Continuum review – 1×06: ‘Time’s Up’

Courtesy of Showcase

It’s been two weeks since the last new Continuum so the momentum has slowed down a tad. And while ‘Time’s Up’ doesn’t necessarily prove to be the most energizing of the series’ six episodes, it does provide a deviation point in the methodologies of Liber8.

Let’s bitch it out…

For those who live in Vancouver, I wonder if the riot scenes from ‘Time’s Up’ were a little too on point. It’s only been a year since the Stanley Cup riots and individuals are still being charged so this is likely still fresh in people’s minds. Of course, as Kagame (Tony Amendola) espouses throughout the hour, this kind of conflict is but one form of persuasion. It’s with this mindset in place that he and his 2077 crew deviate from their traditional “hands-on” pattern of violence and initiate a full scale, democratically determined revolution.

If ‘Time’s Up’ does anything, it gives us an idea of how Liber8 will advance their people’s movement / agenda moving forward. Alec (Erik Knudsen) makes the keen observation that this is the first time that Liber8 has used other people to do their bidding (in this case it’s both the protestors/rioters, as well as the corrupt officials inside Exotrol). Naturally the crime is never simply black or white, since Continuum refuses to simply create ‘good’ and ‘bad’ guys. Instead the woman that Liber8 kidnaps, Exotrol CEO Henrietta Sherman (Marilyn Norry) is a white collar criminal who’s been penny pinching her employees pensions and wholly deserves to be punished (although not to this extent). Let’s be honest: the fact that Liber8 allows individuals to vote on capital punishment as her sentence is a bit severe.

The case, ultimately, is less interesting than what it tells us about the players. And Continuum very clearly wants us to see this as both a) a game (hence the chess match between Kagame and Lexa Doig’s Sonya), and b) an educational lesson in modern day propaganda. The lesson – wrapped in a q&a about how banking corporations covered up the 2011 stock crash in the future by rewriting history – is a nice, simple narrative technique. It infers the dangers of both a revolutionary society, but does not condone the complacent society we’ve seen in 2077. It’s ironic that this format is the same “case of the week that shines a light on the modus operandi of these criminals” that was employed in 1×04 ‘Matter Of Time‘ because it’s handled much better here. That’s because even though we don’t know – or for that matter care – about Henrietta Sherman or her crime, the kidnapping and bombing plugs in directly to what’s happening here and now instead of simply filling in blanks about the future.

Courtesy of Showcase

Other Observations:

  • Alec’s home life begins to take center stage as step-brother, Julian (Richard Harmon), gets involved in the riots. Why or how he became a member of the radical group is uncertain, but I like that Alec not only figures out Julian’s role, but actually tells his parents and the situation comes out in a single episode. Traditionally this is the kind of storyline that gets dragged out over multiple episodes, so while I doubt it’s been resolved, it’s nice that we don’t have to suspend belief that the parents would figure out Julian is up to something
  • Unfortunately the show does continue to want us to believe Carlos (Victor Webster) is an idiot. How many times can Kiera (Rachel Nichols) have a ‘hunch’ or inside intel before we simply accept that Carlos is a terrible investigator for not suspecting her methods? I’m very nearly there, if not already past
  • Speaking of silly: Kiera has a truth telling injection thing? The barometer just swung from ‘convenient’ to ‘oh come on!’ These plot contrivances (which seem to number approximately 1-2 per episode) completely take me out of the show and really diminish the quality of the other narrative elements. I get the it’s important for them to get from clue a to clue b, but it has to happened organically, or else the story needs to be broken down again and better
  • I remain intrigued by the relationship between Kagame and Sonya. When he first returned, I suggested that Sonya would ultimately choose between him and Travis (Roger Cross). Notice that tonight Kagame spends the majority of his time with Sonya and she shares zero scenes with Travis? It seems like she’s beginning to choose – or at least we can infer as much based on her proximity and interactions
  • I still really like that the show is slowly revealing that Kiera is not the black and white protector we met in the pilot. It does make her actions early in the series a little harder to explain, but it’s clear now that in the future she was aware of discrepancies in the way society worked. Also? ‘Criminals’ stealing food = dystopia. Just look at Demolition Man
  • LOL moment is when Alec has to let Betty (Jennifer Spence) take credit for his online detective skills. Although Alec is a pretty astute kid when it comes to all of his “tech” stuff (as his step-father might say), moments like this help to remind us that he remains – in fact – a kid
  • Speaking of 2077, is anyone unconvinced at this point that Kiera’s husband, Greg (John Reardon) is a dirty politician? Every episode he knows more and more about the illegal or unscrupulous activities of the corporation government in the future, which only serves to make Liber8 look more and more moderate. Which is saying something considering this is a group that nearly stages a public execution!

We’re more than halfway through the season at this point. Any ideas where this baby might go? Where will Alec and Julian’s story go next (will Julian make a fertilizer bomb out on the farm?) If Sonya sleeps with Kagame will we all throw up a little in our mouths? And on a scale of one to awwww sh*t, how bad is it that Kellog (Stephen Lobo) discovered the weird future tech Kiera was hiding in her vent? Hit the comments below

Continuum airs Sundays at 9pm EST on Showcase (in Canada)

About cinephilactic

cinephilactic is a university contract instructor in Film Studies. He is an avid TV watcher, particularly science-fiction, fantasy and drama series. His favourite shows currently airing on TV include The Good Wife, Breaking Bad, Justified, Hannibal, Game Of Thrones and a smattering of shows on The CW. He has a tendency to "hate-watch" particular shows and likes to think that his sarcastic voice comes through in his reviews, though sometimes he's just being bitchy

3 thoughts on “Continuum review – 1×06: ‘Time’s Up’

  1. Interesting point about Kellogg having the missing piece of the time travel ‘device’. I skipped over it in my review too, but it raises a ton of questions. Here’s my take:

    Kellogg’s already profiting from his knowledge of the future by playing the stock market. Will he be the ripple effect that creates the future Kiera came from? Let’s assume that he continues to invest – will he eventually end up backing Sadler and other corporates and find himself at the top of the evil corporate pile, consumed by greed because it was so easy to gain riches?

    In which case, it would be brilliantly ironic that Liber8 brought Kellogg back to 2012 and set him on the path that would create the future that they were fighting against. Beautiful.