Tuesday, September 25, 2007

"Journeyman" Recap & Review - "Pilot, A Love Of A Lifetime"

"Pilot - A Love of a Lifetime"

Original Air Date: September 24, 2007

Jeff L - TwoCents Staff Writer

It’s a good thing they waited until Kurt Vonnegut passed away to make this show. It borrows heavily from Slaughterhouse-Five (google it, kids). Dan Vasser (Kevin McKidd, Rome) a San Francisco reporter has become unstuck in time and he’s Quantum Leaping into the past.

His uncontrollable jaunts begin on the way to his anniversary dinner where he “falls asleep” in one cab and wakes up eight years in the past. It must be the past because the San Francisco 49ers are actually GOOD. Vasser runs into former fiancé Livia (Moon Bloodgood, Daybreak) but she doesn’t seem to recognize him. He jumps into a cab to follow her only to “wake up” in present day, where he’s late for his anniversary dinner – as if his marriage wasn’t in enough peril already. After a presumably romantic anniversary evening his wife (Gretchen Egolf) wakes up alone in bed.

Vasser finds himself 20 years in the past this time in Golden Gate Park. He runs home – only to find himself home invading his own house. Meanwhile, his wife has gone to the office of Vasser’s brother and San Francisco police officer (Reed Diamond) to see if he knows where his brother might be. Of course it’s “too early to put out a missing persons report.” (Isn’t it ALWAYS too early for one of those reports on TV?) A missing persons report wouldn’t do much good anyway, since Vasser is in 1987, where he saves Neil Gaines (Christopher Warren) from committing suicide over a woman. Vasser finally makes his was somehow back home and to present day only to learn that he’s been gone two days and he’s missed deadlines at work and can’t explain his time-traveling to his wife (who thinks he’s on drugs).

Back in present day, Vasser does in internet search for the man who’s life he saved and sets out to find him, only he doesn’t make it. He leaps again this time while driving and his car careens through a red light and crashes into two other cars and a light pole. Police think he’s left the scene of the accident, but he’s REALLY left the scene – back to the past, where he has no cell service and people stare at his Bluetooth headset like he is a Martian. He finds the man whose life he saved (Gaines) and follows him to a restaurant confrontation with a woman who is pregnant with Gaines’ child. She tells Gaines that he job is too important and that she can’t keep the baby. Gaines storms off and Vasser tells the woman about his own child he’d give anything to get back to.

Vasser makes it back (how?) to the present for his son’s piano recital but afterwards finds himself in an Intervention (great show A&E – check it out). His brother is also there, to bring him for questioning on the “hit and run” accident. As it turns out Vassers wife used to date the policeman and Vasser is off the hook because according to witnesses the car was empty when it crashed.

As he leaves the police station Vasser Googles Neil and Nicole Gaines on his iPhone (nice product placement) only to find that Nicole Gaines (the woman who’s past he changed in his last trip) and her seven year old son have died in the past. He leaps again and it’s pretty cool this time. One second he’s staring at his iPhone on an elevator the next he’s in the past on the street and his phone won’t work. He does something mysterious with a tool box and his wife’s wedding ring at his house and then he makes his way to his old apartment where he finds the very-alive Livia who talks about their upcoming wedding. As he leaves the apartment he runs into another version of Livia who it seems is also traveling into the past. She tells him to go with his instincts and not to mess with anything and then disappears.

Vasser sees his past self at his own engagement lunch. When the past Vasser leaves the modern-day Vasser goes to the table to enlist the help of Livia in finding Neil and Nicole Gaines before Nicole is killed. There is some interesting interaction between modern day Vasser and Livia and his wife (who’s at the party with Vasser’s brother).

He tracks down Gaines on a bus, but Gaines doesn’t remember him as being the man who saved his life. Gaines tells him that his wife is leaving him and that he is ominously “not going to let her go.” Vasser tracks Gaines as he stalks his wife and at the confrontation an armed Gaines is killed instead of Nicole and her son.

Back in present day Vasser tries to explain everything to his brother. Turns out Neil and Nicole’s son rescued a bunch of people from a school bus accident in the not so distant past. Vasser’s brother doesn’t believe he had anything to do with it and tells Vasser that he’s going to lose his wife. Not without a fight, vows Vasser. He brings his wife to the backyard and digs up a brick patio that was installed seven years ago. He uncovers the mysterious toolbox which contains a newspaper from 1987 and his wife’s wedding ring. “I’ll always come home,” he tells her as it begins to rain.

What I like: the sci-fi elements add a lot to this show. They’ve set up some great mysteries here and it will be intesting to see how they play out. There are some great complicated relationships between Vasser and his wife and brother. This show should do pretty well, although NBC hasn’t had much success in the 10:00 o’clock hour on Mondays (Studio 60, Black Donnallys, anyone?) I hope this show doesn’t go the way of Moon Bloodgood’s last time travel show Daybreak which was cancelled way too early. I rate this show 4.5 ouf of 5 stars.

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