Continuum – Season 4 Episode 2
The final season of Continuum moves along with more build-up of Kellogg’s potential to become the central antagonist of the final episodes. I’m covering for Aaron who normally -I say normally, it has only been back for two episodes- writes about Continuum on here as he is on holiday this week.
This episode picks up right where the last one left off with Kellogg watching the message from his future self. It’s a fairly short briefing he gets but the information is clear enough. Apparently the future is a complete mess and Kellogg needs to prevent that from happening. He is urged to trust the future soldiers -who all know what they’re doing- and to trust himself.
I have mixed feelings about the brevity of this message. On one hand I understand that this is a TV show and that there are only so many minutes per episode so a given scene needs to be on point lest the episode waste time but I can’t help feeling that future Kellogg is being deliberately vague with his younger self. It’s completely in character for him to be deceitful and I see no reason why that wouldn’t extend to himself. He has always been out for himself so it would make sense if he had some other agenda at play. What that agenda is I can’t speculate but I do feel like he’s hiding something, of course I may be wrong here but we’ll see.
The following scene shows Alec and Kiera looking over the schematics of the future soldier armour. It’s pointed out that their future has taken a completely different course than the timeline that Kiera comes from. This could be a further hint that it’s impossible for Kiera to return as her timeline no longer exists. The time travel physics are still somewhat unexplained so it’s unclear at this point if it has been erased or not. I’ll also be interested to find out what caused this anarchic timeline to be created in the first place. So much to cover and so little time to do it with only 4 episodes left before Continuum is no more.
Kellogg takes the opportunity to use his bargaining chip to get his stolen information back. He has had Emily kidnapped and will only return her if he gets his data back delivered personally by Kiera. Naturally Kellogg’s word is not to be trusted as it’s painfully obvious that he’ll use that information to make use of the other time travel device and go somewhere for his own ends. Kellogg’s overall plan is left ambiguous throughout so the audience is very much on Kiera and Alec’s wavelength here.
His conversation with Marcellus is an interesting one. The main purpose is for Marcellus to ask for a list of costly supplies and resources including a request for a very specific building. No alternative is allowed which really got my attention. It’s clear that the location itself is significant but it’s left unexplained why that it. 4 episodes to go guys, explanations will have to start coming fast.
Kellogg tries to use the conversation to get a bit more information on what plan his future self has but Marcellus is playing it really close to the chest. He is comfortable enough to share why the future needs to be prevented. He paints a really bleak picture of what needs to be avoided. In many ways it reminded me of the way Kyle Reese would describe his future to Sarah Connor in The Terminator. Marcellus definitely comes across as an obedient soldier without being stupid. He won’t cave into what this version of his commander wants and is very driven to get what he needs to carry out his mission. I look forward to seeing what more is done with this character in the coming episodes.
When Kiera goes to see Carlos to inform him what has happened to Emily we get to see a little more of their fractured friendship. Carlos wants to bring Kellogg in but Kiera wants to get a better idea of his overall plan. With a bit of convincing Carlos agrees to her terms. Ever since last season Carlos has been growing more and more wary of Kiera because of his mistrust of the fact that she comes from a slightly future timeline. He still wants to trust her judgement but there’s a sense of hesitation to all of his interactions with her. It’s great to see that this hangs over them but they are able to work together effectively.
Naturally when confronted Kellogg denies any involvement in Emily’s disappearance. This is sort of a theme throughout the episode as he constantly admits that he’s responsible without actually confessing in a way that would incriminate him. He’s always careful in his interactions with others and this is a great example of how skilled he is as a wordsmith to keep himself out of trouble. Dillon’s appearance in this scene has Carlos noticeably rattled which seems to be Kellogg’s intention. Kellogg is also fully aware that some kind of loyalty might make Dillon a problem for him at a later stage.
There’s some further discussion of the other Alec and the way he turned out before current Alec killed him. As far as Alec sees it he’s distinctly different from his other self as he didn’t go off on a quest to rule the world whereas Lucas, Julian and Jason don’t necessarily agree. I’m unsure where I stand on this one as it’s not as if they are distinctly different versions of the same person. They are only separated by about a week in terms of age so it’s entirely down to the different experiences each of them had in that short amount of time. I fully subscribe to the notion that the current Alec would have done exactly the same thing had his experiences been the same. After all, they are the same person so the potential to become that is still there. Alec may be in a lot of denial about that as he doesn’t want to believe it. Maybe his desire to not become that will be enough to ensure that it doesn’t happen.
Brad’s status as a double agent within the ranks of the future soldiers is pretty much guaranteed to cause him problems when they find out. In his scene with Kiera he did look scared as he knows what he’s risking but there’s always the possibility that he’s using her to help the soldiers. I never take anything that anyone in Continuum says at face value. He is apparently trying to find out what they’re up to but is hitting a wall as he doesn’t need to know what the mission is at this point. There was a really interesting moment shared between them when they declare that they trust each other while hugging and the camera cuts to close-ups of each face with pretty dishonest expressions suggesting that there isn’t a whole lot of trust there.
I really liked the banter between Alec and Lucas in this episode. Alec is generally frustrated that he is back behind computer screens when the woman he loves is in danger but there seems to be a tension between him and Lucas who obviously share many of the same skills. Lucas really resents being given orders by Alec and isn’t shy about admitting it. The casual sniping between them is really entertaining to watch.
The lunch scene between Kiera and Kellogg was excellent stuff. I find Kellogg really entertaining when he is holding all the cards and has a lot of fun with it. He arranges for Kiera to change into a dress that he wants to see her in simply because he can refuse to let the meeting take place at all if she doesn’t comply. Of course it’s to stop her suit bringing any surprises to the meeting but it’s clear that he’s arranging for this for his own sadistic enjoyment more than anything else.
Kiera spends the meeting trying to do what she can to manipulate the situation be Kellogg has everything going for him so there’s not much she can do. All she can really play with is not allowing anything to happen until she has proof that Emily is alive but once that is confirmed then she has nothing. Kiera does realise that Alec’s help will be needed to use the information on the hard drive but it’s not going to be that easy since Kellogg has damaged that relationship probably beyond repair.
As if there wasn’t enough going on in this episode Travis and Garza show up with a plan to poison Kellogg with the added bonus of Kiera being caught in the attempt as collateral damage. This part of the episode cuts between three distinct action sequences perfectly. Carlos takes on Travis and Garza while Kiera tries to save Kellogg and Emily engineers her escape from her captors.
The separate sequences were tense and well directed with a real sense of urgency to all of them. It’s probably the finest example of action that this show has given us thus far. Kudos to the Continuum team for managing to pull this off so perfectly.
I was a bit frustrated that Emily has been relegated to simple damsel in distress status but she conducts herself nicely in that situation. She never seems like a victim which is good because Emily really isn’t that sort of character. Her determination and skills are fully on display in this episode as she attempts to escape on her own. It basically turns out that she doesn’t need rescued as it’s already well in hand by the time that happens.
Her conversation with Jason following this where she finally asks if she is Jason’s mother is really important for her character. It’s a question that many of the audience have probably been asking since she first appeared, I know I have been. Jason’s evasive nature to the line of questioning is pretty standard for his character but him shaking his head raises a whole other line of questioning. I still feel that Emily being his mother is a possibility and Jason is being less than honest with her but what I’m not clear on is why. It seems like he wanted to help her make her decision to leave which suggests that there’s a reason why he might want her to be elsewhere. Alec’s wife is never seen in the future so perhaps something terrible happens to her that Jason now wants to prevent even if it means his own non existence. This will hopefully be addressed soon because it seems like too neat an answer to this lingering question.
The dinner scene at the end of the episode is a nice cap to the events of the episode and shows the dynamics that the show has to play with. Kiera’s team now has what is left of Liber8 with the exception of Travis who is in prison for now. It was easy to notice a tension to that dinner scene as not everyone trusts everyone else. Mostly they are working together out of convenience and lack of other options. Garza certainly makes that much clear. As soon as the various agendas don’t align then this uneasy alliance will be split apart.
In terms of pacing I felt that the episode moved along as if it was one part of a 13 episode season rather than part 2 of 6. There isn’t a lot of time left to finish off the story and I fear that there might be too many moving parts to have this conclude in a way that satisfies the audience. To counter that, the purpose of this episode seemed to be to draw the battle lines firmly so that the season can pick up speed in the final episodes. Currently there is team Kiera consisting of her, Alec, Julian, Lucas, Garza and Jason with Emily being away on her own perhaps never to return. Carlos and the VPD are doing their own thing but he is mostly aligned to Kiera. Kellogg has Dillon as well as the infinite resources of Piron at his disposal with the future soldiers being apparently on his side. I think they have their own agenda that will come to light eventually so they’re a distinct faction as far as I’m concerned and Dillon’s loyalties are also in question as far as I’m concerned. Brad’s part in all this is up in the air as well. There’s also the question of the Traveller who is briefly alluded to here.
One thing is for sure the show will not be dull over the next 4 episodes.
An excellent episode that plays to the strengths of the characters and keeps the audience guessing as to the agendas of the various factions at play.
Kellogg taking instruction from his future self is an interesting development as it gives him the resources of the future soldiers who he is told to help out unconditionally. Kellogg doesn’t know what the plan entails and that makes him feel understandably uneasy as he doesn’t like not having all the information he needs.
For now he is going along with Marcellus’ demands as he has no real reason not to plus there will be a large element of curiosity for him as he will try to find out what they’re up to.
Kellogg is the centre of everything here as he uses Emily’s kidnapping to further his goals without actually admitting to it. This frustrates everyone who wants her back as they know he has her but there’s little that can be done when he won’t directly admit it. Kiera is forced to go along with what Kellogg wants due to the power that he has. This is nicely exemplified when Kellogg makes her wear a dress that he wants to see her in. It’s great to see Kellogg behave like this as it’s all so entertaining.
It’s a bit frustrating that Emily is chosen to be the damsel in distress but the fact that she escapes on her own is consistent with her character. She has the skills and intelligence to do it so seeing her having the situation under control by the time Alec appears is a refreshing change to this trope.
The different action sequences inclusive of Emily’s escape, Carlos’ fighting Travis and Kiera trying to prevent Kellogg’s death by poisoning are all beautifully tense and well directed. Some of the best work ever seen on this show I’d say.
As the episode concludes the battle lines are somewhat drawn but there are still a lot of moving parts and more than a little uncertainty about the true allegiances of some key characters. It might be that there is too much to get through in only 4 episodes but we’ll see if the show manages to stick the landing when the dust settles. Aaron will be back reviewing this next week.