Showing posts with label Continuum. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Continuum. Show all posts

24 Jun 2014

[Review] - Continuum Season 3 Finale, Episode 13, "Last Minute"

Courtesy of Reunion Pictures
And with that, another season is gone, and what a season. Taking full responsibility for two season's worth of mystery, intrigue and action, it managed to answer most of our questions, then completely uproot the premise and replant it in a strange new world filled with new threats, mysteries, and increasingly of the idea that the future is unknowable. Knowledge of the future seems only to make things considerably worse, and that those few characters remaining that are ignorant of the way things will be are acting on instinct and morality, and they serve the continuum the best.

Last week felt like a season finale in a lot of ways, leaving me to wonder where things would be taken in the proper finale. Turns out, to a natural conclusion. And in all the ways that count, Last Minute was a perfect example of what a finale needs to be. It concerned itself with wrapping up the arcs that have dominated this season, and only in the closing moments looked forward to a future (as of this writing) still uncertain. Some things felt a bit rushed, but most felt right. Then it smacked us upside the head and left us wanting more.

Hit the jump for the review, which contains spoilers that are the same shit, just different.

17 Jun 2014

[Review] - Continuum, Season 3 Episode 12, "The Dying Minutes"

Courtesy of Reunion Pictures
Wait. Wait, wait, wait, wait, wait. Wait...

All of that, and it's not the season finale? Anyone else feel like we might get curb stomped next week?

Hit the jump for the review, which contains spoilers that always make it a point to end business deals by stabbing the other party.

10 Jun 2014

[Review] - Continuum, Season 3 Episodes 10 and 11, "Revolutions Per Minute" And "3 Minutes to Midnight"

Courtesy of Reunion Pictures
As much as I would have loved to dissect each of these episodes individually (sorry again about that), there have been perhaps no two better episodes to review together. Because what a wallop they delivered. Between Alec's continued descent down the rabbit hole of unconscionable behaviour, the revelations brought forward by the magnificently bearded John Doe (or Brad Tonkin [updated: I originally identified the character as Brett, which is how he was referred to in some supplementary literature, but not in the show. I have changed it to the broadcast identity]), or the general corruption of ethics in the face of ideals being experienced by everyone else, it has been a busy couple weeks.

It also delivered a potentially seismic shift to the series' paradigm. Everything we assumed to have known about the implications of action concerning the way timelines work in this series has changed. We're back to square one in being able to predict what will happen next. It feels like the heady days of the first season, when everything was still a mystery. Now, like the characters, we have to reassess everything in the shadow of the knowledge that the future is less certain than ever.

Hit the jump for the review, which contains spoilers that have decided they are just going to stay away from all power tools.

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.

14 May 2014

[Review] - Continuum, Season 3 Episode 8, "So Do Our Minutes Hasten"

Courtesy of Reunion Pictures
And that, ladies and gentlemen, is what we call a breaking point.

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.

6 May 2014

[Review] - Continuum, Season 3 Episode 7, "Waning Minutes"

Courtesy of Reunion Pictures
Kiera has had to make some difficult choices recently. And she's had some difficult choices made for her. But above and beyond all of that, there is the looming specter of the choices she hasn't made yet. The pressing matter of the larger picture, and the role she has to play in the formation of the future. For two seasons, she set her course based on her training, her indoctrination by the morality of her home time. This season she has become increasingly aware of the "other side"; waking up, as this episode called it. The one-two punch of Alec's apprehension and the revelation of the identity of her Earlier self's killer has pried her eyes open wide, and forced her to relive a memory from long ago, which treats us to an extended flashback of Kiera's early interactions with Liber8 and fills in some more of the blank spaces in the various character histories.

Hit the jump for the review, which contains spoilers that are content hitting the snooze button.

29 Apr 2014

[Review] - Continuum, Season 3 Episode 6, "Wasted Minute"

Courtesy of Reunion Pictures
Well... there goes a perfectly good theory. And to think I spent upwards of half an hour thinking about who Kiera's killer might have been. At least it was good timing; putting out my theory only a couple of days before the series just tells us straight up. It's that kind of honest straightforwardness that I appreciate about this series. No dragging things out unnecessarily, no bloating of storylines to push major revelations into the finale. We're at the mid way point, the killer hadn't been mentioned in a couple episodes, so just put it out there. Now we've got the back half of the season to deal with the repercussions.

And, on top of all that, Kiera was forced to make her choice between which of the two Alecs was to deliver her the future she wants, compared to the one the worlds needs. Liber8 made its most constructive play yet, and has definitely figured out the intelligent way to accomplish its goals. The future is looking brighter all the time, despite the Freelancer's intentions. It wasn't an insignificant episode.

Hit the jump for the review, which contains spoilers that once cold-clocked their doppelganger with a USB mouse. It lacked the desired effect.

25 Apr 2014

[Analysis] - Who Killed Kiera Cameron?

It's not really a spoiler to say that season three of Continuum kicked off by killing Kiera Cameron. I mean, it happened in the first episode. Happily, we had a spare, thanks to some time travel mischief. The mystery of who put a bullet into our hero's head has sat just behind the action so far this season, with Alec's algorithms slowly assembling an image of the killer from the dead Kiera's CMR.

They haven't devoted an entire episode to the investigation thus far, though I suspect one is coming in the back half of the season (plus time to deal with the consequences). In the meantime, I thought I'd spare a couple minutes to running over the list of suspects, both usual and unusual, and see if I can Sherlock the solution.

Hit the jump for the potential murders. Spoilers for season 3 to episode 5.

15 Apr 2014

[Review] - Continuum, Season 3 Episode 5, "30 Minutes To Air"

Courtesy of Relativity Media
Just when you thought that the Freelancers explaining in pretty clear detail who and what they were wouldn't leave any mystery left in them, they go and show that they have a mysterious door with some glowing blue beyond it. Now, as a side effect of having watched LOST, I'm a bit wary when it comes to mystery doors and groups of strange, cult-like people. But somehow, I'm guessing that the Freelancers aren't keeping a lovesick Scotsman back there.

Liber8 continued to up their game, and the importance of family got a push from directions other than Kiera. What it added up to was an episode that very much felt like a building block. The B-plot advanced some of the mythology, but the A-plot was all about setting up troubles for the days ahead. And sometimes, that is exactly what you need.

Hit the jump for the review, which contains spoilers that are just going to jump ahead and call themselves "protectors."

8 Apr 2014

[Review] - Continuum, Season 3 Episode 4, "Minute Changes" [Updated]

Courtesy of Relativity Media.
[Update: there appears to be some disagreement as to the proper name of this episode. Showcase identifies it as Minute Changes, while other sources identify it as A Minute Changes Everything. I'm sticking with the originating channel's identifier until Simon Barry himself tells me otherwise (Mr. Barry, I'd be very willing to have that conversation with you).]

The last few episodes of Continuum have been pop culture reference heavy. Last week, Kiera let Star Trek and Wars references go over her head, but my man Kellog clearly used the first season appropriately, took the time to learn the important stuff, and has enough cultural awareness in his pocket to make a burn on Geordi La Forge (to be clear, no one bad mouths The Forge).

This was another emotionally heavy and tonally dark episode, as Julian resurfaces just in time for the youth of Vancouver to get all riled up, and for Carlos to come this closer to breaking. If he hasn't already. It's pretty hard to tell, but my goal post has always been whether or not you drink in the company of corpses. If you do, you might have broken already.

Hit the jump for the review, which contains spoilers that can only ever be that one thing.

2 Apr 2014

[Review] - Continuum, Season 3 Episode 3, "Minute To Win It"

Courtesy of Reunion Pictures
One of the aspects of the series that impressed me early on was how it ignored the ease in which it could have slipped into being a police procedural. There were in season one, and occasionally still are, episodes that play the investigative side of the series pretty straight. This was one such episode. What continues to set Continuum aside from other series, which might be tempted to sit on their hands and allow the procedural aspect to lazily carry the series, is that they use the standard tropes to advance their mythology.

With the new timeline established, the framework in place, and the tension between the Alecs making life difficult for everyone, episode three felt like it was done the clean up of season two, and threw explaining things in a clear and projected voice. We've shifted back to standard operating mode, adding layers and answers questions in less than obvious ways.

Hit the jump for the review, which contains spoilers that once tried to explain to their significant other that they were from an alternate timeline. It didn't work.

25 Mar 2014

[Review] - Continuum, Season 3 Episode 2, "Minute Man"

Courtesy of Reunion Pictures
"Some things are obvious when you pay attention... and time travel is involved." Really, Kellog? Because I've generally found the opposite to be true. Obvious is not the word I'd use. But yes, paying attention is very important. Critical, I'd say. Necessary, in point of fact. Take this episode, for instance. Compared to last week, this was fairly tempered. No massive info dumps, not as much exposition, and less timey-wimeiness.

But it was still a densely packed episode, one that required the viewer to keep the events of the final two episodes of last season in the back of the mind, to compare and contrast the effects that Alec has had on the timeline. Because he has, and it's not all been sunshine and roses. I'd go so far to say that, despite the death and emotional turmoil that the old timeline was soaked in, this timeline has all the markings of being a darker sequence of events.

Hit the jump for the review, which contains spoilers that intend to exact painful and bloody revenge.

18 Mar 2014

[Review] - Continuum, Season 3 Episode 1, "Minute to Minute"

Courtesy of Reunion Pictures
It speaks to the complexity of the universe that Simon Barry has created in Continuum, that the show can dedicate an entire hour towards explaining the mechanism behind the show's largest mysteries to this point, and it still leaves us with more questions than answers. It speaks to the quality of that complexity that, having provided a massive info dump, it didn't immediately start tripping over itself.

Season three returned off the back of a continuum shattering cliffhanger, which saw Kiera and most of Liber8 held captive by the Freelancers, Carlos and Betty turning to Julian in their moment of greatest need, and Alec disappear into time with motives and alliances unknown. And while this hour was dedicated mostly to explaining the who's and the where's, it also set up what will be the driving force behind this season.

Hit the jump for the review, which contains spoilers that are settling old debts.

7 Feb 2014

Continuum Returns

I've made no secret over my enthusiastic liking of Continuum. For my money, it's the best science fiction series on television right now. Intelligent without being pretentious, complex without being impenetrable, fun without being corny. And it's a Canadian show! Yay us!

The second season was masterful in the way it dug into the mythology of the show, and dealt with the complexities of time travel, and left we viewers with so many questions. But in a way that wasn't frustrating, like so many other arc-based mythology building shows. We were all clamouring for season 3, and it's nearly here. The third season of the Rachel Nichols lead series will begin on Showcase on March 16th (Showcase has branded that date the "world premiere," but I am uncertain as to when Syfy intends on airing the new season - sorry Americans). March and April, by quirk of scheduling, will be heavy with shows I'm inclined to review, but make no mistake, Continuum reviews will be front and centre.

And if this teaser is any indication, things might be getting a little Back to the Future Part 2 on us this year. I can't hardly wait!

Via Showcase.

24 Sep 2013

Simon Barry Sees The Future Of Continuum

With season 2 behind us and season 3 confirmed, Simon Barry, creator of the hit Canadian time travel drama Continuum (of which I am a big fan, and have covered at length), spoke to Collider at length about how the writers have structured the show, and how he sees it moving forward, and for how long.

Speaking to the growing complexity of the show's mythology, Barry revealed, "In the first season, we had an over-abundance of ideas. We had more ideas than we could possibly put into the episodes, so a lot of things were pushed into Season 2, and some things are actually going to be pushed into Season 3." This long form method of planning certainly shows in the series' tendency to slow-burn the mythology, a pace I prefer to the "throw everything against the walls and see what sticks" attitude of a lot of genre shows. He elaborated, "The big things in the show were certainly planned, early on. Some of the smaller little things are either happy accidents or sometimes they’re just discoveries along the way that we wanted to expand because either the idea just improved with age...with characters like Kellog and Garza, I might not have been able to predict how deep we’d go and how many surprises we could have mined from them."

Of the many things that impressed me about season two over season one was how much they owned what they were, what Barry refers to as "backdoor superhero show," though that label seems too narrow band and sensationalistic to me. The mythology became deeper, the characters became more complex and the procedural aspects of the show took a back seat to just letting the show be what it needed to be. Happily, all of that was by Barry's design, with him saying that "Season 2 was really our attempt to be the show that was not just trying out." And it showed. Some shows, especially those on network, struggle to balance their own creative force with audience accessibility for their entire runs, to the detriment of the show. Continuum has shrugged that off, in favour of doing a quality programme.

Looking ahead into season 3, Barry has a plan. "Season 3 definitely has a major component of Freelancer activity and the mythology of the Freelancers, as it relates to the larger mythology of the show, the future and Alec Sadler... It is a time travel show, after all, and we’ve always wanted to explore more time travel on the show.  So, we really planned ahead, that this would be our second use of time travel, after the original incident in Season 1... I think in the first episode of Season 3, there will be no more questions about how this works or how to tell stories using time travel." I hope they don't answer all of the questions, as part of the fun of the series is trying to work out how everything works for myself. but it's not all just timey-whimey stuff that is left to explore. Said Barry, "I actually do know what’s going to happen to Carlos and Julian, and they’re both going to have interesting lives in Season 3... Julian’s role is going to evolve in a way that’s surprising, and I think Carlos is certainly going to show a different side of himself that will challenge everyone."

There will be at least two new characters added to the already diverse cast, but ultimately season 3 will "look at sacrifice as a theme... Especially in time travel, every decision has a consequence. We always felt like we hadn’t really mined the notion of sacrifice to its full extent, given the world that we’re playing in. There are high stakes." Looking even farther ahead, when asked about the future of the series, Barry's writers "had an arbitrary number of seven years," which is the standard goal for science fiction series, based off the success of Star Trek: The Next Generation's run. And they'll continue to do it on "not even a real TV budget.  We’re on what we would call a good Canadian budget... The struggle for us is making a show that looks like it has the same budget as Arrow, or something that is in our wheelhouse, but we’re doing it for half the price." I say they are doing a far better job than what others would do with triple their budget.

To read the complete interview, including how far planned Jason, Escher and Alec's relationship was planned out, and some of the other challenges season 2 presented, I recommend heading over to Collider

5 Aug 2013

[Review] - Continuum, Season 2 Finale, Episode 13, "Second Time"

Courtesy of Reunion Pictures
A season ago, Continuum concluded with a big episode. Terrorist plots, suspicious CSIS agents, and a building collapse. This year, things were more low key. But what it lacked in grand action it more then made up for in grand ideas, bombarding us with new pieces of information, some revelations concerning questions we've had all season, and leaving just enough ambiguous to start us salivating for season 3 already.

Hit the jump for the review, which contains spoilers that remain spoilers in this timeline.

30 Jul 2013

[Review] - Continuum, Season 2 Episode 12, "Second Last"

Courtesy of Reunion Pictures
First off, a tip of the hat to which ever writer realised the opportunity for the episode title. The idiosyncratic naming hasn't always made the most grammatical sense throughout the series, but this one was perfect.

This episode was all about the revelations. Practically every secret that was being kept by the various parties came out by the time the credits rolled, which is normally a good thing. Except in this case, where it'll breed contempt, lack of trust, ill will and in a couple cases, out and out vengeance seeking. Conflict is on the horizon, and going into the finale, everyone is just pissed enough to make some very bad decisions. Hooray!

Hit the jump for the review, which contains spoilers that once lobbed a toaster oven off a roof for no less a noble reason.

23 Jul 2013

[Review] - Continuum, Season 2 Episode 11, "Second Guess"

Courtesy of Reunion Pictures
First off, in this week's lone glimpse of the future, that was David Milchard playing the technician. Milchard is the "Adult Man" in the hilarious web series Conversations With My Two Year Old. Really, I've got nothing else to add, other than you should really watch Conversations With My 2 Year Old if you haven't already.

That opening sequence though seemed more akin to the one that bookended the season premier, in which Sadler implanted Kiera with the memories of being forcibly detained, for reasons that have not yet been made clear. And this episode did not make immediate use of the discovery that, somewhere, a complete record of everything a CMR has recorded is stored and accessible. I cannot believe that both of those pieces of information won't become relevant in the next couple weeks. Because things are coming to a head, and everyone is losing their minds.

Hit the jump for the review, which contains spoilers that regularly have conversations with rooms full of a dead guy.

16 Jul 2013

[Review] - Continuum, Season 2 Episode 10, "Second Wave"

Courtesy of Reunion Pictures
Continuum is confident enough in itself and its viewers to introduce big ideas, and not feel like they have to resolve them within the forty minutes of the episode. It has grown so confident, in fact, that Second Wave was the densest episode made to date, with several episodes worth of plot squeezed together. And, impressively, it never once felt bloated. Each of the tangle of elements not only worked off of each other, but in tandem, and balance, which is a hard trick to pull off, and been a weakness of other, more lofty shows. It introduced new concepts, furthered previously hinted at ones, and choose to resolve almost nothing, leading me to believe that the season finale, which is approaching sooner then I'd like, is going to be one hell of a thing.

Hit the jump for the review, which contains spoilers that have come from the future. From the even more future.

9 Jul 2013

[Review] - Continuum, Season 2 Episode 9, "Seconds"

Courtesy of Reunion Pictures

After two weeks off (thanks a lot Canada Day Long Weekend and, umm... Week Before Canada Day Long Weekend), Continuum returns and so does Inspector Dillon. But the return is not all sunshine and roses. In fact, in Seconds, Continuum took a dark turn that started with a gun shot, ended with some torture, and pretty much left every character short of Carlos in a place so morally ambiguous that it is hard to tell who the good guys are any more.

Hit the jump which contains spoilers that have been shot at, hunted and generally despised.
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