February 21, 2017

Timeless Cliffhanger

Is it the end or is it the beginning? After viewing last night's very riveting episode of Timeless, it was hard to tell which it will be. Now it is up to the powers that be at NBC to decide whether or not this excellent show deserves a second season and a chance to build an audience. 

These days, it seems its all about the money. Clearly, this show is expensive to produce. But with great characters- including one of the most layered and complex villains ever seen on the small screen, Garcia Flynn, played by the incredible Goran Visnjic- it's a show worth growing into. 

The ensemble cast is key to the story, and they are a gifted one. Each brings true gold in their performance, and most importantly, none of the actors seem to be obsessed with taking a star turn, making each shine all the more brighter. In contrast, the supporting roles are less complex and developed, but as we can tell by the twists and turns of the season finale, that is about to change in ways we never expected.

Much is rightly made of Malcolm Barrett who brings Rufus to life with his rich and nuanced portrayal. Abigail Spencer's gifted heroine Lucy Preston positively shines, particularly when we see her starstruck by meeting her historical heroes (Ernest Hemingway, Josephine Baker, Abraham Lincoln).

Yet, there's something about the man that's not often given his due.  Matt Lanter's Wyatt is also very complex and very well played. His ongoing sense of duty, sacrifice, true justice, and real bravery may drive him, but he also contains a decent amount of personality flaws. In spite of it all, he presses on. He fights. He perseveres. Wyatt's heroic and fractured nature, as with all humans, is blended with characteristics not easily noticed at first glance. See how he honors his fellow time travelers, stands by them, and how he does it all with a sense of true humility? There's a fine balance in the playing the character here, and Lanter seems to handle his role as effortlessly as does the rest of the cast in theirs. Certainly, humility is not a virtue that is often played to great effect on either small or large screen- and it clearly doesn't seem to be valued much in real life either. 

Timeless deftly manages the delicate task of creating an incredibly entertaining show while also subtly making social commentary that does not alienate viewers on either side of the political spectrum. In that way, the writers succeed in drawing people together. This is something our country sorely needs as we've been divided due to the arrogance of our last several presidents and their respective political parties. And the media which plays it all for profit.

Will Season Two come to pass? Who knows? But in the meantime, if you haven't already, check out the show from the beginning. It's smart, well written, well acted, often slyly humorous ("... James Bond is hitting on Lucy!") and lots of fun.

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