Plot - based on Showcase recap - a work in progress
Phillip and Trevor and MacLaren are handed a new mission for their team. Chatting with webcam girls, obviously, for work purposes. No, really. Trevor doesn’t even want to talk about sex with this lady. He is more interested in hearing her happiest moments. Awww! Trevor! Philip on the other hand spends his time explaining how intimacy cannot be achieved via the internet and MacLaren questions how the blonde Candy could tell he was hot without seeing his face.
The FBI agent has zero interest in flattery. He is too focused on the mission. The three webcam girls are hosts for upcoming travelers that are about to arrive. One of the regular customers of another girl is preparing a bomb just outside the building because he is super religious and believes that they should perish in the fires of hell. Luckily for the girls this god fearing lunatic is a host for an upcoming traveler as well. So, instead of setting off the bomb (which would kill the women and him) his brain will be swapped out for a futuristic consciousness. Right on cue the women grab their skulls and shriek in pain and the bomber does the same. When the transfer is complete MacLaren addresses his traveler. But, within seconds of her arrival in the 21st the connection is lost. Not luckily for the girls, the bomb wasn’t defused and they don’t survive.
MacLaren is immediately suspicious as is Trevor’s teacher Ms. Day who is shocked that the teenager got 90% on a physics test. She brings him into her office to denounce him for cheating and although he denies it (which is the truth) eventually he has to pretend that he did in order to not blow his cover. She offers to tutor him so he can take the test again and he accepts her kind gesture. Carly is preparing for a big event as well. She’s all dressed up in a blazer to attend a hearing regarding the custody of her child. Her abusive ex Jeff wants custody and she refuses to give it to him, which Marcy doesn’t understand. She argues that not having that baby around would make missions way easier but Carly refuses to leave her child with that abusive man.
When MacLaren arrives at the crime scene where the deceased webcam girls worked, his partner Forbes informs him that the bomber is nowhere to be found… which means that the traveler who didn’t fulfill his duty took off after doing so, even though he was quite injured after the explosion. MacLaren heads off to track the suspect as Forbes consoles another webcam girl who shows up crying uncontrollably and blaming herself for this tragedy. Apparently, a client of hers who goes by the name of Aaron Donner was highly judgemental of her line of work and started sending religious hate mail to them. She is confident that he was the one who did this.
MacLaren is confident as well because he KNOWS that Donner was the chosen host body for his new colleague. He stumbles upon the wounded traveler in a restaurant nearby after the owner waves down MacLaren and tells him that a strange, bleeding man is in her kitchen (tending to his many injuries with plastic wrap and something white and absorbent). MacLaren explains who he is to the bleeding man on the run but that doesn’t stop the bleeding man on the run from attacking the FBI agent. He knocks him in the neck with an object which breaks the traveler’s communication device and knocks him out cold. David is almost metaphorically knocked out cold when his boss, Ken, tells him that he’s fired for allowing Marcy to live in his house and breaking a million social worker rules. David attempts to salvage his job by declaring that Marcy is not who Ken thinks she is. She works with the FBI and is no longer disabled. David wants to prove this to his superior by having him over for dinner which Marcy agrees to attend.
When Carly goes to the custody hearing with her baby in her arms, Jeff does not play nice. He immediately accuses her of assaulting him, of having a temper issue and of being a sex worker since she pays all of her bills in cash and he’s seen an “old white guy” lurking around her house. Jeff and his lawyer are making a strong case for why Carly shouldn’t have custody but luckily for Carly she has Philip on her side who slipped into a suit in order to take on the role of “lawyer”. But his fancy tie and briefcase don’t stop him from getting a parking ticket or from Carly losing it on Jeff in front of the judge and affirming his accusation of her having a yelling, temper issue. Although we know that Jeff is the bad guy, not Carly, it’s not going to be easy to prove that.
Meanwhile, when MacLaren awakes in the restaurant kitchen from being knocked out cold he gets Donner’s address and kicks open the front door with gun in hand. But when he turns a corner he doesn’t find just Donner there. He also sees Forbes and another agent who have Donner in cuffs and beat MacLaren to the punch. Donner was apparently about to vacate the country as evidenced by his luggage full of clothes, cash and his passport. Marcy could use a bit of cash too and puts in a request to Philip to place some bets so she can get a few thousand dollar bills. Trevor is scoring high as well in his tutoring session with Ms. Day who is shocked once again to hear Trevor answer every physics question she asks him correctly. He tells her that it’s because he doesn’t play football anymore and has time to study but she’s not so sure. Regardless of the reason, she gives him a book to soothe his frustrations with everyone ordering him around. The book is called “The Perfect Day” and Trevor reads it in half a day.
Back at the FBI office MacLaren is interrogating Donner. He asks the new traveler if he even tried to defuse the bomb and what exactly went down outside that building. But, the bleeding man seems to not know what a traveler is and sticks to his religious lunatic act. The traveler talk is cut short when Forbes joins the interrogation. Donner continues to refuse to chat and demands legal representation before moving forward. This puts Maclaren in even more agony than he’s already in. He pops a few painkillers to dull his aching neck and drops by Marcy’s place to request that she replace his communication device. She’s a tad preoccupied though. David’s boss Ken is there for dinner and to meet undercover agent Marcy who does not require social assistance. When Ken sees MacLaren, who David said works with Marcy, he insists that the FBI agent show him some ID. MacLaren obliges and confirms that Marcy is a colleague of his. When Ken pushes for more info the agent says “It’s none of your goddamn business”.
Speaking of none of your goddamn business… the traveler organization is really none of Donner’s lawyer’s business but that doesn’t stop the bleeding man from revealing everything that MacLaren said to him. He announces that they’re breaking the law and that MacLaren is one of them and that the DA’s office needs to know about this. As Donner’s lawyer makes that happen Philip receives his winnings from his guaranteed bets. Unfortunately though his bets weren’t as guaranteed as he thought. He only won three out of five races and doesn’t know why. Is the past changing? Looks like it might be. He asks the team to assemble at the hideout asap. Before Trevor does so he drops by Ms. Day’s office to return her book and to give her one of his books. Ms. Day is grateful for the gift but later she’s less happy when Trevor misses the physics test that he was supposed to retake. Trevor may fail school despite being a genius!
And David may be fired despite being a great social worker and despite Marcy working for the FBI and not being disabled. Ken wants David’s letter of resignation and his keys immediately since he basically helped Marcy commit social insurance fraud. Marcy wasted thousands of dollars that could have been given to people who actually need it. David begs for forgiveness but Ken does not yield. That is until Marcy drops by with the cash Philip won and pays back Ken for all of the money she wasted with interest. In return, she wants David to remain employed. Marcy is kind of like David’s guardian angel and the lady from child services is kind of like Carly’s angel. She tells the traveler that she’s going to do everything she can to help Carly and her baby. She has seen women in Carly’s situation suffer before and she doesn’t want it to happen again. Her first suggestion to the traveler is to get a job to verify how responsible she is.
The episode ends on a dramatic scene with Donner telling all to the DA’s office in a large boardroom while his lawyer and MacLaren and several police officers sit nearby. He goes on and on about a secret organization that operates worldwide. It’s similar to a terrorist organization and has implicated a federal agent. He says that he was approached by MacLaren, who revealed himself as a double agent and promised that if he joined them he would get lesser charges. Luckily for MacLaren the DA’s office is not buying it and asks the agent to escort the prisoner back into custody but then Donner spills further juicy information. He IS a traveller and has been this whole time and he will provide everything they want to know about the heroic time bandits. Their protocols. Their web servers. Their communication devices. Even their missions.
When Donner finishes his monologue, a woman from the DA’s office asks MacLaren if he is actually one of these so-called travelers and surprisingly the FBI agent confesses that yes, he is one. At first Donner looks real smug but then MacLaren finishes his sentence by saying “and I’m not alone”. He then stands and so do the woman from the DA’s office, Donner’s lawyer, and the police officers who are travelers themselves. This begins a second hearing in the episode. The traveler is now on trial for treason and needs to plead his case as well. He whimpers that he tried defusing the bomb a thousand times but it didn’t work and the director didn’t give him enough time. But, this story contradicts what he said earlier on in the meeting about taking the opportunity to finally live above ground and that he was never going back to existing in squalor.
Not luckily for him, he is found guilty after a traveler vote is conducted through another webcam that’s in front of Donner. We watch as Marcy, Carly, Trevor and Philip cast their votes (which is why they had to assemble) and the results are not in Donner’s favour. The punishment for treason is death by immediate overwrite. The other travelers observe Donner, who is tied to a chair, shrieking in pain while a new traveler takes over his brain. They welcome him to the 21st and he thanks them with a grin. Forbes doesn’t have a grin on his face when he discovers that Donner didn’t get the death penalty. Instead he got life with the possibility of parole. MacLaren tries to console him but his partner is furious. He thinks that Donner got off because he killed the “right people” and that nobody cares about the sad deaths of a few sex workers.
But, he actually got off because he’s a traveler who is protected by his future organization in hopes that he will be free one day and saving the world very soon. When MacLaren escorts Donner to his jail cell he apologizes for the situation but the new traveler is fine with it. He thinks that prison is still better than where he came from from. MacLaren is disappointed to hear that the future isn’t doing well and not much has improved. In fact, things have kind of gotten worse.