I haven't written about "Journeyman" in a few weeks, which is unfortunate, since the show has gotten better. Spoilers coming up just as soon as I order "La Vida Loca" from iTunes...
The strike has been an odd ally for "Journeyman." With ratings like this, it would almost certainly have been yanked by now, never to return, but with the networks desperate to stretch out whatever original scripted content they have for as long as possible, struggling shows like "Journeyman" and "Life" will probably get to air 10 or 11 episodes. At the same time, though, the chaos that's going to be created by what everyone assumes will be a long strike means that a show like this has no real shot at starting up again whenever the strike is over.
If the show had been canceled three or four episodes in as it might have any other year, I wouldn't have cared, but now it's become just good enough that I'm going to be disappointed when the originals run out.
High concept shows often run into what I call the Premise Pilot Problem, where so much time in the first episode has to be devoted to explaining what's happening that there's no time to have any fun with it. "Journeyman" needed several episodes to get past that issue, but there came a point -- I want to say in the episode that began with Dan waking up in the church with a pipe wrench in his hand -- where Dan and the show began treating his time trips as a fact of life, and the show's been much better for it. A Dan who knows what he's doing is a much better character than one who stands around slack-jawed or has to spend time trying to convince his wife what's happening to him, and we've had some cool treats along the way like the Livermore scientist returning Dan's call while he was still in the past.
The stories of the people who Dan "tracks" are still hit-or-miss, but I've found myself involved in the Vasser marriage, which made an episode like "Double Down" so strong, since it abandoned the Victim of the Week a quarter of the way in to focus entirely on Dan, Livia, Katie and Dan again, with a dash of Jack here and there.
Last week's episode finally had Dan come right out and ask the standard reporter questions of Livia, and had her explain that she's as in the dark as he is, which removes the distraction factor from the scenes where they talk about their relationship and about his present circumstances. And just when I was wondering why, other than for dramatic purposes, Livia got sent to retrieve the money instead of Dan, Dan wound up saving the Victim a second time, which wouldn't have happened if he'd gone for the money. The internal logic is feeling stronger each week.
What did everybody else think? And given that we're probably never going to get answers to the series' big questions, anyone care to offer their own theories?