The Time Team at Timeless weren’t the ones who destroyed Rittenhouse. Timeless is a science fiction show that aired on NBC from 2016 to 2018 and ended with a two—part Christmas special. The show follows the adventures of Lucy Preston, Wyatt Logan, Rufus Carlin and Garcia Flynn, also known as the Time Team, who travel through time to try to stop Rittenhouse, an organization designed to control the fate of the future from behind the stage.
In the first season of Timeless, the Time Team consisted only of Lucy, Wyatt, and Rufus, and they used their time machine, a Lifeboat, to track down Flynn, who was using the mothership. Flynn tried to change the past in order to erase Rittenhouse from history and save his family from murder. In season 2 of Out of Time, Flynn joins the time team to prevent Rittenhouse from changing history to better fit the world they can control. In the series finale, the Rittenhouse was destroyed and its members are either dead or arrested.
The Timeless show constantly states that the time team are the ones who need to destroy the Rittenhouse, even stating that it is impossible without them. Once the Rittenhouse is destroyed, the Time Team eventually receives recognition for a huge success, however it is not earned. In the finales of both seasons, Rittenhouse is demolished by other characters, while the Time Team distracts, inspires, or does nothing.
In the finale of the first season of Timeless, “The Red Menace”, Lucy, Wyatt and Rufus travel to Washington in 1954, where Flynn plans to plant explosives at a meeting at Rittenhouse. In order to find a way to destroy Rittenhouse without destroying history, Lucy asks her grandfather, Ethan Cahill, to become a double agent and collect decades of classified information that they can hand over to the authorities these days. Ethan resists at first, as he has always hated his position at Rittenhouse and is afraid that they will discover that he is a closeted gay. However, after learning that Lucy is his granddaughter, he agrees. He spends the next 60 years gathering information that Agent Denise Christopher, the woman who put together the Time Team, and Connor Mason, the inventor of time machines, used to put most of Rittenhouse behind bars. Although Lucy did inspire her grandfather to become a double agent, he is still the one who did it, and Wyatt, Rufus and Flynn did nothing to contribute. The credit for this victory should belong to Ethan Cahill, Agent Christopher and Connor Mason.
In the finale of the series “Out of Time”, “The Miracle of Christmas”, much attention is paid to how the time team cannot destroy Rittenhouse without Rufus. However, Rufus is not the one who takes out Rittenhouse’s remains, nor is Lucy, Wyatt, or Flynn. Agent Christopher is dismantling Rittenhouse again. While the Time Team is stuck in 1950 North Korea, Agent Christopher discovers that they will be killed there. She makes a deal with Lucy’s father, another member of Rittenhouse, to find the new location of his headquarters. She arrests the remaining members and rescues the Time Team from North Korea. This is especially surprising, since the Time team, in particular Rufus, did not participate in this takeout at all, despite the fact that the audience was constantly told that nothing would work without them.
Timeless was canceled after the big climax of Rufus’ death, and it only had a two-part Christmas special to complete all the storylines, so maybe a completely different ending was planned, in which the Time Team was more involved. But in this timeline, although the Time Team did all the time travel to prevent several of Rittenhouse’s plans from succeeding in the past, ultimately they weren’t the ones who destroyed Rittenhouse and saved the future.