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Continuum - Episode 3.03 - Minute to Win it - Review

This Friday's episode of Continuum featured more progress on the areas I'm finding quite impressive so far in Season 3: the ramifications of two Alecs in the same timeline and the consequences future Alec set in motion when he jumped a week back to save Emily.  The relationship between Keira and Carlos and how that's been impacted by the death of the Keira he knew, who was replaced by future Keira.  And greater context to Keira's past life in the far-flung future and the way the government she worked for actually operated.  These three dynamics add up to provide plenty of sci-fi thrills and character-building poignancy.  Let's review how they played out in "Minute to Win it."

I don't remember Lucas being quite so creepy in the previous seasons, but wow, watching him use manipulated bugs and animals to spring himself from the mental institution was unsettling.  Back with the revitalized Liber8, he helped Travis and Sonya set a devastating string of robberies in motion using humans implanted with tech that made them willing slaves carrying out the crimes, which were intended to prevent certain corporate structures from ever forming.  The concept of the tech was set up by the opening scene of Keira in the future being forced by her suit's tech enhancements and a remote user to take out a cowering human offender.  With each new glimpse of Keira's life in her own time, things look bleaker, darker, and more twisted.  So iron was the grip of the police state that the perceived state of freedom Keira was fighting to preserve often feels pointless in the wake of all the dead bodies piling up.  However, just as deadly as the Corporate Congress' approach to keeping the peace were Liber8's methods of trying to subvert their regime....methods that are now playing out back in our own time, with the robberies just the latest example.  It's easy to see why the Freelancers are so set on trying to end the war between these two factions, assuming that to be the dreadful clash of the future they indicated to Keira in the season premiere.

The further Keira and Carlos got into investigating the bank heists, the more off-kilter and disturbed Carlos seemed to become.  The fact that Keira felt it would be in any way okay to suddenly unveil the dead body of her past self to Carlos just shows that her life has left her hardened to certain emotional inevitabilities, and it also tells us that she's become dangerously impatient (not that I blame her).  With Carlos' frequent snips to Keira about how he's becoming jaded and nothing surprises him anymore, she was also unable to offer him any comfort he would accept.  And events that should have shocked him, like the crazy shenanigans of the brain-hacked robbers, instead just made Carlos incredibly angry, as we saw when he pummeled a perpetrator with a rage we've never really seen him exhibit.  I completely understand and sympathize with Carlos' issues here, but it's time for him to get with the program now and go with the time-traveling adventure flow.

Meanwhile, innocent little past Alec finally found out that Escher was his father, information that came complete with a massive inheritance that seems to conflict with him eventually running the company Alec Sadler famously masterminds in the future.  But the scientific resources and projects of his father's company do manage to gain Alec's intent fascination, not least of all because they provide the salve of in some way showing that his father wasn't only a sadistic bastard.  Escher might have also offered the world something special and productive, and maybe Alec can further that.  While hanging onto thin idealistic threads of this nature, Alec also grappled with the entire issue of Emily's past life and her recent string of lies to him about who she is and who she has been working for (not to mention, he doesn't even know yet that she killed his father).  Le sigh, while future Alec can easily auto-forgive Emily's sketchbomb ways, past Alec has never seen his love gunned down before his eyes and thus he doesn't possess those powers of forgiveness.  Poor Emily held herself together pretty well while trying to beg the forgiveness of past Alec and being haunted by the specter of future Alec (this is starting to seem more and more like a love triangle). Future Alec is trying to run a little bit of a smooth, Kyle Reese type of game on Emily, which I have to respect.
I enjoyed seeing the emotional beats of how Keira dealt with the many dilemmas swirling around her.  What makes her such a compelling heroine is that while she's no angel and clearly has a great deal of moral baggage, she's always genuinely trying to do the right thing by others even as she desperately yearns to get back to her son.  Keira had to come down to earth a little bit in observing Carlos' struggle, seeing the damage caused by her reckless behavior in revealing the corpse.  Naturally, she's paranoid knowing that her past self's killer is still out there, and she also has the burden of lying to past Alec, which betrays their friendship.  I've seen some theories floating around online suggesting that maybe one Keira killed the other...and obviously Canadian viewers would also know more about this in advance of U.S. fans, but the matter of past Keira's murderer is suspenseful indeed.

 I also thought it was a nice touch to show Keira respond with quiet pride when her abilities were complimented by Catherine after she brought the freelancers evidence of Liber8's activities.  As isolated as she is in her situation (even more so in this timeline where she's estranged from Carlos and also both Alecs for different reasons), Keira really needed that little positive human interaction to spur her onward.  While she sympathizes with past Alec in a distant manner, unable to get too close due to her constant lies to him, and continues a shaky alliance with future Alec, if she follows through on her assignment, one Alec has to die by her hand.  Hence, the extent to which she's been divided from one of her closest friends in this time is harsh. Does she have it in her to kill an Alec?  That's a key and intense question. 

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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