Following a somewhat similar theme to The Fugitive, Traveler tells the story of Jay (Matthew Bomer), Tyler (Logan Marshall-Green) and Will (Aaron Stanford). These guys are three friends from graduate school who head off for one final fandango before they've got to assume high paying jobs in the real world. They stop off in New York City and go to an art museum where they videotape themselves pulling off a stunt. After being chased out of the building, they get a call from Will who makes sure that they are out of the museum. Shortly after this is confirmed, Will apologizes and hangs up the phone on them.
Then the museum explodes.
Amidst all the confusion Jay and Tyler put together that Will has framed them for a terrorist attack. Deciding to go on the run to prove their innocence, the boys immediately realize that they can't come up with any proof that Will ever existed. In trying to explain this to the FBI, they realize that the best thing to do is find Will. Apparently, he always hid his face in pictures and he never spoke of his family. With the FBI on their tail and very few people to trust, the game is on where Jay and Tyler must find their "friend" before the FBI, police or anyone else finds them.
Aside from a decent amount of cliches in the writing of this show, and the fact that it would seem if they had lived together then Will must have at least put a fingerprint on something, I think that Traveler is pretty well done. It's format is laced with action and it's the kind of show that could actually go in a bunch of different directions. Also, with the U.S. constantly going up against evasive foes in the Middle East, there are a great deal of allegories that could be drawn throughout this narrative. The fact that we as viewers know these guys are innocent, makes us become that much more emotionally invested in them finding this mysterious person.
Since I have only seen one episode, it's sort of hard to criticize the structure or direction of this show because who knows where it's going? I will say I think Traveler's life shouldn't be more than 2 or 3 seasons. I am a fan of those shows where people go on the run, and then end up helping people but leaving town before people start wondering who they are (see The Pretender). I don't think this show wants to be that. It seems like a manhunt formula along the lines of Prison Break, and ultimately I think it's better served not to be on the air any longer than necessary.
What I am hoping happens is that we get to see a lot more backstory. That we see Will's life and how he came to be a terrorist and believe in the things he does. It'd be nice to see a lot of footage of the guys when they lived together so that we can get a sense of what their relationship was like. Also, this show is begging for dual screens so we can see what the FBI is up to, what Will is up to, and what Jay and Tyler are all doing in the present.
All in all, Traveler seems like a show that it's going to be worth taking the journey with.
Traveler airs May 30 at 10pm on ABC.
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