Wednesday, April 16, 2014

"Continuum" Review

[This review contains significant spoilers, but only through Episode 2 of Season 3 for the series "Continuum".]

Just watched the fifth episode ("Thirty Minutes to Air") of Season 3 of "Continuum". America will see the third episode this Friday. Holy moley, but this show keeps getting better and better. And tougher to follow too, now that two Alec Sadlers exist in the world. Thank you, love, time travel and heartsick mad geniuses. They're working at cross purposes, our Alecs. One sabotaged Kiera from time-traveling back home so he could prevent the murder of his girlfriend earlier. He was motivated by watching his girlfriend die in his arms. The other Alec is baffled by the flurry of activity that suddenly seemed to inexplicably blow up around him one day.

The original timeline is gone now; replaced by one created when Future Alec saved his girlfriend's life (Emily). The Alec Sadler that came from a week in the future (in the show's reset timeline) has been forced underground by events he set in motion and by Kiera, who is now trying to stop him. (More on that in a bit.) Original Alec has taken control of the very wealthy and powerful Piron Corporation, which it turns out has a lot of advantageously advanced research projects underway. Piron's founder and president, the mysterious Mr. Escher, was murdered in episode 1 of this season, again as a result of Future Alec's actions rewriting his past.

What's amazing is that both Alecs are now much more like his 2077 self -- colder, more manipulative, distrusting and cynical. Especially the original Alec who discovered Emily was a hired spy and ninja killer, sent by Escher. We've learned the self-same Escher is Alec's true father and a time traveler himself! (Though we don't know from when or what he was trying to accomplish.) Not having seen Emily get murdered (since Future Alec stopped that from ever coming about), Original Alec's had his head completely spun around by all these events and is no longer caring about other people.

Is *your* head spinning yet? That's just one thread in a series chock full of them. There's also a whole host of developments from the final 3 episodes of Season 2 that were disappeared into an alternative history that now never happened. We know them, but their fallout and full scope is only known by Kiera herself. Future Alec doesn't know or care. The current Kiera has now traveled through time twice now. Oh yeah, the "original" Kiera of Seasons 1 and 2 is dead. Murderer unknown.

The murky "Freelancers" have come out of the shadows since the dramatic happenings of the Season 2 finale. Turns out, they are "time guardians" or a Time Patrol, working to keep the "original" timeline uncorrupted. They were able to send Kiera back in time after Alec. She's is now working with them, on the promise that, by correcting the current timeline to keep it more like the now-lost original timeline, she can be returned to her husband and child of 2077.

Who may not exist any more. Kiera has stuffed that pain way down deep and it shows. She's more grounded in the day-to-day of 2012 than ever and never mentions them any more.

See? This show seems to revel in demanding viewers keep up. That's why I love it. Big kudos to Rachel Nichols (who plays Kiera Cameron) and to Eric Knudsen (Alec Sadler), as well as the rest of the cast and the writers who are keeping this show exciting and challenging. As I've said before, if you are a fan of smart science fiction, of time travel handled intelligently without shortcuts or hand-waving, you have simply got to watch this series. Friday nights at 9 on the SyFy Channel.