“Continuum” Recap + Theories!

ContinuumFor 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

The premise

– 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.

Young Alec Sadler.
Young Alec Sadler.

– 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?

Julian.
Julian.

– 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 and Jason.

– 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.

Escher
Escher.

– 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

Alec and Kiera.
Alec and Kiera.

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

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

Betty and Carlos.
Betty and Carlos.

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.

Kellog.
Kellog.

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…

— Ashley

10 Comments Add yours

  1. Robyn Miller says:

    I’m far too excited to find someone else who loves the show. It’s so well-done.

  2. j3w3l says:

    awesome write up. While I never got into it at first just recently a started watching it and am now in love. Such an amazingly complex web of characters and themes

  3. Great to find another fan! I wanted to write something myself about Continuum but I couldn’t find the time, and then I’d watched it all! Ha! Great post!

    I get wound up by Keira a lot.. she is SO SELFISH. It’s pretty damn clear that 2077 was in no way perfect for most of the population, yet she cares about nothing but getting back to her (really annoying) son! She just uses Alec, while his whole life basically crumbles. I don’t like her much! I keep hoping she’ll have a moment of enlightenment but it hasn’t really happened yet.
    Also there is DEFINITELY something dodgy about her husband.

    Have you ever played Mass Effect (this is my first stop on your blog)? Once I realised that Carlos is basically Kaidan Alenko, but in cop form on contemporary Earth.. I was like 1 million % more on board!

    1. Yay another fan! I can definitely see what you mean about Keira. I didn’t think about it much at first, but as the series went on, I started thinking she’s almost a villain and Alec seems to be playing the hero more. If they’re pitted against each other, Alec is going to win the good guy award hands down… but I’m curious to see if Keira undergoes some sort of character arc! Like you said, maybe a moment of enlightment somewhere down the road…

      Whoa, I never thought of Carlos as Kaidan but you’re totally right! haha I do love Mass Effect. =)

      1. Dolan says:

        I think all of Keira’s intentions stem from her family. I don’t know if i can label that selfish… A perfect world would mean nothing without her husband and son. That is HER world and her cause. Liber8 might be a cause for the “greater good” but they sacrifice a lot of people for that ideal. Are they less selfish? To get what they want they stamp on whoever necessary. Corporations- what was their motives ? Money, perhaps blind scientific curiosity- are they less selfish? Was it less selfish for Alec to go save his girlfriend and break his promise to Keira, when knowing how she felt that first night watching the memories of her family? Keira didn’t ask to be sent back in time, she had no choice. She was tricked. Alone, scared, panicking over missed dentist appointments and anniversary dinners. She didn’t want to have any major historical importance like Liber8 and the corporations. Maybe Keira’s motives were the most pure- family and love. She has zero desire for power. “You know who I am? I’m a nobody cop.”

        I think she’d rather return to the future and fix that world with the new knowledge she gained from the past- especially after experiencing freedoms that were lost due to war. When it comes to “knowing the villain”, in her time everyone was getting bombed by “Freedom” fighters. How do you protect yourself and your family from that kind of force? She joined the military, became a protector. All she was introduced to for the most part was the necessity of losing her privacy (everything being recorded, etc) to prevent death. I don’t think the Corporations are good, I don’t think Liber8 is good – theres no middle ground choice, and both sides are pushing each other into extremes. The time travel introduces a real chicken, egg theoretical mind warp.

        Its always a treat to find a show with a good script involving lots of grey areas.

        I had the same theory about her CMR syncing- but I think its being purposefully done so by future Alec (in his floating pod vehicle outside the window) … and I think her husband knows something about it. That scene in the bedroom- was it after the execution? Speaking of which, I want to see more of what is going on with her husband in 2077. What does he know, why does he know it, and what happened after everyone disappeared? Oh, the possibilities!

        1. That is such a good point — there’s really no middle ground at the moment, but both Liber8 and Keira are being selfish in their own ways. It’s interesting that Liber8 represents a lot of modern ideas, yet it’s also a terrorist organization that is hard to actually get behind due to its extreme methods.

          Yeah, I also want to know more about her husband! I’m curious what he knows, too…

          Thanks for the comment!

  4. Vincent says:

    Thanks for a thorough review of the Series. I watched it and couldn’t stop watching after each episode. I was so addicted to Continuum and finished all 3 seasons on Netflix in one week! Each season definitely added new surprises to the show. I was so amazed it kept me going. Just when I thought this was all the show have to offer, they tossed in a new layer, new twist, that kept me entertained one after another episode. I liked how they added some history of each character in the show so I can understand about what happen to them and how did they became Liber8.

    At the end of season 3 I was speechless. I totally look forward to next season (4)! I am so in love with Kiera; I was excited near the end of S3 how she finally realized what must be done and that she is “no longer asleep”! I enjoyed watching Kiera team up with **spoiler** certain characters I never thought possible, but they are such a good team together! I liked Alec Sadler, the young actor totally get me to like his role! I think he’s both funny and awesome! I liked how Alec always help Kiera even though he was upset/mad at her for hiding secrets from him. Alec (the first young Alec) is Kiera’s loyal friend who always answers her call for help!! I think if Kiera was younger, Alec would go “woo” Kiera!! haha!! (I would if I was Alec, I’d use the time travel to go woo “young Kiera” instead of rescue emily! LOL) First season when Alec peek at Kiera in front of the mirror, Alec complimented how pretty Kiera looks for the first time! I can tell Alec truly has some kind of “puppy crush” on Kiera!

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