The following contains MAJOR SPOILERS for the “Blowback” episode of the NBC series, “Journeman.”
“So what, trying to get a kidnapper behind bars gets me shot? Who in the hell are we working for?” – Dan Vasser
“You have to stay focused. You have a job here. You finish it and you go back, cry about it and youre stuck here.” – Livia
“Blowback” continues the storyline from the last episode, “Emily.” Dans decision to save Micaela Martinez from kidnapper Aeden Bennett (Raphael Sbarge), despite warnings from Livia that he shouldnt venture from his mission to help Emily, bites him in the butt big time in this episode.
We start off with Dan saying goodbye to his family and sitting down at the kitchen table unsuspecting. Then Aeden, recently released from prison, comes inside and promptly shoots Dan. After a bit of ranting, Aeden turns his back and a bleeding Dan promptly disappears to 1983.
While gone, Aeden lays a trap for Dans wife Katie and holds her prisoner.
After a trip to the hospital and help from Livia, Dan returns to the house that he appeared next to. Dan suspects something is wrong and breaks into the house to find a 10-year child locked in his room.
Starving and alone, the child is scared to death that his father will punish him. Dan wants to call social services, but a quick visit from the dad has Dan bloody and hiding in a closet. To his shock Dan realizes that the childs abusive father is a cop. Oh, and that the child is Aeden Bennett.
Ever so tempted to kill the child that would grow up to kidnap children and shoot him, Dan fights back the urge and hopes that helping him is the right choice. Zap: Dan is sent back to the present near death from an infection.
Meanwhile, Livia is zapped to the present with a surprise visit with Jack. She tells a shocked Jack that Dan has been shot and is somewhere in the city. Luckily, Jack manages to find him.
Oh, I forgot the surprise visit at Dans house from the rogue FBI agent who is trying to prove that Dan is a time traveler. Lets just say Aeden fixed that problem for Dan.
Dan comes in, backed up by his brother who finally has no choice but to believe the time travel stories. Dan talks Aeden down by bringing him back to the point that they met when he was a child and convincing him to tell the police the whole truth, so he can get some serious mental help.
This was one of the strongest episodes of the series, written by executive producer Kevin Falls. They have been building to this all season and there were some great payoffs.
We still have the mystery of Dr. Langely, but we finally have a Jack who believes. Hopefully that wont get “rebooted” again. The only way I can stand Jack is when he is helping Dan.
It was a fantastic performance from Raphael Sbarge as Aeden. He had two excellent takes on the character. A slimy businessman and then an ex-con revenge filled man.
McKidd also showed great range taking us from the usual moral Dan we all know to a Dan contemplating killing “Hitler” as a child.
What Didnt Work
The ratings. There are only two more episodes that have been made, and it is looking less and less likely that we are going to see both of them, except maybe on the DVD collection. Things look extremely bad for “Journeyman,” and it is highly unlikely that this series will get more episodes for Season 1, much less be renewed for another. Too bad because, while I can understand why the series didnt catch on, I have grown to really like it.
Giving Credit Where Credit Is Due
“Blowback” was written by executive producer Kevin Falls (“The West Wing,” “Sports Night,” “Shark”) and directed by Karen Gaviola (“CSI: Miami”). “Journeyman” airs Monday nights on NBC at 10/9c following “Heroes.”