Harry Houdini was a Hungarian born American illusionist and escape artist.
In the Timeless Universe
Garcia Flynn explains to Lucy Preston his plot to kill Thomas Edison, Henry Ford, and J. P. Morgan during an important meeting between the three men. Flynn tells Lucy that security will be very difficult to get into despite the year being 1893. Flynn forces Lucy to tell him of someone who could help bypass the security stealthily. Lucy suggests Harry Houdini.
Flynn and Lucy go to a performance by Houdini before he achieves fame. Houdini chooses Lucy as a volunteer for an escape act. After the show, Lucy tells Houdini that she is a big fan. Houdini is skeptical of the claim that he has fans, but Lucy then proceeds to bluff that she has a theater owning uncle that she could introduce Houdini to outside. Houdini is enthusiastic about the prospects and agrees to meet the uncle. As Houdini and Lucy exit, Lucy apologizes as Houdini is brought in front of Flynn and one of his men pointing a gun at him. Houdini tells Flynn that he has no money. Flynn tells Houdini that he needs no money, but he needs Houdini to pick a lock.
Lucy continues to apologize to Houdini as Lucy, Houdini, Flynn, and Karl walk to the building holding Edison, Ford, and Morgan. Lucy tells Houdini that she was forced to do this because Flynn was holding her friends hostage. Houdini says it's his fault for believing she was actually a fan. Lucy corrects Houdini explaining she really is a fan and she admires Houdini. She explains that she was once trapped underwater and that it was horrifying. Lucy asks Houdini how he can perform such terrifying feats to entertain people for a living. Houdini tells Lucy that what he has to do is clear his mind of fear and anything else and think the single thought 'Escape.' Lucy asks if Houdini could ever teach her the cutpurse trick. Houdini expresses his love of that trick, foreshadowing by saying "I'll do just that." Houdini picks the lock of the building that Edison, Ford, and Morgan are inside of. Flynn tells Houdini that Karl will stay with Lucy and if Houdini tries to do anything to Flynn, Karl will kill her. Houdini winks to Lucy as he enters the building.
Flynn and Houdini approach the door of the room in which the meeting will occur as guards leave it. The door has many locks, and Houdini explains that it will take ten minutes to unlock them all. Flynn explains Houdini has a maximum of three minutes before the guards come back. Houdini has an alternative idea of how to get into the room. He jumps up into an air duct and into the room. From the inside, he opens the door. Flynn tries to plant a bomb, Houdini curious to how such a small thing could be a bomb. Houdini asks Flynn what he has against Edison. Edison, Ford and, Morgan enter earlier than expected. Flynn reaches for a gun in his pocket to kill the three men, but Houdini had used the cutpurse trick mentioned earlier to snatch the gun from Flynn. Houdini points the gun at Flynn, after he handcuffs Flynn's hand to a dresser. Houdini takes the bomb from Flynn's hand. Edison asks Houdini what's going on. Houdini calls for the guards and advises the three men to leave the city as fast as possible. Before leaving, Houdini explains that the three men have been saved by "The Great Harry Houdini" and promotes his show.
Houdini sneaks up on Karl and knocks him out with a pipe. Houdini tells Lucy it was pretty smart to mention the cutpurse trick to him as he handcuffs Karl's hand to a grate. Lucy tells Houdini he's the best at getting out of tight spots and that she knew he'd be able to help her get out of her tight spot. Houdini gives Lucy the bomb and the gun. Houdini tries to leave Lucy but she explains that she still needs Houdini to help save her friends from a serial killer in a hotel.
Lucy explains to Houdini that H. H. Holmes has hidden chambers everywhere and that her friends could be in any one of them. Houdini is reluctant to follow Lucy, for concern about Holmes, but follows her anyway. Wyatt Logan managed to create a hole in the soundproof room that he'd been trapped in along with Rufus Carlin, Sophia Hayden, and George Henry (Holmes under and alias.) They hear Wyatt's screams for help coming from behind a bookshelf. Houdini doubts anything would be behind the bookshelf as it would be too obvious. Lucy moves the bookshelf revealing a tunnel. Lucy is reluctant to enter the tunnel because she is scared of tight spaces but Houdini helps her in.
Later, Lucy gets captured by Holmes and uses Houdini's clear head strategy to trick Holmes long enough for Wyatt and Rufus to come save her.
Later, Houdini asks Lucy if she'd like to become his stage assistant, because of how good a team they make. Lucy tells Houdini he'll find a better assistant soon and to look out for a woman named Bess, Annie, or Frances, making references to Houdini's future stage assistant and wife Bess Houdini. Houdini shakes Wyatt and Rufus' hand before leaving. Wyatt notices Houdini pickpocketed his gun and demands it back. Houdini smiles deviously as he hands the gun back to Wyatt and leaves.
Harry Houdini at Wikipedia