In this episode, Zack’s acting out and Jack’s coming around until Dan changes things he shouldn’t be changing.
Emily starts with Dan on a run before suddenly traveling back to a 1992 rave. The glow stick industry may have experienced a resurgence with this episode. He sees Livia, but it’s not our Livia, it’s the one who would have been around in 92. She’s quite the wild child, and later Livia will say this a period of life that “she vaguely remembers.” Heh.
The rave is in an old, dilapidated building, and Dan notices the bass thumping is pulling an old brick loose from the wall. So, naturally, he pulls it the rest of the way out and ends up making a big hole in the wall. I originally wanted to call foul on this, but after so many journeys now, I think it’s pretty believable that Dan would know he’s here for something other than a rave and would be looking for something that’s “off.”
He finds a little girl who’d been famously kidnapped, frees her and gets a pretty good look at her kidnapper, Aiden Bennett, a real estate agent.
But when the cops show up to break of the rave, he gets a fit of the stupid and is all “You don’t understand! This is Emily Kelso! She disappeared in 1992 and was never found!” Dan, Dan, Dan. These are not things you need to be saying, especially when the cops you’re talking to are already passing around photos of the kid saying “Is that the girl?!” Also, I was never a big watcher of That 70s Show, but I still always associated Kelso with Ashton Kutcher. Just me?
Dan ends up cuffed in the back of a squad car, but near as I can remember, it’s really only just for the hilarity of Dan showing up at Zack’s school in handcuffs while Katie is meeting with the principal about Zack’s behavior.
The long and short of it is that Zack’s being a bad boy. He’s talking back to his teacher, getting into fights on the playground and is an incident away from getting suspended — which later happens. At home, he’s not sleeping well, hasn’t talked to Dan or Katie about Dan’s vanishing and is challenging them at every turn, one example being a refusal to eat Katie’s pancakes because he wants Dan to make him eggs.
The show did a really good job of making me care about this story line, because at first, I really didn’t. But after Zack gets suspended for hitting another student, he tells Katie he has a headache, and she goes to get him some Tylenol, which, by the way, is kept in a very low, unlocked cupboard. I don’t know, is 7 old enough to trust them to not confuse pills with candy?
When Katie shows up, Zack is gone. She goes through the house calling for him before running into Dan, who just appeared. He asks what’s wrong and she tells him what happened before Zack…vanished. They each get these looks of absolute panic over the prospect of Zack being a traveler, too, and lost alone somewhere in time.
Turns out he’s just hiding in a kitchen cabinet. Dan pulls him out, and Zack says “I thought if I could disappear then you’d have to come save me; you’d HAVE to find me.”
Dan and Katie resolve to spend more quality time with him, and Katie is on her last straw with all this time travel business.
Meanwhile, Dan’s journeys are centering on Emily, who has not gone on to be a productive member of society. She has no family and has been staying — or more like running away from — a string of foster families, living on the streets and dealing drugs. It’s on one of these trips that we learn a little more about Livia.
Like Emily, Livia was a foster kid back in 1948, “except back then they called me ‘slant.’ That was swell.” And I want to talk a little about Livia. There wasn’t a whole lot of point before, because all she really did was show up from time to time to point Dan in the right direction, but now that we know more about her, I may as well. I like Livia a lot.
One of the things she tells Dan in this episode is that 1992 sure beat the hell out of ’48. And I can really buy that coming from a woman of Asian descent who — unless she got a personality transplant along with her time-traveling mojo — is pretty strong-willed and independent. Dan and Katie are great, but Livia, really, is probably the character admire the most in this series. She got plucked from her time, dropped 60-some years into the future for eight years and not only managed to adapt to the new technology and culture of the time, but took that opportunity to get an education and become a lawyer working in the district attorney’s office — something that would never be allowed in her time. So, yeah. Livia’s awesome.
Which is why when she tells Dan he really needs to be focusing on helping Emily get back on the straight and narrow and not on catching Aiden Bennett, because bad things happen when you go off mission, Dan should really listen.
But he doesn’t listen. Turns out Bennett is using these newfangled chat room things to meet and abduct girls, and he gets one more after Emily escapes. That girl was found dead and her killer never caught. So now Dan’s working in two “time zones” trying to stop Bennett in the past and trying to get Jack to catch him in the future.
Jack, by the way, has been talking with Trout about Dan. She tells him that Dan may be legitimately sick and in need of some psychiatric help if he’s paranoid and having delusions of time travel and whatnot. She urges Jack to convince Dan to see somebody, and if he refuses to haul him in on a 5150, which wikipedia tells me is a 72-hour involuntary confinement of somebody believed to be a danger to themselves or others and that Jack — as an officer of the peace — is indeed qualified to make that kind of decision.
It’s wikipedia, though, so take that with a grain of salt. Although, and on a bit of a sidenote, LeeLofland.com is an awesome site for anyone interested in writing and crime and getting it right when they write about crime. I mostly go for the “Castle” reviews, though.
But anyway, while Jack is digging into 2007 Aiden Bennett, it seems like he’s starting to come around on what Dan’s been saying. Unfortunately for Dan — but quite fortunate for the kidnapped kid — it becomes painfully aware that Emily may never get herself cleaned up as long Bennett is out free. So, Dan takes care of that, against Livia’s advice, and Bennett goes off to jail. What that means for Dan, though, is that all the conversations he’s had with Jack about Bennett never happened. And now Jack’s giving him an ultimatum: Go see this shrink that I scheduled you for, and if you don’t, I’m hauling you in.
This conversation is not helped by another Fit of the Stupid from Dan, who immediately goes all “We never talked! I changed the timeline!” Way to convince your brother you’re not as sick as he thinks you are, Dan.
And if that’s not enough, Garrity’s still around, this time harassing Hugh about Dan. Hugh’s not having it though, and eventually says if Garrity wants to know about Dan and all his computerly ways, Garrity will just have to take it without asking — “isn’t that what you guys do?” It’s a really great scene for Hugh.
Except then Garrity does just that and sees all the people and stories from the past journeys that Dan’s been looking up, from Neal Gaines to Emily Kelso.
And we’re not done yet. Because who should be spying on some of that Dan-and-Katie quality time with Zack.
Aiden Bennett, fresh out of prison.
Dan, Dan, Dan.
Bad things happen when you go off mission.
Next up: Episode 10 – Blowback. Watch it free on hulu.com/journeyman and come back here to talk about it.