There have been quite a few mind-blowing episodes of Continuum this season, and each week I dutifully pick up my brain chunks and place them back in my skull in some semblance of order. “3 Minutes to Midnight,” however, melted my brain. There’s just no coming back from that.
It takes a lot of guts to take the core motivation of a show’s antagonist – in this case, Liber8 – and completely remove it from consideration. That’s what this simply amazing episode of Continuum did, and one question floats to the top, supplanting all the others that have been bobbing up and down on the surface for awhile: what are they going to do now?
I’ve mentioned several times that Liber8’s battle strategy this season has been much stronger than in the past. Taking out the companies that would become the Corporate Congress seemed like the perfect plan. Now here comes Brad Tonkin, a time traveler from the near future, the one Liber8 and the others have created simply by being in our present. He gives them a peek at the results of their endeavors, and they’re nothing like the proletariat paradise they envisioned. In fact, it’s inarguably worse than the corporate-ruled world they came from.
So if the changed future snaps into being the moment a group of time travelers arrives in the past, complete with their different motivations, predilections, and personal foibles, what’s the point of trying? The only thing that appears to change the future is the very act of time travel itself! Talk about an existential crisis!
Alec and Jason are left out of this revelation, but their continued pursuit of a Halo shortcut has more immediate consequences. With 6% of beta testers succumbing to psychotic episodes, Dillon and the Piron lawyers have resorted to payoffs and cover-ups. While this show has played in the moral gray zone since season 1, it’s quickly becoming clear that the corruption in the VPD and Piron (not to mention Sonmanto and others) is unequivocally evil.
But who is left to join the fight now that Liber8 has had the wind taken out of its sails? Not Carlos! He claims to have “no matches” to burn Big Brother down. Maybe someone can spring time-travel Alec from his Freelancer cage, or maybe Kellog will find a new motivation now that he’s seen his future, a very different one from the one he – or we – imagined.
I’m told next week’s episode contains even more craziness. I can only assume my liquified brain will boil and turn to neural steam at this point. Well done, Continuum.