Travelers Season 2 Episode 2: PROTOCOL 4 Recap


The travelers take a minute to deal with their personal lives in this episode, after the events of the last few episodes have left them in an upheaval. Phillip finds a missing family member and a new friend. Mac and Carly seem to have given up on each other for the moment, and instead work on their hosts’ separate relationships. Marcy and Trevor spend time with David and Grace, as they all heal from injury and trauma. The team is finally starting to settle into their new lives and personas.

Phillip frantically searches headquarters for Poppy the turtle, who is safely crawling around on the floor. He picks her up and gives her a heartfelt apology. You’ve gotta love a man who loves his turtle.

Meanwhile, several people experience the worst timeshare sales pitch ever, as the salesman locks them in the room after they’ve already been there for hours. They’re quickly turned into travelers, even though there’s no visible threat to their lives. The consequences of the timeshare pitch just aren’t worth the free meal or whatever they promise you, kids.

Mac has fallen asleep on top of the covers in his clothes, with his gun handy. Wow, he has long, thick eyelashes. Kat walks in and Mac is at the door with the gun aimed at her in a flash. Good to know that he’s retained those FBI agent reflexes. She’s not impressed, having lived with him long enough to forget what his job is actually like.

She promptly starts nagging him, again, for not sharing the details of his confidential cases with her, and dropping everything for her on demand. I really want to be on her side, because he did cheat on her, but she’s so spoiled and unsympathetic. She was mean to the girl scout/messenger last season, for heaven’s sake.

He tries to be conciliatory, but she’s not interested unless he shares information that he’s not able to divulge. She gets petty and walks out on him. Same old, same old.

David has made pancakes for breakfast. He’s still jittery after too much caffeine and being up all night. He and Marcy switch seats in the breakfast nook, so that David doesn’t have to look at the spot where the assassin died.

David and Marcy go for a walk on the pier. She thinks that he’s developing PTSD, and wants to begin early treatment. She tries a tapping exercise as they sit on a bench, but it doesn’t work for David. Marcy leaves to do an errand, saying she’ll meet David back at home.

Trevor’s girlfriend Rene visits him in the hospital and tries to give him a handjob while Grace is in the next bed, separated by only a curtain. Trevor gets Rene out, though she says she’ll be back everyday, threatening to make Grace vomit. Grace is concerned that Trevor still has no feeling in his legs. The medical nanites should be working faster than this. Grace, on the other hand, is fully cured, but has to fake it for a few days, or she’ll raise suspicions amongst the staff.

Jeff gives Carly a literal drive by thank you for giving a statement that cleared him in the shooting of child assassin Charlotte. (I’m going to miss typing that.) She only did it because his sergeant leaned on her, but still. They realize that neither is allowed to see Jeff jr. They sit in his car and talk things over for a few minutes, deciding to try to put aside their anger to work together to try to get Jeff jr back.

Phillip attends a Narcotics Anonymous meeting, and talks about how much he misses original flavor traveler Marcy. After the meeting, a woman approaches him and introduces herself as traveler 4514/Jenny, sent by the Director to help him. They go for a walk and she gives him eye drops that contain a treatment to help with heroin withdrawal.

She explains that it’s a treatment that will be invented in about 20 years. She lists a few ingredients and says it will stop the cravings and ease his withdrawal. She understands that with the kidnapping and all he hasn’t been able to quit on his own.

Jenny offers him the drops, but he still doesn’t trust her, so she uses them herself. For a minute, she pretends that the drops have poisoned her. Phillip gives them a try when he sees that she’s okay. He says they’re amazing, and seems to perk right up.


Mac and Forbes have been assigned the case of the disappearing timeshare customers. Forbes drives them to the hotel, except he doesn’t know how to drive. At all. Mac asks if he’d practiced on the simulator. Forbes says, “You had a simulator?” Either Forbes really is from a faction that doesn’t have access to the normal training methods used by the Director, or things have gotten significantly worse in the past.

When Mac and Forbes go to examine the timeshare presentation room, the presenter tries to lock them in and run away, but Mac pursues and catches him. He orders the guy to show him the security tape. There are doughnuts in the security room, so Forbes has a couple, 21st century food still being new to him. 🍩

The security tape shows the clients in the room, then goes static, then stops recording. Mac asks the timeshare salesman about his plans for the group, assuming something was going to kill all of them in the next hour or two. He asks Phillip about upcoming deaths, but there aren’t any deaths in the record that match the circumstances. They wonder if Phillip doesn’t know about the deaths because the historical record is changing. Mac tells Forbes to scrub any connection to the hotel from the records of the 6 missing persons.

Jenny says that it’ll be nice for Phillip when he eventually doesn’t have the burden of knowing when everyone is going to die. Then she talks about Aleksander, the kidnapped boy who Phillip had the team save in S1 Ep3. She says she agrees with Phillip’s actions, and doesn’t think the Director is perfect. People created it, people can break the rules. She stands in front of a surveillance camera as she says it, but turns her back to it, leaving Phillip facing the camera. Phillip says they shouldn’t be talking about this, and changes the subject. Was this an attempt to gain blackmail leverage?

When Marcy returns to the apartment, David has added several new locks. She’s brought an eye movement therapy kit to help with his symptoms. They begin his session. A small light moves back and forth in front of his eyes. Marcy tells David to follow it with his eyes and describe his experience. She does more finger tapping on his hands, too.

David gets stuck in the memory and can’t stop it from playing out until he feels like it just happened all over again. Marcy decides it’s time to try a different treatment. David is skeptical, until she pulls out a couple of joints. She tries to show him how to ingest them, but he’s already familiar with the process, he says.

Once they’re stoned, David considers selling his apartment, but realizes he can’t, because someone died there, and all of his stuff is there. Marcy tells him to restain the floor and the dead guy won’t matter. David says he’s really feeling the new treatment. Marcy says she doesn’t feel anything. It’s a very existential strain of medicinal weed.

After work, Mac goes to visit Katherine. She’s staying at the home of a friend who’s out of town for a year. He’s brought wine to help with reconciliation, while she’s presenting him with separation papers. He’s so upset that he breaks a wine glass and cuts his hand. While he’s in the bathroom cleaning his cut, he notices her clear, open bag of vitamins. They unnerve him, and he races out into the kitchen, signs the papers, then out of the apartment.

I’ll give you three guesses what kind of vitamins would make him react that way, and the first two don’t count. Here’s a hint: pay attention to the episode title, which Forbes repeated twice when he went over the protocols.

Jenny takes Phillip to a talk by Dr Edwin Calloway, influential racist and misogynist. Phillip objects and is ready to walk out again, but she makes him stay. After a minute, his background slide is replaced by a photo of him acting as the sub in a BDSM scenario, being dominated by two women and a man, with leather, whips, and the whole sordid hooker cliché.

They run outside and stop to do some eye drops and make out. Phillip says he feels fine and doesn’t need any drops, but Jenny says, “Yeah, but don’t you want to feel amazing?” That shows it’s not meant to get Phillip clean, but to addict him to something only Jenny and her people can supply.

Back at headquarters, they fall into bed together. Phillip stops to pull out a condom, reminding her about Protocol 4. Jenny looks like she doesn’t care about Protocol 4, possibly may never have heard of it, but she may have already taken care of birth control on her own.


Grace wakes Trevor up in the middle of the night to talk, after she hides some paperwork under her covers. He was dreaming, but she doesn’t dream much. He says he can tell. She misses having intelligent conversation with the Director. Trevor has talked with the Director a few times. She doesn’t know what to do with her life now that she has no mission and isn’t responsible for the Director. Trevor reminds her she’s a guidance counselor, but that’s not appealing to Grace.


Grace asks if he misses original Grace when he looks at her. Trevor says that he feels terrible about making the last few hours of her life miserable. He’s cheated death for so long that he thought that he could do the same for someone else. He should’ve known better. Grace asks him to try to understand that the Director had already been corrupted and the Grand Plan was in jeopardy. Trevor says he understands.

Forbes finds that two of the missing persons have turned up together after getting a ticket for running a red light. Mac jokes that they can’t drive either. Yeah, let’s red flag that. Forbes suggested that they were having an affair. The local PD has taken the rest of the cases back. Mac is happy that Forbes is figuring this whole FBI agent thing out.

David comes home to find that Marcy has bought him a new area rug to cover the blood stains on the floor. She tells him that she’s moving out because he’ll be safer without her there. She was told that her placement with him was supposed to be temporary. David tells her that he loves her, and she loves him, she just doesn’t remember it. She agrees, she doesn’t remember, but she does care about him enough to move out.

Carly and Jeff visit the social worker to try to get Jeff jr back. The social worker is unyielding. After both parents were unreachable, arrested, jailed, and, it’s implied, Jeff had a drunken tirade at her, she’s done dealing with them. Jeff jr will stay in foster care until the next hearing.

Marcy walks in on Jenny and Phillip at headquarters, and gets all judgey now that she doesn’t have a boyfriend. Jenny makes her escape, while Phillip shows Marcy his shiny new addiction. Marcy has another fit because he didn’t run the drug by her first. Nobody’s stopping her from doing a chemical analysis on the new drug now that she knows about it, but we never see it happen, or the results. Instead, Phillip is defensive because he doesn’t want to lose what seems like a perfect solution to his addiction, and Marcy won’t allow herself to recognize the feelings she’s developing for David, because she doesn’t want him to get hurt.

Marcy eventually tells Phillip that she broke up with David and wants to stay at headquarters. He’s understanding, and tells her of course, headquarters is hers, too.

Marcy goes into the bathroom and prepares to use a laser to remove the scars from her self-performed minor surgery.


Jeff moves in with Carly so that they can show the social worker that they are serious about getting Jeff jr back. He’ll be sleeping on the couch.

Phillip texts Jenny to come to headquarters so that he can confront her. Edwin Calloway received so much hate because of Jenny’s prank that he killed his wife and son, then himself. Jenny feels no remorse, since his death probably saved many more lives than were lost. Phillip doesn’t see it that way, since Calloway’s wife and child were innocent. Jenny says that if what she did was wrong, the Director would let her know, and it hasn’t. Phillip doesn’t have an argument for that, but he still doesn’t like the situation.

Mac confronts Katherine about her pregnancy. It happened the night of his FBI surprise party, when he was drunk and having side effects from the antitoxin for the Helios mission. She hasn’t decided whether to keep it, and she doesn’t want his input. He leaves, reeling. He must have hoped it was someone else’s baby.

Another group of tourists is bored by another overlong timeshare presentation. The presenter leaves to talk to her manager, and locks them in the room as she leaves. She is one of the missing persons from the timeshare presentation that opened the episode.


The eye drop ingredients Jenny names are the drug naloxone, which is already used to treat heroin overdoses, and Buphrenorphine, also already in use to treat opioid addiction. It’s an opiate that’s more weakly addictive than others such as heroin or methadone, so it can be used as a transitional drug. In other words, she didn’t name anything that required future knowledge.

New arrivals cause static on video cameras. That’ll come up again.

There are blossoms on the trees around town. It’s springtime.

Something’s going on with Grace, but I still don’t know what. Did she doom herself by giving Trevor nanites? Is she filling out medical proxy/living will papers and naming Trevor in them? Did she, like Blue, always plan on dying when she was done with her mission? Or is it something else entirely, like she’s considering revealing some huge truth to him that only she and Ellis knew, so she needs a new back up?

Or, considering the emphasis that Marcy’s lost emotions and memories got this episode, and the number of times Trevor has switched bodies, has he lost more than he realizes? Were he and Grace together, maybe married? Did he lose his memory, or was it erased to make frequent transfers easier?

So is the quantum frame assembled in each hotel, or a small portable version of it? Or can the Faction’s version of the Director now transfer travelers more like the original Director? The people becoming hosts in hotels sure aren’t being overwritten according to the normal rules.

Jenny showed up the day that the first group of hotel people went missing. She’s likely one of them. Now Mac and Phillip each have travelers assigned to them who are from the Faction act atypical, and are very new. How long before Carly, Trevor, and Marcy find new friends?

The Faction travelers must be invisible to the Director. Either regular travelers are tagged in some way (their coms or the neutrons they travel in, if my theory is correct), or the Faction chooses people who weren’t going to die, so that no one in the future knows who to watch.


There could be a reason why the travelers aren’t supposed to reproduce, beyond the obvious interference with the timeline. If travelers do travel using neutrons, they could be extra radioactive, which could leave the child vulnerable to cancers and other diseases, if the pregnancy survives full term. There’s also the other obvious reason: it’s very likely that they won’t be around/alive to raise the child.

But they emphasized that protocol over and over, and gave Vincent a child who’s his whole world. Something more will come of this than just the normal time travel issues. Either time travel alters the body in a toxic way, or the baby is affected by having a time traveler for a parent, probably something to with quantum entanglement that’s far beyond my ability to comprehend. Maybe the babies will turn into time travelers like the ones in The Time Traveler’s Wife when they reach puberty, or some other developmental threshold, either floating through time and space uncontrollably, or switching bodies and time periods at will at any time, without the need for any outside help. Maybe Vincent’s son is already able to time travel, and that’s another reason Vincent keeps him close to the house. Maybe he’s River Song.

Thoughts? Theories?


Travelers Protocols:

Protocol 1: The mission comes first.

Protocol 2: Leave the future in the past. Don’t jeopardize your cover.

Protocol 3: Don’t take a life. Don’t save a life. Unless otherwise directed.

Protocol 4: Do not reproduce.

Protocol 5: In the absence of direction, resume your host’s life.

Protocol 6: Traveler teams should stay apart unless instructed otherwise.


Traveler numbers:









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