The most obvious trope in Continuum is that of the unreliable narrator. Kiera, bless her heart, has good intentions, but it’s clear from the start that she’s drunk the cool aid - but what makes this series so interesting is that there seems to be a whole calavacade of unreliable narrators. There’s Kagame, and the future Alec Sadler and even Kellog, all seeing the world through different eyes and all believing their version of a better future is the right one – and who is truly right or wrong is not even vaguely obvious.
We open with a future scene, this time from the perspective of Liber8. They’ve taken the tower of Mammon down and Kagame is imprisoned. There, he speaks to someone (off camera) in the next cell. Apparently, this is only the beginning of the plan.
Cut to the present day, and Sonya is giving Kagame a copy of A Tale of Two Cities for his birthday: It was the best of times, it was the worst of times… yeah, you can pretty much bet they’re trying to tell us something here – just like Kellog reading Dostoevsky’s The Brothers Karamazov in the previous episode. Perhaps we can divine their motivations from their reading material!
Cut to Kellog’s boat, and Kiera’s ‘oh fuck’ face when she wakes up in Kellog’s bed is hilarious – but she’s not one to let an attack of next morning remorse get in the way of an opportunity, so she breaks into Kellog’s safe with her
Anyways, Kiera does the walk of shame and skedaddles, telling Kellog that ‘this’ will never happen again. I’m not convinced and neither is Kellog.
But it’s at the end of this scene that I felt like there was a timeline issue. I got the impression Kiera went to Kellog’s yacht the night Carlos got shot and, as Kiera is wearing the same clothes in this episode, I can only assume it’s the morning after - but he’s back on duty already? Even Kiera seemed surprised and I don’t blame her. It’s a weird one, but as this was the only misstep the episode made, to my mind, I’ll let them off with a warning.
A complication has appeared at the station in the form of Agent Gardiner (from an agency I didn’t catch the name of). Some military grade explosives have been stolen and they suspect Liber8 and Julian. He also seems to be pretty suspicious of Kiera right from the start and it’s evident Kiera’s false identity is on the brink of being found out.
And then a lot of dominoes fall into place in this episode. The cell phone service goes down and Alec, worried about Julian, tracks him down and goes to reason with him alone, afraid that involving Kiera might get Julian killed (and who can blame him.) Unfortunately, he walks straight into the jaws of Kagame. Cue a rather creepy scene in which Garza ties up Alec. Ugh, that woman has issues.
And here we got the big reveal we all suspected. Older Alec was the one who sent Liber8 and Kiera back in time, and he has a grand plan - a pebble that creates a Tsunami. The actor who plays the younger Alec very ably portrayed someone who is young and yet very, very bright (and more than a bit sarcastic) and while Alec is refuting his words and is clearly very angry, it’s also clear Alec believes Kagame, despite himself.
Meanwhile, Kiera has been thrown a curveball in the form of Jason, a fellow time traveller who was thrown back to 1992 on the same night Kiera was thrown back to 2012 – and there is more! There are other time travellers that Jason calls privateers or freelancers - and Mr Esher/Asher (I prefer Esher, all those maze like images remind me of what my brain feels like when I try to figure out the time travel paradox in the series) Are these freelancers thrown back by the same ‘accident’ and using their knowledge of the future to amass fortunes, like Kellog, or are they time travel agents from the future with a specific agenda – or could it be a bit of both? This show doesn’t like things cut and dried.
And this is where I have my first crackpot theory – Mr Esher is Kiera’s husband, thrown back further into time like Jason which could now make him in his fifties – and, after a couple of decades, he’s probably moved on. The angst, let me tell you about it!
But back to the regular programming – here comes crazy Jason, waving the flag of hope in Kiera’s face. Jason has built a time machine, but he’s missing one important piece of technology. Cue the time machine maguffin fragment – oh, this can’t end badly, can it?
Kiera can’t believe her luck and is all set to go when she realises the stolen explosives are going to be used in an atrocity she remembers from her history books (does anybody else want to have a look at these future history books? We know, from a throwaway comment from Kagame, they’ve been heavily revised over the decades – what would a future corporate driven empire say about the Industrial revolution, for instance?) and while she knows it would disrupt the timeline she can’t help but try and change history.
Alec by this point has escaped and has a peek at Liber8’s plans along the way. Go Alec!
It all comes to a head when Carlos, Agent Gardiner and Kiera meet at the spot it’s supposed to happen. Agent Gardiner is already convinced Kiera is a Liber8 plant but his quizzing is interrupted by Julian’s arrival with a faulty bomb. He’s taken into custody, and Agent Gardiner gets a call from his superiors who’ve had a call from Kiera’s ‘commander’, Mr Esher. The plot thickens!
And that is when things get nasty. Alec arrives to tell Kiera Liber8’s real plan but not in time to prevent Kagame from entering the building – but she catches up with him just in time to have a really dark standoff. Kagame pretty much tells her that she has to let him blow up the building if she wants her future preserved and she hesitates - it’s that mess with Melissa Le Roche from a few episodes back writ large. Her conscience and her desire to protect her future and her son warring with each other. Kagame takes advantage of her hesitation and disappears into the elevator and Alec and Kiera make a run for it, her suit saving their lives, but not much else.
And here’s where the heartbreak begins.
First, let’s start with Sonya. For the first time, I really felt for the character. Kagame put a lot of responsibility on her shoulders and she stepped up to plate, despite the personal sacrifice. The scene where she visits Kagame’s mother in the maternity and kisses the infant Kagame on the forehead is genuinely sad, and the resigned look on Travis’s face just before she kills him…ow. How much Sonya knows is still up in the air, though. Does she knows about Alec’s part in bringing them to 2012, or does she know just the bare bones of the plan – and what the heck were those little glass pebbley things in the safetybox?
And poor Kiera when she realises Jason’s time machine was just a figment of his imagination. I could almost see her break a little. Her subsequent confrontation with Kellog is also pretty much a good indication of their relationship. They don’t trust each other and yet they do(and is Kellog withholding?) Also, Kellog now knows about Alec? There was pillow talk? :-P
Flash forward to the future and the sheer hate on Kagame’s face when he realises Alec wasn’t killed in the bombing in 2076 is a sight to behold – and then back to the present day, and Alec opens up the first file from his future self – and forward again and Kagame is asking an elderly Julian whether he should trust Alec – and then back again, and Alec calls Kiera and confesses it was him who sent her back and that she would never believe why-
And damn it, that’s where the finale ends!
So, cue the theory
I think there’s still a piece of the puzzle missing. At the moment I’m speculating that it’s something along the lines of the future Alec getting a glimpse of a further future and seeing something pretty terrible. Something so terrible, it puts Kagame and him on the same side. I’m guessing the privateers/ freelancers and Mr Escher are involved in creating this terrible future.
And an addendum: in the first few episodes, Kiera mentions being in military service, but in later episodes they mention indentured soldiers . Is this a case of ‘freemen’ being commissioned officers and the indentured being the non-commissioned soldiers? Talk about echoes of feudalism.