Plot - based on Showcase recap - a work in progress
MacLaren and his team accomplished a huge goal. They used the antimatter to fuel that big laser which deflected the asteroid Helios and in turn saved millions of people’s lives. A few folks did have to die in order for those millions to be saved, which MacLaren isn’t totally at ease with, but as his crew reminds him, present sacrifices have to be made to better the future. The FBI agent’s mood doesn’t seem to improve as the travelers sit in their hideout drinking cheap alcohol as they celebrate their success. Maybe their leader is down in the dumps because he’s realizing that this might be their last mission and their last hangout as pals, since their protocols prevent them from seeing each other and having sex with each other when they’re not on the clock. Although, they’re not allowed to ever be having sex which is why Carly and MacLaren keep that on the down low, especially around MacLaren’s wife Kat.
When MacLaren informs his followers that deflecting Helios could possibly have been their final task, their moods begin to mirror his misery and his shock that they’re still alive. They thought that the asteroid endeavour would potentially change the future so drastically that it could result in them never being born. But, that didn’t happen… yet. So, looks like now they gotta find a way to continue breathing without a heroic purpose driving them. After MacLaren wishes them all a happy remaining existence, they take their final sips and disperse and return to their host bodies normal lives. We follow along as each traveler individually copes with this new existential crisis.
MacLaren lies awake all night in bed beside his sleeping wife, staring at the clock, processing everything that just happened. When the alarm goes off, he hits snooze, not having snoozed for a minute himself. When he strolls into work his partner Forbes is acting in a highly unusual manner. He begs MacLaren to help him with something that he won’t provide any information about. When MacLaren pushes for details Forbes uses his partner’s repeated absences and annoying slacking off to avoid answering any questions. He wants MacLaren to trust him and he obliges. But, MacLaren becomes more worried when they arrive in an alleyway and masked men appear out of nowhere and attack him. He tries to defend himself but fails to escape.
Luckily for him though Forbes wasn’t setting him up to be captured or beaten up or killed. He was setting him up for a surprise party! That’s right. A large door raises beside MacLaren revealing all of his family and friends with wine glasses in hand. They gathered to honour his 15 year anniversary with the FBI. It’s another alcohol soaked celebration that MacLaren is not in the mood for but he obliges again. Once he begins to hallucinate though he wishes that he had left earlier. Apparently, hallucinations are a side effect of the antitoxin that Marcy gave the travelers to protect them from the toxic chemical leak. Every traveler begins to see and hear things that aren’t there, but not every traveler sees and hears things that aren’t there at their own party surrounded by dozens of people. When Forbes gives MacLaren a jersey as a gift he thinks that the back of it says “Helios 685” but it actually says “MacLaren 15”. Then when his colleagues are sharing FBI stories he hears them laughing about evacuating the “south shelter”.
But, the freakiest image he witnesses is during a strange speech that he gives where he talks about how your coworkers become your family and he’s upset that he won’t be seeing anyone again. His rambling makes little sense but it must be hard to focus when you’re watching as humans from the future, who have shaved heads and are wearing rags, are milling about as he talks. He’s obviously delusional and the image he’s seeing isn’t real but damn, it’s terrifying nonetheless. After MacLaren drinks a bit too much hard liquor to keep him standing, Kat insists that they leave and he insists that she drive home. She isn’t in a great mood either. Not since Forbes asked her how she was feeling and why she went to the doctor that time MacLaren had to take her there. Since she didn’t go to the doctor she’s feeling fine. Well, she’s feeling fine minus being distraught over learning that her husband is lying and could be cheating on her.
When they return home she confronts him about the lies and about him changing his phone password and about his weird behaviour as of late. He counters her accusations with a declaration of love and more hallucinations. This time he pictures a woman who is not Kat standing in Kat’s place. The woman has a similar aesthetic to the head shaved, rag wearing folks he pictured earlier and because he is declaring his love to her we can assume that this woman is the actual Carly in the actual Carly body. He passionately kisses her and undresses her and then has sex with her even and although the lovemaking seems to be quality stuff Kat is less than enthused after. She’s heartbroken and now sure that MacLaren is having an affair. She quietly tiptoes to the bathroom to send her mom an emotional text confirming his adultery.
Meanwhile, across town, the actual Carly not in the actual Carly body, is sobbing as she consoles her also sobbing infant. Suddenly, she’s not a weapon’s expert. She’s just a single mom, which in many ways is a much more strenuous and lonely position. Like MacLaren, she struggles with her own brand of hallucinations which come in the form of flashbacks to when she was abducted two episodes ago. The same questions that the retro TV asked her begin popping up on her more modern screen. Questions like “When are you from?” and “What are the protocols?” She goes to change the channel but nothing else is on, so she turns the television off altogether. But, that doesn’t stop it from turning itself back on and showing her live footage of her and her baby in her living room from a camera planted somewhere in her house. She begins frantically looking around the room for where this hidden cam could be but she finds nothing.
Then, when she’s visited by a lady from child services, who was sent by her abusive ex Jeff to determine how qualified of a mother she is, Carly begins frantically looking for ulterior motives for why this lady is in her home. Carly wants to know who sent the lady and why the lady is there and when she doesn’t get the answer she wants she bids a loud, aggressive adieu to the stranger which does not bode well for her retaining custody of her kid. At least she didn’t pull out the gun she originally was holding when she answered the door. Then she’d have to worry less about custody and more about being in jail. Even her baby starts to wonder if she’s lost it.
Marcy on the other hand is having fewer hallucinations and more surgical operations, as in she’s operating on herself. Yes. You read that correctly. After David leaves the apartment to buy some groceries, Marcy takes this opportunity to slip into a white dress, grab hold of her scalpel and dig right into her body while kneeling in her social worker’s pristine bath tub. It’s not clear at first why on earth she is subjecting herself to such agony but when David returns home to a sink full of blood and a Marcy punctured with holes, she clarifies her reasoning behind the impromptu surgery. Apparently, she wanted to help reduce her seizures and because she’s a genius medical professional she didn’t require a hospital. She just used a sharpie to mark which points on her neck and chest that she had to stab then froze those areas to avoid the excruciating pain and went for it. She doesn’t understand why this is a big deal and David doesn’t understand ANYTHING she does. This is NOT normal. It’s insane and he’s tired of pretending otherwise.
He continues to yammer on about how crazy this situation/Marcy generally is so the traveler does what she does best. She shuts him up by making out with him and as soon as her lips hit his lips he quiets way down. Not only does he quiet down, he agrees to perform additional surgery for her. He’s gone from zero to a hundred gallons of blood in mere seconds. Although Marcy is a genius she didn’t seem to manage to eliminate her health issues entirely which she learns when she’s interrupted mid-sentence by a nose bleed. Fortunately, David is in love with her and willing to do anything she requests as long as it’s followed and preceded by a smooch. She lies on her side on the ground and David has his debut as a surgeon and he’s not bad! No wonder he and Marcy get along so well. They’re both good at sticking sharp objects into Marcy.
Trevor is discovering that he has very little in common with his lover. They aren’t good at the same things. He’s a talented technician and she’s a talented thief. Rene drags her boyfriend to a clothing store so he can watch her try on clothes AND help her steal the clothes she tries on. Stoic, honest, kind Trevor isn’t into breaking the law though. As the two lovers quarrel about her unpurchased thread, their pal, who’s standing at the front, rats them out to the employee who catches them red handed. When the employee goes to reprimand Trevor and Rene his friend steals something else from the cashier and makes a run for it with Rene close behind him. It’s only stoic, honest, kind Trevor who stays behind to apologize and buy the stolen items and imagine the employee telling him that the “director” will make him pay for this… this being the clothes?
When he meets up with Rene and his friend nearby he learns that the stealing does not stop at clothing. His pal also swiped Trevor’s mom’s medication to get them high for free. Trevor also isn’t into this scheme but Rene affirms that it was his idea. After a quick fist fight with his friend, which begins with Trevor winning until he semi-blacks out and comes to as his face is being pummeled by his pal. Once contact has been made, said pal boots out of there, leaving Rene to tend to a wounded Trevor. This is when they share their most touching, genuine moment yet. Rene reveals that she wasn’t into stealing either and just did it because she thought he liked it. Hearing the truth, Trevor softens to his host’s girlfriend and takes her to a beautiful park so they can meditate and have deep conversations about the meaning of life. Trevor tells her that he feels lost because he no longer has a purpose. She is very empathetic and says that she knows how hard it must be to not play football anymore. Um, not what he was talking about Rene! She follows that up with expressing heartfelt affection for him regardless of his silly football career.
She also makes an excellent dick joke. Well played Rene. You’ve got more going on upstairs than we thought! Trevor ends this lovely interaction with his beau and returns home to a much less lovely interaction with his drunk father and disappointed mother who scold Trevor for taking his mom’s medication. He’s honest and stoic and kind as per usual and blames his friend for doing it. Although it’s the truth, his inebriated dad doesn’t believe him and punishes Trevor for his dishonesty by slapping him across the face. Geez. Trevor’s face is not having a good day.
Things start to improve though when he visits Philip, which again, because of the protocols he’s technically not allowed to do. But, he argues that Trevor and Philip could FOR SURE be besties. Philip already has a bestie though. It’s a turtle that he bought earlier with his gambling addict former lawyer. When Philip took to the streets to locate some heroin and soothe his withdrawal woes he bumped into his old legal representation who always seems to be cruising around the city in his car for absolutely no reason. This time though he’s not AS interested in getting bets from the traveler historian. He’s more interested in sending Philip on the path to recovery. He can recognize withdrawal when he sees it. The lawyer first fills Philip’s stomach with nourishment in the form of fast food, although hallucinating Philip pictures it to be oatmeal like mush which we can also assume is the most popular meal in the post-apocalyptic future.
He then escorts Philip to a pet store so he can buy a living being to keep him company. A dog is too much work but a turtle is just enough. Then they head to an addictions group therapy meeting. Every participant goes around, introduces themselves and says their specific addiction out loud. What Philip hears though is them stating their traveler numbers and their willingness to dedicate their lives to the director. When it’s his turn he discusses how he was selected and trained to remember everything as a traveler and post-saving the world what does he do now? But, he didn’t actually say any of that out loud. What he does say is that his name is Philip and that he’s a heroin addict. And Philip, the heroin addict, won’t have to worry much about what he’s going to do now. ‘Cause guess WHAT? When Trevor, the teenage football star, is hanging out with them, looking at his turtle, they unexpectedly get a mission and become travelers again.