The first season of our new favourite sci-fi time travel show has come to an end and what an ending it was. Leaving us wanting more and wondering what in god’s name is going on. The cliffhanger at the end of the episode was more than a little suspenseful. It was all of the suspense jammed into a five minute scene that had every character and viewer gasping in shock and awe. As per usual, it also left us wanting more answers ‘cause the questions were flowing post-finale. Questions like: who’s evil and who’s not evil? Who’s actually loyal to the director and who’s just pretend-loyal to the director? Who’s trying to assassinate the travelers and who’s preventing the assassination of travelers? Who’s giving assassination orders and who’s taking them? Who’s dead and who’s not dead? Who’s going to jail and who’s not going to jail? Who’s having sex with MacLaren here on out and who’s single and ready to mingle?
Sadly, many of those mysteries were not solved before the credits rolled. In fact, seconds before said credits rolled the whole situation quadrupled in intensity, adding more fuel to the already large question fire. So, what went down exactly? How did this question fire ignite? Why is who MacLaren is having sex with suddenly up for debate? Well, it all begins at the beginning and in Marcy’s case it literally begins at her beginning in the 21st. In the previous episode all of her recent memories from the present day era were wiped in order to repair her broken brain and save her soon-to-be-over life. When a traveler consciousness swooped in and took over the controls of Grace Day’s body there was no stopping the lead programmer of the organization from working her magic and using the methods of Quantum Entanglement and re-transferring of consciousness to make sure Marcy wouldn’t wind up in the hospital again or even worse the cemetery. Unfortunately, she makes this decision all on her own before the blonde doctor has any time to ruminate and weigh the many pros and cons and have a goodbye cuddle with David.
The Marcy & David Cuddles are out the door at the top of the finale and have been replaced by awkward sipping of tea on his couch as he attempts to locate the Marcy he once knew within her black hole of amnesia. He realizes quickly that it’s impossible. She won’t be remembering the many smooches they shared or the surgery they performed or even what tea is since she is quite perplexed by the hot beverage. She also still thinks David is a reporter like she did back in the premiere and that casual nudity is totally cool and that kissing someone as a thank you is a completely normal way to show gratitude. After she discovers that David assisted in sticking scalpels into her body, she plants her lips on his lips. Maybe a greeting card would have been more appropriate, no? David is a tad uncomfortable with the gesture, for several valid reasons.
Kat is equally as uncomfortable (angry) when her beau shows up to her place of sweating (the gym) to say hi (beg for forgiveness) and do some sweating (begging) himself. MacLaren doesn’t see the problem with them building muscle side by side but she knows what he’s up to and quickly gets to interrogating him once again about his potential affair. But, this time, the FBI agent responds in a different manner. He does not deny the adultery but admits to it and promises that he is now present and smitten and ready to work on rebuilding their marriage. Kat doesn’t react as positively as he hoped she would which results in him not acting positively when Carly calls him to ask for a favour regarding Jeff. She wants the man she sleeps with to use his FBI authority to thwart Jeff getting custody of their baby boy. MacLaren is in one heck of a mood though and has zero interest in lending a helping hand, especially since Carly is the reason that Kat is angry with him. He rudely tells her to deal with it on her own and ends the call.
We feeling the intensity yet? Those melodramatic emotions continue into the next scene which features Charlotte, the teenage host who was a misfire a few weeks back, grabbing her noggin’ and shrieking her voice as that misfire error is corrected. Once the traveler has landed, another traveler in the house, who plays the role of Charlotte’s mother, rushes into the teen’s bedroom to console her fake daughter after what she thought was a nightmare. Turns out, the nightmare isn’t in Charlotte’s dreams, but in Charlotte’s using of a sharp pencil to murder her fake parent. And then using a second pencil to murder her remaining fake family members. Boy, does that girl know how to use a writing instrument! I can only imagine what she would accomplish with a ballpoint pen or a permanent marker. It would be a full on massacre, which is kind of what she hopes to achieve. She’s the lead traveler assassin and she has been given the mission to take out her colleagues one pencil at a time. Her next target is high school counsellor Grace Day.
But this time Charlotte isn’t wielding a pencil. Her weapon of choice for this murder is a knife. Classic! Also ironic considering how many pencils there for sure are in that school. She slithers into Grace’s office claiming to be a student and then rapidly transforms into action movie star. She performers some impressive, acrobatic stunts and almost succeeds in stabbing Grace but heroic Trevor comes to the rescue of his former counsellor, teacher and mentor. Charlotte then disappears down the hall before announcing that she is on a mission and Trevor needs to seriously back the f up. Trevor does just the opposite though. He backs the f forward and calls a team meeting at the hideout. When the champions are together he explains what went down at school that day and correctly identifies the violent rebel soldier as Charlotte, the teenage misfire.
Philip says that he can’t see a single SOS that was sent out but maybe, just maybe, there wasn’t one sent out because there was no one alive to send it. The crew brainstorms about why the director would order to have Grace killed. She clearly must have done something terrible, right? Or is it possible that the director wasn’t the one who told Charlotte to sharpen her pencils. Maybe, just maybe, it was something else. Something from the current version of the future that MacLaren and his team know nothing about. Something that Grace calls “The Faction”. SHE then does some explaining. Apparently, in the days to come, the director isn’t the only tough guy in town. There’s also a group of rogue travelers that were tired of their former boss bossing them around. Since the director is a highly advanced quantum AI program, he makes his decisions purely based on logic and fact and world saving ability. Stuff like emotion and relationships and the tragedy of human sacrifice are not present in his no compromise mandate.
So, they said tata to the ruthless robot and kick started their own organization which either came before or after kick starting a corruption in the director’s software. In order to protect her almighty leader, Grace then did something MacLaren and his team also knew nothing about. She reset the director. Say what? It’s true. Since she was the one who programmed him in the first place so it’s completely in her ability to do so and she did so without anyone’s permission. She rebooted the director’s OS through a virus while transferring Marcy’s consciousness, which means that she had ulterior motives for salvaging the cranium of the blonde doctor. She sees it as saving two birds with one command but MacLaren sees it as betraying two birds with one lie.
The FBI agent simply cannot fathom why she would want to reset an AI that’s been running every facet of their lives for decades. Grace on the other hand can’t fathom how nobody is thanking her for a job well done. Sure, doing so has resulted in a temporary power struggle but The Faction doesn’t believe in the grand plan anyway. Before deflecting Helios, these vigilantes were already in the process of abandoning ship and they are very capable of brutality. Grace then reveals that they were the ones responsible for capturing the travelers and putting them in those cages and grilling them via inquisitive, old fashioned TV screens. They did so to test the travelers’ loyalties and to prevent a mission that they did not agree with. That was the first sign that their agenda was being fulfilled and therefore Grace had to come to the 21st to stop ‘em.
She reassures the panicked team that the director will come back online more secure than ever and normality will be fully restored. But, before that happens, Ms. Day needs to get to a more reliable hideout since the teen killer is following her scent. She requests that Trevor take her to Ellis, the elderly traveler and programmer with the farmhouse in the middle of nowhere. She can guarantee her safety because the farmer has taken precautions and she’s less likely to die out there than in the city where travelers could be overwritten by The Faction and stick a pencil through her skull. Unfortunately though when she pulls up to the reliably not dangerous farmhouse with Trevor, Ellis isn’t home. When he returns and they’re all “Dude! Where the hell were ya?” he shows them a truckload of supplies he was picking up around town. Supplies that he needs to build a quantum frame device which is all apart of the director’s “contingency plan”.
Say what? Contingency plan? What contingency plan? The contingency plan that the AI thought up when The Faction started throwing shade. This device would allow the director to send itself to the 21st. He’s had teams working on the core elements for months. Ellis has been keeping some secrets from Grace and she’s been keeping some secrets from him, mainly that she rebooted the director. When he hears about this very unnecessary rebooting, he criticizes the programmer and scoffs that only she has an ego big enough to make a move like that. He then shows Grace and Trevor his little project in his giant barn. And boy is that quantum frame a thing of beauty/work of art/massive glowing machine with tons of buttons and knobs and parts.
As the trio adds the final touches to the director’s contingency plan, back at the hideout in the city, a confused, forgetful Marcy discover’s Philip’s heroin stash hidden in the bathroom and she criticizes the addict. He explains that he was only using again in large quantities because she wasn’t around to ween him off of it. She limits how much he gets and orders him to not use above it. There’s a new Marcy in town and she is not playing around. She’s especially not playing around when David calls her cell to say that a man with a gun is in his home and he is pointing the gun at his head and will continue pointing the gun in that direction until Marcy returns. Looks like we have another rebel assassin in our midst! But, this unnamed armed dude isn’t the only one who knows how to shoot and aim. Marcy proves her shooting and aiming abilities when she fires a bullet into the brain of the assassin. She does so through a vent in David’s neighbour’s apartment. Afterwards, a traumatized David thinks he should call the police since there’s, you know, a dead body lying on his floor. Marcy thinks otherwise. She advises that he leave the corpse, claim ignorance and buy a one way plane ticket to literally anywhere else.
Silly David doesn’t listen to Marcy’s wise words and dials 911, which results in him being heavily questioned by the authorities. Carly’s ex Jeff oddly enough finds himself in a similar situation. When he goes to drop off their baby at a sitter’s house, he doesn’t know that Carly is lurking in the shadows of her car, watching him hand off her flesh and blood to another person. She looks on sadly and grieves about losing the one thing that she loved most. Her grieving is cut short though when the teenage killer Charlotte comes around the other side of the car with a gun as well. Oh, she’s upgraded from knife to gun! Good for her. Carly gets a glimpse of this image in her rearview mirror and immediately switches into savage, ultra tough, fight-to-the-death mode.
Carly gets in a few good hits but the adolescent assassin is just too strong and too gun-holding. Moments before Charlotte pulls the trigger to end Carly’s visit to the 21st, Jeff pulls out his weapon and sends a bullet straight into the teenager’s youthful heart. Yup. Jeff saved Carly’s life. That’s what I’m talking about when I ask: who’s evil and who’s not evil? It’s hard to tell these days in the world of Travelers. Even abusive, corrupt, selfish police officer Jeff is helping out. It’s a bizarro world and Carly does not want to stick around for it. She leaps into the driver’s seat of her car and speeds away. And as the only witness of the shooting, that puts Jeff in quite a sticky situation. He’s got a dead teenager on his hands and no one around to verify her criminality.
Speaking of guns and shooting guns, we have another almost instance of that. As MacLaren heads to his car in a parking lot, Officer Boyd steps forward with a pistol as well. Seems to be the trend these days. Everyone’s got their own personal revolver. When MacLaren is all “What the shit are you doing, girl?” Office Boyd informs him that she was ordered to perform this mission via a messenger. The director told her to kill MacLaren and she does not question the grand plan. Although she insists to know what he has done wrong and doesn’t fully trust him when he says nothing, she’s got a soft spot for the handsome gent so she spares his life, stages a shooting and then takes one in the bulletproof vest from MacLaren so he can swiftly escape.
And where does he instantly go? To his adoring wife who hates him of course! He locates Kat in a restaurant and instructs her to exit the city because he’s got some “work” related problems going on and she’s in danger. Although they were bickering only earlier that day, she knows that he’s serious and worries for his safety. She SHOULD be worried. The assassin collective is growing and they have located the traveler hideout. Looks like Grace was right about it not being the hottest place to hide. More guns make an appearance as bullets begin piercing through the walls of the homebase and MacLaren, Marcy, Philip, and Carly have to run for their saves. They specifically run towards Ellis’s farmhouse because they’re all a tad suspicious of Grace AND Ellis and wonder if Trevor is in danger too. While on the road, Philip and Marcy have an intimate talk about how this Marcy is colder than the previous Marcy and Carly and MacLaren have an intimate talk about how they can’t be kissing or doing sex anymore.
MacLaren lectures her about how the mission needs to come first and the future needs to be left in the past and they can’t complicate things with more melodramatic emotions. Carly passive-aggressively agrees but clearly she’s not pleased at all to hear this. Trevor is not pleased to read a text message he receives from the director which orders him to abort the mission. He wonders if Grace is indeed the evil one but she assures him that The Faction is likely behind that order and to ignore it. The director wouldn’t send a text when communicating something that important. They would send a messenger or he would deliver it directly like he did with Ellis. But, wait, Grace wants to know if Ellis received that message BEFORE the reset because even then the AI was vulnerable to corruption. Ellis doesn’t see a problem with him receiving it at any time but Trevor has a problem with all of it and intends to destroy the quantum frame using an axe. Ellis replies to Trevor’s axe with a… wait for it… GUN! We got another gun!
And here comes Carly with her gun, followed by MacLaren, Philip and Marcy. Carly is curious to know something too. She asks Ellis if he was told to assassinate Trevor. Interesting question, Carly. What inspired this inquiry? Oh. I know. SHE was told to assassinate MacLaren so naturally she’s assuming that everyone’s been sent a “kill the love of your life/Trevor” text. There is a lot of miscommunication happening here. The travelers all hold their respective weapons and debate about whether the director is behind the quantum frame or The Faction is and if Grace Day is a good guy or a bad guy and if Ellis is a good guy or a bad guy and if text messages are an effective way to communicate. It might have been easier if the director just called them on the phone or at least sent an email with more info. Something highly interesting that we discover during this debate is that in the current version of the future Shelter 41 did not collapse and the thousands of people who died didn’t die because history has been changed.
They are very alive in Ellis and Grace’s future and are running an underground movement under the name of The Faction. Woo, baby. This is one complicated back story! The complications continue when Carly points a gun at MacLaren, Trevor moves to chop up the quantum frame, Ellis accidentally shoots Grace instead of Trevor but the bullet goes through Grace’s chest into Trevor’s chest anyway which means they’re both injured, the quantum frame begins to power up, Ellis becomes a messenger and tells the team to abort the mission and destroy the work of art, and MacLaren’s partner, FBI agent Forbes, storms into the barn with back-up just as the massive glowing machine with lots of buttons and knobs and parts does it’s glowing thang.
Allow me to end this final season one recap with how I began it: what in god’s name is going on? Fingers crossed we find out at some point in the future. Hopefully before the apocalypse.
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