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Continuum - Revolutions Per Minute - Review

To describe this episode as a "game-changer" is putting it lightly, and the subtle way that Continuum throws huge twists into the mix with absolutely no warning is totally brilliant.  Two of the biggest surprises to date in Season 3 were brought about in this installment with an almost casual nonchalance that astounded me.  First, let's look back at the whole story that unfolded in "Revolutions Per Minute."

John Doe was having a lot of trauma as he started to regain his memories in bits and pieces that were tantalizing yet hurtful, as symbolized by his daughter's broken necklace.  The more he remembers his past, the more painful it is to have that life so far out of reach.  This is something Kiera can relate to.  As she said at one point, the thought of her son kept her going for so long when she first got yanked back in time, yet we can tell that her hope of seeing him again has dwindled.  One of the more telling hints about John Doe's origin story was his description of the sky at night in his own time, where the lights are never lit; worryingly, the visual he painted didn't sound like Kiera's 2077.

Over at Piron, Alec was still super gung-ho about getting Halo up and running, and following on from his theft of Past Kiera-corpse's tech, he was able to take further steps to that end.  Alec's no-holds-barred pursuit of this goal is getting creepier, and this plays nicely into one of this season's most emphasized themes: that tunnel vision is a dangerous character flaw with serious consequences.  We've seen this in Dillon's fixation on catching Liber8; Carlos' struggle to trust the new Kiera and let go of Past Kiera; and even in Kiera's "sleepwalking," too-limited mindset as she followed Freelancer orders to Scar Alec's detriment. 

So intent is Alec on producing Halo that he let Jason play guinea pig, which I also found deeply unsettling.  I know it's weird for Alec to have to play father to a son who's older than him and who he only just met recently, but it needs to be done.  Jason is fragile and needs a protective influence.  Yet this Alec seems too willing, for my taste, to take advantage of Jason's loyalty.  At first, Jason's frazzled nerves and confused state of mind were smoothed out by Halo, but later in the episode, we saw him seem to loose his marbles.  Alec also jumped at the chance to have Julian become a spokesperson for Piron, which definitely would make for a strange collaboration.
Elsewhere, Carlos had a rude awakening upon his latest little visit to Past Kiera's body: Alec had snatched it.  Carlos was angry about this, and I don't blame him, since Alec's disrespect for Past Kiera's remains is even more disturbing than Carlos' extreme respect and obsession with said corpse.  But in the long run, I actually think that what Alec did was good for Carlos and helped him to move on.  Even though Alec's memorial service for Past Kiera was a calculated ruse, it was also something that Carlos needed so badly: an opportunity for closure, and one that helped him accept the current Kiera, finally.  

Dillon was reminiscing about how adorable Betty was (sniffle.  sob!) and told Kiera that they are going to nail Liber8 for real, but that there can be "no more Bettys," implying that they cannot allow any more good people to become collateral damage.  Alas, like pretty much everything Dillon says and does, this was just a lot of hot air to make himself feel better.  We know this because he's willing to leave his daughter in play with Liber8, where her life is most definitely threatened - if she makes a wrong turn or says the wrong thing, Sonya will slit her throat.  That would make Christine a Betty.  This was what Kiera realized, and it's why she went against her boss' direct orders to extract Christine and out her as associated with the VPD so that they could hopefully protect her.  I'm still worried about Sonya's possible retaliation, but we'll see what happens.

Kiera put her thinking cap on and decided that Liber8's next target was probably a pharmaceutical company called Guatuma, who we later learn are developing an Alzeimer's cure that unfortunately utilizes that darn street drug, Flash, which is no good for anyone.  In addition to getting Christine well out of Guatuma, where she was sent undercover by Liber8,  Kiera also got some help from Kellog to foil Guatuma's attempts to create their new medicine that might have had destructive effects on the public due to Flash's addictive qualities.  

Again, predictably, Kellog was awesome and a total scene stealer.  I loved his weaselly attempts to charm Kiera (which she anticipated and used efficiently), as well as his reaction to seeing John Doe in Kiera's apartment.  When Kellog took back his bottle of wine, I had to laugh out loud.  However, Kellog's assistance with Kiera's plan showed that he genuinely has a soft spot for her, as this deprived him of the chance to cash in ahead of time as he'd planned to when he invested in Guatuma.  Kellog brought the information to Sonya so that Liber8 could take it public, and maybe it was also advantageous for him to mend fences a little with his former associates.  We never know when that will come in handy for Kellog, and playing every angle is definitely his strong suit.

Shocker #1 in this episode came right after Kellog left Kiera's apartment after being glimpsed by John Doe, who recognized Matthew immediately.  He remembers Kellog being a "big deal" in the future, and when Kiera mentioned Alec Sadler, John Doe replied, 

"Who is Alec Sadler?"

Okay.  What?!

There are a few possibilities presented by John knowing Kellog as a famous individual and having no clue as to who Alec Sadler is.  My own current theory is that Kiera has altered the course of the future since she jumped back one week at the beginning of the season.  The ripple effect has potentially prevented Alec from reaching his destiny at SadTech, and possibly allowed Kellog to be the one who ends up seeing that goal through and taking all the glory.  I have seen theories circulating online as well that this is all because in choosing Past Alec instead of Scar Alec, Kiera chose incorrectly.  Is Scar Alec the one who was actually supposed to become William B. Davis' version of the character in the 2077 we used to know?  Well, I have to say that what holds me back from that line of thinking is how similar to WBD Alec Past Alec seems to be, whereas Scar Alec seems to have a better moral compass.  Hmm.  
One thing I know for sure that was compounded by Kiera's frustration with the Freelancers this week is that it is so time to rescue Scar Alec.  After learning that John Doe was involved in the Liber8 bank heist using some mysterious tech that the Freelancers still have, Kiera was eager to look at said tech, but was rebuffed by Catherine.  Despite having harbored a traitor in her ranks (hello Curtis) and having possibly pushed Kiera to choose an Alec who was not the one to bring the future she wants, Catherine is still extremely smug.  Understandably, Kiera was annoyed by Catherine's refusal to help her and her remarks that Kiera shouldn't be associating with John Doe (even though that second tip was probably a good one - more on that to follow).  The Freelancers come off as both incompetent and rude, a terrible combination.  I say Kiera may as well just break free from them altogether and end this "pick an Alec" nonsense by letting them figure out their own destiny.  Everything's already different now anyway, no thanks to the Freelancers.

The memorial service for Past Kiera was really touching, as Carlos put his hand on Kiera's shoulder and told her that he's glad she is still around.  I think she finally understood the enormity of Carlos' grief for her past self, which made her doubly pissed when she figured out Alec's game.  Despite all of his machinations, Alec did find a fitting send-off for Past Kiera that leaves her remains "everywhere and every when."  But after noticing the missing CMR in her other self's body, Kiera confronted Alec about it in the street, where her words were so cutting that Alec chose to withhold the vital information contained on the flash drive he opted not to give her.  So, Alec, Kiera calls you on your shady conduct, and you retaliate with such bitterness as to put her life in direct peril?  I know Kiera is shady sometimes too, but this was a low blow on Alec's part.

That's because Shocker #2 of this episode came in an earlier scene when Alec finally gained access to the CMR footage from Past Kiera and discovered that it was actually John Doe who murdered her.  When I saw this, I basically had this reaction:
This reveal threw me for a loop on two levels.  First of all, I was totally shipping Kiera with John Doe, and their chemistry makes it a damn shame that he was apparently sent back in time just to kill her.  Meh.  I've been known to hold onto a sinking 'ship or two, but one of the potential lovebirds having killed a previous version of the other?  That is a fairly definitive deal-breaker.  Secondly, Curtis seemed so obviously to have been Past Kiera's killer that I was unprepared to have this debunked.  Now it appears that Curtis merely threatened Past Kiera with a gun, while it was John Doe who actually did the deadly deed.  

John Doe started to seem quite dark and unpredictable at the end of the episode when he took Flash and recalled that his name is Brad, a militia field commander sent on a one-way trip back in time to prevent what sounds like the exact same horrible scenario that the Freelancers sought to stop by taking out Scar Alec.  So clearly, the disaster (whatever it may be - a war or a world physically damaged by the altered timeline) still happens because Alec's destiny is still not corrected, and John Doe's family suffered the consequences, making him a perfect candidate to come back and remove from the equation the one person responsible for changing Alec's path: Kiera.  How tragically, poetically ironic that John Doe was sent back for essentially the very reason that Kiera jumped back a week: to fix the timeline and prevent the "correct" future from being lost forever.  So Past Kiera died in an attempt by John Doe (and whoever sent him) to solve the same problem the current Kiera tried to prevent by handing over Scar Alec to the Freelancers.  What a tangled web we weave.

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, 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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