Season 3 Premiere: Minute by Minute spoilers ahead
Written by Simon Barry
Directed by Pat Williams
Last season on Continuum
“There will still be an anomaly, a glitch in the continuum: you.” –Warren
In the words of the late Dr. Seuss: “How did it get so late so soon?” The season 3 premiere of Showcase’s Continuum delivered its high-impact, timey-wimey, physics-defying status-quo, putting every show I currently enjoy to shame, and making me wonder why it is so dang hard for everyone to do exactly what this crew is accomplishing.
Ever heard of the band Deer Tick? One of my favorite bands. The song Not So Dense (from the album War Elephant) was going through my mind as I was watching the premiere for some reason. Couple lines from the song: “Have you ever felt too far gone to be a sinner / But you know yourself too well to ever be a saint? / Well it’s okay ’cause the kids are making models of God out of papier mâché. / Why did you ever vow to take the decadent path? ‘Cause you smile like a devil and shut up like a trap. / Well it’s okay ’cause you fixed your scruff so now you can be properly scragged.” Then the last stanza is: “Farmed in a factory gets devoured / and the manmade machinery gets empowered / And if you don’t drink your milk young man / you know it will turn sour / and I watch sixty minutes go by hour after hour after hour!”
Before you think I’ve lost it, I’ll explain. Essentially what we are seeing in this premiere is a timeline that is crumbling before Kiera’s eyes. Mistakes she has made in the recent past, due to personal choices and external influences, plague their current predicament. Perhaps a good phrase to use here is “destruction through the advancement of technology.” (Please catch that reference.) Time travel has, in a sense, stripped Kiera and Alec of a conscientious perspective of the earth and its resources. Most people set out to do good things (joining CPS to protect, joining Liber8 to stand up against, developing advanced technologies to improve life), but there are so many uncertainties in life that end up leading us down paths we could have not known when we started out. The song has a distinct feeling of despair that results from either neglect or personal choices that affect a very large scale, and that’s the biggest impression I came away with from the premiere.
Because Alec Sadler no longer exists in this branch of the continuum, there is an anomaly, an even greater one than Warren had pointed out at the end of last season. How can people and objects from the future exist in a past where the person who will bring about their creation does not exist? We’ve asked all the questions about the rules of time travel and the paradoxes that might result from it, but for sixty minutes every week we engage in a world where every second counts, and minute-by-minute time flows by. Except in this world time can be reclaimed.
Remember when I referred to season 2 as “The Darkest Timeline” (Community reference)? One of the theories I threw out last August when the show left us for an excruciating hiatus was lovingly torn to shreds, while the other came a little closer. Within the “Darkest Timeline” analysis, I was making assumptions about the Freelancers based on the proximity of certain events (i.e. Curtis in the cell with the writing on the wall, Jason’s whacko explanations). Ironically, I just outlined how this happens in the good mystery novels in one of my Lost in Literature posts and it applies here too. There was certainly a bit of misdirection at play, but we simply did not know anything concrete about the Freelancers because nothing we knew came from the source. I am glad things got cleared up.
HOW CLOSE I WAS
One question I asked at the end of last season was whether we’d be seeing a timeline reset, if the events at the end of the season finale depicted a “worst case scenario” in which all the characters head down their darkest paths in the face of the woes that have overcome them. I felt fairly certain we’d see Alec time traveling, but didn’t know to what extent. I wasn’t too far off!
Perhaps “reset” is the wrong word, though. Maybe timeline “rewind” is better? A reset probably wouldn’t have 2 Alecs and 2 Kieras, or 2 of anyone really. But, in effect, Alec’s existence in this timeline introduces another variable which then might count as a reset. I don’t mean to get hung up on semantics, my intention is only to set up the rest of this post. This is definitely more Primer than it is season 4 Fringe.
HOW WRONG I WAS
I am not ashamed at all to say I understood the Freelancers incorrectly. Their actual story is too cool for my pride to be seriously wounded. I really thought that they flitted in and out of time periods, correcting mistakes and influencing events, but that is not how they are at all. And I love that!
MORE TO COME
This post got really long so I split it into two parts. The premiere got me excited for a couple things:
- Kiera has to decide which version of Alec lives/survives.
- Did Kiera kill herself????
- Is Emily the Sniper another time traveler? Is she from this current timeline helping Kellogg to get out from under Escher, or is she from the future, helping Kellogg because she knows what he’s trying to do?
- Will an alliance strike up between Kiera and Garza? Please say yes.