Timeless Season 1 Episode 11 Review: The World's Columbian Exposition

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It took some time (about a month), but the team is back together.

All that was required was a Lifeboat trip back to 1893, during a seminal event in American history on Timeless Season 1 Episode 11.

Flynn Abducts Lucy - Timeless

A frustrated Flynn abducted Lucy back on Timeless Season 1 Episode 10, after she thwarted his attempt to kill young John Rittenhouse, in order to stop the organization literally in its infancy.

Apparently, Flynn had forgotten about the only rule set in stone on this series: No going back where you've already been.

He stupidly goes back for another stab at killing the young Rittenhouse, but (surprise) history has changed and he can't get anywhere near him.

So the only thing that's protected Lucy and her team so far is that Flynn is convinced that they're meant to work together someday. But now he's started to doubt what's written in her journal.

Maybe we're not meant to be a team after all, and if so, that makes you expendable.

Flynn [to Lucy]

One of the fun parts of Timeless is its ability to mine the dramatic possibilities of little-known pockets of history. For instance, on Timeless Season 1 Episode 8, the series features black NASA mathematician Katherine Johnson long before the film Hidden Figures (or Hidden Fences, if you believe Jenna Bush Hager) was released.

The 1893 Chicago World's Fair was a treasure trove of historical oddities. Who knew that Crackerjack, Juicy Fruit, Aunt Jemima Pancake Mix and the Ferris Wheel all came out of that event?

Teaming up - Timeless Season 1 Episode 11

Better yet: How about that "Murder Castle"?

Serial killer H.H. Holmes was a man before his time, building a booby-trapped hotel in which to capture his victims.

Among those were danger magnets Wyatt and Rufus, who found themselves trapped inside the World's Fair Hotel (original name!). In a nice turnabout, Lucy had to find a way to escape Flynn and go rescue them.

Escape Artist - Timeless Season 1 Episode 11

Lucy accomplished this by recruiting Harry Houdini, the greatest escape of all time.

Poor Houdini. As if his life wasn't dangerous enough, he met Lucy.

Well, Lucy, I wish I could say this was fun, but I'd be lying.


Much like Ian Fleming in Timeless Season 1 Episode 4, Houdini was the standout of this episode.

Whether disarming Flynn or breaking into rooms, he was the catalyst for all the action.

His sage advice helped Lucy to overcome her claustrophobia and use the power of history to play mind games with the serial killer.

Having Thomas Edison, Henry Ford and J.P. Morgan in one room was too irresistible a target for Flynn. Good thing he failed, or we would have been out a lot of inventions we depend on every day.

And seriously, only one scene with these major historical figures? Couldn't they have been worked more into the storyline, perhaps telling the trio more about Rittenhouse? But since Houdini was the one that rescued them, and he'd never heard of Rittenhouse, that never happened.

I'm not sold on Flynn's latest strategy. Having failed to stop Rittenhouse at the beginning, he's now embarked on a kind of time-traveling Whack-A-Mole, seeking to kill Rittenhouse members wherever he finds them.

Seems kinda scattershot to me, for a man who seems to be one step ahead of the game up until now.

After failing with Lucy, Flynn is taking an interesting tact trying to win over Wyatt. Since Wyatt is also a shoot-first, ask-questions-later kind of guy, I think that Flynn could turn him, with the lure of somehow gaining back his wife.

Somehow, the two academics are ending up being the action heroes.

Rufus stood up to Rittenhouse after realizing that they need him as the only time-capsule pilot out there, so their threats are fairly meaningless. 

I picked a side, Conor. You should pick one too.


Lucy keeps using her brains to find a way to accomplish each mission. Which is good, since she's pretty inept physically.

The big disappointment with this episode was that, once again, it was 95 procedural and maybe  5 percent mythology. The why has to be explained to viewers, and soon, as there are only five episodes left in Season 1.

To catch up on Rittenhouse, watch Timeless online.

How about Houdini? Were you impressed with Rufus' stand? Are you annoyed by the lack of information about Rittenhouse? Comment below.

The World's Columbian Exposition Review

Editor Rating: 4.0 / 5.0
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Rating: 4.4 / 5.0 (45 Votes)

Dale McGarrigle is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.

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Timeless Season 1 Episode 11 Quotes

Maybe we're not meant to be a team after all, and if so, that makes you expendable.

Flynn [to Lucy]

My family's still dead, Rittenhouse survived and it's all your fault.

Flynn [to Flynn]