Sunday, September 13, 2015

Continuum, Season 4, Episode 2: Rush Hour

Kellogg gets his little message which appears to be from older, future him (who isn’t in great shape) who is trying to get Kellogg to change the future to make things better – and telling him to trust the team he’s sent back. He especially needs young Kellogg to trust them – trust others occasionally (and to trust his future self because, basically, he’s not as much as a snake as his young self is).

Which is when he gets the message from his minions saying they’ve successfully kidnapped Emily. He then sends a picture of her to Alec. Threat and dramatics follow with Kellogg demanding Alec returning all of Pyron’s stolen data. Kiera, being classy, is quick to tell Alec that stealing all that data was a bad idea, especially since all the time travel knowledge isn’t actually all that useful to Kellogg without a time machine. Which Kellogg has –and presumably so do the troopers from the future. Now Kiera’s worried.

Kiera argues to get Carlos involved, while Alec calls in his own help. Carlos apparently has no damn clue how to handle a kidnapping and wants to just go arrest Kellogg. Really Carlos? Carlos also wants to know what Kiera’s recent issues are all about – and she tells him about her dream of her family and how it’s hit her, not being able to go home and see her family. She’s back to accepting that she will never be able to go home. Carlos also asks the fraught question – would she go home if she could She doesn’t hesitate to say yes.

Carlos agrees to put surveillance on Kellogg’s people – but also to go see him because that’s what Carlos would do and it’d be weird if he didn’t.

Kiera and Brad manage to meet up – and he decides to continue to be a spy though he is not really accepted or trusted by the future squad. Kiera is covering for Brad with the police and Brad is covering for Kiera with the future squad and it’s another load of complex that Continuum specialises in.

Kellogg gets a visit from Marcellus, leader of the future commandos. Marcellus has a list of gear he needs and a very specific building as well. Marcellus is cagey about what he’s there for, telling Kellogg he needs to trust, well, himself. That’s a problem, Kellogg knows himself after all. Marcellus tells Kellogg he’s about to save the world and millions of lives. I’m not sure Kellogg cares.

Carlos goes to see Kellogg as he said he would – and the newly recovered but heavily scarred Dylan joins them. He’s retiring as a police inspector (which he was terrible at) and joining Piron (which he’d already done before retiring anyway). With Carlos gone, Kellogg double checks that Dylan would support him in the event of him doing something naughty!bad!wrong! Dylan is adopting a hear-no-evil-see-no-evil approach.

Alec and his team discuss how to send info back to Kellogg to buy them time, including plans to include viruses (not east thanks to Jason’s previous influence) and whether to give some of the scarier tech and weapons back (from Lucas). This also causes a bit of Alec angst at the terribad things other Alec did especially since none of his team is going to let him use the “that wasn’t me” excuse. Nor is his heartbreak excuse really going to pass (the idea that Alec is one romantic woe away from world domination isn’t comforting). However, channelling his evil self may be helpful in this situation.

Alec has repeated angst sessions about this but his band is quick to puncture any posturing or outbursts.

Kiera picks up the hard drive to deliver and goes to Kellogg, meeting Dylan on the way in who insists she changes clothes to what Kellogg wants because Kellogg is creepy like that (I hope this is an attempt to get her out of her super suit and not his constant creepy stalking of her).

Alas, Kellogg is every bit as creepy and leery as usual (the food is pretentious – you always know you’re in an ultra pretentious restaurant when they charge you the earth for the food but can’t seem to afford plates). I do like Kiera drinking down the booze quickly and remarking “I hope that was expensive.” They snark back and forth about various time lines with Kiera poking that he neither has Alec nor knows if he can trust the Future Squad. She manages to convince him to release Emily – but the data Alec gave him is dubious which destroys the rapport she was building.

Alec has managed to track down where Emily is and plays Evil Alec to be taken to see her. Looks like the hired kidnappers are not in the loop. Emily being Emily is also not relying on someone else to rescue her because she’s a one-woman death squad. She also manages to rescue Alec’s inept attempt at rescue as well.

Over to Liber8 and Verta and Jasmine have their own plots which don’t involve Kiera but do involve Collateral damage. They’re being watched by Carlos while they plot this. Their plot involves gassing the restaurant that Kiera and Kellogg are in after locking the doors and clearing out the friendly waiter.

Kiera frantically calls Alec and gets Lucas instead, who tells her what the gas is and they need to get out asap. “Avoid poison gas” is not exactly advice that requires analysis or genius. Still he does guide her on how to save Kellogg (whyyyy?!). This involves drowning him. Dylan trusts her when she assures him that drowning is totally the cure for nerve gas.

And Carlos rams the Liber8 car with his own to stop Verta and Jasmine interfering further. Well… that was extreme. He literally just rammed them because they were sat in a car.

Verta and Carlos fight – which Carlos loses badly because Verta is a super soldier. Luckily for Carlos, he’s wearing a bullet proof vest and Dylan shoots Verta before he can kill Carlos. Verta’s not dead – not even all that hurt because of that whole super soldier thing but he does end up being arrested.

Kiera manages to save Kellogg (damn it). He’s still a terrible person. She thanks Lucas and hears that Emily has escaped. She tells Kellogg (and adds “knowing her, there are a few bodies to clean up.” All are in awe of Emily’s deadly skill).

Jasmine Garza escaped. She’s hiding in the back of Kiera’s car wand wants to recruit her save Verta. Kiera is not impressed by Jasmine’s incompetence. She doesn’t help Jasmin, but she doesn’t turn her in anyway. Because this is Continuum and everyone has hyper complex relationships and goals and loyalties. She takes Jasmine to Alec’s gang where she can confront Lucas on his shifted loyalty and saving Kellogg. Kiera is trying to make a recruitment pitch for Jasmine to join the gang.

Emily returns to base and has a bath which Jason accidentally walks in on which makes him all embarrassed and nervous, even though Emily isn’t. She has a question – Jason is Alec’s son (from the future) so she wants to know, is she his mother? Jason avoids the question – and shakes his head a she leaves.

While Alec regrets the whole fake code they put in Kellogg’s data as well as the hack itself – he realises he was working on his own according to his own agenda, going dark, rather than with the team and it nearly got Emily killed. They sit down to dinner and sum up the goals – stopping Kellogg, but not while the Future squad is out there. Jasmine joins them for dinner. But Emily steps out, upset. Alec follows her and finds Emily packing – she doesn’t want to be used as a weapon against Alec. He protests but she insists and kisses him before walking out.

Kellogg meets with Curtis to ask if he was responsible for Liber8 trying to kill him – he sorta confesses without doing so. Curtis repeats what he has already been told – he can’t do everything alone. He tells Kellogg that soon he will have a chance to send Kiera home.

I kind of like Alec’s little band of misfits, on many levels. One of the best ones is the way they reign him in. Yes, he’s the most brilliant, but they’re all damn good themselves and they don’t let him get away with talking down to them or lording over them – and they’re very good at skewering his bullshit (even making it clear that he is not clean of the actions of evil Alec). They’re kind of the ideal balance he actually needs. I especially like his despair over fighting to save Emily with keystrokes rather than action which “hurts his masculinity” which has Julian snarking “are you saving Emily or your pride” and Lucas pointing out “this is your super power” – he is a great hacker, he isn’t a warrior so why pretend to be something he isn’t because of preconceived ideas of what a man should do?

I’m not a big fan of Dylan working for Piron being presented as some kind of shock. He was very much in the company’s pocket last season, one of the reasons he was bombed was because he had turned the police force into a puppet of the company.

I do like the debate over whether Kiera would return to the future. She is focused adamantly on her family so begins with her not-even-hesitating “of course I’d go back.” But she has come to see her future as a dystopia. She has also made friends, connections and even loved ones and a new family in this time

Continuum redefines complexity and I kind of like it. It actually makes it’s many plot lines work – because they kind of ARE all connected. We don’t have orphan plot lines because everyone is plotting with everyone else, everyone has a past with just about every other characters. Every loyalty and team is best defined as “complicated”. Is it near impossible to follow? Yes, it is. But it works because of that. This vast complexity has finally reached a point of being interesting which is vexing because the series is now on its last season. And if you’d told me that last season or the season before I would have cheered, because the simplicity of their good vs evil mentality and random additions to the plot frustrated me. But now? Now with all these disparate elements actually interacting in complex and nuanced ways? Now I think I’ll be disappointed.

His show has finally grown up and become the very complicated, fascinating, character driven plot it is. Yes you need a note book to keep track, but it's worth it. But it happened all too late