In this episode of Journeyman, holy character parallels, Batman!
Keepers has Dan traveling back to ’86, where he meets Michael Kowalchuk and his little brother Stephen, who’s kind of a genius. But somewhere between then and now (or, 2007’s “now”, but you know what I mean), Stephen went off the rails and became a kind of crazy, conspiracy-theorist serial bomber responsible for the deaths of at least two people. Throughout the episode, we learn that Michael — while originally quite antagonistic with with his little brother — cares so much about him, but is helpless when it comes to trying to help him. And we see sort of the same thing with Jack.
Throughout the five previous episodes, we’ve seen present-day Dan and Jack at each other’s throats, figuratively speaking, and this episode also gives us a glimpse of their relationship as teenagers when Jack pulls Dan out of a video arcade. Dan, upset that their mother sold their dad’s cameras, gets a stern lecture from Jack about how their dad’s not coming back and Dan needs to grow up.
“He always had to play Super Cop,” Present-Day Dan snits to Livia before whining that Jack would never let him drive the candy-apple red hot rod of a car that Jack still owns in 2007, and I’m just like “Really, Dan? REALLY?” I’m generally on his side, but grow up, man. Also, I think they did an okay job casting for younger versions of Kevin McKidd and Reed Diamond (click to enlarge):
Jack isn’t quite as helpless as Michael and uses his police resources to track Dan and Katie’s finances. He’s looking for big transactions that will prove Dan is gambling again. It’s way out of line, as Jack himself will later admit, but it comes from a good place — concern for the little brother who appears to be spiraling out of control and taking his entire family with him.
And it’s not just here that Jack is trying to look out for Dan. In a journey to 2000, Dan and Livia see Jack and Katie having a moment — that just happens to occur shortly before Dan and Katie would get married. Fearing the worst, Dan watches them, and what he finds out is that when Katie is nervous about the engagement so soon after Livia “died,” Jack had his back — reassuring Katie (who’s Jack’s former long-term girlfriend, remember) that Dan loves her and wouldn’t have asked her to marry him if he didn’t.
Aw. Melt my heart, why don’ t you, show?
So, it looks like maybe things are looking up for Dan and Jack. And in what seems to be a trend of moving away from stand-alone missions now that the show’s premise is set, Dan’s time with the Kowalchuks is fairly revealing.
When he and Michael show up at Stephen’s apartment, Stephen is right in the middle of being crazy and perhaps blowing them all up. Dan talks to Stephen, who points out that it’s been 13 years and Dan hasn’t aged since the day he met them. “Are you from the past, or the future?” he asks.
“The future,” Dan admits.
“It’s the shoes,” Stephen says. “You can always tell by the shoes.” They talk back and forth, with Dan telling Stephen that technology will be moving so fast and Stephen should really not be throwing away his life. And it works, but things still aren’t what they seem.
Back in the present, Dan has called on Stephen again, and what a turnaround it’s been for him. Things aren’t perfect, but he’s so much better than he was. However, when Dan presses him about time travel, Stephen shuts him down, saying it’s not possible. But he’s not entirely convincing — to me, anyway.
“I like your shoes,” Stephen says as he leaves. Spooky.
Speaking of spooky, this episode opens on Halloween night.
Oh, also, Katie’s looking to go back to work and Zack found Dan’s Dylan McCleen booty. One of those will not end well.
Next up: Episode 1.7, “Double Down” watch it free at hulu.com/journeyman.