‘Timeless’ Boss Says Series Finale Was a ‘Real Ending’ – But They Won’t ‘Declare Defeat Quite Yet’

“This is the ending of the NBC version of the show,” co-creator Shawn Ryan tells TheWrap

Timeless - Season 2
Photo by: Darren Michaels/Sony/NBC

(Warning: This post contains major spoilers for the “Timeless” series finale.)

And that’s all they wrote, Clockblockers. Or is it?

The Christmas-themed 2-part series finale of “Timeless” aired Thursday on NBC, giving fans of the history-hopping drama the final page in the Time Team’s story. And even though Lucy (Abigail Spencer), Wyatt (Matt Lanter), and Rufus (Malcolm Barrett) all got a happy ending — which co-creator Shawn Ryan tells TheWrap was in fact intended as a “real ending” — Ryan, his co-creator Eric Kripke and the other writers couldn’t help themselves from leaving you with a bit of a cliffhanger.

Yes, we’re talking about the girl who was sketching plans for a time machine at the very end there.

“This is the ending of the NBC version of the show,” Ryan told TheWrap in an interview ahead of the “Timeless” finale. “And as a result, I think NBC — who we’re eternally grateful for, for allowing us to make this wrap-up movie — I think it was required that we give something that felt like a real ending to this journey. Having said that, I think this is a universe of characters that could have more stories to tell, and thus the final scene of the movie that sort of opens the door a crack, I think, on the possibility.”

“That might be a little cocky on our parts, but kind of like Rufus, we’ve come back from the dead and, you now, we don’t want to declare defeat quite yet,” Ryan says.

As all you #SaveTimeless stans know, Ryan is of course referring to how “Timeless” — which had been in limbo while awaiting a renewal decision for months after wrapping Season 2 — was canceled (for the second time) by NBC in June and then gifted with tonight’s conclusion when the network and studio Sony Pictures Television struck a deal in July to produce the 2-parter.

“So we’re trying to have it both ways,” Ryan added. “We’re trying to tell something that feels definitively like an end to the 28-episode-NBC-‘Timeless’ journey — and try to do it in a very satisfying way — and yet in a way that sort of says, ‘You know, who knows if our heroes and the Lifeboat might be needed in service again?’”

Hey, with how many canceled series were salvaged by other networks and streamers this year, we have to admit anything is possible, though TheWrap hasn’t heard any rumblings about “Timeless” living on elsewhere.

As for the actual episode, Ryan says they worked in a few callbacks for you serious Clockblockers: “The ma’am callback and all that. Yeah, that was a good one. That’s definitely something the hardcore fans will appreciate more than the casual viewers. One of my favorites was — you know this is reflective once again of a finale — but going back to the pilot we had such fun with our characters using famous current names as their alibis when in the past. You know, ‘I’m Nurse Jackie and this is Dr. Dre,’ from the pilot. And so when Lucy says, ‘I’m Rachel Maddow’ [when they go back to the Korean War on the finale] and she’s trying to think of a name [for Jiya], she finally just gives up and says we’re Lucy and Jiya. I liked that, that sort of came full circle that, ‘Oh, the time of having to pretend to be someone else is gone and we can just be ourselves.”

Oh, and don’t think Ryan doesn’t know you’re glad Wyatt and Lucy ended up together, a move he says “made sense to us.”

“I mean, it’s something that has been seeded into the show from the very beginning, although the arrival of Jessica at the beginning of Season 2 really threw a wrench into that,” Ryan said. “And also we saw such amazing chemistry between Abigail and Goran [Višnjić], Lucy and Flynn, that in Season 2 — all great love triangles have equal sides, right? And the ‘Lucy/Flynn’ of it all, that got stronger and more interesting to us.”

“I think ultimately she ends up with Wyatt because Flynn sees that that’s really where her heart is and he sacrifices himself so that she could have a happy life,” he added. “But, you know, there’s other realities and other branches of time where she could have ended up with him, I think.”

Read more from our interview with Ryan here.