Thursday, July 13, 2017

Travelers, Season One, Episode Two: Protocol 6

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When we last left the Travelers, FBI Special Agent Grant MacLaren had just been told that he was supposed to die, only to have his body taken over by the leader of a Traveler cell.  This new leader is quick to get down to business, questioning if there is anything he needs to know about his team. This is Marcy's chance to reveal that she was placed inside of neurologically atypical woman, particularly because it could come with some extreme consequences but she merely says that their information on her host wasn't accurate but that she's handling it. Rather than explaining the issue, Macy implants a communicator into MacLaren's neck which Trevor built after school.

Before the team can head out they are confronted by some local cops. It seems that before MacLaren died, he called in for back up. Luckily for the team, the responding cop, Officer Boyd is also a Traveler, which means she doesn't ask too many questions when the Traveler team admits that they have a cop locked up on the roof and that MacLaren took out a shooter. MacLaren is surprised to learn that Boyd is a fellow Traveler and she explains that when plans collide with the past, things tend to get messed up. 

Now that their leader is here and relatively up to date, it's time to get down to their first mission.  Dr. Delaney has created antimatter which is housed in a protective facility. Sensing military applications, Major Gleason is anxious to get it under military control.  When a blackout proves to present a danger to containment, Major Gleason takes the opportunity to take the antimatter from Delaney, though she warns that this isn't a good idea and could result in a deadly explosion. Delaney is particularly against using untested transport units.  Gleason however will not be denied, so the antimatter is loaded up. It turns out that Delaney is right to be concerned and that the antimatter does indeed explode and this is why the Travelers have been tasked with stopping the explosion.

Gleason isn't on the road for long when he is informed that the containment field is indeed failing, just as Delaney warned that it would.  Gleason, being an absolute coward has the driver of the truck containing the antimatter continue driving down the road, while he and the rest of his men drive as far away from the impending explosion as possible. 

As they wait for the truck carrying the antimatter to arrive, MacLaren and Carly have a little chat. They turn off their neck communicators so that the others cannot listen in. We learn that MacLaren and Carly are in a relationship and she doesn't relish the idea that he has to go home to his wife after the mission is over. MacLaren is interested to know what Carly thinks of older men and it seems that Carly is just fine with it.  

When the truck arrives, Carly stands in the middle of the road, forcing it to stop. The driver tries to use the radio to contact Gleason, but of course the Major doesn't answer. While the driver is trying to convince Carly to move, Marcy sneaks up on the driver and injects him with something which causes him to pass out. Trevor heads to the back to grab the antimatter and puts it in a temporary stable containment unit. When the driver awakes, the team is gone and so he continues his journey. The Travelers now have forty hours before handing over the antimatter.  Unfortunately for the driver, in order to stay true to history, the Travelers left behind an explosive device. The Travelers take comfort in fact that only one person died rather than thousands.  A leader of a new cell is set to arrive shortly and Marcy and Philip offer to hand over the antimatter. 

Marcy returns to David's place and at this point, David really wants some answers and honestly, who can blame him? Marcy of course cannot tell David that she is actually from the future and instead claims to be working with the FBI, which leads David to believe that Marcy is actually an agent herself.  Look, I know that the change in Marcy is hard to believe but to suddenly latch onto the idea of Marcy as an agent? Yeah, I'm not sure just how smart David is. To further draw David in, Marcy suggests that she is only telling him this because some time in the future she might really need his help. Marcy is clearly playing on David's emotions because he is absolute besotted with her. 

MacLaren drops off Carly but before she heads inside, the two share a steamy kiss, though I will admit to not being entirely sold on their chemistry. When MacLaren arrives at his digs, rather then getting into bed with his new wife, he passes out on the couch fully clothed.  Trevor sneaks into his home quietly, clearly trying to avoid being grounded.  Finally, Philip heads to the Traveler hide out where he passes out on a mattress.  It's clear that the heroine withdrawal is getting to Philip because he's sweating profusely.  I have a feeling that Philip's addiction is going to be a problem going forward.

Like all of the other Travelers, now that MacLaren has assumed someone else's life, he has to make it work.  In the morning, MacLaren meets his wife Kat for the first time and he immediately messes up by addressing Kat by her full name. MacLaren is also extremely disgusted when Kat hands him a coffee with cow's milk in it. You just know the vegans loved that scene.  Fortunately for MacLaren, Kat assumes that this strange behaviour is because MacLaren is sleep deprived and she orders him to have a nap.  Trevor also has a new body to get used to and is shocked when he wakes to morning wood, only to have to hide it quickly when his mom enters the room. Carly spends her morning working out and eating baby food. Just ewwww.  Philip is still struggling with the DT's and after throwing up, considers taking a hit to take the edge off.  

Marcy isn't having an easy morning either because David has decided that what she needs to do is go to a the hospital and get checked out. This is when Marcy drops the bomb that she is a doctor. David however is unwilling to take no for an answer and keeps pushing. To get him off her back, Marcy makes a bet that a commuter plane will crash today and that if it does, David will stop trying to get her to get medical attention.  Oh Marcy, that's low.  David is still not convinced that everything is okay and gives Marcy a cellphone which he bought for someone else. David makes Marcy promise to answer when he calls.  I get why David is confused because of the changes in Marcy, but demanding she answer his phone calls feels kind of creepy to me. 

With David handled for now, Marcy meets up with Philip to hand over the antimatter to the newly arrived leader.  We've already seen that relying on information from the past is a risky proposition and once again, it comes back to bite the Travelers in the ass.  It was reported that the man the Travler was supposed to inhabit committed suicide by shooting himself in the head. As it turns out, the host also took a fatal dose of pills which means that when the Traveler tried to access the body, it was already too late. This means that the cell is now stuck with the antimatter which is in a container which is failing fast. 

Everyone meets up at the Traveler hide out and MacLaren is freaked the hell out, especially given that the director has not sent them a messenger to instruct them about what to do next.  Trevor, who is completely calm is certain that the director will send the leader into another body but MacLaren points out that there might not be a suitable body available in time. Philip agrees that today is not a good day for deaths and lists off a few poor candidates that the director might choose. With few options available, they decide to put a message on the dark net about what is going on, even if it does come to the attention of the FBI.

MacLaren decides to go and have a chat with Officer Boyd, since they know that she is a Traveler as well. Boyd is not exactly pleased to see MacLaren because contact between them breaks some kind of established protocol. Boyd has no answers for MacLaren and suggests that without instructions that they are to wait to hear from the director. Boyd takes off simply telling MacLaren to make the right decision because shit happens. 

While the Travelers are busy trying to figure out what to do with the antimatter, Gleason informs Delaney that while the truck exploded, it wasn't nearly large enough to have occurred because of the containment unit holding antimatter failed. At this point, Gleason is certain that Delaney either never gave him the antimatter or that it never existed. For her part, Delaney is certain that Gleason stole the antimatter and is getting prepared to use it as a weapon. 

David is having a meeting with a client when he hears on the news about the crash Marcy predicted. This is enough to have David calling Marcy on the phone. Before Marcy can get into explanations, Philip's shaking hands cause him to accidentally electrocute himself. Marcy drops the phone and starts to resuscitate Philip, as David listens in on the open line. Unfortunately, the accident with unit means that they have even less time to get the antimatter someplace secure. 

With time running out and Trevor unable to build a new containment unit in the the time they have left, the Travelers decide to take the antimatter back to Delaney's containment facility. Philip hacks into the computer system of the facility to create a leak and the rest of the team preps to leave.  In a moment alone with Philip, Marcy reveals that she knows about his addiction and suggests that he take a hit to ensure that he can perform his duties. Marcy also reveals that her host has intellectual disabilities and that she decided to tell him because at least one person on the team should know in case she has another seizure. 

On the way over to the facility, Carly discusses her discomfort at returning the antimatter to Delaney, whom she sees as a mass murderer.  MacLaren however feels that Delaney was nothing but a scapegoat for the military.  Carly is not convinced and talks about seeing the old recordings of Delaney and the evil she saw in the doctor's face. 

The Travelers head to the facility disguised as cleaners, there to deal with the leak that Philip created. The Travelers head into the facility but before they can return the antimatter, Delaney shows up and points a gun at MacLaren. Marcy picks up on the trouble and heads inside and in turn points a gun at Delaney. Delaney isn't ready to give in because she is certain that the Travelers are involved with Gleason. MacLaren pulls out his FBI ID and explains that they stole the antimatter in order to keep it out of the hands of the military to stop them from building the most powerful and dangerous weapon in history. Delaney demands more proof and so Trevor pulls out antimatter containment unit out of his bag. This is enough to calm down Delaney. 

This of course is when Gleason shows up wanting answers, causing the Travelers to hide.  Carly is anxious to simply shoot Gleason but MacLaren gets her to hold off while Delaney spins a web about lying about the antimatter because she was afraid of losing funding. This admission is enough to make Gleason smug but he does tell Delaney to keep working on the antimatter before leaving. The moment that Gleason leaves, Trevor transfers the antimatter to Delaney's unit. 

The team packs up and prepares to leave.  MacLaren gives Delaney his card and informs her that that they will be in touch and that she should reach out if she gets into anymore trouble.  Delaney may not believe that the Travelers are in cahoots with Gleason, but she doesn't believe that they are FBI either. It seems that Delaney is suspicious because the tech the Travelers used to transport the antimatter doesn't exist yet. 

With the disaster averted for now, the team splits up and disappears into their new lives. Trevor arrives him to find his mother irritated that he missed a science test and didn't answer when she called.  Carly returns home to pay the sitter and change the dirty nappy of the baby.  Marcy is greeted with a cup of tea by David and she agrees to go and see a Doctor. David is especially pleased when he learns that Marcy wants him to go with her. MacLaren returns home to Kat, who's pleased to have her husband home early for a change. Kat heads to get them some wine to celebrate and MacLaren answers a knock at the door. A girl guide identifies herself as a Traveler and passes on the message that the director is pleased with the outcome of the mission but warns that any further deviations from protocol will result in punishment.  Kat joins MacLaren at the door and tells the little girl that she already bought two boxes of cookies from her. The child returns to herself and is clearly confused, as Kat closes the door in her face. MacLaren and Kat sit on the couch and he asks to hear all about Kat's day, claiming that his was boring.  

So we know that the explosion killed thousands of people and set off an arms race.  Clearly this is at least one fact which lead to the impending extinction of humanity but what the larger cause is, we just don't know yet.  It's almost as if the writers are afraid to reveal with this is because then they would have a goal that they would have to spend their time averting. 

We know that there are thousands of Travelers in the past and that they aren't allowed to interact outside of their cells as Boyd makes clear. I cannot help but wonder what punishments the Director could inflict from the future.  Where are the original bodies of the Travelers?  Clearly they feel everything their hosts bodies do or withdrawal from drugs wouldn't be such a problem. I think we need to learn more about the world the Travelers left behind and what is going on with their original bodies.

I don't know about you but I was creeped the hell out by the Girl Guide who knocked on MacLaren's door.  The idea of using children this way doesn't sit will with me though I hope they explain why it is that children can be used as messengers and then returned to their own lives.  It's clear what happened disturbed the little girl, leaving me wondering if there are any lasting effects or any awareness that their bodies have been used?

David is clearly besotted with Macy.  I'm not sure I buy him just going along for the ride so easily because he has feelings for her.  At the same time, him demanding that she answer his calls feels wrong as well.  Macy is well aware that David has feelings for her and is clearly going to use that for her advantage. I'm not sure that I'm comfortable with that but with what is at stake, what are hurt feelings?

I'm still not sold on this show and this is possibly because I feel like I still don't know enough about it to be invested. I am really hoping that episode three will give me some compelling reason to keep watching or at the very least that Travelers will do something to distinguish itself from all of the other shows out there about time travel. Thus far, Travelers feels like a less detailed 12 Monkeys and that is not a good thing.