We expect killer action and dystopian insanity from Continuum, the Canadian time-travel adventure show. But we don't usually expect to get punched in the heart, the way we did by this scene — which also features a love triangle The CW would never dream of having. Spoilers ahead...
So in last night's Continuum (in the United States, anyway), we dealt with the problem of the two Alecs. One Alec traveled back in time to save Emily's life, but he's made a much bigger mess. And he may have lost Emily, anyway — because the present-day Alec isn't getting the same experience of finding out Emily's secrets and learning to accept them that Future Alec had. So one Alec is starting to distrust Emily, while the other one is kind of freaking her out, and can't interact with people in this timeline without making a bigger mess.
Meanwhile, Alec Prime finds out that Escher is dead — and he learns that Escher was his father, in the same moment. This is way different than finding out about his parenthood from Escher directly, something Future Alec got to experience. Alec Prime is suddenly handed the keys to Piron Corp. — which is weird for a few reasons: 1) Piron is separate from SadTech in Kiera's future. 2) Piron is chock full of mad science. 3) The temptation of power starts turning Alec evil ahead of schedule.
And Alec Prime starts to realize that Emily has been lying to him all along, something that hits especially hard in his current vulnerable and confused state. That leads to the scene above, where Emily gets caught between two Alecs, one of whom is crazy romantic and the other of whom is distrustful and mean. That scene is just beautifully acted. And the weird mirror effect that creates two Emilys in the frame is a really fascinating choice — a bit on-the-nose, maybe, but super-effective in the moment, and a nice contrast to the actual doubling of Alec.
Alec Prime starts to try and rebuild trust with Emily — but then he finds Escher's laptop, full of all his blackmail material against her, including scenes of her flipping out in prison. Oops.
There's no love like doomed love, basically.
There's really only one way to fix this disaster: Future Alec has to tell his other self the truth, so he'll understand that he screwed all this up and he's not actually a victim, as he currently believes. Either that, or Present Alec has to die, so Future Alec can take his place. Because Present Alec is starting to look like not such a nice person. One of them has to go, anyway. Why doesn't Future Alec just follow through on his promise, and take Emily to Thailand?
In any case, between getting Emily to kill Escher and causing someone to kill Kiera, Future Alec has made a right big mess of things, and he's starting to lose his mind, which is fabulous to watch. Bonus points for referencing the Novikov Self-Consistency Principle, which Alec and Emily talked about on their first date and which says none of this ought to be able to happen.
Meanwhile, Kiera is getting more in bed with the Freelancers, who promise they're going to help investigate the murder of her other self. She's useful to them because she remembers a lot about how the future is "supposed" to unfold. And they also seem to be helpful, at least somewhat, in dealing with this week's McGuffin.
The actual "A" plot of this week's Continuum is somewhat forgettable, but still entertaining. Lucas escapes from the mental institution, using cockroaches, a dog and tons of futuristic electronics hacking. And then he helps turn corporate criminals into bankrobbers, using a hacked version of the remote-mind control that let the future corporate overlords remote-control Young Kiera's CMR and make her kill even when she didn't want to.
Turns out Lucas and his Liber8 buddies are looking for a mysterious cylinder, inscribed with tons of symbols — which Kiera takes to the Freelancers, who are stumped. It's from the future, but maybe not the same future Kiera comes from. Is it from a totally different timeline? Is it from the future of this new universe? Is it from further in the future? And what does it do? And how did Liber8 know about it?
I have a feeling the cylinder has something to do the war that's been hinted at, the one between the Freelancers and some nasty time-meddlers. Although I'm still vaguely hopeful the Freelancers aren't as altruistic as they've painted themselves, since it would kind of suck if Kiera ends up just becoming their agent in keeping the timeline from changing.
But that's not all — there's also another evil corporation in the mix, Sonmanto. (I wonder if they specialize in genetically engineered crops?) They had a lot of patents in the safety deposit boxes that Liber8 was robbing, and they were probably the ones who had that cylinder — their laywer, Jennings, is slick and kind of disturbing. And at the end, one of the corporate criminals turned bank robbers, a disabled man named Frank Ryan, gets offered a chance to walk again — because Sonmanto has massive resources.
Liber8's new truce is already falling apart. Travis is not thrilled with Lucas' strategy of turning people into human bombs and remote-controlling them, because it robs them of their humanity — the same way the way the corporations do to people like Travis in the future. Plus Travis seems to think this will hurt Liber8's new public relations campaign against the corporations. Plus do they really want the crazy guy masterminding their strategies?
And speaking of falling apart, Carlos continues to take the "dead Kiera storage" thing very badly — he doesn't like having to deal with the corpse of his partner, while also trying to figure out if he can still trust the other version of that same partner. In the original timeline, Carlos wound up joining Julian in the slightly less nasty present-day version of Liber8, but he might wind up getting sent down a very different path this time.