After the cliffhanger at the end of The Time Traveler’s Wife Season 1 Episode 1, I was disappointed there was no reference to it.
The series chose to have each installment focus on its own storyline or adventures of Henry and Claire. Some were interconnected, and others were new.
On The Time Traveler’s Wife Season 1 Episode 2, Henry showed the rules of time travel to both Claire and young Henry while infuriating many people with his inability to open up about his feelings.
While Henry hated the danger of time traveling, he hated Christmas more. Henry traveled back to the Christmas he was eight years old, frequently trying to change the past.
Claire: But the danger isn’t the worst.
Henry: Christmas is the worst.
That was the worst day of Henry’s life. He saw his mom die, and he couldn’t stop it.
He even time-traveled out of the car and replayed that horrific scene again.
In a pivotal scene, Henrys at every age returned to the car accident, hoping to save their mom. This was the crucial moment that shaped Henry for the rest of his life.
Watching young Henry with his older self lightened up the mood.
Theo James and Jason David almost had the same mannerisms as adult Henry taught the younger Henry how to steal wallets and scam people.
The kid was one of many people to refer to adult Henry as an “asshole” and unfeeling when he confided his mom had just died.
Young Henry: Are all the other time travelers like you, assholes?
Adult Henry: Is there something about my face that attracts that word?
Adult Henry softened towards the kid but reinforced that rule number one of time traveling was that they couldn’t alter the past.
Even at a young age, Henry strived to be a hero, and adult Henry had to reassure him that it wasn’t his fault his mom died.
Henry probably suffered guilt because of those powers and things his dad said in grief.
Even at eight years old, he was starting to disappear for no reason, and his mom thought he was causing trouble.
That’s partly what motivated his desire to save her and show her what a good kid he was.
Losing someone important made it difficult for Henry to confide in people, but his attitude turned other people away.
He walked around with such sadness that even young Claire noticed it. She was so bright that she realized he discussed his mom in the past tense.
When he refused to tell her why he was sad, she also called him an “asshole.”
He then promised to tell her one day when a green man brought her a banana latte.
Back in the present, 20-year-old Claire also called out 28-year-old Henry for flirting with another woman on the train. He wanted to try a second date that wasn’t distracted by sex.
Henry: This is how relationships work.
Claire: Who said this was a relationship?
Henry: The future said so. You don’t get a choice.
Claire was still struggling because the two Henrys were so different. She seemed determined to change the future, but Henry says the future has been predestined right down to where they have lunch.
Henry: This is too complicated so I think we should go back to Plan A.
Claire: What’s plan A?
Henry: Get drunk and have sex.
Claire became spooked when the green guy older Henry spoke of showed up with a banana latte. Since it was the right time, she asked again what made him sad.
Once his mom’s name came up, Claire realized Henry’s mom died years ago and became more compassionate. Henry offered to show Claire his past so she’d understand him better.
Henry exhibited a softer side we hadn’t seen before as he traveled through time with Claire to see pivotal moments in time.
Some were heartwarming when they met his parents and baby Henry in the park since all he wanted was more time with his mom.
Others broke our hearts when we saw all the Henrys gathered at his mom’s funeral.
It touched Claire’s heart too that he finally opened up to her.
Henry allowed Claire to see parts of him no one else had when he showed her mementos and photos of his mom.
He even confided that he and his dad had been estranged since his teenage years since his dad didn’t understand his power.
Henry traveled back to the night of his mom’s death so many times since he felt he was helping her, and he didn’t want to be an asshole.
Henry felt like a huge burden was on his shoulders, and he was afraid to love again.
Henry must care about Claire since he wanted to somehow introduce her to his mom. However, Claire was still uncertain how couples get together.
It’s fascinating how time travel worked. Annette knew from another Henry that Claire had a question about love, so she answered it during her concert.
It meant so much to Henry to hear his mom’s voice on that tape telling them a love for a little while is better than nothing.
That was the push both Claire and Henry needed to give this relationship an honest try.
Henry has shown that he’s capable of caring, but he’s afraid of letting people in.
That kept him brusque even with young Henry.
It was heartbreaking when the kid realized his trainer was his older self, and he would grow up to be like that.
While parts of “The Rules of Time Travel” dragged with the back story, it was essential for viewers to understand Henry and why he has so many walls up.
Over to you, The Time Traveler’s Wife Fanatics. Did you need that history lesson on the rules of time travel?
Do you agree with Annette’s advice about love? Has Henry reformed beyond being an “asshole?’ Chime in below in the comments.
Remember, if you miss an episode, you could watch The Time Traveler’s Wife online via TV Fanatic.
The Time Traveler’s Wife airs at 9/8c on Sundays on HBO. It also streams on HBO Max.
Laura Nowak is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.