Time After Time: Picture Fades
Original air date: March 26th, 2017
I won’t lie, at first I had a problem with this week’s episode. H.G. is going back in time to Paris, 1918, during WW1 and he won’t allow Jane to go, he won’t risk her life. If someone is volunteering to go with you into a dangerous situation, isn’t it that person risking their life? The whole “I’m the hero of the story and I know better than you” shtick is getting old. The episode then redeems itself; Jane, proving again she is a valuable member of team good-guy—she manages to go back in time, not get killed, and even convinces John to help save H.G. and to come back to modern day. She did more in half an episode than most characters in a show can accomplish in a season.
H.G. admits he was wrong about Jane and explained his not wanting to put her in harm came from a place of caring. Over the course of the episode, H.G. adapted and changed his mind—what was Vanessa’s and Martin’s excuse? Vanessa runs company, has probably put up with men telling her “no”, but couldn’t stick up for Jane? Only after pleading with Martin did he let Jane use the time machine, because H.G. said “no” and he was going to listen to him over her.
I appreciate H.G. even more after this episode. He is from the past, but can adapt and learn quicker than the modern-day characters. The only character that was sympathetic to Jane was Griffin—he understood where she was coming from and explained where H.G. was coming from. Griffin isn’t as ruthless as his sister and seems to be more on the fence about whatever they have planned.
Which leads me to another little grievance—why seek revenge on Vanessa for something her father did? The whole “sins of the father”—also getting old. I get where Chad was coming from—his dad died, he wanted to stop that from happening. We learned this week Project Utopia’s first test subject was John—now we know why Chad wanted to stop/kill him and H.G. From what we know so far, Project Utopia was stolen from Griffin’s and Brooke’s father, robbing him of his research and money made from it. Griffin and Brooke clearly thrived, despite that. She became a doctor, and he’s able to run for office. What is fueling their goals?
If they want what is rightfully theirs, then why not just take the time machine and stop Robert Holland from ever stealing the Project Utopia files? Why is there so much subterfuge? Why not approach Vanessa? If the subject was brought up, hinting that maybe this could be why her parents were killed, I feel Vanessa would gladly help and try to make things better. I am sure there is more that we have yet to learn, but I think it is leading up to Brooke being the big bad of the season and Griffin switching teams.
What I do love about the show is the time-traveling isn’t the most important part of the show. The show could be all about the characters dressing up in period clothing and running through the backlot of Universal Studios. The show focuses on the characters. John does go to Paris in 1918 in hopes of saving his son from death, but the episode wasn’t about when it was taking place, but rather the motives (beside killing) that John has and why it was important to him to save his son. He saw Henry as the one good thing he did in his life. He wanted that to live on, but in the end, it was Henry’s goodness (running into the burning building to save others) that killed him.
I want to give props to the writers and to Josh Bowman for making a villain like Jack the Ripper sympathetic. This show really excels in the character development. The characters aren’t two-dimensional, black and white approximations of people. The villains aren’t just evil people doing bad things, John isn’t just Jack the Ripper, but someone struggles with his need to kill and to be known for more than just that. I felt bad for him. He tries to save his son and loses him anyway. At the moment where he is about to completely shut-down, Jane brings him back, and he helps H.G. get to the time machine. He comes back to modern time knowing it means (for now) he will be locked up.
I am sure John’s incarceration will be brief again and I can’t wait for next week.