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Saturday, June 16, 2012

Continuum - Recaps of episodes 2 and 3

We realize it’s important to recap shows that other sites ignore, even though we hardly ever do it. But we’ll try to do it for this show. If you don't care for recaps and know what happened, just skip to the "comments" and grades :-)

"Fast Times" What happened: We find out more about Kiera’s technology. It’s mostly in her clothes. She has a sleeve that can taze people, receive pictures, send wireless signals, and start cars. Her clothes can change color and texture. She can type messages on her pants. She also has a recording device implanted into her cortex, and this is how young Alec sees everything Kiera sees. We meet Carlos’ ex, a fellow-cop named Betty. Kiera tells Carlos that although he is hot, Betty will have nothing to worry about from her. Kiera’s lack of a believable identity becomes a problem and she is arrested. Carlos wants to believe Kiera is good, since she saved his life, but his boss thinks she’s working with the terrorists. Kiera and Carlos are riding in a police station elevator when it stops and Kiera falls into him. Smooth, show.

The baddies spend the episode trying to get back to the future. They break into a power company’s substation (killing two in the process) and try to power up their time travelling sphere. This fails, but they take out the electricity in the area. This allows Kiera to taze Carlos with her Sleeve and handcuff Carlos to the elevator. As she leaves, she tells him, essentially “Sometimes I’m going to do crazy things, but you’re just going to have to trust me even though you have absolutely no reason to.” She says this as if it is reasonable. Carlos is freed by his fellow police officers.

Alec figures out that the terrorists are now looking for Simon Fraser, a scientist/inventor who might be able to power up their sphere. Alec pretty much pulls this out of nowhere, showing brilliance we don’t quite believe. The terrorists get to Fraser before Kiera does. Back at the station, Betty tells Carlos that Kiera is making him look like a fool, using him. Thanks, bitch. Betty knows that Kiera is working with a hacker and Carlos tells him to find the hacker’s identity. Betty can’t.

The terrorists take Simon to the local university where they can probably power-up their sphere using a “linear collider” Simon invented. Kiera finds out their location from Simon’s wife and calls Carlos, clueing him in. Kiera goes to the university herself, planning to jump into the time vortex with the terrorists and go home to her family. Yeah, this is episode two, so we knew that wasn’t going to work. Kiera saves Simon though. The sphere bursts, leaving a piece in the university. A shoot-out ensues and the cops show up, but the terrorists all escape.

Kiera is arrested but then released when Alec creates an identity for her: special agent with the federal government. The internet tells the cops they can trust her. We’d think that they’d put in a few calls and talk to Kiera’s actual employers, but they don’t. Even though they know that she might be working with a hacker. Mmhmm. Carlos’ boss asks Kiera to work with him to catch the terrorists and gives Carlos to her as a partner. Kiera sees that the police have collected the piece of sphere that the terrorists are missing. We see some stupid flashback where Kiera tucks her son in and gets grief from her husband about her job.

Comments: One thing we forgot to mention in the pilot post is how the writers of this show lack subtlety. It’s not hard to understand exactly what is going on and the motives of the characters. While this is welcome, we still wish a little more were shown, not told. The dialogue is weak for the most part, but the narrative continues to intrigue. One of the terrorists (the one with the white hair) acts like a little skater girl or something. This show would be a lot better if the terrorists were at all scary, substantial, or charismatic. That’s where the potential for Dumbledores and Professor Snapes were. Once again, we are missing interesting characters. Kiera’s husband looks like an accountant and seems pretty boring. Maybe he’s a bad guy working with terrorists. That would be cool. There are some plot holes starting to show, but the pacing on this show is good enough that we don’t care and want to keep watching.

Episode grade: B-

"Wasting Time" What happened: Protectors climb up stairs, looking for terrorists. A few explosions later and the Protectors bag the “Queen of Hearts.” That was a flashback (forward?). In 2012, Kiera is at her new police station, telling the cops about the terrorists. We finally get them fully named. Travis, ex-special forces. Lucas, arrogant bomb maker played by a horrible actor. Curtis Chen, obviously the Asian guy and ex soldier with aggression issues and psychotic tendencies. Jasmine Garza (the blonde), “weapons, vehicles.” Matthew Kellogg, con artist, social engineer, and liar. Edouard Kagame, the old guy and leader who didn’t make the time jump. Sonya Valentine, the Queen of Hearts and former doctor with a high IQ. We cut to Sonya boning and betraying someone. Terrorists talk about nothing.

Kellogg finds Kiera in a restaurant. He wants to stay in 2012 and says he doesn’t approve of his colleagues’ violent actions. He says he will be in touch and we are left wondering what he actually wants from Kiera. Just cooperation sometimes? Kiera and Carlos visit the morgue and see Sonya’s victim. Sonya removed the pituitary gland, looking for human growth hormones that would be valuable on the black market to athletes. They see another body, that of a Brian Young. Alec's family invites him downstairs for a meeting of anti-corporation people who perceive what’s going to happen in the future. It’s Roland and Julian’s group. Alec thinks they are all full of crap.

One of the terrorists, Travis, is hurt and discusses (with Chen) taking Kellogg out because Kellogg has been breaking ranks and acting weird. Kellogg uses Lucas’ computer to “set that bitch (Kiera) up.” Alec finds out that both of Sonya’s victims donated sperm to the same clinic. Kiera and Carlos obtain their medical records and find out that they both have an identical chromosome that’s tied to pituitary mutation. Sonya can use the pituitary glands to create some sort of super steroid. Kiera starts looking at the clinics records to find more potential victims. This all leads to a set-up by Kellogg at a local college. Carlos and Chen shoot it out and fight. It’s a really long fight scene and Chen wins. Kiera shoots Kellogg in the neck. He gets a welt on it, curses, and leaves. Kiera gets back to Carlos just in time to save him. Cue another long fight scene. Kiera wins and Chen dies.

The terrorists use the steroids on Travis, healing him. Travis and Sonya make out. Kellogg gets home and blames Curtis Chen for everything that went wrong that day. Kellogg has a homing beacon in his bloodstream, planted by Kiera’s shot, that will last 24 hours. Carlos lies about who killed Chen to take the heat off of Kiera, which makes no sense and could get them both into more trouble than it’s worth. Kiera’s suit was damaged in the fight, so she can’t track Kellogg. Alec helps her out and Kiera goes to the terrorists’ stolen home. She finds Kellogg abandoned and tied up. They should have left a bomb on the front porch or something, the morons. Kellogg: “Hey, don’t you love how I gave you Curtis Chen? Also, wanna bone?” Kiera turns this generous offer down, but she unties him. We go back to the flashforward as Kiera remembers Sonya planting an explosive for the cops. She yells for Kellogg to run and they jump in the pool right as Sonya’s current device explodes. We guess the terrorists aren’t such morons after all. That’s nice. Kiera steals the sphere piece from the police station.

In Betty news, Betty compliments Kiera's hair and brings Carlos/Kiera coffee. We've decided she is useless and we hate her.

Comments: Someone actually utters the words, “I’ve got a bad feeling about this,” lending credence to our opinion that the script writers are bad with lines. We like Kellogg and the Queen of Hearts terrorist. We said before that we wanted the terrorists to be more interesting. Having Kellogg breaking with the other terrorists, wanting to stay, and seeming like a reasonable guy is a good thing. While this episode didn’t move forward much (other than having Chen die), it gave us a better, much-needed look at Liber8. It might have seemed procedural, but this show needed to slow down and develop some people and it did.

Episode grade: B

And with that, we are all caught up on this show.

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