“What’s the point of having a time machine if you can’t fix your regrets?”
At least once per episode, “Timeless” drops a line like this, which so precisely captures the appeal of time travel as a plot device. The three heroes at the heart of this show are each dripping with things unsaid, choices they ache to remake: Finding themselves as they do this week in deadlier-than-usual circumstances brings the expected amount of soul-searching.
Coming on the heels of the explosive admission in last week’s Watergate episode, Lucy (Abigail Spencer), Rufus (Malcolm Bennett) and Wyatt (Matt Lanter) are still on the outs: Rufus is a triple agent, Lucy seems destined to team up with their arch-nemesis, and Wyatt’s devotion to his late wife still threatens to throw them all off-course on their non-interference policy.
In a departure from previously established formula, “Stranded” opens in medias res, team already mid-assignment… Which has clearly already gone sour. But the show’s tone and delightful tropes remain: Lucy identifies herself as Dr. Quinn, “a medicine woman,” after instantly identifying each of their captors from her encyclopedic historical knowledge; Rufus proves himself a MacGyver of any time period with his scientific know-how; and Wyatt is, as ever, able of besting soldiers of any persuasion with his training. The apt title does, however, capture what’s so different about this week: Rather than their usual quick trips, this week finds them at loose ends when their ship is damaged, potentially beyond repair.