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Traveler Recap: Episode 8, "The Exchange"

Traveler Recap: Episode 8, "The Exchange"

Wow, that would have been a great episode of "Traveler" — if it hadn't also been the series finale. Instead of leaving us with a neatly wrapped-up story, we got even more questions. Pretty much everything else I could say is a spoiler, so I think we'd better just

  • First of all, I know I said early on that I wanted more Will in the show — but seriously, Jay and Tyler were barely even in this finale. Come on, now. We've spent seven weeks getting to know these guys, and then in the final hour it's all about Will and the FBI?
  • Will gets shot during the confrontation with the FBI, and while he nurses his wounds, the guys ask him if anything he'd told them about himself was true. Dead dad? Nope. Last name Traveler? Probably not. He works for Jack Freed, who started a domestic espionage program after Sept. 11; Jay and Tyler are patsies who were easy to blame for the bombing because their fathers hated the government.
  • Did anybody else notice all the excessive shaky-camera shots of the New York City skyline?
  • Chambers orders Marlow back to the office. She starts piecing together names and eventually finds Joseph, whoever he is. He gets a mysterious phone call a few seconds after she gets to his house, and they end up having a shootout, with Joseph dying before he can tell Marlow who was on the phone.
  • I'm sorry, but even though it was a major plot point last night, I still don't understand the significance of the painting Will took from the Drexler. Can anyone enlighten me? It becomes clear that Will is less interested in freeing Jay and Tyler than he is in getting revenge on Freed for killing Maya, and Tyler — he of all the worst ideas in this series — actually comes up with a decent one, saying they need to expose Freed so the truth gets out.
  • Carlton's arrest seemed a little unnecessary to me, but I guess they had to find a way to bring back scary bleached-blond Otis Whaley to shoot him. Borjes attempts to arrest him; Chambers arrives and shoots Borjes. Well, that pretty much explains who the evil one in the FBI is.
  • So, silly me, I actually thought Will was going to end up offering Jay and Tyler up as a sacrifice — but can you blame me? It's not like we'd been given any reason to trust the guy. Instead, the three launch an elaborate plot to get Jack talking about the bombings on tape. They then drive Jack to a newspaper office, and Jack protests that they're not going to listen to three known terrorists instead of the director of homeland security. Which is probably true, and was exactly my problem with that storyline.
  • Marlow gets the number of the last incoming call from Joseph's cell phone and dials. Chambers picks up. Dun-dun. Meanwhile, we see a shot of Kim being taken somewhere — I would assume to be killed or held hostage.
  • Meanwhile, the guys tell the newspaper that they have the explanation for the Drexler bombing sitting in the limo outside the office. Before anything can happen with that, though, the limo blows up, and the guys are on the run again.

Which would have been a great cliffhanger between seasons, but as a finale, there really wasn't anything satisfying about it. We did get a couple of questions answered — we know Chambers is the bad guy in the FBI, and we know Jack Freed is the guy running things from Homeland Security — but there are so many things we don't know. Why was the Drexler the target of the bombing? What was with the hotel guy, and who did he work for? Does Chambers realize what Marlow knows about him? What's with Marlow's bad record and Chambers' gunshot scars? What's happening to Kim? What else did Jack Freed's network have planned? Who blew up Freed's limo? I could go on.

In the end, though, "Traveler" was an enjoyable series, and I have to wonder what would have happened if ABC had put it on the fall schedule instead of, say, "The Nine." Would it have been a serial that actually took off? The flip side, though, is that maybe it would have been canceled even earlier, without a chance to get what little resolution we got from these eight episodes. How would you have liked to see it end?

Photos copyright 2007 ABC, Inc.

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