Review: Travelers Season 2

Travelers season 2 jumps back into the world where travelers from several hundred years in the future have returned to the 21st Century to try to save the world. Their aim is to change history so that the humans living in the 21st Century don’t destroy the environment and society to the point of creating an unlivable planet. Beware, there are minor spoilers ahead.

The travelers arrive, take over the bodies of existing humans the instant they die, and do their work in that “host” body. The team of 5 who are at the center of the series are Eric McCormack as FBI Agent Grant MacLaren, MacKenzie Porter as the doctor Marcy, Nesta Cooper plays a crack shot and new mother Carly, Jared Abrahamson is a teen who does a bit of everything named Trevor, and Reilly Dolman is the historian and computer whiz Philip.

The travelers are supposed to abide by 6 protocols, some of which they managed to break in season 1. They continue to break them in season 2. They are: 1) The mission comes first 2) Never jeopardize your cover 3) Don’t take a life, don’t save a life, unless otherwise directed 4) Do not reproduce 5) In the absence of direction, maintain your host’s life 6) No inter-team or deep web communication except in extreme emergencies.

The 5 team members are totally loyal to each other, and stick to the idea that the mission comes first most of the time. The missions come from The Director, an artificial intelligence from the future that figures out all the variables in the grand plan and transmits them to the 21st Century as missions or directives.

Leah Cairns in Travelers
Pregnant Kat calls her husband when he doesn’t show up for their 10th anniversary

They take lives and save lives based on the needs and desires of the moment. MacLaren’s wife Kat (Leah Cairns) is pregnant and Marcy saves her from a miscarriage. MacLaren reproducing is a very big no-no, as is Marcy interfering in the pregnancy.

Patrick Gilmore and MacKenzie Porter in Travelers
David and Marcy

Marcy struggles all season because she was reset by Grace (Jennifer Spence) and lost the ability to feel certain emotions. Since Marcy developed feelings for David (Patrick Gilmore) in season 1, the damaged new Marcy is a problem for them both. Marcy wants to recover those lost pieces of herself.

Jennifer Spence in Travelers
Grace lives by her own rules. And she is disagreeable about it!

Grace oversteps her bounds in other ways in season 2 and is put on trial for her behavior.

Nesta Cooper in Travelers
Carly’s happiest moments are away from her non-traveler husband Jeff

Carly has a toddler and a recovering alcoholic husband Jeff (J. Alex Brinson) at home. She and Jeff have to prove they are fit parents for the child, which isn’t easy considering the problems the host Carly had before the traveler took over her body, and the drinking from her cop husband.

When the team of 5 left the future, there was only The Director calling the shots. Changes they created caused a second group of people called The Faction to arise. They send travelers back to the 21st as well. The Faction also seeks to change the future, but in less humane ways than The Director. For example, overpopulation is a problem. The Faction decides to change that by introducing a virus into people that would result in 30% of the world’s population dying. The team fights to find a way to stop the virus.

Eric McCormack and Arnold Pinnock in Travelers
Agents MacLaren and Forbes must work together in the FBI. Note the plates on the car. The series was filmed in Canada, but all the vehicles had Washington state plates.

The Faction has many thousands of people in the 21st, chiefly represented by FBI Agent Walt Forbes (Arnold Pinnock). MacLaren and Forbes recognize that they are working toward different goals for the future, but they have to work side by side in the FBI many times.

One of the plot line involves the government removing regulations that control the introduction of genetically modified crops. Getting rid of government regulations is a real world problem these days. The Travelers must stop this from happening because they know that the untested plants will take over every inch of land and leech it of all nutrients.

Jared Abrahamson, Reilly Dolman and MacKenzie Porter in Travelers
Did you hear that?

An episode I found particularly fun was one where the team was sent to pick up a meteor that was going to land in a lake. There was a trap. The Director used nearby sky divers to warn the team. But the sky diver had trouble making it to the lake to warn them. The Director reset the death and the arrival of a traveler to try again. And again. It took 8 attempts to warn them and the use of several human hosts. You know the team will be saved because there’s no show without them, but they die on the rocky beach 7 times before that happens.

One episode saw the team save a young person who would go on to do good as the 58th POTUS. I hope we don’t have to wait that long for another good President. Things sure look grim right now.

Enrico Colantoni plays Vincent Ingram (although he is forever Veronica Mars father to me). Ingram has various incarnations as the series progresses, one of them causes Marcy harm and interferes with the mission of the team. As the 12 episodic plots of season 2 roll along, Ingram remains an enemy in several of them.

The only female director in season 2 was Amanda Tapping. Eric McCormack directed one of the episodes, too.

In addition to directing, Amanda Tapping also played Dr. Perrow in a few episodes toward the end of the season. She and Ingram were featured in the big plot twist in episode 12. That surprise left us in limbo and anticipation for season 3.

Travelers has plenty of action and excitement, but not much of the usual showy gizmos and devices many sci-fi shows use. The message from the future is always about saving the best parts of humanity: the love, the kindness, the caring, the stewardship of the earth. A good cast and interesting story lines make this one of the better sci fi dramas, with season 2 retaining the edge the series set up in season 1.

Travelers aired on Showcase in Canada and is now available in the US on Netflix.

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