The following contains MAJOR SPOILERS for the “Emily” episode of NBC’s show, “Journeyman.”
“Emily” starts us off with a jogging Dan who suddenly: zaps into a rave in 1992. Dan bumps into a partying Livia who hasnt met him yet, which was funny. At first I thought this was the current Livia and she was drunk or something.
Anyway, Dan spies a brick wall that doesnt look quite right and pulls away some loose bricks to find a little girl, Emily, imprisoned inside. Dan has a brief run-in with the man who kidnapped her and then the cops show up.
He tries to hand her over to the police and point them to the mysterious man, but they arrest him instead. Dan is handcuffed and locked in a police car. How will he escape? Zap: back to the present.
Katie is just returning from a visit with the school. Zack hasnt been sleeping and apparently is starting fights at school. Zack is desperate for attention from his absent time traveling father. If something doesnt change, Zack may be suspended. But Katie doesnt have much time to contemplate this as Dan pops wearing handcuffs. How will they get him free?
So, after popping into a sex store and testing keys, they finally find the right one to get the darn handcuffs off.
Meanwhile, Theresa is close to convincing Jack that he needs to force his brother to see a shrink. Back at Dans workplace, the FBI is snooping around again. The agent tries to talk Dans boss, Hugh, into giving him the sources that Dan used for his Dylan McCleen article. Hugh wont play ball.
Dan learns that now time shows that another child was kidnapped after Emily was saved. This girl was found dead. Dan learns that the man he saw was Aeden Bennett (Raphael Sbarge), a realtor that the police suspected but couldnt find any evidence.
Dan talks to Jack and Jack finally starts to: sort of believe him, when Dan confirms the future twenty dollar bill that Dan left in the past in a previous episode.
The rest of episode is Jack helping Dan. Dan and Livia tracking Emily, who became a runaway and started dealing drugs. They help her because the person she is meant to be, but Dan cant let go his obsession to save the girl, Micaela Martinez, that was kidnapped by Aeden.
Livia warns him that there will be repercussions if he “strays from the path.” But Dan is Dan and he cant stand by and not do something. He saves Micaela and helps the police capture Aeden.
Back in the present Zack is suspended from school. Since time changed Jack doesnt remember his conversation with Dan, he believes Dan is crazy and is forcing him to see a psychiatrist. To top things off, Aeden is now out of prison and, unknown to Dan, he is stalking Dan and his family. Things are going to get ugly real soon.
This was a strong episode that effectively blended both the present-day storyline and the travels back to the past incredible well. “Game Three” warned us how some things are just meant to happen and “Double Down” showed us how things Dan does in the past can adversely effect his present.
“Emily” blends the two ideas together. Dan fights against this unwritten temporal rule to save Micaela Martinez, which adversely affects his present day life, as the kidnapper is now stalking Dan and his family.
We continue to see the FBI investigation getting closer and closer to discovering the truth about Dan. Livia knows more than she is saying. It was nice seeing Zack again and Im curious as to where these emotional problems are going to lead us.
Can Dans marriage and job handle the burden of these random leaps into time? And Im still wondering what that Dr. Langleys deal is?
“Journeyman” is probably the most true science-fiction series on TV right now. Take real people and add a “what if” scenario. What if you could suddenly travel back in time and help people, but you couldnt completely control it?
What Didnt Work
Overall this was of the strongest episode of the show. It had a nice balance between past and present storylines and a cliffhanger ending. I wasnt really paying attention, but I didnt see any of those pesky half cut off face camera framing.
I wish they hadnt reverted Jack back to his jerk brother role. They worked so well together and I actually think I could learn to like Jack, if they can get him back to that reluctantly supportive role.
Sadly there are only a few episodes left. “Journeymans” future is unclear. With the low ratings and the writers strike, the future looks bleak for “Journeyman.”
Hmm: if only I could travel back in time to help the show. Yeah, that would be: zap!
Giving Credit Where Credit Is Due
“Emily” was written by Juan Carlos Coto (“Freakylinks”) and directed by Fred Keller (“24”). “Journeyman” airs Monday nights on NBC at 10/9c following “Heroes.”