Picking up where it left off last year, Travelers returns with another slice of underrated sci-fi on Netflix that just seems to get better and better. While the first season dealt with episodic content with a loosely connected story tying it all together, the second season felt like a much more serialised drama, keeping a consistent story woven throughout. With the third season, Travelers takes the best aspects of the first and second season, delivering a cohesive, well-written story that starts strong and just gets better and better as the episodes tick by.
After the dramatic events during the shootout and ensuing fallout last year, Grant McLaren and his group of operatives from the future struggle with the ramifications their actions have had on loved ones. The first half of the season tackles a lot of these character issues, with Philip and Trevor both dealing with their own internal struggles while the others in the group try to fix their relationships. All of this builds toward the second half of the season that sees a return of the Faction in a big way. Without giving away too much , the finale is sure to raise more than a few eyebrows and Netflix almost certainly need to deliver a fourth season given the shocking ending here.
I mentioned earlier about the character issues and this is what forms the heart of the third season’s drama. Kat is convinced her husband is someone else and seeks help from a therapist, all the while hallucinating that Grant is trying to do her harm. Jeff grapples with his inner demons and succumbs to his old drinking ways while David continues to be the most lovable man in the entire show. His arc becomes a lot more important late on but for now, the first half of the season sees him hell bent on learning how to fight and not having to rely on Marcy all the time. Bullish Grace adds a comedic flair during early segments but quickly becomes more solemn and likable as Trevor’s character issues are brought to the table.
This isn’t even mentioning Yates and Grant forming a loose alliance, Philip deciding not to take the Director’s pills and the continued presence of Travelers being brought back to the present. There is an awful lot going on this season and this abundance of action and character work makes the third season a surprisingly easy show to binge. I watched all 10 episodes yesterday and while some shows leave me a little fatigued with such a dedicated schedule of watching, Travelers simply left me invigorated and eager for more.
The characters are ultimately what hold this show together and although there’s only a sprinkling of lore added this year, we do learn a lot more about the end-game. On top of this, we also learn about how information from the past is obtained in the future in a particularly tense and heartbreaking episode called David. In fact, the final three episodes of the season are outstanding and by far the best work Travelers has put out since it came on air in 2016. After three years of character building we finally reach a point now where the show can take some bold risks and boy does it deliver on this front.
I’m pretty sure I said it last year in my season 2 review and I’ll repeat it this year. Travelers is a show that knows what it is and who its audience is. It’s a show that doesn’t try to be anything but a highly enjoyable, well written sci-fi flick and in this respect, it delivers in a big way. The characters are well written, the individual stories work well while the integrated overarching plot this year is as tense and dramatic as its ever been in the show’s history. The finale is likely to raise a fair few eyebrows though and for me, the renewal of Travelers for a fourth season would be the perfect Christmas present after this wonderful season of sci-fi.