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YMMV / Timeless

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  • Alternative Character Interpretation: Richard Nixon is actually a Doomed Moral Victor of the series, fighting Rittenhouse's attempts to subvert the United States government. In order to do this he has to take some pretty drastic measures, leading to Watergate in the main timeline and his probable assassination in the alternate initiated by "The Kennedy Curse" (the date on the Nixon half-dollar is 1964, indicating that Nixon died at least 30 years earlier than in reality). Nixon knew about Rittenhouse (the missing 18 1/2 minutes on the Watergate tapes reveal this) and was attempting to use his various 'ratfucking' schemes to attempt to root them out. Unfortunately he underestimated just how deeply rooted Rittenhouse was and of course had no idea about their access to time travel, and was brought down in at least two timelines. Nixon's own deep-seated insecurities only made their job easier.
  • Genius Bonus:
    • A Ritternhouse agent tries to steal Citizen Kane for William Randolph Hearst, who's convinced of how damaging it would be just with the word "Rosebud." This was rumored to be his nickname for his mistress' genitalia.
    • Abby Franklin, mother of Benjamin, says a couple of his quotations: "Beer is proof that God wants us to be happy," and "If we do not hang together, we will surely hang separately."
      • After Lucy and company free the accused witches, Lucy tells the women to flee north to New Hampshire where they can be safe until things calm down. Truth in Television: the governors of Massachusetts and New Hampshire at the time had a very bitter personal rivalry and weren't known for cooperating with each other. The odds of New Hampshire (which never had anything like the Salem Witch Trials) honoring a warrant from Massachusetts to arrest several women on charges of practicing witchcraft were extremely low.
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    • Harriet Tubman is portrayed as having prophetic visions that include the heroes' arrival from the Lifeboat. She actually suffered from epilepsy due to a head injury from fighting back against her master during her youth as a slave.
  • Idiot Plot:
    • Flynn spends all of Season 1 apparently acting on some vague notion that since Rittenhouse is tied to America, weakening America will weaken Rittenhouse and thus in some way prevent them from killing his family. He seems to have no actual reason to believe that this will work, except possibly for sheer desperation.
    • Rittenhouse's plan in Season 2 relies entirely on sleeper agents from the present planted at strategic points in the past, with no attempt made to make use of the extensive Rittenhouse infrastructure already in place in those time periods. To make it worse, those sleeper agents were also apparently instructed to wait for further orders delivered by time travel instead of knowing their missions ahead of time, making the entire setup vulnerable to disruptions in the present.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot:
    • "Party at Castle Varlar":
      • Lucy starts shaking and becoming disoriented as she is overwhelmed by all that has happened. The first time this happens is in the present, but the next two times are in the past after she is poured a glass of alcohol. In both cases, Lucy doesn't take a drink with everyone else and her hands start shaking, until someone pressures her to take the drink, which she uneasily does. This looks like a setup for Lucy being a recovering alcoholic who is starting to fall Off the Wagon. But nope, her issues are resolved by the end of the episode and it's just a coincidence that two out of her three freakouts were around alcohol.
      • Lucy has some pretty good reasons to be going into Heroic BSoD. Her sister and best friend has vanished from reality due to her actions, and even if Lucy can get her back, it might mean the return of her mother's cancer. She's seen multiple violent deaths, nearly been killed repeatedly, is about to try to infiltrate a German Nazi event despite speaking no German, and basically all of reality depends on her not screwing up a possibly endless onslaught of violent missions. In spite of all that, her breakdown centers around a teenage accident that caused her to be claustrophobic - even though claustrophobia plays no part in the episode.
    • In "The World's Columbian Exposition" Lucy confesses to Houdini that she is claustrophobic, which Houdini helps her overcome. She had no such reluctance in "The Alamo" when the situation was no less urgent, having to escape the Alamo through a narrow tunnel. Continuity doesn't seem to be a strong spot for this series.
  • Values Resonance: In 1934 Arkansas, Texas Ranger Captain Frank Hamer treats Rufus fairly and really no differently than a white suspect, despite this being at the height of Jim Crow. He also mentions having faced down a lynch mob and saved the black suspect they wanted to kill. Truth in Television: the real Hamer actually faced down fifteen lynch mobs, and lost only one of the suspects under his protection. He also led efforts to stop the Ku Klux Klan in Texas.
  • Why Would Anyone Take Him Back?: Over the course of season 2, Wyatt Logan leaves Lucy in favour of his late wife Jessica, who later turns out to be a Rittenhouse mole. This is, in itself, a perfectly reasonable acceptable thing to do. Less reasonable or acceptable is that he spends the rest of the season continuing to presume on his and Lucy's one-night relationship, to the point of repeatedly guilt-tripping her over having spent a night with Flynn and about her growing friendship with him, while having very noisy sex with his wife just down the hall from the sofa Lucy is sleeping on, attempting to touch her over her vocal objections and finally hitting her in the season finale. Despite this, in the Christmas special, they get back together despite Wyatt having never even apologised for any of this but hitting her.


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