27 May 2014

[Review] - Continuum, Season 3 Episode 9, "Minute Of Silence"

Courtesy of Reunion Pictures
This week, the most significant event in the history of the series occurred: Kiera procured the affections of a magnificently bearded stranger. Seriously, did you see that thing? It was full and lush, and hearty. That was a beard you could set your watch to. Did it bother me that it didn't really content to the sideburns? A little. But in the face of such an aggressive statement of follicle growth, complete with perfectly partitioned lip coverage, who can complain about such a small quibble?

I suppose other stuff happened too. Alec did some things, Carlos felt a certain way about stuff, and other matters. But that beard! A mystery beard, too! The most seductive of the beards: one cloaked in a general unknowable quality. It wasn't the possibility that this John Doe is another time-lost traveler that drew Kiera's curiosity, it was the eternal question that grips all those in the presence of such a growth: what might his chin look like under all that?

Hit the jump for the review, which contains spoilers that suggest combing the beard for forensic evidence. Because trust me, a full bodied cheek-sweater of that kind has collected some things along the way.

Considering the events the the previous episode, and the implication of the episode title, Minute of Silence wasn't as downtrodden as I was expecting. Yes, there were moments of dour reflection, and Carlos expanded his "drinking lonely with a corpse" club membership to two. But the show didn't take a break to grieve, it, along with the characters, used that grief to motivate them through the action of the episode, which continued to further the season arc. No rest for the weary, which is for the best. With only a handful of episodes left this year, momentum needs to be retained.

Usually, as things go, there is an primary A-Plot and a minor B-Plot. This is industry standard. This week, the two main plots were given equal weight. One to introduce a new emotional challenge for Kiera, and one to further the continuing drama of the mounting evil of the corporations. The beard gentlemen mention earlier awoke memory-less and spouting Kiera's name. What followed was a field trip through memory loss, as Kiera was oddly drawn towards helping someone who might well be a fellow temporally displaced traveler. Since we've seen what has happened with pretty much everyone who fell through time with Kiera during the Liber8 escape, the big question becomes: where, and when, did John Doe come from?

The smart money is that he has a connection to the Freelancers. His combat skills, his access to technology, a beard cultivated with only the shiniest of future hair growth technologies. But most telling of all, the moment of recognition and bewilderment that Curtis experienced when seeing John Doe with Kiera. The tell-tale "what the hell" look he gave before he got himself beat down. Now, the other biggest question: what were he and Curtis planning, that made Kiera the only thing left on his mind? Curtis has been on something of a path of revenge, working his way through the orphans of time travel, those whose plans have been fouled by Kiera's interference.

Since John Doe is unknown to Kiera, we can assume that she never directly wronged him, but the size of Curtis' shadow network is unknown. Let us assume that a memory laden John Doe had a good reason to join up with the former Freelancer: what is their end game. We know precious little about what Curtis is planning, or even his motivations. He shot Kiera, and has fundamental disagreements with Katherine's management style. Is he plotting to overthrow Katherine, and install his own time management scheme? Or is he looking for more of a "fire sale" option?

The other side of things was a more straight forward procedural plot: a parkour-enabled thief is swiping military grade technology from firms that seem to be developing all the components that make Kiera nigh-on invincible. This includes Harry Potter's invisibility cloak and Alec's fancy watch. This plot allows the show to revisit last week's revelation that the corporations are running a counter-terrorist game against Liber8, and gives Carlos to vent and relieve his grief following Betty's death, something which Dillion is frustratingly lacking in sympathy for. Carlos' emotional state continues to degrade, though it did give us what I believe is the only scene he and Alec have shared alone since the show began. Their only real connection to this point has been a mutual friend, though Carlos believes that being the only people aware of Kiera's nature makes them unique. They are "original," as is the Kiera-sicle in his walk-in. The others are something else entirely.

Carlos' unwillingness to accept the living Kiera as anything other than an aberration speaks to the cloud that has settled over him. There was a great moment in this episode, when Kiera asks Carlos to cover for her while she runs down a lead on John Doe, where the show forgot that it was a sprawling time travel epic, and was just a story of two friends. It was genuine and unforced and human. If Carlos was able to see beyond his shock, beyond his grief, beyond his own misunderstanding, he'd see that there are no "originals", just a couple people with a few more hours experience. But he'll never be able to see that.

Alec views them as invasive species, sent to pollute and spoil. And in the case of the corpse of his friend, an opportunity to further his own research. If there had been any doubt that Kiera picked the wrong Alec to throw into the Freelancer cubical farm, it was the cold and almost gleeful way Alec drilled into her head to retrieve the unneeded CMR. Literally cracking open her skull and scooping out the good bits so that his profit margins won't suffer. And you can almost hear his logic: she's not using it anymore, shame to let it go to waste. She isn't the body of his friend, she is a component to be plundered. As lost as Carlos may be, Alec has wandered far further away from his former self.

1 comment:

  1. Team LIBer829 May 2014 20:29

    The FREELANCERS turn out to be two distinct and opposed movements:

    One faction calls themselves GUARDIANS OF THE CONTINUUM and is 1000 years old cult of mostly non-time-travelers, with a special elite who does time jump. The other faction is anarchists who popped off shortly after 2077 and randomly appear for selfish motives throughout time seem to be the freelancers. There are "freelancers" in 2014 who hide future tech in bank safety deposit boxes.

    Stan ESCHER Sadler was a Guardian with tattoo authorization for time travel (who explained the tattoo stuff in Season-2), as was Curtis Chen, and now Kiera-2014. Hand-tattoos have not been noted on (Ryan Robbins) amnesia guy.

    Curtis Chen may be a "freelancer" now that he escaped from Guardian jail, but he was a member of the Guardians in good-standing in 2076, when he was a member of the three-person LIBer8 team who took down the tower and killed 30000 people. He was not only a Guardian in the generic sense, but he was a member specifically of Catherine's Guardian cell, whom are approving of that.


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