Continuum review – 1×09: ‘Family Time’

Courtesy of Showcase

Called it! One week after Kagame (Tony Amendola) correctly identifies Kiera’s (Rachel Nichols) accomplice in crime-fighting, Alec’s (Erik Knudsen) family home comes under attack…but not in the way I was expecting.

Let’s bitch it out…Well, I can honestly say that that was not what I was expecting Continuum to do. When we saw last week that Kagame was onto Alec,  I never thought that an attack on the farm would not involve the Liber8 crew. Instead they spend almost the entirety of the episode on stage right, watching the hostage situation on TV (does this mean that they’re standing in for us?). Obviously there is doom in every moment as Kagame explains to Sonya (Lexa Doig) that the results of the hostage situation will define who he is to become, but for the most part, the events of ‘Family Time’ are Liber8 free (albeit inspired by).

My surprise over the lack of Liber8 is offset, however, by the huge obvious plot point looming over the entire episode. As soon as the negotiator and his team identify Alec’s step-father, Roland (Michael Rogers) as the principle threat, it is pretty clear that he won’t make it to the end of the episode. I mean, seriously, he might as well have been wearing a red shirt. Is a bullseye on his shirt too subtle?

It’s frustrating because despite the concessions that show makes with the capabilities of technology (ie: the suit, Alec’s propensity for being able to solve any problem Kiera encounters), Continuum is usually pretty good at zigging when you think it’ll zag. The death of Julian’s (Richard Harmon) father is far too telegraphed to produce any genuine surprise, and makes everything feel anti-climatic since that is clearly what Kagame is referencing in his conversation with Sonya.

Courtesy of Showcase

The other element that doesn’t quite work for me? Kiera’s confession to Carlos (Victor Webster) as he lays on his deathbed. I know that it’s an emotionally charged moment and he’s just confessed to her, but I don’t doubt that he won’t remember what she said once he’s recovered. This is just too cliched not to end in two ways: he’ll forget or he’ll remember hearing it, prompting Kiera to deny it (or him to catch her in a lie) and this will set him down a path to discovering the truth. Either way, it’s too familiar a narrative technique and I wish that the show hadn’t gone down this route. Isn’t Carlos smart enough to have figured it out on his own, rather than have to have her confess?

What saves the episode for me is that I didn’t anticipate that Julian would plow head-on into terrorism and be responsible for the events on the farm. I also didn’t anticipate that his accomplices would be his friends, ie: stupid teenagers. It is interesting to see how misguided and uninformed they are: they believe in their anti-corporate rhetoric, but clearly lack the planning and organization required to successfully pull it off. Only Julian seems truly on top of things, but his friends overrule him at every turn. That Kagame phones Julian in the end and recruits him into the fold is hardly surprising (it’s likely been in the works since the riots of  1×06 ‘Time’s Up‘ ). These actions do, however, lay substantial groundwork for things to come.

So what role with the step-brothers now play in how the future is decided? Is this the move that drives Alec into the role we’ve seen him play in the future, just as Julian sides with the Liber8 movement? I guess we’ll have to wait until next week’s finale to find out.

Other Observations:

  • As SciFiEmpire critiques, it is a bit of a jump for Julian to go from participating in the riots to mixing a giant bomb in the barn, but Kiera does mention that months have passed. More astute is their observation that Kiera shoots Hoyt (Wesley MacInnes) in the shoulder, but somehow kills him. How does that work exactly???
  • The suit is fixed! I definitely prefer it in black, though I can’t say that I’m overly excited to see its return. In early episodes the suit was a James Bond gizmo: it was everything Kiera needed it to be and when it short circuited she was forced to rely more on her friends, her partner and her own abilities. Now that it’s back (opening locks, preventing gunshots and protecting against propane explosions), Kiera is a little more superpowered than I like. I hope that this doesn’t mean a return of Robo-Protector from the future in the show’s final hour next week
  • One of the more interesting pieces is the bracketing device showing the death of Kellog’s (Stephen Lobo) sister and his capture in 2077. Is this the crime that gets Kellog the death penalty along with the other Liber8-ers? Frankly I’d be surprised if this didn’t turn out to be his motivation for turning on Kiera in the finale. For now however, there’s a suggestion that the two of them will finally act on their mutual attraction and get down. I don’t doubt it won’t go further than we’ve seen, though – Kiera isn’t the type to throw away her marriage for Kellog, even though we all know that her 2077 marriage is a huge sham.
  • No Greg (John Reardon) and no members of Liber8 except Sonya and Kagame this week. Guess they’re saving everyone for the big finale, huh?
  • Oh, also…the final image of the tattoo: a visual symbol of Julian’s adoption of Liber8 principles or a super-obvious clue that Julian is Kagame? Colour me confused

Best Lines:

  • Kiera (to Kellog): “Does this conversation come in ‘interesting’?”
  • Kellog (when Kiera reminds Kellog she’s married): “There you’re married, here you’re alone. Like me”

What did you think of the penultimate episode of Continuum: did the farm battle turn out as you expected, or were surprised by something? Do you think Carlos will remember Kiera’s confession? And what would you like to see happen in the finale now that the battle lines have been firmly drawn between Alec and Julian? Talk it out below

Continuum airs Sundays at 9pm EST on Showcase (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 – 1×09: ‘Family Time’

  1. I know what I would NOT like to see in the finale… Kellog turning on Kiera. I really love them together, and I would be bitterly disappointed if that happened.

    I’m very excited, my only wish is for Kiera, Alec, and Kellog to all make it through the finale alive. I think Kiera and Alec are pretty safe, but I fear for Kellog.

    • I, too, wonder what will happen with Kellog. It was pretty telling that in this episode we see his sister die and get a reminder that his grandmother was recently killed (by Kagame). He’s suffered a lot of tragedy in just 9 episodes!

  2. “Oh, also…the final image of the tattoo: a visual symbol of Julian’s adoption of Liber8 principles or a super-obvious clue that Julian is Kagame? Colour me confused”

    But didn’t we see Kagame’s mother pregnant with him in A Test of Time?