THIS WAS ONE OF MY FAVORITE EPISODES OF TRAVELERS, but it’s also pretty unpleasant.
Last episode, one of the key agents of the Faction was destroyed, the quantum frame was finally dealt with, and we got to meet the Director, in… persons. With all that taken care of, you might think the Team is on an uptrend. Well, sometimes it seems that the Team loses as much as they win.
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Philip Finally Gets an Update
THIS EPISODE BEGINS WITH PHILIP ENTERING A MOVIE THEATER. A theater which is apparently populated entirely by Travelers. Philip, carrying a bag of pills, sits down in a seat marked “3326”, his Traveler number.
An occupant of a nearby seat asks Philip if it’s his “first time”, (he confirms it is
A man walks in front of the audience and explains why all these particular Travelers have been called here. I’m including his statement in its entirety because it’s pretty important:
“Good evening, Historians. Welcome to Regional Update 4. I’m Traveler A-26 of the archivist program.
If this is your first time, please take a moment to look inside the bag you were provided on the way in.
The two green pills are to be taken immediately following the update. It’s important that we restore any chemical imbalances in the brain.
The yellow pills you will need going forward. From time to time, you may perceive what we call “projections” visual manifestations of one or more alternate timelines, an unavoidable side-effect of memory not acquired by conventional means.
The yellow pills will help to focus your sensory perception on one timeline at a time. When you run out, call this number to arrange for more.”
“Next, Protocol 2H the update is not to be discussed with anyone. Ever. Do not break this protocol.
This update will include historical information relevant to your team’s role in the Grand Plan, including potential candidates, investments, etc.
But by its very nature, your update may also include historical information about your team members, loved ones. About you. This is a burden you will have to carry with you until the day you die a date which, for obvious reasons, will be omitted from your update.
Any questions? Let’s begin.”
Throughout this introduction to the update, Philip looks dubiously at the pills, as well as at his nearby fellow Traveler. Apparently, he was not previously aware of much of the information he’s being given here. We don’t know how Philip originally acquired all the historical information he came into the 21st century with, or how he remembers it with such computer-like clarity, but we can deduce that whatever Historian training Philip has had, it hasn’t ever been like this before
Traveler A-26 leaves, and a voice over the theater speakers says:
“Open memory chain 1A.”
The “update”, an ever-changing series of overlapping differently-colored Traveler symbols projected onto the movie screen, begins.
All the Travelers in the audience watch intently, apparently mentally converting the code they’re seeing into events, unfolding as if before their very eyes. Once the upload is complete, Philip cries, looking as if he has just finished watching his friends die. Actually, he probably did see exactly that.
Now we know what all that “open memory chain” business was from Season 2 Ep. 4. The Faction was aware that Philip was able to download very detailed information if they spoke the right words to him, so Jenny, a Faction agent, essentially hacked him in order to obtain their evil formula for the synthesis of the virus that almost killed billions of people.
Jeff Makes Breakfast
Jeff prepares Carly a very pretty breakfast, including fruit and scones, carefully arranged for aesthetic appeal He wants her to take five minutes to partake, which normally wouldn’t be a lot to ask of someone, but you know. It’s Carly.
Kathryn Gets a Big Job
Some big-time restaurant owners choose Kathryn to design their new restaurant, but Kathryn is worried the baby would interfere with that. Grant sets her mind at ease, saying he’ll help with the baby and that she should take the job if she wants it. She happily says she will. Grant is getting pretty good at this relationship stuff.
Philip’s Update Immediately Comes in Handy
Philip uses his new update knowledge to win not one, but two lotteries. Because of Protocol 2-H, Philip is unable to tell the Team where he got the information, saying he got it from a Messenger instead of telling them the truth, He gives one winning ticket to Carly and gives the winning numbers of another lottery to Marcy, telling her it will win her “sixty-two”, to which Marcy amusingly responds:
“62 dollars doesn’t sound like very much.”
It’s really funny that Marcy has no idea how money works. Philip clears up the misunderstanding, telling Marcy that it’s actually $62,000, not $62. Marcy says “Oh.”.
Philip tells the Team that though these winnings will not get their out of their financial crisis, he can use the money to win horse-race bets which will get them well on their way to being independently wealthy again. Philip then explains that Marcy and Carly can’t win the jackpot for either lottery because historically, other people are supposed to win and ruin their lives with the prize money. Yikes.
The ever-thoughtful Trevor seems a bit suspicious of Philip’s story that all this information came from a Messenger, but Philip curtly shuts him down, saying:
“The messenger gave me very detailed instructions. We’re good.”
Marcy and David Hang Out
Marcy and David do some Tai chi together in a park. They both enjoy it, and
David tells Marcy that he always plays the lottery when the jackpot gets really big, even though “any size jackpot” would “change his life”. As Marcy writes her numbers down, David buys himself a ticket while looking at Marcy’s, appearing to be copying her numbers for his own ticket. Uh oh.
Trevor Learns a Terrible Truth
Trevor approaches Kyle (Dylan Playfair), a fellow student on his high school, who stands
“Same reason you did.”
Trevor assumes that Kyle means he quit due to a concussion, the original reason Trevor cited for quitting the football team. Kyle gets upset when Trevor says this
“Don’t try to tell me that you don’t remember what he did to us because of your concussions. Nobody forgets #### like that.”
Trevor immediately realizes what’s going on here: His host body, and Kyle
“Maybe I just don’t like to think about it.”
This gives us some insight into possible factors influencing Trevor 1.0’s rage and bullying. He was molested by the football coach.
Trevor and Kyle are interrupted when Trevor spots that Rick Hall (Louis Ferreira) and Luca (Douglas Chapman), two troublemaker Travelers from Season 1, have pulled up in a black muscle car in front of his high school. In case you forgot, last we saw these two was in Season 1 Ep. 4
Kyle, not interested in hanging out with these people, leaves, and Trevor comms Grant to let him know that Hall and Luca are out of prison early. After some light Grant-mocking on Hall’s part (“give my regards to the boy-scout”), he and Luca drive away, the nature of their visit still a complete mystery to all.
Grant is confused by the Hall visit, and as he is at the FBI building, does a search on them to see what’s what.
Carly and Philip Get Super Awkward
Carly drops off her lottery winnings to Philip at Ops, revealing that she has already used some of the money to fix up her van and buy baby some new shoes, something Philip isn’t too pleased about
Cash handoff complete, Philip decides to try to make conversation with Carly about her personal life:
“How is all that going, by the way? You and Jeff and the baby? Is it working out?”
“Are you developing a thing for me?”
Philip is, understandably, caught off-guard, and denies this allegation vehemently. Except, after a brief pause, Philip awkwardly adds:
“I mean, don’t get me wrong, I think you’re very attractive.”
This doesn’t help, and after the pair mutually agrees the interaction they’re having is “weird”, they part ways. This conversation was so awkward, in fact, that Philip appears to be physically pained by it as Carly leaves.
I suspect that Philip was just trying to connect with his friend after his traumatic (and secret) upload experience, with no ulterior motives at all. Carly is starting to have feelings for Jeff, and apparently really doesn’t want to admit it to anyone, instead opting to say nothing about her home life at all.
Trevor and Kyle Box, and Talk
Trevor gets some pads and runs boxing drills with Kyle, using the opportunity to talk to him about the abuse he suffered at the hands of the villainous football coach.
Kyle is emotionally pained and a bit resistant, but Trevor succeeds in convincing him to report the coach to the proper authorities. Trevor says:
“What if it’s still going on with other players?”
“Man, you know it is.”
The two agree on a plan to report the coach together.
It’s interesting how Trevor is able to influence people as his way-too-mature-to-be-a-kid self. He comfortably, confidently, kindly guides people, and they respond to it. This is executed in a surprisingly convincing way, and very well-acted,
Something Goes Wrong with Grant and Kathryn’s Baby
Grant gets home just in time to hear Kathryn calling for help from the bathroom. It doesn’t sound good, and when Grant rushes around the corner, our worse fears are confirmed: Kathryn is bleeding.
Grant rushes Kathryn to the hospital, where the medical professionals take over.
Trevor Enlists Grace’s Help
Grace approaches Trevor by the lockers at school, informing him that she has read her employee manual and is now “ready to guide the #### out of these pubescent brats”.
Trevor says he need Grace’s help with something. From Grace’s expression, it’s obvious that she knows it’s something serious.
As I hoped, Grace has found new purpose after her traumatic trial in the last episode. Actually, I was hoping she’d be given a mission, but this works too.
Luca Approaches Marcy
Luca tracks Marcy down, finds her walking down the street, and approaches her. Marcy, of course, doesn’t recognize him.
In case you forgot, Marcy performed surgery on Luca after he was shot in Season 1 Ep. 4. After surgery, Luca re-opens his wound by experiencing night-terrors, Marcy sees the night-terrors
Luca really likes this idea, so he’s here, fresh out of prison, to talk with Marcy about it. Marcy doesn’t remember anything about any of this, as it all happened to her pre-reset.
After Luca catches her up on everything, Marcy tries to back Luca off the sibling idea a bit, saying there’s no way they can know for sure if they’re actually related.
Before they can get any further, Grant interrupts them via comm, telling the Team that Kathryn is in the hospital. We briefly see Philip sitting alone at Ops, listening with his head in his hands, obviously burdened by the knowledge that all this trouble was coming.
Marcy abruptly leaves Luca, on her way to the hospital to see if she can help Kathryn and the baby.
David Wins the Lottery
David sits at home, eating cereal
“Marcy, I won the lottery! 6 numbers out of 7! That’s 31 $31,000! Isn’t that freaking amazing? It would have been $62,000, but someone else won the lottery.”
David quickly remembers that he copied Marcy’s numbers, and what that means:
“Because I took your numbers! You won the lottery, too! Congratulations! Wait I mean, that means I took half your money. I mean, that’s like… That’s like cheating. Yeah, you know what, I should just give it to you. So That’s what I’m going to do.
But, I mean, what are the chances that your numbers would be picked any more than my mine, right?”
Hilariously, David’s heart of gold kicks in here with full force, and he experiences immediate regret for even thinking of keeping the money he has won:
“…did you hear the greed in my voice? Because I sure did. I mean, I may as well have just come out and said “That money’s mine!” This is how money ruins people.
I think I’m going to be sick.”
In his usual fashion, David abruptly hangs up the phone and leaves, probably to do something good.
Trevor and Grace Encounter Coach Perry
Trevor calls Kyle as he and Grace wait for his arrival by the lockers, but Kyle’s not picking up. Apparently. the plan was to report Coach Perry to guidance-counselor-Grace together, but Kyle has not shown up as they had agreed. Grace makes a good point on the sudden and extreme gravity of the situation:
“You know, for my first actual case as a guidance counselor, you could have eased me into it.”
The two are then approached by the infamous Coach Perry himself, with a football-player student (Conner, played by Chris Cormier) in tow. Coach Perry loudly asks Trevor to come back to the football team, but Trevor says nothing, staring straight into his eyes (or maybe his soul). Coach Perry looks a bit frightened by this
Conner, watching this strange interaction take place, tries his own luck, also asking Trevor to come back to the team. Trevor still doesn’t say a word, and From the look in Connor’s eyes, it appears he understands why, and why Trevor may not be a Coach Perry fan. The camera then emphasizes Perry’s hand on Connor’s should, so it appears that he is yet another of Coach Perry’s abuse victims.
Coach Perry and Connor leave, and Grace asks Trevor why he didn’t “deal with him right then and there”. Trevor explains that he was trying to spare Connor undue suffering:
“Not in front of the kid. It’s going to be hard enough on him as it is.”
Kyle is Having Problems
We see Kyle sitting in his car, drinking from a bottle of liquor, looking at missed phone calls from Trevor. This isn’t looking good.
Carly and Jeff Work Out (and Dance) Together
Carly and Jeff exercise together, and it seems that under Carly’s rigorous training, Jeff has gotten into pretty good shape, no longer gasping for air. As they enjoy what is no-doubt a Philip-curated playlist, Jeff starts to dance. Carly, smiling and a bit embarrassed at first, at Jeff’s encouragement, eventually joins in.
The two dance
The baby cries, bringing the pair back down to earth, and Carly leaves without a word. Jeff seems to realize that he’s made a lot of progress with Carly, and this makes him very happy.
Marcy Joins Grant at the Hospital
Marcy checks on Kathryn at the hospital, then informs Grant that she is receiving the best possible care
Grant asks why the magic future-medicine they’ve been giving Kathryn hasn’t worked, and Marcy explains that medicine, even
Grant accepts this
Philip Goes to a Narcotics Anonymous Meeting and Loses His Mind
Philip speaks at an NA meeting, telling everyone there that he has a secret:
“I know the future. I know what’s going to happen. Global events. Deaths. Winners of horse races.
It was all recently delivered to me like a movie. And mostly, it’s the same future that I remember, but there are differences.
You all think I’m crazy right now, but it’s true.
For example, I know that somebody in this room has very recently been diagnosed with cancer and has decided to ignore it. As if ignoring the problem is going to make it go away. Because there is only a 50/50 chance that the treatment will work. And they’re afraid of going through the pain of chemotherapy for nothing.”
Philip cries with a profound sadness as he reveals all, and we see the other attendees of the meeting have begun to react to what he’s saying. Including Colin (played by Ken Dresen), the leader of the group. From Colin’s reaction, I can assume he is the one Philip is referring to
“And the truth is, I don’t know whether this person is going to live or die if they decide to get treatment.
I only know for certain that without it…”
Philip is interrupted by a distant voice saying his name, a voice that progressively gets clearer until Philip snaps out of whatever just happened to him. The others in the group confirm that, at least in this timeline, Philip stopped talking after he
Philip doesn’t repeat what he said, but is comforted by Colin, who tells him “We’ve all been there”. Philip smiles at his kindness, knowing that they have all definitely not been there, at all.
Hall Gets Even More Sketchy
Grant leaves the unconscious Kathryn’s room to get coffee, and a nurse wearing a surgical mask sneaks in behind him.
The mystery nurse bends over Kathryn with a syringe, injecting its contents into Kathryn’s IV line. Immediately after the injection is complete, a “Recorded Time of Death 03:06” appears on the screen. It appears that, for some reason, this nurse is attempting to kill Kathryn and the baby. The time of death clock is not yet counting down, however.
Grant, coffee run complete, arrives back at Kathryn’s room just in time to see the nurse leave
“What did you do?”
Obviously, Grant is thinking that Hall did something malevolent to Kathryn, a suspicion that appears to be confirmed moments later as alarms go off in the hospital, “code blue!” is called out, and staff begins to run past Grant and Hall toward Kathryn’s room.
Grant stares at Hall, waiting for an explanation, but Hall doesn’t clear anything up, saying only:
“Go be with her.”
Grant opts to follow Hall’s advice instead of immediately attacking him, but comms Philip for backup.
Kyle Drives While Inebriated
Kyle, still drinking, drives his SUV recklessly, blowing through stop signs, and finally calls Trevor back. Kyle says he’s ready to report Coach Perry, but Trevor detects that Kyle is drunk, and urges him to pull over immediately. Kyle says he’s “fine”, but Trevor repeatedly asks where Kyle is, intent upon reaching him before tragedy
We then Kyle sitting at a stop sign, impatiently drumming his thumbs against his steering wheel. Luca sits in a car nearby, and we see Trevor approaching on his bike, pedaling as fast as he can.
A time-of-death clock appears on the screen, and we see that Trevor is too late. Kyle grabs his head and screams.
Luca and Trevor both approach Kyle’s vehicle
“There’s something wrong with this host.”
A truck (no doubt the historical cause of Kyle’s death) blows past, directly in front of the group. It’s now that Trevor realizes what happened, and he’s upset. His friend Kyle is dead, replaced by Traveler 5532. Wow, these Traveler numbers are getting really high.
Luca, who, unlike Trevor, was briefed on all of this, greets Kyle 2.0 and informs him that his host is fine, just drunk. Maybe they don’t have alcoholic beverages in the future.
David Gives all of His Lottery Money Away
David makes his way, as if on a mission, through rainy streets, giving envelopes of money to his various homeless friends and clients. He is overjoyed to be able to help them in a way he has never before been able to, and they’re very grateful.
Trevor Enlists Philip’s Help with the Coach Perry Problem
Trevor rushes to Ops and asks Philip if he has any historical data on Coach Perry. Philip does, saying that eventually Coach Perry will be arrested for his heinous crimes against children, but that it won’t happen anytime soon.
Trevor tells Philip that they need to take Perry down, now, and Philip cautions against “vigilante missions”, which have personally caused both he and Trevor problems in the past.
Trevor informs Philip that his host had been abused by Perry in the past
Philip says he had no idea, which means that Trevor’s host was never officially named as a victim even after Perry’s arrest, probably due to his much-earlier historical death.
Trevor starts to tell Philip about Kyle, but, due to the update, Philip already knows about Kyle’s designation as a host candidate. Trevor understands why Philip couldn’t tell him about Kyle ahead of time, and so do I, especially considering Trevor’s history of wanting (or even trying) to save host candidates from death, as he did with Grace Day.
Trevor tells Philip that he considers Perry to be the cause of Kyle’s death, but the two are interrupted by a knock on the door.
The Doctor Gives Grant Very Very Bad News
The doctor finally explains to Grant what happened with Kathryn and the baby, and it’s not good news. Kathryn had a blood clot that almost killed her, and while the doctors saved Kathryn, the baby died
Grant rushes out of the hospital while
Grant and Hall Talk it Out
Grant bursts into Ops to kill Hall, and is held back by the Team (plus Luca). As Grant struggles, accuses Hall of killing his baby
“The Director was the one who sent me! I was on a mission.”
“The child was never going to survive. It was never supposed to.”
“My mission was to save your wife.”
“Kathryn MacLaren was going to die of an undiagnosed coronary embolism that stopped her heart during the delivery of her stillborn child.
The Director ordered me to give her a traveler-synthesized drug to eliminate the clot so that she would survive, because she wasn’t supposed to die.
Because you broke Protocol 4.”
By the time Hall finishes his explanation, the wind has completely gone out of Grant’s sails. Anger dissipated, Grant is now simply devastated by the grief of losing his child. Hall makes it clear that he blames Grant for all this, then reminds him of how lucky he is to still have Kathryn.
Hall then unceremoniously switches topics, deciding that now would be a good time to bring up how Grant got him arrested in Season 1. Grant tells Hall:
“The Director obviously agreed with me or you wouldn’t have gone to prison.”
Hall, surprisingly, agrees with this, and Grant leaves for the hospital to be with Kathryn.
Grant arrives at Kathryn’s hospital room, finding her conscious. Kathryn tearfully tells Grant that their poor baby was a girl, and the two tearfully embrace. 🙁
Family Time For the Shannon Family
Carly gets home to find Jeff trying to get baby to sleep, and they all sit together on the sofa. Carly wants to hear the story of baby’s birth from Jeff’s perspective. In other words, Carly wants to hear about the birth of her that she wasn’t present for. Things are going really well for these three, which is pretty surprising, considering where they started off in the series.
Trevor Confronts Coach Perry, Finally
Trevor walks into Perry’s office and gets right down to business, telling the surprised Perry:
“You’re going to come clean.”
“You’re going to come forward to the police and you’re going to detail all that you’ve done.”
“Do it on your on volition and face the consequences, or it’ll be done for you.”
“Those are your only two options.”
Perry isn’t phased, at first feigning ignorance, then quickly turning his evil setting up to 11, telling Trevor he’s not going to turn himself in, that no one will believe the allegations (because he’s a “bad kid”), that he’s going to “keep his mouth shut”, and ends with a threatening “Don’t push me, kid.”
Trevor tells Perry he’s not threatened by him. As he rises to go, Trevor briefly pauses, then, right in front of Perry, says one of my favorite lines of the series:
“Release the materials.“
We now hear that Trevor was on comm with Philip throughout this unpleasant interaction as Philip instantly responds with an: “On it.”
This seems to freak Perry out a bit:
“Release the materials?” What the hell is that supposed to mean?”
Trevor ignores Perry, thanking Philip as he leaves the school building. Philip explains that he was happy to help, explaining:
“All we did was accelerate what was going to happen anyway. Freak had whole hard drives of incriminating ####.”
I guess that’s okay with the Director, then? Either way, good enough for me.
Back at Ops, Philip hits “send” on an email titled “Carson Perry Evidence” (containing a zip file) from “anonymous” to the FBI, the school board, and the local police. That should do the trick.
Back in Perry’s office, the phone starts ringing off the hook, texts start flying onto Perry’s cell phone, and emails begin to pour in on his computer screen. People are obviously not happy
Perry keeps repeating “oh, no” as he sees his doom unfolding before him, but instead of fleeing, he just sits down in his chair. I kind of expected fleeing.
David Tells Marcy About the “Best Day of His Life”
Marcy arrives at David’s apartment, and we see that David has returned from his day of giving away money. David asks Marcy if she’s upset that he “cheated”, and she responds:
“No, of course not. I’m happy for you. You must be thrilled.”
“Yeah! Yeah. It’s all gone.”
David says he wouldn’t have felt right about keeping the money Marcy would have won (had he not copied her numbers), and, knowing she wouldn’t take it back, decided to just give it away. David is incredibly happy, describing his day of giving as “the best day of his life”, and mentioning that someone called him “Saint Francis”.
David goes on to describe how he paid for dental work for Jason, bought Margery a walker, and got Steve a scooter to enable him to commute to his new job.
Marcy is pretty shocked. I wonder if part of that shock is because she believes that David may be significantly changing the future. He’s giving previously-destitute people a real chance to change their lives dramatically. Obviously, that’s his intention, and it may actually work. Normally, this would be a great thing, but for Travelers, it usually wouldn’t be. Maybe we’ll find out more about this later.
David went a little crazy with giving things away, even gifting his bike to a friend with the plan to buy a new one for himself. However, in his generosity mania, David forgot this plan and now has no bike, or any money to buy a new one.
Marcy tells David she’s going to “pay off some debts” with her money
Hall and Luca Pick Up Kyle 2.0
Kyle 2.0 is apparently the newest member of Hall’s Traveler Team
“Always a call away. Luca”
Luca is really into the idea of Marcy being his sister. I hope it works out for them.
Philip Experiences Some Weird Update Side-Effects
Philip sits in ops watching a news broadcast, now able to confidently recite the newscaster’s words, perfectly in sync. Hurray! Philip is back! Back, but not without some caveats, as we see Philip’s vision
We can deduce that this was an alternate possible timeline, one where Hall didn’t save Kathryn. We know this because
Philip realizes what’s going on and rushes to his desk, looking for the yellow pills he received pre-update. As Philip looks at them, the pills disappear just as the Team did moments before. Philip waits a few moments, and the bottle re-appears again, allowing him to grab the bottle and swallow a pill, something he does as fast as possible. Philip then sits, staring into space. This is going to take some getting used to, for sure.
Philip is going to probably experience some problems with the update side effects, Kathryn and Grant are grieving and will hopefully be able to get through it with minimal devastation, and Carly seems to be doing great.
I’m really glad Philip got an update, and that we continue to receive clues about the nature of Historians.
This was a great episode, I feel that the cast and crew really outdid themselves this time. The acting was excellent, the tragedy very painful, the story unpredictable, and the dialogue on point. We’re getting close to the end of the season, and I’m excited that anything could happen at this point.