I give Timeless a hard time for its infuriatingly casual attitude towards the butterfly effect and messing with the space/time continuum, and for having too much going on beyond the central conceit of “time travel cops and robbers,” but I really do like this show. This week’s episode, “The King of the Delta Blues,” is pretty fun– and downright refreshing after having your mind warped by Westworld.
Connor (Paterson Joseph) is having a hard time. His fall from grace is now complete, as he is losing control of all of his holdings and officially becoming “nobody.” Lucky for him, his rock bottom moment coincides with Rufus (Malcolm Barrett) and Jiya (Claudia Doumit) finally figuring out how to safely add a fourth seat to the Lifeboat and Connor’s musical idol, Robert Johnson (Kamahl Naiqui), being targeted by Rittenhouse in November 1936.
Why would Rittenhouse want to mess with the King of the Delta Blues? Lucy’s (Abigail Spencer) theory is that if they stop him from inspiring all of the musicians who came afterwards (including The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Bob Dylan and countless others), they’ll kill the counter-culture and the civil rights movement before they’re born.
Connor is the only Robert Johnson expert in the bunker, so he gets to take his first trip in the time machine he invented. Agent Christopher (Sakina Jaffrey) holds Wyatt (Matt Lanter) back for a different mission, so the Time Team this time is Connor, Lucy, Rufus and Flynn (Goran Visnjic).
Once in 1936, the Time Team heads to The Gunter Hotel, where Robert Johnson is about to make his historic recording with Don Law (Gavin Stenhouse). They arrive just in time to stop a Rittenhouse sleeper agent from killing Johnson, but having a bunch of strangers break into their hotel room and shoot each other puts both Johnson and Law off of their project, and Johnson skips out.
The team splits up, and Lucy and Flynn stay at the hotel to help Law fix his equipment while convincing him to go ahead with the recording. Connor and Rufus hunt down Johnson, encountering him on the road to his sister’s juke joint and offering him a ride. They decide Lucy and Flynn should bring Law and his equipment to the juke joint to record there and leave a message at the hotel to that effect.
When Rufus, Johnson and Connor arrive at the juke joint, Johnson’s sister isn’t in, but Muddy Waters, Son House and Bessie Smith are all there. Connor is hardcore fan boying.
Back at the hotel, Lucy and Flynn get the message and go to stop Law from hauling his equipment upstairs again. When they find him and pass along the new plan, his girlfriend shoots him and fires at Lucy and Flynn, revealing herself as a second Rittenhouse sleeper. Now she knows where Johnson is, and she gets a head start in going after him.
Lucy and Flynn make it to the juke joint in time, after some light bonding in the car, and Connor takes the shot that stops the sleeper, but without Law the mission is in jeopardy. Rufus steps up to give Connor a pep talk about getting over the shock of having just killed someone and getting into the spirit of using his fanboy knowledge to produce Johnson’s record and save rock ‘n’ roll. It works, the recording goes forward, and the only differences when they return to the present are that the album is now engineered by “Lando Calrissian” instead of Don Law, and Connor can be heard saying “yeah!” in the background on a track.
While they were away, Wyatt followed leads, pulled from when Carol (Susanna Thompson) took Agent Christopher hostage, to find the Rittenhouse headquarters. He hesitates when he has a chance to shoot Carol, though, which buys Nicholas Keynes (Michael Rady) time to grab her and jump into the Mothership for a quick escape. Keynes also sets everything on fire to stop anyone from getting their data.
When everyone is safely back in the bunker at the end of their missions, Wyatt is craving some facetime with Lucy. Sure, he’s been having noisy sex with Jessica in their private bunker bedroom, but he definitely still has feelings for Lucy. His inability to kill her mother proved that to him and to Agent Christopher.
Lucy is determined not to experience more awkwardness by delaying Wyatt’s return to his wife, so she gives him a raincheck and instead takes the bottle of vodka she hides under her bed and knocks on Flynn’s door– hopefully just to talk!
On top of all this, Jiya has had another vision. Rufus cracks under the pressure of sensing she’s keeping something from him and asks her to tell him what she saw. It was him, near a coast and surrounded by cowboys– and dying!