Plot - based on Showcase recap - a work in progress
Every loyal viewer of Travelers was waiting with bated breath to find out if FBI agent MacLaren survived the plane crash that he should have escaped with Congressman Bishop. But, instead he gave up his seat in the energy stasis field to save his wife Kathryn. She wasn’t supposed to be on the flight according to factual history yet she ended up there as a result of her growing paranoia that her husband is cheating on her. And where did this paranoia stem from? MacLaren’s suspicious traveler related late nights and disappearances obviously! Therefore, the lead time jumper felt responsible for his host’s partner’s potential demise and he sacrificed himself in order to prevent that demise from happening. Now the question is… did he succeed?
He did! Woo! Yipee! Three cheers for MacLaren! Kathryn is all safe and sound (along with Bishop) and MacLaren is all on his deathbed and being operated on. That’s right. We discover that the suit wearing traveler didn’t 100% perish when his aircraft plummeted into the ground. But he isn’t in good shape and the only thing that can save him are the efforts of futuristic doctors with futuristic technology and futuristic skills. It’s not clear at the beginning of the episode though if Eric McCormack is still the main character of this sci-fi series. The first five-ish minutes feature Marcy, Carly, Trevor and Philip in a panic as they drive back into town from the crash site with MacLaren’s wife Kathryn (or Kat for short) on board. She is in even more of a panic than they are because she has no clue what is going on or who they are or where her hubby went. As the team discusses possibilities of MacLaren’s whereabouts, Marcy injects a terrified Kat with some of her “go to sleep” serum and Kat’s line of questioning quickly halts.
Once she’s unconscious, Carly grumbles that she doesn’t know how MacLaren STANDS her (somebody sounds jealous). She also makes an important observation: the FBI agent MUST be alive because paramedics showed up and immediately abducted him so clearly they were travelers sent by the director and the director wouldn’t be treating anyone who was beyond treating. Although Marcy is skeptical that their boss man could have survived the injuries he likely incurred Philip affirms that those dudes with the stretcher had to be their colleagues. When he tries and fails to reach out to MacLaren via their communication devices Marcy dials his number instead. And to her surprise a calm voice answers the call and instantly provides the location of their missing captain. He’s at the hideout with them and he’s in critical condition.
But, who’s them? Them are the futuristic doctors mentioned above! One of ‘em is named Derek (making the letter D in his traveler label appropriate for both his profession and his legal name). Before we get to meet them though, Derek advises the crew to take care of Kat which translates to “wipe her memory and make it look like she just got super wasted and forgot what happened in the last 24 hours” so they do exactly that. The four warriors carry the limp wife lady into her home, use another handy tool to erase some memories, tuck her into bed and proceed to empty bottles of wine into the sink in hopes that she’ll think she and Grant (MacLaren) had a wild night.
And it works! Although, she doesn’t awake from her slumber without another line of questioning. This time her inquiries are targeted towards MacLaren in text message form. She wants to know what the heck happened the previous night because she can’t remember a single detail. MacLaren rapidly replies saying that they drank a ton of vino hence why she’s supremely hungover. Forbes is also curious as to why his partner is late once again so he shoots the agent a text himself and also gets a rapid reply. MacLaren lies to Forbes and says that he’s with Kathryn at the bank. Or should I say Philip lies to Forbes that MacLaren is with Kathryn at the bank since he’s the one controlling the agent’s cell until the agent is no longer on his deathbed.
It’s actually more like a death-operating-table than a bed per say but you get the idea. The travelers didn’t know what they would be encountering when they entered their hideout ready for a brawl. But as soon as they saw the pop up hospital room in their headquarters they knew that their commander was in good hands or as Marcy qualifies the best possible hands on earth. Derek and his coworker trust that they can mend MacLaren’s broken parts as long as they stabilize him and stop all brain hemorrhaging and repair his cerebral cortex and replace a few major organs in a limited amount of time. No big deal! They totally got this. Nothing is impossible when you’re a genius from the future and you have amazing nanotechnology backing you up!
Well, apparently that’s not exactly true. Even geniuses from the future with cutting edge gadgets and doohickeys can’t move mountains or build human hearts out of nothing. They need a body to grow it from within and Trevor volunteers to be that body. So, Doctor Derek strolls over to the shirtless teenager to install the new tiny heart into his chest so that it can finish developing. But luckily for Trevor they don’t need to cut him open in order to do so. All they gotta do is drop a parasite-esque creature onto his belly with the heart attached and it will find its way inside. Meanwhile, Marcy slips into her scrubs and lends a helping scalpel in the operating room and Philip assists the team in his own way. Not only is he on phone duty but he responsibly remembers that MacLaren’s car is at the airport and since he wasn’t supposed to have ever been on the flight it needs to be moved. He goes off to play valet and Carly supervises the docs.
When Philip arrives at the airport parking lot and attempts to unlock the door with MacLaren’s key he accidentally sets off the car alarm which gets the attention of security. When he tries to drive the vehicle through the barrier gates said security demands to see his license and registration. He shows MacLaren’s paperwork but that isn’t enough to quell suspicions. Philip knows he’s in trouble when the man of the law goes to put handcuffs on him so he does some kicking and punching and suddenly those cuffs are on the man of the law not him. Then he boots it out of there, so naturally the car is reported stolen. As soon as Forbes is told about the theft he goes into investigation mode hoping to do his pal a solid. He also wants to soothe Kat’s emotions ‘causes she begins to worry when Forbes calls her to ask if MacLaren is with her.
She of course thought that he was chilling with Forbes who tries real hard to brush it off as an innocent miscommunication. Kat doesn’t buy it though and heads straight to the FBI offices to get answers. Unfortunately Forbes doesn’t have any but that won’t last for long. His first piece of detective work is highly effective. He logs into the camera in MacLaren’s car in order to identify which culprit is behind the wheel. When he sees Philip’s mug and when MacLaren’s assistant instantly recognizes him as the almost convicted of manslaughter heroin addict, the FBI agent uses the automobile’s GPS to zero in on Philip and put that crook behind bars for good. But before he does that, he’s given another confusing piece of information. A long list of MacLaren’s former GPS coordinates reveals that he has made numerous visits to an address of interest.
It’s the traveler hideout which was purchased under Philip’s former lawyer’s name. Like the good cop he is Forbes connects the dots immediately and hops into his car to bust the heroin addict and also MacLaren who is maybe working with him? Forbes is wondering if this could be the reason that his partner has been acting so strangely lately. After Kat expresses her own observations about her husband’s bizarre behaviour her beau’s closest friend and colleague admits that he’s noticed differences and assures Kat that she is not crazy and not imagining it.
Philip also isn’t imagining that he’s being followed by the police. That car WAS reported stolen and the feds are 100% on his tail. When he makes the move to abandon the wheels and flee the scene he gets cornered in an alley with a cop car nearby. So it’s up to Carly to provide him with an escape route. She shows up in the traveler van and pretends that she spilled coffee on her lap in order to park and block said cop car from spotting Philip. As she backs out of the way for them to pass by we see Philip pulling a Mission Impossible inspired maneuver and hanging onto the back of the truck. He avoids arrest and arrives at the hideout just in time for MacLaren’s recovery and moments before Forbes charges in wanting answers. When Philip detects that the FBI agent is en route to their homebase he puts a rush on MacLaren’s life threatening surgery.
Trevor would like to put a rush on it as well so that they can remove the extra heart forming within his chest cavity which according to him is excruciatingly painful. Although Carly and Marcy both refuse to move MacLaren to another location they do manage to get him sealed up, dressed and ready to deceive Forbes, who isn’t happy when he stumbles upon MacLaren interrogating Philip in the hideout. Carly steps out from underneath a car when Forbes enters and she tries to convince him that the joint is a simple garage but he can see right through her act. He can’t see through the act of MacLaren though who claims that he has been working with Philip on a hacker case and recently the youngin’ went rogue and stole his car. This all plays out while Derek is in another room sealing up Trevor who continues to be in excruciating pain.
Forbes leaves in a major huff but at least the traveler’s real pursuits were not discovered. Doctor Derek says his goodbyes to the traveler crew and apologizes to Marcy for not being able to assist with her situation aka save her life. They did manage to save MacLaren’s life though and he is forever grateful for them doing so. Before Derek exits, he prescribes MacLaren a dose of serious resting, major sitting down, and zero moving. Also, he is not permitted to have sex for a few days which elicits a disgruntled expression in Carly who is ready to cuddle her soulmate.
Although, MacLaren would possibly not be making love to her anyhow. These days he’s got his eyes set on another lady. Nope. Not a second mistress. He’s got his eyes set on his wife who he is falling for as deeply as his host body did previously. A big reason he has developed a crush on his significant other is because while he is comatosed and being operated on by nanotechnology he has some intensely romantic dreams. Or more accurately he re-experiences a slew of experiences from his host’s memory bank. And these aren’t just any ordinary flashbacks. Each scene stars Kathryn often looking very gorgeous. Even in the sad moments she still looks super pretty. But how does MacLaren have access to these mems at all?
Well, as dream Kathryn explains while in a wedding dress standing in a bright, empty warehouse, these are orphaned neurons of the host’s mind that were cut off from MacLaren. They’re just fragments and he usually wouldn’t be able to get admission to the love story of Kathryn and MacLaren but he’s almost dead which changes the game. MacLaren has to transition between the experiences by climbing a ladder/staircase or answering a ringing phone. The memories include: him and Kathryn moving into their house, him and Kathryn taking a road trip and MacLaren appreciating Kathryn’s beauty while she changes a tire in a nightgown, him teaching Kathyrn how to shoot a gun, him having a convo with Kathryn about trying to have a baby again, him getting into a fight with Kathryn about him working too much, and him packing up nursery stuff after Kathryn loses the baby and almost loses her life in the tragic process.
After watching this highlight reel of their relationship, MacLaren tells dream Kathryn that he clearly loved her so much. She clarifies that the real MacLaren loved her so much but traveler MacLaren feels it now too. He kinda adores Kathryn hence why he sacrificed himself for her. So his heart breaks when he attempts to apologize to her at the end of the episode for disappearing earlier and not replying to her messages and she slams the bathroom door in his smitten face.