[Review] - Continuum, Season 4 Episode 3, "Power Hour"

Courtesy of Neal Street Productions
Before I begin discussing this episode, may I say directly to Showcase: you're web player sucks grass clippings. It took me three days (!) to successfully work my way through this episode. And every time, I would get bumped out of place by a constant buffering phantom that necessitated me having to refresh the browser, then work my way through the same three damned commercials half a hundred times before returning to my spot, only to get the stream shunted again after five minutes of episode. It was a... frustrating experience. And one that I cannot say was any better on your mobile platform, because that... does not exist. How is it 2015, and you don't have an app? I know you can do it, because you are owned by Shaw, and they also own Global, whose app I have been using to watch Colbert for the past two weeks without incident. My point is, get your act together. It shouldn't be this difficult.

But, to the matter at hand. This episode, for the first time this season, really felt like the Continuum we've come to love. And the reason for that: philosophy! Yes, the most useless degree also makes more the most interesting television, as this was an episode that took long hard looks at the why of things rather than just drowning people in decorative ponds.

Hit the jump for the review, which contains spoilers that have about seven seconds of use in them.

To follow up on my comments from last week, Emily's disappearance went completely unmentioned this week. And, seems to have had no effect on Alec what so ever. He wasn't mopey, wasn't love sick, didn't nearly cause the failure of a mission because he was utilizing resources trying to track her down. Its almost as if the writers had discovered that they didn't have anything to say with the character, had no interest in exploring her dynamics any further, and got rid of her as quick as they could (all be it in an incredibly insulting manner) so they could refocus on what matter: the fact that the show only has three episodes left, and a lot to get through in that time.

And before we continue with this week's events, a side bar, if you will: what do you think the likelihood of the show ending with a straight up Army of Darkness twist? It seems pretty clear that Kiera is going back to the future by series end, and the show has had an optimistic framework since the start (a framework on which a lot of pessimistic laundry is being dried, but all the same). It is most likely that Kiera will get the happy ending she wants. But, what are the chances that Simon Berry and the writers are going to throw us a curve ball, and have Kiera end up stranded in some horrific hell future then cut to credits? Do you, gentle, gracious, opinionated reader, think they'll do that to us?

This episode's thesis was a continuation of the question that has been the linchpin of the series all along; how much do we control destiny, compared to how much destiny controls us? It's a grand philosophical question, and one that time travel allows us the opportunity to explore. the show has already pretty definitively stated that when egos rule, the future becomes progressively worse. Knowing that, how much influence does it take to change things? Will life devolve into a paranoid series of double and triple thinking your every action, worried that door one will lead to dystopia, door two will lead to utopia with a twist, and what's under the mystery box is an eternity of unrelenting horror, or maybe no more bananas. The show has been wishy-washy on giving us a straight up answer, but with the end in sight, they seem more inclined to pick a side of the fence and see how green the grass really is.

More and more, it looks like they are opting for the elastic version of time, that if events transpire as close to how they went down, the minor will fall in line with the original design. In this instance, it falls to Alec and Julian to act as the fathers of the future. In the original timeline, Alec was an arrogant ass, and Julian's Theseus proclamations were co-opted and distorted to reaction with equal and opposite force. Now, knowing what miseries they caused, both men have taken responsibility for themselves, and decided to act not out of selfishness or ego, but out of the greater good. Alec still intends to use his technology to build a better world, just a better world that puts the public first rather than the bottom line. And in doing so, Julian can spread his message peacefully, and without having to resort to violence. In this future, Kagame will encounter Theseus as a father figure raised in peace rather than a battle cry he encounters in prison.

Is the fact that these two men alone have decided to act in the future's best interest enough to course correct the multitude of futures and have it settle on the best of all possible worlds? Alec alone has shown to have enormous influence over how the future shapes up, so it might just be. With Kellogg still in the game, it is hard to tell. Kiera's mind worm of a trust exercise might send him into a spiral of self doubt, undermining his future self's intentions. Of course, there is still the Traveler is still out there, being all unexplained, standing on roof tops and looking like the last guy you want to tussle with. And you've got Brad's men, whose motives are still not entirely known (though my money is on a time bomb: detonate an antimatter explosion at the fulcrum of temporal flux, and somehow lock events into configuration, so that time travel can't cause any more problems). And you've got Curtis, who is literally playing every side. He's working Liber8, the Freelancers, the Mercenaries, Kellogg, Julian, Kiera, all of them. I've said this before, but what he wants, and who he's really working for is perhaps the most impenetrable mystery this show has. If he turns out to be God, I'm going to be angry though.

The episode had a lot of highs. The fight between Garza, Kiera and he giant guy was great, and a great example of how this show can choreograph a fight without it looking like they choreographed it, as opposed to last week. Garza getting a suit and teaming up with Keira at all was chock full of fun, and its a shame that these two characters haven't had more opportunities to work together. Garza is a great character, but one that has never gotten as much attention as Sonya or Travis. Or Lucas. Poor Lucas. He has been through a lot: suffering time madness, being a bad guy, being a good guy, and ultimately he went out trying to do the right thing. His death has a lot of repercussions: it drives Kiera to Travis to have a Hannibal Lecter moment and brings Kiera closer to the fold of working with him again (last season saw her align with Liber8's position, and this season, what with Julian's decision, might see them win their victory after all). That closeness will drive a further wedge between Kiera and Carlos, who is already having trust issues after Dylan teamed up with Kellogg. It also increases the mistrust between Kiera and Brad, while solidifying Brad's position within his organization. And it drives Garza back out into the cold, with nary a bit of trust for anyone.

The repercussions will likely present themselves sooner rather than later, but I expect they will result in Travis getting out of prison, Carlos and Kiera's friendship in tatters, Kiera and Brad's relationship destroyed, Brad's loyalties shifting back towards those of his temporal compatriots, and Garza as a massive and dangerous unknown in the midst of everything, and with a want to blow things up real nice. In all of this though, I feel that Garza's point is the most important one: Kiera is the only one that wants to go home. Everyone else is content to stay and make the best life they can in the here and now, and make that best life into the best future they can. Kiera wanted that once too, but is now as single mindedly focused on her goal as Liber8 once was on theirs. And achieving her goal might be the most dangerous thing any of them are facing.

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About MR. Clark

Adopting the descriptor of "successfully unpublished author", MR. Clark began writing things on the internet in 2012, which he believed to be an entirely reputable and civilized place to find and deliver information. He regrets much.


  1. Anonymous24 January 2016 at 12:41

    Just wanted to thank you for all of your recaps on this series.


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