Timeless S1xE11 Recap: “The World’s Columbian Exposition”


“Fear isn’t real. Fear isn’t what’s actually happening. It’s just your reaction to it.”

–Harry Houdini

Facing your fear, imagined or real, takes an immense amount of courage. Everything tends to shut down when fear consumes you and the irrational, animal part of your brain floods you with adrenaline. But fear distracts. It takes your mind away from the reality of events and circumstances. You have to put fear in its place and understand that it keeps you from the task at hand, namely, escape.

Spoilers ahead


Flynn has Lucy and, after quickly bouncing through time, determines that his family is still dead. He blames her, of course, citing that sparing Rittenhouse’s son kept the organization alive. Lucy reminds him that there were more members in the beginning and that killing the leader never ensured the group’s demise.

So, it’s back to snuffing out known Rittenhouse participants. Flynn leads Rufus and Wyatt to the Chicago World’s Fair; they assume Teddy Roosevelt is his target but Flynn actually plans to take down Henry Ford, Thomas Edison and J P Morgan (all Rittenhouse) in one fell swoop. He charges Lucy with finding a way to get access to this locked and guarded meeting. Luckily Harry Houdini happens to be a little-known magician working the fair. Lucy is a big fan and apologizes for the deceit as Flynn pulls a gun and forces him to help their cause. She gives Houdini a hint about what’s happening, allowing the magician to get a jump on Flynn and save the day.

In the meantime, Flynn’s henchman has led Wyatt and Rufus to the World’s Fair Hotel, unknown to the men as the site of the first serial killer’s savage activities. They are captured, along with the first female MIT graduate and another unsuspecting victim named George, and placed in an airtight room. Houdini and Lucy find and rescue them, but as the group disperses, Wyatt goes after the hotel’s unseen owner and tormenter, leaving Lucy to discover that the man Wyatt is hunting is actually George, a.k.a. H.H. Holmes.

Holmes locks Lucy in the hotel’s basement in a tiny space, her personal version of hell. Recalling Houdini’s words of wisdom, she fights her fear and focuses on escape, stalling her death by telling her captor that she is psychic and can help him achieve great wealth. Wyatt and Rufus burst in and Wyatt ends up killing Holmes.

TIMELESS -- "The World's Columbian Exposition" Episode 110 -- Pictured: (l-r) Abigail Spencer as Lucy Preston, Goran Visnjic as Garcia Flynn -- (Photo by: Sergei Bachlakov/NBC)
TIMELESS — “The World’s Columbian Exposition” Episode 110 — Pictured: (l-r) Abigail Spencer as Lucy Preston, Goran Visnjic as Garcia Flynn — (Photo by: Sergei Bachlakov/NBC)


Rufus confesses to Mason that the trio helped Flynn kill Rittenhouse’s founder. He has had enough and records a gigantic “screw you” message to the organization via his recording device. Mason, bless him, starts talking through how he can help Rufus protect his family and escape, but Rufus isn’t running. He knows that he’s the only pilot Rittenhouse has for the lifeboat. He tells his boss that he has picked a side and encourages him to do the same.

In a somewhat surprising move, considering that he has been thwarted and no longer has Lucy’s help, Flynn calls Wyatt and tells him the name of his wife’s currently incarcerated killer. It twists Wyatt up inside because based on the wibbly wobbly properties of time travel, he can’t go back and save her. Flynn asks if Wyatt will kill the murderer’s innocent parents, which garners no response as Wyatt ponders what to do with this information.

…and Future.

We have to wonder how Rittenhouse will react to Rufus’ ultimatum and if Mason will come clean about how deeply in bed he is with the organization.

Time to Talk

This was a solid episode. I greatly enjoyed the actor who played Houdini; he looked just like photos of the famous illusionist. Garcia Flynn as the anti-hero doesn’t get old for me. He is convincingly menacing and dangerous. I get the impression that he is slowly unraveling, losing himself right before our eyes.

That being said, I was hoping that Lucy’s rescue would have taken a few episodes. I really thought that spending more time with Flynn would have started affecting her and been the impetus behind the pair truly “working together,” as mentioned earlier in the series.

Next stop – Jesse James and the real truth about the Lone Ranger!


About the author: Liz Bowen is a long-time Doctor Who fan and first-time blogger living in Colorado Springs. She enjoys seeing her childhood recreated in cinematic excellence and will waste entire evenings waxing poetic about the technical beauty that is Transformers. She indulges in writing Supernatural fanfic and is working on her first original book.