Continuum's dystopian corporate-dominated future, featuring chemical weapons and indentured servitude, isn't going to arrive all by itself. That beautifully dark world will require work — and yes, sacrifice — on the part of everyone to arrive. But it's the way things are supposed to turn out! Spoilers ahead...
There's a moment towards the end of "Wasted Minute," the latest episode as aired in the U.S., where Kiera says she's realizing she should make decisions with her heart more. Given that Kiera has never tried making decisions with her brain, my first reaction was, "Uh, what?"
But I think she's hinting that maybe the dystopian future she comes from isn't looking so wonderful any more, and she wants to stop supporting evil shit in the name of preserving the timeline — which, after all, is an abstraction, especially if she doesn't get to see her family again.
In this episode, Kiera faces a choice between two Alecs, and she makes the "right" choice. At least, the right choice if she wants to preserve the future and please her new Freelancer masters. She finally decides which Alec to get rid of: Hoodie Alec, who traveled back from the future, or Suit Alec, the one from this timeline.
As far as I understand it, the Freelancers' branching continuum model of spacetime means that a timeline can diverge from the others, as long as it doesn't go too far out of alignment. That means it's okay that this new Liber8-created timeline is slightly different from the others — as long as it's only slightly different. To ensure that it doesn't go too far out of whack, we need Alec, the architect of the future, to remain on his path to Evil Overlord-dom.
Which means, as the Freelancer boss has been pointing out for a while now, the obvious choice is to get rid of Hoodie Alec, who is showing signs of remorse and wanting to shirk his destiny. Permanently.
Hoodie Alec kind of forces Kiera's hand. He wants to run away with Emily and live in Thailand or some other country under the radar, but Suit Alec has locked him out of all the bank accounts and caused a warrant for Emily's arrest to go out. So Hoodie Alec needs Kellog's help getting out of the country, and Kellog wants Hoodie Alec to break into Suit Alec's computers and steal a few bits of data — plus then Hoodie Alec can erase all the evidence Suit Alec has against Emily.
Unfortunately, Suit Alec catches Hoodie Alec breaking into his accounts and rushes back to the office — where Hoodie Alec knocks him out cold. When Suit Alec wakes up, he and Hoodie Alec struggle, until Hoodie Alec holds Suit Alec at gunpoint. And Hoodie Alec tells Suit Alec he knows that they're both still in love with Emily, because Suit Alec had Emily's files locked up tight on his computer.
That's where Kiera arrives, and knocks Hoodie Alec out. She hauls him down to the Freelancer HQ, where they stick him in one of their see-thru cages, similar to the one Kiera was locked inside at the end of last season. Even though this seems like a perfect solution to the "Two Alecs" problem, the Freelancer boss seems kind of put out that Kiera didn't just ice him. Because that's the usual solution when you have two of the same person.
Case in point: Just as Kiera is talking to the Freelancers, she finally gets the cleaned-up video of her own murder. (Or rather, the murder of her alternate self.) And it was Curtis, the Freelancer who had infiltrated Liber8 back in 2077, who pulled the trigger. Naively, Kiera believes that Curtis was acting alone — but it's clear he was doing this under orders. And that's probably one reason why the Freelancers sent Kiera, rather than one of their own, back in time in the first place. Easier to condemn a version of a stranger to death.
Of course, the whole "kill the duplicate person" policy is kind of silly in any case — you're still left with a corpse that's hard to explain. Unless the Freelancers invent a foolproof way of getting rid of a body completely, leaving no physical evidence or DNA, they're still creating a potential paradox. As Carlos, sitting on Kiera's dead body, could attest.
The "case of the week" in this episode, meanwhile, seems designed to push Kiera's buttons and make her question her loyalties. When Kiera was a young soldier in the future, she got hit with a deadly chemical weapon, and almost died — but luckily, Sonmanto, that heroic company that we're told in this episode also makes food products, came to the rescue by supplying the antidote in time. Yay Sonmanto!
This time around, Liber8 targets Sonmanto, stealing a bunch of chemical waste from one of their plants. Sonmanto's lawyer claims it's harmless, but Kiera soon realizes it could be turned into a deadly chemical weapon — and after they raid a Liber8 facility where it's being weaponized, she realizes it's actually the same chemical weapon that was used on her in the future. She only survives exposure because she's already immunized.
At first, Kiera believes Liber8 wants to launch a chemical attack on Vancouver, wiping out the whole city — but that's the strategy of old Liber8. The new Liber8 is more focused on public-relations victories, so instead they back the tanker full of potentially deadly waste up to the Sonmanto headquarters and have their attorney reveal the truth.
With the help of Hoodie Alec, Kiera finds out that the Sonmanto lawyer went to Dubai to meet with radical Jihadist Chechen separatists, offering them the chemical weapons for use in their fight. And Sonmanto was going to sit on the antidote until they could sell it for the maximum amount. Carlos gets hold of this info and arrests the Sonmanto attorney — earning Carlos a rap on the knuckles from Dillon, who says you don't side with the bad guys. Carlos has free speech, as long as he doesn't use it with any cameras nearby.
In the previous timeline, Carlos changed sides and went over to Liber8 really, really quickly — and either he's just having a general nervous breakdown in this timeline or we're seeing that same shift happen much more slowly.
In any case, Kiera seems genuinely surprised to realize that Sonmanto made not just the antidote but the weapon as well. Even after everything else she's seen, she still has some weird idea that the corporate congress was basically just, and that she was upholding law and order and stuff.
One of the most interesting moments in last night's episode is when the Freelancer boss says Kiera felt good about being part of something bigger, when she was in the CPS (the future cops.) The Vancouver police can't be that for Kiera, because they don't understand her real mission — but the Freelancers can. Of course, the Freelancers haven't exactly been super trustworthy, and have barely given Kiera the employee orientation. Even apart from killing her other self, there's the matter of that mysterious door they're not letting her see behind.
All in all, in a show that's known for rapid plot twists and somewhat rushed character turns, Continuum is taking its time selling the idea of Kiera's slow change of heart about the future she comes from — and how much she's willing to stomach to make it happen. Which is a good thing, since I suspect that's the overall arc of the series, and we're going to have to believe in the end result.