It’s the end of the road for Continuum‘s controversial third season. So has the terrible future predicted in 3×11 ‘3 Minutes To Minute’ been averted?
Let’s bitch it out…From what I can tell on the message boards, fans of Continuum are mixed on this third season. In many ways the lateral time jump has reinvented the show’s premise and while that has allowed for some interesting stories, it has also prompted some strange developments. The last batch of episodes – starting from the time that Brad Duncan (Ryan Robbins) was introduced – have been especially challenging as the character essentially changed the show’s direction on a dime, introducing the alternate time future that disbanded Liber8 and set-up Alec’s (Erik Knudsen) release from the Freelancers last week. A lot has changed on this show in a very brief time, not only Kiera’s (Rachel Nichols) romantic interest in Brad and her acceptance that he killed other her, but also her acceptance of the fact that the future (and her husband & son) effectively no longer exist.
Series creator Simon Barry scripts this finale and you can see him scrambling to put in some lip service to rationalize Kiera’s 180 shift, but everything about ‘Last Minutes’ feels rushed. This is strange considering that several storylines from early in the season are now being paid off, but what should feel organic never really comes together. Lazy plotting has plagued S3 more than the previous two seasons and this finale suffers as a result. Kiera’s union with Liber8 should be a high point for the series considering their long, sordid history, but instead it’s treated like a bit of a joke. The slow-motion Matrix-wannabe assault on the Piron office with Travis (Roger Cross) and Garza (Luvia Petersen) feels especially hammy, as does the rooftop fight scene between the two Alecs. It’s unfortunate that the writers elected to turn new Alec into a maniacal d-bag rather than a more nuanced villain, and the suggestion that Emily (Magda Apanowich) is his driving motivator for screwing with our Alec’s life still doesn’t feel authentic (especially considering that Emily has spent most of this season on the sideline. Bringing her back for a cameo last week and a few brief scenes in the finale already makes her feel like an afterthought).
Don’t get me wrong, I liked certain aspects of the finale – if only because it feels like a good summation of the season. Kellog’s (Stephen Lobo) betrayal remains true to the character, even if the use of Jacqueline (Anjali Jay) as an accomplice comes completely out of left field. Together with the activation of the beacon in the final scene, there’s a sense that Continuum still has more story left to tell, although if it involves another season of political intrigue at Piron or armed mercenaries from the future, I don’t see how that won’t feel repetitive. If anything the dystopian future of 3×07 ‘Waning Minute’, the evolution of Theseus (an unseen Richard Harmon) and a potentially darker future timeline is a strong argument for taking this series into the future. I imagine it would be more expensive to shoot if it wasn’t set in present day Vancouver, but perhaps alternating back and forth more between timelines would allow for a more in-depth exploration of Continuum‘s themes about responsibility and consequence. Of course, this all assumes that there even will be a fourth season…
- Carlos (Victor Webster, badly underserved in these last few episodes) has a throwaway line about Dillon (an unseen Brian Markinson) surviving the explosion. Can I say boo-urns to that reveal? No offense to Markinson, but man does Dillon need to go.
- I would have liked to spend more time on the team-up between Kiera and Liber8. We’ve seen a lot of good drama and character development occur when enemies have to work together, but here it just feels like Kiera recruits them to do odd-jobs so that she can ensnare new Alec. Even the attack on Piron feels undercooked: why does she even need them to help take out those five guards? She’s got a freaking invisibility suit!
- Anyone else surprised at the lack of fall-out from the destruction of the Freelancers? The brief cameo in the final moments by Curtis (Terry Chen) and The Traveler feels like a Marvel post-credits sequence designed to tease the next story, but dialogue as generic as “It has begun” only makes me shake my head and think of Mortal Kombat.
- Also, not revealing who or what The Traveler is = epic fail.
- Finally, anyone surprised that Simon Barry didn’t pull a con job and reveal that new Alec was the one who survived? Kudos, I guess, for not going with that obvious twist.
- Omari Newton’s Lucas (when Kiera and Travis show up together): “Whatever this is, I am in!”
Your turn: what are your thoughts on the finale and S3 more broadly? Are you interested in the S4 storylines that were teased? Have Kiera’s actions these last few episodes been believable? Were you surprised at Kellog’s betrayal? And does anyone care if Emily ever gets out of jail or if Dillon returns? Sound off below.
Continuum has finished airing its third season on Showcase and Syfy. It has yet to be renewed for a fourth.