OK, you all saw Continuum last week, right? You all know what happened? Julian doesn’t want to be responsible for thousands of deaths; Keira doesn’t really trust Brad; nobody else does either; Garza had a blast, literally and figuratively, in her super suit; Keira and Carlos doubleteam Alec; Kellogg gets a new bodyguard who doesn’t like Keira; Lucas dies. Got it? Now let’s talk about how this show is messing with us. And what they still have to wrap up in only 3 episodes.
Before the beginning of what we’re laughably calling a season, Syfy gave us a concise look at the different timelines that have been created by screwing around with time travel. We have:
The original timeline, with SadTech creating highly intrusive corporate programs that basically make robots out of people, whether they realize it or not. Everyone’s got a chip in them, there are highly restrictive rules for what you can and can’t do, think or be; “Protectors” don’t really protect. Personal liberty is completely gone. A group of freethinkers, along with at least one hanger-on (Kellogg) are condemned to death because they’ve taken protesting to the extreme, but Alec, now 60 years older and filled with regret for his major role in this world outcome, sends them – and Keira – back to FITSIT.
Seventy years later, another group forms the Freelancers to try to prevent the disruption of timelines by any travelers.The first Freelancer goes back to the 1100s. Here’s one of the BIG QUESTIONS: why the 1100s? Can we assume that there have been travelers who have gone back that far to cause trouble and change things? One of the writers tweeted that Carlos was the father of this Traveler – HUH? Where will the Traveler come back into the story? What havoc will he wreak?
Continuing on… in the second timeline, Jason is thrown back during the initial Liber8 blast farther than Keira and the Liber8 team (although this likely is not anything different than in Timeline 1). Because Keira has now dragged a young Alec into her world, he falls in love with Emily. When she’s killed, he skips back a week to save her, creating an anomaly of TWO Alecs. Julian, who in Timeline 1 is the visionary Theseus, has some doubts about what he’s doing, but continues to do it.
Because Alec went back a week and prevented Emily from being killed, and there are now two Alecs, one becomes the loving, forgiving Alec, and the other becomes an unforgiving, bitter jerk. He, with Kellogg’s financial backing, creates “bad” tech sooner than it should have been created, causing global economic collapse, causing his own death at the hands of Nice Alec, and causing Future Kellogg to try to fix things by sending in these scary Time Warrior guys. Obviously, that 2039 situation is terrible – who wouldn’t want to fix it? So why are Keira and the others so intent on getting rid of them? Of course, the Freelancers are against any kind of time travel interference, so they’re out to take care of the Time Warriors.
Julian is no longer interested in being Theseus, and doesn’t finish his manifesto, but Chen, who was a member of Liber8 but really one of (or more sympathetic to, I may have missed something here) the Freelancers, is playing both ends, trying to get Keira on the FL’s side, but getting Theseus’ actually unwritten manifesto published years earlier than it would have had they left him alone. So questions we have for this timeline – how did the global economic collapse make such a huge mess in less than 25 years? Who built those Time Warrior suits – was that maybe Alec? Who actually names their children Ziron and Marcellus – they must be born by 2015, because both those guys look older than 24.
Frankly, I think it would have been fascinating to have an episode that showed some other odd alternate timelines based on the Butterfly Effect. If Carlos and Keira got together and had a child, would that child have disrupted the timeline and made something else happen? Or, since she really did get together with Kellogg, could a child resulting from that be a major gamechanger? Jason certainly has the potential to screw things up in random ways – if he had never been found and brought into the fold, what would have happened? What if Julian had completely embraced his Theseus philosophy and created social change not 50 years from now, but in 10 or 20 years? Or…. (leave me a comment with your alternate timeline! I think it would be fascinating to speculate.)
So in 3 episodes, we have so much to wrap up. Travis and Garza are the only remaining members of Liber8 still around (can’t really count Chen). Catherine and the Freelancers still have that weird lockup in the basement of a Vancouver building – and the Traveler is here. Does Keira get back to her own time? If so, that would mean that events would have to be put back in order, so how would that happen? (Personally, I think that the “dream” she had of waking up three years after the original time-travel incident wasn’t really a dream.)
AND… if you are already born in 2015 and have a life in the future, but you get killed in 2015 – Victor Kagame – what does that do to the timeline? If you are not born by 2015, but you’ve time traveled back here, and an ancestor of yours is killed because of altered timelines, what happens – do you disappear because you aren’t possible? That’s what Keira was trying to prevent when Liber8 was looking to kill all the women who had her grandmother’s name.
AND…how close are we currently to some of the issues this show brings up? We already have gadgets tracking our movements – phones with GPS locators, Fitbits (and how much would it take to make those more than they are?), DVRs that “report” back to our providers, and then the networks, what shows we watch and whether or not we watch them with commercials; social media on which we voluntarily post our thoughts and actions. “I don’t have anything to hide, why not?” we think. But what this really does is make us more open to the type of privacy intrusion and opinion control evident in 2077 Continuum.
Corporations are already managing many parts of our lives. Monsanto and other ag chem companies direct much of the food development, not just in the US, but around the world. Media networks program our access to information. Who knows where all the details about our habits goes to? Do you have those little “loyalty” cards that stores hand out, or go online to store websites to get discounts? They’re monitoring your shopping habits, and “offering” you discounts based more on what they want you to purchase than on what you prefer to purchase, making it advantageous to move in the direction they’d like you to go. How long will it be until a Corporate Congress comes to be? (There’s actually a show in development called Incorporated, about companies, rather than governments, in charge of the world.)
And most of us are too busy, too involved in our careers and our busy lives to notice, care, or push back. I’m certainly guilty of all of that. Sure, Continuum is entertainment – but maybe it’s also prophecy. Let’s see where this fictional story is going. And then maybe we can see a little bit of where we might be headed as well.
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