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TIMELESS RECAP AND REVIEW -- Episode 208: "The Day Reagan Was Shot" (May 6, 2018)

Amanda Mason - May 7, 2018




Okay, first things first. I’m gonna need you – yes, you – to calm down. That ending scene was quite a doozy and we’ll get to it later in the recap. For now, though, we’re focusing on the important stuff – and that is truly heartwarming episode of TIMELESS.


The Time Team travels back to March 30,1981, which is the date on which nutjob John Hinckley (who I am ashamed to acknowledge is a fellow Texas Tech alumnus) made an attempt on President Ronald Reagan’s life. The team has no idea what Rittenhouse’s motives are here – are they trying to stop the assassination? It all becomes evident, though, when Wyatt saves a young police officer targeted by the Rittenhouse sleeper agent. That young officer? Denise Christopher. As in our fearless leader Agent Christopher. Rittenhouse is looking to cut the Time Team off at the source.



John Hinckley still shot the President, but in the melee surrounding the downed officer, he gets away. The team splits up. Rufus and Wyatt will hunt down the sleeper agent while Lucy and Jiya find Denise and convince her to go after Hinckley. Lucy and Jiya, going by the aliases of Cagney and Lacey, manage to talk to Denise, but are interrupted by the arrival of her mother and large family.

As they wait in the hall, they learn that Denise’s near-death experience has inspired her to agree to an arranged marriage set up by her mother. This is a serious problem, as not only is Denise gay, but this marriage would essentially mean that her future children would cease to exist – one of present-day Denise’s greatest fears.

They take Denise to Hinckley’s hotel room to show her all of his weird stuff – the infamous copy of "The Catcher in the Rye," magazines dedicated to Jodie Foster, his recorded manifesto. Unfortunately, they also discover that he deliberately cut himself in order to gain entrance to the emergency room currently being guarded by Secret Service. Denise is able to call it in and arrange for his capture.


Pictured: (l-r) Abigail Spencer as Lucy Preston, Claudia Doumit as Jiya, Karen David as Young Denise Christopher -- (Photo by: Ron Batzdorff/NBC)


Jiya and Lucy try different strategies for convincing Denise to call off her engagement. They tell her that they know she is gay. They pretend to be a couple themselves in one of the show’s most hilarious moments. But she still won’t call things off.

Lucy decides that it’s time to go for the nuclear option, which is to pull out the thumb drive that present-day Denise gave her at dinner last season. Jiya and Lucy take the thumb drive and a laptop to Denise’s mother’s home and crash the engagement party. Denise doesn’t believe them at first, but once faced with the photographic evidence of her future – that she could find love with another woman and be legally married, that she would have two beautiful children – she finally agrees to come out to her mother. It doesn’t go well, but Cagney and Lacey encourage the young woman and tell her that it will all be okay.

Meanwhile, Wyatt and Rufus find the sleeper agent and confront him in an elevator – Steve Rogers style. Wyatt even does a little flip off the wall of the cab, which is ridiculously hot. The sleeper agrees to tell them everything if they promise not to kill him. Wyatt and Rufus tie him to a pylon in the basement and roll up their sleeves (literally!) to see if he’s a man of his word. He tells them that he has been in DC since 1969, which is when Emma dropped him off. Why would he give up not only his modern comforts, but his wife and children in 2018? Because Rittenhouse bailed his embezzling father out and forced him and his brother to join up. He had no choice in the matter. Wyatt very much wants to know why Rittenhouse brought his wife back. Sleeper Dude doesn’t have an answer for that, but does tell them that his psycho brother is also in 1981 and is on his way to Denise Christopher’s house to finish the job. Rufus and Wyatt leave him there to save the day, which involves running said psycho brother over with a baby blue station wagon. The '80s, man.

In the present, Denise isn’t dealing well with the thought of losing her very existence, much less the existence of her children. Flynn – looking straight out of the “Choreography” number from WHITE CHRISTMAS, I might add – encourages her to go home and spend time with her family. If he had the option to spend just three more minutes with his young daughter, he would take in a heartbeat

When the Lifeboat returns, Jiya and Lucy anxiously wait to see if Agent Christopher is there waiting. She is, with a big smile on her face. Her encounter with all of them in 1981 is now a memory of hers. She thanks Wyatt and she hugs the girls. Denise’s life has actually improved – her mother is no longer in the dark about her life with Michelle and the kids and, as such, loves them. It wasn’t an easy road, but being honest with her all those years ago gave her mom time to come to terms with everything.


Pictured: (l-r) Abigail Spencer as Lucy Preston, Claudia Doumit as Jiya -- (Photo by: Ron Batzdorff/NBC)


Rufus and Jiya share a very sweet moment together. Rufus, who has been trying to come to terms with the fact that he may die soon, tells Jiya that he doesn’t care when – he just knows he wants to spend every last moment with her. She tells him that she doesn’t accept that fate and that together they will find a way to save him and save their future together. The only future Jiya wants is one in which the two of them grow old together.

After using the thumb drive to save Denise’s future, Lucy has questions about her own “thumb drive” – the journal. She goes to Flynn and asks how he came to have it. He tells her that about two weeks after his wife and daughter were killed, Lucy introduced herself to him in a bar in Sao Paulo. She said she knew how to stop Rittenhouse for good and gave him the journal to use in his efforts to do so. Lucy looked to be about five years older than she does now, which makes no sense given the rule about traveling to a time in which you exist. He tells her that in the future, they develop technology to make that possible.

And now we come to that ending. When Wyatt enters his room, Jessica is there looking at pictures of her brother with a baby. This brother died from leukemia at age three in his timeline, but Jessica mentions an expensive stem cell treatment that was used to save his life. He asks where her family got the money, but she doesn’t want to talk about that. She’s clearly hiding something and finally confesses: she’s pregnant.



  • To quote our friends at Fangirlish, math is our friend. There’s no logical way for this baby to be Wyatt’s. My personal theory is that not only was Jessica seeing someone else during their time apart, but that realizing she was pregnant was what drove Jess to give up the ghost and finally file for divorce.
  • While I understand the need for that last moment from a dramatic perspective, I’m disappointed it had to be the coda to this episode in particular. It kind of feels like it takes the focus off of everything else that went on.
  • This might have been my favorite episode ever as far as costumes and hair were concerned. So many delightful Ron Burgundy mustaches! Jiya’s perm! Lucy’s glasses!
  • While Jiya is extra when it comes to shoplifting – leg warmers! – she’s still got a bit to learn about time travel and what she can and can not say.
  • “I voted for Carter!”
  • I had no idea Wyatt was so suspicious of Jessica’s return. I’m thinking that not unlike the Rittenhouse Sleeper (the less psycho one), Jessica was forced into this life. Not that it excuses what she’s doing or what she may do in the next couple of episodes, but doesn’t it make it just the tiniest bit better?
  • I love the parallel between Denise’s thumb drive, Jiya’s visions, and Lucy’s journal. The first two have the purpose of saving the future – methinks Lucy’s does, as well.
  • The scene in which the team returns to the present and everyone anxiously watches for Agent Christopher was my favorite. My heart grew 50 sizes when she walks in with that smile and warmly embraces them.
  • Wyatt rolling up his sleeves. I don’t even think I need to elaborate on this one.
  • I cried during the scene where young Denise watches the slide show of her future and gets choked up about the idea of two women being married.
  • The way they cut between present Denise returning home to see her family and Psycho Sleeper trying to take the shot to end young Denise was very well done.
  • Next week’s episode looks intense. Don’t forget that it’s two hours and starts at 8pm Eastern – not 9pm as per the norm.