Stay Tuned
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Wednesday, June 27, 2007

"Traveler" Picks Up the Pace

I haven’t said anything about “Traveler” in a while, so let me fix that right now…

The show had started meandering a little bit, but last week’s episode, “The Tells,” was fast-paced and action-packed and the best episode since the outstanding pilot.

Maybe it was the absence of Will Traveler that slowed the show down since last week we got to see him go all Jack Bauer on the people behind the Drexler conspiracy. The episode was directed by a “24” director and it showed with the frenetic pace and outstanding action sequences that got me into the show in the first place.

And Viola Davis continues to impress as Agent Marlow becomes more and more confident that Jay and Tyler are not the bad guys.

But I have to admit, I’m not completely sure what’s going on, and the blame for that falls squarely on the shoulders of my friends at ABC…

The show was originally supposed to run for 13 episodes, but as they were about to shoot episode eight, ABC cut the order to eight, causing rewrites and reshoots of the episodes to make the story fit in only eight shows. It’s caused the pace of the conspiracy story to be completely off as some episodes seemed almost pointless since they were meant to stretch the story (episode two) and some reveal all kinds of little things almost too quickly (last week’s episode five).

Here’s what I can tell you…

Will framed Jay and Tyler for the bombing at the Drexler building on the orders of a mysterious organization that apparently has some ties to Homeland Security. Jay and Tyler were supposed to die in the bombing, but Will pulled a fire alarm so they’d get out and he stole the painting of the signing of the Declaration of Independence. Will planned to get his girlfriend and take off, but he was kidnapped by the people who hired him and tortured to reveal the location of the painting. When his girlfriend was threatened, Will gave up the location of the painting; but his girlfriend was actually already dead. Will killed his torturer and escaped, and when the people went to the location of the painting, they were killed by a bomb.

The people behind the conspiracy were also able to steal pictures of Will from Jay’s girlfriend and allow the escape of a prisoner (the guy who stole the pictures) from FBI holding.

Meanwhile, Jay and Tyler were given a key by Will’s girlfriend that opened a library research locker. Inside were all of Will’s passports (with aliases), cash, a gun, and checks from a company in New York. The guys decided to go to New York and find out what they could about the company that was paying Will.

Along the way, Jay and Tyler have been helped by the mysterious porter from the hotel. It’s unclear at this point whether Tyler’s dad Carlton is friend or foe, but I’m guessing not.

The show is gaining a loyal following on the Internet, but I don’t think it’s enough to bring the show back next season. I do hope, however, that it’s enough for ABC to show all three of the remaining episodes.

I have to wonder if “Traveler” had premiered during the season if it would have had a better shot—maybe before all of the other new serial dramas failed. Because of all of the “24” clones this season—and there were a ton of them—“Traveler” is the best.

“Traveler” airs tonight (Wednesday) at 10 p.m. on ABC…