Long Haul: Journeyman 1.7 — Double Down

In this episode, Dan saves someone scheduled to testify against a major gang, but in the process gets the gang’s attention turned onto his past self. Meanwhile, Jack finds the Dylan McCleen money.

With Dan’s original Target of the Week taken care of early on, this mission quickly turns into one of Dan trying to protect his past self, first from the gang out to kill him, and then from missing the moment in which he and Katie realized there might be something there.

You know, sometimes it’s the small things that make me really happy about this series. Twice now, we’ve had moments where Dan was in his pre-Katie past and happens to walk past a TV that she’s giving a news report on. Each time he stops, stares at it, and his face just absolutely lights up.

Kevin McKidd has some fangs, man.

I love that.

What I’m starting to love less is the constant nails in the coffin for the potential of Dan/Livia. I think the show made it pretty clear early on that it’s going to be a big “Dan+Katie 4-EVA!” deal, and I really don’t think they need to keep reinforcing it. It’s been three years since I’ve seen this series, and I honestly don’t remember every little thing about every little thing, but I think we’ve hit a point where that’s about to stop. But either way, at least everything is happening in a reasonable, adult manner rather than episode after episode of spousal mistrust and misunderstandings.

It was hard to get a good screen cap, but on film, this will seriously make you wonder if McKidd has a twin, it’s that good.

But anyway, Dan winds up in a literal fight with himself and I’m torn between being glad the show didn’t go all metaphorical with Dan torn between his wanting his past and present and being disappointed that when Dan has to take his past self’s place at the poker game Katie pulls him out of, there’s not really any consequence to having been there. I mean, the guy’s a gambling addict. On the other hand, with just 13 episodes to work with, I really don’t need one of them to be all about the downside of relapses. And I do really appreciate the level of self-awareness Dan has for himself when Livia questions Past-Dan’s trip to a game.

“I thought he said he was exhausted?” Livia says, after having watched Past-Dan, Katie and Eddie, Katie’s cameraman, come home.

“He SAYS a lot of things,” Dan replies.

But it all works out, and also this episode has the distinction of being the first — possibly only — one where Dan covers his whole mission in one go.

Unfortunately, while he’s away, not everything’s rosy on the homefront.

On the small scale, relatively speaking, Katie is mulling going back to work. She says between layoffs at the paper and the unpredictability created by Dan’s journeys, the extra income would be good security. Dan thinks the journeying and its affects on Zack are reasons this might not be a good time. And again, something that I really love is that it’s not played so much as Dan being threatened by not being the sole breadwinner, nor is it treating the situation as Dan being right and Katie being wrong. It’s a life change for the whole family that merits discussion.

But with Dan off saving himself and Katie at a meeting with Eddie, now the assistant news director for her old station, there’s no more time to talk about it, and she takes the job. And really, who can blame her?

The bigger issue, however, is Jack. In the previous episode, Zack found the Dylan McCleen money from a couple episodes ago. Katie, apparently not the quickest of thinkers in this situation, tried to play it off as play-money (but no, Zack couldn’t play with it), and tells Dan to do a better job of hiding it. Apparently he doesn’t, and while Jack is babysitting Zack, they’re about to order pizza after a trip to ATM.

“Let’s use Monopoly money!” Zack says.

“Yeah, I don’t think the pizza guy would appreciate getting tipped with pink money.”

“Not that!” Zack says. “DAD’S Monopoly money…”

And so Jack finds the money. He sneaks a $100 bill out and runs it to a tech guy to see if it’s counterfeit, stolen or what, and in the process, FBI Agent Richard Garrity is alerted and introduced. He’s been tracking instances of the McCleen cash, which he says pop up every few years. That’s actually really awesome, since Dan would be running around in the past spending it. Garrity pressures Jack for his source, but Jack isn’t quite ready to give it up.

Instead, he confronts Katie about everything after bursting into their house. He goes to the closet to find the money, but it’s gone. Thankfully for everyone, Livia had been pulled forward to 2007 and took it back to 1999 so Dan could buy into the aforementioned poker game.

When Dan travels backward compared to when Livia travels forward.

Katie deflects everything Jack throws at her, which only ends up pissing them both off and he storms out. The next day when Garrity shows up at his desk again, demanding to know Jack’s source and threatening to make life very difficult on Jack if he doesn’t, Jack says — in what originally seemed like it wold be a fakeout —

“Okay. You wanna know where I got the money? … I got it from my brother.”

Ruh-roh.

Next up: Episode 1.8 — Winterland. Watch it online at hulu.com/journeyman and then come back here and join the conversation. Seriously, join the conversation, because right now it’s just me talking to myself.

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