Retro Review: Continuum Season Three, Episodes 6-9

It’s time again. Be warned: Spoilers ahead.

“Wasted Minute”:

This episode deals with two largely unrelated plotlines.

The official logo for ContinuumMost of the attention goes to the latest Liber8 plot. This time, they’ve stolen dangerous chemicals from the unsubtly named “Sonmanto” corporation. But as is always the case where Liber8 is concerned, their plan is not what it appears to be at first glance — which is something I appreciate. While the constant Liber8 plots could get tiresome, the fact that there’s always some twist keeps it interesting.

The other, more compelling plot deals with the two Alecs. The rift between them becomes wider as Alec 2.0 vows never to become like his future self, while Alec 1.0 continues to be a prick. But Kiera and the Freelancers see nothing but threat from Alec 2.0. The more he diverges from his future self, the more they believe he must be eliminated. That he is becoming a better person is irrelevant to them.

Mostly, this was a good episode, but the two plots didn’t mesh as well together as they might have. It felt a little like watching two episodes at once, and the Liber8 story didn’t seem to accomplish much. Yeah, they won some more PR points. That’s hardly news at this point.

This isn’t a criticism, but I am finding it harder and harder to like Kiera as a character. I grant that things are not black and white, and I can sympathize with her desire to protect her family, but her ruthless streak is becoming ever more pronounced, and she’s been consistently making the wrong decisions for quite a while now. Her betrayal of the non-evil Alec is very hard to forgive.

The ending of the episode was the highlight: a cliffhanger featuring an armed standoff between Kiera and the Freelancers following her discovery that Curtis killed her other self.

Overall rating: 7.2/10

The cast of Continuum“Waning Minutes”:

This is something new. Instead of an episode set in the present bookended by scenes in the future, this is an episode set in the future bookended by scenes in the present.

An offhand comment by Curtis sends Kiera’s mind back to the future (hurr hurr). While she was escorting a Liber8 terrorist to prison, her flyer malfunctioned and crashed in the wilderness. She and her prisoner were abducted by a band of renegades eking out an existence outside the influence of the Corporate Congress.

But they are not the only visitors to the settlement. Kagame has taken refuge there to recover from an injury, treated by a pre-Liber8 Sonya.

It’s only a matter of time before the eyes of the Corporate Congress turn towards the renegades, and that can only spell doom.

I’m not quite sure how to rate this episode. It’s too early to see how, if at all, “Waning Minutes” fits into the greater arc of Continuum. At face value, it seems a bit like filler — it’s an entire episode of flashback, after all — but if Kiera’s revelation about being “asleep” makes her change her ways, maybe it will mean something after all.

On the plus side, even if “Waning Minutes” is filler, it’s pretty good filler. There aren’t necessarily any major revelations in this episode — we already knew the Corporate Congress was brutal and ruthless — but all of it is well done.

A screencap from "Waning Minutes"My one issue with this episode — and even calling it a complaint seems a bit too harsh — is Sonya’s arc feels like an odd retcon. True, this doesn’t contradict her previous backstory, and they even bother to connect the two events, but it feels a little redundant to give her two life-changing moments that sway her to Liber8’s cause.

On the plus side, her new backstory is better than the original. I do like Sonya. It’s interesting that — more than anyone else in Liber8 — she seems to be a truly kind and decent person. She was simply pushed too far by a corrupt world. It’d be nice if we could see more of this side of her in the modern world.

And seeing Kagame again is always cool.

Overall rating: 7.7/10

“So Do Our Minutes Hasten”:

This episode made my brain hurt. In a good way.

“So Do Our Minutes Hasten” is an almost overwhelmingly complex ball of intrigue. It all begins with a deadly chemical attack on the heads of a major corporation. Of course, all eyes turn to Liber8.

But Kiera realizes something isn’t adding up. Liber8 have been painting themselves as Robin Hood. Murdering a dozen innocent people would be bad for their image, and lately they’ve spent more time on PR than actual terrorism.

At this time, Dillon chooses to separate Kiera and Carlos. Kiera is assigned to work on the chemical attack, while Carlos pursues a possible whistleblower from Sonmanto, who claims she has evidence of countless illegal acts by that corporation. She also happens to have ties to one Julian Randol.

Jennifer Spence as Betty Robertson in ContinuumBetty is eager to help with all those myriad tangled webs, desperate to regain the trust of her former friends.

Kellogg begins weaving one of his patented schemes by encouraging Jason to reconnect with Alec 1.0, and as if all that isn’t enough, Curtis shows up to extort Kellogg into aiding him, seemingly promising to share the secret of immortality in exchange.

Immortal Kellogg. Those are two words to send a chill down your spine.

All that is barely scratching the surface of the complexity of this episode. It didn’t feel like an episode of a TV show; it felt like a movie. A really good movie.

The intrigue is so thick you could cut it with a knife, and while I try to avoid cliches like this, it does keep you guessing until the very end.

There’s really nothing about “So Do Our Minutes Hasten” that wasn’t excellent, but I think Betty was the real standout from it — and that’s not something I ever expected to say. I appreciate finally understanding why she betrayed the police to Liber8, and it puts her in a surprisingly sympathetic light. Perhaps she was the only truly pure-hearted one in this whole tangled mess.

Of course, making Betty suddenly so much more likable sets up the brutal ending quite brilliantly.

Overall rating: 9/10

“Minute of Silence”:

Ryan Robbins as John Doe in ContinuumThis episode isn’t quite as tangled as the last one, but it’s still a complex and fascinating bundle of mysteries in its own right.

A coma victim (played by Ryan Robbins of Sanctuary and Stargate: Atlantis, among other things) wakes up with amnesia. He only remembers one thing: the name “Kiera Cameron”. But she has never met him before.

It soon becomes clear that this John Doe is not just a random unfortunate. It appears he, too, is not of this time, another refugee from Kiera’s future. But who is he, and how and why did he come to the past?

My tinfoil hat theory: He’s Kiera’s son, all grown up.

Elsewhere, tech companies all across Vancouver, including Piron, are the victims of several robberies assisted by an early form of Kiera’s cloaking technology.

Alec 1.0 is having a bad day. As if being stolen from wasn’t enough, Carlos reveals to him the true fate of Kiera 1.0, his new technology isn’t working, and Kellogg is suing him.

I’m a big fan of Ryan Robbins, so naturally I liked this episode a lot. Even aside from him being awesome as per usual, “Minute of Silence” has a lot of good mystery and a decent emotional punch.

It’s interesting to me that, for the last two episodes, Sonmanto has served as the “big bad,” and Liber8 has almost fallen into being the good guys in the equation. I wonder if this an anomaly, or another sign of the show’s direction changing?

Also, yeesh, Alec 1.0 just keeps getting nastier. We can now add defiling the corpse of a former friend to his list of “questionable decisions.”

Overall rating: 8.1/10

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