Continuum: Zero Hour

"Every star in the universe burns out eventually. Darkness always conquers light."

There were many mentions of light and shadow in this episode, and lots of outdoor conversations in the brightness of day. Much talk of sliding doors, passing ships, and how can you live your life knowing that every choice you make might affect the future you're trying to change. Is time travel good, or evil? Is it both?

The mystery of what motivated Elder Alec to invent time travel and change things has actually been resolved. That was a big one. Elder Alec was acting solely on the information about time travel and Kiera Cameron that he got from present day Alec in this episode. That makes it a completely paradoxical time loop. How cool is it that Erik Knudsen and William B. Davis got to do a significant scene together? The resemblance held up, too, with a lot of focus on their eyes. Although they did have to film it at an angle because the two actors seriously differ in height.

The Traveler sent present day Alec to confront his future self in a sort of "time-out" room, pun intended, that looked a lot like the room where Keir Dullea grew old in 2001, or possibly a reverse-image holodeck on Next Gen. The Traveler himself came from a room like that, but with stacks of futuristic machine pieces and some extra added hardware in his chest.

We learned that the Traveler "broke time", and a moment is coming soon, in 2015, where time can be fixed. So I'm assuming that I was right that the Corporate Congress future and the Warlord Kellog future are both aberrations? Curtis was brought back from the dead because his consciousness was merged with a Curtis from another timeline (another big series question finally explained). Do all of these multiple timelines still exist somewhere, and is it just the Traveler's timeline that is gone? Is that how Alec can send Kiera back to her own future? I still don't get that and I wish they'd explain it.

As I mentioned in my review of "Rush Hour", if Jason was born around 2050, it doesn't seem likely that Jason's mother has even been born yet. But hey, maybe women in the future are fertile for a lot longer than they are now. Maybe Jason is older than he looks. At any rate, I liked that Alec decided not to pursue Jason's mother Annie because he didn't want to ruin her life. It won't affect Jason's present day existence, after all. Right?

Or maybe Alec was still planning to get Emily back. His feelings for her were pretty strong, since he did travel through time for her and everything. We, the audience, don't know Annie, but we do know Emily. Yes, I want Alec to end up with Emily.

I also think Alec hasn't considered why Jason is in his present instead of the future, that it was the only sure way Elder Alec had to keep his son alive. It's clear that Alec and Elder Alec are two different people now. Alec isn't going to become that man, and he's no longer second guessing every moment of his life. That's good. I think.


I thought it was an obvious and hilarious Star Trek reference that Kellog was wearing a red pullover when he came to the realization that his future self was planning to victimize his current self. Future Kellog is coming from the future to the present, he's bringing an army of desperate people with him, and he clearly wants a kidney transplant from the obvious donor. What will happen to the extra, younger Kellog then? I even thought that Vasquez would kill younger Kellog in this episode, but of course that can't happen until future Kellog gets his kidney.

After Kellog thought it through, he put his drink down and called Kiera. Maybe Kellog is ready to join the good guys, even if it's just for the most selfish of reasons. People can change. Lucas did.

And I haven't even talked about Brad Tonkin yet. I'm still sad that the Kiera/Brad relationship has clearly been deep sixed by the series cancellation. Maybe Brad really did kill Lucas to protect Kiera, but every time I think Brad is really on Kiera's side, I have second thoughts. And now Zorin is telling Brad that Brad's sister Emma and her sons are alive, and on 'the list'. Are they, or is it a trick? Maybe Alec is right that Kellog is more trustworthy than Brad. Sigh.

At least Kiera and Alec finally told Carlos everything. Carlos needs to know this stuff since the VPD is likely to be fighting soldiers from the future sometime soon.

Bits:

-- Kellog acknowledged that Kiera is his blind spot. Okay, that she used to be. I think she still is.

-- Jason asking his future mother for milk and smacking his lips was just weird, or possibly tasteless. Pun intended.

-- A tethered wormhole? A time elevator? The "pen" is a key. And Alec isn't stupid enough to give it to anyone.

-- During the Kellog/Vasquez scene, when Kellog said, "Join me", I couldn't help adding "and together we can rule the galaxy…"

-- The dialysis machine was also a nice jab at comparing Kellog to Bin Laden.

-- Inspector Dillon is still hanging around the fringes of the story, and it sounds like his conscience is returning. Dillon said that he was the key to a lock Kellog isn't supposed to open. I'm sure Dillon will have his moment. He's in the story for a reason.

-- Are they actually creating a transducer ray?

-- Nice performances from Erik Knudsen and Ian Tracey as father and son. And Erik Knudsen and William B. Davis as the same person.

-- I keep trying to apply logic to this time travel story. What's wrong with me?

Quotes:

Alec: "Don't you get it? I'm not going to become him. No dark future, no twisted legacy, no son. I'm not your father, Jason. He's an old man in another timeline who left you behind. Maybe that's for the best."

Carlos: "This mad scientist shit screams time travelers."

Jason: "You're mad at me."
Alec: "There's no guide to parenting kids that are twice your age."
I also loved their awkward non-hug at the end of that conversation and their real hug when Jason realized what the device was.

Kellog: "If anyone knows the power of seduction and empty flattery, it's me."

Jason: "I found her Instagram account. Really loves cat videos."

Alec: "It doesn't have to get that weird."
Jason: "It's already a supernova of weird."

Alec: "The only thing that comes back from the dead are gods and zombies. So unless you're the second coming…"

Alec: "You're the me that's supposed to have the answers."
Elder Alec: "Maybe it's the other way around."

Carlos: "You remember when Kiera Cameron supposedly worked for Section Six and you were the kid in the barn keeping her secrets and I was the guy in the dark? Did we just time travel back there again?"

Kellog: "I can't trust myself."
Kiera: "Wow. I thought narcissistic sociopaths weren't capable of self-evaluation."
Kellog: "I guess this one is. I'd screw anyone over. Even me."

Kellog: "I am dead serious. Emphasis on the 'dead'."

Despite its complexity -- or possibly because of it -- I absolutely loved this episode and I hope the last two are going to be like this one. Four out of four time travel paradoxes,

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

4 comments:

J.D. Balthazar said...

This episode was pretty amazing. That whole sequence where the traveler touched Alec and sent him (or his consciousness) into the future to meet his future self was kinda mind-blowing.

I also like the direction the plot is going too. It makes sense that the soldiers from the future are just trying to find a better place to live in. But I truly doubt they intend to do it peacefully. Their answer to the bad future is to create a new future by force, sound familiar?

Nice review! I can't wait for the next couple of episodes.

Jess Lynde said...

Nice job trying to sort this one out, Billie. I was tempted to start trying to make sense of it all after the Young Alec-Old Alec scene, but quickly decided to just go with the flow and avoid the time travel headache. :) Is the paradox less annoying somehow if they hang a lampshade on it? I’m not sure. I can't help wanting it all to make logical sense, too. What's wrong with us, indeed.

I really liked the material with Alec this week, particularly his interactions with Jason. (That awkward non-hug really was awesome!) And, like you, I’m much relieved that they aren’t keeping Carlos in the dark anymore. It was so unfair, and he deserved better. If anyone has earned the right to be inside the secret circle, it’s Carlos.

Lamounier said...

Now this is what I’m talking about. This was the best episode of the season so far. It slowed down on the action front and explained nearly all the big lose ends. Not that the millions of questions in my head are gone... they aren’t, because the mythology on this show is not the easiest to understand. I do appreciate that the writers care to give the audience answers. It shows respect for our devotion to the story. :)

So, what is Chen up to? Last season he was clearly an antagonist, but now he is the John the Baptist to the Traveler’s Jesus. I know the characters on this show are always changing sides for believable reasons, but his motivations are hard to track. Now it seems he cares for a better future (or universe).

I’m going out on a limb and say Kiera won’t return to 2077. I thought she would, but they’ve been talking too much about it. Four episodes into the season and in each one of them they’ve brought up, more than once, the possibility ok Kiera going home. Curtis said that this moment is special, that they can repair all damages caused to the continuum. So my take is that Kiera will have to choose between going back home or saving the future/continuum/universe. So she’ll make the ultimate sacrifice and let go of home. That’s the only explanation I can come up with of why the writers are so insistent on Kiera returning to 2077: so that when she sacrifices it, it will have more of an impact.

I must admit that I’m annoyed with Kiera. Her obsession to go back to her future is turning me off, but what really upset me was her keeping Carlos in the dark while trusting Brad. I’m still following her story until the bitter end, though. And Carlos is awesome. Can we please have a happy ending with no death for him?

The Paradox scene was pretty cool, although I hate time travel paradoxes on time travel stories, because they don’t make sense (I know, it’s a paradox). But this one won me over. It was a neat touch to have Alec advice Elder Alec to use time travel. It made Elder Alec’s reasons for using time travel more legit and proved they came from a good place. I don’t think young Alec needed to drop Kiera’s name so Elder Alec would know who to send back... we already had a good explanation on season two for why Kiera was picked. But I liked that montage of the various scenes from 2077 leading to the first time travel ever.

I really liked the philosophical moment of Alec pondering about how tiny decisions can have a huge impact on the future. He was right, he would confirm that a little later on the Paradox. And it was a nice character growth for him, to become secure and owning his future instead of being afraid of it. Man, I love this show. May Showcase be damned forever on all timelines.

All in all, a great episode, with lots of philosophy, mythology and characters ever shifting intentions driving the story. I’m going to miss this show so much.

Josie Kafka said...

We learned that the Traveler "broke time", and a moment is coming soon, in 2015, where time can be fixed. So I'm assuming that I was right that the Corporate Congress future and the Warlord Kellog future are both aberrations? Curtis was brought back from the dead because his consciousness was merged with a Curtis from another timeline (another big series question finally explained). Do all of these multiple timelines still exist somewhere, and is it just the Traveler's timeline that is gone? Is that how Alec can send Kiera back to her own future? I still don't get that and I wish they'd explain it.

Thank you so, so much for this paragraph. I was incredibly confused, but this clears it up.

Not in a good way, though. I think part of my confusion was a complete unwillingness to believe in some sort of "right" timeline, an ideal timeline with the rest being aberrations. Unlike Lamounier, I love time-travel paradoxes. But I Do Not Like the idea of one timeline being somehow fixed/better/correct. It just doesn't make sense to me. It's like time travel, Leibniz style. Leibniz was a fool.

Okay, negative moment over. At least we get a few more episodes of a time travel show! Perhaps this is the best of all possible worlds.