Continuum sets off in a number of new, intriguing directions that feel a bit rushed and raise a whole ‘lotta questions.
Let’s bitch it out…
Earlier this season, I took a particular episode to task as the worst episode Continuum ever produced. I’m not suggesting that ‘Minute Of Silence’ is bad like that episode, but I would be lying if I said I finished this episode without a bit of confusion. Clearly there are some big plans afoot (credit series creator Simon Barry, who wrote the episode). Although none of the actions or developments come out of nowhere (save one), there’s still enough here to make me pause because the pacing and new plots don’t completely work.
‘Minute of Silence’ takes place after Continuum killed one of its main characters, Betty. Anyone expecting this episode to address her death – me included – probably found it surprising how little Betty’s death changed anything. Outside of Carlos’ (Victor Webster) vendetta storyline, this could just as easily be an episode where Betty is working off-camera. Dillon (Brian Markinson) seems upset immediately after the funeral, but as soon as the high-tech thefts kick in, it’s business as usual. It’s strange to me that the series killed a character who has been on the show since its inception, and then moves on with barely a shrug of acknowledgement.
I guess you could make the argument that Carlos’ bizarre decision to begin playing Kiera (Rachel Nichols) against Alec (Erik Knudsen) is a reaction to Betty’s death. He’s been affected by dead Kiera’s murder for the better part of the season, so the death of a close colleague in conjunction with his already conflicted feelings may have pushed him to new extremes. It’s clear that Carlos is becoming more and more put off by Dillon’s political approaches, thereby aligning himself more and more with Liber8 (Kiera says as much in the car). I don’t think any of this really explains why he decides to pit Kiera vs Alec, though (first by revealing Kiera’s dead body to Alec, then suggesting to Kiera that Alec may have organized Piron’s theft himself). Carlos’ move against Alec is especially baffling considering he confesses to Alec that he is the only one who can understand what Carlos is going through.
Alec, meanwhile, has his own problems to deal with. This is the episode when professionally the shit hits the fan for Alec and he responds with an action that brings this alt-character to a new level of reprehensible. It’s important that we’re far removed from “our Alec” (he’s still hanging out in the Freelancer cell) – we’re clearly meant to see the similarities this new Alec has, but also note the very distinct differences. It’s not just the physical characteristics like the smarmy 80s hair and the suits; this Alec is increasingly narcissistic (Kiera also comments on this – she’s very observant in this episode!), petty and quick to anger. Oh, and apparently he’s completely willing to desecrate a body. After his son, Jason (Ian Tracey) confides that the failing HALO health band project simply needs some future tech, it was just a matter of time before Alec came back for dead Kiera’s CPU. Still, there’s something shocking about seeing Alec, a character Kiera describes as a close friend only a few scenes earlier, taking a powertool to the back of her corpse’s head. We knew this Alec was a douche, but this behaviour takes him to whole new levels of awful.
The final element of significance – the one that comes out of nowhere – is the appearance of a new amnesiac time traveler, John Doe (Ryan Robbins). The flashforward that opens the future – set in a backalley Citizenship Chip removal lab – is pretty clearly connected to this mystery, so it’s no big surprise when John Doe confesses he thinks he’s from another time. There’s clearly more to this story, including why he knew Kiera’s name and why she feels she can open up to him, but Simon Barry doesn’t give us a great deal to speculate on in this episode. It does seem very clear, however, that Curtis’ (Terry Chen) attack is not random. Remember that Curtis is determined to “wake” Kiera up, and his attack of Kiera spurs John Doe into action which further convinces Kiera he’s from the future. I think Curtis is involved or even behind this new time traveler, likely in his efforts to continue changing Kiera’s loyalties and help her embrace what she earlier describes as her present-day “truer” self. It’s hard to say much more, but Simon Barry clearly structured ‘Minute Of Silence’ as the beginning of the third season’s final arc. Carlos’ shifting loyalties, Alec’s deplorable behaviour and Kiera’s awakening all seem destined to factor significantly in the remaining episodes.
- Kellog’s (Stephen Lobo) victory at securing a seat at the Piron table feels a bit hollow considering we already explored this a few episodes ago. Kellog is nothing if not industrious, so it’s surprising that he waited this long to break out something as significant as a contract, which could have settled his conflict with Alec much earlier.
- The parkour theft is kinda cool, even if this feels a few years past its expiration date. I’m unsure what to make of how the theft ties to Gray Point, Betty’s murder and Neelon (Curtis Caravaggio), but it all feels a bit easy. I hope there’s more to this story, even if Gray Point as a plot device is one too many shadowy / questionable organizations in a show that already struggles to balance time between Liber8, the Freelancers, and the various corporations.
- I did enjoy that Gray Point spies on the VPD precinct through the computer monitors while Isaac just takes the old-fashioned route of hacking the surveillance cameras. Continuum has never met a technology it couldn’t turn into a surveillance tool / privacy issue.
- Love that Kiera’s undercover look in the future involves wearing a hoodie and excessively long fake eyelashes. That’ll fool the sensors!
- Finally, is Magda Apanowicz off the show? Shouldn’t Emily be looking for Alec or are we just meant to assume she flew off to Thailand because she thinks our Alec ditched her?
- Alec (mumbling to Carlos): “Thank god for Jack Dillon. What’s he like as a boss? A hard-ass? He seems like a hard-ass.”
- Carlos (to Kiera, after lying to her): “I got your back”
- Kiera (after learning Carlos is acting on intel from Liber8): “You’ve chosen sides, Carlos.”
So what are your thoughts on this rash of recent mildly rushed events? Is Carlos deliberately trying to poison Kiera and Alec’s relationship? Is new Alec a terrible person? How is Kiera connected to John Doe and why doesn’t she remember him? And where is all of this going? Speculate away below.
Continuum airs Fridays at 10pm EST on Syfy