It’s taken a surprisingly long time for such a conspiracy-laden show, but Traveler has finally reached the point where its main characters have run out of people to trust.
Before, Jay had his girlfriend, Kim, and Tyler had his dad, Carlton, to turn to for help. (Although, in the case of Carlton Fogg, it was rather dubious help to begin with.) Now, however, the boys have no one. Kim left New York without even saying goodbye, except in a flashback. And Carlton turned out to be just plain bad. He was the one who sold shares of that fine art insurance company before the bombing, and when Tyler confronted him about this, Carlton pretty much confirmed that his plan was to a) make lots of money on the bombing, and b) get rid of his wastrel son in the process. Now that is a bad dad. And, granted, I’ve never been much of a Tyler supporter, since I always thought that he was the dumber of the two runners, but he was in his element this week. When Jay and Tyler followed the paper trail of the stock trades, it was Tyler who knew what to do and what to look for, because this was his world, and he came off rather well. So, Carlton, your son really isn’t as worthless as you thought he was. (Or as I thought he was. Sorry, Tyler.)
Will, too, had problems trusting his former friends this week, although that could have been because he’d just launched his Summer Revenge Tour and the Conspiracy had orders to take him in. He had to shoot a colleague of his when she tried to take him down, and, thanks to some torture that Jack Bauer himself would have been proud of, learned that he had something they wanted — the painting, presumably. And can I just say what a joy it is to watch Will work? Fighting, pickpocketing, interrogating, amassing a little stockpile of weapons — it’s like watching some fresh, new version of 24. Go Will!
As for the FBI, they just get smarter and smarter. And I’m not just talking about Marlow, who I could almost call psychic, except that she knows what Jay and Tyler have done after they’ve already done it. But those flashes of insight she gets, such as her sudden certainty that Jay and Tyler went back to New York, are just as uncanny. No, I mean that the entire unit learned more about what was really going on, including, finally, getting a glimpse of Will Traveler and realizing that he was still alive. Also, the prints the FBI got back on the escapee — Bleached-Blond Conspiracy Guy — revealed him to be an undercover federal agent.
Now, all this time, I’ve been calling these guys the Conspiracy, because I was assuming that they had some nefarious anti-government scheme going. This could still be the case, but it’s much more unlikely if everyone is actually a government agent. So the question becomes: why does the government want all this stuff to happen? Why pin it on Tyler and Jay? What do they want with the painting? And if the government really does want the painting, why can’t they just take it?
Finally, and most importantly, those trust issues affected the relationship between Jay and Tyler too — the boys fought over Carlton’s involvement in the bombing, Tyler punched Jay, and they went their separate ways. Will they find each other again? Are they just on a break? Can Tyler outrun the feds, who just spotted him on the corner? Those are questions for another week, but if I had to guess, I’d say the answer to all three is "yes."
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