An analysis of Continuum, Season 1 Episode 7: "The Politics of Time"
Part of the Continuum - Imagine 2077 blog series
By Mike of Liber8: a Continuum podcast with Mike & Dave
Well, I guess the fugitives from 2077 (and I'm including Kiera) don't have the monopoly on shady morals. But while I'm not surprised that an episode about politics has a bit of underhandedness, it was interesting to note that Carlos prizes loyalty above all else, including his job.
Carlos gets some desperately needed depth in this episode; the fans were worried he was destined to continue his willful blindness to Kiera's strange behavior and uncanny intuition. Although Alec fails to get Kiera to bond successfully with her new co-worker, it's clear that Carlos has a social life and a history. He apparently emigrated from Columbia along with his family and that of reporter Alicia Fuentes, and they are both longtime friends of Jim Martin, played by sci-fi veteran Tahmoh Penikett, who is running for president of one of the biggest labor unions in Canada. Carlos immediately gets caught up in the crime of the week as his romantic encounter with Alicia (perhaps this isn't the first time?) precedes her gruesome murder.
So what motivates him to take lead in the investigation and purposely add fingerprints to the scene of the crime? He says it's because he knows the investigation would immediately put him under suspicion and delay finding the real killer. Despite what correct police procedure tells him he should do, Carlos tells Jim Martin, "I'll handle it." And when Kiera inevitably finds out what he's up to, thanks to a combination of fancy "bio-enhancement mist" and suit-assisted resolution boosting, she agrees to help Carlos after he answers her question, "Do you trust him?" by assuring her, "Yes, with my life." Friendship and trust are more important than the law, for both Kiera and Carlos… and the moral gray area widens.
Speaking of the suit - WOW! I think I like it even better as a nearly sentient character than I did as an omnipotent jumpsuit. Did you see it actually look at Alec when he first rebooted it? And what the heck was that teabag patch he dropped on it, causing him to exclaim, "Shoot!" and Kiera to cringe? The suit begins using, as Alec puts it, "proprioception" to get its bearings, and it eventually helps them with the amazing strategy of using the stream of cellular data from the array on the roof of Alicia's building to let Kiera's CMR play back the occurrences on the night of the murder! This visual effect is one of the moments that makes this episode among the best yet! Thank goodness Kellog had access to all of that satellite data and was willing to share it with Kiera. I wonder who his source was? And why no mention of the stolen time travel device piece?
It's particularly interesting that Kiera is willing to accept Carlos' trust of Jim Martin at face value given what we learn from her flashback. Greg not only has slimy, groping friends; he also had a pre-wedding tryst with his friend's wife! The interloper can't believe that Kiera has never used her CPS access to investigate her husband's indiscretions. "We have this technology scanning our every move keeping us honest so we don't have any secrets, but I always thought that if you really loved someone … that you wouldn't have to rely on tech," Kiera tearfully tells Greg. "How naive is that?" So if everyone in Kiera's 2070's life is so untrustworthy, why does she allow Carlos to have the same naivety about his friend?
And it seems Jim is not deserving of his trust anyhow. The crowning moment of the episode, an episode which initially appeared to contain no Liber8 involvement at all, was in the limousine at the end. Our actual murderer? Why, it's the lovely Jasmine Garza of course, who wears a telling bandage on her arm from her confrontation with Carlos in the shower (did you enjoy that, ladies?) And the mastermind himself, Kagame, actually did make unethical contributions to Jim's campaign, and Jim knew it! One has to wonder what the freedom fighters from the future will want with their pet politician now. As Kagame says, "Let's talk about the future."
A written analysis isn't enough for this one, folks; you'll want to head over to our Podcast Archives and listen to Show 008. Dave and I had fun talking about trust and betrayal elsewhere in this episode, as well as some of the more humorous Alec lines I'm sure you enjoyed. Three more episodes in the season, and the build-up only grows from here!
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.