Timeless Season 2 Episode 2 Review: The Darlington 500

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The task now appears that much more daunting for the Lifeboat crew (or the Time Team, as NBC has dubbed them. That phrase won't appear again.)

The crusade of Rittenhouse was unveiled by its philosopher, Nicholas Keynes, on Timeless Season 2 Episode 2. And it's not a pretty concept.

Surely historian Lucy would recognize the striving for a master race when she sees it. You would think her historian mother Carolyn would also. But I guess you overlook things such as mass murder when it benefits you.

Racing Against Time - Timeless Season 2 Episode 2

That final scene, in which Keynes laid out his vision of Rittenhouse, had a real "Triumph of the Will' feel to it. Even Carolyn looked a little uneasy, and she set the whole thing in motion.

A scrappy sextet versus all the agents of Rittenhouse hidden among the powerful through U.S. history really doesn't seem like a fair fight, does it?

Related: Timeless Season 2 Episode 1 Review: The War to End All Wars

But then, American history is rife with victories by underdogs, starting with the Revolutionary War. Also, the United States has a pretty good record when it comes to triumphing over would-be global rulers (ask Mr. Master Race himself, Adolph Hitler).

So perhaps it's too soon to worry about insurmountable odds.

While Rittenhouse was mapping its future, Lucy, Wyatt, and Rufus were back to their latest round of chronal Whack-a-Mole. I guess there's no escaping that part of the series. The major difference was that they were on the right side this time.

Racing Pioneer - Timeless Season 2 Episode 2

There was an energizing guest character in Wendell Scott, the first black stock-car racer. Scott was both realistic and still determined about his place in the good-ol'-boy world of stock-car racing.

Being an outsider also seemed to make it easier for him to accept what the strangers were telling him about Ryan.

It certainly helped that he and Wyatt spoke the same language, racing, which they learned from the same profession, running moonshine. They also both had daddy issues.

Wyatt being such a fanboy for Wendell didn't hurt either. Wyatt as fanboy was an amusing change of pace. Every trip, Lucy has been a history geek while Rufus has gushed about black historical figures with Wyatt rolling his eyes at both of them.

Related: Timeless: Trips to the Future, A Familiar Villain & MORE!!

For once, Wyatt was the expert about something other than military history. It was a hoot watching the blank faces as Wyatt ticked off famous stock-car racers before he blasted them as "coastal elites."

Equally funny was Rufus' use of "the nod," what he described as a black-style of greeting, which baffled Wyatt and Lucy (and, truth be told, Wendell).

Proficient Pairing - Timeless Season 2 Episode 2

Of the three time travelers, Wyatt is the one about whom viewers have learned the least. Let's see. He's a soldier who shoots first and asks questions later. He traveled back in time to prevent his wife's murder but failed.

He had definitely gotten the short end of the stick when it came to character development. But we finally learned more about him.

He seems like such a straight arrow that I never have never guessed that he was a smuggler as a teenager nor that he stole his abusive father's truck and ran away from home at age 15.

Well, it looks like the Army was good for Wyatt and helped him to overcome his rough start in life.

Related: 17 Shows That Traversed Time And Space

Wyatt continued to fulfill his role on the team by making the tough call, even if that meant killing his favorite stock-car racer to prevent Rittenhouse from taking over the American car industry.

Here's a question, though: Since Rittenhouse leadership knows all about history, why would they have any interest in an industry destined to fail in another half-century? Why not jump into Silicon Valley in the 1970s and take over the tech industry instead? Maybe that's a future episode.

It's important that Wyatt and Lucy continue to get closer, with another near-miss, as he comforted her when they were trapped in the tight, hidden compartment of Wendell's moonshine mobile. 

Their mutual attraction is no mystery to anybody involved with the Lifeboat, especially Rufus, who is trapped in that tiny space with all that chemistry. So how long will the "will they/won't they" get dragged out?

Fifties Fashion - Timeless Season 2 Episode 2

Another mystery that has yet to be solved is Flynn's involvement with the team. Lucy's journal mentions them working together, so isn't it dum dum dum dum fate?

Then again, the entire series is about changing the direction of history. So couldn't that take the journal out of play?

Flynn would definitely be a wild card. While Wyatt reacts and kills to defend his colleagues, Flynn methodically plans and then kills. Those two wouldn't work well together. Lucy and Rufus silently judge Wyatt for his actions, so you can imagine what they would think of Flynn.

Related: Enjoy UNLIMITED access to thousands of Movies and TV shows with Amazon Prime Video. WATCH ANYWHERE. CANCEL ANYTIME!

So let's keep Flynn in the role of reluctant oracle, coming up with bits and pieces of information that the team would then need to interpret

Mason is another problem to be solved. As he's defying Christopher to speak at the tech conference shows, he's chafing under being just a cog in the organization.

What I don't understand is how he seemed to think defeating Rittenhouse will be a short-term project. He was scheming his return to the business world. That after being unable to free himself from Rittenhouse for years. So what has changed?

Finally, there is Nicholas Keynes. Is he a time-displaced diva or a philosophical messiah, or both? He seems to have his stuff together by the end of this episode, but who can say for sure? Emma is an effective thug and Carolyn a thoughtful lieutenant, but the series needs a face for Rittenhouse, and that must be Keynes.

To catch up on the series' new direction, watch Timeless online.

Is Nicholas an effective villain? Is the show headed in the right direction? How can the under-financed Lifeboat crew get ahead of Rittenhouse?

Comment below.

The Darlington 500 Review

Editor Rating: 4.5 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.8 / 5.0 (22 Votes)

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

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Timeless Season 2 Episode 2 Quotes

Wyatt. Awww. You guys really are coastal elites.

Wyatt: [Lucy's] talking about Flynn. And 'hate' does not beginning to touch how I feel about that idea. Number one, he's a psycho. Number two, he's a total psycho. And number three, he thinks he's in jail because we set him up.
Rufus: We did set him up. More you [nodding to Christopher] than us, but who's counting?