Timeless 2×05 “The Kennedy Curse” Review

Timeless “The Kennedy Curse” Spoilers Ahead

Rufus Carlin, Lucy Preston, and Wyatt Logan in Timeless "The Kennedy Curse"
Source: NBC

Choices. They matter. And I suppose, beer does, too.

Episode Summary | Time in History: We didn’t actually time travel this week, well we did, but not in the traditional sense. We actually just brought young John F. Kennedy to the present with us— all the way from 1934! Yikes. But it’s still an adventure when Kennedy escapes from the bunkers, finds himself partying, and the Time Team needs to make sure they find him before Rittenhouse does. Flynn’s left behind to take care of the sleeper agent in 1934, and Jessica accompanies Wyatt and Lucy on their mission. Agent Christopher deals with her own little adventure in the hands of Carol Preston, and Rufus and Jiya coordinate things from the bunker.

Timeless’ “The Kennedy Curse” was yet another solid episode authenticating the fact that where there’s good company, hardships are bearable. It’s not only vital to confide in people, but it’s absolutely necessary to speak up about the things that are within us because there’s nothing more therapeutic than conversation. There’s nothing that strengthens people the way that honesty and vulnerability does—they’re traits of great importance that ultimately make for exceptional television, and thankfully, Timeless has got it covered. I know that perhaps I shouldn’t be surprised at how great this season is so far, but I’m a big believer in TV’s terrible two—so kudos to Timeless writers for somehow making this season as great as the first, a genuine rarity in this verse.

Timeless’ “The Kennedy Curse” took each of our characters on emotionally moving journeys, allowing for their circumstances to be changed based off the choices they made in order to make things better and worthwhile. And all while trying to preserve history, because if Kennedy never became President, who knows what could’ve happened to America.

Most Noteworthy Performer: There will never come a time where I could easily make a choice in this category because these performers are too great. And this week, I’m breaking the rules a little bit to give an honorable mention, too. I’m consistently stunned with how much I adore Lucy Preston as a character, and how effortlessly it seems Abigail Spencer layers her. There aren’t too many like her, and perhaps, she can pave the road for more of these kinds of women being written into TV.

Lucy is brave, bold, beautiful, and sincere, but most importantly, she’s selfless, and it’s that very choice to be selfless, which makes her such an admirable figure. And in Timeless’ “The Kennedy Curse,” Spencer crushed me with the full range of emotions she played on—Lucy was bemused, frustrated, heartbroken, afraid, determined, honest, vulnerable, and compassion. She was on the edge all throughout the episode, but never once did Spencer overdo it, instead, she gave us subtlety—she brought raw, meticulous emotions to life through her expressiveness, faint voice changes, and by extension her physicality. When you looked at Lucy, even with the absence of words, Spencer was showcasing each and every one of the emotions within. There was not a single moment of silence, and if that’s not the masterful work of an actress then I don’t know what is.

By no means should she have left the house in her condition, but the very human emotions within her forced her into a state of steadfast eagerness, the detail that she’s perhaps merely a teacher and not qualified brought about tiny hints of rage. And human emotions are often a myriad of conundrums—too much and too little at the same time. They force us into states that perhaps we know better than to be in, but for a moment, the all consuming forces of said emotions control the choices we make. But that’s why Lucy’s choice in the end matters so much—it was the essential spectacle of her character because in that moment, there was nothing but good intent within her, nothing but compassion. And Spencer’s work all throughout the episode, as painfully evocative as they were made for a truly stunning performance—a gorgeous exhibition of show don’t tell.

Honorable Mention: Sakina Jaffrey aka Den Mother Denise Christopher is the gift that keeps on giving. Jaffrey’s always done a superb job with Agent Christopher, but playing on who Denise is apart from the Time Team was an excellent choice on behalf of the writers, allowing Jaffrey to reveal just how much heart resides within the woman whose career seems to be often placed front and center.

Denise loves the team—that’s always been evident, and there’s nothing she wouldn’t do for them, no lengths she wouldn’t go through to protect them along with her family back home, but the choice to tell Lucy that she’d be proud of her if she was her daughter was something of great value. It gave Jaffrey the painful opportunity to really lay down Denise’s heart and be in a state of complete vulnerability.

She was ruthless, perfectly cunning and brave in front of Carol, but in front of Lucy, she was just a woman, a mother wanting to make sure that the girl in front of her knew that she was cared for despite the fact that there’s no blood relation between them. And giving us the glimpse into the eyes of a woman who’s often the one taking care of others was the perfect reminder of how those who appear to have it together, need others most. But ultimately, the exhibition of Denise’s heart, in the utmost selfless sense, Jaffrey made sure we could see the immense adoration within her and the steadfast admiration for Lucy. Ultimately resulting in a remarkably powerful scene between two brave women, which not only unveiled the excellency of Jaffrey and Spencer’s work as scene partners, but the showcase of immense support between two women who’d never realized just how much they’d need each other.

Most Exquisite Scene: We live in a time where thankfully, women are being brought to life on-screen in a beautifully powerful light. We’re in a time where instead of pitting us against one another, writers are bringing us closer together, showcasing that where honorable choices are made, astounding growth can take place. And there’s no need for unnecessary, catty drama that’s frankly, more unrealistic than anything else.

Timeless’ “The Kennedy Curse” was indeed an exquisite episode for showcasing the power of women in unison as beautifully as it did so in “The Salem Witch Hunt.” It all started out with Jiya taking care of Lucy, a bond we’re all desperate to see more of because, seriously, give these girls a spa and wine day; they deserve it. Jiya’s softness is something we get to see so often, I don’t think I’ve ever sat down and discussed just how lovely it truly is. To have a woman care as profoundly and as intently as she does for everyone in the bunker is the phenomenal representation of who women are as healers and caretakers. We’re so many things, and we’re certainly great at comforting people.

It is often kindness and gentleness that easily brings exquisite comfort to those who are in need, and whether it’s with Rufus, or Lucy, or anyone else, Jiya brings that to the table in a way no one else on this show does. And I appreciated every moment of her trying to make sure that Lucy knows she’s there for her, she isn’t judging her by any means, and mentioning the fact that she knows about Wyatt was the best way of stating that if she ever needs to talk, she’ll be there to listen. And that’s something that’s often in her; thereby, reiterating the fact that it’s not what you say, but how you say it— Doumit’s approach to matters such as this brings so much softness to the character, and I’m so eager to see more of the girls bonding.

But thankfully, we never had to worry about Lucy and Jiya being pitted against each other; however, it was a concern with Lucy and Jessica so kudos to the Timeless writers for not going there. Sure, towards the beginning it looked as if the women were frustrated with one another with bouts of competition here and there, but when it came down to Jessica noticing how much Wyatt actually cares about Lucy, that’s where both women shined the most. If you’ve been reading our reviews since last season then you know that I’ve always had the theory that Jessica would be a part of Rittenhouse, but today, I’m desperately hoping I’ve been wrong. I’m hoping I’ve been wrong for a number of reasons, mainly because I don’t ever want these two women to be on anything but good terms with each other. (I’ll take Jessica being Rittenhouse to protect Wyatt, but I don’t want her to be evil in any way.)

That said, their scene outside of the hospital was poetic perfection—truly, an impeccable unveiling of unity in a way that’ll live to serve as example of how stories such as this should be executed. Jessica’s choice to believe that Lucy’s the one Wyatt should get his second chance with is a gorgeous display of heart.

Again, here’s where I wholeheartedly hope past theories are wrong, because it’d mean that this scene wasn’t genuine, but instead planned out, and the belief that it’s genuine makes for a much more powerful display of character. At the end of the day, the sole fact that she was choosing to walk away with the belief that she’d be giving Wyatt the happiness he deserves showcases just how much she truly cares for him. And the thing is, if Lucy weren’t so selfless, she could’ve let her go, but that’s not who she is—the reality is, Wyatt’s too important to the both of them not to give him the happiness he wants. Thereby, telling Jessica about the fact that she’s been a constant presence in their lives even after her “death” was bravery and selflessness at its finest.

Choosing to tell her about the fact that Wyatt’s done anything and everything he could to get her back allowed Jessica to understand that not only has her husband actually changed, but he cares for her in a way that’s so utterly real, not even death can tarnish it. And that final look in the end after Jessica said she’s in? My heart.

There’s still so much to unpack here, but these women are consistently making the choice not to step on the other, and instead, uplift one another is a great one. Whatever lies ahead, for a moment, this is enough to exhibit just how brilliant teamwork can be, and how our selflessness could affect the lives of those in front of us for the better. There really is no alternative, if Wyatt and Lucy are ever going to be together, he and Jessica need to give their relationship the best chance they could. They need to grow together and figure things out as one in order to realize where their hearts are at. And then, only then, could Wyatt choose Lucy with the firm belief that she is the one, leaving Jessica with the freedom to find her person, too.

Timeless’ “The Kennedy Curse” in almost every sense was a therapy session— a time where each character had their moment to unwind and voice the terrors they’re harboring. And even where there were no words, the quiet comfort of beer and silence did the trick, too because sometimes, just sitting with someone while they’re in pain is more than enough. It was in Rufus’ choice to open up about his past with Jiya—the discussion about fate vs. free will and God’s plan was an acute representation of what it means to believe and not believe. (Please for the love of all things wonderful, give us an episode about Rufus’ past because I want to know exactly how much he went through with his family. I want to know more about his mother’s faith. I want to know about more about his struggles with it. These are all such profound topics to discuss and I trust this show to do so in a way that’s riveting for believers and non-believers. It’s a big, big world out there, and discussing topics such as this could make this show even more brilliant than it already is.)

The same level of comfort was found in the unity of women choosing to be honest with one another. And it was found in one person’s choice to believe the impossible upon meeting someone who’d become her future president. There were a ton of great, little moments in the episode that brought the vitality of conversation to life revealing the profound serenity that’s met with opening up our hearts to another. It takes immense strength to be vulnerable with people we know, but it takes even more strength to be that vulnerable when we’ve got something to lose. And Timeless’ means of tackling such thought-provoking subjects all while keeping the show an action packed mystery should serve as a prominent paradigm for all.

Further Thoughts:

  • How precious was Kennedy? And how heartbreaking was it to hear that even if he’s told not to go to Dallas, he’d be assassinated in Austin instead? Fate vs free will and what’s meant to be yo. Truly, a monster of a topic. But it was so pleasant, a bit off-putting even to see him in our time and how vulnerable he could’ve been. It’s something I’ve never thought of when it came to Kennedy as a boy, and it was riveting to watch it despite the fact that it isn’t real. It makes you wonder just how different another person can be if they’re pulled from what they know into a place that’s unimaginable. How would we react if someone told us the things he had to read about in the future? (Insert mind blown emoji here.)
  • Wyatt and Lucy’s conversation, oh my heart, be still. It hurts. It truly does, but man is it a poetic masterpiece. Bringing back their little baby doll and sweetheart gig? Again, be still my heart. It’s a perfect callback to the moment where they realized there could be something there, and there is, there will always be something between them, but Wyatt needs to find himself again, through Jessica, in order to become the man who can be with Lucy. These are such defining moments between the two because more than anything, they’re two people who’d do anything and everything to protect each other. And that’s the kind of bond that surpasses the tangible entity of romance. (Go listen to The Weeknd’s “Angel” right now, and tell me it doesn’t remind you of this relationship at this very moment. Wyatt’s thoughts in a nutshell I’m sure.)
  • And then there’s Flynn. I’m consistently floored by how much this man cares about Lucy—personally, I don’t think there are romantic feelings, but there’s something even more riveting, and it’s something that I could seriously write way too many words on. Flynn’s adoration comes from a place of seeking something so utterly profound, a sign to perhaps keep going, and that sign, from day one, has always been Lucy. As he mentioned in the finale, upon praying to God, she was put into his life, and he’s holding on to her for dear life because she’s easily someone who brings out the best in him. It crushes me, friends. It really does. It’s such a beautiful showcase of two people finding something indescribably comforting within one another, and it’s that very comfort that’s found in the choice to just sit with by someone in silence. Flynn’s decision to do so was his means of giving back to her, being the hope that she’s always been for him. This is a man who’d never harm Lucy despite what people think, in fact, if it came down to anything, he’d choose her over and over again, and I can’t wait until we get to unfold why she’s so important to him. And I hope, he also becomes someone of great importance to her.
  • Carol Preston reaching out to Agent Christopher in order to tell her that Rittenhouse will stop at nothing to kill Lucy was the little bit I needed to believe this woman hasn’t lost all her marbles. She does love Lucy, she truly does, but, and excuse my language, dammit, what about Amy? Why does she not care about Amy the same way? Tell us, writers. Please.
  • How awesome was that fight between Emma and Wyatt? It straight up felt like an action movie!

Be sure to rewatch the episode again on Hulu, NBC.com, Demand, or on your DVRs without skipping commercials. Hashtag #Timeless every time you tweet (one hashtag, per tweet or it’ll be marked as spam!) — let’s show the network just how fiercely we want this show to stay.

What are your thoughts on Timeless “The Kennedy Curse?”

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