Travelers, Season 2, Episode 6: “U235” Recap and Analysis

by | Nov 23, 2017

THIS EPISODE STARTS IMMEDIATELY WHERE THE LAST ONE LEFT OFF, and the Team are still dealing with the massively deadly viral epidemic unleashed by Jenny and the Faction with the intent to kill off a third of the world’s population.

Last episode, things were not looking good, at all. The Team learned from Jenny that the Director has been offline since the quantum frame debacle at the end of Season 1, and that a ton of evil Faction Travelers (stored and released by the quantum frame), are running around causing all kinds of trouble.

3 of the 5 Team members are sick with the deadly virus, leaving only Marcy and Grant unaffected, so the clock is ticking and options are slim for our favorite Traveler Team.

 

Spoilers ahead!

 

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The Team Yells At Jenny For Being Bad

 

The episode begins with Carly (finally) pointing a gun at Jenny, who tells her to “do it”, reaffirming her unpleasant personality.

Grant asks Jenny where the quantum frame is and Carly asks how many Faction Travelers have made it to the 21st century, but Jenny won’t answer anything, instead cynically spouting half-baked philosophies justifying for her actions and at the same time putting down the efforts and beliefs of all Director-led Travelers.

Jenny still doesn’t care that she’s effectively killing billions of people by being a key part of the Faction’s plan. With typical inconsistency, Jenny thinks that everyone in the 21st century deserves to die, apparently forgetting that everyone from her time necessarily comes from people alive in the 21st century.

Grant vows to Jenny that the Team will hunt down all the Faction members present in the 21st century, but Jenny tells Grant that most of his Team will be dead in two weeks, so she doesn’t really care what he does or tries to do. Silly Jenny thinks it’s impossible to stop the epidemic she started. It’s like she hasn’t even met our favorite Traveler Team.

 

The Team (plus the interloping Grace) tries to come up with a plan

 

The Team is in emergency mode, with most of their resources (like the FBI) burned and useless due to infiltration by Faction members, Grant doesn’t have any ideas.

Grace has a plan, of course, and, also of course, it’s an odd one, centered on the Director, and getting him back online.

Grace informs the Team that the Director previously sent Travelers to the 21st century when it was determined that the Grand Plan was going to take longer than initially predicted. These Travelers has been tasked with the mission of refining uranium to hide and later be found by the Director in a “few hundred years”. The Director will then use that uranium to power himself for a longer duration.

Grace’s plan is for the Team to go to those Travelers, get the uranium they’ve enriched, and hide it where the Director can find it in the future. Even though it’s not much uranium (by Director standards), the Director would be able to power on for at least a few seconds with the energy produced by the uranium available, which would apparently be enough time to fix all the current problems the Director and the Team are experiencing. I forgot that the Director was so insanely powerful.

By the way, this is where the title of the episode, “U235”, comes from. It stands for Uranium-235, an isotope of fissile uranium used in nuclear weapons, and apparently suitable for the Director’s energy need.

 

Walt is Evil Now (and was all along)

 

Walt, in case you forgot, is a Faction Traveler who was working with Grant at the FBI. Evil Faction Walt, no longer humorously bumbling around the 21st century eating donuts, goes to one of the uranium enrichment facilities, getting into the building by amusingly telling the Travelers he finds there that he has a mission transmitted to him by a Messenger that he didn’t hear very well:

“I’m sorry, guys, squeaky little kid took me by surprise when she first started talking. I missed the whole first part.”

To which the ill-fated Traveler replies, laughing:

“Yeah, messengers are weird.”

I found that really funny, because I agree. I love Messengers because they’re so weird.

Anyway, Walt then expertly kills the friendly Director-sent Travelers at the uranium production facility, and, with the help of the new National Guard Faction Travelers created by the quantum frame at the end of the last episode, steals all the uranium.

 

 

Philip and Jenny Are Going Through a Rough Patch

 

Philip is mad at Jenny, who tries to make Philip “understand” that they “both want the same thing” but just “go about it a different way”.

Jenny goes on to explain to Philip that the Faction just does whatever they want to, without protocols or any other rules, to “get the job done”.

Philip isn’t buying it, mostly because of the whole killing-billions-of-people thing, but Jenny says they’re going to die anyway, so she suggests she and Philip just “get out of here”. Philip doesn’t bite, showing where his line is. A drug-pushing chaos-monger is okay with Philip, but a mass-murdering Faction Traveler is not.

Philip gives Jenny one last chance to humanize herself by asking her if she overdosed on oxycontin out of guilt. This attempt fails miserably when Jenny responds:

“I feel no guilt, at all.”

Jenny then explains she overdosed on the pills because the virus she helped create was designed to keep the host alive as long as possible in order to maximize its spread, and that it would suck really bad to die from it.

Philip, now apparently over Jenny, responds pointedly:

“Well, now you’re gonna suffer Along with everyone else, for every last minute.”

 

Grant, Carly and Trevor Check Out the Uranium Enrichment Facility

 

Leaving Trevor in the car as support, Grant and Carly go to the door of same uranium enrichment facility we saw Walt murder people at earlier, but now there are new Travelers there, and they’re not very friendly.

One of the Travelers amateurishly identifies himself with the number of a Traveler who died six months ago, which tips the Team off that the two men in the facility are Faction Travelers.

Grant then engages in some amusing banter with the Faction Traveler:

(GRANT) “Well, I wish I could tell you the whole plan, but, you know, Protocol 2.”

(FACTION TRAVELER) “No. I don’t know. I’m gonna need more.”

“Like what? Something in writing? The Director isn’t good enough for you?”

“You could be pretending to be somebody else.”

“I am pretending to be somebody else. It’s in the job description. Are you new here?”

“No. I just don’t want to see uranium fall into the wrong hands.”

“Well, neither do we.”

Grant and Carly then pull their guns and question the Faction Travelers, who inform the Team that the uranium is long gone. Trevor enters the facility and checks to find that the Faction boys are telling the truth.

As usual, the Faction Travelers tell the Team that their efforts to do anything are completely pointless, so Grant and Carly bash them both in the face, knocking them out. This makes Carly feel better, but makes me wonder why the Team left Faction Travelers alive and free in the absence of a working Director giving them orders.

Actually, what is the plan for dealing with the many Faction Travelers aside from these two? Are the Team going to exterminate them all? Obviously, letting them run free would cause major problems, so they have to be dealt with somehow. I guess the Team will be leaving that up to the Director, providing it comes back online at some point, as per Protocol 3 (“Don’t take a life; don’t save a life, unless otherwise directed. Do not interfere.”).

 

David Cares for Sick People at a Shelter

 

David, with his heart of gold fully activated, cares for sick homeless people he knows at a shelter. He looks worried.

 

Grant and Carly Inform the Team That There Was No Uranium to be Found

 

Back at Team HQ, No-Name Traveler (apparently called “D 13 / Derek” according to IMDB credits, and played by Matthew Kevin Anderson) who unwittingly synthesized the virus and has been helping our Team since the outbreak, brings over some medical nanites (tiny robots that fix broken humans) with the intent of possibly treating the still-unconscious Boyd, and then says he needs to get back to his own team.

 

Jenny tries to trade information for the nanites, because apparently she’s “not stupid” and doesn’t want to die if the cure is right in front of her. Marcy makes it clear to Jenny that no one cares.

Grant and Carly come back from not getting uranium, and Grace starts yelling again, this time comically brandishing a muffin she was in the middle of eating.

Philip suggests they get plutonium from nuclear weapons at a nearby military base. Everyone agrees that this is their only option, so they move forward with the new plan.

 

Grant Brings Kathryn Groceries, But She Wants Answers

 

Kathryn is sick with the virus, and is worried. Grant brings Kathryn some supplies, and while he’s there, doesn’t tell her much about the virus, which she takes to be a bad sign.

Grant assures her that she just needs to worry about caring for herself, and that he is supporting the people who are working on solving the problem of the virus. Kathryn is somewhat comforted by this.

 

The Team Gets Some Kind of Device Ready

 

Philip and Trevor have made some kind of device that they worked on all night. This is in preparation for their mission to get the Director back online by dropping off some plutonium for it to find in the future.

We don’t know what this device is, but Philip says this about it:

 

“Well, the Director is programmed to broadcast an emergency signal if it’s ever powered down. Which should trigger the device and activate it.”

Okay, cool. We’ll wait and see what it’s for. Apparently, the plan they have is pretty sketchy, as Philip also says to Grant:

“Do you want me to go over a list of things that could go wrong with this plan?”

To which Grant replies:

“No, thank you.”

Jeff Keeps a Level Head, and David Is Still Helping, Worried, at the Shelter

 

David brings soup to one of the people he’s caring for at the shelter, named Bob, but he is unresponsive, very sick with the virus. David holds it together but is very saddened by the epidemic in general.

Jeff and baby are still together at their house, and Jeff calls Carly again. He said he’s getting worried, and baby is still crying incessantly.

Jeff is impressively patient here, not freaking out or going crazy. He’s actually being really mature and level-headed, in stark contrast to Season 1 Jeff who was abusive and crazy.

 

Marcy and Grace Butt Heads at Team HQ

 

Marcy is at Team HQ working on the blood anti-serum, hoping to make a cure for the virus that way, and is getting harassed by Jenny and Grace. Jenny says Marcy is a hypocrite for using her “like a lab rat” and Marcy responds simply with:

“You did this to yourself.”

Grace, sick and very impatient, yells at Marcy that the medical science she’s using is stupid and that they should just use the magic future nanites to try to cure the virus.

Marcy doesn’t want to use the nanites, but doesn’t tell Grace why, just saying she wants to see if the serum she’s making will work, first. Marcy just wants Grace to “stop talking”, which is a good idea, considering she’s “close” to being done with a potential cure to the virus. Jenny comically rolls her eyes while listening to Grace and Marcy argue.

Grace obviously doesn’t trust Marcy at all, so she goes to the bathroom to secretly program the nanites from there.

 

Most of the Team Arrive at the Military Base, Looking for Food for the Director

 

The arrival of Grant, Carly, Philip and Trevor at the military base is kind of a botched job, but it goes okay in the end.

Grant accidentally tries to enter through an exit, and he keeps telling Carly that they cannot, under any circumstances, shoot the guards if they hope to get their plutonium-filled warhead. In the end, the guards let them in and no one gets shot, for once.

 

Grace Injects Jenny With Nanites For Some Reason

 

Grace finishes secretly programming the nanites to combat the virus and, unbeknownst to Marcy, injects them into Jenny.

I guess the plan here is to see if this treatment will work and then replicate it (or re-use the nanites? can they do that?) for all the Director-sent Travelers.

 

Most of the Team Meets With Captain Garcia at the Naval Base

 

Carly is posing as FBI with Trevor and Philip posing as Center for Disease Control “Specialists”. The four Travelers meet with Captain Garcia, who was apparently ordered by someone named Vice Admiral Donahue (either a Traveler or someone the Travelers hacked and then posed as) to give Grant a warhead. Grant’s badge says “Maclaven” instead of “Maclaren”.

Captain Garcia is very curious, suspicious, and sick with the virus. She doesn’t buy any of what she’s being told by the Team, but says her “orders are clear”, and so gives up on getting answers to her questions and gives them the warhead.

 

David is Sad and Tired

 

David sits forlornly in the shelter as paramedics carry his friend Bob out on a stretcher.

David, ever the innocent, can’t believe that people are taking advantage of the epidemic by looting stores. Another person working at the shelter tells David he should go home, and David complies, walking slowly through the deserted streets.

 

The Team Heads Back “Home” With Their New Warhead

 

The Team drive to an abandoned Canadian mine where they plan to plant the beacon device they made the night before and the warhead they just obtained from Captain Garcia.

As they drive, Grant expresses regret that he didn’t swing “that friggin’ axe“, referring to the moment at the end of Season 1 when he almost destroyed the quantum frame with an axe, but was stopped by pre-Traveler Walt. Obviously, if he had destroyed the quantum frame at that point in time, this whole epidemic and influx of Faction Travelers would have been avoided.

The rest of the Team doesn’t blame him, or even Philip also expresses regret for being a key part of the virus being made, but no one blames him, either.

Grant remarks that the Team is “almost home” and points a signpost showing that they’re about to enter Canada.

The Team has arrived at their destination, and, lugging their warhead and beacon device, climbs around in the Canadian mountains, remarking that the entire area was (will be?) covered in a kilometer of ice in their future. Trevor also points out where “the domes” (presumably where the Travelers lived in the future) will be built.

It sounds like it was so cold in the Travelers’ future that people couldn’t even exit the domes, as Philip says he never saw them from the outside.

The Team, still toting the warhead and beacon device, makes it to an abandoned mine tunnel, and goes inside it.

 

Grace’s Nanite Plan Goes Wrong

 

As a result of the nanite injection given to her by Grace, Jenny suddenly cannot breathe, and Grace is forced to admit to Marcy that she injected Jenny with the nanites.

When Grace explains what she programmed the nanites to do, Marcy, while frantically treating the distressed Jenny, yells at Grace, telling her that the even the special programming Grace used on the nanites can’t work with this particular virus. This is due to the fact that the Faction, of course, planned against nanite treatments.

Grace, finally listening to reason, turns off the nanites. Deactivating the nanites apparently breaks them permanently, making them useless for any potential further treatment purposes. Whoops. Grace is very arrogant, so hopefully she’ll learn an important lesson here: She doesn’t know everything.

While yelling at Grace, Marcy brings up her memory reset from Season 1, and that Grace “left out some things”. Last episode, Carly brought up to Marcy that the memory reset may have been against Marcy’s will. To recap, Marcy wasn’t sure she wanted her memory erased (even though she would die otherwise), because then she would lose all memory of David.

Grace responds:

“This is what you want to talk about when we’re all dying?”

They leave it at that for now, but I expect this to come back around very soon, and for Marcy to be even more upset when she finds out the truth.

 

The Team Runs Into Evil Walt in the Abandoned Mine Tunnel

 

Oh no! Walt surprises Grant, Carly and Philip in the mine tunnel, and his Evil Faction National Guard Soldier Travelers take their warhead with no resistance.

Meanwhile, Trevor is in a different part of the mine, activating and placing the beacon device he and Philip made the night before.

Walt yells at the Team about how stupid the Director is, and how stupid they therefore are by association. When Walt turns to leave, he politely thanks the Team:

“Thanks for the plutonium. We’ll make sure to put it to good use.”

Well, that sounds very sinister. No worries, however, because in response, Grant clarifies something:

“Plutonium? What You think we brought a nuclear warhead in here?”

Walt turns, surprised, and is told by the Team that all the whole plan to get plutonium from the Naval Base was a trick.

What the Team actually obtained from the Naval Base was a conventional (non-nuclear) warhead. Walt’s men took the warhead at the beginning of this interaction and are somewhere far away down the mine tunnels by now, so Grant signals Carly, who then pulls out a detonator and hits the button. This causes an explosion somewhere in the tunnel from the warhead detonation, blowing up the all the men transporting it.

A gunbattle between the Team and Walt’s remaining Faction Traveler Soldiers now ensues. The Team takes cover behind a minecart, shooting all the Faction Travelers as Walt makes a run for it. The soldiers apparently don’t match their uniforms, as the Team easily takes them all down without any casualties of their own.

Once all the soldiers are down, Grant chases Walt out of the mine and corners him on the edge of a cliff.

Trevor successfully places the activated beacon device in the mine tunnel and runs out with the rest of the Team.

Grant, holding Walt gunpoint on the edge of a cliff,  is about to execute Walt. All of a sudden, a familiar high-pitched ringing sound is heard, and Walt clutches his head, screaming. An also-familiar countdown timer appears on the screen, and we know that Evil Walt is about to be no more.

At the same time, we see Jenny at Team HQ going through the same process, which means Evil Jenny is going away forever as well.

 

The Director is Back, Baby!

 

Walt 3.0 finishes going through the Traveler transmission process and, finding himself held at gunpoint by Grant. hurriedly explains that the beacon device plan worked, and tells them everything that happened in the future that led to this moment:

“I’m Traveler 4991.

 

It worked.

 

The Director’s back up and running. The cure has been sent to the 21st.

 

The encrypted beacon on the device activated Almost the moment power to the Director was cut off.

 

It took some time for us to find and recover it, but we got to it without them knowing.

 

Even when we broke through, the energy source was only capable of powering the Director for three seconds.

 

Enough time for the Director to reroute the power to itself through the network, cut off the Faction’s access to the reactor, design the cure to win the war.”

 

Okay, hold on. What “worked”? If you think you’ve missed something here, you’re not alone. The beacon device and its purpose were never fully explained.

I combed through the episode to see if I missed something, but I couldn’t find any explanation as to why the Team didn’t need uranium or plutonium to power the Director after all.

Remember, they failed to get uranium because Walt stole it, and plutonium was never on the table because “never in a million years” could the Team get a nuclear warhead from the Naval Base.

So what exactly is the beacon device that Philip and Trevor stayed up all night to construct?

Did they get radioactive material from another source off-screen and not mention it in order to preserve the surprise of fooling Walt and the Faction?

Did they still have some dark matter left over from Season 1?

Did I forget something else that the Team could have used to power the Director for 3 seconds that could remain viable in a tunnel for a few hundred years?

Will this ever be explained? I don’t know. I’m sure there’s an explanation, and a reason why it was left out of the episode. Let’s wait and see.

 

After Walt finishes explaining everything, the Team calls to check in with their respective family members. Grant finally picks up on a call from Kathryn and tells her that he’s got a cure coming to her ASAP. Carly calls Jeff but receives no response and tearfully tells the Team that he isn’t picking up. I think Carly is worried about more than just baby, and is really warming up to Jeff.

A helicopter is then heard above the Team, is magically just there (through the power of the Director, no doubt) to transport them back home as fast as possible. It’s good to have the Director back.

 

The Cure is Produced and Goes Wide

 

Marcy, still at Team HQ treating Boyd, Jenny and Grace, gets the formulation of the cure to the virus on her magic Traveler computer and gets to work.

Grant rushes to Kathryn and gives her the cure injection himself, saying it “works fast”, and Carly does the same for Jeff and baby.

Marcy barges into David’s apartment with another cure injection, but upon giving him a checkup, sees that he was immune to the virus all along.

David is still sad about his bad day at the shelter, but tells Marcy he was thinking of her. After finding David physically well, Marcy immediately has to leave to treat her other patients, but gives David the cure injection (originally meant for him) to administer to his friend Bob who collapsed at the shelter earlier in the episode.

Marcy promises to come back later, and tells David not to “wait up” as she leaves the apartment. David, excited that Marcy is back in his life and his apartment, says to himself:

“Yeah, I probably will.”

The Mood Has Improved at Team HQ

 

Marcy goes back to Team HQ to check on all her Traveler patients there. Everyone is doing well, including Boyd.

Philip tells Marcy that the cure has been given to the Centers for Disease Control and the World Health Organization, who have set up treatment centers and are producing and distributing the cure on a massive scale, solving the entire epidemic. The new Jenny (3.0) is co-ordinating deliveries of the cure.

There is a knock at the door, and Marcy opens it to reveal a little boy. We all know what that means, but we’ll have to wait until the next episode to hear what the little guy says. This is the first Director-sent Messenger we’ve seen all season, so this should be interesting.

 

Final Thoughts

 

Walt and Jenny 3.0 Are Here

I’m excited about this. A new Jenny and a new Walt have arrived and replaced their evil Faction predecessors. It will be fun to see what the new characters are like, and it’s also fun that they won’t be evil, at least by Traveler standards.

All Any Relationship Needs is a Deadly Virus, Apparently

It seems like a massive epidemic was all that Marcy and David needed to rekindle their relationship. This will no doubt cause problems at the hospital with the doctor that Marcy went on one date with, and probably also with David’s ex-girlfriend who eats cotton balls.

Either way, I’ll be happy if the Marcy-pining-after-David period is over and they can get on with things.

Grant’s Relationship with Kathryn and Carly’s relationship with Jeff will also probably benefit from the virus. There was a lot of care expressed on all sides during this and the previous episode, and that’s a good thing.

The Team Needs to Find the Quantum Frame Filled With Faction Travelers

The Team still doesn’t know where the quantum frame is, and they need to find it. Expect this to come up again, soon.

The Director is Back, and Has a Message for the Team

I’m really glad that the Director is back. This should change things, a lot. I wonder what the rest of the season will be like now that it’s back in operation. The missions and the morale of the Team should be significantly improved, or at least different.

We’ll find out how it’s going to go next episode, when we will presumably hear what that little Messenger boy has to say.

 

Read our other Travelers Season 2 Recaps and Analyses here