Episode 2 of The Time Traveler’s Wife begins with 8-year-old Henry and his mother getting into a car on a snowy day. According to Henry, this is a day he keeps traveling back to: the day he saw his mother die in a car crash.
We then see a young Clare sitting and talking with Henry. She realizes he is sad and wants to know why. He says he’ll tell her when a green man gives her a banana latte.
A younger Henry and older Clare argue on the train, and Henry pressures her into going on a second date with him. He argues that they can’t change what’s fated to happen, but she’s resistant. She doesn’t like this version of Henry.
When they sit at a café, a man whose face is painted green gives Clare a banana latte. Henry then tells her he knows bad things are coming for him. One day, he’s not going to survive them. But time travel has taught him one thing good: that he’s going to marry her one day.
But he’s not his older self. And he can’t yet be the person she is supposedly going to turn him into.
Remembering the banana latte, she asks him to tell her what makes him sad, specifically asking about his mom. He says she was the famous opera singer Annette Lyn Robinson. Clare remembers the story of how she was decapitated with her son in the car.
Henry explains that he still gets to see her, being a time traveler. He was there for his parents’ engagement. He even walked by his parents at a park so often that they started to greet him. And multiple versions of himself have been to her funeral.
One day, an older Henry and child Henry time traveled to the same time and place. While they were training together, young Henry wanted to talk about his mom being dead. Henry insisted to him that he can’t save her.
To prove that fate is set in stone, Henry told his younger self that he would get up from his chair and run in about 30 seconds.
Surely enough, young Henry saw his mom and ran toward her. He tried to warn her and tell her he’s a time traveler. When she yelled at him about spouting nonsense and skipping school, he shouted that he hates her and ran away.
Older Henry then shared with younger Henry that they are the same person.
After their lunch, Henry takes Clare to the library to show her a memory box of his mom that he hid there.
Henry shows Clare a recording of his mother singing. He stops it before she speaks at the end of her performance. He says once he starts thinking about his mother, he often travels back and has to watch her die again. He’s worried he’s going to now, so Clare takes his hand and urges him to hold on.
He tries to introduce Clare to his mother–in a way. She comes up with a question for his mom, asking her how people get together. When Henry plays the recording, Annette says a gentleman asked her a question on behalf of Clare Abshire. She tells Clare–in a recording made before she was even born–that love is doomed. Couples get together just for a while. But it’s better to be happy for a little while than to just be okay your entire life. “Good luck, Clare,” she says.
Henry starts sobbing.
The Episode Review
Episode 2 of The Time Traveler’s Wife begins in much the same way as the first episode did–with cuts between different videos of Clare and Henry explaining Henry’s unique condition. While not the most creative framework for it to be reused as an opening, the videos nicely segue into Henry’s tragic past.
A heart-wrenching story of Annette’s death unfolds, shedding valuable light on Henry’s character. But the formative event still doesn’t provide enough engaging plot for an entire episode. By the end of the episode, not much has actually happened, but various flashbacks fill the void, acting as bells and whistles to distract from a story that is barely there.
Henry stated that something bad is coming. So, we have to wonder–why have we not gotten into this big conflict yet?
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