Continuum Review: “Minute by Minute”

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

5 replies on “Continuum Review: “Minute by Minute””

  1. lost says:

    It will be interesting to see just how accurate the freelancer theory of time is. I suspect they are missing a very large piece of the puzzle. I have a very strong suspicion that we’re headed for a “everything I do to fix things makes it worse” scenario. I wonder if the same Alec and Kiera we’ve been following from the start are the ones that make it out the other side of whatever is coming.

    Assuming the multipath time explanation is correct, we do nicely sidestep any paradoxes. I seem to recall a movie that used that gimmick very effectively, to the point where it all made perfect sense in the end. I’m not sure I buy the “collapsing timeline” thing though, without an explanation on just why timelines collapse.

  2. quantaman says:

    Escher dying was a nice twist, particularly after potentially reversing Emily’s death. I’m curious who killed original Kiera, though if they play it smart it shouldn’t be too hard to figure out since someone should be very surprised to see Kiera.

    • zocalo says:

      I think that Keira (the series original, that met the Freelancers) killed Keira, probably to avoid the paradox of duplicate individuals in the new timeline, and she now has to decide which Eric to remove. She hardly seemed shocked to see her own corpse, did she? That’s a more interesting problem, and one that might actually have a different resolution (not to mention implementor), and probably with a twist to what we might be expecting. There’s also the question of Emily’s fate in the new timeline, of course – does getting the timeline back on track require she be terminated too? If so, who did Eric have his son with, or does he *know* it was Emily because he asked his son and this is, in fact, already the “correct” timeline?

  3. quantaman says:

    I thought it was implied to be Keira but shows do a misdirect in that kind of scenario so often that it could be anyone.

    I think the Freelancers idea is that Emily gets terminated but choosing the right Alec might be enough to keep things on track.

  4. Fez says:

    I have a sneaky suspicion that we’ll find out both Alecs are still alive in the future.

    I’m equally confused by the “storm” bit unless that was actually unrelated to the timeline but some other catastrophe that happened due to an earlier change.

Comments are closed.