The Time Traveler's Wife Season 1 Episode 4 Review: The Dinner Party

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That was an exciting dinner party.

Only three time periods were covered during Time Traveler's Wife Season 1 Episode 4. However, it was the fastest-paced episode, and Clare (Rose Leslie) got to kiss many different people.

I jokingly wanted to refer to this one as the kissing and sex episode.

Shocked Gomez - The Time Traveler's Wife

While parts of the dinner party were funny, most of the episode featured a serious theme. It revolved around Henry and Clare choosing each other.

On Clare's 18th birthday, she got dressed up and left Henry a suit to wear, so they could have a romantic picnic to celebrate.

Romantic Picnic - The Time Traveler's Wife Season 1 Episode 4

Henry looked uncomfortable with spending time with Clare now that she had matured.

How do you think my wife who I left in bed is going to feel about me sitting on a blanket with an 18-year-old version of herself?


Henry thought the older version of Clare would be hurt that he was spending time with her younger self. I appreciated how Clare told him off for correcting how she thinks. They bantered like a married couple.

Clare seemed to struggle more because they would soon be separated for two years. She was grieving losing him and so much more.

Clare's Advances - The Time Traveler's Wife Season 1 Episode 4

Clare was still grieving, losing her innocence. Part of why she wanted to make love to Henry was to erase the memory of being raped by Jason.

Seeing those flashes of her rape reinforced how badly she needed to forget that and feel safe with Henry.

Clare: I want you to be my first.
Henry: But I don’t want to be yours. I want to be your last, Clare.

We saw some romantic feelings from Henry here, and the couple shared their first kiss, but waiting two years just seemed like forever to Clare.

Clare was in bed with Gomez when Charisse wasn't there a year later. She immediately regretted it and almost had a panic attack.

The Worst Mistake - The Time Traveler's Wife Season 1 Episode 4

While Clare dealt with her anxiety, Gomez acted like a stereotypical man and thought he was terrible in bed.

I’m crying because I betrayed my best friend with my other best friend, and I quite possibly just fucked up the rest of my life.


Poor Clare. She has now had regrettable sexual experiences, and she was drunk.

I wondered if she had PTSD and needed to get the image of Jason out of her head. Gomez made matters worse by implying that he thought Clare was a lesbian since she's always alone.

When she told him about Henry, Gomez acted like a jealous lover, demanding to know where he was and when he got to meet him.

Besties - The Time Traveler's Wife Season 1 Episode 4

Gomez, Clare, and Charisse's friendship does not work. Coming between two best friends is a common trope, but Gomez was sleazy.

Gomez: I love Charisse.
Clare: Good. I thought you did because you and Charisse are the real thing.
Gomez: But I love you more! There I said it.

The book implied that Gomez loved Clare, but it was not overt. Choosing the best friend is wrong and uncomfortable when you can't have your first choice.

It became even more awkward when Charisse wanted Clare's opinion on Gomez, so Clare tried to avoid it and say they were both her friends.

When Clare joked that Gomez thought she was a lesbian, Charisse thought she was serious and moved in and kissed her. Look at all the action Clare is getting. She initially pulled away, but later we saw her in bed with Charisse.

Together at Last - The Time Traveler's Wife Season 1 Episode 4

When we flashed back to the meadow, Clare and Henry were still making out, with Clare trying to convince him to make love.

Clare: I’m not going to see you for two years.
Henry: I know, but we can’t.
Clare: I’m your wife!
Henry: My wife is 33-years-old and waiting in bed for me.
Clare: Your wife is right here and she’s waited long enough

While Henry may not have "groomed" Clare, the series mentions the concept. Henry seemed unnerved by making love in the same spot he had watched Clare grow up and helped her with her homework.

However, Clare was only upset that Henry never proposed since they were fated to be together. She wanted a romantic proposal, like every girl dreams off. Even after he proposed, she refused to answer until they had sex.

Clare has always been clever, but that was one of her most sneaky moves. Henry reiterated that Clare needed to live her own life since the younger version of him won't know she existed. That alone could make Clare grieve.

The Two Henrys - The Time Traveler's Wife Season 1 Episode 4

Now let's discuss the dinner party. It started innocently enough with 28-year-old Henry coming over to meet Clare's roommates and have dinner. Of course, Charisse and Gomez were suspicious since they knew nothing about him.

But then, naked 41-year-old Henry arrived at Clare's apartment, and chaos ensued.

Guess who’s coming to dinner?

41-year-old Henry

The younger Henry implored the other one to put something on, especially since Clare kept flirting with the older naked one. Gomez checked on them, and Clare rushed him out before a fight broke out.

The older Henry handled Gomez's crush on Clare better, saying Gomez had good taste. He remembered the rest of the evening was a train wreck and apologized in advance.

The Party Squad - The Time Traveler's Wife Season 1 Episode 4

Since party guests could only tell the truth, things got messy when Henry's girlfriend arrived.

Ingrid: I’m Henry’s girlfriend.
Clare: Me too. Well, happily we can double date.

Ingrid was fun. She thought she and Henry had lots in common, such as drinking, sex, and him.

Things only became awkward when Gomez recognized her when he broke up a fight between her and Henry the year before.

She became agitated because she didn't remember him or didn't want to.

Ingrid and Henry - The Time Traveler's Wife Season 1 Episode 4

It was amusing watching the Henrys play games with Charisse and Gomez as they showed off their identical scars. Gomez was convinced they were clones.

When Henry explained time travel, Gomez and Charisse thought he should use his skills to solve crimes. Poor Henry. If he could do that, he would've gone in the past and stopped his mom's car accident.

At one point, Ingrid ridiculed and defended Henry when she said Henry couldn't even take care of himself when time-traveling, let alone save the world.

Ingrid and Clare get into a classic catfight over the Henrys. Ingrid prefers the "wild hair" Henry and told Clare she could have the debonair version.

Saying Goodbye - The Time Traveler's Wife Season 1 Episode 4

Episode four hinted that Henry wouldn't live past his early 40s. When Ingrid wanted to know about her future, Henry hesitated but then admitted neither of them would be around for too long.

We saw cuts on Ingrid's arms, so she must have become suicidal after she and Henry broke up. At least she and Henry got some closure.

Henry also mentioned he's only seen his 42nd birthday.

While Gomez is an absolute jerk to the younger Henry, he becomes friends with the older version. Older Henry asks him to be kind to the younger version as a favor. That seemed like a bad omen.

What's He Doing Here? - The Time Traveler's Wife Season 1 Episode 4

After older Henry hugged Ingrid goodbye, he disappeared, leaving only a blanket behind.

Both Clare and Ingrid were affected by this, but Gomez showed no tact or sensitivity and repeated that he had disappeared.

As Clare put the blanket away, she recognized it as the one she and other Henry had made love on in the meadow. The love note he left her read "Have Mercy."

That helped her to move on in her relationship with the younger Henry.

Love Notes - The Time Traveler's Wife Season 1 Episode 4

Over to you, Time Traveler's Wife Fanatics. What did you think of that dinner party?

Are you a fan of Gomez and Charisse in this version? Do you think Clare has PTSD after her assault? Chime in below in the comments.

Remember, if you missed an episode, you could watch The Time Traveler's Wife online via TV Fanatic.

The Time Traveler's Wife airs at 9/8c on Sundays on HBO. It also streams on HBO Max.

The Dinner Party Review

Editor Rating: 4.5 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.7 / 5.0 (92 Votes)

Laura Nowak is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on X.

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The Time Traveler's Wife Season 1 Episode 4 Quotes

How do you think my wife who I left in bed is going to feel about me sitting on a blanket with an 18-year-old version of herself?


Guess who’s coming to dinner?

41-year-old Henry