By Stephanie Chang,
Warning: contains spoilers
Tick. Tock. Tick. Tock. Time is always moving forward and humans are always creating history. But what if you could go back in time? Time travel is one of the most explored ideas in the entertainment industry.
“Timeless,” an American drama series directed by Eric Kripke and Shawn Ryan, is a series that involves time traveling. It aired on NBC on Oct. 3, 2016, and the season finale aired on Feb. 20.
The show takes place in modern day America, where three unlikely characters– Lucy Preston (Abigail Spencer), Wyatt Logan (Matt Lanter) and Rufus Carlin (Malcolm Barrett)– come together to form a team inside the Mason industries. Their goal is to track down Garcia Flynn (Goran Višnjić), a man who is set to go back to a set period in time and change history.
Every time the terrific trio travels back in time, they go to significant times in history. Burning of Hindenburg? Check. The assassination of President Lincoln? Check. The story of Bonnie and Clyde? Check. The series covers various events vital to America’s history.
Tracking down someone and putting them behind bars. Pretty simple, right? Easy peasy lemon squeezy.
As the series progresses, however, tracking down Flynn is clearly not that simple, and the story itself is not that simple. Questions arise–Who should really be trusted? Who is the real “bad guy” here?
Not only is the show extremely enjoyable, it also imposes a huge deal of knowledge on its viewers. Unlike learning in the traditional history class, “Timeless” allows viewers to soak in information on various parts of history in an unconventional fun way. Don’t want to read your textbook? Watch “Timeless” instead. Just kidding– read your textbooks still, but watch “Timeless” to recap your knowledge you learned and perhaps learn more information on other time periods.
Not only does the show teach history, it also teaches life lessons regarding one’s own conflicts, as well as the fact that everyone has their own story that explains the person they are.
Lucy devastatingly loses her sister early on in the show because of an itty bitty change in history. She has to resist not letting her own personal issue interfere with working for the Mason industry.
On the other hand, Wyatt, who has lost his wife due to a murder, lets his personal issues dictate his actions, as he longs to change history and get back his wife. A good idea? Perhaps not. But one would do anything for his or her own family, and the series perfectly depicts how one lets his her own emotions cloud their sound judgment.
Even with the “bad guys,” you will see that not everything is what it seems. Flynn has his own story, as with every other character in the series. There is no clear distinction between the bad and the good, clearly depicting the realities of moral conflicts in life.
Thus, watching the show, you will feel hate, love, sympathy and a whole lot of emotions towards the characters. You will scream at characters for doing certain things. Applaud the same characters for doing others. But one thing is for certain; “Timeless” plays on the fact that everyone is human–not perfect– and does a good job doing so.
Another thing the show deserves praise for is the diversity. One of the three main characters, Rufus, is African American, as well as many other characters in the show. Additionally, the show includes an interracial relationship between two characters.
Talking about racial diversity, “Timeless” addresses identity politics. When the trio goes back in time, Rufus encounters racist police officers, displaying how racism was prominent in a time like the 1860s.
The show explores more than just racial diversity. It also touches upon issues such as gay rights, when the characters go back in time and express their acceptance for someone who is gay, something that was unacceptable during the past. It also addresses sexism, with the appearance of Katherine Johnson, who played a pivotal role in NASA space missions but was not widely recognized.
The fact that “Timeless” tells the honest truth of history and discusses identity politics makes it all the better.
“Timeless” is well thought-out, not to mention the incredible effort put into the setting, stage props and costumes specific to the different time periods.
With its twists and turns, “Timeless” will constantly leave the viewers sitting at the edge of their seat even until the very end. Even until the last 10 minutes of the series finale.
The series finale will leave its viewers shook. Just when you think everything is going well and think that the series has received its closure, BAM! Creators Kripke and Ryan drop another plot twist within the last few minutes of the show– one that opens a plethora of questions, leaving viewers craving for more, like a child craving for ice cream.
The renewal of the series for season two has yet to be announced. But fingers crossed for season two, because “Timeless” is not just another time travel series– but a brilliant one.