Sunday, October 4, 2015

Continuum, Season 4, Episode 5: The Desperate Hours

So Travis is in prison and warning that if he is arrested and goes to prison then all kinds of secrets and messiness will be revealed if any reported tries to investigate him. On top of that they have a lawyer who very reasonably is not impressed with Travis being shackled and held for days without charge.

Travis kindly helps with the lawyer by trying to strangle him. Don’t strangle your lawyer, Travis, it’s counter productive. After also tasing the lawyer in the head the police then try to tase Travis. It does absolutely nothing.

To make things worse for Carlos, Piron doesn’t want to have Travis tried – and while Carlos objects to the idea that a company makes that decision – Piron demands that Travis with all his super tech in his body be handed over to them. Boss lady isn’t happy, she wants Travis in prison and wants to know why Piron is involved.

Alec and Kiera nicely sum up just how their plan to send Kiera back in time may involve trusting Brad and Kellogg, neither of which is a fun choice. They go to make a deal with Kellogg which is so much fun. He agrees to leave them alone in the Piron log while Kiera and Dylon have a moment with Kiera trying to be nice while also firmly disapproving of Dylan’s choices.

Kellogg does take the chance of poking Alec about the sheer dubiousness of Kiera’s plan – to go back to a future she doesn’t even know exists any more. Still they go on with their plan (still believing the super soldiers plan an invasion). Kiera asks Kellogg what he will do after she’s returned to the future but Kellog says pointedly that it’s not her business “you chose you.”

Ouch. Double ouch is when Alec carefully doesn’t answer her when she asks if she’s being selfish. He’s also not a fan of her contacting Brad, but she does it anyway and goes to him with the happy story of waning to go home. She pleads for access to the machine – and she gives him the key to the machine. Yet another person raises the possibility with Kiera that her son, her future, may not even exist.

Kiera takes this up with Carlos back in the police station when both sides argue about her decision to go back – Carlos annoyed that she is going back, that she has told him so little and that grudgingly and her insisting that it’s all her own choice and he doesn’t need to be informed. He points out the consequences of her decisions actually do affect other people.

Carlos returns to Travis to warn him that Piron may make a play for him (which Travis doesn’t care about) and that Kiera wants to go home – and this does anger him. Kiera has only seen the truth and now is willing to go back. He adds again that if his truth is revealed it’ll go badly for Kiera as well.

With the future soldiers, Brad is checking in with other soldiers who have family hoping to find refuge in the past. However, as Brad continues to speak to the new boss it’s clear that future Kellogg also has plans even if they do focus on the idea of family coming home. They also discuss that future people think forward time travel is impossible.

Dylon goes to the police station to collect Travis for Piron and actually makes an appeal to Carlos to tell him everything (like ANYONE owes Dylon anything!) and Carlos tells him the truth… which, of course, Dylon thinks is a joke. He then sadly reflects on why he is working for Piron – trying to be relevant after his body was so badly injured. His guilt leads him to give Carlos a recording that implicates Kellogg in conspiracy to commit murder. He’s been inspired by the goodness of Kiera, apparently

Kiera is finally beginning to realise that her future may not be around, nor will her kid. Finally. Of course everything Alec does is being watched by Kellogg and his team of scientists for their own sinister purposes.

And then all their plans get a little scuppered when Carlos arrests Kellogg, even as Kiera and Alec protest and his future soldier bodyguard plants something on Kellogg’s jacket. Carlos also snaps at Kiera – he’s there for the public good not private ambition, not even hers. Alec comes with his own appeal as well as his lack of faith in the justice system – with Carlos pushing back that it’s exactly the kind of special favours that they’re appealing for that add to the justice system being broken.

So Kellogg ends up in a cell opposite Travis and debate whether Kellogg has utterly betrayed their cause and what Travis’s legacy would be. And how Kellogg totally wants to patent all the super-soldier technology in Travis.

Without Carlos, Kiera and Alec have to leave, Kiera very upset. To make it worse, Brad gets Kiera out of the way and then goes to the police station, cutting all the CCTV. Alec warns Carlos before Brad arrives to start threatening people to get Kellogg – and using a device that cuts all the power. The rest of the super soldiers move in in fake police uniforms, massacring police to get to Kellogg

Kiera follows in the wake of the slaughter and Brad unleashes a bomb in the police station before mauling more cops before chasing after Alec who has the key. He catches him and begins torturing him for the key.

Carlos joins the gun fight as more and more cops are killed by the future soldiers while Kiera reaches the cells and releases Kellogg – which means he’s gone (and his tracking jacket left behind) when the future soldiers arrive. But Kiera also released Travis and gave him a gun – he quickly kills one of the super soldier ladies and the other flees using a grenade, chasing after Kiera and Kellogg.

Kiera and Kellogg get to the roof where Kiera takes Kellogg hostage and Brad takes Alec hostage. Kiera actually appeals to Brad. Meanwhile yet another super-soldier dripping in super-tech attacks the police station for more explosions and massacres.

With the mass death happening among the police, Kiera finally agrees to give up Kellogg for Alec to stop all the killing., though Kellogg objects since he knows he’s just there to provide kidneys for his future self. Brad still tries to appeal to her, saying none of this matters if she’s going home and that’s the last straw for her. Brad and Kelllog leave in a helicopter.

In the police station the future-soldier meets Travis. And future tech is awesome but future biological modification is better. Taking several bullets, Travis and Carlos bring down the future soldier – Carlos runs while Travis holds the future soldier and his grenade. The police manage to evacuate but Travis and the soldier die.

In the aftermath, Kiera and Alec rather horrifically think that the only person they have inside the future soldier organisation to get Kiera home now is Kellogg. And Carlos is going to have a whole lot of explaining to do, while Kiera tries to justify to Carlos her letting Kellogg go. Kiera continues to be conflicted about going home – with Carlos desperately appealing with her to stay with him AND wanting to go after Brad. He demands to know where Brad is.

Ok can everyone stop pretending Dylon is a nice guy who just recently made a bad choice while in a low point. This guy was never one of the good ones, he was positively eager to sell his department to Piron – this looks more like him getting the kickbacks he paid for. Now him as a way to examine disability is much more interesting – the idea that he worked with Piron simply because they were the only ones who made him feel valuable or worthwhile, the only ones who weren’t going to pension him off or kick him out but accepted he would be capable. That would make sense and be an excellent analysis of how we treat the disabled

But that didn’t happen. Carlos has openly said that Dylon quit and he certainly wasn’t fired when he left the hospital. As a police chief, he didn’t have a physically active or demanding job to begin with, nor have we seen any level of impairment from Dylon that suggests he couldn’t do that job. On top of that, it was Dylon who sold the police force to Piron in the first place – long before he was injured.

I’m not quite sure why there was so much secrecy with the future soldiers and Brad – what possible reason could he have had to sabotage them bringing their families (including his?) back to safety? It feels like they were stretching the mystery for the sake of it.

I’m glad to see Kiera is finally considering that not only may her future not exist any more, but part of what everyone has been doing for the last 4 seasons points to them doing everything they can to ensure that it doesn’t. I think Travis’s objection is also pointed – Kiera has just “woken up” she’s only just accepted that her future is a dystopia – but now she wants to go back. And, as a protector, she’s not just going back as a person, she’s going back to being part of an oppressive system, one who protects and enforces that oppression. I think this also links nicely to Kellogg and Travis arguing about what they stand for and their legacies

I also like the conflict between Kiera and Carlos – letting a dangerous murderer run around free because Kiera finds it convenient is… dubious and no different form the corruption of corporate control of the police force. And, yes, this is all her choice to make, but she called Carlos a “partner” but for the last season or so she has actually treated him like a resource. The police corruption thing is also on point – how many times on these shows do we have a convenient police contact who is willing to shatter the law for the protagonist? Well, no matter what they say or the reason for it, it is ultimately corruption.

There was a lot of excellent action going on here… but at the same time this is the second to last episode and I think we’ve confined all of the big META-Questions of this show (freedom vs corporate control, ends justifies the means, politics, extremism, corruption, etc etc etc) into very personal ones – Kiera going home, Travis choosing to have a legacy of self-sacrifice than as a murderer or as the man that Kellogg exploits, Kiera and Brad’s terrible relationship (I’m glad it’s falling apart because I’ve always hated it – but now it looks so terrible that Kiera put so much faith in the man for no damn reason). It’s not bad, but I

I’m also noting that they’re hurriedly clearly up a lot of the plot lines by, frankly, killing people – especially POC and this, initially, very racially diverse cast has taken a whole lot of hits that have drastically whitened the main cast.