Timeless S1xE10 Recap: “The Capture of Benedict Arnold”

timeless-recap

“This is killing one evil son of a bitch for saving maybe hundreds of lives.”

– Wyatt Logan

It’s an age-old conundrum; is it worth killing one to save many? Is there such a thing as “acceptable losses?” Is the loss of even one person “acceptable?” Ultimately it comes down to how comfortable any of us are with playing God. Who am I to determine another person’s fate? Who am I to decide that one person is more worthy than another? Than a hundred others? Shouldn’t every one of us strive for a solution in which no lives are lost, no matter how evil the son of a bitch is?

Spoilers ahead

Past…

Let’s skip to the chase: Benedict Arnold is a founding member of Rittenhouse. How do we know? Flynn has a letter – the mysterious, wax-sealed parchment Flynn liberated using the Rittenhouse key he yanked off of Bonnie Parker’s neck last episode – written by Arnold himself, saying just that. Flynn is so close to wiping Rittenhouse off the map he can taste it; so he’s had our trio arrested off Arnold’s front lawn so he can convince them, Lucy in particular, to help him do it.

The four have themselves chased over to a British encampment to defect, just as Arnold had, so they can meet the infamous traitor. Lucy’s in-depth knowledge of Arnold’s life and times gains them instant credibility. Flynn shows Arnold his own letter and that’s when we discover that Rittenhouse isn’t a “them” at this point; it’s a “he.” Flynn demands a meeting, threatening Arnold with a story about how George Washington will kill Arnold’s wife in three days if they don’t return with Arnold in tow. Arnold agrees.

Now our group has to decide if they support the obvious new plan, which is to kill David Rittenhouse. Rufus is in because it will free his family from Rittenhouse’s hold. Wyatt votes yes because Flynn has promised to tell him who killed his wife, Jessica. Lucy reluctantly agrees, understanding that this act will certainly change history, but hopefully save hundreds in the process. Thankfully, Rittenhouse is a Grade A douche nozzle who has taught his young son to spout off the same “the masses are asses” crap that has engendered shadow governments for centuries. Rittenhouse easily determines that Arnold has brought killers into his home and shoots him. Rufus creates a diversion and, in the ensuing scuffle, Flynn kills Rittenhouse. Happy times, right? Nope. His son has escaped.

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Lucy ends up flinging herself in front of the boy, begging Flynn not to kill him. She reminds Flynn that people can change and that the child is not destined to be his father. But when Rittenhouse’s son escapes, Flynn berates Lucy about what is at stake and drags her into the mothership as she screams for her friends.

Present…

In a move calculated to either show us all of the things Rittenhouse can take away from Agent Christopher or be a delightful exercise in foreshadowing, this episode begins with Lucy enjoying dinner with “Denise” and her wife. Lucy’s the first work colleague that Denise has brought home in 17 years. Later, Denise hands Lucy a thumb drive filled with pictures and kindergarten art and asks Lucy to keep it in the lifeboat so if Lucy returns from a mission one day and Denise’s family is gone, Lucy can show her the family she should have.

A slightly drunk Mason interrupts Rufus and Jiya’s date to hand Rufus yet another recording device. He says that Rittenhouse knows Rufus has tampered with previous recordings, and that if Rufus doesn’t tape the missions properly, Mason can’t protect Rufus’ family.

…and Future.

At one point, as the group and Flynn make their way to Rittenhouse’s home, Flynn shares that once his mission is done and Rittenhouse is no more, he will hug his children and then leave them because he can’t stand the man he’s become. Lucy uses that conversation to try to convince Flynn not to murder Rittenhouse’s son. That’s why it’s even more poignant when Flynn basically kidnaps Lucy out of frustration; her rescue will now shape the episodes to come.

Time to Talk

So much was accomplished this episode! I really feel drawn into this lovely little program. So Rufus, Wyatt and Lucy agree that Rittenhouse is the big bad, not Flynn. Even though I agree, I was still shocked when David Rittenhouse killed Benedict Arnold in front of Rittenhouse’s own son and uses it as a twisted life lesson.

I also felt the same disbelief as the characters did when Flynn killed Rittenhouse. I think we all expected the walls to melt once Rittenhouse was dead. Now we have to wait for the re-boot of going back to the present to find out how that action rippled through time. Will Lucy’s sister Amy miraculously reappear? Will no one at Connor Industries even know what Rufus and Wyatt are talking about when they mysteriously appear in the middle of a vacuum cleaner factory?

And of course, that was the unofficial mid-season finale (please don’t even get me started on why that’s a thing), so we have to wait until January 16th to see how this all pans out. Can’t wait!


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.

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