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The Year of the Rabbit
Air Date October 15, 2007
Written by Joan B. Weiss
Director Laura Innes
Previous episode "Game Three"
Next episode "The Legend of Dylan McCleen"
104tuxedo
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104dance

Dan's latest mission takes him back to 1995 to help a young woman on a blind date.

Synopsis

1994

A couple is rehearsing their wedding vows in a church when they hear a noise from the pews, followed by Dan popping his head up from a prone position. The priest directs the scruffy Dan to a homeless shelter, and asks him to take the wrench that Dan has dropped onto the aisle floor.

After leaving the church, Dan finds himself walking by Cafe Luna. He goes in, and sees the 1994 version of Katie on television, reporting on the start of the Chinese Year of the Rabbit. He glances at a newspaper and sees that it's November, 1994.

A woman asks if his name is William, explaining that she has a blind date with someone she was told was blond and well-built (like Dan). At first, Dan shows little interest in continuing the conversation, but then -- realizing she may be his "assignment" -- he asks her to tell him more. The woman tells him she has recently started dating again after a breakup.

A dark-haired man enters the cafe, demanding to know what the woman is doing. She tells him to get out. When he resists and crowds the woman, Dan pushes him away. A fight ensues; the bartender asks both the dark-haired man and Dan to leave. As Dan is leaving, another man enters the cafe -- blond, but slight, and with glasses (hardly Dan's doppelganger). He introduces himself as William; he and the woman begin to talk.

The Present

Dan returns home, wrench in hand, to find water cascading from underneath the front door. A distraught Katie, holding a bucket up to the ceiling, scolds him for not finishing his work on the upstairs bathroom. Katie and Dan begin to fight. Dan thinks Katie is bothered by the fact that he's seen Livia, but Katie tells him it's not that. She's been working for months on a museum fundraiser. She needs him to be there, but she doesn't know whether he will be. Dan promises he'll be there; Katie says he can't guarantee that.

In the newsroom of the Register, Dan approaches Matt Turnbull, the Register's science editor and asks him about tachyons. Puzzled but clearly too harried to ask a lot of questions, Turnbull tells Dan he knows someone at Livermore Labs in Berkeley -- Elliot Langley -- whom Turnbull will contact on Dan's behalf. Dan thanks Turnbull, rubs his forhead, heads for the exit, and vanishes.

1997

Back at Cafe Luna, Dan finds Livia, who tells him what year it is. She offers him a drink, but he refuses, and tells her he's working. She replies that she's working too. He spots William walking past the window, and rushes out after him. Outside, Dan is stopped by a scruffy man who asks him for directions to a location a couple of blocks away. On a hunch, Dan follows the scruffy man to an alleyway, where he watches the scruffy man sell William a gun for $500.

Dan follows William around the corner and passes the woman he saw in late 1994. He asks her how her blind date went. She replies that she and William are now engaged. William has founded an internet company that allows people to trade stocks online. "Very next millennium," Dan says. The woman says she hopes so, because she's put her entire life savings into the company.

As the woman is getting into her car, Dan asks if she has a business card. She does: Her name is Melissa Waters. Dan warns Melissa that William has bought a gun. She's taken aback, but then tells Dan that William bought the gun for her, because he doesn't like the neighborhood she lives in.

After Melissa drives away, Dan looks over to see that a man in a parked car has been watching her. It's her ex-boyfriend, the one Dan fought at Luna in 1994. Dan tells him it's over and he should leave Melissa alone. The man flashes a badge and says he's working, and that Dan is the one acting like a stalker.

The Present

Back at the Register, Dan gets a call from Elliot Langley, the physicist at Livermore. He seems to know quite a bit about Dan. Langley remembers Dan's father, who also reported for the Register. They "go way back," Langley says; they met at NASA. Langley asks Dan why he wants to know about tachyons. Dan invents a story about funding cutbacks at Stanford. "Are you building a time machine?" Langley asks. Dan jokes that he's been found out.

Dan asks to see Langley at Livermore. Security will be a problem, Langley says. Dan asks to meet him somewhere else, but Langley says he has to check his schedule, and hangs up.

At home, Dan looks Waters up on Finder-Spyder and learns that Melissa Waters Johnson was killed in 1998 by her ex-boyfriend, Greg Weil. Dan calls Jack -- who's in the middle of a date and unhappy about the intrusion. Jack tells Dan that Weil was charged, but acquitted because the evidence was weak.

Later, Dan and Katie are preparing for the fundraiser. Both are dressed in formal attire, Dan in a tuxedo. Katie momentarily leaves the bedroom. Dan feels his head begin to throb, grabs Katie's lipstick, and scrawls something on the bathroom mirror. Katie calls his name but gets no answer. On the mirror she sees a single word: "Sorry."

1998

Dan materializes in the stairwell of a building he doesn't recognize. He overhears Melissa and William arguing about financial improprieties in William's company. She wants to know where every penny went, and refuses to give back a computer disc. When William pulls out a gun, Dan lunges at him and they struggle. Dan wrestles the gun away, runs out the door, and disappears.

The Present

Katie calls Jack to ask him to escort her to the party.

Dan materializes near a crowd of people. Several people see him pocket the gun just before hailing a cab. A member of the crowd calls the police.

At the party, Dan finds Katie and apologizes. He looks awful: sweaty and haggard. Dan ask Katie to dance; he tells her that he has seen Livia a number of times. Katie asks if Livia knows what he does.

"Livia does what I do," he replies.
"So she's a..."
"Yeah... This changes nothing."

Katie feels the gun in Dan's pocket, gets alarmed, and goes back to the party. Jack finds her outside on a balcony. She tells Jack that Dan frightens her.

In the men's room, Dan uses his iPhone to look Melissa up on FinderSpyder. She was convicted of killing her husband on the night he last saw her. Jack comes in; they argue. A security guard knocks on the door to warn Jack that a man in a tuxedo reportedly has a gun. Jack gets rid of the guard and goes looking for Dan, but cannot find him.

1998

Dan arrives in Chinatown just as 1998 Katie is giving her New Year's report. He can't get past her without being seen, but is rescued by Livia, who distracts Katie. (Katie tells Livia she looks "more mature".)

Safely away from Katie, Dan brings Livia up to speed and tells her he needs to get rid of the gun. She tells him to hang onto it -- he might need it.

"So what's the deal with killing people back here?" Dan asks.
"In the present, you abide by the law. In the past, it's the Wild Wild West," Livia replies.
"I'm not at all comfortable with that."
"You will be," Livia says.

Dan's 1998 phone rings. It's Langley, apparently picking up the conversation that they started in 2007. At first, this fact escapes Dan. As soon as Dan realizes that something very odd is happening, Langley tells him he'll have to call back.

Dan finds Officer Greg Weil, and tells Weil to find Melissa and stop her before she kills her husband. They arrive at the apartment just in time to see Melissa kill William in self-defense.

Dan places the gun he has been carrying -- the one he took from William on his last trip -- into William's hands. Weil complains that Dan is planting evidence. "I'm planting a fact," Dan replies, adding that it will save them both a lot of trouble.

The Present

Katie can't bring herself to tell Jack what's really going on. They flirt for a moment and talk about how they met, and how they want to dance right now. Conflicted, Jack leaves.

Dan re-enters the ballroom. Katie, furious, walks right past him. They go looking for Katie's coat in the coat room (she's lost her ticket). They share a passionate kiss among the coats, but there is a palpable tension between them.

Mistakes and nitpicks

  • Anachronisms: In 1997, we see a TV in the Cafe Luna playing a scene from Ally McBeal with the iconic dancing baby. The dancing baby was first introduced in the episode "Cro-Magnon", which aired on January 5, 1998.
  • Plot hole: Why is Ally McBeal being aired in the middle of the day anyway?
  • Factual errors: The episode claims 1994 is the year of the rabbit. 1994 was, in fact, the year of the dog.

Trivia

  • Journeyman has been closely compared with a 1990s television series Quantum Leap which follows Sam Beckett as a time traveller who rights wrongs in the past. Almost all of Sam's "leaps" from person to person found him stuck in a hairy situation, which resulted in what became a catch-phrase for the show: "Oh boy." In a possible allusion to this, Dan's first "leap" in this episode finds him waking up in a church during a wedding rehearsal. A priest's reaction suggests he suspects Dan is a homeless man as he comments under his breath, "Oh boy."

Cast

Regulars

Guest starring

Co-starring


Previous episode: Next episode:
"Game Three" "The Legend of Dylan McCleen"

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