Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Continuum, Season 3, Episode 13: Last Minute

Start with a flashback into Brad’s time period – a war torn city, ruined and full of chaos. He’s part of a special mission for his clan, an all-or-nothing fight – and he’s given the special object that he managed to take with him to the past, only now it’s covered in glowing red lines. He’s sent off on his super important, possibly suicidal mission, by Kellog.

To the present and Kiera and Brad are being all couply (I still want to know when this happened) in their cabin. They both acknowledge their flawed pasts – Brad worked for a half-mad warlord and Kiera worked for Big Brother (this is actually a major shift – Kiera has finally openly acknowledge the corruption and evil of her time. Please don’t turn it into a single one off jokey line). He has some thoughts about her son and how everything feels right even if he feels so far away. It’s romantic and sweet, it doesn’t have to make sense.

Emily and Free Alec are making their own plans for escape when someone shoots up their hotel room.

To Corporate Alec who is preparing for a big speech about Halo, coached by Kellog and getting all nervous (apparently Halo is now dropping in stock prices so they need a good speech, no I don’t know why, random tension). Jacqueline delivers a rather ominous “the package has been delivered” message which I assume means the drive by on Free Alec – Jacqueline is really not happy to be used to deliver cloak and dagger messages.  Yes, it looks like Corporate Alec has reached the level of calling hits on people.

Kellog shows up at the police station to ask for more policing at Corporate Alec’s speech and has hostile Carlos be very unwilling. There’s some ominous threats about Piron withdrawing funding and Carlos calls the whole partnership with the police “under review.”

Time for a meeting of the time travellers, Emily, Free Alec, Jason, Kira and Brad and Free Alec expositions what’s happening – Corporate Alec is trying to cement control of the time line by removing the other Alec, which will leave Piron/Sadtech and complete surveillance in control of everything and create even more of a dystopian nightmare than Kira’s future. And Corporate Alec is rebuilding the lab to get the time machine working again, which he may have done as Jason reveals. Kellog and Corporate Alec with time travel sounds like a bad idea to everyone; so much so that Travis has also joined them.

Travis and Kiera go recruiting, bringing in Jasmine, Lucas (I love that Jasmine is worried, but when Lucas sees the 4 of them working together he just declares himself in no matter what it is).

At Alec’s lab, Kiera begins with a full confession to Liber8 –they were right. She was asleep. She was on the wrong side. She doesn’t agree with their tactics still, nor is she declaring alliance and friendship but she knows she was wrong and she will fight to make sure their future doesn’t happen

About damn time! Liber8 now finally wins through

Brad tells us what his little device is, it’s a Beacon to highlight a moment of change on the timeline and stop others from changing what you changed. Though he doesn’t know how it works. If he activates it and nothing happens then he knows he succeeded and his future didn’t happen (which already removed  Kiera and Liber8’s future). The change is all pinned on the Halo launch.

The big launch begins, Carlos provides policing though Carlos continues to joust with Kellog (if he’s still taking Piron money then he’s still bought however much he’s allowed to run things “as he sees fit” that Kellog claims)

Jasmine gets in with a big weapon and Kiera ghosts in invisibly while Lucas runs a command centre. And Alec’s presentation begins and Lucas hijacks it so Travis can deliver his own speech instead. The distraction allows Jasmine to get in position and fire two shots – sending panic throughout the room. She didn’t appear to hit anyone or anything

They hurry Alec into a lift – which then fills with gas.

Emily stands very publicly around the police who, of course, all focus on arresting her – letting Jasmine out untouched.

The lift is opened by Carlos and everyone seems to be ok and returns to consciousness. Everyone hurries him back to Piron, not realising they have the wrong Alec. And of course Carlos is in on it as well. Corporate Alec points out if she does this she’ll never get home to her future or her family – Kiera replies “I’m counting on it.” He complains at Carlos that this is like kidnapping and Carlos has an awesome line in return “no, it’s exactly like kidnapping”.

With Free Alec in, he plants a bug and lets Lucas have his merry way with the security systems, he looks for the time travel device; unable to find it, he destroys the anti-matter lab used to power it.

Unfortunately, Jacqueline has smelled a rat and activated a tracker chip inside Corporate Alec – his minions chase Carlos’s car. They take Corporate Alec back, holding Carlos at gun point. Carlos passes the news on to Kira, who has just noticed Emily and Brad have gone missing.

Corporate Alec returns just in time to see Free Alec leave with the time machine – he runs (confusing Jacqueline), he needs Lucas to try and make his escape. He has to wait though because Travis, Kiera and Jasmine are arriving and they have to do that slow-mo walk with long flowing clothes thing for extra awesomeness before fighting their way in with Kiera travelling up the building. Corporate Alec catches up with Free Alec to rant a full blown evil monologue.

They fight and take it to the roof. One Alec half strangles the other and he stabs that strangling Alec in the neck. Kiera arrives – but which Alec won? Well dying Alec says “your future dies with me” confirming conveniently that the Evil Alec is the dead one.

This makes Kiera super ragey and she points a gun at the remaining Alec. Uh… Kiera… didn’t you just accept the end of your future? Wasn’t that the goal? “I’m counting on it” remember? Kiera comes to her senses and tearfully tells Alec she choose him because she believes in a better future than her’s – one he will build. They hug it out.

They carry out Corporate Alec’s body – and transfer his tracking chip into Free Alec. Free Alec takes over his company – and not go with Emily. He has to do the whole future building thing.

Carlos wants a few answers but Kiera coyly plays both the “it’s complicated” and “legally you don’t want to know” cards.

The Liber8 gang set up in the old Freelancer base.

Kiera and Brad meet up to wonder if they made a difference, but Kiera doesn’t think they should know – you shouldn’t know what the future brings. Brad still wants to know and uses his beacon thing to see if anyone hears it. Uh, bad idea. Please don’t use the future tech which has great big unknowns slapped all over it. Please.

Of course he uses it. And nothing seems to happen. They succeeded.

In his office new Alec sacks Kellog, he’s not trying to work the company, he’s going to destroy it. And then there’s the bad side – it seems Corporate Alec was actually really really bad at the whole corporate thing and signed a lot of documents Kellog gave him – basically giving Kellog the keys to removing Alec from office. Alec is kicked out.

Then all the power goes out in the city. Curtist is with the Founder of the Freelancers and he says “it has begun”

And from Brad’s Beacon (WHICH THEY SHOULD NOT HAVE USED) a squad of high-tech soldiers arrive

AT LAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAST! Kiera has finally woken open and jumped sides. After seasons of her being the enemy and not realising it, she’s opened her eyes and acknowledged her dystopia

And in a moment of greater nobility, recognised that her desperate wish for family does not outrule the horror her future will inflict – that is heroic (it would be slightly more heroic without the hasty and clumsy Brad relationship).

This has done so much to actually help the shredding of storylines that Continuum has so specialised in this season. And ye gods has it – from waffling on Kiera’s morality, to multiple Kieras to multiple Alecs to Betty to Dillon to Liber8, to Carlos’s angst, to Freelancers, then there’s Curtis’s faction and Brad and Kellog, and possibly big mojos working behind the scenes with the time line – just so much going on all the time, nothing is focused on, nothing is resolved, everything just kind of staggers forwards. It hasn’t been a fun season to follow, it’s been slow, confused, convoluted, even more confused and completely unfocused – and lacking any real coherence with the previous seasons as well.

I find myself still curious though, mainly on how it ended. Because so many of the plots have been delayed, put to bed or otherwise left irrelevant, if the next season can resist introducing more elements then we actually have the core of a coherent, focused plot line which Continuum so badly needs.

Inclusionwise, we actually have a lot of POC on Continuum and, unlike past seasons, it hasn’t been a case of Liber8 holding most of the diversity and being evil. The greater nuance with Liber8, the ultimate validation of Liber8 (despite their methods) has done a lot not just with them but also with Betty. Kellog is still evil, but he’s not evil in a way that conforms to any South Asian stereotypes I know of (the same applies to Jacqueline) – similarly Lucas is also a pretty broad shattering of stereotypes. Betty and Travis do conform a lot more to stereotype and Betty’s death was endlessly frustrating because it seemed to be rather pointless and unuseful to say the least; I wished Sonya had lived but at least her death was a sign of her passionate belief which she had maintained while everyone else fell away. The Freelancers, including Catherine, also included a large number of POC

 Curtis and the Founder of the Feelancers remain as wildcards and interesting to see in future.

Unfortuantely, as this huge list of names suggests, Continuum has a VAAAAAAAAAAST cast and hasn’t managed a single LGBT person all season. In fact, in 3 seasons it hasn’t managed a single LGBT person with a speaking role (we’ve had a dead woman who was married to a woman in the future – who started dead. And a party for two unnamed gay men who we never saw – both of these just seem to be even more insulting – like the writers know they have an inclusion hole so throw the most pathetic tokens imaginable at it).