Timeless: The Assassination of Abraham Lincoln Review

TIMELESS -- "The Assassination of Abraham Lincoln" Episode 101 -- Pictured: Abigail Spencer as Lucy Preston -- (Photo by: Sergei Bachlakov/NBC)

Does a small alteration in history in fact ripple out to create huge changes in the future?


This episode picks up exactly where last week’s left off, leaving our heroes no time for a breather between adventures. We find the three main characters whisked off to yet another time, back to 1865 and the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln.

There is something to be said about the emotion that is being packed into the simplest things, like the fireworks that occur just when the trio arrives in 1865, or the “swagger” with which the African American soldiers walk because the war has been won and slavery has been outlawed. This show is giving historical events more depth and feeling than just reading them off a page in a history book would allow for.

Going back in time to try to make history happen the way it originally did is starting to make the team question deep concepts like “fate” and what’s “meant to be,” causing a bit of conflict in their small group. Rufus felt that they should have saved President Lincoln’s life for the good of humankind, as he would have been able to do even more to end discrimination if he had been able to live longer. Wyatt questioned whether or not it is “fate” when bad things happen, like people dying when it is seemingly not their time yet, as his wife did. Lucy almost tried to save Lincoln, but decided not to alter history incase it would change the timeline in a negative way overall. She struggled with this choice, calling out to the president seconds before he was shot, but did not end up being able to stop this event from taking place.

This gives me the impression that sometime in the next few episodes, the group will falter on their instructions not to change anything and try to make something better happen in the past, only to alter something important in the future by mistake.

I am becoming more and more curious about Flynn’s plans by the second. He went back to 1865, gave the small band of conspirators better weapons from the future with which to carry out their plans, and then just before John Wilkes Booth went to kill President Lincoln as he had intended to for four years prior, Flynn knocked Booth out and went to do it himself. I am not sure if the snag in the plan caused by Lucy, Wyatt and Rufus saving the lives of the other powerful men in America had changed Flynn’s plan, but it doesn’t make sense to me that he would go back in time just to do pretty much the same thing that had already occurred in the first place. Why not just let Booth do the deed himself, as originally intended, if Flynn was just going to do the same thing?

This small change in this historical event didn’t seem to change much about Lucy’s present, except that there was a school named after her 1865 alias, Juliet Shakesman. Lucy argued this point with Agent Christopher, saying that history had changed and that this was not how it was supposed to happen, to which Christopher replied, “it’s close enough,” and, “Flynn didn’t destroy America or the world. Take the win.” Apparently, a small enough change in the past has little to no effect on the future, or at least that is the case in this scenario.

It was made clear that Rufus was extremely unhappy giving the recordings of Lucy and Wyatt to Mason, asking why Ritten House needed them and refusing to continue helping them spy on his new comrades, saying that they trust him. When Wyatt told Mason he didn’t want to be a part of it anymore,  it became very apparent why he’s doing it to begin with. Mason helped Rufus’s mother get out of poverty, also sending Rufus to college. He now “owes him a debt,” putting Rufus in a very uncomfortable position. I’m eager to see how this plays out and still very curious as to what the voice recordings are for.

One question from last week’s premier is answered when Jiya, the girl that Rufus had his eye on from the beginning of the first episode, helps Lucy by digging through the past. A shock came when Lucy (and the audience) learned that due to the Hindenburg not killing one certain girl, Lucy’s father never even met her mother, causing them to never marry and Lucy’s sister Amy never to be born. This also brought to light the fact that Lucy’s father was never actually her father in any scenario and that her mother had always kept that a secret from her. Plus, Lucy’s mother never took up smoking, a habit she had originally learned from the man she didn’t end up marrying, causing her never to get lung cancer. That’s a lot to take in.

I’m a little surprised to have a few questions answered so quickly, but that’s not to say I didn’t enjoy it. We are still left in suspense about some things, like how Lucy became engaged, what’s going on with Ritten House, and what Flynn means whenever he comes into contact with Lucy and tells her things that don’t make sense yet, like “One day you’re going to help me. That’s not a threat, it’s your future!”




Overall, I thought this episode was on par with the premier. There was less obligation for storyline setup, and the characters have developed a bit more from the last time we saw them, piquing viewers’ interests after the novelty of the first episode wore off.

+ Packed with emotion, giving historical events more depth

+ Answers to a few questions, but not too many – some old cliffhangers are left unanswered and some new ones are just beginning to make us wonder

+ “This is gonna be the worst game of operation ever.” Rufus’s courage to help Wyatt by digging out the bullet while still cracking jokes deserves a plus

– Flynn’s plan doesn’t seem to make sense, but then again, it could have just been that it was foiled by Lucy, Wyatt and Rufus

– Lucy is a bit too conspicuous when she recognizes historical people, but it’s very apparent that she is starstruck by them, much like most people would be starstruck by current celebrities


What did you think of this episode of Timeless?  Will we keep getting answers, only to be led to more suspense-filled questions? Leave your comment below!



Jamie LeRoy is the head Graphic Designer and Photographer at The Geekiverse. Her current read is Scarlet, book 2 in The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer.

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Photo courtesy of <www.nbc.com>

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