Timeless S1xE8 Recap: “Space Race”


When backed into a corner, we all go through the same thought process – the one built into our DNA to keep us alive – fight or flight? When you’re always choosing to run, what will it take to finally get you to make a stand? For some it’s protecting family, but for others, it’s realizing that you’re responsible for being backed into this corner in the first place and that you’ll do whatever it takes to right the wrong. But once you’re ready to fight, often what you’re not at all prepared for is how that choice will change you.

Spoilers ahead…

“Lucy, what am I becoming?”

– Rufus Carlin


Flynn, Anthony and assorted henchmen have sabotaged the lunar moon landing, and now Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong may never make it back home. Anthony has introduced the first virus, disabling NASA’s communication capabilities with the astronauts.

Our team is posing as a secretary, janitor and FBI agent. Its 1969, so I doubt you need me to explain who is playing which role. Rufus can’t believe that Anthony would kill both of their heroes like this, particularly since Anthony was the first “astronaut” to fly the Lifeboat. Rufus also complains that his toaster has more computing power than the computer he’s hijacking, which is funny because he actually has a computer this time, compared to last week’s episode where he basically rubbed sticks together and was able to repair a time machine.

Thankfully, he remembers that the smartest person in the building, African-American female mathematician Katherine Johnson, works in the basement. Katherine shows Rufus how to access the mainframe but before their work is finished, Anthony and a henchman try to stop them. Rufus asks how Anthony could do it, and his answer gives us one of the first concrete reasons to think that Flynn may not be as bananas as previously believed. Rufus is forced to shoot the henchman so he and Lucy can make their escape.


Part of the sabotage involved infiltrating defense contractor Lockman Aerospace, where Flynn has set his sights on a young, widowed secretary named Maria who doodles engines and is going to school to be an aerospace engineer. He follows her to a park where he meets her young son and she shares her conviction that if someone hurt her baby, she would go to the ends of the earth for revenge. This makes Flynn quite happy. Later, Wyatt interviews Maria but they’re interrupted when Flynn appears on her balcony and saves her son from a fatal bee sting with a shot of epinephrine before making his getaway.


The mysterious Maria, we discover, is actually Flynn’s mother. He has saved his half-brother, who should have died from the bee sting. This knowledge infuriates Lucy, who complains that Agent Christopher isn’t doing enough to bring back Lucy’s sister while Flynn is saving people without hesitation. Christopher explains that once Flynn is neutralized, then they will focus on getting Amy back. While the statement should have sounded reassuring, it actually came across a bit like a threat.

What’s really upsetting is how “fine” Rufus is with the fact that he’s killed a man. He and Lucy talk about how much he has changed since the mothership was first stolen and he worries about what kind of person he’s become.

…and Future.

We see Flynn with Lucy’s journal, where the Apollo mission is clearly referenced. Anthony gives us the most important information this time when he admits that since he built the time machine, if Rittenhouse gets their hands on it, with what they’re planning to do with it, that’s on him. Unfortunately, we don’t learn what that is.

Time to Talk

If anything, this mission clearly illustrates the lengths that Flynn and Anthony are willing to go to to stop Rittenhouse, regardless of how they may change history in the process. Disturbingly, Flynn doesn’t seem to bat an eye over killing several innocent people for a security badge or a plumber’s coveralls. It’s obvious that Flynn gets his maniacal determination from his mom.

Rufus’ character gets more attention this time and we can see how all of the crazy going on around him has hardened him. He’s not afraid of his own shadow anymore, but has he gone so far in the opposite direction that he might be losing himself?

Next stop – we get to meet our country’s most infamous lovebirds…

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.