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Recap / Timeless S 2 E 2 The Darlington 500

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Using a bit of information obtained from Flynn, the team travels to Darlington, South Carolina, in 1955. Wyatt, being a huge NASCAR fan, recognizes the name given by Flynn - Ryan Millerson.

In 1955, they quickly discover that Millerson is one of the Rittenhouse sleeper agents and that he plans to suicide-bomb the leaders of the American automotive industry during the Darlington 500 race, in order to shift power into Rittenhouse hands. Millerson himself is conflicted: on the one hand, he's loyal to Rittenhouse; on the other, he has fallen in love, gotten married, and his wife is expecting a child. Emma threatens to shoot his wife if Millerson reneges.

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With the help of a black racer named Wendell Scott, who finds a kindred soul in Wyatt Logan (both of them used to be smugglers), they sneak into the race. Wyatt is forced to kill Millerson and steals his car, while Rufus manages to disarm the bomb in the vehicle. During the mission, Rufus burns his hand on hot steam. Jiya is shocked that her previous vision of his burned skin comes true.

Against Christopher's orders, Mason leaves the bunker to speak at a tech conference in order to start rebuilding his reputation, but Christopher's people arrest him and send him back to the bunker.

Meanwhile, Nicholas Keynes spends much of the episode painting, reading Wikipedia, and bossing his granddaughter around. Finally, he unveils a huge mural, depicting his plan/manifesto for the time machine, which impresses the previously skeptical Emma.

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Tropes

  • Abusive Parents: Wyatt's dad used to punish him by driving into the woods until the car was damaged, then forcing Wyatt to repair the car in the dead of night in order to get home. He also forced Wyatt to smuggle drugs for him.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Wyatt reveals his past as a smuggler before joining the army.
  • Deep Cover Agent: Ryan Millerson is one of the sleeper agents planed by Rittenhouse throughout history. However, he is showing signs of Becoming the Mask thanks to his wife and unborn child.
  • Flash Forward: Jiya has a vision of a burn on Rufus's arm. Later on, he burns the arm on a car engine. Jiya is shocked when she sees his arm, but doesn't tell him.
  • Glory Seeker: Averted with Wendell Scott. He knows that no one is going to give a black man a trophy in the Deep South during The '50s. But he will still race just to prove that he's better than all those white boys. The team already knows that his crushing victory by two laps wouldn't be acknowledged.
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  • Loveable Rogue: Wendell Scott is a smuggler-turned-racer. According to Lucy, this is pretty much how NASCAR got started, as most early racers used to be alcohol smugglers during Prohibition. Wyatt himself used to be a drug smuggler before running away from home and joining the army.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Carol's reaction to her grandfather's speech at the end is less enthusiastic than one would expect.
  • Neck Snap: Wyatt kills an unnamed Rittenhouse Mook this way.
  • invoked Newer Than They Think: Rufus keeps giving Wendell the "black" nod, only for the confused Wendell to wonder why he's nodding at him. Rufus realizes that the gesture is probably not yet in fashion. At the end, though, Wendell returns the gesture.
  • No-Paper Future: Carol is surprised when Keynes prints out the entire Wikipedia instead of reading it on the tablet she gave him. He claims that the screen hurts his eyes.
  • No Sympathy: Agent Christopher is pretty cold to Mason's desire to rebuild his life, especially considering she had him give up everything.
  • Politically Incorrect Villain: Nicholas Keynes is dismissive of his granddaughter, possibly because of her gender.
  • Suicide Mission: Millerson was sent back into the past with the express purpose of eventually blowing up the leaders of the American automotive industry during the Darlington 500 race, by rigging his car with a bomb and then ramming the car into the stands.
  • Techno Babble: When Wyatt and Wendell discuss their plan to get away from the race track, they use slang terminology used by moonshine runners. Lucy and Rufus have absolutely no idea what they are talking about.
  • Would Hurt a Child: Emma threatens to kill Millerson's pregnant wife if he refuses to go through with his suicide mission. Slightly subverted earlier, when she expresses concern over having to kill an innocent woman and her unborn child.
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