The season finale of time-travel show Continuum contains so many bizarre twists and revelations, our heads were spinning. The whole premise of this show has been turned sideways. Let's try and make sense of all this crazy new information, together. Spoilers ahead!
Top image via Imgur.
My favorite thing is when a story moves at 1000 miles per hour and just tosses stuff at you like a pitching machine on speed. There's just something exhilarating about a show that goesn't give a crap and is just going for it with the crazy stuff. I still have a strong suspicion that this show's mythos will only loosely make sense in the end, but the ride is fun as hell.
So in a nutshell: Escher is (allegedly) Alec's father, and an ex-freelancer. Jason is Alec's son from the future, whom Alec sent back to make sure his plan to disrupt the timeline succeeds. Alec knew about the freelancers and had someone killed to keep his time-machine secret. The freelancers claim to be altruistic "time cops" who keep the timeline from being polluted, and they do this by putting all our time-traveler friends into see-thru cubes.
Let's take these things one by one:
Escher's backstory. So I'm guessing Escher is from the future. He knows a lot about high technology, and it seems like the Freelancers only recruit people from the future, when time travel already exists. Of course, it's possible Escher was born 2000 years ago. In any case, at some point Escher travels back to the early 1990s and decides to quit being a Freelancer and hook up with Alec's mom. They get married and have Alec — then Escher fakes his own death. Escher decides to hide, by starting a huge corporation and being its CEO, and keeps an eye on his son from a distance, until Kiera and the Liber8 crew come back in time and start wreaking havoc.
So there are at least three timelines here: 1) Nobody travels in time. Alec is not born, or else he has a different father (and thus I guess a different last name.) 2) Escher travels back in time with the Freelancers and becomes Alec's father. Alec grows up and becomes a corporate overlord, and helps to create the dystopian future. 3) Alec sends Kiera and Liber8 back in time to avert the rise of eebil corporate domination.
In any case, Escher was Kiera's fairy godfather for a while — at the end of season one, he vouched for Kiera when Agent Gardiner was first questioning her bona fides. He told Kiera that they were on the same side earlier this season, and meanwhile his corporation was taking control over the police's anti-Liber8 taskforce.
But somehow, in the past few episode, Escher has changed his mind about Kiera — maybe because she hasn't played along with Piron's takeover of the Liber8 taskforce, or maybe because she's been helping to get Alec into trouble. Hard to tell.
Meanwhile, Escher sent Emily to be Alec's fake-but-real girlfriend and spy on him, and stole his "Arc" super-surveillance system.
Future Alec. It seems pretty official that Future Alec is sincere about trying to change the timeline and get rid of the corporatocracy. He's willing to sacrifice his only (?) son for that aim. And he's aware of the Freelancers as his main opponents in this struggle, although he apparently doesn't bother to warn Kagame or the others about them.
So the real question is, does Future Alec know about Escher? Both that Escher is his real father, and that Escher is working against Liber8, and trying to derail Future Alec's plans?
Just because Present Alec knows about Escher doesn't mean that Future Alec does, since Future Alec — as far as we can tell — belongs to a previous timeline.
Also, Future Alec had his henchdude wipe Kiera's memory of the murder case in which someone who had the time machine was gunned down, and also ensured that kiera would be sent back in time, for reasons that remain unclear.
Kiera is committed to getting back to 2077, and still obsessed with her plan of arriving a few hours before she left, so she can prevent the whole "time travel" thing in the first place. And now, she seems to have won over Present Alec and Escher, who at least admit that her plan might not fail, although it might. She spends most of the episode in a brutal fight scene with Travis, who's got his own CPS supersuit now — and Kiera keeps getting the upper hand on Travis and then running away. (This seriously happens three or four times. She has him right where she wants him, and then she runs off and he gets up and chases.)
Also, Kellog has a change of heart, deciding that between the Freelancers and the Liber8 gang and Escher, the present is suddenly too hot for him — so he wants to go back to 2077 with Kiera, where the worst thing that can happen to him is another execution.
Present Alec is possibly the biggest question-mark in this episode. At the start of the episode, Alec goes to Piron HQ and confronts Escher, blaming Escher for Emily's death. But Escher manages to convince Alec that it's really Kiera's fault because she was more interested in saving the time machine than Emily (and actually, they're both wrong. Emily basically threw herself in the way of the bullets.)
Then Kiera shows up and Alec screams at her — then winks when nobody's looking. And he promises to Kiera that he'll send her home if she can get the time travel device to Piron, where Escher has set up an antimatter machine already. But later on in the episode, Alec seems to be helping Kiera, but then he double-crosses her and hands her over to Escher. So is he really on Kiera's side now, or not? It seems like Alec's main agenda is to get the time travel device, so he can go back in time just far enough to change the recent past, so Emily does not get shot. So was that Alec's plan since the very beginning of the episode, and he was just playing both Kiera and Escher? Hard to say, actually — but at least, this is a practical test of how time travel works on this show. If Alec succeeds in saving Emily, will anybody else remember her death? Will the timeline just be rewritten? Will there be two Alecs for a while? I guess maybe we'll see.
Carlos finally has a total break with the VPD and Dillon — or does he? After they arrest Kiera, he decides to bust her out of there, and he seems to feel like the VPD's corporate-controlled Liber8 taskforce has crossed too many lines and lost its legitimacy. And he figures out that Betty is the Liber8 mole, and convinces her to run away with him... to Julian's compound. Is Carlos really changing sides and becoming a Liber8 true believer? Or is he going undercover? (My money is strongly on the latter.)
The Freelancers are suddenly claiming to be Captain Braxton from Star Trek: Voyager — just here to protect the timeline. No agenda other than keeping the future from contaminating the present. Except that everything we've heard about the Freelancers before, from people like Jason and Escher, suggests they're power-mad sharks who are using the timeline like their chess board. So are they just lying about having a sacred duty to protect everything, or is another story about the abuse of police power? In any case, they've revived the dead Liber8 member Curtis Chen and recruited Zombie Curtis into their ranks, and they're in the process of doing the same for Travis and that other guy.
And as the episode ends, Kiera, Jason and the living Liber8 members are all in cells — but no sign of what happened to Escher. Whatever happens next, this show just got a lot more complicated.