Synopsis: When a mission goes awry, Wyatt (Matt Lanter) and Rufus (Malcolm Barrett) are forced to bring a 17-year-old John F. Kennedy (guest star Grant Jordan) with them to the present. But while the Lifeboat is recharging for the return trip, Kennedy escapes from the bunker… into modern day San Francisco. Anxious to return the future president to history, the team must find a way to work together to rescue JFK and return him to the past before Rittenhouse assassinates him in 2018.
Review: The beauty of Timeless is that the historical figures, while hugely cool week to week, are not the focal points of the series. The regular characters are what drive the narrative. Don’t get me wrong. In “The Kennedy Curse,” guest star Grant Jordan did a marvelous job as young John F. Kennedy. He breathed much-needed life into well-worn fish out of water tropes. At the end of the day, though, I was much more caught up in how the Time Team responded to the wrinkles in their lives.
First, the more esoteric debate concerning fate and free will is a favorite staple of time travel narratives, and the scene in which Rufus (Malcolm Barrett) and Jiya (Claudia Doumit) try to hash it out added the necessary personal element to the situation. Second, the developments with Agent Christopher put Sakina Jaffrey and Susanna Thompson in the same room. Their scenes alone, both thematically and at the performance level, justified the episode.
Then, of course, there’s the triangle. I’m not a fan of triangles generally, because I’m a lit geek who is very aware of the gold standard stories involving the trope. Frankly, most contemporary triangle narratives are tedious, childish dreck, even when executed well. So far, however (and my fingers are crossed), the Lucy-Wyatt-Jessica dynamic is refreshingly mature and doesn’t make me want to put my head through the wall.
If I have one quibble with this otherwise really solid episode, it’s that I would have liked to have seen Flynn (Goran Višnjić) take out the Rittenhouse agents in 1934. Hopefully, there will be some deleted scenes.
- Set Design9.0