Finally, something more than a jumbled-up history lesson.
In going back to 1972 in search of the missing 18 1/2 minutes of the Watergate tape, the team discovers more important information on Timeless Season 1 Episode 6. They find out what motivates Flynn, they find out more of what RIttenhouse is and unfortunately they find out they're all keeping secrets, which threatens their mission.
Let's start with Rittenhouse. According to Doc, the human registry for that group, Rittenhouse is some kind of shadowy American illuminati pulling the strings of power, and goes back to the beginning of the nation.
That sort of describes what Rittenhouse is, but what is its purpose? Obviously, if the group is using blackmail and murder as tools, it's not the Salvation Army.
Flynn started investigating Rittenhouse, particularly its involvement with Mason's time-travel research, and shortly afterward, his wife and daughter were killed and he was framed for their murders and went into hiding.
He obviously sees in Wyatt a kindred soul and attempts to win him over to his idea of eliminating Rittenhouse.
We can change history, and somehow, some way, we can save the people we love.Flynn
We find out why Rufus has been submitting to the blackmail by RIttenhouse, as we meet his mother and find out about his little brother, all living in a nice house that Rufus's Mason Industries position has paid for. He's afraid of losing everything.
But he finally stands up when it matters, helping Doc to escape and admitting to Lucy what he has been doing, consequences be damned.
Lucy is in equally hot water with her teammates. After all, she's been chatting with Flynn, the target of their missions, right along, but didn't share that information with Wyatt and Rufus.
The second thing they're upset about isn't really her fault, Flynn using her future journal as a guidebook. After all, she doesn't even know how he got ahold of it, so how can she stop him?
She's just a big ball of guilt, to which Rufus can relate.
Have you ever had a secret that just scares the living hell out of you?Lucy [to Rufus]
The comic relief this episode came from Lucy Preston, the world's worst action hero. She comes falling in a window to rescue Wyatt, fumbles around trying to pick the lock on his handcuffs, then grabs a lamp in case she needs to help Wyatt with one of Flynn's henchmen. Know your strengths, girl!
Wyatt, who has been busy disrupting history on earlier missions, is such a linear thinker that he has the gall to blame Rufus and Lucy for the choices they've made.
Lucy: It's complicated.
Wyatt: No, the truth is not complicated.
Lucy: I don't know what the truth is anymore.
Yet he's the most susceptible to Flynn's sales pitch for changing history. If he gets his wife back, so what if Japan overruns the U.S. during World War II?
Unfortunately, Wyatt is also the strategic planner for the team. His idea of making Rufus into a double agent, gathering intel on Rittenhouse, is sound in principle. But Rufus has the world's worst poker face, so let's see how well that works.
The trio is in a precarious spot right now. They don't trust each other anymore. But they're not on Team Rittenhouse nor Team Flynn. Now that they're fumbling less in the dark, they're trying to find a third option, with no body count and no damaged history. Good luck with that!
Things aren't looking up for them on Timeless Season 1 Episode 7, as they'll be stranded in 1754 when the Lifeboat gets damaged. I wonder why they've gone back to before Rittenhouse came into being?
To try to make sense of this series, watch Timeless online.
Did this episode put Timeless on firmer footing? Or did it create more questions than it answered? Who's your favorite time traveler? Comment below.
Dale McGarrigle is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.