Continuum is back! Outstanding banter and dialogue that has been a hallmark of this show from day one. Intense action sequences, intelligent sublayers and seeding of a larger plot for the season.
This episode needed to quickly button some things left dangling at the end of Season Three and that felt a bit rushed. Kiera abruptly shifting motivations from abandoning a return to her future in 3x13 to desperation to get home in 4x01 felt forced, but we suspect that might not have been the case if this were not the final six episodes.
Loose ends are buttoned, seeds are planted and all sides maneuver to secure their futures in Continuum’s triumphant return.
CAUTION: SPOILERS AHEAD IN OUR DETAILED REVIEW
Continuum — With the death of Piron Alec (Erik Knudsen) at the hands of his alter ego, SadTech Alec (also Erik Knudsen), the promise of a future that is a blank slate finally looks possible. That is until Brad’s (Ryan Robbins) beacon into his 2039 future returns a squad of his fellow soldiers, all armed to the teeth and brandishing a destructive agenda of their own from future Warlord Kellog (Stephen Lobo). In a narrow escape, Keira’s (Rachel Nichols) advanced technology is useless against the heavily armored squad leaving her unconscious where an all-too-real CMR simulation painfully reminds her of the life, and son, she left behind. When she wakes, her maternal instincts make her priorities abundantly clear. She must find a way back home. To do so, she pleads her case to the surviving Alec, who agrees to help her.
Meanwhile, Alec also sets his sights on reclaiming Piron from 2015 Kellog (Stephen Lobo) and enlists the help of a wary Lucas (Omari Newton) and cautious Julian (Richard Harmon) in a devious game of computer hacking and corporate espionage to do just that. As Carlos (Victor Webster) and Keira unsuccessfully shake down Kellog for information about the future soldiers, the first move by Alec, Lucas and Julian brings Piron, and Kellog’s HALO network, to its knees. In the aftermath, Alec assures Keira that his motive was not simple revenge. Time travel research stolen during the attack was essential to send her home. Worried about Brad, Keira sets out to find him. He hasn’t been well received by his fellow soldiers, and when an eavesdropping Kiera is discovered by the squad, all hell breaks loose. It becomes painfully clear in a hurry that stopping them is going put everyone in the fight of their lives in the fourth and final season of Continuum!
Liber8, Time Travel Team Six and deja vu all over again.
Swagger and a quiet, focused tension might best describe the armored team that arrived from the future. Time Travel Team Six, as Alec coins them, means business. They are a group of few words. Their motivations are unknown. Their true agenda is referred to only in cryptic terms that suggest their presence in 2015 may be a final act of desperation in some larger game to alter the present and win the future. Sound familiar Continuum fans?
“I just feel like we’ve been down this road before. It’s Liber8 all over again.” ~ Carlos
Perhaps you’re not far off Carlos. Only this time, instead of prisoners bewildered by a time travel experience gone awry, this crew came back armed to the hilt and with an immediate purpose in mind. The Continuum writers’ room has chosen a path with similarities and differences to bring their grand story of time travel, injustice and redemption to a close. With only six episodes left to wrap the tale, Simon Barry has chosen this group of six as a dynamic catalyst to set new paths in motion.
Understated and aggressively subtle, the group as a whole felt very much the same, but small wrinkles of uniqueness did seep through the commonality. Michael Eklund as Zorin may be the one amongst the bunch that is the most brash and Kyra Zagorsky as Vasquez also set herself apart in small cunning ways. But it was Nolan (Lisa Berry) that dropped the most curious hint while defending Marcellus’s (Ty Olsson) secrecy to Brad who struggled to gain acceptance and footing with his own group.
“You’re breaking down the power suits, cannibalizing the core components. What exactly are you building?” ~ Brad
“This mission is a need-to-know basis, and you don’t need to know.” ~ Marcellus
“Give it time. Marcellus has a lot on his plate and you–“ ~ Nolan
“What about me?” ~ Brad
“Well, you can’t see what we can.” ~ Nolan
Despite Brad’s ties to the group, he isn’t trusted by them and likely for good reason. After all they did find him with Kiera when they arrived. With orders to eliminate all “Timers” in play, he certainly has gone against his mandate. Things get rather complicated on this show in a hurry. The real question is, what is it that they see that no one else can? No one offered an explanation in the first episode, but knowing Simon Barry, one is coming. Rarely is anything in a Continuum script throw-away dialogue. Everything means something.
While the time marines and their advanced tech—even more advanced in some ways than Keira’s—certainly injected some action into the first episode, it was another dynamic that likely had fans most excited. This group of super soldiers from the future galvanized—at least for now—Liber8, Alec, Keira and Carlos in a clearly divided line against Kellog and his 2039 insurgents. Let’s face it, Continuum fans have come to love their Kierza duo—Kiera and Garza (Luvia Petersen)—and who didn’t get a huge kick out of seeing Lucas, Alec and Julian all working to fire the first shot against Piron and Kellog?
To a person, the Continuum cast, writers and crew have all stated again and again that the final season is for the fans and this new group of soldiers has already made possible moments we loved seeing. Time will tell what their true agenda is and if the fragile alliances formed around their arrival can hold together. Something tells us that things will get incredibly sticky for everyone before it’s over.
Agendas. Everybody has one, but are they all on a collision course where no one can win?
When Kiera popped awake from her CMR simulation, she had a definitive purpose to get home. We’ll have to hand it to her CMR, it aged Sam (Sean Michael Kyer) nicely. Granted that was the easiest way to bring back Sean Michael Kyer three years later to reprise his role and have it make complete sense. Rachel Nichols nailed the emotional tone of that moment and we felt her fear and pain as she was pulled out of the simulation. She’s now a woman on a mission.
“I want to go home, Alec. And I need you to send me.” ~ Kiera
But she’s not the only one with a very clear path. For a show that’s asked tough questions about how to secure a better future, an abbreviated season and looming series end has forced the writing team, and Simon Barry who penned this episode, into creating some definitive direction for everyone—for the moment. It’s not surprising we get impression all those paths are on the outskirts of a circle and everyone is headed toward a collision at the center.
Kellog is wining and dining the good life now that he’s used his devious skills to try Piron on for size. To be honest, he’s one of the few characters that hasn’t changed direction much since the beginning. His only goal has been to look out for Kellog and use his knowledge of the future to get rich doing it. With the keys to the Piron kingdom in his possession he seems right on the cusp of where he set out to be. The question will be just how the time marines fit into the picture. Is he considered by them to be an ally? Or in 2015 is he just another “Timer” to be eliminated? Inquiring Continuum fans would like to know.
Alec on the other hand seems hell-bent on getting Piron back and hurting Kellog in the process. Alec has already sacrificed so much of himself by traveling back in time to save Emily and in so doing killing his alter ego. We’re with Emily (Magda Apanowicz). Is Alec prepared for the consequences of creating the havoc he’s planned? And how in all that’s holy is he still sane after stabbing and killing his other self? We’re pretty sure we’d have lost our minds. Alec must contain a bit of Hobbit blood. He’s made of sterner stuff than we knew. Sane or not, he’s got his sights set squarely on Kellog as a target.
That said, it works out well that Alec’s agenda for vengeance just happens to line up with Keira’s need to go home and Liber8’s need to stop Kellog from amassing power. For this episode at least, everyone played nice. But what happens when individual agendas begin to deviate? Lucas and Garza are clearly wary. And for good reason. They’ve got no reason to really trust anyone other than themselves when the chips are down. That’s a spicy brew Simon Barry is concocting. We’re popping popcorn to sit back and watch the inevitable clash to come.
The wild cards are Curtis (Terry Chen) and The Traveler (Vladimir Ruzich). While Curtis has spouted cryptic warnings and mentions of destiny, we still have no clear idea of his intentions and that of The Traveler. One thing seems apparent. By shutting out Curtis, Kellog may have pushed away one of the few allies he might have had and he could be in much bigger trouble now than he realizes.
“I don’t think any of us can afford to let Kellogg become more powerful. More insulated. Build and control an army that shapes history his way.” ~ Curtis
“What are you saying?” ~ Garza
“I’m saying what’s good for you and Liber8 is most likely what’s bad for Kellogg.” ~ Curtis
“You want us to take out Kellogg? To do your dirty work?” ~ Garza
“No. No, I think you’ve got plenty of good reasons to kill Kellogg. I just don’t think you can afford to waste any more time.” ~ Curtis
With that little tidbit and future Kellog making his Jedi appearance to his younger self, it would seem that this episode ended with everyone taking sides—either for or against Kellog. Unfortunately for Kellog, it would seem that he might be right surrounded by everyone else’s agenda and the collision at the center might happen right at his feet. Superb writing and quality performance by everyone involved are starting to tip the Continuum powder keg dangerously close to the open flame. Popcorn anyone?
DEFCON One requires badass and a Supersuit.
We need a super suit. Every time we see something new that suit will do, we want one even more. Students who have poured sweat and tears into an egg drop from a substantial height inside of a contraption designed to prevent the egg from breaking applauded when Kiera’s yoke didn’t end up all over the street. Someone from 2077 built a kickass egg drop winner. Yep. We clearly need a super suit. Invisibility and the occasional electrocution would come in handy quite often too.
“That never gets old.” ~ Carlos
But if we can’t have a super suit, we want the next best things. Incredible Visual Effects from Artifex Studios under the guiding hand of Visual Effects Supervisor Adam Stern and a kick ass stunt team. While Kiera’s clash with the super six was a combination of solid stunt work and great practical or visual effects, the fight sequences of this show never cease to amaze us. Credit Stunt Coordinators Kimani Ray Smith and Randy Lee for devising one hell of a sequence as thugs cornered Emily (Magda Apanowicz) and she fought—quite effectively we might add—for her life. We applaud everyone involved for achieving what loyal fans have come to expect from Continuum—fight sequences that simply blow our socks off.
Yes, our minds are blown by the story, but in the middle of that we find ourselves catching our breath from stunt work that is simply off the charts. Bravo to the entire Effects and Stunt teams for another job very well done, but we’re wagging our finger at you Simon Barry for leaving us hanging on Emily’s fate! Just kidding. Sorta. We have five episodes left to get it sorted out right?
FINAL VERDICT: The pieces are being maneuvered into place for a showdown that may ultimately throw everyone into harm’s way. Who’s agenda and which future will emerge victorious in the final season of Continuum? Can anyone really win the future or will destiny catch up with them all?
After an extended layoff Continuum fans could finally breathe a sigh of relief and celebrate its return to the small screen. After months of not knowing if the series would return for a fourth season, fans finally got their wish as an abbreviate final season began in Canada on Showcase and a week later in the U.S. on SyFy.
If there’s a trademark feature of Continuum it would be its ability to create shades of gray for all its characters in ways that are relatable and make sense. This has been a key element that has helped the show connect so deeply with loyal fans. Every character has likable qualities mixed in with questionable ones. No one character is totally in the right and no one is totally in the wrong, though some certainly lean more in one direction than the other.
That landscape of relatable characters has given the writing team a tremendous canvas to mix and match individual agendas where characters have things in common and then just as easily break those alliances when threats are eliminated. The grand diversity of an ensemble cast of well-defined characters that can mix and match with so many others creates unique story opportunities. And that is something rare and special.
Though the first episode did have action and intensity in places, it felt very much like the maneuvering of opponents as everyone puts pieces in place before the final showdown. The crisp, smart dialogue we’ve come to love from this show was present throughout. It doesn’t take long to realize just how much ground the Continuum writers’ room covers in a short amount of time. Continuum scripts are full of dialogue that matter and this episode, Written by Executive Producer and Creator Simon Barry was no exception. We dare anyone to find wasted words. There simply aren’t very many.
Executive Producer and Director Pat Williams, after directing over a dozen episodes of the series was up to the task of bringing a much-anticipated and complex story to life. Together with Director of Photography David Pellitier, several sequences captured a very different feel for this show—most especially Kiera’s CMR simulation which was beautifully shot with a sunset glow. All together, the episode was cohesive and tight. The first few minutes felt a little like there’d been a long layoff, but that didn’t last. No one thing stood out, but many of the actors have changed slightly since season 3 ended. That couldn’t be helped and after a while this was simply Continuum as it always has been.
We will admit to perhaps feeling a tad deflated after such a long layoff and such high expectations. This episode had incredible shoes to fill. For the most part it did that well and accomplished exactly what was needed, but there weren’t any jaw dropping revelations that we hoped might emerge. The pieces however are set for a final season and though many questions remain, things felt back in the groove before the episode ended.
Continuum has always been one of the smartest shows on television and that vibe ebbed through in the end. There are five episodes left of this series and we get the distinct impression that each is going to deliver an emotional and intellectual punch down the stretch. Loyalties will likely be tested and no one will be safe from harm as the agendas of all the individuals on this show come to a head. Small clues this week suggest that will be surprises in store for certain and we don’t plan to miss a minute of Continuum to find out what’s next!
Questions, Comments, Concerns and My Reaction on Twitter…
- We’ve tweeted, retweeted, asked & asked. Our moment we’ve waited for is FINALLY here! Thus begins #Continuum 4×01
- A HUGE thank you to @SimonDavisBarry & all the cast & crew of @ContinuumSeries for making this moment happen for the #NuumNUTS!
- Kellogg happened. Well, that’s not the first time that will happen I think.
- Lights blinking all over the city can’t be a good thing.
- RUN #Continuum
- That’s some kick ass tech those #TimeMarine are sporting.
- Ooo .. different visual spectrums. Predator style.
- Damn. I think you’re outgunned Kiera.
- The future! Wake up Keira. 🙂 Anndddd .. welcome Back Kiera.
- This opening sequence is SO badass. Nicely done @ContinuumSeries!
- Producer @RachelNichols1 .. very nice!
- Awe. Little Sam has grown. 🙂 Beautiful moment so well done @RachelNichols1
- No worries Carlos. She just went through a truck door. The hard way. 😉
- Things got complicated. On this show, it always does. @RyRobbins
- It’s time for me to focus on myself. That CMR simulation hit harder than we thought. Or, the bump on the head. @RachelNichols1
- Revenge. Payback. She doesn’t know. Uh oh. Will agendas collide?
- Think of the Traveler as a roadmap. @theterrychen To where?? When??
- Your destiny will catch up to you. And bring you back to me. To us. That sounded foreboding.
- It might be fun to shake the tree first. Hee hee. Let’s go tree shaking
- That was a stellar scene. Love the tension and the sense of purpose @OmariAkilNewton & @Luvia_Petersen! Plus GREAT writing!
- Okay, I’m having a nerdgasm here with both @OmariAkilNewton and @ErikKWKnudsen combining brain pans!
- Excuse me ma’am, this is a private party .. zzzztt.
- Ahh .. that never gets old! Hahaha!! No!
- In your face Kellog. Oh yeah!
- Somebody mad at you Kellog? Ya think Carlos? #MabyeEverybody
- Bring it. DefCon 1 is coming I think. This will be a wild ride!
- Um. Yeah, this show doesn’t have an audience. 🙂 ONLY a wildly dedicated one that has #Continuum TRENDING in the US!
- What exactly are you building? This mission is on a need to know and you don’t need to know. Smack.
- What? Carlos isn’t ALREADY on speed dial? He’s gonna be so hurt. lol
- Oh shit! So much for the invisible feature! And the pen Alek? Why??
- Holy door holes! Nice shot. Blow me. Lover’s quarrel? Friendly banter?
- You can’t see what we see. That statement means more than we know I think.
- Damn! @MagdaEh just went #BlackWidow on his ass!!
- I need to believe that path still exists for me.
- When both @webstervictor & @RachelNichols1 cry I do too. 🙁
- Okay, the Traveler is REALLY tall @theterrychen. Dude is huge!
- That episode was a grand opening of a season we’ve all been waiting patiently to see. Thank you @SimonDavisBarry!
Continuum Review: 4×01 “Lost Hours”