Poor Kiera. Not only is she digging herself a deeper and deeper hole with her time-travel and history-changing, but she also keeps facing the worst dilemma of all: What to do with an inconvenient dead body. Only this time around on Continuum, it's really, really bad. Spoilers ahead...
So for those of you just joining us, we're recapping Continuum on the U.S. airing schedule. Which means this is the recap of the second episode of season three. Yes, we're a few weeks behind Canada. So we're asking those of you who are a few weeks ahead to avoid posting huge spoilers in comments, and also not to snark too much at those of us who are still trapped in the past. Thank you!
So there are two inconvenient murders which make everybody's life tougher — and they're both a result of Alec jumping backwards in time to save his girlfriend Emily's life. First, because Alec said some stuff to rattle Kellog, he conspired with Emily to gun down Escher, Alec's biological dad and the patron of the semi-privatized Vancouver police. Second, someone as yet unknown gunned down Kiera Prime, leaving Future Kiera as the only remaining version.
But since nobody has yet gunned down one of the Alecs, there are still two Alec Sadlers running around: one still young and innocent and eager to help, and the other one injured and filled with remorse for his misdeeds.Those two murders wind up having all sorts of fascinating knock-on effects, even beyond the other stuff that's been changed. In this new timeline, Kiera isn't being framed for the murder of Agent Gardiner, and she's still a cop in relatively good standing. So she enlists the aid of her partner, Carlos, to put her other self's corpse on ice while they figure out what to do with it — you have to love the sadism of Kiera showing her own dead body to Carlos, without doing much to soften the blow.
Carlos is mighty confused and suspects that this Kiera is from an alternate timeline where they never even met, or something. (She does tell him that she knows him even better than the other Kiera did, because she and Carlos went through some events that are now retconned, and he stood by her.) The memory of seeing his dead partner, and hauling around her body, leaves Carlos so traumatized he has to crawl inside a bottle.
Meanwhile, the guilt-ridden Future Alec offers to find out who killed Kiera Prime, which is tougher because he turned off the security cameras to the lab. He has video feed from Kiera's CMR — but it's garbled, because it was recording video from two Kieras at once, and he has to unscramble it. That means that Kiera has to lure Alec Prime out of his lab so Future Alec can get in there and do some unscrambling.
Meanwhile, Alec Prime is happy to assist the police with their inquiries into the case of the missing mayor (more on that soon) but is somewhat concerned when he finds some of Kiera Prime's blood plus all the missing pieces of the time-travel device, laying around. Alec Prime starts to suspect that Kierra is hiding stuff from him, even as Kierra tells Future Alec that Alec Prime is the only one who still has her trust. (Oh, and as Alec Prime tries to do some of his fancy tech-wizardry to track down the mayor, with his future self cheering him on, Betty totally shows him up with her leet hacker skillz. Go Betty!)
Also, Alec Prime gets his DNA test results, and pretty quickly finds out that Jason is his son, not his father.
And then there's the murder of Escher, who was a friend and benefactor to the Vancover PD — so they're taking this matter quite seriously. Kellog is the prime suspect, probably because he did actually arrange the murder. But he's got a slippery alibi. And meanwhile, when Kellog finds out that Escher was Alec's dad, he uses that knowledge to blackmail Emily into being his bitch. (Speaking of which, do we know why Emily was willing to kill Escher in this timeline, but not the original timeline? What exactly did Kellog do to change her mind this time around?)
Oh, and Kellog tricks Kiera, who should never play poker, into revealing that there are now two Alecs running around. Which seems like the sort of thing you wouldn't want Kellog knowing, really.
Kiera, meanwhile, is still fixated on the goal of returning home to "her" 2077, even though by now she's seen mountains of evidence that this will never, ever happen. She even hints to Future Alec that she'll kill whichever Alec is less likely to be able to get her home. But Future Alec still tells her that if there is a way home for her, "I'm not the guy to help you find it" — and Alec Prime is, instead.
And meanwhile, the saga of Tahmoh Penikett's mayoral capaign comes to a somewhat rushed end — if there's one major problem with this show, it's the habit of developing too many plots and then sweeping some of them under the rug again.
This episode's Mayor Jim storyline does begin with a fantastic scene where the newly elected mayor meets a coke-snorting sleazy attorney who works for the Liber8 terrorists and tries to get Mayor Jim to snort some coke with him. Travis and Sonya are back together again, but instead of taking revenge for Jim's attempts to pit them against each other, they have big plans for the new mayor. "EXCITING STUFF!" The cokehead shouts.
So in the course of one episode, Mayor Jim goes to the cops and tries to roll over on Liber8 in exchange for immunity and protection — but the cops kind of screw him over once he's given them a ton of info. And then Mayor Jim commandeers a ride in an ambulance, but the ambulance driver insists on responding to an emergency call — which is a trap. So Jim is captured by Travis and Sonya (and the newly escaped Garza) who tie him up and force him to make a webcam confession about all the corporate corruption in Vancouver, the Dirtiest City in Canada. Including Piron, Escher's company. Then Mayor Jim winds up shooting himself.
The overall effect is that Liber8 is in position to go legit again — their criminal associates are locked up, thanks to Mayor Jim's stool-pigeoning, and then the major corporations are all embarrassed by Mayor Jim's online confession. Then he shoots himself, making the whole thing seem even more damning.
Of course it's not clear what Liber8's endgame could be at this point — they've apparently rejected Kagame's orders, on the grounds that the resistance shouldn't be "shaped by a dead man's father issues." So now they have a more pure strategy of undermining the big corporations, I guess. But as we've seen, if they change the future too much then their whole timeline collapses. Which may have been something Kagame was aware of, but which they seem to be missing.
Also, the episode's framing device has one of the wackiest future flash-forwards the show has ever featured. It's 10 years ago in Kiera's timeline, and she's wearing an insane wig to denote that she's a teenager.
The Cameron family is having pretty much all their property seized to pay off the life debt of Kiera's dead father, and Kiera finds some contraband printed material — because all printed books are considered subversive in the dystopian world of 2067. Kiera struggles with her sister and mother over whether to turn the books in, and winds up revealing them to the evil corporate loanshark guy. (And in 2014, Kiera and Alec Prime visit the home she grew up in, which is just going on the market.)
But in the end, Kiera convinces evil loanshark guy that she was trying to turn in the contraband, and that she was obeying the law — and even gets the debt reduced a lot, in exchange for joining the CPS. Not just to get her mom out of trouble, but because she believes in this war and wants to make a difference. So that's how Kiera became a corporate rent-a-cop.
Images via Crimson Tear.