In “Mrs. Sherlock Holmes,” the Timeless team is alerted when the Mothership jumps to New York City on March 4, 1919. At first, Lucy (Abigail Spencer) believes Rittenhouse must be planning to kill President Wilson, who was in New York that day before going abroad to sign the treaty that ended WWI. Once on the ground, it becomes clear pretty quickly that the real target is the 19th Amendment, and Rittenhouse is killing the Suffragette movement by taking out Alice Paul (Erica Dasher), whose speech to President Wilson on that date helped sway him in favor of votes for women.
Before our heroes can do anything more than find outfits, the Rittenhouse sleeper agent assassinates Senator Wadsworth, then frames Alice for the crime. She’s arrested and held in a cell, which is intended to prevent her from giving her critical speech.
The Time Team for this mission is Lucy, Wyatt (Matt Lanter), Rufus (Malcolm Barrett) and, thanks to the new fourth seat on the Lifeboat, Flynn (Goran Visnjic). Rufus and Wyatt aren’t crazy about Flynn being there, but Lucy is definitely warming up to him. (BTW, she did NOT sleep with him– they really did just talk until late and drink Vodka, although Wyatt saw her doing a walk of shame out of Flynn’s room the next morning, which was *awkward*.)
When they arrive in the past and discover what’s going on, Lucy and Wyatt go to the police station to try to get Alice out of jail by posing as her lawyers, and Flynn and Rufus go in search of the sleeper.
In the jailhouse, Lucy and Wyatt get no love from the desk officer on duty. When he casually references Sherlock Holmes, Lucy realizes that Grace Humiston (Sarah Sokolovic), a.k.a. “Mrs. Sherlock Holmes,” is probably in the building at that exact minute. Mrs. Humiston was a real-life pioneer— the first female United States Attorney and unofficial New York police detective. They find her in the visitors’ room she uses as an office and beg her to help exonerate Alice.
Although Alice and Grace aren’t friendly, Grace recognizes immediately that she’s innocent and takes the case. Over the course of an intense afternoon, she uses her powers of observation and deduction to identify the Rittenhouse sleeper agent in time to save Lucy’s life, but not in time to save Alice’s. Lucy and Wyatt find Alice dead in her jail cell, jeopardizing their mission and women’s rights.
While they’re focused on freeing Alice, Rufus and Flynn are surprised by Emma (Annie Wersching) saving their lives. She’s been tasked with staying out of the dirty work on this mission by an amorous Nicholas Keynes (Michael Rady), who wants to prevent women’s lib while desiring a woman who was shaped by it. Emma, for all of her Rittenhouse loyalty, has a line she doesn’t want to cross: sentencing generations of women to being the legal property of their husbands.
They call a one-mission truce, setting aside how Emma betrayed both Rufus and Flynn in the past. (She and Rufus worked together on the time machines before any of this started, remember? And she and Flynn were pals when she was stuck in the old west.)
When it’s time for the Suffragettes to march, the women are so shocked by Alice’s death that they decide instead to make it a silent vigil. Lucy thinks this will undermine all her hard work, but instead it leads to Grace being so inspired by what she’s witnessing that she gives a speech of her own, setting history back on track. (Except for poor Alice, who is dead and gets wiped from the collective memory of how women got the vote because of that.)
Emma tracks the sleeper at about the same time Grace and Lucy encounter her, and she ignores the part of the mission that involves killing Lucy to take out the sleeper before disappearing back to the future.
When she gets there, she charms Nicholas into believing that she was following orders by not getting her hands dirty while her now-deceased mission partner failed. He seems to accept it, and then he kisses her… and she lets him. (EW.)
Also happening throughout the whole 1919 storyline is Rufus believing he’s un-killable because Jiya (Claudia Doumit) has had a vision of him dying in a room full of old-timey cowboys. Initially he’s angry and mean about having been told he’s going to die, but when he realizes that it means he can’t die anywhere else, it infuses him with some unreasonable bravado. He doesn’t die, but he does come home banged up after diving into an altercation with the police who are beating the marching Suffragettes.
And while the Time Team is away, Connor (Paterson Joseph) is sifting through the electronics debris that Agent Christopher (Sakina Jaffrey) and Wyatt salvaged from Rittenhouse HQ. Jiya and Jessica (Tonya Glanz) both help with his search for a needle in a haystack, which apparently means salvageable computer components that might house data.
Late at night, he’s at it alone when he finds one piece he believes he can plug in and inspect. Agent Christopher is there for the reveal, and they discover a photo of Jessica! There’s no context clues, so they decide to keep it to themselves for the time being, but you know this means there’s a hiiiigh likelihood that she’s Rittenhouse.
After this episode, Timeless only has three left in its improbable second season. Season three is still up in the air, although the show is one of the leaders in USA Today’s Save Our Shows poll. As crazy as their recklessness with the space/time continuum makes me EVERY WEEK, I also like it better every week. I really do hope NBC will save this show.