"The Kennedy Curse" is the fifth episode from Season 2 of Timeless. It premiered on April 15, 2018.
Wyatt, Rufus and Flynn stop a Rittenhouse sleeper agent from killing 17-year-old John F. Kennedy on September 17, 1934. With other Rittenhouse agents chasing them, Wyatt and Rufus bring an unconscious Kennedy back to the present day.
When Kennedy escapes from the bunker and roams around San Francisco, the Lifeboat team must recover him and send him back to 1934.
Rittenhouse has planted a sleeper agent posing as a high school English teacher to murder John F. Kennedy before his election as President of the United States. Kennedy's elimination would have led to Rittenhouse member Richard Nixon winning the presidency in 1961.
When Rittenhouse's 1934 mission fails, Emma is tasked to kill Kennedy in the present timeline.
Changes to the Timeline
Kennedy is made aware a series of family events leading to the so-called "Kennedy curse", notably his assassination on November 22, 1963. Although Rufus warns Kennedy not to go to Dallas, the timeline shifts so that he is instead assassinated in Austin.
The "Kennedy curse" is a term used to describe a series of misfortunes involving the Kennedy family. Aside from John F. Kennedy's assassination in 1963, the misfortunes mentioned in this episode include Joseph P. Kennedy Jr's death during World War II in 1944, the plane crash that killed Kathleen Cavendish, Marchioness of Hartington in 1948, and Robert F. Kennedy's assassination in 1968.
The film Flynn and Lucy watch at the end of the episode is Frank Capra's 1934 classic screwball comedy It Happened One Night, starring Clark Gable and Claudette Colbert. In the film Colbert plays a socialite who elopes with a glamorous pilot to escape her domineering father, and Gable the reporter determined to find her. The film won all five major Academy Awards (film, director, writer, actor, actress), and appears on multiple American Film Institute lists. The film was fully restored in 2013, and has been preserved by the U.S. Film Registry.