(Warning: This post contains major spoilers for the “Timeless” series finale.)
Final mission accomplished, Time Team.
“The Miracle of Christmas,” the 2-part series finale of NBC’s “Timeless,” aired tonight, giving Clockblockers the early Christmas gift of a conclusion to the series, which was officially canceled for the second time in June and promised this closer the following month, when studio Sony Pictures TV struck a deal with the network to produce the special.
The wild ride through time saw Lucy (Abigail Spencer), Wyatt (Matt Lanter), and Jiya (Claudia Doumit) manage to use the Lifeboat to save Rufus (Malcolm Barrett), Flynn (Goran Visnjic) sacrifice himself so the group would be sure to accomplish their task, the defeat of Rittenhouse, and a future where Jiya and Rufus and Wyatt and Lucy are happily paired off — and there are even a few kiddos!
However, there was one scene from this final episode that co-creators Shawn Ryan and Eric Kripke disagreed on — at first: the one in which Lucy goes back to give her journal to Flynn aka the moment that sets “Timeless” in motion.
“I was actually arguing against that scene early in the story-breaking, it was Eric who was very adamant. And he turned out to be 100 percent right. (laughs)” Ryan told TheWrap in an interview ahead of Thursday’s two-parter. “Eric was very adamant that he felt like- it was definitely something he was talking about even before we made the movie. He was like, ‘At some point we need to see Lucy go back to 2014 and give Flynn the journal.'”
He continued: “And at one point I think we had broken a story, a whole outline, that did not include that scene and Eric wrote an email saying, ‘We’ve gotta find a way to do this thing.’ And then when [finale writers Lauren Greer and Arika Mittman] found a way right at the end to have it come, and just as you feel you’ve gone a long time without Flynn, you don’t think you’re going to see Flynn again, you see how what they have to do preserves the good life that they all have now. That this is a one-time journey. And you see Flynn back at his lowest point knowing that he’s going to have to reach these great heights later on, I thought it was really beautiful and I’m glad Eric kept fighting for that and he turned out to be right.”
Don’t worry, because Ryan is obviously on board now, he just “didn’t understand exactly what Eric was going for when he first started talking about it.”
“And it felt a little divorced from the story we were telling at that moment,” he added. “Once again, I’m talking about early stages of the story-breaking process, when the story is much more amorphous and we weren’t exactly sure how we were going to end. And I didn’t quite understand the time-travel aspect of it at first. So then when it was explained to me, ‘OK, that does make sense.’ It wasn’t so much that I was adamant about it, it was just something that I couldn’t clearly envision the way that Eric had. And so it was just a case of me needing to understand it more and me being a little bit slower than everyone else to arrive at where we clearly needed to arrive. (laughs)”
Now if you are a Flynn fan, Ryan say you can send your thank-you notes for his finale redemption story to Greer and Mittman, as they “broke the vast majority of the story, with Eric Kripke and I sort of coming in and weighing in, adding a few things.”
“But really the bulk of the work was theirs,” Ryan said. “And when they pitched the whole idea of this Flynn sacrifice and how it would come about and what it would mean and that it’s really out of love for Lucy and his desire to give her a happy life, I loved it. And you use the word redeeming, I think that’s exactly what it is. You know, so many of his actions over the course of the series were based around trying to recreate a happy life that he once had, and like so many things we become the best versions of ourselves when we stop worrying about ourselves and try to make the lives of others better. And that’s what he did in that moment and I think that makes us love him for it.”
Read more from our interview with Ryan about the finale — including whether this really is the end of “Timeless” — here.