Dan meets a fellow time-traveler who erased his own marriage in last night's final (?) episode of Journeyman. This clip showcases everything that was great about the doomed show: its emotional depth, its cleverness and its willingness to reinvent classic scifi plots with its bare hands. Despite cancellation, Journeyman upped the ante this week with new characters, and more intriguing plot twists.
First, in Monday's episode, we had the classic "leaving advanced tech in the past" plot, only with a clever twist. Dan drops a 2007-vintage digital camera in 1984. When he returns to the present, people are using fancy "nano-tech" computers and smart paper. And Dan has a daughter instead of a son, because this fancy technology failed on the night he was supposed to conceive his son. The glimpses of an alternate 2007 with more advanced tech are pretty cool-looking. It also showcases one thing Journeyman has done well all along: showing how time travel creates alternate timelines.
Then on Wednesday, we met Evan the veteran time-jumper. Evan has been time-traveling for 15 years, until he's ended up a total wreck, trapped in a mental institution. After a maniac shot his wife, he kept going back in time and trying to "fix" the problem, but it only got nastier and nastier. So finally, Evan changed history so he never met his wife, leaving himself more broken-hearted than ever. It reminded me of a sadder, darker version of The Man Who Folded Himself. Evan also warned that meeting his own past self was what triggered his total mental collapse.
Finally, there's the scifi standby of the shadowy conspiracy. "They" are watching Professor Elliot Langley, the scientist who has extremely vague knowledge about Dan's time traveling. This was the least satisfying part of the episode, because it was our last chance to hear some answers about Dan's situation. And instead, we got wheel-spinning. But even this disappointment only made us wish Journeyman would have a new lease on life.
The good news: in a night of reruns and crappy reality programming, Journeyman finished second among adults 18-49 in the ratings. It came in third overall, with a respectable 4.6 million viewers. So maybe there's hope, especially if the strike drags on long enough to prevent anybody making new series pilots.