The five-minute recap at the beginning of the Continuum season 3 premiere, “Minute By Minute,” was like the first hill of a roller coaster where the car click-click-clicks its way up to the top while the anticipation almost kills you, and then suddenly you’re plummeting down at a breakneck pace with barely any time to absorb anything other than the exhilaration.
So – good to know – Continuum has no intention of holding our hands to help us navigate the complexities of time travel and paradoxes. Luckily, we don’t need a degree in physics to understand the basic fact established by the end of this episode: there are #TwoAlecsOneKiera (yes, that’s an official hashtag for the show now).
The bullet we saw fired at the end of season 2 has helpfully grazed Alec’s temple to help us distinguish him from his past incarnation. That plus the wan look and the black hoodie should be enough to identify “Darth Alec,” who is bent on saving Emily from the death that claimed her last season while avoiding running into his earlier self. It’s nice to see him make use of Jason as an ally since no one’s really paying attention to him anyway. Alec seems to be doing all the right things: disabling the cameras, tracking other Alec’s phone, removing the super-suit so Travis can’t get it. Unfortunately, he just can’t resist needling Kellog about his duplicity, and THIS is where the butterfly effect gets started. His acceleration of the timeline for Kellog (and for Emily as well – “Let’s run off to Thailand!”) seems to have started history on a new course.
Kellog now knows about Escher’s antimatter set-up days earlier than he did before. His conversation with the Piron CEO progresses a bit differently in the museum, and the end result is certainly a change! Leave it to Kellog to take advantage of the provided foreknowledge immediately! And Emily proves once again that she’s not above a little “wet work.” I can’t help but wonder what Kellog said to get Emily to agree to such an extreme measure!
Whether Alec is successful in keeping Emily out of harm’s way or not, the season will undoubtedly explore the unintended consequences of adding, as Alec puts it “a tweak here, a push there.” Definitely a direction I’m on board with!
“Minute by Minute” skillfully manages to deliver plenty of exposition through a new character, head Freelancer, Katherine, without making it feel wordy or slow. The audience, like Kiera, wants to know more about the grander mission, and answers are not in short supply. The origins of the Freelancer “cult” aside (lots of room for more development there), the reasons given for needing Kiera’s involvement in solving the problem posed by Alec’s time jump are definitely plausible, and her new mission renews the big question from last season: Will Kiera choose to return to her family even if to do so would be in opposition to the greater good? Or are we to believe the Freelancers that the preservation of history, complete with the Corporate Congress and all the evils it has perpetrated (will perpetrate?), is more important than society’s freedoms?
In any case, Kiera being outfitted with her suit, some freelancer dots between her fingers, and a newer, fancier multi-tool reminds us fondly of the season 2 premiere when she was a bad-ass vigilante. Hopefully, she’ll hold onto that “upgraded” feel a bit longer this season.
There are a few questions left open regarding the freelancers after this episode: 1) Why do they need to collect corpses? 2) How is Curtis alive (and why did he travel with Liber8 in the first place)? 3) Why did Escher defect from their ranks? And 4) Why was the original timeline completely destroyed? We may never get answers to these questions.
What a surprise to see Garza and Kiera working together in this premiere! Their escape, although ultimately fruitless, gives us another kick-ass fight scene, which Continuum executes flawlessly each season; a little Garza back-story, which Kiera later uses to earn Garza’s trust once Kiera jumps to the past and frees an earlier version of the Liber8 terrorist; and a sacrifice that left many yelling at their televisions, “NOOOOOO!!” Garza is sharp and presumably principled, and we think – we HOPE – that the “flanking maneuver” Kiera pulls by releasing Garza-of-a-week-ago (who is thankfully alive and well) will not be forgotten and will play out in magnificent fashion later in the season.
In any case, Kiera will have much less problem navigating the past, and not only because of her new toys and Freelancer status. Someone has taken out her earlier self and left the body in Alec’s lab for him to discover! Never let it be said that the Continuum writers don’t know how to end an episode with a bang!
So who killed Kiera? (#WhoKilledKiera is another popular hashtag these days) And what will be “undone” by the time jump? Carlos and Julian’s meet-up? (possibly) Travis’ death? (almost certainly)
The very fact that we’re asking these questions is a good sign of things to come for Continuum. Season 3 promises to keep the audience engaged by answering some questions while posing new ones and by never forgetting the intelligence of the sci-fi television audience.
Want more Continuum discussion? Join me and Dave over at continuumpodcast.com each week for predictions, nitpicks, and plenty of fan interaction!