, every historical figure they’ve met has seen it. It’s a fact, but it’s one that hasn’t been explored yet and the writers are doing a superlative job of taking their time with it.

As much as we’re all a tiny bit upset at sweet “clockblocker” Jiya, I appreciated the fact that there was no kiss. I’d rather their first, real kiss come in a moment of shared joy as opposed to sadness and desperation. This wasn’t a moment about the potential feelings within them, it was a moment for Lucy to see and fully understand that she hasn’t lost everything. While she may have lost the family she’s known all her life, the people she’s met through this time traveling experience have become the family she’s always deserved.

Wyatt and Rufus especially are two of the only people who have always been honest with her, and in any relationship, sincerity is the key to solidifying it. She is his home now. This was Wyatt’s promise to her. Despite what he’s wanted in the past, he’s not going anywhere—he will be by her side for as long as she wants him to, because today, she is his choice. Steadfast in his dedication to stand alongside her, he’ll fight for and choose her over and over again.

And let’s just take it back to Spencer’s performance again for a moment because this is the scene she crushed it the hardest—the moment she played on a full range of emotions that profoundly exhibited all that she’s felt in the past six weeks. And Wyatt being there to comfort her as she allowed herself to come undone was the grand showcase of this captivating bond.

The Time Team have changed one another, they’ve each grown significantly since they’ve met, and Wyatt now being the man who’s running on faith and affirmation not only serves as outstanding display of character development, but it makes him the right person to be by Lucy’s side. And can we just acknowledge how instantaneously he ran to comfort her when she broke down? Can you hear the sound of our hearts sinking to our chests in pure bliss? Too pure.

And that final breakdown in Wyatt’s arms was an immaculate way of reiterating the fact that this is truly Lucy’s safe place—this team, this set of arms especially, have become her sanctuary. The place she could be appreciated as she is. The place where her fears and weaknesses are welcomed just as her strengths are. The place where growth is effortless because she can be certain of the fact that she’s welcomed back home over and over again. The place where she can be vulnerable and come undone after weeks having to forge a demeanor despite how much she’s needed to grieve.

They can all come undone here—including Garcia Flynn whose remarkably compelling appearance was the perfect choice to end the episode with. Flynn and Wyatt are a lot alike where their pasts are concerned, and it’ll be so fascinating to see them fight for the same team despite how much they’ll both hate it. I’ll take this level of pettiness and whatever other nonsense will be born from it than the World’s Worst Mother of the Year. (Sorry not sorry, Carol.)

Timeless’ “The War to End All Wars” did anything but end wars, it started it all— and the writers deserve an enormous round of applause for once again keeping the series character driven and yet, managing to surprise us with such an explosive twist regarding Nicholas Keynes (Michael Rady). This is a show that first and foremost, cares about its characters. It’s a show about where they are physically, emotionally, and spiritually—allowing them to constantly take front seat in the story. And because of this, Timeless is easily the most layered series on network television.

“The War to End All Wars” allowed us to see where all our characters are without missing a beat in telling a fascinating story that involved captivating women in history. It was an episode that put everyone front and center even if for a moment allowing them to bring something magnetic to the screen; for instance, where Jiya’s arc was concerned, it broke me to see the vulnerability Mason displayed. This is a man who’s lost everything he’s built, and a man who has no clue how to fix it, and that alone brings something spectacular to the series because these writers aren’t afraid of allowing each character to explore their vulnerabilities. Even the whirlwind of emotions Wyatt faced while attempting to convince everyone that he knows Lucy is alive. It was also in Rufus’ desperate need to make sure to that Jiya’s taking care of herself. It was in Jiya’s attempt to conceal just how terrified she is of what’s happening because the show must go on.

Essentially, Timeless’ “The War to End All Wars” was one of the most promising season premieres I’ve seen in a long, long time and if there’s anything we could be certain of, it’s that it’s bound to get even better.

Further Thoughts: 

  • TELL US WHAT’S WRONG WITH JIYA! (This deserves to be in caps.)
  •  I’m about 400% done with Rittenhouse and their shenanigans at this point, and I’m especially done with Carol’s nonstop argument that this is a bloodline lifestyle blah blah blah. You cannot tell me she loves Lucy when she’s walking alongside someone who’s made sure that her other daughter would never be born. I’m so disturbed by this fact and unless she herself brings Amy back, a redemption isn’t possible.
  • Can we please deem Rufus “perfect” Carlin as captain of the Lyatt (Lucy and Wyatt) ship? I mean, the boy clearly ships it and bless him for calling Wyatt out on his feelings. He is not going to be a happy camper when Jessica’s back.
  • And speaking of Jessica, if you’ve followed my reviews last year then you know I’m 100% team Jessica is alive and in Rittenhouse. At this point, no part of me is convinced that she’s dead — absolutely none. Wyatt’s gotta have some sort of a tie to Rittenhouse, right? It seems like they all do.
  • Also, when Rufus mentioned his mom and brother, my immediate thought went to, “what about his father?” And yes, it could be possible that he won’t have any issues with Rittenhouse, but could Mr. Carlin be a member, too? It wouldn’t surprise me, but simultaneously, it would.
  • I was really intrigued with Emma’s character last season, but sadly, due to her ruthlessness this season, I don’t care. And I hope we’re at least given some sort of back story to solidify why she’s like this because perhaps, that’ll be the things that grips me.
  • I’m so beyond words excited that The Time Team will be roommates now — it’s all my dreams come true, friends. Just imagine the sass, heart, humor, and vulnerability that’ll all take place under one roof. Be still my heart. Be still. Imagine Garcia Flynn working alongside them. Again, be still my heart. Be still.
  • Also, Nicholas Keynes being Lucy’s maternal great-grandfather—what!? Yikes.

What are your thoughts on Timeless “The War to End All Wars?”

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