How do you say goodbye to one of the most topical and twisty sci-fi series of the last few years? That’s the conundrum that fans of Continuum are facing as the show mounts its final season this fall. As a Canadian production, those of us in the Great White North get the first look at new episodes when the season begins, and so it goes for this six-episode final season of Continuum. The first episode is online and available to Canadian viewers, but the second episode was shown tonight at Fan Expo. What follows is (hopefully) a spoiler-free review.
Season three left off with the arrival of Bio-Shock looking army men from another divergent future. Working for Kellog (Stephen Lobo), they’re from a future where Liber8 succeeds and stops the rise of the corporate congress, but instead of a utopia, the future ends up in post-apocalyptic territory, and now the saviour of the future is somehow Matthew Kellog. Keria’s (Rachel Nichols) new friend Brad (Ryan Robbins) is one of Kellogg’s men, but he’s not down with whatever his boss has planned for reasons that aren’t quite settled in either episode one or two of season four.
Series creator Simon Barry is still changing the landscape as the final season plays out. Let’s just say old alliances don’t hold up as well as they used to in some cases, and strange new bedfellows (in an allegorical sense) are made. The only thing that everyone seems to agree on is that a future with Kellog as humanity’s overlord is a future not worth having, and even future Kellog seems to not entirely trust his younger self, or his commitment to change the future for the better.
Trust in altering the timeline has always been a theme on Continuum whether its Kellogg’s current predicament or Old Alec with his various contingencies in altering and/or affirming the future depending on your point of view. I’m still not sure that smile on Old Alec’s face at the execution scene at the beginning of the series has ever been explained, and I wonder if we’re going to come back around to that as the series counts down its final four episodes.
What is a bit disconcerting about this final stretch is that Keira seems once again bound and determined to get back to the future. Her future. It had seemed that Keria made peace with being stuck at the early end of the 21st century at the close of season three, so her affirmation that she would trade anything to go home seems like an odd step back. Perhaps, it’s necessary for the endgame though, and it is implied in episode two, which is called “Rush Hour,” that Keira will, at least, get the chance to go home.
Those desiring motivation more ambiguous is Insp. Dillon (Brian Markinson), who did survive the assassination attempt by Sonya (Lexa Doig) in the season three finale, and now finds himself a Two-Face looking man servant to Kellog, while Carlos (Victor Webster) becomes the new inspector. In “Rush Hour” it’s hinted that Dillon is both a sad man that’s accepted his reality, and that he may have a card left to play of his own. Is he now aware of all the future origins of the people that have been the centre of his life the last three years? I guess we’ll find out.
One thing’s for certain, the shortened season hasn’t damped Continuum’s ambition, in fact it seems to have raised the stakes all around. “Rush Hour” climaxes with a four-way mission where all the parties are involved to achieve various goals in a showdown that has invariably tied them all together. Obviously, you should watch it to find out how it all breaks down but it involves a nice lunch, bioweapons, an assassination attempt, a car crash, and Alec (Eric Knudsen) deciding, like all those who back up the main hero behind a screen, that now’s his time to be a bad ass.
Despite a bit of contrived drama that I think the series could have down without at this point, this is a very strong beginning of the end for Continuum. It’s also sad that a series that can still draw you in with great human moments in the typically convoluted realm of time travel is ending, oddly enough, far too soon.
Continuum begins its fourth and final season on Showcase in Canada Friday night, and on September 11 on Syfy.