For the past few months, I’ve been mildly obsessed with the TV show Continuum, created by Simon Barry. It’s a time travel cop show with a cast of ambiguous characters, lots of political freedom fighter type stuff happening, and some cool futuristic technology. The show has a gimmicky set-up, but the writers manage to avoid some of the overdone time travel paradox play and throw real surprise punches. It’s an addicting show.
Season 1 is on Netflix, and season 2 is coming at the end of September. If you don’t want to be overwhelmed with information in the next two minutes, go watch it! Otherwise, here is
– Kiera Cameron is a Protector (that’s a cop) in 2077 Vancouver. She has a husband and a son.
– In 2077, the Corporate Congress (that’s corporations) rules the North American Union. An important member is Alec Sadler, a genius who founded a tech corporation called SadTech.
– Freedom is kept under strict, high-tech surveillance. But there’s a group of terrorists called Liber8, led by a man named Kagame, and they have killed thousands of innocent people in their fight for true freedom.
– Members of Liber8 are caught and get the death sentence, but they have a time travel device that they use to escape to the year 2012 — and Kiera, being near them when this happens, is sucked in with them. They land in Vancouver in our time.
– Kiera takes it upon herself to a.) find a way to return to 2077, b.) prevent the timeline from being disrupted by anything, so that she doesn’t accidentally erase herself or her family or something, and c.) stop Liber8 from doing any bad things or changing the future.
That’s the set-up. Now get ready for details, because here is a rather involved recap of
What’s happened so far…
– Stuck in 2012, Kiera is able to talk to Alec Sadler — but now he’s just a 19 year old computer genius who hasn’t invented anything yet. Still, even his current tech allows him to tap into Kiera’s cybernetic implants. Alec wants to help Kiera return to 2077.
– Kiera has a City Protective Services (CPS) supersuit that’s extremely important. It can stop bullets, raise invisible shields, and even turn the wearer invisible.
– Kiera works her way in with the local police force as an expert on Liber8, pretending to be from some mysterious division of the force she’s not allowed to talk about. She joins with Detective Carlos Fonnegra to take the group down. Eventually, she tells Carlos that she’s from 2077, and it’s at the perfect moment for him to actually believe her.
– Kiera has an uneasy, on-off alliance with Matthew Kellog, a member of Liber8 who leaves because he wants to enjoy life in 2012 — and use his knowledge of the future to make a fortune.
– Kellog sets up a fancy computer lab for Alec, because he wants in on some of the money Alec is bound to make as the future inventor of SadTech. Kiera doesn’t like this, because a.) she doesn’t fully trust Kellog, and b.) she doesn’t want Alec to become a bad guy and stop helping her or anything.
– The problem? Alec is a bad guy in 2077. But it’s revealed that in 2077, as an aging bazillionaire (or something) who sits in a floating house above Vancouver, Alec regrets that the corporations run the continent. He regrets a lot of things, and so he is responsible for sending Kiera and Liber8 back in time as part of some big plan. The question is, what is he trying to do?
– Alec’s emo step-brother Julian is sought out by Liber8 and set up as the group’s founder. In the future, he was a mentor to Kagame, but because the timeline is funky now, the members of Liber8 from the future actually seek out young Julian — knowing how important he will become to the movement — and lead him into his position.
– Kagame sacrifices himself. Liber8 member Sonya takes over, but not everyone follows her. She is more into ideas than violence. The man who opposes her is her former lover, Travis, a violent super-soldier.
– Kiera meets another man from the future named Jason. Jason seems slightly bonkers and claims that he was there when Liber8 escaped in 2077, but he was thrown back to the year 1990 instead of 2012.
– Alec meets Jason. Then Alec takes a drug that’s supposed to enhance memories. And Alec remembers his long-gone father from when he was very young — and it’s Jason. Alec does a DNA test, and they are a match. It seems Jason is Alec’s father.
– Alec gets a girlfriend named Emily. It turns out she’s working for Escher, a mysterious former “Freelancer” from the future who seems to know about Kiera and Liber8. He’s having Emily spy on Alec and protect him from Freelancers. But Emily develops real feelings for Alec, and so she finally tells him who she really is.
– The Freelancers are people who travel back in time and intervene to prevent anything — or anyone — from changing in the time continuum. They are focused on Alec Sadler in 2077 and want to stop him from changing the future. It seems this would cause a “glitch” in the time continuum.
– The Freelancers try to stop Kiera from using the time travel device in 2012 to return to 2077. When Kiera, Alec, Emily, and Jason are escaping from Freelancers with the device, Emily is shot and killed.
– It’s revealed that Escher is Alec’s father — and Jason is actually Alec’s son, sent back in time by 2077 Alec. (Great twist!)
– In the season 2 finale, Kiera is gearing up to use the time travel device to return to 2077. But Freelancers show up and ruin the party — and then Alec grabs the device and uses it to travel back in time to save Emily.
– Carlos joins Liber8. (What?!)
– At the end of the episode, we see Kiera, Jason, Kellog, and Liber8 members being held in some sort of prison for time travelers by the Freelancers. We saw this once before, but the Kiera of 2077 dismissed it as a dream — even though she said it felt more like a memory.
This is where the show leaves us. And that’s not all of it, because I haven’t even mentioned some of the most important characters. (I can think of four in particular I have left out…) But sticking to this for now, here is
What we know so far…
1. There’s more than one timeline. The last line of season 2 is a reference to Alec not being a problem anymore “in this timeline.” It’s possible 2077 Alec has tried and failed to change the continuum before, and this is one of many attempts. Maybe the show will include an alternative timeline at some point.
2. Time travelers should not be killed. The freelancers want to prevent “glitches” in the continuum… yet instead of killing time travelers, they imprison them. So killing them must cause a glitch in the continuum, right?
3. Alec knows stuff. Young Alec in 2012 has a message from 2077 Alec. He also may have learned something from Escher that Kiera doesn’t know. Either of these (or both!) may well play into why he’s going back in time to save Emily. And I think there’s more to it than that. Maybe saving Emily is part of his plan. Maybe 2077 Alec warned him about that. But I believe Alec realizes that there are things going on in his past that need to be changed in order for 2077 Alec’s plan of changing the future to work.
Given all of this, here are some of my theories about what’s going to happen in season 3:
Alec at a Crossroads
It’s possible that young Alec now has to choose between helping Kiera return to the future and carrying out his future self’s plan to change it for the better. Maybe, for a while, he thought he could do both. But those two paths may have diverged, leaving Alec at a crossroads.
Kiera wants to leave the future intact to return safely to her husband and son. But 2077 Alec wants to change the future for the better. Maybe Alec realizes that he has to choose, and in order to improve the future, he can no longer help Kiera.
Interestingly, Kiera has always said she believes Alec has the power to make his own choices in spite of the continuum. She wants him to be a good person — not to become the bad man 2077 Alec apparently is. Yet she only seems to want this because she thinks this means Alec will help her. Kiera tends to have selfish motives about these things…
Kiera’s Character Arc
Kiera is surprisingly apathetic about the state of 2077. She doesn’t mind that corporations run everything. Although Liber8 is a violent terrorist organization, its core beliefs are more in line with the “good” side than Kiera’s apathy. At one point in the season 2 finale, Travis says, “Can’t you see you’re the villain in this story?” and to an extent, I can see exactly that.
I believe Kiera will go through a character arc that will whisk her from accepting the status quo of 2077 to realizing that the future does need to be changed. Once she sees that she has the power to prevent terrible things from happening in the future, she may sacrifice her family or herself to better that future. In a role reversal, she may have to help Alec — and that may mean destroying the device to stop the Freelancers.
Carlos at Liber8
And then we have Carlos and Betty (another cop and a Liber8 mole) shaking hands with Julian. This does not mean that Carlos is officially joining Liber8.
In the season 2 finale, Carlos gave up his badge to help Kiera escape when she was being wrongly held for a murder, but he still has his ethics as a cop — even if he’s not officially part of the force anymore. I believe he’s going rogue to spy on Liber8 and see if he can bring them down from the inside. Sure, it’s possible they’ll protect him at first, and that’s part of why he’s going to them. But he and Kiera were tight, and I believe he’ll carry on with Kiera’s mission to make sure they don’t take over in his time period.
Kiera’s Dreams of Imprisonment = CMR Synchronizing?
Kiera’s dream about being drugged and imprisoned seems to be real — but it’s from another timeline. In that case, she may be capturing memories uploaded from another timeline.
But what’s interesting is that we’ve seen that CMRs — cybernetic implants that Protectors like Kiera get in 2077 — can synchronize with each other. I believe Kiera’s “dream” could be her CMR synchronizing with her own CMR. If all of this time travel stuff is resulting in multiple time streams, there could be two of her.
Other things I’d like to see:
1. Escher using future technology to control the present.
2. Kellog going up against Escher. I can imagine them having two different ideas of what the present should be, and they’re both confident, careful, and manipulative. Kellog might work more on the outside, while Escher stays in his tower as a CEO. But I want to see them have showdowns.
3. Kellog and Kiera teaming up… more. In the season finale, Kellog apparently decides life in 2012 is too wild for him, so he wants to return to 2077 with Kiera. Maybe their interests will align more in the future, and their on-off alliance will remain uneasy but much more on.
4. Kiera and Emily at odds. If Alec succeeds in saving Emily, will Kiera and Emily have it out?
5. Two timelines. There may be two timelines, one in which Emily dies and one in which she doesn’t. In one timeline, the Freelancers imprison Kiera and the other time travelers. In the other timeline, they are not imprisoned. At some point, these two timelines will merge, and it will be big.
6. Alec 2077 doesn’t want to better anything after all. This would be a weird twist, but maybe 2077 Alec likes things just the way they are in 2077. And maybe he realizes that in order to be born, he has to send Kiera and Liber8 back in time. Is Kiera related to the Sadlers…?
In any case, it will be interesting to see young Alec going back in time to save Emily. Will there be two of him? Will there be just one of him, and he’ll change the continuum so nobody even remembers her death? Will Alec even make it back in time? If he doesn’t know exactly how to plot a jump through time, he may end up in a totally different time — like 2077.
All I know for sure is that it’s going to be a long wait until the show returns in 2014…