After Inspector Dillon’s (Brian Markinson) daughter is arrested, he stops by Firing Point to clear the air. Unfortunately so does Liber8, who take the station hostage.
Let’s bitch it out…
At the top of the hour, Dillon’s daughter, Chrissi (Laci J Mailey) commits an act of guerilla warfare on the building owned by Firmatas, one of the largest companies in the world (and more importantly is one of the companies targeted during the recent Liber8 bank heists). After attempting to shock us with the familial relation, the writers pull overtime to try and convince us that Dillon will throw the book at his daughter, which is difficult to gauge since this episode reminds us that we really don’t know anything about Dillon. This guy has been a shady operator on one than one occasion and his motives are usually quite murky, so his hard-ass stance could be genuine, even if it does carry a whiff of bullshit.
Dillon proceeds to go on what seems to be the only current events news program in Vancouver, Firing Line, with Diana Bolton (Michelle Harrison). He’s starts to trumpet how his daughter will be treated like an everyday criminal, but his message is cut short when the station is taken hostage by Travis (Roger Cross) and Lucas (Omari Newton). The majority of the episode then focuses on the rescue efforts outside the building, and Dillon’s interactions with Travis on the inside. What’s really taking place, however, is a pair of secret agendas – both seeking to profit from the scenario, each playing out in a different way.
‘Minutes to Air’ is essentially a bait-and-switch episode in that most of what we’re seeing is actually in service of storylines we don’t know about until much later. This includes Garza’s (Luvia Petersen) secret attack on Firmatas to get the corporate espionage-filled Black Opal hard-drive. It also includes Dillon’s operation to garner enough popularity to get Chrissi’s sentence reduced and get her on Liber8′ radar in order to rig an undercover sting. The secret agenda angle of ‘Minutes to Air’ makes the episode a bit of an odd duck: on one hand it’s a successful deployment of the usual tropes, but it is also so much more. We spend nearly the entire runtime on the hostage situation at Firing Line, focusing on how everyone responds, but in reality both sides are playing a long-con for the future outcomes. Oh sure, Carlos (Victor Webster) gets an opportunity to prove why he’s not just a side-kick, and Kiera’s (Rachel Nichols) decision to follow his cues goes a long way to repairing their flailing relationship, but let’s be honest: these two are not the focal point of the episode. The main “drama” is going on inside the station as Travis and Dillon posture for control, while in the backs of their minds they’re already planning their next move.
In this way the episode manages to do two things at once: act as an entertaining action-filled “hostage crisis” standalone, while simultaneously advancing two pivotal storylines that could/should have big pay-offs down the road. It’s actually pretty ingenious, and restores my faith in this series after last week’s disastrous outing. So kudos on righting the ship, Continuum!
- I appreciated how quickly Inspector Harris (Catherine Lough Haggquist) swoops in to try and manage the situation after Chrissi is arrested. That woman is a vulture! She’s nearly as bad as Dillon himself, whom I clearly still have serious trust issues with.
- In new Alec’s (Erik Knudsen) continuing adventures in CEO land, the power is already starting to go to his head. Not that I don’t approve of distancing himself from Kellog (Stephen Lobo) – who is completely two-faced – but the way new Alec reacts to everyone as though they’re beneath him? It’s bad news…especially for Kiera, who’s now on his shit-list since he found out she knew about his time-traveling doppelganger.
- Speaking of our Alec, he gets financially cut-off by his corporate self, which prompts girlfriend Emily (Magda Apanowicz) to punch out new Alec’s bodyguards and threaten him. I approve whole-heartedly of this smack-down.
- P.S. Still not buying the huge differences in dickishness between the two Alecs in such a short amount of time. I’m prepared to let it go since the writers apparently see it as a distinguishing trait, but the differences between the two solely from Escher’s death seems kinda astronomical.
- There’s a fleeting moment that feels significant when Chen (Terry Chen) offers Kiera help, unbeknowst to Freelancer head Catherine (Rachael Crawford). It’s doubly strange because Catherine doesn’t appear concerned by the news. In the same scene Kiera notes a door protected by an armed guard that Catherine dismisses immediately. Clearly both of these things will become important later.
- Finally, my favourite moment of the episode: when the make-up girl attempts to powder Travis before he delivers his speech and he stops her dead with a “bitch please” look. Too funny!
- Both Alecs (to Kellog, at different timess): “I’m evolving” Creepy like-mindedness!
- Carlos (to Kiera, after getting reamed by Firmatas’ henchman): “Maybe we should just skip to the end when they start calling us Protectors.”
What did you think of the episode: a big step up from last week? Did you see Dillon’s ploy coming? Did you anticipate Liber8’s secret agenda? Did Kiera make a wise decision following Carlos’ lead? Could new Alec be a bigger dick? Sound off below
Continuum airs Fridays at 10pm EST on Syfy