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Continuum - Episode 3.04 - A Minute Changes Everything - Review

In episode 4 of Continuum's third season, Carlos struggled more with his disillusionment, the two Alecs came face to face, Keira dealt with the aftermath of a college shooting, and Betty's traitorous ways were outed.  Let's discuss!

After a couple of weeks' episodes kicking off with flashback/forwards to Keira's time as a CPS officer wherein she is shown to have been manipulated by the ruthless ways of the corporate powers that be, it was seriously cool to see her stick it to the man by saving kids from a fire, going against orders.  We're getting more and more details on just how strictly controlling and merciless the government and its agencies are in Keira's time, but she definitely questioned their ways on multiple occasions.

Back in 2014, Carlos confronted Julian with a really bad pun about the weather, indicating that he's watching Julian to make sure he doesn't revert to his terrorist inclinations.  But the t-shirt Carlos sarcastically offered was merely a further confirmation that Julian is a powerful symbol to the youths (yep, I'm using a Schmidt from New Girl voice there) who support Liber8.  When a police officer got a little trigger-happy at a Liber8 protest, Keira and Carlos showed up to investigate.  Having discovered that a young Liber8 supporter she'd previously encountered was involved in the protest, Keira went from anger to quiet understanding once a friend of the shooting victim mused that the girl would now always be remembered as "just one thing," a terrorist supporter, when she was actually more layered than that.  Keira saw how easy it is to put simplistic labels on complicated people.  How easy would it be for others to do the same to her, based on the things she's done and what she plans to do?  This was an important realization for Keira that was played well by Rachel Nichols, as always.
Earlier on, I thought it was really interesting that Carlos flinched at Keira's violent reaction to discovering the girl on campus, since he himself has been lashing out a lot lately...is he afraid this version of Keira is more like him than he'd like to admit?

In other "Carlos' trust issues" news, he learned of Betty's shady collabo with Liber8.  First of all, Betty is just the cutest shifty traitor ever.  Between the blinged-out stapler and the hot pink conspiracy phone, I swear!  But once caught, she just blubbered that Keira and Carlos know her and therefore should trust that she's not evil.  Carlos was too infuriated by yet another in a mounting series of disturbing betrayals to extend that benefit of the doubt to Betty (I can't blame him), but Keira realized that there may be more to Betty than just that one thing.  We'll see.
One of the most memorable scenes of this episode was Carlos' conversation with the corpse of past Keira.  Wow, this was an emotional grab-bag that startled me; it had everything from sadness to a slight craziness that makes me worry that Carlos was really unhinged by the death of past Keira and her being replaced by future Keira.  As Carlos stroked the dead Keira's head, it was dually tender and creepy.  I did feel for him, though, especially when he lamented that he doesn't know why he does anything anymore, and that he can't figure out why he trusts the dead Keira more than the living one.  This reinforced the show's ongoing theme that the versions of these characters from the only slightly varied timelines are, in fact, much more different from one another than we might superficially assume and expect.  Look how different Past and Future Alec are, just with a slight twist to the events of a week and then different takes on the events that follow.  It's fascinating and speaks to the very nature of time travel and paradox in a character-driven way that is distinctive of Continuum.
Speaking of what a difference a week makes, how about those two Alecs?  Past Alec had an awkward board meeting at Piron, but was bolstered by the genius pep talk that Kellog (making his sole appearance in the episode just to drop wisdom bombs like a boss) gave: 

"Listen to me, I've read the dossiers on these board members.  There's no Kirk, there's no Picard, they barely have a Geordi." - Kellog

Amazing.  Past Alec went on to impress the board and step further into his father's shoes with a weirdly unsettling ease that made me miss his geeky self-consciousness.  A smooth Alec is definitely a bizarre sight, and eloquently helps make the episode's point that he's truly changing now.  He's edging closer to who he will become someday when he's played by William B. Davis.  This became startlingly clear in the utterly brilliant scene wherein the two Alecs meet up.  After Past Alec made a series of classic quips (Marty McFly had to be mentioned, let's face it), the two became antagonistic as they realized their agendas were at odds and neither was ready to compromise.  Moreover, Past Alec can't even comprehend Future Alec's motives because he now sees Emily as just some worthless, lying criminal.  Gosh, some people get so judgey about prison fights caught on camera.  Imagine if he knew she killed Escher!  Anyway, having witnessed Emily's death at the exact time that he did, feeling the way he did about her at that moment, seems to have rendered Future Alec forever a more sensitive and forgiving individual, making it an oddly redeeming incident.

Also, how awesome was it when the two Alecs addressed each other by name?

Not surprisingly, Emily figured out that Future Alec has a lot more to offer her in the relationship department than Past Alec, so she showed up in his room and told him as much.  I hope the best for those two crazy kids as they live out their somewhat Terminator-esque romance.

The episode posited a case for a chicken-and-egg relationship between the police and Liber8 in both Keira's time and 2014: do the police go too far in controlling the people because Liber8 are so destructive, or vice versa?  Clearly, it's both, and thanks to Liber8, it's all happening a bit sooner than it did the first time around.  Julian also took full advantage of the campus shooting to go on tv and spout his anti-corporate, anti-police speeches with no problem dropping Carlos and Keira's names in the mix.  And he threatened Carlos in no uncertain terms about hassling him with regard to his activities, though I do think that would be a fairly short fight.  It will be interesting to see how all of this tension plays out as the season continues.

What did you think of this episode?  Share your thoughts in the comments!

About the Author - Virginia Mae Fontana
Virginia is happy to be reviewing The Vampire Diaries, Hart of Dixie, Nashville, Beauty and the Beast, Elementary, Witches of East End, Covert Affairs, and Continuum for Spoiler TV. She is a college English instructor and enjoys obsessing over films and pop music - in addition to tv shows, of course! You can find her blog, SugarRushed, at http://virginiamaeblog.blogspot.com/ and her Twitter handle is @SugarRushedBlog

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