We have finally hit the second half of season one of Netflix’s Jupiter’s Legacy. In the first four episodes, we have gotten the chance to dive into the emotional journies of Chloe (Elena Kampouris), Brandon (Andrew Horton) and Hutch (Ian Quinlan) in the present day. The 1929 storyline has taken us on a wild ride as Sheldon (Josh Duhamel) seeks out answers to his visions. This drags Walter (Ben Daniels), George (Matt Lanter) and Jane (Meg Steedle) on his wild ride. In episode five, “What’s the Use,” 1929, Sheldon begins to assemble his dream team to search out the mysterious island. In the present, Blackstar’s (Tyler Mane) clone undergoes an autopsy which unearths a puzzling object.
Disclaimer: This is a recap and, by nature, will contain spoilers for Jupiter’s Legacy. If you haven’t watched it, I highly suggest you do so. Viewers can find the entire first season here on Netflix.
“What’s the Use” opens with Sheldon and his therapist (Nigel Bennett) discussing his current situation. Sheldon shares that things are stressful at home with Grace (Leslie Bibb), Chloe won’t listen to him and Brandon killed Blackstar’s clone and doesn’t think he did anything wrong. In fact, 78% of the country agrees with Brandon’s decision. Sheldon can’t understand how 78% of the American people have an issue with the Code Sheldon has spent his whole life abiding by.
His therapist recognizes Sheldon’s conflict with the people who matter most in his life. Still, it is the statistic that he is curious about. He wants to know why Sheldon is so hung up on it. It’s because Sheldon believes that what is the point of doing good if no one perceives it that way. The question then shifts to when Sheldon felt that the idea of doing good became such an essential part of his life. Sheldon shares that a few days after this father passed, he found himself alone in his study with a bottle of his father’s (Richard Blackburn) whiskey.
The therapist is quick to point out that whiskey was still illegal during this time due to prohibition. It is just a tiny moment to remind Sheldon that he isn’t always good. Sheldon explains that after he learned all of the things his father did that left him feeling betrayed, he decided he needed to go in a different direction. He was going to do good to help balance out the bad his father had done.
In 1929, Jane is trying to have a conversation with Sheldon about their upcoming wedding, but he is preoccupied. Sheldon is still hearing and seeing the visions, including the farmer (Kurtwood Smith) reciting coordinates. Jane continues to try and talk with him, but the more he thinks about what he has seen, the farther he gets drawn into the visions. The scene eventually shifts and we see Sheldon opening his father’s casket and taking out his pocket watch.
In the future, Chloe wakes up in a hospital bed with Hutch at her side. He reminds her that she took something that didn’t belong to her and Chloe wants to know what he is going to do about it. Out on the Sampson farm, Sheldon is doing manual labor when Grace stops by to chat with him. Grace was out saving a small village from a volcano and asks Sheldon if he wants to see the pictures. He tells her that he will when he is done.
Grace suggests getting Brandon to help, but Sheldon sent him to oversee that autopsy for Blackstar. Grace isn’t happy that Sheldon continues to punish Brandon for what he did. She feels that Brandon knows what he did was wrong and that he let down Sheldon. However, Sheldon still thinks he needs to learn more accountability and responsibility and this is how it is going to happen. Grace reminds him that they are raising a superhero, but also a human being.
At The Union headquarters, Brandon has a chat with his Uncle Walter while they wait for someone else to arrive (someone Brandon doesn’t seem to particularly like). Brandon swears he is fine, but Walter points out that his tone gives off the impression otherwise. He opens up to him about how he has been replaying the fight in his head and every time, it becomes less clear. Brandon asks Walter what he would have done if he was in his shoes. Walter doesn’t give him a straight answer because, truthfully, he doesn’t have one. But Brandon’s decision means that they are still here and nothing can change that.
Finally, Barnabas Wolfe (Paul Amos) arrives with all of his eccentrics and eludes to the idea that possibly he and Grace might have ended up if Sheldon didn’t get her first. Walter tells him to just get to the point and brings him to the autopsy room where Fitz (Mike Wade) and Petra (Tenika Davis) are waiting. I just want to point out that I really don’t like Barnabas. Fitz explains that the clone has identical armor to Blackstar and that it is fused with the underlining tissue. It seems Barnabas is actually needed since they can’t remove the armor without damaging underneath.
Barnabas uses his power to slowly separate the armor from the underlining tissue. This allows Fitz and Petra to continue with the autopsy. While they are trying to remove the liver, Fitz realizes that there is something else within the body. A puzzle ball of sorts. Barnabas examines it and when he unlocks it, he finds a pocket watch. But not just any pocket watch, though. It looks identical to the one that belonged to Sheldon and Walter’s father.
“What’s the Use” jumps back to 1929. Sheldon seeks out George to tell him that he was right all along about the farmhouse and the map. He shares everything he saw there and thinks it is all part of a puzzle or test. Sheldon truly believes that all of this is leading to something that will change the world. He asks George if he is willing to help him on this path. George reminds him that they are friends no matter what and of course, he will help him.
In the present, Sheldon is back in his therapy appointment discussing a reoccurring dream about his father’s death. He tries to stop him every time but is never fast enough. The therapist shares that parents aren’t supposed to leave their children by choice and that when they do, it leads the children to believe it was their fault. He believes that this is why Sheldon is so attached to the Code. Sheldon sees the Code as a way to be good but also reduces the amount of death Sheldon needs to deal with.
This is all well and good, but as a superhero, Sheldon’s enemies are almost guaranteed to want to try and kill him. The therapist asks Sheldon if he can agree to that. Sheldon does agree and gives the impression that something happened between him and the therapist named Jack. Jack then points out that in any other field similar to Sheldon’s, they have the right to kill as a last line of defense. But that isn’t the same for members of The Union who need to remember the Code, which is another way of remembering him. Sheldon believes that Jack is just calling him a narcissist, but that isn’t the case. Sheldon just wants to be remembered by those he loves after he leaves this world.
Back on the farm, Sheldon pulls out his father’s old pocket watch for Walter to compare to the one found in the clone of Blackstar. Sheldon wants to know how someone could make an exact replica and Walter reminds him that they all have superpowers. Grace is more curious about the ball it came in. Walter knows that this kind of technology could only come from one person – George. Sheldon doesn’t know why George would want to kill all of them now after so many years and that nothing seems to be making sense.
Walter reminds them that George always loved puzzles just as much as he loved making fun of Walter. He thinks that George must think it’s great that he is the only one who truly knows what is going on. Grace doesn’t believe they will ever get the answer since they could never actually find him. But Sheldon knows of one person who might be able to help them. In another part of the country, Hutch makes a back alley deal when Sheldon pops in for a visit.
Hutch teleports himself to Iowa, but Sheldon finds I’m almost instantly. Sheldon picks up the power rod and no matter how many times Hutch tries to recall it, he isn’t able to summon it out of Sheldon’s hands. Sheldon just wants to talk to Hutch about his father and returns the power rod to him.
“What’s the Use” takes us back to 1929 as Sheldon and George arrive at the United Front to meet with Grace. She is currently in the process of being “let go,” though she believes it is because she is a journalist in a skirt. She thinks that Sheldon is there to sue her, but he actually has an opportunity for her. After a few minutes of trying to get her attention, Sheldon explains that he has a job for her to chronicle everything that happens on their expedition.
She wants to know where they are going, but Sheldon doesn’t have an answer. George comes to the rescue by telling her it doesn’t matter. Her best bet (financially and professionally) is to hitch her wagon to theirs and use this opportunity to get the scoop of a lifetime. It sounds appealing, but she still wants to know why her? Sheldon almost slips about seeing her in the basement and his visions. Still, George cuts in and tells her it’s because Sheldon has an idea for a better future and she is a part of it.
In the future, Grace visits The Union headquarters to bring Brandon a sandwich. What she really wants to know is why he is still there. Brandon tells her that he can’t stop thinking about how instead of the clone’s body being on the autopsy table, it could have been dad, Walter or even her. He asks her how that would have been better. She openly admits to him that it wouldn’t be. At least not for them.
They are joined by Barnabas, Walter and Fitz. She doesn’t seem to care for him either (again, I agree) and tells him that while they thank him for his assistance, it is time for him to leave. However, it seems Walter has invited him to stay and help with the next step. Walter wants to try and go into the clone’s mind and search his memories for answers. With some help from Fitz, they will try and reanimate parts of the clone’s brain to allow Walter to pop in. But, they need Barnabas to reconstruct the damaged organs so they can’t push out the door just yet.
In 1929, Willie (Tyrone Benskin) and Fitz return home after struggling to look for work. They find Sheldon and George waiting for them with an opportunity for Fitz. Sheldon explains that they need Fitz for an expedition. He shares that they will secure a boat and crew in Morocco before heading out to sea. Sheldon even promises to pay Fitz in advance. Sheldon even promises that when they find what they are looking for, he will hire everyone back, including his dad. However, Fitz doesn’t want to hear it through and doesn’t need any favors.
They tell Sheldon and George to leave and out in the car Sheldon struggles with not storming back in and demanding Fitz join them. He knows that he needs him for this mission and it can’t be anyone else. Inside, Willie tells Fitz that he is throwing away a good opportunity and would be stupid not to go with them. Fitz sees it as crawling back to the man who stole everything from them, but Willie reminds him that his dad did those bad things and Sheldon is just trying to make things right. Outside, just as Sheldon is about to get out of the car and head back in, Fitz appears and tells him that he will join the mission.
“What’s the Use” jumps back to the present, where Hutch and Sheldon are chatting in a diner. Sheldon asks him if he has any idea where George might be. Hutch hasn’t seen his father since he was 12. Sheldon struggles to believe him since Hutch isn’t a model citizen. Sheldon reminds him that Hutch isn’t the only one George hurt and that he was Sheldon’s best friend and like family. Hutch, however, believes that it was The Union who turned on George.
Sheldon tries to parent him by telling him that people see the world the way they want to, but Hutch isn’t here for it and tells Sheldon he sees the world the way it is. Sheldon doesn’t argue back and just tells Hutch he needs to talk with George before things worsen. Hutch doesn’t know where George is, but Sheldon thinks the power rod might help them. However, it turns out anytime Hutch tells the power rod to take him to his father, he ends up in a different strip club. George always has the best jokes.
Hutch has some choice words, which prompts Sheldon to call him son and Hutch doesn’t take too kindly to that. He reminds Sheldon that he isn’t his son, nor is he anything like his father. Sheldon fires back that he has looked away from what Hutch has done out of respect for George. All he needs to know is if George tries to reach out to him.
In 1929 Sheldon and George meet back up with Walter, who is angry Sheldon missed the board meeting and now the company has gone under. George leaves the two to talk things over and Sheldon tries to explain to Walter that nothing matters. He knows that Walter is upset, but he needs him to understand what is really going on. Sheldon begins to present everything that has been happening and about the coordinates he found. He doesn’t know where they lead, but he knows that it will change their lives.
Sheldon needs Walter to go with them and Walter thinks it is funny because Sheldon wasn’t around when Walter needed him. Sheldon gets defensive and argues that none of this even matters. The only thing that matters is figuring out his visions. But Walter reminds him that this board meeting mattered to him.
We jump back to the present for a moment where Hutch and Chloe are having a rather intimate moment. Hutch drops the news of Sheldon’s visit to Chloe, who thinks it is because they are seeing each other. Apparently, this isn’t the first time Sheldon has tried to intimidate Chloe’s boyfriends. But that isn’t the case this time. Hutch explains that Sheldon was actually looking for answers on where George was. He doesn’t think that Sheldon even knows that they have a relationship and even if he did, Hutch isn’t scared of him.
Back in 1929, George arrives at Walter’s house to try and talk to him for Sheldon. Walter honestly believes that Sheldon is sick and that George is just playing along by feeding into his delusions. But George points out that Walter has some delusions of his own, including trying to keep the mill open even though he knows it died along with his father. All Sheldon is trying to do is get better and maybe playing along and getting on a ship will do just that and maybe Walter needs it too.
At Jane’s house, Sheldon is packing up their stuff and telling her how George convinced Walter to join them on the expedition. Jane is worried that Sheldon isn’t okay, but he promises that all of this is real. That this is something, they need to do. She asks him if he saw her in his visions and, instead of lying to her and admits she wasn’t. She leaves her engagement ring on the bed and leaves him behind.
“What’s the Use” jumps back to Sheldon’s therapy appointment with Jack. They discuss how Sheldon saw Jane’s leaving him as a punishment for not being good enough, even though that isn’t what she said. He tells Jack that he understands that his Code is his symbol for being good and that it is impossible to prevent tragedy. Sheldon believes that the world hasn’t always been so cruel and that when people did good things, they were rewarded. When he saved the country, he was called a hero.
But Jack reminds him that this world has never been that and it is only Sheldon’s beliefs in the Code that have made it seem that way. All of this is a construct Sheldon created as a barrier from the horrible reality out there. Jack explains that Sheldon has lived in this black and white world and for a while, things worked out, but that isn’t how the world really is and now he is seeing reality seeping in.
There is a knock on the door, which alerts Jack that their session has come to an end. Sheldon thanks him and even shares that sometimes Jack is the only one he can really talk to. In the final moments of the episode, we learn that Jack is actually a criminal genius who is locked up in the Supermax for trying to kill Sheldon 20 years ago.
Talk about one hell of a plot twist! “What’s the Use” holds onto Jack’s true identity until the very end! It is kind of ironic that the only person Sheldon can really open up to is someone he has taken down in the past. I know there is some kind of psychological thing here but even outside of that is extremely interesting. It seemed so normal aside from the small moments here and there and then at the very end when Jack makes the smart remark that Sheldon always knows where to find him. If he can be so open with him, what is holding back about being honest with his family?
1929 Sheldon gives us quite a bit of insight into his overall character as well. He watched his dad commit suicide and is haunted by never being helping to stop him. On top of that, Sheldon truly learned what kind of man his father was after his death and could never confront him on it. So now Sheldon feels like he constantly needs to be this good person to make up for the sins of his father. Sound familiar? This isn’t something strictly locked into the superhero fandom. This is something we see almost every day in real life. Just one of the reason’s I have always loved Jupiter’s Legacy.
I want to mention how fantastic the crew for this series has been and will continue to be. Not just in building the characters but their physical appearances as well. In particular, I want to point out the team responsible for aging the older heroes. They did such a fantastic job not just by adding some wrinkles and grey hair but also by emotionally aging them. When we look at Sheldon in 1929, before the crash, he is young and hopeful (and a lot of that is due to Josh Duhamel being a fantastic actor). But then, as time goes on and into the present, you can see how the world has weighed on him—chef’s kiss.