An analysis of Continuum, Season 1 Episode 8: "Playtime"
Let's be honest. The juiciest morsels in this episode had absolutely nothing to do with the procedural plot. In point of fact, this show has had some real "wow" moments - not just in this episode - that have more than compensated for formulaic crime-of-the-week storylines. Not that mind control and video games are everyday plot elements, but the "employee frames boss for murder to advance career" reveal is not exactly new crime show material.
But really - WHO CARES? We've got the return of Jaworski in a flashback; we've got Kiera calling Kellog "Matthew;" we've got Betty stepping up as the pretty geek chick; we've got Alec finding hidden files in Kiera's CMR; and we've got Kellog meeting Carlos and surviving the encounter! What more could you want?
Let's talk about Kellog first. Yet again, our ex-Liber8 member has prepared a sumptuous meal of which Agent Cameron does not partake; he has called her to his boat simply to talk "about you and me." Kiera asserts, "There is no you and me," but Kellog replies with the astute statement, "Yet here -- you -- are." His cheek caress was rebuffed, but the fact is it was still there. And he follows up the encounter by seeming to genuinely go on a fact-finding mission to get information for Kiera. Why? Does he actually think he has a chance of winning over the Protector? Or is he just using that as an excuse to keep tabs on what his former comrades are doing?
The target for Kellog's investigations is his former colleague, Lucas Ingram. Remember in episode 1 when Lucas told Kiera that he used to be Sadtech engineer? Well, there he is in the flashback, showing off his mind control technology to a room full of Corporate Congress suits. With the abuse that Jaworski undergoes, it's no wonder he and Curtis and Travis joined the resistance! But apparently, Lucas likes a good drink, a good fight, and a reunion with Kellog who isn't "so serious" all the time. Then when he gets out-hacked by Alec, he and Kagame realize only one person could have foiled their plans, even though that person is "just a kid" in 2012: Lucas' old boss, Alec Sadler!
And speaking of Alec, let's move past the ever-so-lovely "Who da man?" victory dance and ask ourselves, what's in the "Read Me First" file? It's catalogued in Kiera's deleted CMR files (someone forgot to "Empty Trash") under the year 2055 and is address to "Alec Sadler 2012." Alec almost tells Kiera something important about it after rebooting her system with the obligatory neon, USB-to-neck-electrode cable that he picked up at Radio Shack, but he balks. I guess it will have to wait until a future episode, but the message is clear: 2012 was the intended target date, and Kiera is in the past for a reason.
In an amazing turn of fortune, Kellog is now perceived to be a Section 6 operative, and he clearly is persona non grata with Kagame now that Liber8 saw him at Tendyne Systems helping the Protector. But there's one thing I don't get. Doesn't it seem overly elaborate to take over Kiera's CMR only to have her kill herself and other inconvenient meddlers like Fred Nettinger and Carlos? Why not use the control more subtly over time? If Sonya could get a DNA sample in episode 5 so easily, surely they could off Agent Cameron any time they wished. In any case, Alec will be improving Kiera's firewall, so that's the end of that.
But that doesn't have to be the end of the episode analysis. You can visit our Podcast Archives and listen to Show 009. I share my nitpicks about the video game aspects of the plotline, and Dave and I discuss Betty's increased involvement in the show as well. The setup is in place for an amazing final couple of episodes!
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.