Retro Review: Continuum, Episodes 4-7

The binge-watch continues. I’m now knee-deep in the first season of Continuum, and despite some stumbles, it’s continuing to be an entertaining ride.

The official logo for Continuum“Matter of Time”:

This is the first episode of Continuum to date that I haven’t much enjoyed.

“Matter of Time” features Kiera and Carlos investigating the death of a scientist working on an experimental antimatter energy source. His machine backfired, blowing a hole in him and five stories of his building, and it may not have been an accident.

Kiera worries Liber8 may be involved, so she decides to investigate.

The problem is that Liber8 was not involved, and this becomes clear pretty quickly. Thus, “Matter of Time” becomes a largely irrelevant tangent with little to no significance to the ongoing plot. A connection with Kiera’s future is ultimately revealed, but it doesn’t seem to mean much for the larger arc of the show.

The end result is that “Matter of Time” just feels like an episode of any other random cop show, albeit with slightly more technobabble.

On top of that, Kiera acts very out of character through the whole episode. She should only care about Liber8 — she’s shown great reticence to influence the past in any way that isn’t about stopping them — but she’s happy to drop everything and investigate this unrelated murder. She even abandons a search for Liber8’s newly arrived leader, Edouard Kagame, to continue following up on the murder.

The cast of ContinuumWhat the Hell?

The main redeeming feature of “Matter of Time” is that it gave Alec an opportunity to have a really good scene at the end. But otherwise, it’s just filler.

Overall rating: 6.7/10

“A Test of Time”:

“A Test of Time” sees Kagame reinstated as leader of Liber8. He orders a change in tactics, encouraging his followers to focus on more subtle and non-violent means of achieving their goals.

However, there’s still a little bloodshed on his agenda. To eliminate Kiera as a threat as well as test the ramifications of their trip to the past, they resolve to pull a Terminator and kill Kiera’s grandmother, Lily Jones.

When women named Lily Jones start turning up dead, Kiera figures out what’s up, and the race is on to find the correct Lily.

After the misstep of last episode, this a return to form for Continuum: fast-paced and exciting.

Rachel Nichols as Kiera Cameron in ContinuumI think it’s hilarious that Kiera instantly assumed the most well-educated and successful Lily Jones was her grandmother, and I experienced quite a bit of schadenfreude when she was proven spectacularly wrong.

This was an interesting episode for Kellogg, as well. I’m rather confused by him and his motivations, but I think that’s the point. He’s a complicated dude.

Also, I find I’m really starting to hate Travis, and I mean that in a good way. His smug self-satisfaction and casual cruelty inspire the kind of visceral disgust you want from a good villain.

I did have some issues with the ending, though. It raises a lot of interesting questions… but they’re all the same questions we’ve had since the start. Nothing really changed.

I’m also starting to wonder how much longer Continuum can maintain the current formula without becoming ridiculous. If every single episode is going to end with a gunfight with Liber8, how much longer is it going to take before they lose all intimidation factor as villains?

They’re already starting to seem a bit like stormtroopers. Anyone would be bound to hit Kiera at least once or twice after firing that many bullets; it’s just probability. And these are battle-hardened, chemically enhanced super-soldiers we’re talking about. How is she coming away unscathed every single time?

Rachel Nichols as Kiera Cameron in ContinuumOverall rating: 7.4/10

“Time’s Up”:

Ah, but here’s an interesting twist. Just as I was starting to worry Liber8 was turning into buffoons, things suddenly go in an entirely different direction.

“Time’s Up” sees Kagame enact his new, more subtle strategy to achieve Liber8’s ends. Coordinating with a bunch of violent anti-corporate extremists from the modern era, Liber8 arranges to kidnap the CEO of an oil company. But there’s far more to their plan than a simple hostage-taking. They intend to win the hearts and minds of the public with some clever theatrics.

Meanwhile, the tension in Alec’s home reaches a boiling point as he discovers that his supremely douchey step-brother, Julian, has signed on to the Liber8 cause.

I thoroughly enjoyed this episode. It’s the first time Liber8 has started to feel truly dangerous as a group of villains. They’re not just thugs; they can wield their wits as effectively as any weapon. They pull off some almost Joker-worthy mind-fracks as the episode progresses.

I particularly loved their use for the ransom money. “Give the people the money, or she dies.”

Brilliant.

A wallpaper featuring propaganda for Liber8Throughout “Time’s Up,” Liber8 is two steps ahead of Kiera and co., and by the end, they have enjoyed unmitigated success in their goals. Kagame has painted himself as a latter day Robin Hood, and Liber8 as his Merry Men, and the public has been won to their side. Anti-corporate graffiti covers the city as cries of “Liber8” echo through the air.

The seeds of a revolution have been planted.

Also, I’d like to say that I really love how the fight scenes are choreographed on this show. Sure, they’re not terribly realistic, but damn if they aren’t entertaining.

Overall rating: 8.1/10

“The Politics of Time”:

“The Politics of Time” is another case where Continuum basically forgets about the sci-fi and becomes a regular cop show. But it still manages to be more interesting than “Matter of Time.”

In this episode, Kiera and Carlos investigate the murder of a reporter who had been looking into the campaign finances of two candidates in a union election. Things are rather complicated by the fact one of those candidates is an old friend of Carlos, and it just happens he slept with the reporter about an hour before she was killed.

Kiera, Alec, and Carlos in ContinuumKiera is theoretically investigating because of a potential Liber8 connection, and a tangential one is discovered, but in practice, this episode serves as an opportunity to flesh out Carlos as a character and his relationship with Kiera wrapped in a whodunnit.

It’s pretty much just filler, but I’m willing to forgive it. Considering Carlos’s importance as a cast member, it was overdue for him to get some proper attention as something other than Kiera’s sidekick.

It’s also a pretty good mystery as these things go. I didn’t see the final twist coming, so that’s something.

There were also some little touches that made this episode endearing. Alec had some very funny lines, and while this obviously wasn’t the main point of the scene, it was interesting to hear how Kiera rationalizes the ruthless invasiveness of her future. I do hope we will eventually come to the point where Kiera has to accept she’s not “the good guys” in this. She may be better than Liber8 — maybe — but that’s not much of a recommendation.

Also, it turns out her husband is a scumball. I may be jumping the gun, but I’m starting to think he may have been involved in Liber8’s escape. He was a highly placed member of Sadtech (worst company name ever) and may have had access to experimental technology like the time device, and he seemed to know something was up at the execution sooner than he should have.

But now I’m off-topic.

A first person perspective of Kiera's HUD in ContinuumThe bottom line is that “The Politics of Time” was basically filler, but at least it was interesting filler. And it was nice to see Tahmoh Penikett again.

Overall rating: 7.1/10

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2 thoughts on “Retro Review: Continuum, Episodes 4-7

  1. Been a while since I’ve seen these episodes, but what you’re saying jibes pretty much with my memories of them.

    I’m very interested to see what your opinions will be in Season 2. To me, the show simply lost its way in S2, and that’s why I’m having such a hard time caring about whether I watch S3 or not. Even though I liked the 2 S3 episodes I watched a lot more than the S2 ones.

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