Thursday, August 31, 2017

Travelers, Season One, Episode Eight: Donner

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This episode begins with a new mission for the team. MacLaren, Philip and Trevor all in different locations and are all engaged in independent video chats with sex workers, who are clearly confused by the fact that none of the men actually seem interested in talking about sex.  Trevor in particular wants to hear about the woman's happiest moments. Yeah, they are waiting for the arrival of a new Traveler cell.  The change happens but before the women can begin making plans to carry out their mission, the feed gets turned off. It turns out that the male Traveler who took over for a man who bombed the office that the sex workers worked out of, didn't stop the explosion.  Well I see we can add Travelers to yet another television show in which sex workers end up dead. Heaven forbid we get a story with a sex worker which doesn't end up tragic. 

MacLaren and Forbes head to the scene to investigate the case and learn that the bomber has left the scene.  If it was a misfire, the bomber should be lying there dead, so something is absolutely going on. MacLaren leaves to hunt down the bomber/Traveler, with Philip's help via the comm, leaving Forbes at the scene.  A fourth worker who was out when the bomb went off shows up at the scene and explains how she was being stalked by a former customer and that he had begun sending her religious based hate mail. 

Trevor gets called into the guidance counselor's office much to his surprise because he actually did well on the midterm. Trevor didn't realise that such a massive improvement in his grades would be deemed suspicious. Grace, the guidance counselor has arranged for Trevor to take the midterm again to prove that he didn't actually cheat. Trevor talks about being tired of being told what to do and wanting to chart his own course in life. This resonates with Grace and she gives him a book to read. At the end of the tutoring session which Trevor absolutely aces, Trevor sits in the hallway outside of Grace's office and reads the book cover to cover.  Trevor gets a call the comm to meet up with the others but he pauses long enough to return the book to Grace and to give her one in exchange. Clearly, there's some real chemistry between Grace and Trevor; however, the fact that he is still a kid to her will absolutely pose problems. 

Carly is getting ready for her hearing with child protective services when Marcy calls.  To Marcy, the simple solution is to just hand the baby over to Jeff because it would make it easier for Carly to go to on missions. At this point however, Carly sees the baby as hers and she's determined that there's no way she's handing him over to Jeff.  When Marcy arrives at the meeting, she's surprised when Philip shows up pretending to be her lawyer and offering support. Things go off the rails when Jeff accuses Marcy of being a prostitute because she pays for all her bills in cash and he's seen MacLaren coming and going. Jeff further charges that every time he tries to see his child, Marcy becomes physically abusive. Because he's a cop he knows how to play the system perfectly and manages to bait Marcy into losing her temper which doesn't look good. 

It turns out that Carly isn't the only person whose life that Jeff is set on messing up. David arrives at work only to be informed by his boss that he's gotten a detailed report from Jeff, explaining that he is living with Marcy and in a romantic relationship. David naturally denies that there's anything going on between him and Mary and argues that Marcy is no longer the woman that Ken knows. David manages to convince Ken to come to dinner so that he can prove just how much Marcy has changed.

The blowout in court forces yet another visit from CPS and this time the social worker has a warrant, so Carly cannot simply throw her out. A frustrated Carly explains that Jeff is not a good man and that because he's an officer that no one will believe her if she calls for help. Carly explains that the only reason that Jeff is doing this is because he wants them to be a couple and she no longer wants to. The social worker notices the bruise on Carly's arm from the injection but clearly thinks it's something Jeff did to her. 

MacLaren has spent the whole morning chasing around Donner, the supposed Traveler misfire.  MacLaren chases Donner to a Chinese restaurant that Donner has entered to treat his injuries. MacLaren introduces himself and says his Traveler number but Donner is acting sketchy.  When Maclaren lowers his weapon, Donner charges and knocks MacLaren out, in the process knocking out his comm.

When MacLaren finally catches up with Donner, he's already been beaten to the punch by Forbes.  Back at headquarters, MacLaren tries again to reach out to Donner, convinced that the man is just nervous because he screwed the pooch on his first mission but Donner claims not to know what MacLaren is talking about and questions what a Traveler is.  MacLaren leaves and tries to contact Marcy but his comm is still down.

Ken has arrived for dinner and he's astounded with the changes in Marcy. Marcy makes it clear that she is no longer in David's care and that they are not in a romantic relationship.  Things get a bit tense when MacLaren shows up looking to get in touch with Marcy because of his comm.  Marcy steps outside to talk to MacLaren, so she's not able to stop David from telling Ken that Marcy works for the FBI.  The link between the FBI and Macy pisses Ken off so he demands to see MacLaren's Id. When Ken confirms that Marcy is an associate of Maclaren's, he demands to know what Marcy actually does.  After the day he has had, MacLaren is in no mood to explain himself to anyone.

While MacLaren has been meeting with Marcy, Donner is having a meeting with his lawyer.  Now that Donner knows that murdering three women could lead to lethal injection, he decides to try and make a plea deal based on the fact that he knows about a terrorist group that has infiltrated the government and is responsible for lots of missions. 

Donner manages to get a meeting with the assistant district attorney but what he doesn't know is that everyone in the room with him is a fellow Traveler. When it becomes clear that Donner isn't a conspiracy nut and is indeed a Traveler himself, it's enough to initiate a trial for treason. Donner argues that though he practiced defusing the bomb before arriving in the past that the Director simply didn't give him enough time. Unfortunately for Donner, it turns out that the other Travelers have been watching the events on CCTV and each votes to convict Donner.  As a punishment, another Traveler is sent to take over Donner's body. The new Traveler is pleased to be in the 21st century, even though he has to spend his time in prison. This further indicates just how bad things are in the future.

MacLaren meets with Forbes and it's clear that he's not pleased that Donner will be in prison for quite some time. The writers redeem themselves by having Forbes suggest that the light sentence is because Donner killed sex worker and that society views these women as disposable.  Forbes clearly feels that justice wasn't done in this case. 

Because Trevor is watching the trial, he is unable to meet with Grace and his physics teacher to retake his midterms. This of course is going to come with a consequence. 

David gets called into Ken's office and is told that he is being dismissed. It seems that while Jeff believes that Marcy is changed, the fact that she has been defrauding the governments for benefits, with David's knowledge, merits dismissal. David tries to argue how good he is at his job and the fact that no one else puts in close to the work and effort that he does but the amount of money paid to Marcy is not something that Ken is able to let go of. 

With David's impending dismissal because of money, Marcy gets Philip to arrange for some cash for her. Philip places a bet on five horses but only three of them actually win. This means that either Philip's cell or another cell has started to change history. 

The social worker shows up and says that she's on Carly's side and that she's tired of seeing things end bad for women like Carly.  The social worker tells Carly that she has to get a job and that she will do everything she can to help Carly fight Jeff's accusations.  

Marcy goes to see Ken and returns all of the funds that she was paid.  Marcy makes it clear that David must be allowed to come back to work on Monday and that Ken can either take the money, or pass it on to his replacement. Marcy has a dark threatening side to her and I think I like it. 

MacLaren personally take the new Traveler to the prisoner escort truck and is informed that things in the future are getting worse, not better. MacLaren asks about fuel for a reactor but the new Traveler refuses to answer. In prison, Donner is approached by Luka, who thinks that Donner has been abandoned by the Director as well. Donner claims that he is on a mission and tells Luka that he is breaking protocol. Luka however feels that it's only a matter of time until Donner becomes disillusioned like himself. 

I'm not sure exactly why it is that Jeff is so invested in making life miserable for Marcy, given that he has no connection with her whatsoever. This is a tenuous link at best and one that makes no sense. Even if we think that as a cop, Jeff would be interested in protecting Marcy, why wouldn't he simply arrest David rather than going to David's superiors?  The only reason to go to this effort is that Jeff is offended by the idea of women being able to defend themselves against male attackers.

Carly's fight to keep her son really has real world connections. If your abuser is a cop who do you turn to and who polices the police? The blue wall would make spouses of cops particularly vulnerable to domestic violence. It looks like Marcy has found an ally in the social worker which surprised me a bit but it's good to see.

The Director is clearly a take no nonsense type of person.  He didn't waste time in replacing the host inhabiting Donner. We've been told that the Travelers are everywhere but this is the first time we've seen real evidence of this. Donner didn't have a shot when he tried to snitch on MacLaren.  I wonder if we will be returning to his mission because I cannot fathom what he would be able to accomplish in prison? 

Once again we are being reminded that Trevor is a very old Traveler. I cannot guess yet why the writers are spending so much time driving this home. It has to be about more than his difficulty fitting in with the youngsters. MacLaren may be the leader of the team but I cannot help but wonder if Trevor has a special significance?  Being as old as he is, it seems to me that Trevor would have an important role in the future society. 

Donner was originally Travelers 4022 and he was replaced by Traveler 4024. I think the numbers indicate how long a Traveler has been in the past and or how old they are in the future.  The numbers cannot be random and must signify something more.