Continuum returned Sunday night (in Canada—it will be arriving onscreen elsewhere very soon). “Minute by Minute,” available to many of you in its entirety, here, answers questions from last season’s cliffhanger finale and, of course, gives the show another new direction. However, I’m confident the people making this show know what they’re doing. The characters, of course, may not have a clue.

Title: “Minute by Minute”

Cast and Crew

Directed by Pat Williams
Written by Simon Barry

Rachel Nichols as Kiera Cameron
Erik Kundson as Alec Sadler
Magda Apanowicz as Emily
Luvia Petersen as Jasmine Garza
Victor Webster as Carlos Fonnegra
Hugh Dillon as Escher
Stephen Lobo as Matthew Kellog
Brian Markinson as Inspector Dillon
Rachel Crawford as Catherine
Darcy Laurie as Martinez
Terry Chen as Curtis Chen
Bruce Ramsay as Rosicki
Zak Santiago as Miller
Adrian Holmes as Warren
Omari Newton as Lucas Ingram

Full cast and crew information may be found at the imdb

Premise

Kiera confronts her captors, the Freelancers, and learns their version of truth and history. She later tries to escape with Jasmine Garza. Meanwhile, two versions of Alex Sadler wander around his recent past, setting into motion a new timeline in which status quo gets restored at police HQ—but both Kiera and Escher lose their lives,

High Point

The episode establishes a few excellent conundrums for Kiera and the viewers. Most significant among these: which Alex should she kill? And will either’s death have the desired effect?

For all their centuries of planning, Kiera correctly does not trust that the Freelancers actually know what they’re doing. A strength of this show: we have no certainty that anyone in this show truly knows how to set the world right, even as they understand it.

Low Point

The previous season left much to explain, and a certain amount of exposition is inevitable in a show that features dueling timelines. However, the Freelancers deliver an excess of dry exposition in the dullest and most direct manner possible. Nevertheless, we’re left with an interesting lingering question: are the Freelancers the hope for the future or are they, as Kiera suggests, “delusional?”

The Scores:

Originality: 3/6 The revelations regarding the Freelancers resemble stories we’ve seen in SF many times before, but the writers seem to have a fair handle on time-travel.

Effects: 6/6 The mixture of well-chosen sets, CGI where necessary, and practical effects when possible remains excellent, and probably looks better than the excess a bigger budget might have produced. I liked the shooting of the Freelancers floating device, even if this episode feels very like a videogame.

Story: 4/6 We’re seeing the start of a story, rather than anything complete.

Acting: 5/6 The principals remains strong; some of the secondary characters, particularly among the Freelancers, remain a bit wooden.

Emotional Response: 5/6

Production: 5/6

Overall: 5/6 The show remains good overall, though not on par with Orphan Black.

Why does stormy weather accompany a collapsing timeline?

In total, “Minute by Minute” receives 33/42