Picking up the morning after the two-hour premiere ended, Time After Time Season 1 Episode 3 gives us a beautifully mundane snapshot of a morning in the life of our newly modernized Jack the Ripper.
Showering, picking out clothes and accessories, figuring out the microwave, watching the news, and killing the apartment's other occupant when he returns home from a business trip before returning to the kitchen to eat his breakfast burrito.
I did wonder after the premiere how Stevenson was going to continue his lifestyle once the $15,000 he got for his pawned pocket-watch ran out.
Apparently, picking victims for their real estate and wardrobe is part of his cunning scheme.
When I met you, I must admit I was first drawn to your beauty... and then it was your kindness that emerged as your most luminous feature. But now I see that you are the sum of many parts, with your mind leading the way. I am completely blinded by you, Ms. Walker.H.G. Wells
Meanwhile, our noble hero H.G. is trying desperately to fix the time machine so that Stevenson will stop carrying out his threat to kill a victim for every day he does not get his demand for a working time machine and its controlling key.
Both Vanessa and Jane poke their heads in on his repairs. While Vanessa seems interested in the machine, Jane is definitely more interested in the man.
This episode is all about relationships, and Jane and H.G. are so the Shakespearean young lovers that it's almost painfully contrived.
Not to say that there isn't something endearing about two people from different eras of history finding their soul-mates in each other. But, seriously, the actual, literal sparks that fly in the background when they kiss? It was a bit much.
There is a fairy-tale perfection to their moments of co-dependent comforting and eloquent flirting but it falls flat when compared to the introduction of Stevenson's female counterpart.
Jennifer Ferrin's neuropathologist, Brooke, is designed to tantalize and titillate Stevenson's intelligence as much as his passions. She ridicules him on principle from the moment they meet and then puts his profession on a pedestal over martinis.Ferrin's neuropathologist,
Brooke is designed to tantalize and titillate Stevenson's intelligence as much as his passions. She ridicules him on principle from the moment they meet and then puts his profession on a pedestal over martinis.
I knew you were too good to be true... Looks, accent, charm, AND a surgeon? Oh, I know your type. Brotherhood of the Insufferable Hero Complex. Slice first, ask questions later.Brooke
And the girl wasn't done talking about him with that first raving compliment. Oh no. She continued on.
...you're completely in the moment. A human being lying in front of you...their body open, their heart beating. Yes, you have your talent and your training but it's your instinct, your courage, and precision. Surgery is primal.Brooke
Their conversation is so riddled with intense, nuanced lines that I was surprised they made it all the way back to her apartment.
There's nothing hotter than seeing a man with little respect for the rest of humanity being drawn into someone as brilliant as himself.
There was a lot going on exposition-wise this episode. Both for our benefit and for Wells' edification.
Vanessa brings in a scientist from her company's innovation branch to help with the repairs to the time machine.
Martin Scott has expertise in both theoretical physics and quantum mechanics but seems to have forgotten the point of every time travel movie ever: we aren't meant to know our future.
Meeting a childhood hero in Wells, he immediately fanboys out and starts naming all the titles and discussing concepts Wells hasn't even begun to dream of writing yet.
It was a nice touch having Jane translate the term "movies" to "kinetoscope cinematic device" for Wells when Mr. Spoiler Alert mentions the film adaptations of his books.
The nameless ginger thug (William Popp) who followed Wells around during the Time After Time premiere and then was seen at the end photographing Stevenson at the bar before returning home to a homemade murder board starring our two time-travelers, gets a back story (and a name! "Chad") only to get killed by Doug, Vanessa's security guy.
To be honest, he was pretty terrible at being covert and not all that good at being a goon if an empty book truck can knock him over.
What was important in his back story scene with his sometimes lucid, mostly not, mother is that both mother and son knew that Wells and Stevenson would travel to New York.
Which begs the question, with Griffin and Brooke also in the know, who didn't know that Wells and Stevenson were coming?
Furthermore, preventing the Victorians from doing what they apparently have already done will apparently fix the lives of Chad and Mom. Which means Mom knows what they will do. So who is she and how does she know?
Unfortunately, with Chad shot dead, Mom might need a little more help to get her plan to succeed.
I met a fascinating woman. In her company, I’ve begun to feel all too human. But, as we both know, what I truly am is an animal. There is no redemption for my soul no matter the cost. I must be true to my nature.Stevenson
But back to Stevenson and Brooke.
There were a lot of reveals this episode but her knocking him out with a hypodermic needle just as he made his move to slice and dice her was pure poetry.
Unlike Griffin, who we knew immediately was not to be trusted at face value, Brooke was the would-be victim that we could really root for.
The only reason our brains tell us we're flawed is so that we can find a way to be better.Brooke
Even Stevenson, knowing he planned on killing her, seemed genuinely smitten.
I met a fascinating woman. In her company, I’ve begun to feel all too human. But, as we both know, what I truly am is an animal. There is no redemption for my soul no matter the cost. I must be true to my nature.
In comparison to this diabolic duo, the relationship between Wells and Walker – as lovely a match as they are in ethics, good intentions, and positivity – just feels too saccharine to stomach.
Both characters thrive in the presence of Stevenson but flounder alone together.
We can talk Science all day but I don't think you can take Fate and Destiny out of the equation. I think you were always supposed to come to New York. You and I were always supposed to meet. Because if this was just a mistake in the fabric of time... that would suck.Jane Walker
Even the spark-tastic kiss at the end is over-shadowed by the Griffin and Brooke reveals that fall in the episode's stinger.
Finding out that Griffin had played Vanessa (for probably their entire two-year relationship) was disappointing but not truly surprising.
Meanwhile, seeing Stevenson strapped down with restraints reminiscent of something almost Victorian-era was so incredibly fitting that despite it being a teaser for next week, it was kind of satisfying at the same time.
So... next time? Who's in?
The premiere elicited some great comments and speculation from you the viewers. How did "Out of Time" strike you?
Was it a strong continuation or did it diverge too much in its attempt to build and flesh out relationships? What was the biggest surprise for you? Griffin? Brooke? Chad?
Will the trap that H.G. devised work? That is, if Stevenson gets out of his current bind? Who is Chad's mother? and who was Griffin on the phone with?
Looking forward to your feedback and watch Time after Time online if you need to catch up!
Diana Keng is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.