Timeless S1xE3 Recap: “Atomic City”


“Ever wake up one day and not recognize your own life?”

Judith Campbell

Sometimes time just gets away from us. So we flip through photo albums and search back for that specific moment when we lost control; when we last remembered being on track and aware. More often than not, we just find ourselves lost in the past, wondering what we would say to that younger version of ourselves if we had the chance, and what we would change.


This time Garcia Flynn is in Vegas in 1962, when the town was better known as Atomic City thanks to a bomb testing facility located only 50 miles away. An eclectic mix of famous and infamous people attends a political fundraiser for JFK. Our trio assumes that the president is Flynn’s target. Turns out he has his sights set on Kennedy’s mistress, Judith Campbell, instead.

Lucy admires Judith for her resilience and influence in a time when women didn’t have much of either. She sees her as fascinating and completely in control, and is surprised to hear Judith describe her life exactly as Lucy considers her own to be – unrecognizable. At this point, Wyatt’s frustration is palpable. He’s taking Flynn out at the first opportunity and he’s not above using Judith as bait to lure Flynn out into the open. But Flynn’s already blackmailed the brunette, so she double-crosses Wyatt to get back incriminating photos of her and JFK.

Surprisingly, it’s Judith’s relationship with the General in charge of the Nevada Test Site that makes her so valuable. We learn that Mason Industries employee Anthony Bruhl, who we thought was kidnapped and being held against his will, is actually a reluctant accomplice. He and Flynn are stealing a plutonium core in an attempt to do whatever it takes to “wipe Rittenhouse from history.”


As this episode begins, Lucy struggles to come to terms with her new reality; she’s engaged to a handsome stranger. When we come full circle, she has taken a cue from Judith and tells her fiancé Noah that a lot has changed “at work” and she needs time away. He confesses his undying love and tells her he will wait for her.

This week’s mission has failed in that Flynn is in the wind with a plutonium core and a partner who knows how to use it. Wyatt is disillusioned because his attempt to warn his dead wife via a telegram from 50 years in the past was unsuccessful. Meanwhile Rufus, who Mason warned about Anthony before the time jump, still stands up for his friend. He asks Wyatt why Wyatt isn’t curious about why all of this is happening. Wyatt says he’s not a “why” kind of guy. We know that Rufus is.

Lastly, Rufus’ crush and co-worker Jiya has located the mothership in the present. We watch as Flynn’s group digs up a drum from the Nevada desert and removes the plutonium core it hid inside 50 years ago.

…and Future.

Agent Christopher tells the group that if they get a clean shot at Anthony, they are to take it. She cites that Anthony is Flynn’s pilot and without him, Flynn can’t cause any more damage. Unbeknownst to her and the others, this is the exact reasoning Flynn gives Anthony in calling for Rufus’ death. Rufus explains that he’s not giving up on Anthony, and won’t let his friend die without knowing why he’s working with Flynn and not against him.

Time to Talk

Frustrations are high in Episode 3. The trio struggles with feeling helpless; Wyatt in his inability to keep his wife from dying and Lucy in her reluctance to accept her new present. Rufus feels discouraged when he can’t get the others to see that there must be more going on if Anthony is willing to act so counter to his nature.

Did Wyatt go too far with his telegraph? Lucy doesn’t think so and she doesn’t judge him for it. Hopefully Rufus can get the group focused on the “why” so they can all consider the bigger picture. Of course, now that they’ve got a lock on Flynn’s location, perhaps they can cut him off in the present?

Here’s hoping Rufus can crack the code before Wyatt and Lucy give up. Plus next week, we’re going after everyone’s favorite bad guys – the Nazis.

About the author: Liz Bowen is a long-time Doctor Who fan, Supernatural convention-goer and amateur blogger living in Colorado Springs. She enjoys seeing her childhood recreated in cinematic excellence and will gladly argue the merits of Marvel over DC. She indulges in writing fanfic and is working on her first original book.