Sunday, October 18, 2015

Continuum - The Final Hour



Continuum continues no longer.

The sci-fi entry from the great white north ended it's fourth and final season (US market) this past Friday night and more than one character (cork) screwed themselves out of the future.

As I write this I'm still wondering if I should subtitle this blog post, "The Price of Love" or " No Good Deed Goes Unpunished."  There were a couple of twists (befitting a corkscrew) and by and large the series ended up on an up note albeit one that was slightly off key.

Was I satisfied with the way Continuum ended?  Not particularly.  I can't argue with the vision of a better world was made manifest, no para-military police, no corporate congress and lots of fountain work.  (Hey, was all the imagery a tribute to Rand's "The Fountainhead" or Aronofsky's, "The Fountain?") But the finale and it's predecessor was so action laden it made me yearn for a little more exposition into the struggle of changing the future and the implications thereof.


No, I didn't want everyone sitting around the table drinking beers together (although I love that part of the final season) and arguing the merits of changing the past and future.  I just thought we got that action set piece out of the way in "The Desperate Hours."

So, I'm going to editorialize a little here.  

You'd think in a age where "Black Lives Matter" and "Blue Lives Matter" there would be a little more sensitivity to the body count from this show.

Particularly the amount of policeman that were snuffed out in extreme fashion in this past episode and the penultimate one.  One of the stars characterized a policeman's ending as "epic" on Twitter.  He was decapitated in grisly fashion.  I have an image of it but you know, no, not gonna post it.

The Twist

 
With the editorializing out of the way let's get to the twist ending and how the series wrapped things up.

So, spoiler alert from now on.

Keira makes it back to the future and in doing so she is reunited with Sam.

Sort of.

She never left him.




Keira did such a wonderful job of inspiring everyone in the past that apparently she never had to travel back in order to right things.

Ouch, the "Price of love" indeed Alec.

Keira 2.0 made it back to the future to witness the self that never was shot by Brad.  Brad and Alec had warned her the future may not be the same one she left and Sam may not even be there when she returned.

They didn't say Keira may be there though.  Twist!


One could argue Alec waited sixty years to break her heart.

I thought there might be a paradox with two Keiras running around.  But as we know, at one point we had two Keiras and two Alecs at the same time too.  Did the Traveler have anything to do with this?  At face value I would say absolutely not.  (More on him later.)  No, Keira made her own future.

I had posited in a crackpot theory that Keira should grab Sam from the future and return to the past via moving the wormhole.  Rebuild the future from the past with all the people you've come to know and love and have your son with you.

Then again, I expanded on that theory in my comments to reader Chris when I said, "Ha, that would make it possible for Keira to grab the wrong Sam in a future where she never left him. Ouch."

Ouch indeed and very close!  

So now Keira 2.0 is stuck in a future where she doesn't belong.  Most of the people she knew from the past are dead and gone those who are left are in their twilight years.

Maybe Keira 2.0 can tend to the Fonegra fountain park collecting coins from well wishers and dreaming of being sent to the past.

She does have a timeball and time travel should still exist considering there is a "time tunnel" in the past.  Maybe this the Continuum spin off we've been hearing about lately.  (I cringed at some of the possible clues to this during the episode.)



It looks as though most of the players on the right side of history got the happy ending they deserved.  (I guess Brad didn't deserve his as much.) Kagame, mentored by his uncle Julian and compatriot Alec flourished in a peaceful future.   Alec got to spend his time with Emily after all.  Carlos became so beloved they memorialized him with a freaking park.   

Jason?  Alec not his dad?  Is that what the note was about?  Was there a spliter-in-time dad with a different mother?  We'll never know.  (Cough, spin-off.)

All in all it looks as though Keira got the most bittersweet ending of them all.




No good deed goes unpunished Protector.


The Other Twist



Cork screwed yourself didn't you Kellog?

So in the end there was nothing redeeming about Kellog and ultimately nothing to be redeemed.

He was always a selfish character, at times funny and other times personable and charismatic.

But someone had to take the fall.


While trying to save his own butt in the present and cheat his fate he ended up killing his future.

Kellog murdered Vasquez when she wouldn't accede  to his plans.  In the cruelest twist of fate she turned out to be his own daughter.  Both she and his future self knew what he was capable of and planned accordingly.  If they only factored in the lengths he was willing to go to.



"I choose me."

I did laugh at this moment.  Typical Kellog.  Irredeemably selfish to the end.  Laughter not at him murdering his own daughter but his utter self absorption as he tap danced into time. 


And what a time it is!

Alec managed to reprogram Kellog's timeball and send him to the distant past of Canada's ancestral forebears.   That's not to say he's dead.  Knowing Kellog he is at least the shaman of the tribe now if not its chieftain.


The Spin Off Series 


This is definitely not carved in stone.

I would think it would be difficult for Simon Barry to sell this series considering he was barely able to finish Continuum.  He was granted just six episodes in order to wrap things up.   What makes us think he'll get another shot with a similar theme?

The unanswered questions are, what happens to Keira now?  Sam stalker?  

Or Time Cop?

She can't exactly go back to the Carlos past.  They formed the future thinking she may be dead and the lessons she left behind inspired them to build a better future.

What was the great Traveler mystery?  What did he fix?  Does it involve Keira?



She did leave a few people behind.




And group like this with their kick ass capabilities should not go unwasted.  

If the Traveler returns coupled with Keira's time ball, she could get the band together again (minus Carlos, Alec and Julian) and right all the wrongs any mischievous character might enact with the wormhole device or any other time machine.

Works for me.


Odds and Ends


 

I did love Continuum's vision of a time device.

Those physical planes slamming into each other perhaps evolving into multidimensional branes that allowed a wormhole to be possible was great fun.



The spitting of light particles from the other end of the device was pretty awesome too.  As if a chrono-chromatic light effect stabilized the wormhole and allowed it to develop and hold while it went through its tethering function.



Pretty neat.

That should be one selling point to a future series Simon Barry. 


Familiar Faces




Can Rachel Nichols be convinced to come back to TV?  She just did a stint on "Chicago Fire" and her movie vehicle "Pandemic" is in post production.  Seemingly, the world is her oyster.





 


We grew fond of a lot of the faces we got close to via the box in our living room.  Oh wait, no one calls it a box anymore.  A plane?  A panel or brane?  That's it.  TV is our traveling device that takes across time and the universe.  It won't be long before we see all our friends again.  And if the band can get back together, all the better.


In the meantime, just turn on the TV and you'll find Roger Cross anywhere!  Right, Travis Verta, Six (Dark Matter), Kevin O'Donnell (Bones), Reggie Fitzwilliam (The Strain), Matt (The Returned), Boyd Bloom (Motive), Detective Luca Hilton (Arrow) Cartlton (Orphan Black), and on and on.

Thank God for him!

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Continuum - The Desperate Hours


Termination Point

I have to tell you, the last thing I expected from Continuum was for it to go all Terminator on us.

That sequence when Rollins shot his way into police headquarters, the hallway gunfight and the rooftop extraction was one of the most thrilling sequences ever filmed on Continuum.


The stakes seemed to have been raised to a new level where, yes, zero hour prevailed and our participants were forced to make the hard choices they could only defer before.


I wasn't particularly brokenhearted over the forced split between Kiera and Brad. This was coming and with the introduction of the Tonkin family plot point there wasn't much way around it.



The best part of this dynamic was the standoff wherein the opposing parties had the "key" to each other's future.  Actually, Kellog is important to both interests while the immediacy of Alec's importance is driven by Kiera's attachment to him.


This particular dynamic played out earlier in the episode when Alec once again questioned Kiera's motivation.  Of course, he wasn't privy to her little conversation with Travis Verta during the last episode, but this question has lingered heavily over the narrative of this show.

Kiera has been overtly selfish in her decision making but slowly she has come around to the bigger picture.  Let's not forget the harsh conversation between Kiera and Garza as they made their escape from the Piron facility also in the last episode.  Garza was disgusted with Kiera that she sought to return to her family even if it meant protecting the corporate hell Garza set her life against.


Believe me, this was a pivotal point for Keira.

The whole point of this show, okay a large part of it, was getting Keira back to her future.  Even the opening credits features a picture of Sam now.  Travis was incredulous that Keira would even entertain a return to corporate hell during his conversation with Carlos.

No worries Travis, Keira made the right choice.

"Thank you Protector."




Kiera's selflessness led to Verta's return to VPD headquarters and his sacrifice may be pivotal in the direction the show will take in the final episode.  He really will be remembered as the key Kellog!


That hole that opened up on the roof of VPD headquarters seemed symbolic of the wormhole that threatens to open in the final chapter of Continnum.

The shape of things to come?


The Future is Now



The other question that has weighed heavily over the narrative of this show is what does the future hold after all?
 



"..be there"

I'll finish that sentence for you Brad.  He's referring to the possibility that Sam may not even exist in the future Keira wants to return to.  




Hallelujah! 

Carlos finally said it.  Stay!

This is the point I've been pounding away at in most recent posts.  Wouldn't Keira be better served by staying in the present?  I think Continuum's thoughts and mine are finally starting to dovetail together.   The future is now.  Work together towards the common good.  Build the future from the ground up for a better tomorrow.


Crackpot Theory Alert!



Naturally, Kellog can't be trusted with the future even when he senses the cards aren't necessarily in his favor.  He's duplicating Alec's efforts into perfecting the wormhole device no doubt in order to steer events in his favor.


 
He can't do that if he is a pawn to Future Kellog's efforts.  That's why Alec and Kiera agreed at the end Kellog is their best chance now that he is their "inside man."  Kellog is eager to escape the clutches of his future self and steer efforts from his mirrored device he stealing from Alec.

Did I use that word steer again?

I did and this where the crackpot theory comes in.


I'm not entirely convinced the wormhole device is pointed at the future Keira want to go to anyway.  Isn't angled at the dim future Kellog rules over in which would allow the invasion to pour through and or Kellog to get his kidney exchange?

Why not steer the wormhole?

Steer it to the future where Sam exists and have Keira grab him and bring him back to the present.   With the enhanced serialized functionality to the device, the "time ball" that Alec is using and the one Kellog has, this will allow Alec to move the wormhole without having a fixed device at the other end. 

Build the future now Keira.  Stay with Alec and save him from the corporate hell he wrongly builds.  Stop Kellog from creating that dim future.  (Lay off the booze for your kidney's sake Matty)  Prevent the invasion from ever happening and secure Brad's family.  (Brad will die to ensure this) Alec can work with Julian and make sure he turns into Mother Freakin' Theresa as an insurance policy!




Bring Sam to your new home Keira.  Be Carlos' partner and start a new future together. 

Is that having your cake and eating it too?  Of course.  But I think this is the big twist ending Continuum has been building towards.  Heck, even Annie doesn't have to die although I'd rather see Emily with Alec.  Maybe that wasn't to be after all and Jason will get his future.

Continuum ends next Friday night and the future is now.






Who dies on Arrow?




That was quite the scene that ended the premier for season four of Arrow entitled, "Green Arrow."  A maudlin Oliver Queen bent over a fresh grave consumed, seemingly, with regret more than heartbreak.  Suddenly, Barry Allen appears, offers his sincerest apologies and just as quickly disappears as the inconsolable Arrow refuses to lay blame.

The stark lesson learned here, even with two superheroes as a friend or ally, people still die.

So who lay in that freshly covered grave?  Here are the suspects.

Felicity 


Wouldn't her death offer the greatest dramatic impact to the end of the season?  Not only could one say, "You have failed this city."  But you could add, "You have failed this fiance!"  Well, almost fiance.  That little arrangement managed to be put off just a few times.

Buuuut, before we lament the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, sharp eyed viewers have already pointed out Felicity's Jewish heritage and that was a decidedly Christian burial ground.

Way to go Arrowheads!

Aside from that, I have a feeling we'd get the near riotous reaction we'd get if Daryl died on the Walking Dead.  See apocalyptic.

Quentin Lance


Here's a popular choice on the inter-webs, Quentin Lance.  

We know he is in bed with the devil that is Damien Darhk.  Any break with Darhk could cost him his life.  Furthermore, any heroic stance he would make against Dhark in order to save Laurel and her group would make his life forfeit and further the anguish of his passing.  TV loves anguish.

So why don't I think it's him?

Wouldn't Laurel be the last one to leave his graveside?  Even if she was so angry with Oliver and stomped away in disgust you'd think Oliver would preempt such events by having the decency to leave Laurel to grieve in peace.  (With a surprise visit from the White Canary.)

No, I don't think it is Lance.


Thea Queen

 
"If only you knew the power of the dark side."

I think she knows.  Did you see that beat down she gave that one thug?  I'm pretty sure she drew her blade to finish that guy.  If it wasn't for the quick intervention of the Arrow he'd be dead.

So the premise here would be, with Thea's resurrection from the Lazarus Pit and the lure of Malcolm's siren call, she becomes so irreversibly evil that there is no saving her.  Her downward spiral so great that even her brother couldn't stop her.  (Or maybe he did. Yikes!)

Still I think not.  Kill off another Red Arrow?  (Okay Roy isn't dead but he is gone.) I just don't see it.  Wouldn't it be a better story if Thea did go dark and they spend the season saving her?

Wouldn't it?


Laurel Lance


Doubt it.

Seriously, you develop the Black Canary character and then kill her off?  Well, maybe.  Nah, I don't buy it.  You need that love hate relationship between her and Ollie.  Plus, you need a reason for Quentin to blame everything on Ollie and what better center for that than Laurel.  Is she a risk taker?  Yes.  Is she untried and a little green?  Sure.  Is she going to be killed off.  No.

How about Nyssa al Ghul or Malcolm Merlyn?  Do we care?  Well I care about Nyssa.  I've had a TV crush on Katrina Law since her Spartacus days.  They better not kill her off.  And who am I kidding?  I've had a TV crush on John Barrowman since his Torchwood days.  Who hasn't?

Who does that leave?


John Diggle

 
This doesn't look good.

Diggle is a man that has been wronged.  His best friend, the man he trusted the most, endangered his family.  In his absence, Diggle sought to carry the mantle of the Arrow.  Save the city, fight the good fight, protect his family.  Now the Arrow has returned.  I'm sorry, The Green Arrow has returned. Diggle couldn't quite fill the quiver and now that the city is on the edge of forever, er, I mean darkness, the Arrow will finish the job Diggle couldn't

What is a man to do that couldn't protect his family?  That couldn't save the city?  That couldn't lead his team to victory?

He tries harder.

Diggle has always sought to do the right thing.  He is a decent man beyond reproach.  Yet, he is a man in pain.  The sting of Oliver's deceit still cuts deeply.  This wound is exacerbated by the mistrust that lingers between the  two men. 

I feel this is a wound that may never heal.  Diggle's distance from Oliver may push him to greater risks and his wounded pride forcing him to go it alone.  When the time comes when Dig needs his friend the most the gulf may be too wide to span.

And John Diggle may die.







Sunday, October 4, 2015

Continuum - Zero Hour




Kill Kellog.

Isn't that the key to a safer future?  (There was a lot of "key" talk in this episode.)  And don't you wonder if its Vasquez's job is to keep him alive until Matty is no longer needed then she is to bump him off so he can't screw anything up?

I know what you're thinking, if she kills Kellog now, how can he be alive in the future with his new kidney?  I think Curtis let that genie out of the bottle when he said there are several coexisting versions of the future (I didn't think they were going to go there, so complicated) and naturally he is in tune with all his future selves.

So, all this means I was right about Kellog not being able to trust his future self.  Future Kellog does have an agenda.  And I guess future Kellog is from a different timeline and he just needs to harvest a kidney from any of his other selves.

Oi.

All this talk about different timelines could be just a red herring.  I mean, we all know the future has been remade different times but to have several of them coexisting at the same time is a new angle.  That's the part I believe to be a red herring.  If not, I suppose it could supply a narrative that makes for a different ending for everyone.  Perhaps even the one that they choose.  I'm not so sure this would make the viewing audience happy but there it is.


The Magic Touch


 
Speaking of narrative devices here's one that I don't totally agree with, "The Magic Touch."

How convenient for Alec to be able to converse with his future self and iron out the wrinkles in time to make for a better future. 


Alec was also offered a glimpse of the future machinations that will lead him to some sort of end point.  It helps to have a Genie to provide you with valuable insight into making things right again.

Alec saw visions of the time device, Kagame, a lucid Jason and himself sitting at his Sadtech headquarters.



These visions coupled with the knowledge of Annie taking her own life to escape the awful future "future" Alec created was quite a wake up call.



And here he waking up.

Now Alec has renewed vigor and is confident in what he has to do in order to save the future and his life with Jason and Annie.  But hold on now.


Who The Heck is Annie?



 
She's the waitress that serves up a killer slice of pie.

I still don't completely trust Jason.  But I wonder if he's from a different future that split off from the present and he ended back in the Alec/Kellog timeline where he really doesn't belong.

Are we to seriously believe the show invested all this time with Emily and as Alec noted, someone he changed time for, only to chuck it all and pursue the safe Annie future?

Another herring as red as Annie's hair?


Metaphorically Speaking


 
Jason referred to Annie as a key.  Maybe she is a key that unlocks a different future that the Traveler is more comfortable with.  Perhaps we are being led to believe Emily was the Traveler's mistake and introducing Annie will fix all that has gone wrong.

Annie serving Alec a slice of pie is also a metaphor for choosing a different future.  One that is more palatable.  Will Alec like the taste it leaves in his mouth as time goes by? 




Part of Alec's vision was him handing the time device to Kagame as if to say the ball is in your court now.



The ball is in different hands now and as Kellog noted he's not so sure he can trust himself with it. 





Dhillon complained he was the key to the lock Kellog was not supposed to open.  Hmm, If Kellog knows what the VPD is investigating will this lead to explosive results?


The Time Bomb


 

I was a little perplexed Alec and Kiera deduced the device Brad and his gang were working on was a fusion device that would destroy a good portion of the city.  For a pair of people so heavily invested in time travel you'd think their first reflex was to think it was a time travel device.




Leave it to Jason to come up with the right algorithm to deduce it was really a dedicated wormhole that leads to a specific point.  Of course this "time elevator" goes both ways and Alec tells Kiera this could provide the means for her going home.




I have two problems with this.

1.  Can we really trust Jason?  Did he fudge his simulation to persuade Alec to accept this slice of the future?  (Not that Jason necessarily know what he is doing is wrong.  He could be a pawn of the Traveler or just convinced his Annie timeline is the right one.)

2.  If this is a dedicated wormhole then it leads to the crappy Kellog future where he needs his new kidney.  Shouldn't it lead to a future where Kiera returns  to Sam and she happy once again?  How can Alec steer the time elevator to a point at the other end where they are working on the same thing?  Isn't that, um, key?




At least he got his hug that he and Alec had botched so badly earlier.


Hugs All Around!




Not for everyone. 

The gulf grows wider between Brad and Kiera.  




He claims to be doing everything to protect Kiera but she doesn't believe in him even though she knows he's not lying.




In the end she stands between Carlos and Brad and allows him to escape.  

Perhaps that was a wise move.  Despite being conflicted by two different voices, Kiera knows Brad is still on the inside and she is rolling the dice he will do the right thing.

Actually rolling the dice is a good metaphor for the direction I'd like to see the show take.

No talk of fate or destiny.  No slices of time or different versions.  No insight provided by a magic touch.  I want these people to choose their own fate.  To make a choice in which they believe in and hoping they are doing the right by themselves and all concerned.

That seemed to be the direction Kiera was going in after he talk with Travis in the previous episode.   She realized what she wanted wasn't the be all to end all.  

Sometimes you have to have faith in yourself and your friends to bring everything together.