Continuum 1.03 "Fast Times" TV REVIEW
Writer: Simon Barry
Director: David Frazee
THE ONE WHERE Liber8 leader Travis is dying, so his team go on a killing spree to secure human growth hormones to help him. Meanwhile, Kellog strikes up a deal with Kiera.
VERDICT This week’s episode sets up yet another relationship for Kiera, who’s already busy working with Alec and Carlos – boy, can this woman network! She may have bitten off more than she can chew with Kellog, however, who’s played with twinkly-eyed charm ’n’ smarm by Stephen Lobo. He’s the kind of guy you wouldn’t trust as far as you could throw him (as Kiera herself says, “If his lips are moving, he’s probably lying”). However, by the end of the episode – after a failed assassination attempt by the rest of the gang – he seems to be on the level in his desire to distance himself from Liber8’s violent behaviour. Or so it seems, anyway; these folks are so tricksy we wouldn’t be surprised if he deliberately almost “kablooied” himself just to make Kiera trust him.
Not much is made of the storyline that has Liber8 medic Sonya (Lexa Doig) killing men to steal their pituitary glands – a well-worn sci-fi telly cliché, by the way, also appearing in The X-Files and Fringe , to name but two. As things stand, we don’t really learn anything about her from this except that she’s ruthless… but we knew that already. Her two colleagues, Chen and Garza, get to look more badass than she does in one single shot of them checking over their weapons. Maybe it's the tattoos.
Weirdly, the scenes with Carlos and Kiera in the morgue, staring down at corpses with huge chunks drilled out of the backs of their heads, seem underplayed; neither of them seem particularly shocked or grossed-out by the strange sight. Perhaps being a cop exposes you to stuff like this all the time, but we can’t imagine being quite that blasé about skull-drillage!
One thing that’s growing stronger every week is Kiera’s fun relationship with Alec, with them bickering about everything from her lack of skill in using a Bluetooth headset to how to play Rock, Paper, Scissors (how depressing that it doesn’t exist in 2077 – how does anyone make a decision in that era?). We also get to see that Alec’s got some shit going down in his own life, with his stepfather fronting some kind of anti-capitalist group – a forerunner of Liber8 itself, perhaps? Given that stepdaddy doesn’t seem to think technology is a good thing, we do wonder what he makes of the fact Alec has a barn filled with computers. Does he even know it’s there?
Special mention goes to the fabulous rough ’n’ tumble fight between Carlos and Chen, with both actors going for it with such gusto they may have been comparing bruises the next day. Good to see Kiera finishing the scrap with her own fists, too, although the fact that Carlos is knocked unconscious so he can’t see her using her suit reeks of Lana fainting while Clark Kent saved the day in Smallville . Please don’t use that cliché too often, writers…
DID YOU NOTICE? Hands up if you realised the name “Herbert George” was a HG Wells reference before they revealed it on the show…
COOL TECH Protectors’ guns fire “tags” so criminals can’t escape the police. Also, Kiera’s gun is DNA-coded so that only she can use it.
OH, THE HUMANITY! Last week we were curious as to why Travis didn’t react when he was tasered. This week we discover that he and members of his team are super-soldiers – and their awesome strength and fighting skills come at the expense of their sanity. Crazy, violent, genetically-engineered terrorists: just what the world needs.
CALL US CHILDISH, BUT… Kiera and Carlos gleefully repeating the word “sperm” earned this episode another half-star.
SUPER-SUIT Kiera’s amazing technicolour dream-suit gets fritzed epby isode’s end, but before it dies she uses it to electrocute Chen. She also mentions that she needs the suit in order to trace the tag she fired into Kellog – thankfully Alec does that for her. By the way, we’re a bit blurry about where the suit’s powers end and where Kiera’s brain chip starts, so excuse us if we occasionally give the suit a power it doesn’t actually have!
Carlos: “It’s nice to know even the government drops calls.”
Kiera: “Just wait ’till the phone company is the government...”
Continuum is airing in the UK on Syfy, Thursdays at 10pm