Note: This Continuum review contains spoilers.
Continuum: Season 4 Episode 4 “Zero Hour”
For a series that was tasked with wrapping up its story arcs in only six episodes, Continuum sure knows how to dish out answers to long-held questions! “Zero Hour” delivered a knockout-punch explanation for the cause of the original time travel event in a twist that defied expectation. Combined with more forward progress in the Time Marines’ mission, the surprising reveals in this episode make it one of the best in the series at a time when a tightly-written script was a necessity. Without the action of earlier episodes, these resolutions could have easily become exposition heavy, but thankfully all I’m left with is wide-eyed glee.
Even the secondary plotlines were compelling! As Jason tries to cheer up his father after Emily’s departure, it’s nice to be reminded that “there’s no guide to parenting kids twice your age.” In a series of hilariously awkward moments, Jason tags along as Alec indulges his own and the audience’s curiosity about who Jason’s mother really is. Although he gets the future Mrs. Sadler’s number, his decision not to pursue her solidifies his resolve to avoid becoming the corporate overlord of 2077. What a brilliant way to communicate his dilemma!
He still questions his every decision, of course, but that second guessing is presumably brought to an end by the Traveler’s vision. For seasons, I believed that elder Alec was the mastermind behind sending Liber8 and Kiera back into the past, and my perceptions were completely rearranged when I realized that younger Alec planted the idea in his older self’s head during the paradox engineered by the Traveler. This was a masterful shift in the foundation of the show, akin to a magician swiftly removing a tablecloth without disturbing the dishes atop it, revealing a beautiful polished surface underneath.
But that wasn’t the only reveal in this episode! Through Alec’s computer simulation and the description of a “life boat” Zorin gives to Brad, it becomes clear that the large device the Time Marines are building will create a tunnel through time, allowing the beleaguered people of 2039 to escape their wasteland of a future. Or is that just what Zorin wants Brad to believe? It seems more likely, as Piron CEO Kellog no doubt surmises, that the older Commander Kellog is intent on using his younger self as an organ donor, and those coming with him into the present are his chosen few… or more soldiers.
Call me a cynic! In fact, I find it increasingly difficult to understand why Alec wants to grant Kiera’s wish to return to her future considering how different 2077 must be at this point. Nevertheless, Alec seems to indicate that the time sphere can be hybridized to work with the device being built in the Piron warehouse in order to send Kiera home. Shouldn’t they focus on destroying it if, as Carlos believes, an army is likely to be sent through? That is, unless all that blood they stole is simply for the injured civilians of 2039. Yeah, right.
At least there’s hope now that Carlos is no longer being kept in the dark. Likewise, I draw encouragement from Dillon’s sudden development of a conscience when it comes to acquiring police information on behalf of Kellog. Is the disfigured former Inspector headed for redemption? That’s something I’ve sorely wished for since he took a dark turn in season two.
There’s still plenty of mystery for the final two episodes, though, including how Curtis can be trusted just because he was “merged” from another timeline. Will the Traveler ever speak for himself? While you mull over that question, check out more Continuum discussion with me and Dave over at http://continuumpodcast.com. Each week we have show news, episode analysis, predictions, nitpicks, and plenty of fan interaction!