Fellow Travelers Season 1 Episode 3 Review: Hit Me

Fellow Travelers, Reviews, Television

Hawk and Tim were blissfully unaware of how much pain would be infused through their love story when they first laid eyes on each other.

Fellow Travelers Season 1 Episode 3 added more depth to their decades-spanning relationship, leaving us with even more questions.

In the present timeline, it’s becoming easier to see why Tim has this deeply rooted resentment towards Hawk.

Hawk was far too confident about making these big sweeping gestures despite having ulterior motives that Tim was never privy to unless he did some digging for himself.

Looking at the weekend away from Tim’s perspective, he thought it was a time for them to work on their relationship.

While that was definitely on the agenda, he never anticipated that Hawk would be desperately trying to dig up dirt on Senator McCarthy to take back to Washington, D.C.

In Tim’s defense, he must have felt used, and you could tell he took great pride in telling Hawk about him locking lips with the man at the bar.

Hawk: Listen, Skippy. I wanna spend the weekend with you. Go back to the office, tell Dragon Lady you don’t feel well. Meet me on the southwest corner of Independence and Third in 15 minutes.
Tim: Fifteen?
Hawk: Green Ford. Oh, and happy birthday.

Realistically, what does Hawk expect Tim to do when he tells him he’ll be gone 20 minutes and be gone for much longer?

Many possibilities were racing through Tim’s mind, but Hawk‘s inability to communicate with this man he’s supposed to love is proving to be the big divide.

Granted, I’m glad he left Tim for longer because it meant he played a part in saving Daniel’s life. We’ll come back to Daniel in a little.

Tim’s struggle with Hawk telling him things on a need-to-know basis has got to be why their relationship goes so wrong.

In Tim’s eyes, Hawk got him the job with Senator McCarthy to report everything back to him and, in turn, to aide Senator Wesley Smith.

What is Tim getting from this, aside from being made to feel like a dirty little secret?

You could tell on Fellow Travelers Season 1 Episode 2 that Tim was about done with Hawk’s manipulation, but what keeps him returning to this man for the next 30 years?

Frankie: I don’t mean to sound like a prima donna, but where am I?
Marcus: I know.
Frankie: The bouncer called us fags. You forget that?
Marcus: Frankie… That’s not a fight I can win right now. No editor would run that story. I’ll always be a colored man first. It’s all folks see.
Frankie: When I was a kid, no one noticed me. Which was a good thing, because when they noticed me, it was with a curse, or a smack or a shove. But the first time I went full drag to a club, in a cheap Halloween wig and a borrowed poodle skirt… people noticed. They looked at me.
Marcus: I’m lookin’ at you.

Unfortunately, choosing who you love is complex; sometimes, you fall harder for someone than they do for you.

But Tim wants a relationship with Hawk free of strings and sneaking around.

At that point in their relationship, it seems impossible because of the lack of tolerance towards the LGBTQ community.

My best theory is that there will come a point when it will be a possibility, and Hawk will put all of his attention on Lucy, starting a family, and leaving the U.S.

He’s been vocal about leaving the country and not returning if he’s called back, but in the 1980s timeline, Lucy’s his wife, and they have two kids.

Does he plan on going to Milan and leading a double life?

It’s unclear whether his priorities have changed over the years, but there was a specific look Tim shot at him when he talked about Milan, almost as though he was recalling their conversation from 30 years before.

Senator McCarthy’s war on the LGBTQ community will undoubtedly lead to big changes in Washington, D.C., that will make it more difficult for Tim, Hawk, and the people in their inner circle.

Hawk: They know you?
Tim: I worked here. Before.
Hawk: You said your sister needs a break. I nursed my kids through measles, mumps. Broken arms. Hawk.
Tim: No.
Hawk: How long would she need?
Tim: No. No. It’s not a good idea.
Hawk: How long? What, a week? I can do that. Skippy, just… Will you give me a chance?
Tim: A chance to do what? To… To fսck it up again. Are you sure?
Hawk: No. I’m not sure of anything anymore.

The situation with Daniel proved that McCarthy is hiding a lot about his past because of his power and influence.

People are scared to go up against him because of his connections. He and his team will go after people and tear them down, even if they’ve done nothing wrong, which doesn’t bode well for anyone.

The final scenes with McCarthy’s statement about investigating the Army while simultaneously revealing he’s engaged to his assistant seemed more like his way of saying, “I have all my bases covered if you want to come after me for my crimes.”

With Hawk being in the Army and racking up the evidence against McCarthy, there’s a good chance they’ll be in a collision course before long, and Tim will be brought into it for telling Hawk things.

Daniel’s suicide attempt and then telling Hawk every despicable thing McCarthy did to him was heartbreaking because he wanted to be stationed closer to his mother so that he could look after her.

Hearing that McCarthy sent federal officers to his door for threatening him was difficult because Daniel didn’t seem like he had a malicious bone in his body.

Instead, he wanted McCarthy to follow through on his end of the sordid deal.

It’s harrowing that Daniel was pushed to a suicide attempt because of McCarthy’s actions, so I hope that the evidence handed to Hawk will open the floodgates for more survivors to come forward.

A McCarthy takedown must happen before Fellow Travelers Season 1 ends.

Chris Bauer is killing it in the role. It’s worlds away from Andy Bellefleur,  Deke Slayton, and Wild Bill Hancock.

He’s a fantastic actor with this ability to make every single role different from what he’s played before, and I hope he dominates the awards front for his portrayal of McCarthy.

Speaking of fine acting, I wanted more of Jelani Alladin after Fellow Travelers Season 1 Episode 2, and he got so much great material to work with on “Hit Me.”

Marcus’ tenacity to exist in Washington, D.C., has been tough. He’s dealing with racism and homophobia while trying to get the stories that matter across to readers, but it seems like he’s facing adversity at every turn.

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His relationship with Frankie is one of the best parts of the show because I believe they’ll learn equal parts about the world through each other as their relationship progresses.

They said they were gonna tell my mother what I was. I begged them not to. She was sick. They told her anyway. She never looked at me again.


Frankie didn’t feel seen in Marcus’ article about how establishments are flouting the desegregation rules, but Marcus has conditioned himself to curate his articles in a way that will get them past editors and onto mainstream media.

It’s upsetting that those are the measures he has to go to get his story across, but he knows he has to do this, or else his words won’t make it out there.

We know that Marcus reached many career-long milestones in the 1980s, but I hope he works with Hawk to expose the underbelly of Senator McCarthy’s operation.

“Hit Me” was a perfect hour of TV because it challenged expectations, took narrative risks, and not a single scene was wasted.

What are your thoughts on Hawk deciding to look after Tim for a week to give his sister a rest?

What’s your take on Hawk moving to Milan with his family in tow?

Fellow Travelers continues Fridays on Showtime.

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

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