Season 1, Episode 5 – “Man Out of Time”
Pew! Pew! Pew! Time to leave the socio-political madness of today behind and fast forward to the … well, the same socio-political madness, just cleverly hidden by silver lamé jumpsuits. Let’s join Logan on his next Run!
As promised last week, we find Sanctuary this week. Or DO WE?
The aircar is driving around what looks like the Burbank side of Griffith Park and a wonky scanner detects a powerful electrical disturbance. They come up on some ruins and REM, thanks to Android Ears® or something tells them to cover their eyes. A red special effect beams down a … cylinder with a rabbit in it.
The rabbit is in a cute acrylic cage that Logan takes out as he LEAVES HIS BLASTER ON TOP OF THE CAGE.
So, let’s review what we know about Logan. He’s extremely hot, hasn’t taken his shirt off since Episode One, stares pensively a lot and is extremely inept at being a Sandman. I am totally against owning guns and even I know you holster the things, not lay them on top of rabbit cages.
What happens? The cylinder teleports away and Logan’s gun goes with it. SMH.
It reappears in a lab and everyone claps. I am not a scientist but I wonder if that’s typical of the day-to-day routine. They are stunned by the disappearance of the rabbit and if any of them had any comedic chops, they would have made some sort of magic trick joke, but no.
As they process the video tapes from the probe, they call a woman with an exact replica of Farrah Fawcett’s iconic hairdo and she answers “Sanctuary Project.” Five episodes in and we are done – #squadgoalsachieved. It’s the joyful folks at the Time Lab calling and now they clap.
The exposition helps put all this together. War is about to break out and only by putting EVERYTHING in the computer can they do whatever it is they need to do. Just as David Eakins (who appears to be head of the Sanctuary Project) finishes his inspiring speech, the computer screen alerts them that the crisis worsens and Christmas 2118 will be the day the world ends. Eakins mutters a pensive “Merry Christmas. Only 12 more shopping days to Armeggedon.”
Eakins and the Time Labbers watch video of Logan and Jessica playing with the rabbit and they come to the conclusion that in 200 years everything is in ruins. The logic is unimpeachable (sorry, we’ve had a long week in America as I write this). The time probe materialized where their building is in the future, it’s in ruins, so of course the whole planet is gone.
They discuss some clear facts– Logan and his team’s clothing and technology obviously indicate a high level of technology (can they tell from their 1976 video camera that REM is a robot?) and civilization probably lived underground for 100 years until the air cleared.
The next logical leap is … if Logan’s civilization is THAT advanced, they probably understand time travel. Oh, Time Lab people, you haven’t seen this show yet, have you?
David Eakins prepares to time travel in an extremely silver puffy jacket, presumably to protect him from time winds or some such nonsense. Had they been paying attention, they would have made it from rabbit fur, since that is also proof against time winds.
There are some massive blinky-light filled computer banks and all of a sudden, Eakins appears in the future. Logan, Jessica and REM seem to be waiting around for his gun to reappear. REM introduces himself as Reclective Entity Mobile. Reclective is NOT a word, though he claims it means “self-programming.” None of that explains his choice of color fabrics or eyebrow grooming.
Eakins lies about where he came from … he explains he’s doing teleportation experiments and he’s from the “West” and politely gives Logan his blaster back. You lucked out this time, Logan. Keep it holstered.
Jessica asks if he’s ever heard of a place called Sanctuary and Eakins freezes in his tracks. He follows up his first lie by saying he is here to find Sanctuary as well. They offer to drive him and then out of nowhere, two Sandmen blast Eakins. I guess puffy silver might protect from temporal winds, but not Sandman stun guns.
Logan’s “plan” is for REM to distract the Sandmen while he runs up the completely clear hill containing no vegetation or futuristic objects to hide behind … and loop around the Sandmen and stun them. This plan, amazingly enough, works. Logan knocks them out and blows up their stun guns, which, given his track record of losing guns, he probably should have kept them.
He explains to the others that Francis wasn’t there and this means the City is sending other teams after them. Now, we just saw THREE teams last week, so perhaps Logan is one of those people that needs a lot of repetition before he learns something.
Meanwhile, back at the Time Lab, Eakins only has 20 hours left. TICKING CLOCK!
That night, they get out and camp, while Eakins insists they should keep going. REM explains solar powered vehicles don’t go far in the dark, so perhaps I need to reevaluate REM’s advice. Logan and REM walk around to see if anyone followed them leaving Jessica and Eakins to chat.
Jessica tells him about the socio-political structure of the City of Domes and explains her vision of Sanctuary. Eakins foreshadows by saying it might not be what she thinks and she almost breaks out into a verse of “Memory” saying they’ll find a place they can be safe, grow old and basically live in the 24th century suburbs.
The next day, they stop at a blocked canyon and they have to walk. They arrive at an empty field and Eakins says it should be here. Logan tells REM that in the City, he would get “a feeling” about a runner getting ready to run and he doesn’t trust Eakins.
They come across an old man in orange and brown robes and welcomes them to Sanctuary. His name is Lab Tech One, and I have to say it’s a better name than Reclective Entity Mobile. LT1 takes them to a village where no one looks twice at Eakins’ silver puffy outfit. LT1 introduces them to their leader Analog, and says Logan’s group are seekers of Truth and Justice.
Eakins wants to see the computers and Analog says there ain’t such a thing – after all, Analog is named after a computer. No, Analog says, he is named after the Teller of Truth. After a boy is stung by a scorpion, Eakins takes off his silver jacket to use as a pillow and he is wearing a crazy fish-scale shirt. Jacket needs to go back on, Eakins.
Analog waves an iPad over the stung child and has everyone pray to heal him. He says only Truth can save the child (whose name is Binary!). Eakins pulls out a kit and sticks something in the kid’s arm to draw the poison out. Eakins sees signage on the wall and discovers he is in the Sanctuary project. Overwhelmed by this (though this is hardly the surprise the Statue of Liberty was to Charlton Heston), he erupts angrily that Sanctuary failed.
Logan wants to bolt but Jessica wants to help Eakins. She runs off to go help him in his emo tantrum. According to Time Lab’s ticking clock, he hasn’t got much time left, so he needs to get back to his probe or he will be stuck in a village of people named after computer parts.
Eakins explains that Sanctuary really means “a place of refuge and protection.” I would add puffy silver pants, as well. He exposits that the computer had all the amassed knowledge for others to learn from their mistakes. He won’t tell Jessica he’s a time traveler, preferring to get more emo and throw things around.
This makes Analog not happy. Eakins starts a fight and Analog uses a light-up wand to knock him out. One day in the future and he’s been stunned twice. Jessica runs to tell the others they need to help Eakins and that the temple is full of computers.
A tied-up Eakins finally tells them the truth that he’s travelled in time and his mission is to find out the info in the Sanctuary Project computer and change history. Then he drops the real bomb … if the nuclear holocaust is stopped, Logan, REM and Jessica will never have existed. REM gets a power pack out of Eakins’ pouch (hee hee hee) to power up the computer.
Logan is #teamdontchangehistory and REM explains that either way, helping or not helping Eakins could change the past. They go into the temple and there’s about seven hours of footage of REM pushing buttons to make the computer come to life.
Of course, Analog and half the town come in and tell them to stop. Logan zaps a couple of them, so they all start praying. The monitor screen shows a lot of people marching and you can’t tell if it’s any one country. I’m betting it was Belgium – they finally took their place as a rightful super power and destroyed the world with atomic chocolates.
The screen shows an amazeballs headline – Scientist Returns From The Future. So, they have to send Eakins back. Analog’s mind is blown. He sees all the newly-revealed computer equipment as more things to worship. I feel like this is all too terrifyingly real. Eakins argues he’s leaving the power battery that can keep the computer going for a year and will teach Analog and his peeps to read, which will open the world for them. Reading IS fundamental!
Logan asks why bother teaching them to read … and Eakin hopes if he can’t stop the war, at least he helps these poor people. Awwwwww ….
Eakins gets his puffy jacket on and waxes philosophical that stopping one holocaust doesn’t mean another won’t happen. He considers staying, but realizes he has to go back after an inspirational speech from Logan. He’s a shitty Sandman, but he grasps temporal physics quite well.
He dematerializes and REM says he knew things wouldn’t change. A few seconds later, the probe returns – no rabbit, but what looks like a metal comic book box. Instead, it’s a VCR. Eakins sent a message – he actually starts the war they announce the existence of time travel – and it is considered the ultimate weapon. He implores them to keep looking for Sanctuary and they head out.
Overall, this is one of the better thought-out temporal paradoxes I’ve seen in classic TV. Despite the episode being Francis-free with Jessica being far less shouty than four previous episodes, and the inclusion of a puffy silver jumpsuit, I’m giving this 4 out of 5 Sanctuary Ankhs!