Continuum: A Minute Changes Everything

"You know, if this was Star Trek, we'd fight now."

I do love a good Star Trek reference. And I am loving this show right now.

Present Alec confronting Week Ahead Alec was just an amazing scene, my favorite in the entire series so far. The two Alecs have completely diverged and now have separate agendas. Present day Alec is now CEO Alec, pretty much the original timeline Alec who wanted his technology to drive the future -- even though he knows what a horror show the future becomes. And what does that say about CEO Alec? That the Alec who loves Emily is a better person than the Alec who doesn't?

Week Ahead Alec is still the likeable teenager that we first met in this series, with the rumpled hair and the hoodie. We heard the phrase "and now she gets to be only that one thing" more than once during the episode, and that was the key to Week Ahead Alec. He can see that Emily is more than just the criminal she used to be, and he still loves her. The two Alecs acknowledged coldly that they were enemies. They now reflect the two sides we've always seen on this show: the evil establishment versus the people.

I guess we know now which Alec is the key to changing the future for the better. If the season culminates in the necessary death of one of them, it'll be interesting to see which way they go. Especially since I am still very fond of Week Ahead Alec, and starting to dislike the CEO. What a difference a week makes, huh?

The flashforward to Kiera and the fire just blew me away, too; she's also more than "one thing". I really did think it would end with a system override and Kiera rescuing the three executives, and that she would let that brave little girl die, but no. And the way her fellow cops "low fived" her? What was going on there? It certainly gave us a whole new glimpse of what's going on in the future. How rebellious was 2077 Kiera? Is that why she helped Garza? It's almost a shame we're not getting both Kieras diverging the way Alec is, although that would probably get muddy and confusing.

Poor Carlos is losing it. It was downright disturbing the way he sat half-drunk in the freezer with Kiera's dead body and talked to her as if Week Ahead Kiera wasn't Kiera at all. He was understandably angry and cynical about the victimization of the college students and his own role in it. Carlos represents the changing attitude of the average citizen; he's moving closer and closer to the Liber8 point of view. And by that, I mean Julian's point of view, not the Sonya/Travis contingent.

Which made what Julian did in this episode interesting, too -- telling the world on television that Carlos gave the kill order on those three kids, which conveniently included the young woman who helped Julian awhile back. (Why is Julian threatening Carlos in particular? What did I miss?) Every time I see Julian now, I wonder if he's the true hero of this story. He's the idealist, the soul of the Liber8 cause, but without the violence and terrorism.

The title of this episode, "A Minute Changes Everything", of course referred to the Lion's Gate University shooting that mimicked the Kent State shootings in 1970, an event that was the turning point in public opinion of the Vietnam War. But there was another huge turning point here: the two Alecs meeting, and acknowledging that they were enemies. And probably another: flashforward Kiera successfully defying her corporate owners.

I am so impressed. I didn't get to see the episode until last night and wrote this review very quickly this morning, a sure sign of how engaged I am. And I haven't even seen the episode a second time yet. (Although I did rewatch the Alec versus Alec scene. And will again.)


-- Betty is now a reverse undercover mole for the Vancouver PD. Didn't see that one coming. Yet another change from the present we saw in the second season finale, when Carlos and Betty went to Liber8 together. Wait a minute. I guess that could still happen, couldn't it?

-- It was creepy how CEO Alec touched Week Ahead Alec on the shoulder. I don't suppose he left a tracking device, too? No, Week Ahead Alec would be all over that. [Oops! See J.D.'s comment below. This had to be a TimeCop reference. CEO Alec was checking to see if the two of them would cancel each other out. Whoah.]

-- Carlos kept mentioning the Theseus t-shirts, representing the way college students are passionate about causes. I need to keep track of when and how the t-shirts were mentioned when I watch this episode again.

-- I also liked how they got some important current events in there, with young people graduating from college and not being able to get a job.

-- The TV show was Firing Point with Diana Bolton. "Firing point"?


Carlos: "You're part of an argument I'm having with myself."
What a nice bit of foreshadowing of the Alec versus Alec scene.

Carlos: "Does this feel a little Kent State to you?"

Kellog: "Alec, did you really think they were gonna let you march in here and play Steve Jobs without a fight? Do you even own a turtleneck?"
I am still confused about Kellog's agenda. He's the most ambiguous character in a show full of ambiguous characters.

Kellog: "I've read the dossiers on these board members. There's no Kirk. There's no Picard. They barely have a Geordi. Stop playing their game."

CEO Alec: "Wow. This is very Marty McFly right now."

CEO Alec: "I'm the landlord of this timeline. You're a squatter."

I loved this episode. Can you tell? Four out of four timeline squatters,

Billie Doux is the founder of Doux Reviews and has been reviewing her favorite shows for quite some time. More Billie Doux.


Jess Lynde said...

I liked this one quite a bit, too. And I agree about Julian. The Liber8 agenda is definitely sympathetic --- I absolutely love the way they use the current state of society on this show --- but the Sonya/Travis/Lucas methods are deplorable. And yet they are the future fallout from Julian's work/teachings now. It started with his ideals, and when paired with the continuing tightening of Alec's police/corporate state, they turned to violence, likely feeling that was the only appropriate response to the police. So, another future aspect that we should maybe we working to avoid.

Kiera restoring her timeline just doesn't seem like something we should be rooting for at all. Her mindset in this episode was terrifying. But since we got that glimpse of her disobeying her police/corporate overlords to save a child, perhaps there is still hope for her to come around and start working to create a better future.

So much food for thought this week! And so many great scenes and developments. My heart is breaking for Carlos, and I can't help agreeing with him that Freelancer Kiera does not feel like his Kiera anymore. I hope he comes around back to that point where he and Betty are joining Julian. I, too, loved the two Alecs confronting each other, and I'm definitely on board with rooting for Week Ahead Alec at this point. I'm glad that Emily chose him. (It's amazing how much suited up CEO Alec looks like a young William B. Davis. Fantastic casting!)

Love this show!

Jess Lynde said...

Ooh! So it occurred to me that you are probably very right about Week Ahead Alec's love for Emily (and her choosing him) being key to "changing the future for the better." Remember that Future Old Alec sent Garza back to keep an eye on him, and to make sure he follows a different path. She was going to kill him in the present, but when our Alec told her that he loved Emily, she let him live (if memory serves). So Emily and Alec's love for her seems to be a crucial element in averting the "bad future."

Billie Doux said...

Thanks, Jess -- I'd spaced out about the old Alec and the Garza thing, but maybe I'd remembered it subconsciously.

It seems logical that The X-Files's William B. Davis was cast *after* Erik Knudsen, but yes, sometimes the resemblance is really striking. Perfect casting.

J.D. Balthazar said...

Great episode, great review. So many things in this episode just made me go wow. As for the CEO Alec touch Week Ahead Alec on the shoulder, I believe that was a reference to Timecop and the whole 'The same matter cannot occupy the same space thing'. If that's right, CEO Alec was playing with potential oblivion. That's kinda messed up.

Jess Lynde said...

I didn't remember the connection either, until I was trying to explain the episode and how much I am loving the show right now to my husband, and it suddenly popped into my head. I went, "Ooh! Ooh! Garza!"

You should have seen the look on my husband's face as I tried to explain all the timeline shifts and future perspectives and whatnot. What the ...? Who did what to which version of whom? Huh? He watched the series in the first season, but then dropped it because it became too complicated for him to follow. He's like "Yeah, I know that's what you love about it, but I'm out."

Billie Doux said...

J.D., you're absolutely right -- it was a TimeCop reference. I'm adding a note to my review.

sunbunny said...

Okay. So I didn't get the connection to Kent State (I head to wiki it; sorry, I know I make you all feel old). It reminded me of the protest at UC Davis a couple of years ago with the pepper spray happy cop.

I don't like current Alec all of a sudden. Just in the last episode, I was sure I was on his team and distrustful of week ahead Alec. Week ahead Alec definitely has his priorities in check. Losing Emily was good for him. I am constantly wondering how changed the future is. I wish we could hop over there for a few minutes just to check.

Sooze said...

I am having a really hard time getting the time travelling straight in my me out?
At the end of S2, did Kiera jump forward in time? Was she the only one who did?
We've got Kiera and Alec who have jumped back in time to a week before the events of the end of last season. Right...
What about Garza? It seems like Garza understands that Kiera is the one who helped her escape - but that's before Kiera jumped how would she know that - this is "original Garza"...right? There aren't 2 Garza's...
When Kiera is meeting with the (forgot their names...the ones with the tatoos between their fingers) - they didn't jump back also, right? Aren't they the ones from original timeline? So how do they know what's going on?
And - have we "caught up with" the point at which last season ended - i.e. has it been a week yet? And I am guessing that things are changing now b/c of Kiera and Alec jumping back in time.
Maybe I need to watch the last ep of S2 and rewatch all the eps from this season - I am really enjoying it but am really confused.
I find myself calling hoodie Alec "our Alec" - kind of like we did with Olivia and Co. in Fringe with the 2 universes...

Jess Lynde said...

Let's see if I can help. Or at least get the ball rolling, since I may have some details mucked up.

Kiera did not jump forward at the end of last season. She was hoping to, because she and Alec secured the rest of the chocolate orange from crazy Lucas, and Escher had the power source. But instead of helping her, as promised, Alec decided to jump back the week to save Emily (creating a branching timeline).

The Freelancers sent Kiera back to the same point as Week Ahead Alec at the end of the S3 premiere, but they did not go with her. At that point, she rescued the Garza that had already been captured in S2, E10 (so original flavor, not the Garza that got killed in S3, E1). The Freelancers in the current timeline are working with Kiera because the tattoo she got in the S3, E1 premiere checked out. They know she came back from a different timepoint at the behest of different versions of themselves.

We've definitely branched off significantly from the end of S2 at this point. Kiera and Alec jumped back to a point that roughly coincided with the events of S2, E11 ('Second Guess'). I don't know if the week has passed yet, but so much has changed, that basically everything from the end of S2 has been upended. Escher is dead, Jim Martin is dead, the Freelancers didn't attempt to frame Kiera for Gardiner's murder and apparently aren't attempting to lock up the assorted time travelers like before, Carlos just outed Betty in a completely different manner, and so on. We may be headed to some similar points, but the route that takes us there should be quite different.

Does that cover it? If not, what did I miss?

Billie Doux said...

Thanks, Jess. That sounds right.

Sooze said...

Jess, thanks. I think I have it now. So Season 3 started with Kiera actually in the same timeline we saw in S2...and that timeline was deteriorating b/c of Alec going back in time and messing things up.
What happened with Garza, I just missed (need a rewatch).
I asked about the amount of time passing because I originally thought this entire season was going to be one week equivalent in time - leading back to what happened at the end of S2 and showing us how everything changed - but now I see we're beyond that.
What kind of gets me though is that, except for Kiera and Alec, aren't we actually now "with" other versions of our characters? Because didn't the rest of them "die off" with the timeline that went kablooey? Not that it matters, I guess, but really we're with a different Carlos - a week ahead Carlos post Alec going back in time...not original Carlos.
My head hurts (common Fringe refrain).
Also, the flashback/forwards that we're now seeing with Kiera in 2077...maybe these seem so different and we're confused b/c her future HAS changed already b/c of the old 2077 Kiera is different than the new 2077 Kiera.