‘Timeless’ Visits a Dark Place in ‘The Salem Witch Hunt’

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Photo by Patrick Wymore/NBC

TIMELESS: 3.04 “The Salem Witch Hunt”

Ever since I heard Timeless would be visiting Salem during the witch trials, I’ve been waiting for this episode. This is a time period I’ve been especially interested in, and boy did they set up the atmosphere. From the moment they stepped into those deserted, foggy woods, you knew this would be a dark episode. And let’s be honest, I was sure Lucy would somehow be called out for witchcraft (she is a time traveler from the future, after all).

But I had no idea that the person to accuse her would be her own mother. Or that she’d be on the list of the eight—or as it turned out, nine—to be hanged on the darkest day. Add in the fact that Benjamin Franklin’s mother was also added to that list, thanks to Carol, and you have the setup for a really intense episode that has a lot riding on it.

As far as Rittenhouse plans go, this one feels like it’s the first that made sense. The last three episodes, with their sleeper agents, felt like lower stakes, compared to taking Benjamin Franklin out before he even had the chance to be born. That would truly change the shape of America. (I’d also argue that we’d run into a little bit of trouble technology-wise, since he was the man who also discovered electricity, but perhaps our WWI Rittenhouse guru doesn’t care about something as trivial as electricity.)

But let’s talk about Carol’s plan. Despite the fact that Carol was one of two existing Rittenhouse members who saved Nicholas Keynes from his death in the early 20th century, it seemed odd that she’d have to “earn her stripes” by knocking out Franklin. And her plan to “save” Lucy by essentially threatening her with hanging in order to get her to join Rittenhouse. That was harsh. Clearly, Carol isn’t thinking straight with this plan. And her desperation as Lucy declined, with her cold, “I’d rather be hanged”…wow.

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‘Trading Spaces’ Is Back — And Still Unwilling to Compromise

TRADING SPACES: 9.01 “Not Our First Rodeo”

There’s always room for compromise but not in this situation.

Trading Spaces is back on the scene after a ten-year break, and very little has changed. Paige is back as our host. Many of our designers and carpenters have returned. And neighbors still swap houses for two days, so they can redo a room in each other’s houses.

What has changed? The budget has doubled—they now have $2,000—and Wayfair has sponsored a tent, so couples can choose one item that must go in the room, whether the designer likes it or not. (At least, I don’t recall this freebie tent from the show of yore, but correct me if I’m wrong.)

But what makes a show like this entertaining (or annoying) is the one thing that will likely never change: The designers have a design in mind, and they’re unlikely to ever compromise that vision. It doesn’t matter if the couple balks, refuses, or simply runs out of time, the vision comes first.

In this particular case, we have Hildi, one of the original series designers, who—no matter what—will have a hideous design painted on a ceiling. Similar to how some of the designers operated on the original series, she came in with one piece of fabric as a focal point that leads the design for the entire series. The black, white, yellow, and blue design wasn’t terrible…until it was described as a “deconstructed penguin” and she said they’ll  be a painting the design on three out of four walls, as well as the ceiling. While my mind was screaming “accent wall!” they went on to paint it all, despite the homeowner’s sister’s reservations, creating what appeared in the end to be a clown’s worse nightmare. Certainly, if you visited that a guest room, you’d have your own set of circus dreams.

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‘Timeless’ Finds Romance And Surprises in ‘Hollywoodland’

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Photo by Paul Drinkwater/NBC

TIMELESS: 2.03 “Hollywoodland”

There was no new episode of Timeless this week, which finally gave me some time to wrap my head around what became a game-changing episode. Just to recap, what happened? We met legendary actress and inventor Hedy Lamarr. Rufus pretended to be Langston Hughes in order to save Citizen Kane. Jiya saw a doctor and turns out to be healthier than she’s ever been, despite her seizures and visions. And Flynn found his way out of jail. Anything else?

Oh yeah. Lucy and Wyatt finally got together, and JESSICA IS BACK.

Talk about a shocking ending (though, honestly, I predicted this result long before the season began). But we’ll get there. Let’s start back in 1941, where Rittenhouse has  another sleeper agent (played by one of my favorites, Teddy Sears), who is out to steal Citizen Kane in order to secure a column in the Hearst papers. It’s a little bit of an overcomplicated plan, but if the publication was as influential as Lucy claims, I suppose Rittenhouse can do a lot of damage with a few inches on paper. Like Wyatt, I have never seen Citizen Kane, nor do I know its sordid, secretive backstory, so I did feel like I was playing a game of catchup as the main plot details were being shared. But let’s be honest: Everything else in this episode was so much more interesting than the Rittenhouse plot that it didn’t really matter.

Starting with Hedy Lamarr. I ask this much too often when watching this show, but how have I never heard of this person before? She sounds amazing. One of the reasons I love Timeless is the fact that they bring these lesser-known historical figures to life, so it’s both educational and entertaining. She truly stole every scene, and I loved the dynamic between her and Rufus (particularly her curt response to his poorly shared riff of the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air theme—though her explanation to Lucy about how anyone can be glamorous as long as they stand still and look stupid was also great). She was a divine addition to this episode. But now on to what everyone is talking about…

Lyatt fans were overjoyed to see Wyatt and Lucy finally get together. Starting with her adorable musical number. She was so playful and it was nice to see that side of Lucy again (and it was fun to see that side of Abigail Spencer, too). Not sure that final long look between Wyatt and Lucy really landed for me at the end (sorry), but it did lead to their cute banter before they finally kissed and slept together. Happy, happy fans everywhere.

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