Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Continuum, Season 3, Episode 11: 3 Minutes to Midnight

Halo is going to market, and already it’s set to make a killing.

At Kiera’s, Brad is having lots of memory flashback confusion – including killing Kiera. Kiera returns home to find broken glass – and Brad missing. She instantly suspects the Freelancers and goes to examine their prison (sparing 2 seconds to worry about Alec she imprisoned) but they claim all innocence and try to push her into “doing the right thing” (putting Brad in a box. But while Alec in prison is totally ok, total stranger Brad is going too far).

Cut to a flashback of Brad walking with Chen, all friendly like, talking about keeping tabs on the then-free-extra-Alec and Brad seems to be Chen’s boss talking about changing their plans after learning more and keeping threats contained. Is this another Freelancer group? Like uber Freelancers? Who Freelances the Freelancers? Anyway, knowing the future and time travel doesn’t stop then Brad walking out in front of a truck. Oops

To now Brad, all confused and lost

Jason, who seems to have lost the clarity that Halo gave him, goes digging up the pieces of the time machine. Then beats a man with his shovel screaming about “not going back in the box”. This could be Jason fighting a Freelancer but turns out to be him beating up a random bystander because he’s not thinking very clearly.

Kiera and Carlos get to try and question Jason who has now lost all pretence of clarity. Kiera and Carlos are more worried about the Time Machine but, of course, Dillon’s oh-so-corrupt police force kicks in and Jason is released – and the minute he puts his Halo bracelet on he calms down.

Kiera goes to see Alec – though Carlos warns her that Alec can’t be trusted and Piron practically owns the police. Carlos confirms that Dillon was personally involved in getting the charges dropped; it’s not the first either. Other cases have been cleaned up, all with perpetrators wearing the Halo bracelets. Carlos questions the violent beta-testers of Halo and finds more of Dillon’s cover up, buying people off.

Kiera questions Alec and Jason and they both assure her Halo is wonderful and safe and amazing so all is good. Um… police corruption? Magically vanishing charges? Anyone interested in this? At all? Kiera trusts him because her CMR shows no lies – but Alec has a little programme that blocks it.

Brad, meanwhile, tracks down Kellogg. He needs his resources and help to get something back that the Freelancers took – and no, he isn’t bothered by the Freelancers

Alec, Jason and Jacqueline meet to discuss an unfortunate side effect of Halo – it makes 6% of uses unpredictable and violent – or psychotic as Alec puts it. That’s a… pretty bad side effect. But they’re sure they can fix this teeny tiny problem, of course. Which requires Jason’s help, which means he needs to wear Halo (Alec totally doesn’t want him to hurt himself, but, yeah put on the mind scrambler and fix it please!)

Kiera and Carlos consult over the blatant corruption but, as Kiera says “you shoot the king, you’ve got to kill the king.” They’re going to need a lot of evidence to bring down Dillon – and Alec. Kiera tells Carlos what Alec did to other Kiera’s body. He is not amused.

Carlos goes to see Julian – and accuses Theseus of having being bought, now working for Piron and sets him on the Halo attacks.

Julian follows up Carlos’s clues and finds Alec’s keeping secrets from him – but has a chance to speak to a Halo-less Jason (he’s wearing it part time to reduce the side effects). Jason rambles back and forth – and includes how Alec sent them all back in time 65 years. Oops. Julian naturally thinks he’s out of his mind – until Jason calls Julian “Theseus” just like Liber8 does. Of course, he also calls him a murderer and tries to strangle him. Jacqueline and Alec arrive in time to stop him and put Jason’s Halo back on.

More stable Jason points out that Halo was the product of a lifetime of expertise from Alec – maybe 20 year old Alec isn’t in a position to perfect it. They bond over daddy issues and the weirdness of Alec trying to be a better father.

Alec appeals to Julian about all the good Halo can do – and anything Julian tries to do is just going to stop that (hey there “end justifies the means” reasoning).

Carlos confronts Dillon who admits to police corruption. And that Halo is totally worth it – not for health reasons, but because they can use Halo to track the whole population for aberrant behaviour. Yikes, no no no no no no no no no. Carlos is also not a fan. Dillon appeals to “protect and serve” (serve WHO?!)

Brad seems to have a lot more memories back and finds a stash he has hidden, in a hiding spot a kid also has (young Brad! So he can’t be that far from the future). Kiera shows up to question his anti-bullying advice to his younger self. The kid leaves and Kiera confronts Brad about his lies – he thanks her for the help but refuses to work with her or tell her anything. Then the Liber8 gang show up and take them prisoner

Liber8 has figured out that Brad is from the future and they want to know who sent him and why – questioning involving Travis’s super strength. Brad tells them he’s here to clean up their mess. But no more details so Sonya nail gun’s Kiera’s foot to the floor.

Brad cracks – he’s from 2039 (Kiera and Liber8 are from 2077). In his time his militia cleared a Freelancer base and read their reports about a time cataclysm in this time. Travis suspects he’s part of the Corporate Congress, but in Brad’s time there are no corporations, everything’s collapsed. In his time the economy collapsed, Nationalisation failed to correct it and the companies formed armies to fight each other. The people rose up in fury against government and corporation

Libr8 is ecstatic – because that means they succeeded in changing things. The people rising up is exactly what they wanted to achieve. While they wander off, Brad reveals the rest of it to Kiera – he killed her, killing her was his mission. Lots of drama on that one – Kiera pulls out her best passive aggressive.

Sonya just wants to accept the victor but Travis thinks the story is too near and Lucas is suspicious of the technology Brad is carrying. There’s a brief escape attempt which is scuppered but ends up with Kiera holding Sonya at gun point giving her chance to explain the 2 Kieras, 2 Alecs thing and that she saw Garza die. She adds that it’s the two Alec Sadlers, a different Alec Sadler, that has created the alternate future – not Liber8

She also reveals that Garza worked with older Alec which is hellaciously complex. Lucas has a full blown freak out because they’re all pawns and it’s all planned and he probably feels much like me. He rants about how useless their every attempt at freedom is and fires Brad’s future gun (which takes out half a wall). Brad describes the rest of his future – a dystopian wasteland where war has reduced the population to people scrabbling in the ruins for survival – which he blames on Liber8. Kiera throws in that all of them are pawns in someone else’s game

Which is when Chen arrives with a gun. Ye gods this could not get more complex. And Kellog (I tell a lie, it could). Kellog is one of the clan leaders from Brad’s time who sent Brad back to change history and highlights how torn Liber8 was from the start: Garza working for Alec, Kellog for himself, Chen for the Freelancers. To show them the future, Brad shows them a speech from future Kellog talking about the devastation of the future

Kiera calls on liber8 to stand down because they just don’t know what their moves will achieve and Garza agrees. Chen and Travis agree – the battle is lost, their mission is compromised and flawed from the start. Even Brad has abandoned his mission – because of the same fatalism. It doesn’t matter, the future will happen anyway. Sonya’s the only one still trying to fight

Everyone walks away.

Is this it with Continuum? It’s all the story on unintended consequences? As we see with Alec as well, trying to fast forward or patch the time line without fully understanding it with some worrisome consequences and moral decay trying to patch that up.

People are playing with cause and effect with little idea of exactly what they’re doing or how or what the consequences of that are. In the middle of this all the confusion is almost epitomised by Alec trying to play dad to a man who is technically older than him and lost in his own mind precisely because of time travel. It kind of represents the whole well meaning but utterly lost confusion of the whole thing.

In its way, it kind of vindicates the Freelancer position – all these people messing with the time line just have no idea what they’re doing.

Which leads into the overlying theme not just of this episode but probably the whole show – “end’s justifies the means” is so often such a hot mess. Everyone is trying to do what they consider right, and that includes a whole lot of evil, ignoring the evil on their own sides and generally running down the rabbit hole.

But this also means everything the show has worked on – all the Liber8 vs One Future Our Way, is just rendered moot. All that fighting for justice, the competing systems, the revelation of Kiera’s apocalyptic future and it comes down to “there’s no point in trying because you don’t know what you’ll create.” That’s it? All the series comes down to the fatalistic “don’t bother, just live with it.”

And then we throw in this “no perfect system” well… no, but at the same time there has been no attempt to create one because, as Kiera makes clear, every attempt has been compromised by other plans. So the end message is just to accept the system how it is because someone will screw it up no matter what?

How do you even pull this back? They finally have proof they can affect the future and give up trying…