In 1966, an old man stumbles into a hotel room. He crumples up some voyeuristic photos he has taken of young women on the street, jogging, etc. In a dark corner is a woman with a gun. As she is played by the frequently crazy Amanda Plummer, I don’t like his odds.
She clicks a lamp on and tells him — in a scathing indictment of our judicial system — that in 1994 he was executed for the willful murder of 8 women. Then she does the right thing. After shooting him in the melon, she opens up a portal and returns to the future.
Back in the present, FBI Agent Pratt (Michelle Forbes) is baffled by 17 deaths, all caused by the same gun since 1956. Strangely, they have just found a set of 30-year old prints on a lamp that match Dr. Theresa Givens (Plummer), however, she was in kindergarten at the time of the murder.
Pratt is at home when she gets the news. We get a complete role reversal where, instead of the standard nagging TV wife, her boyfriend does not see how solving a murder might be more important than necking on the couch.
Pratt attends a lecture by Givens and interviews her afterwards in her office. This tips off Givens so she goes back in time, cleans her prints of the lamp, and returns to the future.
Even with the fingerprint evidence erased from this timeline, there is further evidence implicating Givens. A gun that was issued to Givens by the NSA in 1988 was used in the 17 murders which date to 32 years before the gun was manufactured.
Pratt hears on the news that Jerome Horowitz, a man she had sent away for 17 murders, including her best friend Allison, was just executed. Givens hears the same report and uses the Wayback Machine to go back to 1980 and kill him. It is interesting that she points out that she waited for the “just and legal” sentence to be carried out in the future before she kills him in the past. She also gives him an awesome triple-tap.
Back in the future, Pratt goes to see Givens again, but for the first time as far as she knows in this timeline. Also, with Horowitz killed before he committed the murders, her friend Allison is still alive. Givens slips up and admits her connection to the murders. She proudly shows her time machine to Pratt. Sadly the time travel is giving her brain damage.
Givens travels back to when she was kidnapped and raped as a child 15 years earlier, the event that motivates her vengeance. The man holds young Givens as a human shield and tells old Givens to drop her gun. Unfortunately for him, Pratt followed Givens through the portal and uses her practice at killing two-headed freaks to drop him. Sadly, not before he got off a shot and killed older Givens.
Young Givens witnesses Pratt going back through the portal. Once back in the present, all the equipment begins to disappear as Givens no longer had the motive to pursue her vengeance.
Back in the FBI office, she realizes the impact of that last execution — since it took away Given’s motivation for vengeance, it has undone all the other pre-murders so all the 80+ victims are dead again including her friend Allison.
Pratt finds present day, clearly less crazy Givens, who recognizes her as the one who saved her 15 years ago. This Givens also created a time machine, but simply put it in storage after her funding was cut. Pratt goes back to re-kill Horowitz (his 3rd death in the episode).
This was the one kill that would return Allison to the timeline, but I suspect we are meant to viscerally feel that Pratt will continue as a bad-ass killing all the others. That is unlikely, though, as she saw the brain damage suffered by Givens for her repeated trips.
A great episode.
- Guns don’t kill people; crazy physicists kill people.
- Pointless Duplication: The 17 murders by the gun and the 17 murders by Horowitz seems to be a coincidence, but it is just bizarre the writer would use that confusing stat for two separate investigations.
- Amanda Plummer won an Emmy for her role, which doesn’t seem right. She’s a great character, but not much of an actress.
- Hulu sucks.