[Review] - Continuum, Season 3 Episode 12, "The Dying Minutes"

Courtesy of Reunion Pictures
Wait. Wait, wait, wait, wait, wait. Wait...

All of that, and it's not the season finale? Anyone else feel like we might get curb stomped next week?

Hit the jump for the review, which contains spoilers that always make it a point to end business deals by stabbing the other party.


Late week I accused the show of dramatically shifting the paradigm, which it did, and upending three seasons worth of assumptions about the mechanics of time travel by revealing some fairly startling information about the nature of the future. The entire structure of the series fell apart in one brisk and dense piece of exposition, and what was born from it was a future uncertain. How would both the characters and the audience move forward from that? In this episode, we started to get our answer. So some characters, it meant cutting out so much distraction, and refocusing efforts on the immediate and the necessary. For others, it meant eating their losses, and stepping out of a fight they can't win. For the audience, it meant a return to the old days, of there being more questions than answers. I call this the comfort zone.

But before we get to the new questions, we got some final answers. Curtis' was resurrected, or rather merged, by The Traveller, assumed by Kiera (and why not us, it's a sensible theory) to be the original Freelancer. More machine now than man, twisted and driven mad. I'm betting that part of his power set has something to do with being able to perceive the continuum, in much the same way that Kiera's CMR can perceive the microscopic and minute. That's just an assumption. Otherwise, he'd just be drawing on a long memory. But he is the thing that is driving the Freelancers, his recollection of the way things were the first time around. A relic from the original timeline, set adrift, hoping to catch the right current that will take him back home.

The phrase merged has me thinking that Curtis was less brought back from the dead, then he was spliced in with another potential self from another timeline where he didn't die. Again, nothing to back that up other than idle speculation. What is clear is that The Traveller has control over life and death, and is physically connected to time. Whether he is as crazy as Catherine is yet to be seen, it'll take a conversation to judge whether that is true or not. Catherine, as it turns out, was a little too radical in leadership, or perhaps not radical enough. Curtis' motivations, which have remained more a mystery than anything else, seem to have been fed to him by his resurrector.

Catherine's measured and clinical responses to changes in the timeline did not sit right with the time displaced Curtis. Does The Traveller seek to have a more active role in making certain that time conforms to his twisted memory? Was the Freelancer's methods in the present a little too passive for his tastes? I suspect, like the teasing of Escher at the end of season one, and the introduction of the Freelancers in season two, that the Traveller, whose face has remained strategically obscured thus far, is being set up as the Big Bad of season four. And that Curtis and Kellog, as his disciples, are just getting started in making life difficult for Kiera and co.

Liber8 is broken, and effectively done. The responses to last week's revelations seems to have taken the fight out of the most of them. Only Sonya, ever the most loyal (ironically, she herself would be considered the "Company Man" of the group), held out a hope that things might still go their way. She revealed themselves and their intent to Julius, though how much he'd believe her should be measured by how insane he suspected she was. And she, ever following in Kagame's footsteps, opted to take a final action against her enemies. It was as extreme as it was desperate, and I can't help but feel it was futile. Her reaction to Liber8's failure seems like one of perseverance, but I read it more as a last attempt at relevance.

In the face of utter defeat, she would rather go out swinging, hoping that her Hail Mary play might nudge things in the right direction even though she knows it probably won't. Her behaviour this episode played like someone suffering from shock, unable to process new information, and falling back on the old and familiar. Her sacrifice took me completely by surprise, though it shouldn't. The show is never shy about moving things forward, dramatically and violently. Not having Lexa Doig as a regular on the series is a significant loss, but on a show about time travel, it will hardly be the last we see of Sonya. But with her gone, Liber8 is as well. When Curtis looses the faith, you're done.

And then there is Brad (and it is Brad. My confusion last week came from competing information, and my own bad hearing. When Ryan Robbins says the name, it sounds vaguely like Brett, a mistake several of us on the internet made; Showcase continues to refer to him officially as John Doe). I like Brad. I was glad to see Kiera's actions against him were part of a ploy. I like how the characters are with each other, and I like that for the first time in a long time, Kiera gets to be happy. They are kindred spirits, these two. Brad is the Kiera of the alternate timeline. Both are fighters, attempting to preserve the idea of peace of their native times. Both lost their families, and neither have a home to return to. That they have taken comfort and refuge in each other, putting aside the absurdity of their situations, is heartening. So much of this season has been about kicking the character's feet out from under them, it was nice to see them helped back up for a change.

And now both Alecs are back in play, despite Later Alec claiming to be checking out. I cannot believe that it'll be the last we see of the bitter, beaten, but still more light-hearted of the two Sadlers, especially since Earlier Alec has pretty much moved into full villain mode. I don't care about good intentions, if you develop a device that can artificially change your mood, and and be remotely used to change your mood against your will, you are the bad guy. You're just the hero of your own story. Though, I suppose it's a good sign that he still has good intentions. Kellog has only ever been in this to ensure his own survival, but now he's gotten a taste of real power, and he wants it with everything he is. Until now, Kellog has been comedic relief, the occasional butt monkey, and a constant turncoat. But I think he's shaping up to be a full-bore antagonist, and sooner rather than later.
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About MR. Clark

Adopting the descriptor of "successfully unpublished author", MR. Clark began writing things on the internet in 2012, which he believed to be an entirely reputable and civilized place to find and deliver information. He regrets much.

7 comments :

  1. Great review, I would wager most of your predictions are pretty close. You referred to Kellog as a disciple of the Traveller - when did that come out? Or is it another guess?

    Have you noticed any hints about the identity of the Traveller? I got a bit of a Carlos vibe...

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    1. Less a guess, more of an inference. Right now, Kellog is aligned with Curtis, who is working on behalf of the Traveler. Right now, the Traveler’s goals align with Kellog's. Thus, for the time being, we could consider Kellog a disciple. Of course, as we've seen with Liber8, with Kiera, with Later Alec, with Earlier Alec and now with Curtis, Kellog is only loyal so long as it suits his needs. So, I don't imagine Kellog will be staying in the Traveler camp too long.

      And I got the Carlos vibe off the Traveler too. I didn't mention it because it's based off nothing but an impression.

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  2. You should definitely take the time for Orphan Black. It could easily be a complete disaster but somehow manages to pull off action/drama while dabbling in some seriously dark subtexts.

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  4. Hi Mr. Clark. Thanks for these reviews! I was looking online for something that was more than just a recap, and came across you. This is great!

    One point of confusion, though (probably mine). You're confusing me with "Later Alec" and "Earlier Alec". From what I understood, I would have given them opposite names. . .

    When we first meet Alec, he and Keira both time-travel and come to the new timeline. Then she chooses to turn him over to the freelancers, and the "new Alec" gets to stay and take over Piron. Then she rescues the "old Alec", and he goes off with his lady love. I don't know, I would call the "old Alec" the "Earlier Alec", if it were me.

    Or did I miss something?

    Anyway, I think I'll look around here some more and see what else you review, of the shows I watch. Cheers!

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  5. Yeah, that's just me being idiosyncratic. Here was my logic in naming them Earlier and Later, which I fully admit was off the cuff the first time, and I just kind of stuck with it: When Kiera and Alec go back in to time, they only go a couple weeks. So, to call them Past and Future seems a bit hyperbolic (and we've already got a Future Alec, the cigarette smoking man in 2077). So Earlier Alec is the Alec from slightly earlier in the timeline, and Later Alec is the one from slightly later. Make sense? Honestly, I probably could have come up with something better, but here we are.

    Thank you for the kind words (and the delicious page views). Personally, if a review is just a recap, either the reviewer isn't interested in the material or the material isn't worth analysis. I do try to find something deeper to speak towards in every write up I do, and if I can't find something to say, I'd rather not than just summarize. It's good to know that others appreciate that position.

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  6. How is it that sonyas plot to plant the virus in halo failed? She got in, planted the thing, and didn't get caught until she was already on her way out. So what happened? And where was Lucas through that? And why didn't kiera see sonyas explosives with her magic eyes? Pretty sure she didn't see and hide it because she was genuinely talking with carlos about future repercussions from the chief.

    Anyways I'm not sure why this episode gets so much praise. I mean I do appreciate the overall progression of the story here, and the general idea, but of all the series this episode seems to have the most glaring plot holes.

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