Okay, I finally got to watch the whole two hours.
And I deem it quite good. There was certainly a lot to love. If not for that final moment, whether it turns out to be a cliffhanger or twist ending, my opinion might be slightly different. But there was a lot of great stuff here.
Everybody got their moment to shine. Wyatt dealing with his guilt over Jessica, honorably making no excuses; Lucy dealing with her mother's unrepentant death and pulling the trigger on Emma; Rufus damning the torpedoes and going after Jiya even though he knew he would almost certainly die; Connor musing over his changing priorities and fixing the ancient lifeboat, Flynn, exposing, for a moment, his feelings for Lucy; Jiya-- well, Jiya deserves her own paragraph, and not just because I have a crush on her; and Agent Christopher, who got to knit a scarf-- well, okay, she got to shine in a previous episode.
The first half was a fairly typical time adventure, back to the Civil War. For a while, I thought that Harriet Tubman would turn out to be a time traveler, since her speech patterns were so remarkably 21st century and her posturing so movie macho that it was almost tiresome. But then, interestingly, it turns out that she has visions just like Jiya and Hospital Bed Guy. How did she come upon that gift without a time machine? Perhaps she was taken on a time trip at some point earlier in her life. But this plants a seed for future revelations, should the show survive.
But then in the second hour, things really take off. Jessica shows her true colors, and kidnaps Jiya, hijacking the lifeboat at gunpoint. Hah! Only a fool would underestimate Jiya to such a degree. Even drugged, she manages to escape, killing her guard-- a traumatic experience for someone such as her who has no inclination to violence, but one she has no time to dwell on-- and singlehandedly rescues the lifeboat under fire. Wow. Sadly, the lifeboat is damaged and she cannot pilot it home, and she is trapped in the 1880s. "She's LOST IN TIME!" is such as classic Pulp line.
But no problem. She hides the lifeboat and sends a message across the decades in Klingon and then settles down to live out her life in Chinatown as a card dealer, casually snapping wrists when someone misbehaves-- all in the hope of saving Rufus's life. Who's the star of this show?
But developments happen. The Time Team is not going to abandon Jiya, so back they go, encountering yet again the Evil Leapers-- but Emma's had enough of being second fiddle and kills Lucy's Mom and Granpa Rittenhouse, who was pretty much a pathetic loser and not much of a Big Bad anyway. And, against all odds, Jiya saves Rufus-- only to see him shot dead by Emma, as foreshadowed by that Salem Witch Trial episode.
So when the dust settles, Jessica has escaped, apparently pregnant for real, Emma, wounded but alive, also escapes, now apparently in control of whatever is left of Rittenhouse, although she'll probably rename it to whatever her own last name is, Wyatt is humbled greatly but still in love with Lucy, Jiya is righteously angry with everyone. And everyone, especially Connor, is heartbroken-- because Rufus is stone cold dead.
And then, in the final seconds, everything changes-- we get a second
lifeboat! Is it the 130-year-old one refurbished, or a new one? Dunno. But, as also foreshadowed, there's a way for people to exist more than once in the same time period, because from out of the second lifeboat emerge future versions of Wyatt and Lucy-- on a mission to recruit their past selves to save Rufus.
I'm not optimistic that the show will be renewed, but at least that climactic scene leaves us on a hopeful note.