This episode sparked a discussion at my house about the ambiguity and complexity of all of the characters in this show.
Sonya wants to achieve her goals without violence, and yet she gave the Flash drug to the gangs to distribute, causing numerous and pointless injuries and deaths. Sonya is a terrorist, but she keeps trying to convince herself that it's all okay because she has a higher purpose, making her a great big hypocrite.
I can't help but like Travis more because he doesn't pretend to be what he is not. While Sonya and Lucas were arguing about methods, principles, persuasion and "sacrifice", Travis showed up at a gang war council with three heads in a suitcase. It's almost funny that Travis and Sonya have gang members in prison killing each other for the privilege of protecting Julian. That has to make Julian just a wee bit uncomfortable.
The strange and wonderful Jason the time traveler appears to have depths, too. The chess scene was just fascinating, because Jason was trouncing all of his opponents as he was spouting a whole lot of interesting information about the itinerant time travelers called "freelancers" who are after him. Is Jason imagining them, or do they exist? If they're real, do they protect the timeline or abuse it? Jason said "Mr. Escher" was a freelancer with his own agenda. I love that name, after (I'm assuming) M.C. Escher, the artist that created many complicated and disturbingly unrealistic works. It's a perfect name for a time traveler.
Jason looked shocked when he saw young Alec for the first time. And Alec took the drug Flash while holding his father's watch, and saw a much younger Jason arguing with Alec's mother, Ann. Is Jason Alec's father? If he is, holy Terminator time paradox, Batman. There is certainly a resemblance between the two actors, isn't there? That had to be a deliberate casting decision.
Alec is probably the most complicated character in the series. In this episode, Alec acted like a rebellious teenager and ran around with his new friends, although he refused to take Flash when they did. He played Kiera against Kellog while committing to neither, and probably lied to both. Kellog is also difficult to pin down. Kiera's accusation that he was behind the dissemination of Flash actually hurt his feelings, and anything soft and fuzzy between the two of them is probably over. I bet that's why he hit her between the eyes with his attempt to exploit Alec. If Alec does agree to work with Kellog, I'm not so sure that Kellog will be the power in that relationship. Alec may be only eighteen, but the Elder Alec is the world's puppet master, after all.
In the restaurant scene, Kiera was lecturing Alec about drugs (and teasing him about the pretty redhead who was smiling at him); it felt very big sister-like, and now we know why. In the flashforward, Kiera lost her sister Hannah to Flash. Hannah told Kiera that Flash users had emancipated themselves from slavery to the system, and you know, that made me think. Flash must have seemed very attractive to its users in the future because of their "Big Brother" lifestyle, if you can call it a lifestyle when it's not a choice. With every moment of their lives under surveillance, Flash allowed them to experience the "perfect moment" in complete privacy. How sad.
Since this review is about character ambiguity, let me close by acknowledging that Kiera's grief over her sister's suicide was very effective; gold acting stars for Rachel Nichols. And yet, the Blade Runner theme in the flashforward reminded me that Kiera is practically a cyborg, and she is still an agent of the Corporate Congress, the evil overlords of the future.
I seriously love this show.
Bits and pieces:
-- Ann visited Julian to give him the news that the building Kagame blew up was hosting a meeting of five executives from Big Pharma companies who were conspiring to sell more medicine by suppressing cures. (This was also mentioned in the previous episode by the Aryan Nation.) It made sense as a Liber8 target. But of course, innocent people died in the building with them.
-- In the future, Flash was called Retrievenol, a drug developed for Alzheimers patients before it was cured. (Wow, I wish. Someone I love very much is suffering from Alzheimers right now.)
-- That long gun battle featured the sounds of a lot of bullets dinging off metal. It was unusual enough that it added interest.
-- I know that I didn't say anything about ambiguity in Carlos Fonnegra. He is by far the straightest arrow in the Continuum quiver of characters, although he has also shown some negative and ambiguous traits.
-- In this week's hair report, Kiera's flashforward do was like Teri Farrell's in Deep Space Nine. I wonder if that was deliberate?
Jason: "I'm looking for Kiera. A police person. Very attractive."
Kellog: "I've got the world by the short hairs. I am on the ride of my life. Now why exactly would I stoop to selling street drugs?"
Kiera: "Because it's lucrative. Because you have the morals of a sea slug."
Kellog: "It's not a bad theory. Except I'm absolutely innocent. and there's not many things I can say that about."
Kellog: "The kid is a venture capitalist's dream. It's like finding Steve Wozniak at eighteen."
Kellog: "I don't want to change history, okay? I just want a ringside seat."
Jason: "Where do you think the telescope came from?"
Kiera: "I always assumed Galileo."
Jason: "Atomic bomb, cold fusion, Cherry Garcia Ice Cream, whenever there's a quantum leap in technology, you'll find freelancers."
Alec: "She probably thinks I'm taken."
Kiera: "Don't flatter yourself."
Fascinating, complicated episode. Three out of four immoral sea slugs,
Billie Doux is the founder of Doux Reviews and has been reviewing her favorite shows for quite some time. More Billie Doux.
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