An analysis of Continuum, Season 1 Episode 9: "Family Time"
Whether it's Kiera's confessions to a delirious Carlos, Julian's deception of his family, Alec's pretending not to know Kiera, or the VPD's lack of understanding that Roland was a hostage, miscommunication takes its toll on almost everyone in this episode. But as Shakespeare says, "truth will out," and we, the audience, learn much about the possible future of Liber8 as a result of the botched terrorist attack attempted by Julian and his group of malcontents.
Our first surprise comes when Alec runs into Kiera and blurts out, "What are you doing here?" His attempt to cover his blunder tells us one thing: it's been a month since Carlos was in trouble over his childhood friend's murder in episode 7. And in that episode, Alec also told us that Kiera had only known Carlos "a few months." So we have about a 4-6 month timeframe for the series so far. In that time, Liber8 has gone from the warehouse hydroponics lab to the swanky new digs Kagame has acquired, probably due to the short sales of Exotrol stock in episode 6. And now the members of Liber8 get to watch the apparent origins of their revolution, as Kagame admits, "Everything I am, everything I become, will be the result of events unfolding on that farm." Is Julian's gang a kind of proto-Liber8?
Alec shouldn't have egged on his step-brother back in episode 5: "You want to change the world, you gotta leave the living room first." Well, Julian has left the living room in a big way! His fertilizer orders drew the attention of the police, and his friends don't help matters by showing up and taking hostages. And who could have predicted that Julian would end up shooting Carlos? He and his friend Hoyt seem to be the only serious ones, though, and even they butt heads as to what they should do to make their statement heard now that their van full of explosives has been discovered. You have to feel sorry for Gates, who gets clobbered with canned vegetables AND zapped by Kiera's suit, and all Dan can do is compliment Mrs. Randol on the great cake!
Speaking of Kiera's suit, it does look better in black - "ask any nerd!" Alec is able to outwit the hostage-takers multiple times by getting a phone hook-up to Dillon for Kiera's CMR, swinging the aforementioned can of peas, and smuggling Kiera's suit to her for her invisible escape. She should get that zipper fixed, though; propane explosions mysteriously add cleavage! Although she is able to eliminate the remaining threat, she can't prevent the inevitable death (you saw it coming, didn't you?) of Roland, mistaken by the ERT as the mastermind behind it all. Julian escapes and is eventually contacted by Kagame, just in time for a trip to the tattoo parlor to get his matching Theseus tattoo!
Carlos' declining health takes an emotional toll on Kiera, and she surely knows her tearful confession is not really being heard: "The only friend I have - I lie to him every day, and I hate it! I'm sorry, Carlos." Wait doesn't Alec count? No matter; she finds her solace in a way perhaps some audience members predicted and others most certainly didn't: she heads to Kellog's boat for some Scotch and a snog. Amazingly, Kellog forgives her for her role in his sister's death, which is laid out in this week's flashback, but perhaps he's following his own advice: "What happened in the future stays in the future … you and I will never be able to relate to these people the way that we relate to each other … you know I'm right. Why else would you be here?" Why else indeed, Kiera? Is it because "tomorrow's not promised"? Is it because you believe Kellog when he says, "it's best to stop living for a future that might not even happen"? After the events of this episode, despite Kiera's victories, it's as though Liber8 has already won.
Will we find out in the season finale next week? Or will they give us a satisfyingly frustrating cliffhanger? See what Dave and I think of this episode in Show 010 from our podcast archives. After next week you'll be able to enjoy all of our interviews, too, without worrying about spoilers! See you on the 30th for my next review and also a special end-of-season quiz!
Mike is one half of the team responsible for Liber8: a Continuum podcast with Mike & Dave. The pair continues to podcast during the season one hiatus in Canada. They have interviewed several cast and crew members and look forward to welcoming the UK audience to Continuum fandom and their humble podcast.