In the season 1 winter premiere, titled “The World’s Columbian Exposition,” Timeless explores murder, kidnapping and magic at the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair. Flynn still has Lucy held hostage, forcing her to help him with his plans to wipe Rittenhouse off the map, but Rufus and Wyatt aren’t too far behind. They rush to rescue Lucy but are led astray by one of Flynn’s men, who brings them to the infamous murder hotel where America’s first serial killer tortured and killed an untold number of people.
The Race is On
Wyatt and Rufus return to the present and alert their team that Flynn has captured Lucy. They rush to find her location, eventually discovering that Flynn’s landed in 1893 Chicago. Without Lucy, they’re unsure of why Flynn’s chosen that time and place, but they assume he’s after Theodore Roosevelt, who will become president in just eight more years.
Unfortunately for them, Flynn’s real plan is to murder Thomas Edison, Henry Ford, and J.P. Morgan. The three men, who are members of Rittenhouse, are expected to meet, and Flynn plans on planting a bomb beforehand to kill them all. He has one of his men lead Wyatt and Rufus into the World’s Fair Hotel, otherwise known as Murder Castle by the history books. It’s a building designed and built by H.H. Holmes that was entirely constructed for the purpose of killing visitors to the fair. With Wyatt and Rufus out of the way, Flynn continues on with his plan.
Magic and Mayhem
In order to plant the bomb, Flynn needs to break into the room where the meeting will be held. But he needs help picking the locks. Lucy, desperate to assist Flynn in order to help save her friends, suggests enlisting in a still-unknown Harry Houdini’s services. After all, there’s no one better at getting out of a tight spot. After enjoying a quick show in which Lucy volunteers, Lucy speaks to Houdini, telling him that she’s a fan and would love to introduce him to her uncle, who owns a theatre. Intrigued at the thought of another gig, Houdini excitedly agrees, but as soon as he exits the performance tent, he’s met with the barrel end of Flynn’s gun.
Meanwhile, Wyatt and Rufus have split up to find Lucy, who they believe is in the hotel. Wyatt soon finds himself trapped in a room with a female architect named Sophia, while Rufus, curious as to the smell coming from a nearby stove, finds a human jawbone in the ashes. Both men are locked in their rooms while gas pours through the vents, causing them to pass out. When the men wake, they find themselves stuck in an airtight and soundproof room with Sophia and another man, George.
The Cutpurse Trick
Lucy and Houdini walk along with Flynn and one of his men. Lucy apologizes for tricking him and explains that Flynn has placed her friends in danger. She also insists that she’s a fan of his and inconspicuously mentions his cutpurse trick. They exchange a knowing glance before they arrive at their destination. Flynn orders Houdini to follow him and warns him that if he tries anything, his man will kill Lucy.
Once inside, Flynn instructs Houdini to open the door and gives him a few minutes to do so. But Houdini has a better idea. Instead of picking the lock, he climbs through a nearby vent and crawls into the next room so he can open the door from the inside. Flynn takes out a small bomb, but before he can place it down, Edison, Ford and Morgan arrive, obviously ahead of schedule. Scrapping his bomb idea, Flynn reaches to grab his gun, only to find it missing. Houdini used his cutpurse trick to take Flynn’s gun without him noticing. He aims at Flynn, telling the men to call the police and, of course, introducing himself before running away.
Outside, he knocks Flynn’s man unconscious. He’s ready to leave, but Lucy implores him to help her save her friends. He agrees, and the two run off to Holmes’ hotel.
Time for an Escape
Sophia, who’s been scanning the room for a way to escape, locates a brick that appears out of place. It’s a different color than the rest of the room, and she realizes that it’s because it’s made of concrete and is deteriorating. Using Sophia’s hairpin, Wyatt pierces through the brick in the hopes that now someone will be able to hear their screams.
Lucy and Houdini enter the hotel and soon hear people yelling for help. They move a bookshelf and find the wall where her friends are being held. Houdini picks the door’s lock, rescuing everyone inside. But before they go, Wyatt insists that they find Holmes. He interrogates a suspicious hotel worker, who tells him to try Holmes’ office. While Wyatt climbs the stairs, Lucy examines the photos on the wall and discovers that Holmes is none other than George, the man who was locked in the room with them. Before she can tell Wyatt, Holmes snatches her away. Hearing her screams, Wyatt and Rufus run to find her, but Holmes brings her to the basement before they can stop him.
In the basement, Holmes traps Lucy in a small chamber and threatens to set her on fire. However, thinking like Houdini, Lucy comes up with a plan for escape. She tells him that she’s psychic and that she knows all about his past and his future. She recites facts that she knows about him, about his abusive father and his family that he abandoned. It obviously has an effect on Holmes, but before he can even open the chamber, Wyatt and Rufus rush into the basement to save Lucy. Wyatt holds Holmes at gunpoint while Rufus frees Lucy. Holmes tells Wyatt that if he spares his life, he’ll admit everything to the police and confess to the murders, giving closure to the families of his victims. Wyatt asks Lucy if Holmes ever does confess to the murders. Reluctantly, she informs him that he doesn’t. Instead, she says, he uses his story to turn a profit. Wyatt then shoots Holmes dead.
Returning to the Present
After saying goodbye to Sophia and Houdini, the team makes their way back to present day. Once there, Rufus speaks into the recorder and tells Rittenhouse that he’s done working for them. If they hurt his family, he’ll stop being their pilot, which, he explains, would be detrimental to their plans, as he’s the only person who knows how to pilot the time machine. He gives the recorder to Mason to hand off to Rittenhouse and encourages him to choose a side: Rittenhouse or their team.
Wyatt, meanwhile, receives a call from an unknown number. He answers it and is surprised to hear Flynn’s voice on the other line. Flynn had, as usual, escaped from his captors and is now trying to keep true to his word. He reminds Wyatt that he had promised to give him the name of his wife’s murderer, and he plans on following through. He informs Wyatt that a man named Wes killed his wife and that he’s currently serving time in prison for two other murders. Flynn then suggests that since Wyatt can’t return to a time where he already existed, he can instead prevent his wife’s murder by killing Wes’ parents before he’s born.
What did you think of “The World’s Columbian Exposition”? Did you enjoy this more action-packed episode of Timeless? Let us know what you think in the comments section below.
Timeless season 1 airs Mondays at 10/9c on NBC.
(Image courtesy of NBC)