‘Kindred’ Time Travel, Discussed: How Did Dana Use To Time Travel?

According to the theories of time travel, a person needs a device, presumably a time machine, in order to time travel. However, in “Kindred,” we see Dana traveling back in time without a device. She just gets dizzy, and the next thing we know, she was on a plantation in the 19th century. Along with her, we see her friend, Kevin Franklin, going back in time. The question arises: what is the theory here? How can one travel back in time without a portal or device? It is safe to say that “Kindred” is more like a fantasy series than a science fiction thriller. Let’s explore Dana and Kevin’s relationship and how they travel back to the 19th century in “Kindred.”


Spoilers Ahead

How Does Dana Travel Back To The 19th Century Without A Device, And What Is Kevin’s Involvement In This?

While writing a script, what generally happens is that the creators use the mainstream idea of time travel, in which a person travels back and forth in a time machine. However, in “Kindred,” we see a unique way of time traveling that is unknown to the travelers themselves. In “Kindred,” Dana shifts to a new city from New York and meets Kevin Franklin. Kevin and Dana hardly know each other but get tangled together in the game of fate. While we see a lot of loopholes in the series, we cannot always nitpick a fantasy series. Let’s take “Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency,” for example, where we see Dirk Gently time traveling through a time machine and fighting goons along with his partner, Todd. Like Todd, Kevin gets involved in this fiasco against his will. In the series, we also see him arguing with Dana that he does not know her so well and does not wish to travel back with her. Dana seems scared to go back alone because, in order to bring her back to her present timeline, her mother poisoned her, which traumatized her.


In “Kindred,” time travel is more like a gift or superpower. We see Kevin asking his sister if she believes everything happens for a reason, and here it is implied that Kevin, too, started believing that this mess he has gotten himself into has a reason behind it. Even though he is willing to stay back in time, he starts liking Dana in the series and accepts his fate.

Kevin struggles with alcohol addiction and is trying to stay sober in the series. Dana’s uncle, who is a cop, also knew Kevin before. It is clear that Kevin had previously gotten himself into some sort of trouble to end up in a police station or in a situation that involved cops. Kevin’s character in “Kindred” is a mystery: how does he know Dana’s uncle, and what was the problem he had gotten himself into? These types of questions arise in the minds of the viewers while watching the series. Even though we are yet to explore themes of time traveling in depth in the series, the story is enough to keep the viewers tangled and wondering what is going to happen next. Every time Dana used to travel back in time, she holds on to Kevin. We see Dana asking Kevin to act like all of this is just a game.


Is Time Traveling A Game In ‘Kindred’?

Perhaps a simulation theory is in the making; however, given that the book was written back in the 1970s, it seems unlikely. But since the story revolves around Dana going back and saving Rufus, it does feel like a game. She is always given a task: to save the life of Rufus and also survive in the harsh social climate of the 19th century when blacks were traded off as slaves. Even though in the present timeline, Kevin and Dana are equals, we saw the opposite in the 19th century. Dana has to adjust her ideals in order to save Rufus; she has to bear harsh comments and injustice. Contrary to her situation, even though Kevin said he had no money to offer, he is treated partially well, only because of his color. We see Kevin traveling with his phone and even listening to music while Dana sleeps in a cold attic. The inhumane activities that took place in the 19th century are displayed in the series, so at times the series feels more like a drama than a science fiction thriller.

Dana and Kevin are both confused and want to get out of this game of fate, but Dana feels like she has a purpose. Every time she gets pulled back into the 19th century, she is in proximity to Rufus. It feels like Rufus controls the game through his mind because he keeps on asking for Dana, and since he is a white boy, he gets all his wishes granted. We see this happening multiple times in the series, where Rufus would just start shouting Dana’s name. Soon, Kevin becomes a piano tutor for Rufus, but he does not seem to like Kevin much. Dana is the only person he wants around him, and even in his mother’s presence, he is seen throwing tantrums and asking her to leave. He could not behave the same in front of his father. Rufus’ father was a hypocrite whose idea of masculinity was drinking and beating women who didn’t listen to him. These things are disturbing to watch in the series, and Kevin was seen opposing these toxic ideals in the series. Near the end of the season, we see Kevin struggling to keep up with the show he has been putting on. He also gets drunk and starts showing his true self to Thomas. Thomas gets upset over the things he said and threatens not to let him come onto his land. We then see Thomas whipping Dana, and her mother comes to rescue her. She gets dizzy again and travels to her present timeline again; well, this time, instead of her mother, Kevin is stuck in the 19th century. Now, let’s assume this is a game, but even so, how does one go back in time? Who is controlling this game? The series feels more like fate running its course. Also, you can say that Dana upgrades one level each time she travels back because she is prepared to go back. However, in the end, she seems scared. She was badly injured by Thomas and has come to her present location alone. Kevin was the only one who believed in her, and they got close during their venture together.


Before, she was seen being scared of going back to the 19th century; however, as the series progresses, she accepts her reality. She feels guilty, though, about bringing Kevin into this game since he has no connections there like Dana. Yet he is the one who is stuck in “The Matrix” now. We can assume Dana goes back in time again, this time with the gun that Kevin gave her. We don’t get to see what happened to the gun in season 1; however, it sure holds some significance to Kevin’s nature too. A question that arises in our minds is: Why does his sister keep a gun? Will Dana upgrade one level and take more supplies with her? It has already been a year since Kevin Franklin was back there, and Dana keeps wondering when she will be going to the plantation again. She is eagerly waiting this time as her purpose has now changed. She has to save Kevin and bring him back before his family blames Dana for his disappearance. On the other hand, Dana’s mother is back in her timeline, but like Kevin, she does not land in the house. Why did Dana’s mother end up landing somewhere else when it was Dana that seemed to have the “gift” of time traveling, and each time it was her house where she and Kevin landed? We can assume that in the series “Kindred,” women have some power over time travel since it was Dana’s mother who disappeared and got this gift, and then it was Dana herself. However, Dana’s mother gets stuck and is left alone. In Dana’s case, it is different. Now, along with her mother and aunt, she can explore her family’s secrets.

See more: How Does Master Rufus Call Dana Into Another Timeline In The ‘Kindred’ Series? Will There Be A Season 2?

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Tarushi Patali
Tarushi Patali
Tarushi is an English Literature graduate, who is currently doing master's in mass communication from Mumbai. She loves making lists and is an avid reader. Also, she likes judging people by their movie taste. In her leisure time you would find her digging random conspiracy pages on Reddit!

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