Fellow Travelers Season 1 Episode 2 Review: Bulletproof

Spoilers

Hawk hasn’t been the easiest character to read, but Fellow Travelers Season 1 Episode 2 gave him some much-needed depth as we delved into his past, machinations, and desire to get posted overseas and live his best life.

When watching Fellow Travelers Season 1 Episode 1, it wasn’t easy to connect with him because there were few consequences for his actions.

He’s suave, smooth-talking, and somehow manages to command a room without effort.

Deep down, though, he’s struggling because he knows that people wouldn’t look twice at him if he were an out gay man.

Going back home to face his father after so many years away highlighted why Hawk fled home and got close to Lucy and, by extension, her father.

Knowing his father was dying didn’t resonate with Hawk because he was still scarred from the past.

Hawk knew going into the family home, people would ask questions about his life in Washington D.C., but I was surprised that his father found him getting up close and personal with Kenny all those years ago.

There’s an element of ambiguity with Hawk because he’s scared of being hurt, so he puts up these walls that make him seem like a heartless asshole.

The way he is in 1953 has been driven by his past and the way his father reacted to the rumors of him being gay, and I appreciate that, even though the money would have helped Hawk, he didn’t take the easy way out.

Calling out his father on his deathbed after traveling that distance must have been satisfying because, when you think about it, sometimes people die, even though you still have some things to say to them.

Hawk went into that meeting thinking this was an easy task and that he’d be set up for life, but in that moment, he was his authentic self as he turned the apology on his father.

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Getting a windfall would be life-changing for Hawk because he could leave the U.S. and set up a life for himself where there wouldn’t be as many people watching his every move.

Without that money, he knew he would have to work ten times harder if he thought there was a chance of being posted overseas.

While Hawk is so over his father, his love for his mother is eternal, and their chat as Hawk left the home was very telling.

Estelle hadn’t been fond of the man she married for years, but the relationship was a sacrifice she was willing to make to have the beautiful house and connections it afforded her.

When her husband dies, she’ll be able to live her best life, something that she may not have been able to do if she didn’t have these connections through her husband.

Hopefully, Estelle resurfaces before Fellow Travelers Season 1 concludes because she was a real hoot, and I’d love to see her following the end of that loveless marriage.

Speaking of loveless marriages, who would have guessed that Senator Wesley’s comments about people asking questions about Hawkins would steer him towards romancing Lucy?

A part of me questioned what Lucy was getting out of this relationship because you can tell she’s taken aback by Hawk going there with her and touching her hand.

It’s almost a look of surprise that he’s reciprocating these feelings for her, but deep down, she has no clue that Hawk is only getting close to her because the government is intensifying its investigations into homosexual individuals.

It’s sad that Hawk was driven to these measures and then has to wait 30-odd years to be stationed outside the U.S., but in the interim, he’s had kids with Lucy, possibly suggesting that he grows to love her.

We got a front-row seat into how the government dealt with people flagged up as being in same-sex relationships back in the 1950s, and it was heartbreaking.

Mary and Caroline’s relationship was a whirlwind to viewers because, like Hawk, we weren’t privy to the news of them sharing a one-bedroom apartment.

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In that time period, people asked questions, and when they didn’t get the answers they liked, of course, they would call up the government’s tip line.

It was harrowing watching the change in Caroline as Mary tried to comfort her when the agents left the apartment.

Caroline understood that she was being treated that way for merely existing, and with the uncertainty of what came next, there was a part of her that resented Mary.

Tim telling Hawk everything came out of the left field, but it also allowed Hawk to find a way to save both Tim and Mary from the prying eyes of those watching their every move.

Say what you will about Hawk, but he’s an intelligent man who’s very aware of public perception, even if there were some things he was overlooking.

Hawk’s mind immediately changed to how he could protect Tim, but Tim didn’t see it that way, which caused a rift that wouldn’t be resolved between them any time soon.

Tim was enamored with the people like him at Mary and Caroline’s party.

For one of few times in his life, he felt seen, so it was hard for him to think about what could go wrong at the party.

Mary extending the invitation to Hawk seemed like her way to show Tim that there were more people like him he could hang around with than just Hawk.

She knows how Hawk is with guys, but she also doesn’t understand how close the connection between the two men is.

Sometimes, you meet someone and want to spend the rest of your life with them, and for these two, there’s a lot of uncharted territory.

My best guess is that there will come a point in which Hawk and Tim have the opportunity to move somewhere more accepting of the gay community, but Hawk isn’t ready for it, and Tim goes on his own.

There’s a lot of resentment from Tim in the 1980s timeline, but it seemed much of it was washed away when Hawk showed up in the flesh in his apartment.

Instead of telling him to leave, Tim seemed ready to have that conversation, but it’s still hard to tell what broke them up for good.

Tim’s sister had heard so much about Hawk, and truthfully, most of it must have been terrible because he makes decisions that benefit him.

I do believe he’ll continue to protect Tim in the 1950s timeline, but there will come a point where he’ll have to decide his future.

Jelani Alladin got much more to work with on “Bulletproof.”

He’s a fantastic actor, and it’s nice to see him get good writing to work with after The Walking Dead: World Beyond.

Marcus’ storyline is intriguing because he’s so desperate to get stories that matter out there.

He’s passionate, but how do you maintain that passion when people are closing doors in your face because you opened your mouth?

Hopefully, this storyline continues to grow more prominent as the season progresses.

At some point, all of the storylines have to intersect, and it’ll be interesting to see where that takes us.

What are your thoughts on Hawk confronting his father?

What’s your best theory about how Hawk and Tim’s relationship implodes?

Hit the comments.

Fellow Travelers continues Fridays on Showtime.

Paul Dailly is the Associate Editor for TV Fanatic. Follow him on X.

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