Continuum: Endtimes Review (Mania.com)

By:Chuck Francisco
Review Date: Tuesday, March 19, 2013
Source: Mania.com

The end has come and with it some questions have been answered. Delivered like a punch from Mike Tyson, we're suddenly enlightened and yet at the same time dazzled by more questions. Our Canadian Maniacs who prophesied a magnificent ending to the first season should feel vindicated, as the show has certainly delivered. It is a welcome reminder in our fast paced times that some experiences may not start off at full steam, but are worthing giving a chance to develop. It's a lesson I sometimes am forgetful of but one which I'm grateful to be reminded of.


Certainly lessons learned are a central theme of this week's Continuum. Revelations and new perspectives are not limited to our end as viewers, but rather spread around the spectrum of characters like a fanned out deck of cards. And just like those cards, it seems like nearly everything is on the table between Kiera and Kellog. The intoxicated sparks from the end of last week's episode ignited into an evening of carnal delights. In a rare turn it is Kellog who is being manipulated as Kiera used sex as a diversion to reacquire her stole portion of the time travel device. She warns him off, insisting their encounter never happened and won't happen again, but into his comforting company she quickly returns after failing to avert the world changing bombing. Kiera's lesson is in subterfuge, while it seems Kellog is learning to become a good person. From what we know of his history, he could have been one all his life if not for the brutal tactics of corporate oppression. 


We learn a great deal more about Kagame this week. My conjectures in last week's review forgot to take into account that we actually see his mother pregnant with him in an episode, so he cannot be Julian. In fact we find that Julian becomes Kagame's mentor down the line (still alive and imprisoned as Kagame awaits execution). I'm certain there's a piece of the puzzle in old Julian referring to Alec as "my brother" when younger Julian always specifically refers to him as "my step-brother", but There isn't enough additional information to solidly make a prediction. It has to mean something as that's too convenient a descriptor change to be coincidental. We also learn that whatever old Alec's plan entails, it's convincing enough to win a visible furious Kagame over. Kudos to Tony Amendola for masterfully conveying absolute hatred, dangerously confined anguish, and certain murder through his facial expressions in only a matter of seconds. While it's certain the former Liber8 leader will return in flashback sequences, his presence will be missed on the series. 


We also learn that it's Sonya who is to succeed Kagame as the leader of Liber8 and that part of the plan is to possibly remove Travis, at least that's how it's left as we pause between seasons. Another possibility is that Sonya allows him to live with assurances that he will follow her. Their history as lovers lends credence in this direction. It would also create a more tense and interesting subplot for the first half of season two. A brilliant move by the creative team was to use Sonya as heavy muscle in early episodes, then transition her to a more subdued role as protege to Kagame as we closed on the end of the season. How much information on Kagame and Older Alec's plan is detailed in the safety deposit box he leaves her? And was that placed there by Kagame or by one of these mysterious freelancers?


The number of time travel free radicals multiplied this week with the introduction of Jason, a prison worker from 2077 who was sent back with everyone else but because of some unknown factor was sent to 1992. He's spent twenty years unsuccessfully attempting to convince everyone of the impending societal upheaval. For his pains he was committed to a mental institution, which did far more damage to him, leaving him more than a little unhinged. Clearly his time machine is more shades conspiracy theory then scientific ingenuity. Because of this it's entirely likely that his freelance mercenary time travelers are a fabrication of his fractured mind. It's completely feasible that these unknown entities do exist though, once the time travel cat is out of the bag. I believe the show runners will use that unknown paranoia to great effect next season, straining Kiera's credibility with those around her as she see phantom menaces behind every action.


Yet another's obstacle to be thrown in Kiera's way is the special investigation agent. He'd been thrown off the scent by a mysterious call validating Kiera as a Section 6 agent, but that smoke screen was undone when he watched her activate her suit's shielding to protect herself and Alec, then when she activates her cloaking system. So he's likely it initiate a personal witch hunt after Kiera, even if he has to defy orders to do so. I wonder if a time travel policing agency may have been created and named Section 6 after Kiera's initial faux department. Older Alec would be behind it's inception, of course.


And of course we don't discover what old Alec's message to his younger counter part contains, being teased with a massive cliffhanger as the credits roll. He does confirm that the entire Liber8 escape was engineer purposefully by his older self and that Kiera's inclusion was not at all accidental. It makes me wonder how much Kiera's husband (who is clearly in Sadler's inner circle), knew about his bosses' plans for his wife. It's an amazing thing when a show can offer so much dynamic content and spur on so much speculation. 


The first season of Contiuum has been a steadily improving, thought provoking, heady time travel adventure. With plenty of mystery blooming from the early episodic roots, there's no indication of season two delivering anything less. Our fortunate Canadian brethren resume the journey on April 21st, but we Yanks will have to wait until next winter most likely. It's cold comfort, but at least season one comes to Blu-ray next week (and I've got a review of the set for you inbound). It's been a great ride, Maniacs. If you've stuck with the show (and my week reviews), I hope you've had as much fun as I have. Thanks for all of the comments, as I really dig the discussion we're getting from the show. See you in the future!

 

Chuck Francisco is a columnist and critic for Mania, writing Saturday's Shock-O-Rama, the weekly look into classic cult, horror and sci-fi. He is a co-curator of several repertoire film series at the world famousColonial Theatre in Phoenixville, PA. You can hear him drop nerd knowledge on weekly podcast You've Got Geek or think him a fool of a Took on Twitter.



Mania Grade: A
Episode: Endtimes (Season 1, Episode 10)
Starring: Rachel Nichols, Victor Webster, Erik Knudsen, Stephen Lobo, Roger Cross, Tony Amendola
Written By: Simon Barry
Directed By: Patrick Williams
Network: SyFy
Studio: Reunion Pictures
Series: