Spoilers for the final episode of "Journeyman" coming up just as soon as I figure out where Livia hides her cell phone in 1948...
Damn. Just about the only good to come from the writers strike was NBC's willingness to air all 13 episodes of this ratings catastrophe. "Journeyman" got markedly better as it moved along, the producers saw the writing on the wall early enough to make something resembling a proper series finale, and the thing actually aired all the way through. In a normal season, cancellation comes somewhere around the Dylan McCleen episode (right before the writers started to figure things out).
"Perfidia" had the same strike-induced raggedness as Monday's episode -- there were a lot of jarring narrative jumps, notably the revelation that Evan had been shot by Vogel's bodyguards -- but once again, the emotions were right on. The missions always worked best when there was a personal stake for Dan, so having him help another time traveler -- and, as it turns out, the man whose death led to Dan's own time-hopping -- was a good call. And because we'd just seen the danger of monkeying too much with the past with the Zach/Caroline switcheroo on Monday, it was much easier to get into the pathos of Evan's story. The dance scene was the first time in the whole series where I cared as much about Dan's target as I did about Dan and his family. (There was almost a "Cupid" vibe to that sequence, I thought.)
Between Evan's chatter and Dr. Langley's elevator conversation with Dan (which confirmed, as I suspected, that he was just lying to protect Dan the other night), we got about as much explanation of Dan's predicament as was possible -- and, for that matter, necessary. I don't know that I ever needed to know exactly who or what was controlling the trips, because the show wasn't about that. It was about the time traveler himself, and his wife, and the last two scenes (Katie giving Dan permission to keep traveling, and Dan waking Katie so she could finally see him disappear) beautifully brought that point home.
(My one and only disappointment is that Langley didn't explain how he was able to call Dan in the past, but it was such a cool moment at the time that I'll forgive the non-explanation.)
Godspeed, Dan Vasser, whenever you are.
What did everybody else think?