Journeyman finale leaves the light on

By Mike

December 19, 2007 Features Television 18 Comments

Maybe I’m a sap, but I almost got choked up at the end when Katie asks Dan if his promise to always come home still stood.

He said yes.

And she said, “Then, I’ll leave a light on.

What a great scene. It could have gone the wrong way and I thought for a moment that it was headed there. Katie’s sister Annette was in her ear the entire episode about buying another house for “insurance” reasons, that maybe it was time to get away with Zach.

With all those words ringing true for Katie, she proved once again to be one of the strongest, most loyal wives on network television. She turned against all cliches and stuck by Dan.

That’s the stuff that makes this show so hard to see disappear. Katie’s character has been impressively written and unique in her decisions. Definitely the unsung hero of Journeyman.

But let’s get on to the revelations in this episode.

Olivia and Dan aren’t alone. Dan meets Evan, a traveler like him who’s been locked up in a mental institution, supposedly halted from moving through time by sedative pills.

At first we aren’t sure, then we think he’s crazy, but then the truth comes out. And his story almost mirrored Dan’s earlier when Katie was close to being killed by Aeden Bennett.

But Evan’s wife did die and he tried to fix it over and over and over. He kept making things worse until he happened upon the day they met at Stanford. A little “bump” by him and the meeting never took place, they never got married and his live spiraled into a tale spin.

He kept a massive diary of his travels, scribbling on one page the words, “I don’t care anymore.”

An omen to what will happen to Dan someday? I don’t think so, Dan is special somehow. And what else is in that diary that might prove useful?

Dan and Olivia were there to save Evan they thought, who gets killed trying to reunite with her, confident she will remember. But as they go along, Dan realizes it’s to help him get together with her once more. And she did remember him, something we sort of felt with Katie last week and the Zach/Caroline incident. Time is changed, but something still remains.

Evan had to fix the timeline, the history that he screwed up. Once it was fixed, Evan died instantly.

The first question I have is, why are some things allowed to be fixed, but not others? Why does Evan need to “restore” things he screwed up, while other people get their histories altered for the better?

The next big question is: Why did Evan die? It felt like someone made it happen, but I don’t know about that. Was he just meant to die? If so, then everyone is meant to die, so that can’t be the answer.

In the meantime, Jack was on the trail of Dr. Elliot Langley, harassing him enough that Langley ended up meeting Dan at the end of the episode.

What Dr. Langley had to say was staggering. There are more of them out there, but the numbers are dwindling. He acts like he knows about them, but then says he has his suspicions.

We now know Langley is part of the Thurn-Tippet Group, which received a grant to try and account for temporal anomalies, and we’re not talking about just Dan. Democritus discovered the atomic structure a half-millennium before the atom was conceived, the Incas built perfect clay replicas of airplanes in 500 A.D. and other anomalies.

Through their work, they discovered a select group of people who “change realities.

The big surprise, according to Langley is that NO ONE is “doing” this to Dan. They know about them, they know what he’s been doing for six months, but they aren’t the ones in control. As far as they can tell, it’s just Dan.

The big catch that I’m sure would come into play down the road if the series continued, is that this secret is dangerous. If others found out there was a way to control a time traveler, it could be devastating.

Finally, the hard crushing reality. The number of time travelers is shrinking, the “system” is breaking down and Dan is the last one.

Only he’s not. Olivia is still there. And Langley didn’t know about her until Dan told him another existed. That in of itself is interesting.
It was like Yoda telling Luke, “There is another…Skywalker.

Almost.

Before Olivia and Dan left after watching Evan die, Olivia hugs Dan goodbye, telling him she felt like it might be a long time until they saw each other again.

Little does she know, or maybe she does, that those words echoed the same sentiment that we do.

Our two travelers affected by the Joseph Lee Comet, part ways, but not before noticing Dan from two months ago start on his first mission across the street.

And it was right after Evan died. Langley had no answer to this, but it’s related somehow. Once Evan was dead, Dan started his missions.

The question is, if no one is controlling them, do they do this subconsciously? Are they connected to something supernatural in charge of the movements?

We may never know, but I will really, REALLY miss this show. The final scenes with Katie and Dan cemented it as something worthy of being renewed.

When Katie realizes Evan wasn’t crazy, she lights up with the realization that they can just get the pills to keep Dan from going anywhere.

But we know what Dan felt at that moment. This was important and what he was doing was meaningful. And she saw it in his eyes, and instead of letting the disappointment crush her, she once again took a deep breath and stood by her husband’s side.

The very end was brilliant. Katie had never seen Dan vanish before and asked to watch earlier in the episode, but it didn’t work out.

But in the middle of the night, Dan knew he was about to go.

Maybe it was his new sense of purpose or belonging, who knows, but this time he was ready to go and calmly sat in the bedroom chair watching Katie sleep as the warp was about to take him.

At the last second he says, “Katie” and then is gone with a flash in the wink of an eye.

The camera flips to Katie who saw it happen, her eyes widening as we zoom into them and the episode ends.

Bravo Kevin Falls. A finale worthy of the first 12 episodes.

And maybe there is hope yet. Nothing is definite. Journeyman could travel again someday.

We’ll leave a light on for you.

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