Continuum 1.10 "End Times" TV REVIEW
Writer: Simon Barry
Director: Pat Williams
THE ONE WHERE Kiera tries to thwart a terrorist attack in central Vancouver that will kill thousands of people, but it seems it's destined to happen...
VERDICT So much happens in this season finale it's hard to know where to start, except to say that it's brilliant. First there's the lovely, circular way it repeats the 9/11-style terrorist attack in the first episode, bringing it into the past with devastating results (and see below for evidence of how this must have planned right from the start). Then there's Kiera meeting up with another time-traveller, a guy who arrived 20 years before she did, played with twitchy conviction by Ian Tracey. She believes that he's built a time machine that can get her home, and her disappointment at the end, when she sees he's just bonkers, is heart-breaking.
The “time machine” itself is pretty cool – it even contains a tuba!
Then there's the arrival of Nicholas Lea as Agent Gardiner, who at first appears to be nothing more than the FBI-visitor-of-the-week. However, by episode's end he has seen Kiera use her suit, not once but twice – so how will that affect season two? Will he hang around to find out what's going on? Now that Kagame and Travis are dead, there may be need of another character to fill out the plot. And we can't think of anyone better than the former Krycek, who even appears on the opening credits alongside another X-Files name (we bet they did that deliberately).
Finally, there’s the mega-twist that future-Alec is responsible for sending Kiera back into the past; he even gives future-Kagame the time-travel device. What's going on? Is he a good guy or a bad guy? We think he must be good, so if he's in league with Liber8, who are the evil ones here? Blimey, this show's got some serious explaining to do in season two...
FORWARD PLANNING In the very first episode of Continuum you see the plaza in which this episode's bomb attack happens; it's used in scenes set in 2012 and 2077. The 2012 plaza has an unbroken sculpture, while the 2077 plaza has a broken sculpture and a memorial. This proves that the finale's terrorist attack was planned as part of the show's timeline right from the start. Fantastic continuity!
TEA AND NO SYMPATHY Check out Kagame and Julian discussing killing thousands of innocent people over a civilised cup of tea. Chilling.
THE MORNING(S) AFTER This episode seems to pick up where the last one left off, with Kiera waking up in Kellog's bed the morning after a night of frolicking. Except Kiera then gets a phone call from Carlos to say he's back at work after being shot... which means several days, possibly even weeks, must have gone by (he was badly injured, after all). So this means Kiera has slept with Kellog more than once. The fact she leaves his boat with the words, “This didn't happen” is a little weird, then, if it's already happened a lot.
Incidentally, Kellog's face is a picture as she walks out. It's basically saying, “I just nailed a CPS agent. Go me!”
STRETCHING BELIEF Somehow Alec saws his way through the plastic ties binding him to a chair using his belt to wear them down. As anyone who's ever handled that plastic can tell you, this would never happen in a million years. Those things could outlast a nuclear apocalypse!
WTF? Kagame tells Alec: “A pebble tossed from a beach can become a tsunami on the other side of the world.” We hate to bust your bubble, Kagame, but that's actually impossible. (Yeah, yeah, it's a metaphor, but still...)
IT’S WOSSISNAME! You may recognise Ian Tracey, who plays crazy Jason. Not only was he a regular in Sanctuary , he was in a brilliant episode of The X-Files named “The Walk”, in which he was an amputee.
WHO HE? Kiera has a “guardian angel”, a mysterious “Mr Escher”. As you all no doubt know, MC Escher was the Dutch artist famous for drawings of stairways going nowhere and geometrical designs which make no sense in the real world. All very trippy. But who is he? There's a hint that he's a “freelancer” – someone else who's journeyed back into the past with their own agenda – but we have no idea who that could be. Yet, anyway.
COOL TECH Kiera's amazing technicolor dreamsuit creates an energy shield that prevents her and Alec from being obliterated by the falling skyscraper. Just imagine if these existed today – nobody could ever be killed by a car again, let alone a falling skyscraper! We demand future technology now, dammit!
SUBTLE, WE'RE NOT: PART ONE Jason takes Kiera to his crazy crashpad and offers her some crackers. He's crackers too, geddit?
SUBTLE, WE'RE NOT: PART TWO A little girl stands in the rubble after the attack, holding her dolly. It's supposed to be very sad and poignant, but just looks cheesy. Still, at least she wasn't crying, “Mommmy? Where's my mommy?”
IT'S THE CIIIIIIRCLE OF LIFE...! Kagame kills himself on the very day he is born. The only problem we have with this is that surely he'd have wanted to nip into the hospital to take a look at his baby self first? We would have! Oh, and Sonya greets baby Kagame with a kiss, which is both really cute and kind of creepy...
Alec (final lines of the season): “The truth is... I'm the one that sent you back in time. And you're not gonna believe why.”
New episodes of Continuum season one have just finished airing in the UK on Syfy