Alec (Erik Knudsen) takes center stage in an episode that explores the contrast between the man who ruins the world and the boy who has yet to make it.
Let’s bitch it out…Much like Kiera (Rachel Nichols) had her own breaking point a few episodes ago in 2×05 ‘Second Opinion’, it’s now Alec’s turn. And it’s about time.
For too much of this excellent second season, Alec has been a pawn: played by various people in a game of chess for the future of the world. Tonight he finally becomes autonomous and takes control of his fate when Garza (Luvia Petersen) kidnaps him. Acting out a mission given to her by old Alec (William B. Sadler), Garza reveals she’s been ordered to kill his younger self if she needs to. In this way Garza becomes Alec’s executioner and Kiera his protector.
The truth of the matter, however, is that the assigned roles overlook Alec’s own agency. As he states at the episode’s climax: he’s afraid to do anything for fear of changing the future and not changing it.
Ultimately it’s Alec’s admission of love for Emily (Madga Apanowicz) that saves him. Perhaps it’s a bit hackeyed to suggest that Garza would fall for something quite so emotional, but I’m willing to believe that she sees the difference in this younger iteration. She displays amazingly keen observation skills in old Alec’s office, including the fact that old Alec only truly connected emotionally when he sensually touches his belongings.
Contrast this with 2013 Ale, whose outcry is heartfelt and emotional. It’s the desperate pleas of a boy who simply “wants to go home,” a boy who refuses to be judged by the actions he has yet to commit – for good or bad.
It’s a big move for both the show and “the future”. Kiera has been adamant that Alec “protect the future” by keeping her timeline straight, despite his insistence that her timeline may no longer exist (indeed, that’s the only model for time travel that works for this show). What neither Kiera or Garza appreciate is that this young Alec is now the true architect of the future: Garza may have brought him to SadTech Site 1, but only he can decide what he will construct in that space. Just like The Terminator, Alec now has “no fate but what we make.”
It’s a brave new world for the young genius…
- Alec is now convinced that Jason (Ian Tracey) is his father because of what he witnessed when he took Flash back in 2×03 ‘Second Thoughts’. I can’t say that I care about the outcome of this plotline either way, but we’ll find out what the result is soon when the DNA test comes back
- Kiera nearly gleans that there’s more to Emily than the girl is letting on, but instead the antagonistic cop decides to bury the hatchet and play nice. Something tells me this may come back to bite her in the ass…
- Kellog (Stephen Lobo) throws a fit when Alec works with Jason on the time travel device rather than building the Ark project that will make SadTech billions of dollars. It’s long overdue when Alec later tells him off at the end of the episode. One complaint: I wish that Knudsen had played this moment more strongly. Instead of looking empowered and in control (“a man” as Kellog states), Alec instead looks apologetic, like he might back down, which doesn’t really work
- RIP Nicholas Lea. Another show, another death. Looks like the grave robbing storyline is a little more dangerous and deeply connected than we anticipated last week. What we do know is that the body snatchers – Warren (Adrian Holmes) and Miller (Zak Santiago) – are connected to the freelancers that Jason mentioned earlier this season. Escher (Hugh Dillon) is also aware of them, but he continues to play coy about what he will and won’t reveal (like all eccentric rich dudes who live in empty expensive lofts)
- The three tattoos on the freelancers’ bodies remind me of bothTeen Wolf and Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles. This should be a good thing, and yet I fear that it won’t be (hidden symbolic tattoos? Really?)
- Finally, it’s nice that Carlos (Victor Webster) gets to provide some comic relief. Now that he’s in the inner sanctum with Kiera, Jason and Alec, he gets to quip about how he used to be Gardiner – sent off on errands to keep him out of trouble. You’ve come a long way, baby!
- Emily (describing Jason): “He’s batshit crazy”
- Alec (when Kiera starts nagging about Emily): “You and Kellog should start a band. You’re singing the same song”
- Kiera (when Gardiner refuses to believe that the perps’ deaths was caused by low radio frequency waves): “What? Too sci-fi for you?”
- Kiera (when Alec suggests he has functional autonomy): “Yes HAL”
Back to you: what did you think of the Alec-centric episode? Did you enjoy the prominence given to Knudsen and Petersen (for a change)? Will you miss Gardiner? What are the body snatchers after? And why would Alec build his empire in a pre-existing abandoned industrial factory? Comment away below
Continuum airs Fridays at 10pm EST on Syfy