|Courtesy of Reunion Pictures|
Hit the jump for the review, which contains spoilers which, if they weren't such a bulldog about Liber8 in the past, you'd think they were protecting them.
After our brief sojourn back to the future last week, we return to the present just in time for everything to break apart. The centre holding together isn't even an issue anymore; we're stuck in a full on, slow motion explosion. Pieces are rippling out in all directions, ricocheting off each other, creating an ever growing cloud of debris and carnage. One by one, every character is getting swept up in the wave, torn apart, and becoming shrapnel for the next poor soul stuck in the path.
All season, I've been trying to reconcile last season's finale with this season's reconfiguration, as it relates to Carlos. His turning to Julian in a moment of desperation was a huge, character redefining event that was completely erased. But if it happened once, it stands to reason that a certain series of events could make it happen again. After all, the parts of Carlos' character that allowed him to accept Julian as a reasonable alternative weren't erased, just the events that produced the opportunity. All this season, Carlos has been stuck in a downward spiral, having disappointment and defeat lumped onto him as he circles closer to the drain. Up until those final moments of this episode, I felt I finally saw the grander scheme at play: this season has been the seduction of Carlos, by Liber8's ideals if not the organization themselves. The slow, methodical, painful revelation that everything that Carlos held as sacrosanct has been perverted and corrupted. This has created the perfect environment for Carlos to naturally, rather than forcibly, realize that the core value of Liber8's message, not their actions, is the just one.
Kiera has been on this path too, and frankly, the more we see of her life on the other side of time, the more frustrating it becomes that she hasn't switched sides earlier. Kiera's approach has been very methodical, very investigative. She has spent a lifetime gathering first hand data as to the realities of the world, until all that data reached a critical mass of realization. Carlos has had it all forced on him, time and time again. But finally, in this episode, it felt like they were both on the same page. Kiera recognizes the value of undermining the corporation's influence, and Carlos is finally beginning to understand that victory against such mammoth obstacles won't be as clear cut as putting someone in handcuffs. In a war of ideas, the victory goes to those that can win the hearts and minds of the people, and in that regard, Liber8 is winning. The corporations are adapting to their tactics, and are able to give as good as they get, but the ground swell is absolutely in favour of the terrorists at this point. The kinder, friendlier branch of the terrorists, but the terrorists none the less.
So... Betty. She died, according to Simon Berry, because of Dillon's inability to see the true threat in front of him. He has embraced the corporate model, become it's champion and been blinded by the promise and the seductive lies they offer. He seeks a way to better protect the people in the city, argues for escalated measures in the wake of Liber8, and takes what is happily offered without question. He's a means-to-an-end kind of guy. He sacrifices his own daughter for the cause. He sacrifices his department's independence for the cause. He sacrifices himself, become just another raised hand in a board room if it means getting what he wants. As far as he is concerned, Betty's treachery is just another example of the corrosive influence of Liber8, a sign that these people must be stomped out before they can spread. He's so singularly focused on a limited result that he isn't open to looking at the larger picture. He is where Kiera was until recently. The trees obstruct his view of the forest. And he's so concerned because one tree looks like it might be infested with bark lice, he doesn't see that the forest is on fire.
Betty's death is a symptom of many failures. Dillon carries the greatest blame, for not considering that there could be additional threats out in the world that don't follow Kagame's teaching. But Kiera and Carlos aren't blameless either. Because it has taken them all so long to realize the truth of things, they were late to realize that Betty could still be trusted. So, she had to expose herself, extend herself farther than she ever had in an effort to prove that she was still useful. She committed an extreme act in order to retain her old position, overreached and suffered the consequences. Which isn't to forget about Julian and Liber8 themselves. Liber8 has been interested in broadening their user base since day one, but without a visible leadership, the sects that have been sprouting up basically are in charge of themselves. Each group decides which tactics to use. Some are peaceful, others less so. Julian has the ability to unite everyone under a common cause, a common methodology, and a common goal. So long as he is being introduced as a former Liber8 member, his value is null. Betty's death is a result of the fractured and undisciplined way the public have reacted to the truth of the corporations, which Sonya and Travis have been revealing. If Julian steps up, takes his place and galvanizes his followers, he can minimize this kind of collateral damage. But it's too late for Betty.
The other major development this episode was the cross plot of The Only Alec Left Behind, Kellog's continued attempts at his own success, and Curtis' plan, whatever that might be. Kellog, still desperate to come out of history a winner for once, plants Jason in Piron to spy on Alec's development of future technologies. This sets up an immediate win-win for all involved, as Alec gets his tech and makes himself indispensable to his board. Jason gets to work with his dad, apply his knowledge, and by his own admission, help birth a technology that will save lives. And Kellog gets to undertake some corporate espionage that will inevitably blow up in his face but he'll escape relatively unharmed (he is a cockroach, after all). What Curtis' plan is remains to be seen. The scene when he exposed himself to Kellog was great, and Kellog seems to ready to accept death in exchange for all the crap he's done. But Curtis, unlike everyone else on the show, seems to see some value in Kellog's survival instincts. I'm very interested to see how this relationship play out.
No new episode next week, because of the Victoria Day long weekend, so we'll pick up from this devastating cliffhanger in two week's time.
It's interesting to think *how* Kiera has managed to avoid opening her eyes for so long. Ironically, I feel like the key is her stubborn will; because for the sake of her family and a stable life (as well as, we've seen a few times now, to rebel against her mother) she feels the need to believe in The System---to the extent that she's even deluded herself *about* herself (those minor moments of rebellion and conscience we've seen in the future-flashbacks, especially this season). And of course, having worked so long in service of The System the cost of admitting that she was on the wrong side, or at least that her side wasn't righteous, becomes vast, and so she trained her will towards the task of shutting down all doubt's and objections,and focused her outrage outwards at Liber8 and other as seditious folks.ReplyDelete
But having betrayed Alec, and seeing the clear truth shrouded from her boss's eyes by his single-minded allegiance to The System and pursuit of The Terrorists, she's suddenly forced to confront what she's been building up over all these years, just below the surface. And it seems Betty's death will be the shove that takes her from teetering over the edge into the abyss that is The System Is The Problem.
I just caught up on the show (and your reviews), and I have to say, very good job, and I find myself perversely hating that we have a holiday Monday (which snuck up on me, I literally didn't realize it until today somehow, and still can't quite believe it---in part because I don't want it to be true, fittingly!).