Alec (Erik Knudsen) contends with some shocking paternity news as Liber8 robs banks for the secrets hidden in safety deposit boxes.
Let’s bitch it out…
The fall-out from Escher’s death back in the season premiere continues to reverberate in ‘Minute To Win It’ as Alec inherits Piron and all of its Wonka-esque futuristic gadgetry. While this may ordinarily be cause for celebration, Alec must also grapple with the paternity news that accompanies the inheritance: Escher was his father (The fact that everyone knew it except for him would probably add to his confusion, but since no one comes clean, that’s not important).
Erik Knudsen has always had to tread a fine line in his portrayal of Alec. We’re talking about a genius who will one day become the most important man in the world. In many ways, however, Alec is still just a teenage boy, inexperienced at love and life. His interactions with Kiera (Rachel Nichols) and Liber8 have forced him to grow up in a hurry, but he’s still being asked to do things that no one his age should have to. Learning about his father’s true identity is something far more mundane (even slightly “normal”) than the majority of the revelations he deals with, but not everyone’s father runs a company with fingers in nearly every pie, including genetics, weapons and medical advancement. Knudsen does stellar work in ‘Minute To Win It’ because he really highlights how overwhelming this news is for Alec. Even as the character stands on the cusp of what has the potential to be a milestone development for the series, he can’t help but grapple with the emotional reality that his father was spying and manipulating him.
Escher’s death remains significant because it both is and will be a ticking time bomb. It is a time bomb because it’s just a matter of time until Alec learns that Emily (Magda Apanowicz) murdered his dad. It will be a ticking time bomb because Alec’s inevitable take-over of Piron has the potential for some major unintended future side-effects. We don’t know whether the flashforwards we’ve seen are different from what Kiera experienced originally, so we don’t know if this is the result of Our Alec changing things with his time-travel antics or not. But Piron was never meant to be owned by Alec – in 2077 it’s a completely separate company. That outcome may still come to pass, but it seems increasingly clear that we’re veering further and further away from the future that Kiera and the freelancers were hoping to replicate from the old timeline. Despite Catherine’s (Rachael Crawford) reassurances that things are on track, this seems like a defining moment for the series with a new future on the horizon. With Alec at the head of Piron, who knows where we’re headed now?
- Although the Alec stuff has the juiciest moral component, the bulk of the episode is dedicated to Liber8’s new plot to secure the patents and deeds to future technology in a series of daring bank robberies. The tech they’re using is from one of three major evil corporations they want to take down, Somantos, and allows them to tap into the human cortex (and control people from afar). This ties into the flashforward that opens the episode, during which Kiera loses control of her faculties and she’s made to kill an informant who’s outlived his usefulness via remote. This frightening prospect serves to once again tie Kiera and Liber8 together.
- After being captured last season and sent to an asylum, Lucas (Omari Newton) makes a nifty escape courtesy of some advanced tech and a variety of household items. It’s a fun little sequence that reintroduces Lucas back into the DNA of the series.
- Not everyone is happy to have Lucas back, however. Everyone at Liber8 is on board with the bank heist plot, but not the specific methods. Travis (Roger Cross), in particular, is unhappy using human bombs to do their dirty work. Lucas, in his first real act of defiance, doesn’t care. It’s sort of refreshing to see someone other than Sonya (Lexa Doig) stand up to Travis.
- Garza (Luvia Peterson) gets into a lovely little smackdown with Kiera in a bar over the stolen contents of the latest bank heist. By letting her live, Garza evens the score from the premiere, which means their next encounter may be more bloody.
- Carlos (Victor Webster), like Alec, struggles with information he wishes he didn’t know. He takes out his aggression about losing “his” Kiera by nearly beating a dirty cop on the take for Liber8 to a pulp. Better watch it, Carlos, that temper is going to get you into trouble.
- Speaking of aggression, Alec learns from his dad’s files that Emily not only has a criminal record the size of a phone book, but one of her crimes appears to be shivving a girl in jail! That’s not very endearing and likely won’t go down well.
- Finally, Kiera hands the rescued piece of future tech over to the freelancers for safe keeping. Currently it’s nothing more than a mysterious object, but it will clearly become important later. Frankly I can’t believe Kiera is trusting these people. I thought this was more of an uneasy alliance and we have no idea what that object can do! Why leave it with people who haven’t earned your trust?!
- Alec (suggesting Escher could have found a way to admit the nature of their relationship): “Hey Alec, wanna go out for coffee and by the way” in Darth Vader voice “I am your father.”
- Kiera (when Catherine asks who had the future tech): “There hasn’t been an insurance claim against for a mysterious object from an unspecified future, so I have no idea.”
Your turn: what are your thoughts on Alec’s and Carlos’ coping mechanisms? Has Emily been set up? What does the future tech do? Should Kiera be trusting the freelancers? And will Travis and Isaac come to blows? Sound off below.
Continuum airs Fridays at 10pm EST on Syfy