NBC’s Timeless began its third episode, “Atomic City,” by excusing the acts of one of John F. Kennedy’s mistresses because she demonstrated girl power during a tough time for women.
The team time travels back to 1962 Las Vegas to stop Garcia Flynn (Goran Visnjic) from messing with history. They find a woman being taken by Flynn and save her from his clutches. She reveals her name to be Judith Campbell and Lucy (Abigail Spencer) fills the team in about Judith’s role in the 1960s, both as JFK’s mistress and her involvement with the mob. According to Lucy, Judith has powerful men wrapped around her finger.
When they tell Judith they know her secret about Kennedy, she tells the team she needs photographs Flynn took of her and the president, so as to protect herself.
Later, the two women have a conversation in which Judith expects an abrasive comment about her adulterous ways, but rather receives praise for her lifestyle "in this day and age:"
Judith: So how'd you know? This Flynn guy tell you?
Lucy: Doesn't matter. Your secrets are safe with us. As soon as we find Flynn, you can go back to-- -
Judith: To Jack? All right. Go ahead, say it. You think I'm a tramp.
Lucy: No. I think you're fascinating.
Judith: Don't think another woman's ever called me that before.
Lucy: I mean it. A woman... Especially in this day and age. Living the life that you're living. The people that you know. The things that you've seen.
Judith: Honestly, I... Felt like a nobody. And then one night, I met Jack. And the next morning, it was all different. Like a roller coaster. You ever wake up one day and not recognize your own life?
Lucy: Yes, actually. A lot lately.
Judith: And now I never know what's going to happen next. I really don't.
Lucy: Isn't that terrifying?
Judith: Some of the time.
Lucy: Do you ever wish that you could go back to your old life?
Judith: Never. It'd be easier, I guess, but I think if I did, I'd always wonder.
Lucy: Wonder what?
Judith: If I was missing out on something better.
Did Lucy really say she finds her illicit affairs fascinating? It seems as though Judith Campbell gets a free pass for being JFK’s mistress because she's a woman in a 1960s man's world. Wow. It’s just a general acceptance for the circumstances with no criticism at all.
One can’t help but connect this to Hillary Clinton running for the presidency, and her need to dodge all those inquiries about her husband’s indiscretions in the White House. Maybe Monica Lewinsky will get a pass in the media and be seen as a feminist hero? Doubtful. But we all know “Billary” does.
This episode was disappointing in its tacit approval of JFK’s playboy lifestyle, but the media and Hollywood elites have always romanticized JFK and given him a pass on his many affairs. Let’s hope our next President is filled with class and has a good set of morals -- or maybe our next, next President, like in 2020…