Thursday, December 20, 2007

End of the Journey, Man

This is my review about the final episode of NBC's Journeyman. If you haven't seen it, and are planning on watching it, well then I would wait to read this blog until you've seen it. If you have never seen or don't like Journeyman (ps impossible), then I guess I wouldn't read this. If you don't watch Journeyman, but just love my work, well then read away!!!

I'd also quickly like to comment on the poll, which has 3 people liking the tv portions of the blog, and 4 liking the sports (at this posting time), so that tells me two things - I'm still not sure which direction to head my blog, and at least 7 people read my blog! And now, back to the show.

Spoilers Ahead (gotta say it, everyone else does)

Oh, Journeyman. When I first heard of the show, I paid little attention to it, considering it to be just one of the many new sci-fi type shows on primetime for the 2007 season that were trying to piggyback off the success of Heroes. But when my trusted friend in TV Nick Marcou told me it was the best pilot he'd seen since Lost, I had no choice but to check it out.

And was I glad I did. The first episode of Journeyman was incredible. Let me go back 3 spaces (heard someone say this today, thought it was funny, stole it) and just set-up the premise. It's about a guy who one day discovered he can time travel, although has no control over it. When he time travels, he has "missions", to save people and basically rewrite history. But he has to be careful, as things he does can, and did, mess up the life he had come to known. At first it drew Quantum Leap comparisons (never actually did see that show), but then quickly settled into its own.

Wednesday night's episode was the thirteeth of the series, the last of the the completed episodes ordered by NBC earlier in the year. NBC hasn't gone to officially cancel the show, but they didn't pick up the option to produce the back nine episodes of the season. And while the words "series finale" were never uttered, that's basically what tonight's episode was.

In this "finale", Dan went back, although not long, to September 2007, before he became a traveler. He met a man named Evan in a mental instituiton, althouth Evan claimed to be a time traveler as well. Dan was skeptical at first, because after he helped Evan escape from the institution to find the girl he loved, it turned out the girl never even knew Evan.

Evan did have proof though, as this girl, the love of his life, did actually know him, and Evan had a tape of the two winning a salsa dancing competition in 2004. As Evan explained, his love eventually was killed and Evan's new life purpose was to try to stop that from happening while he was also traveling, saving people's lives. It never worked for him, so he decided to completely rewrite history and make it so the two never met, thus saving her life.

Dan and Livia, his time traveling buddy / "dead" ex-lover, ended up helping Evan's old love "remember" him, and there mission was complete. That is, until Evan died on the dance floor. As Dan found out, Evan's death was right before the first time Dan himself began to travel.

I guess I was hoping for more from this episode. I think at the time it was written, the expectation was to hopefully be picked up, but also to write it in a way that if it was cancelled, it would at least bring somewhat of a closure to the series. A few things were resolved, sort of. Livia told her new husband circa 1948 that she was a travler, Elliot Langley revealed why he's pretended not to know Dan, although not completely what he knows, saying "I'm being followed", and "no one is 'doing' this to you, Dan". And Dan told Katie that while he will still always come home, he feels like time traveling is bigger than himself, and it's something he feels he has to do.

By no means was this a bad episode, I completely enjoyed it. I was just under the assumption something more would be explained, or there would be a shocking, and most likely never to be revealed cliffhanger, something where Dan makes a huge mistake in the past, and his new goal becomes trying to fix it (that did happen in episode 12 with Zach, but he was able to fix that in 44 short minutes). But this episode didn't match what I thought were the three best - that being the Pilot, the episode where Dan is his own mission, and the Zach episode.

I don't at all think this show will be renewed, even though the ratings aren't terrible (not great, but not terrible), it's a show well-watched in high-income homes, and it has a large cult following. I think because of the cost of the show, and the toughness for someone to jump in this late in the game, NBC will let this one slip away. I've previously compared this show to Daybreak, a show on ABC last year starring Taye Diggs, as well as Moon Bloodgood (Livia on Journeyman), about a guy who kept reliving the same day over and over. That show too captivated me like this one, and was done after 13 shows. The thing with Daybreak, is it knew it was going to be cancelled, and ended in a way where the viewer was left satisfied. If the people at Journeyman knew this was going to be it, they may have written the episode a little differently, wrapping up a few more things. But at least, if this ever does return as a series (maybe a movie question mark), they at least won't have to start from scratch. I would also love to know what the show would have been like if it were just a thirteen episode miniseries, and the writers had the task of wrapping it up in 13.

I guess to recap, this show is gone to soon, the final episode didn't fully live up to my expectations, but I'm happy with the overall run of the show. It was a good show, one that I would recommend, and most likely will buy on DVD. The chances of it coming back are probably less than once percent, and I've made my peace. I do think though, that maybe it is too hard to wrap up a show that has so many possibilities.

In the end, a great show, not seen by enough people, done too soon. And even though the end of the episode took Dan on another journey, it's sad to say that we won't be able to go with im.


Anonymous said...

Where's my props? I told you this was damn good show too. I am a little insulted, but fine, whatever, I see where I fit in.

Chris said...

Chris is the under-appreciated.

Anonymous said...

Chris, I'd give you props but you were also the person who said that "Bionic Woman" was good.

Chris said...

I don't believe that I said that it was "good". I said that it was getting better. And like you don't watch shitty TV?

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