It’s space-time havoc with a side of COMPLICATIONS on Timeless, as 2/3 of the Time Team head to “The Salem Witch Hunt.”
You may recall that the last episode ended with Wyatt (Matt Lanter) discovering that his dead wife Jessica (Tonya Glanz) wasn’t dead anymore. I suggested that somehow this was a result of Rufus (Malcolm Barrett) tipping Hedy Lamar off to the fact that she needed to maintain the patent for the technology that became the foundation of wifi. One reader suggested that it might have been because of the guard Wyatt killed– that maybe that guy was an ancestor of Jessica’s killer. Tonight we learned that neither of these things factored in– Rittenhouse took the Mothership to 1980 for an hour, and whatever they did then un-killed Jessica.
Jessica’s reappearance means that Lucy (Abigail Spencer) and Wyatt’s romance is on a hard pause all of the sudden, that Rittenhouse must have a reason for wanting Jessica in the mix and that Wyatt has some things to work out at home, so he opts out of this episode’s mission.
Instead of reuniting with Jessica and falling into a passionate embrace, Wyatt discovers that whomever he has been in his marriage in the six years in which she wasn’t dead after all was… not awesome. She’s fed up with the secrecy his “Army” job requires, as well as his lengthy absences without contact, and she’s filing for divorce. He decides that the only way to save his marriage, and get the second chance he’s been desperate for since she died, is to take her to the top secret bunker and prove to her that time travel is real– and that she’s been literally dead to him.
Needless to say, the gang at work isn’t stoked about him blowing their secret to Jessica, but since it’s already done, they do let her witness the return of the Lifeboat, which means she and Wyatt have a lot to talk about.
Because Wyatt won’t be there, and because this mission requires a trip to the Salem witch trials, Lucy helps sway Agent Christopher (Sakina Jaffrey) into letting Garcia Flynn (Goran Visnjic) go in his place. Yes, he is a murderer, but he’s also up to speed on the situation in Salem, an experienced time traveler *and* a passably white guy. The latter element is one Lucy calls out as necessary in order for a woman and a black man to get anything done in Massachusetts in the 1600s.
When they arrive in Salem, they discover that there’s one more accused witch slated to be hanged than was true in the original history: Benjamin Franklin’s mother, Abby (Sofia Vassilieva). They run roughshod over the townspeople trying to flush out a Rittenhouse sleeper agent, but it turns out the one who accused Abby was Carol (Susanna Thompson), Lucy’s mom. We learn this when Carol pops into the tavern to accuse Lucy, too.
It turns out that back at modern-day Rittenhouse HQ, Nicholas Keynes (Michael Rady) is growing impatient with Lucy’s meddling in their plans. His displeasure is being fed by a scheming Emma (Annie Wersching), and together they back Carol into a corner about Lucy. Carol’s play is to get Lucy accused of witchcraft, then save her in exchange for her joining team Rittenhouse. Of course, Lucy would rather hang. When Carol finds that out, she slips Lucy a dagger and implies that her resistance to Rittenhouse will be bad for both of them.
When it’s time for the hanging of the now-10 accused witches, Abby Franklin is first in line to die. As the noose is slipped around her neck, Flynn appears with a stolen rifle and begins shooting the judges who put her there. This causes everyone to scatter, and Lucy and Rufus are able to save Abby in the chaos.
Lucy advises Abby on how to survive and when it will be safe to return to Massachusetts, then tells her to save all of the other women. Lucy has decided she’s not going along with history’s ideas about a woman’s place anymore, and damn the consequences. If Rufus can make Hedy Lamar a rich woman, she can save the Salem witches.
When they return to the bunker, Lucy, Rufus and Flynn discover that the Salem Witch Trials have been known as a “Revolt” in the revised timeline, and that the phrase “witch hunt” doesn’t exist. Who even knows what else has changed.
One more thing: Jiya (Claudia Doumit) has decided that her visions are premonitions, usually of Rufus’s future. Before they even know Salem is their destination, she warns him that she’s seen him shooting a pilgrim with a scar on his face. Everything she foretold comes to pass, except that Rufus doesn’t shoot the man, and his choice not to leads directly to the man being run over by a horse-drawn wagon instead. This convinces Rufus that his efforts to avoid making Jiya’s premonition come true contributed to it coming true, and he asks her not to tell him what she sees anymore when he gets home.
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