Timeless S1xE4 Recap: “Party at Castle Varlar”


“Figure out what you’re fighting for.” Wyatt Logan

Facing a difficult task, one that has to be done but pushes you outside of your comfort zone by miles rather than inches, can be frightening to say the least. That fear dredges up other situations when you felt equally fearful, which can send you into a full-blown panic attack, unless you have a tether. A purpose. A big “why” that makes facing the frightening important enough that you breathe in deeply and push through.

Spoilers ahead…


Let’s do some basic math. A (bad guy with an A-bomb) + B (time machine that has landed in Nazi Germany a full year before the U.S. had a working A-bomb) = C (bad guy giving Nazis the A-bomb so they win World War II). But there’s something off in my formula. Maybe I forgot to carry the 2? Oh! Flynn’s not an idiot, and he considers himself a patriot. He’d rather keep the U.S. from winning the cold war and the space race by handing the father of our modern era, notoriously stoic Nazi rocket builder Wernher von Braun, over to the Russians. Not quite sure how this negatively impacts Rittenhouse, but I’m sure all will become clear soon enough.

What I love about this episode is that the guest of honor isn’t a Nazi at all; it’s Ian Fleming, future author of everything James Bond (minus Albert “Cubby” Broccoli) and pretty good WWII spy. The trio meets up with Fleming at Castle Varlar, where the Nazis are about to demonstrate von Braun’s latest missile. Fleming is suave and debonair, which does not go unnoticed by Rufus (“James Bond is hitting on Lucy”), and has his own reasons for wanting von Braun dead. He gives Rufus helpful advice on spying, which he needs since he reluctantly continues to spy on his friends at the insistence of his boss, Connor Mason.


Lucy and Fleming’s covers are blown at the demonstration, Flynn has and then loses von Braun, and Fleming almost kills the scientist himself before they find themselves cornered in a castle room. Our handy historian recognizes a Christian symbol that reminds her that the castle has hidden tunnels that were used in the 1300s to squirrel priests to safety. Wyatt remembers too, thanks to watching the movie Skyfall.

We end with a flirting Fleming and a reflective Rufus who is chastised by von Braun as they wait for Allied authorities to take him away. Rufus confesses that all he can think about is the destruction his invention is causing. von Braun reminds him that he wasn’t thinking about that when he was creating it.


Things start off hopeful as DHS surrounds Flynn, Anthony and their crew. Of course, the problem with bad guys having a time machine is that said time machine makes a spectacular get-away car. Hopefully further tracking will be quick and efficient so we can nab these guys.

Once the group returns, our heroes discover that their exploits were immortalized in one of Fleming’s earliest books. Rufus hands over what he hopes is his final tape to an increasingly anxious Mason, who we imagine is getting heavily pressured by Rittenhouse to keep the information coming. After Rufus’ refusal to continue to spy on his friends, he is visited by the show’s very own “Smoking Man” or, as I like to call him, the TOWG (Threatening Old White Guy).

Lastly, Lucy figures out what she’s fighting for: her non-existent sister. She tells Agent Christopher to get Mason’s people focused on fixing history and getting her sister back or she’s out.

…and Future.

Flynn is a “big picture” dude, and you kind of have to admire him for that. He doesn’t put his A-bomb in the hands of the Nazis. He instead has Anthony create a huge “A” battery for the mothership, ensuring successful time tinkering for the next 300 years.

Time to Talk

Introspection runs rampant in this episode. We get more tragic backstory from both Lucy and Wyatt. Lucy has a mini meltdown as she prepares for her undercover assignment, and shares a near-death experience that explains why she has only put herself in situations she can control until this whole “stop Flynn and ensure history stays intact” business started. She asks Wyatt how he keeps doing it. Wyatt explains that his grandfather, who was probably fighting Nazis a mere 200 miles away, inspires him. Wyatt says that not killing Nazis and not saving Lincoln feels like he’s letting Grandpa Sherwin down. Wyatt fights to make his grandfather proud and encourages Lucy to figure out what she’s fighting for. Once she does, all of this will become crystal clear – she’ll keep her focus and be able to push through her fear.

Will Flynn spill the beans soon and explain why Rittenhouse has to be put down? How vulnerable is Rufus and his family now that they are on Rittenhouse’s radar?

Here’s hoping Lucy and Rufus compare notes on Rittenhouse soon. Plus next week, we’re getting new hats!

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.