The following contains MAJOR SPOILERS for the “Winterland” episode of the NBC show, “Journeman.”
“Honey, I love that you went to a wife swapping party and it was Nixon that turned you on.” — Katie
We start off the episode with Dan holding a 2004 bottle of wine, which he learns he paid too much for, and then: zap.
Dan quickly runs into Livia when he pops into a wife swapping party in the 70s. They both are a little surprised and their host, played by John Schneider (“Smallville”), snaps up Dans wine and jokes with everyone about the gag “future” wine. Dan oddly doesnt care much about the party and instead is enthralled by the TV set with Nixon defending himself.
In walks a girl named Abigail who asks Dan where her mom is. Without thinking, he tells her shes in the bedroom and realizes too late his mistake. Abigail walks in on her mom having sex with another man. Shocked she runs out. Awkward.
From then on, Dan pops back and forth trying to save Abigail from dying and later from going to prison. Really this story is just filler, because the real meat this time is in the present.
You see, Dans brother Jack found the money from the Dylan McCleen hijacking. Jack ran it through the system, which got the FBIs attention. Last episode Jack admitted to the FBI that it came from his brother.
This episode the FBI is coming down hard on Dan trying to find the rest of the money and even starting to link him to other incidents in the past from Dans time travel adventures. Luckily, Katies quick thinking keeps the FBI from finding the money.
The mysterious Dr. Langely makes another appearance. This time talking his cryptic talk about quartz (which is oddly is mentioned by the hippies in the past) and his program that the government wanted to take over and use to fight terrorism. Langely warns Dan of telling anyone about his “book” that he is working on.
While all this is going on Katie rummages through Livias things and discovers where Livia lives:in 1948. Dan also finds out the bad news that his travels, if they follow the same pattern as Livia, will become longer and there is a chance he could become stuck. Needless to say that puts even more strain on a strained marriage.
So, we leave this episode wondering: Will the FBI arrest Dan or discover his secret? What is Dr. Langely up to? Will Jack ever stop being a jerk? What is up with the quartz references? Will the marriage survive? Who is pulling Dans and Livias strings?
Overall this was another great episode. I honestly wasnt sure about this series when it first started, but it has been getting better and better with these last few installments.
I love how they are linking together the various events from past episodes as Dans past adventures are started to catch up with him. Im curious to see how this how FBI storyline turns out and cant wait to find out what the mysterious Dr. Langelys story is.
Im impressed by the twist that Livia is actually based in the past. It is such a tragic irony that Livia lives in the past and travels to the future, while Dan lives in the present and travels to the past. Even if Dan hadnt chose to stay with his wife, fate has decided it for him. It is a forbidden love that reminds me of “Pushing Daisies.”
What Didnt Work
Again, what would be usually considered the ‘A’ story, the time traveling, is pretty much filler for the ‘B’ story, the present. The last few episodes have had a really good balance between the two, but this episode didnt pull it off. But Ill forgive them this time, since the ‘B’ story was so great this week.
Ah, man. Perhaps it is just my film production training, but their style of framing their camera shots is killing me. I dont notice so much in every episode, but in this episode the half cut-off faces were obviously back again. I dont understand why they do it. Artistic choice or just mistakes from lack of time?
Giving Credit Where Credit Is Due
The episode “Winterland” was written by Dana Calvo (“Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip”) and directed by Helen Shaver (“Judging Amy”). “Journeyman” airs Monday nights on NBC at 10/9c following “Heroes.”