Sunday, January 22, 2017

Just Finished Watching... Continuum

A note of warning before we begin, this post will contain spoilers. Lots and lots of spoilers. So if you haven't seen this show but are planning on watching it, click away now!

Another show I binged in a matter of weeks (I only get to watch maybe 2 episodes a night between putting my kids to bed and reaching the point where I can't keep my eyes open any longer, so when I "binge" watch things, it takes me a few weeks, not a few days) and I have to admit, I had mixed feelings about this show.
Continuum had been on my to-watch list for years, probably since it began. I did watch the pilot episode at one stage and thought "meh" but was still interested enough in the premise that I planned to go back to it eventually.
It's funny how you can watch something at one point and not connect with it, and then later down the track, watch the same thing again, but this time get sucked in. Obviously the first time I tried to watch it, sci-fi wasn't what I was in the mood for.
So yes, this time I did get sucked in. But like I said, I had mixed feelings over the 4 seasons.
To begin with, I spent the entire 4 seasons wishing Kiera would get together with Carlos. At first, I could see why the writers wouldn't do that. Kiera's entire purpose for being was focused on getting back to the future to be with her son. However, at the end of season 1, I was totally pissed off that she turned to Kellogg of all people. Though it was hinted at that they'd slept together, it was never actually confirmed, at least in my mind... maybe that's just my wishful thinking.
Even though I think Kiera completely recognized Matthew Kellogg for who and what he was (a self-serving narcissist who would throw anyone under the bus if it meant saving himself. Including himself, as we later found out, which will make no sense until you watch the show. Let's just say it involves time paradoxes and people from multiple timelines. Mind blown yet?).
Keira no doubt used Kellogg in her own way, I suppose she needed some kind of no-strings-attached comfort and/or distraction after everything that'd happened. However, it did make my respect for her slip a notch. There were a handful of other things that made that respect slip even further over the course of the seasons, including the way she treated the poeple in her life. Occasionally she seemed to get tunnel vision and either couldn't see or didn't care how her actions affected others.
But Kiera was understandably flawed by the fact that all she wanted to do was get home to her son, to the point that she never understood it was impossible. Despite knowing she'd traveled to another timeline and they'd created a different future than the one she left, it never occurred to her that it would mean Sam would have a different Kiera as his mother. The Kiera who belonged to the new timeline and would never travel back to 2012. The thought that there would be another Kiera in the future did cross my mind in the beginning of season two, but then I forgot and the writers cleverly hid this fact, even though when you think about it in context of how the show handled multiple timelines and the paradox of a future self meeting a past self, it made total sense. The answer was really in plain sight all the time, though no one ever saw it.
So in the end, Kiera got a real bitter sweet ending. She returned to a different 2077 to find her son safe and well with a brighter future to look forward to. But she was no longer his mother, and would never be able to have any contact with him. She was an orphan in the new world she created with no place to belong. Obviously we needed these answers, because those were the question of the entire series: would she ever get home to her son, and would they prevent the bleak future they'd left from ever evolving?
However, I have to say that even though there was satisfaction in seeing her reach her goal of getting back to 2077, despite it being a hollow victory, I was really hoping she would choose to stay in 2016 with Carlos, young Alec, and her rocky love interest for season 4, Brad, who was a soldier from a different future, 2036 I think from memory.
However, Kiera and her story arc wasn't what had me really hooked on this show. Mostly it was my nerdy brain loving the way the show's creators presented time travel and how it works, with multiple timelines and questions of how choices affect a person's life.
The highlight of this was portrayed in the brothers Alec and Julian (Julian was played by Richard Harmon, who now plays Murphy in The 100. Guy can act. Will be interesting to see where he goes in the future). One was supposed to be the good guy, and one was supposed to be the villain, but the angle on who was good and who was bad was always shifting, especially depending on whose point of view was being presented. I loved the interesting shades of gray over who was doing the right thing and for what reasons, both in the present, and into the flash-forwards of the future we got as the complete picture slowly unraveled. And that was another thing I loved about this show. The writers weren't afraid to hold things back. There were ideas and moments present in the very first episode that weren't clarified until the very end, four seasons later.

Honestly, I have to say that this wasn't just another empty TV show on our screens for entertainment value and nothing more. The writers didn't dumb anything down, they kept it smart and expected that the audience would keep up. And if they couldn't then it wasn't the show for them. There aren't many TV shows with writing this smart around anymore, and as a writer myself, I'm impressed and have a lot of respect for what the show's creators were able to do over the four seasons of Continuum.
I'd been toying with the idea of a story with multiple timelines, but more along the theme of alternate universes, instead of past and future. Continuum has definitely inspired me to take another look at it, even though I'd been finding some of it problematical.
If you have trouble reconciling time travel and its implications, if you want a show that's simple entertainment and a bit of a distraction, then Continuum isn't what you're after. However, if you do want something that leaves you questioning the fabric of your own reality, something that will twist and blow your mind, then check out this series now!

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