This episode we delve further into Simon’s back story and his research with Vincent. We also find out a little more about what Vincent is up to in the present. The travelers search for Vincent with Simon’s help, and things come to a head in their personal lives. MacLaren brings Dr Perrow in on a plan to capture Vincent.
We start the episode at the 2012 gala where original MacLaren and Kat met Vincent, which Vincent mentioned to traveler MacLaren when Mac questioned Vincent. It’s a silent auction, and Kat tells Grant that there’s no way football tickets are worth that much. But it’s for the children!! He runs into Vincent as he steps away to get them another drink.
Vincent stops to chat with Kat, assuming she means that she endowed a research chair when she says that she donated a chair to the auction. Still socially awkward after 11 years in the 21st. Kat explains that she means a literal chair, which doesn’t have any bids yet, so they take a walk over to look at it.
As they approach, Vincent is mesmerized by the series of Simon’s drawings displayed next to Kat’s lovely chair. She informs him that the drawings were done by a patient at the hospital. Visibly moved by the sight of his lost home and people, Vincent buys all of them.
In the present day, Mac is back to work at the FBI, earlier than expected and upset because his case has been reassigned. He takes out his aggressions during target practice. Beth, his long suffering assistant, gets him his case back. Forbes seems to have disappeared since he was overwritten in episode 6.
David takes Marcy to find Simon, telling her that Simon is a good person inside who doesn’t trust many people and has issues with coherent thought. He met Simon a year to year and a half ago, not long after he met original Marcy. So, Simon was released from the hospital and dumped on the streets when Vincent was through with him, as part of Vincent’s cover up, just like Marcy.
Marcy asks if Simon is paranoid or delusional. David tells her yes, that Simon is on a mission from the Director, whatever that means. They find a new series of chalk drawings that Simon has just finished. While they’re looking at the drawings, Simon comes over and greets Marcy like it’s only been a few days since the last time he saw her.
Phillip is going through another Bad Timeline Trip, watching himself split into two Phillips in the mirror and trying to determine which is in the correct timeline. He’s listening to depressingly slow music, which is probably all that he can handle, but Carly pesters him over the coms to switch to a faster song. He’s cranky with her and insists that he’s not her DJ. Eventually he changes the song anyway, and takes some of his magic yellow timeline adjusting pills.
Carly is washing the dishes and starts doing a little dance to the music. Jeff sr sees her and is charmed as he’s about to leave for work, so he gives her a kiss on the cheek. She’s not amused.
Gary gives Trevor a ride to school and checks in with him about the football coach sexual abuse scandal. Trevor assures his host’s dad that he wasn’t abused, which is technically true. It was his host that was abused. Gary is relieved, and says he knew that nothing like that had happened to HIS son. One of these days I’ll make a list of all of the ways this show models toxic masculinity. Gary’s attitude, right there, would be why original Trevor never came forward, and fought himself to death, instead, just like Kyle was going to commit suicide by reckless driving, which is, sadly, a real thing that teenage boys do. I’ve known more than one who gave it a try.
Marcy has brought Simon and photos of his chalk sidewalk drawings back to ops. The entire team is as moved as Vincent was the first time he saw them. Marcy tells the team that she knows Simon from her host’s memories of the institution. MacLaren tries to question Simon, but his paranoia makes him resistant. He tries to dazzle them with his superior science knowledge so that they’ll understand that questioning him is futile.
Simon: Okay, so you know that an emission of Hawking radiation concerns two mutually entangled particles.
Mac: Who doesn’t?
Simon: And if that particle enters a black hole, it emits a finite amount of information, leaving you with what? A paradox. The monogamy of entanglement requires that the outgoing particle be fixed inside two independent systems at the same time.
Phillip: Definitely upper echelon. Probably a specialist.
Mac: Is that right, Simon, are you a specialist?
Simon: Yes. I am. And if you don’t believe me, ask the Director. Ask the…
Simon’s hallucination of Vincent interrupts him and tells him to shut up. Simon has been drawing Vincent while he’s been talking. Marcy notices and recognizes the picture. Mac wonders how she knows Vincent, and she explains that he was at the institution with her and Simon, experimenting on patients. Simon tells them that Vincent is traveler #001. Finally.
Hallucination Vincent tells Simon that he’s been a bad boy and must be punished. Simon pulls out a pocket knife, and makes like he’s going to cut out his own tongue, but Carly and Trevor hold him still while Marcy takes the knife. Hallucination Vincent is just as evil as real Vincent.
Flashback to Simon’s early time in the 21st, when he was buying parts on the black market to build traveler communication networks. He was working so fast that his supplier was having trouble keeping up with his demand.
In the present time, Simon wakes up in a bed at ops, having passed out after his attempt at self-punishment. Phillip brings him a glass of water, and interrupts his current Vincent hallucination, which is telling him to leave ops. Phillip tells him he’s safe there.
Mac is woken up by a clicking noise in the house, and breaks down in Kat’s arms. She shows him a lamp on a security timer, but it’s likely that Vincent has increased his surveillance of their loft and Mac is somehow picking up on it.
Another flashback shows Simon continuing to work on the communications network, and appearing to be hunted by the FBI. It turns out that the manhunt was a hallucination that was part of his worsening schizophrenia.
Trevor’s girlfriend Renee meets with him to let him know that she’s not sure she wants to be together any more. He’s a little too understanding, almost relieved, and assures her that breaking up is for the best. He wraps up the meeting quickly so that he can get back to what he was doing. Renee doesn’t seem sure of what exactly just happened. Trevor should run master classes in how to handle your host’s personal life. Affectionate detachment all the way.
Phillip calls Mac to come to ops and look at what Simon’s doing. As Mac is leaving the FBI building, he runs into David, who crosses a major line by going to Marcy’s boss behind her back about his perception of her as self-destructive. Thankfully, Mac shoots him down and supports Marcy.
Try to imagine if, after the plane crash, one of the other travelers went to Mac’s FBI boss about his self-destructive behavior on the plane. Totally inappropriate for them to insert themselves into his job, right? Mac would be furious, and rightly so. He was mad at Phillip in the last episode just for showing up at his house in relation to a mission. But the writers think it’s totally okay for David to go to Marcy’s boss and reveal private medical information without her permission.
I’m willing to bet that this will never come up again. He won’t be called on his behavior; she won’t get angry with him for being manipulative and controlling. If she did, we’d be told that he was taking care of her, because of society’s underlying atitude that women are really children who can’t be trusted to make decisions for themselves. No matter how much David patronizes Marcy, she still comes back for more infantilization.
Simon discovers Phillip at work on the travelers computer network and takes over for himself. It’s evolved immensely since his time, and his fascination with the changes is enough of a distraction to allow him to work around his schizophrenia for a while and relay information to the team.
When Mac gets to ops, the team informs him that Simon was one of the first travelers, #004. His mission was to set up the travelers communication infrastructure, using a deep layer of the internet that he created for that purpose. As he’s been messing around on the team’s computers, he’s found that Vincent has created layers of his own, and is secretly using them to spy on the travelers. Now that they know he’s there, they can turn the tables on Vincent and use his communication channels against him.
In a flashback to the past, we see Vincent and Simon meet in the hospital for the first time. Simon’s psychiatrist, Dr Carroll, makes the introduction. Simon immediately recognizes Vincent’s voice as that of traveler 001, who is supposed to be dead. He tells Vincent that they searched for him for years. Vincent tells Simon that the Director has given him the new mission of helping Simon and making him whole again. Simon is too ill and hopeful to question Vincent’s words.
Before long, Vincent is paying off Dr Carroll personally and the hospital as a whole with large donations, as he moves more and more equipment into room 21C of the hospital, where he and Simon work together on recreating future technology.
But, as we know, their work didn’t pay off. Marcy was irrevocably damaged, most likely the other patients who disappeared were also, and Simon was made homeless, with his mental health unimproved. We see another flashback to Simon and Vincent arguing over the meteor, with Vincent telling Simon that they have to complete the project without it, since it won’t fall for years. Simon says they have the node clusters and the math library, they just need a CUBIT engine and a field generator. They need to be operating on an exoscale. The Director should get the materials for them. Vincent walks out on him.
Still in the past, Dr Carroll begs Vincent not to withdraw his support from the hospital, because there are entire programs that rely on it. They’ll have to shut those programs down and discharge patients. Vincent suggests that she keep the programs running with the money that he’s given to her over the years.
Back in the present, Simon has helped the team set up alerts to monitor Vincent’s activity, but most of his communications are encrypted in a way that they haven’t been able to break. Then Vincent gets a call from an unencrypted burner phone that the team traces to his psychologist, Dr Perrow. Dr Perrow has called Vincent to cancel their appointment. She’s no longer comfortable working with him. Vincent insists that she meet with him as planned. She hangs up on him.
David gets home from work and finds Marcy making pasta and sauce for dinner. He acts like cooking a meal is far beyond her capabilities. She ignores it and comes on to him, so they have sex. Afterward, she convinces him that she’s gotten her memories back.
Kat finds Mac working late at the office. She tells him that she knows he’s avoiding her because he’s depressed and seeing her makes it worse. She suggests they take some time off and go to Europe, where they won’t be constantly reminded of the baby. Mac doesn’t want to leave work, so she brings up her back up plan, adopting a baby. Mac looks overwhelmed, and unsure about how the Director will react, but technically he wouldn’t be reproducing, so he agrees to it.
Jeffrey comes home drunk and tries to force himself on Carly, who’s emphatically not interested. He tells her that he’s been good, so he deserves it, whereas she’s slept around, so she has to give in. And, there we have it. He thinks she owes him sex because he wants her and he’s been nice to her for a while. Since she’s a “slut” she has no right to decide what happens to her own body.
They get into a physical fight, with Carly telling Jeff to stay down and stop fighting every time she gets him on the floor, but he won’t stop. She eventually sits on him and punches his face over and over until he’s unconscious, with his face a bloody pulp.
She seems like she won’t stop until he’s dead, but Phillip coms in and sings her a song, breaking her out of the spell she was in. This is the scene that he was worried about happening. The next morning, he sticks to protocol 2H and denies having any prior knowledge. Jeff sr looks at himself in the mirror and sees that he now looks like the monster that he is.
Mac and Carly meet with Dr Perrow. They tell her that Vincent is in hiding. They want her to keep her appointment with him so that they can follow her and find him. They’ll set her up with a com so that they can monitor her at all times and she won’t be in any danger.
Simon asks to go back home, so Marcy takes him back to the street where he made his drawings, with an envelope of cash and his jug of chalk. She tells him to come back to ops when he runs out of money, and they’ll help him out again. Simon tells her that he’s glad Vincent’s device worked to fix her. Maybe it can eventually fix him, too.
Dr Perrow gets picked up by Vincent’s driver. Mac, Carly and Trevor follow at a safe distance. She’s taken to an old barn with no electrical power, where her com stops moving. The team follows, and finds that her com has been removed and left on the barn floor. Nothing good ever happens on old farms.
Meanwhile, Vincent’s goons kidnap Simon.
Dr Perrow is forced to record a message for MacLaren, with the blood from the com removal still running down her neck. Vincent is always so heavy handed. She and her daughter are both being held hostage. They’ll be released, unharmed, if MacLaren presents himself, unarmed and alone, at the coordinates on the screen. If he doesn’t, they’ll never be heard from again.
Does Vincent always walk around with a pocket stuffed with envelopes full of large sums of cash to distribute as needed? Whenever anyone balks at anything, he’s always prepared with an envelope.
Phillip has a really nice singing voice.
I’ve done the best I could transcribing Simon’s science jargon in his conversations with the team and with Vincent, but I don’t really understand what he’s talking about, beyond guessing that it’s where quantum physics and computer technology meet, with a dash of imaging technology to help with the TELLs. If anyone can explain it better than what I’ve come up with, I’d appreciate it!
The Hawking Radiation, black holes, and quantum entanglement build on information we’ve been given before. They are probably using the room temperature superconductors that the element from the meteor allowed them to build to create micro black holes, which emit pairs of entangled particles. They’ve found a way to control the path of the particles, so that one of the pair, carrying all or part of a traveler’s consciousness, rides a curve in the space-time continuum, also created by the black hole, back to the 21st century, and comes to rest in the brain of the designated host.
Exoscale is a European cloud hosting company that must have survived into the distant future. They are already used by scientific labs such as CERN, home of the largest particle physics lab in the world, and the home of the Large Hadron Collider, the most powerful particle collider in the world.
Node clusters and math libraries both have to do with programming languages. There are a lot of fictional and nonfictional types of field generators, but my guess is that Simon was referring to the software version. So he had found or written some of the consciousness transfer software, but he wanted help with some of the more complicated parts. He’s a communications software specialist, so there would be some overlap, but some parts of the process would be beyond his expertise, and it’s crucial to get it right.
A CUBIT engine is used for CUBIT geometry: “the definition of where a topological entity lies in space. Within CUBIT, the topological entities consist of vertices, curves, surfaces, volumes, and bodies. Each topological entity has a corresponding dimension, representing the number of free parameters required to define that piece of topology. Each topological entity is bounded by one or more topological entities of lower dimension.”
It’s easy to see how this would relate to the TELL parameters and finding the brain in space and time for the consciousness transfer. They may use an Exoscale cloud as the vehicle of transfer because it’s a Swiss company that’s survived continuously, so whatever it is that transfers has a physical setting for the entire time period it travels. Exoscale probably has servers that are in deep underground vaults, using geothermal power, at least in the travelers mythology.
Exoscale also allows the heavy mathematical computations that the consciousness transfer software would no doubt require in order to direct the quantum particle through space and time with pinpoint accuracy.
Below, some of Simon’s drawings. Every single person is bald, huddled and sick looking. There are never any soft looking spaces, only stone and metal platforms and steps. It looks like a bleak existence.
The center drawing in the top photo shows an elaborate machine. Could it be the main yeast incubator, or the consciousness transfer device? There are spires reminiscent of the quantum frame.
Protocol 1: The mission comes first.
Protocol 2: Leave the future in the past. Don’t jeopardize your cover.
Protocol 2H: Historian updates are not to be discussed with anyone. Ever.
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.
T.E.L.L.: The Time, Elevation, Latitude, and Longitude of what would have been the historical death of a Traveler’s host body.