First, the good news: It looks like we get at least one more episode of Journeyman, although it’s still up in the air whether the final episode filmed before the strike will make it onto TV. Dan finally gets his own good news, too — but he has to go through hell to get it.

I’ll have a spoiler sandwich.

So, you know how Livia warned Dan that things could get ugly if he deviated from the mission? He gets proof this week, as Bennett, the psycho kidnapper Dan put in jail in the past last week  shows up at Dan’s present abode with vengeance on his mind. He shoots Dan in the shoulder, but while he’s monologing maniacally, as psycho bad guys are wont to do, Dan disappears into the past. Doh! Bennett is most nonplussed — he had a full schedule of torture planned!

Dan ends up bleeding and in pain in a backyard in early-80s San Mateo. There’s some suspicious twitching from the curtains upstairs, but no one comes to his rescue. Instead, Dan drags himself out to the street and gets taken in to the hospital, where the medical folks patch him up and Livia eventually shows up to answer questions, snag his iPhone from an inquisitive doctor, and generally smooth things over. Now it’s time for Dan to figure out what his assignment is so he can go back to the present and save his family.

Dan breaks into the home he had been dropped at and finds a small boy cowering in his room. He’s being punished, and he’s afraid to come out. Dan persuades him to come downstairs and fixes him lunch — ketchup on white bread, a pizza sandwich — then tries to convince the kid to go with him to social services. The kid is too freaked to move, and we find out why — his dad is an abusive schmuck who looks him in his room for days on end, doesn’t feed him, and basically is a monster. He’s also a cop. Doh.

Dan does some investigating and discovers that his cowering kid will grow up to be Bennett, the psycho kidnapper who shoots Dan. He’s furious, vengeful — what did you do to get punished? He bellows. Did you torture an animal, beat up a little girl, betray your psychotic destiny? Nope, l’il Bennett says — I told Dad that I hated mom for leaving me with him. That takes the wind out of Dan’s sails. Well, that and the raging infection he’s gotten from his wound.

L’il Bennett helps patch Dan up a bit, offering him his dad’s shirt to replace the blood-soaked garment Dan is wearing (and I’m having Rome flashbacks, seeing Kevin McKidd covered in blood), and offering him scissors to cut the duct tape (it really is good for everything!) Dan’s using to bind his wound. Dan gets an idea when he sees those scissors — hey, if I stab and kill the kid now, he won’t threaten my family in the present! He tempters that impulse, and Livia arrives to pull him out. She gets him into an ambulance — and then they both get flashed back to the present.

And what a present it is. While a wounded, infected Dan is dumped on the street, Livia ends up at the newspaper — where she runs into Jack. Jack is incredulous — this is a trick, a joke, it’s not real! Livia convinces him that (1) Dan’s been shot, and (2) Jack needs to get the hell over himself to help his brother. Then she disappears. Poor Jack’s head explodes.

Meanwhile, Bennett has lured Katie back to Vassar Central, and is menacing her. He gets her to put on an apron and make her lunch, (highly squicky), and tries to lure Dan out of hiding. When Garrity, the FBI agent who’s been hounding Dan, comes through the door, Bennett jumps out and shoots him.

This should be bad, but Bennett might actually have done Dan a favor. We find out that Garrity is rogue — he’s been investigating Dan in an unofficial capacity, and he’s figured out the time-travel trick. He knows there are other time travelers out there, and he seems to want to use them for monetary gain. Sigh. Come on, Garrity — be an evil genius! Think bigger!

Dan uses his knowledge of l’il Bennett to convince present Bennett to let Katie go, and to convince him he’s still got a little humanity in him. I’m not entirely sure I buy that ending, but hey, everyone lives (except possibly Garrity), and Jack finally acknowledges that yes, Dan is a time traveler, and no, he shouldn’t be such a hard ass, and it looks like everyone may live happily ever after — for at least one more episode. Here’s hoping it’s more!

Thoughts, highlights, and odds and ends:

  • Dear Dan: Do NOT try to bust open a door with your shoulder when you’ve been shot in the other shoulder. That’s just stupid.
  • However, Kevin McKidd acted the hell out of bleeding, burning with infection, and passing out from pain. Perhaps that’s training he got in Rome?
  • He also does an amazing job menacing L’il Bennett when he realizes who the kid is. He’s crazy, scary, desperate — you really believe he could do anything.
  • And then the kid gives Dan his dad’s shirt, and Dan tells him not to -his dad will kill him. "That’d be good for you, wouldn’t it," L’il Bennett snarks. And then he hands Dan the scissors, half expecting Dan to kill him. Oh, kid. Poor, poor, soon to be psycho kid.
  • You see echoes of that doomed kid when Present Bennett shoots Garrity-and finds out he was an FBI agent. "OK! I’ve really stepped in it now, haven’t I?"
  • Dan and Livia figure out Livia’s assignment when she met Dan may very well have been to get Dan and Katie together — her "death" was the impetus for their relationship. In other news, it sucks to be Livia.
  • The look on Dan’s face when he contemplated stabbing L’il Bennett with the scissors was chilling. Well done again, Kevin McKidd.
  • Speaking of well done: Oh, Reed Diamond, it was gorgeous to watch Jack realize how wrong he’d been. He tries so hard not to believe, and then he couldn’t do it any more. The panic, the denial, and finally he acceptance crossing Jack’s face — Bravo.
  • And finally, Gretchen Egolf rules again, some more, as always — teetering from blind panic to resolve to hard-as-nails don’t-mess-with-me attitude in seconds. She’s fantastic.
  • I really, really hope Garrity is dead. I’m sure the next guy who figures it out won’t be so annoying. Seriously — the only thing you think of when you discover multiple people are traveling through time is "Hey, I can make some money off this"? Most disappointing.
  • Again, I love Hugh: "Weirdest family ever." You have no idea, Hugh. No idea at all.
Posted by:Sarah Jersild