Journeyman is at a crossroads, both in the show and on the network. The network apparently wants to see some big Nielsen numbers with this two-part episode, and I hope they get that (although it’s ridiculous if they don’t take DVD and downloaded viewings into consideration.) And on the show, Dan did something that seemed like a really good thing — and it may have messed up everyone’s lives. Both issues will be resolved next week — I hope positively.

Spoilers from the past threaten our future!

A quick disclaimer — my TiFaux ate the episode after viewing (yes, I recorded it — sorry, folks, it’s my job), so I can’t go back and check my facts. If I got anything wrong (I’m not certain about the bad guy’s name, for example), correct me in the comments.

Dan is tracking Emily, a girl who disappeared in 1992 and was never found. Well, Dan found her-bricked in behind a wall in an abandoned building, which Dan discovers when he’s transported into the middle of a rave. Ah, the 90s…. She’d been kidnapped by Bennett, a psycho real estate developer. As if overrunning the city with condos wasn’t evil enough!

Dan saves Emily, but somehow, this means that Bennett will kidnap — and kill — again. Dan isn’t too happy with that, and vows to stop it, even though Livia warns him that straying from the job can have unintended consequences. Dan doesn’t want to hear it — saving kidnapped girls trumps potential consequences in the future!

It also trumps rotten feelings toward Jack — he calls Jack for help. At first Jack is dismissive — he’s telling his doctor girlfriend that Dan’s hallucinating ,and she suggests he should be forced to go see a shrink. But later, Dan gives Jack details about that "counterfeit" bill he almost got caught for back in the 90s — and he gives Jack some details that start to convince him maybe, just maybe, he’s telling the truth. Jack’s not completely on board yet, but he’s willing to do a little checking into Bennett’s past. Dan saw Bennett getting all excited about early chat rooms — the perfect place to troll for victims! — and Jack finds out one of the victims was an early devotee of chat rooms. That’s enough to get Jack on Dan’s side.

Dan and Livia keep going back in time to help out Emily — they save her from an abusive pusher guy, and keep her from being arrested for dealing — but Dan isn’t happy keeping just her safe. He uses the information Jack gathered about Bennett’s condo developments to figure out what building Bennett would be working on at that time, and rushes out to confront him there. He finds and saves another girl — Michaela — and goes back to the future, happy that all is right with the world.

Except it’s not. Sure, the kids are safe, but Bennett went to jail before Dan got around to asking Jack about Bennett in our present. That means Jack still doesn’t believe him, and wants Dan to go in for a psych evaluation. Even worse, Bennett is out of jail now, and he’s stalking Dan and the family. This isn’t going to be good.

Family life itself ain’t great. Zack is acting out — getting in fights in school, disobeying his parents, kind of being a brat — and it’s because he’s afraid for Dan. He even gets a headache and then disappears, which leads Dan and Katie on a desperate search for him. Dan finds him hiding under the sink — he just wanted to disappear for Dan would save him. Ouch. Dan’s heart breaks a little (so does mine) and he resolves to spend more quality time with the boy.

But that’s  not the end of his problems. The Feds are still sniffing around. After Hugh refuses to divulge Dan’s sources, the Feds just call up all his call and search records ("Isn’t that what you people do nowadays?" says Hugh.) the Fed starts to see who he’s searched for — and looks like he might be figuring something out. Hmm.

Highlights and odds and ends:

  • Oh, poor Zack. That kid is going to be messed up.
  • Livia at the rave made me laugh. Yeah, coming from 1948 to the early 90s is enough to make you ingest happy pills dance with glow sticks, I guess. What was everyone else’s excuse?
  • So, your husband shows up with handcuffs from the past, and you’ve got to get them off. Where do you go? In San Francisco, you make a quick trip to the nearest sex shop. God, I love that city.
  • Hugh and the Feds sparring made my little heart go pitter-pat. What can I say? I’m a sucker for journalists snarking in defense of civil rights. Ah, Hugh — if you were a little younger, and less fictional, you’d totally be meant for me.
  • Jack calls Katie’s phone while she, Dan and Zack are bonding. When he refuses to take no for an answer, she tells Dan "Jack’s on the phone. He’s… being Jack." Even when he’s helping, Jack’s a bit of an abrasive guy, isn’t he?
  • Do you buy that the obsessed Fed is looking into the old hijacking? I don’t. I figure this has something to do with what Langley said about men with guns wanting to control a power like Dan’s. Hmmm.
  • I’m not convinced that Jack’s doctor girlfriend is totally benign either. Is she working with the government? With someone else? Or am I just being paranoid?

Speaking of paranoia — did you get friends to watch? Are you hopeful about the ratings? I have to admit, I’m a little concerned — it wasn’t the easiest episode for a newbie to jump in on. Oh well — I live in hope. With any luck, more folks tuned in tonight, and more still will tune in next week. It’s a good show, and I’d hate to see it get booted from the schedule.

What do you think is up with Bennett, the evil guy? Was there something important that he needed to do in the run-up to the present (besides the kidnapping and killing, of course)? Are the Powers That Cause Time-Unstuckness punishing Dan for going off-script — or because he somehow mess up their shot at a sweet condo with a view of the Bay?

Posted by:Sarah Jersild