Continuum is an insanely addictive sci-fi action series from Canada. Like Lost Girl, the series is edgier than your typical American show. It puts a bizarre spin on its use of time travel. In the year 2077, big business has taken over and instituted a police state. There is no longer such a thing as privacy or free thought. Laws are enforced by Protectors of the City Protective Services (CPS). Meanwhile, the questionably titled terrorist group, Liber8, is trying to undermine the stronghold of big business.
Kiera Cameron (Rachel Nichols) is a committed policewoman and military veteran. She gets pulled through time and space when Liber8 uses a time travel device to go to the year 2012. Armed with knowledge of the future and its unique gifts, the only one able to stop them is Kiera, equipped with a cybernetic suit and Swiss-army gun. All the while, she struggles with having left her family in the past (or future).
The first two seasons are available on Netflix. However, if you want to jump right into Season 3 we’ve got everything you need to know be caught up on the series. (Obviously, this breakdown includes major spoilers).
Kiera is shocked to find herself in the year 2012. Her suit and brain implant, CMR, get its wires crossed with a teenage boy’s computer. That boy, Alec Sadler (Erik Knudsen), will be the father of an entire age of technology. With Alec’s hacking at her disposal, Kiera uses her knowledge of Liber8 to help the police. Her cover is the bizarre premise of made up secret part of the government. She partners with Vancouver police detective Carlos Fonnegra (Victor Webster).
Under the leadership of Edouard Kagame (Tony Amendola), Liber8 tries to change the future by murdering people and destroying businesses in 2012. Meanwhile, reluctant Liber8 member Matthew Kellog (Stephen Lobo) goes solo and uses his knowledge of the future to succeed financially. Kagame sacrifices himself to ensure that his plans to change the future come to fruition.
The season culminates in an epic terrorist act. Kiera suddenly remembers a terrorist attack that occurred in her original timeline's version of 2012: the major explosion costs Kagame his life. Alec unlocks a secret message in Kiera’s memory. Alec, in the future, is instrumental in sending Kiera and Liber8 into the past. Meanwhile, Alec’s step-brother is the father of the Liber8 movement and Alec loses his step-father in a major confrontation. Finally, in a complete WTF shocker, Kiera sleeps with Kellog. The question arises: was Kiera always meant to visit the past? Is she ensuring the future with her family will exist or is she changing it with every act she does?
The second season finds a couple of changes. Kiera’s suit is no longer bronze but a darker black (to match her new attitude). She’s committed to getting home by any means necessary. Kellog is using his finances to influence Alec by building him a lab. Kiera also learns that a few other people from the future came back through time, including her partner from 2077. But they arrived at different times. Her partner dies of old age, leaving behind an extra super suit. The other future survivor is Jason (Ian Tracey).
Liber8 is having some internal battles. Sonya Valentine (Lexa Doig) was appointed by Kagame but Travis Verta (Roger Cross) has the most leader potential. They jockey for control over Alec’s step-brother Theseus. They also try and get Jim Martin (Tahmoh Penikett) elected into government.
Meanwhile, a third group of time travelers, Freelancers, are slowly cropping up. They blow Kiera’s cover with the police department. There also is the mysterious figure known as Escher (Hugh Dillon) who tries to enlist Kiera’s help. It turns out he’s Alec’s father, Alec’s girlfriend is a spy, and Jason is Alec’s son from the future. The season ends with Kiera offered a chance to go back home using Escher’s resources and the time travel device. However, Alec’s girlfriend is killed so he uses the device to go back in time. Trapped in the present Kiera is apprehended by the Freelancers and imprisoned to no longer make any changes to the timeline.
How will Kiera get out of the hands of Freelancers? Is Alec the evil mastermind capable of ruining Kiera’s life or is he a victim of all this time traveling? Find out when Season 3 begins on Syfy.
There is something particularly unnerving about demon possession. It's the idea of something you can't see or control creeping into your body and taking up residence eventually obliterating all you once were and turning you into nothing more than a sack of meat to be manipulated. Then there's also the shrouded ritual around exorcisms: the Latin chants the flesh-sizzling crucifixes and the burning Holy Water. As it turns out exorcism isn't just the domain of Catholics.
The myths and legends of the Jews aren't nearly as well known but their creepy dybbuk goes toe-to-toe with anything other world religions come up with. There are various interpretations of what a dybbuk is or where it comes from — is it a ghost a demon a soul of a sinner? — but in any case it's looking for a body to hang out in for a while. Especially according to the solemn Hasidic Jews in The Possession an innocent young person and even better a young girl.
The central idea in The Possession is that a fancy-looking wooden box bought at a garage sale was specifically created to house a dybbuk that was tormenting its previous owner. Unfortunately it caught the eye of young Emily (Natasha Calis) a sensitive artistic girl who persuades her freshly divorced dad Clyde (Jeffrey Dean Morgan of Watchmen and Grey's Anatomy) to buy it for her. Never mind the odd carvings on it — that would be Hebrew — or how it's created without seams so it would be difficult to open or why it's an object of fascination for a young girl; Clyde is trying really hard to please his disaffected daughters and do the typical freshly divorced parent dance of trying to please them no matter the cost.
Soon enough the creepy voices calling to Emily from the box convince her to open it up; inside are even creepier personal objects that are just harbingers of what's to come for her her older sister Hannah (Madison Davenport) her mom Stephanie (Kyra Sedgwick) and even Stephanie's annoying new boyfriend Brett (Grant Show). Clyde and Stephanie squabble over things like pizza for dinner and try to convince each other and themselves that Emily's increasingly odd behavior is that of a troubled adolescent. It's not of course and eventually Clyde enlists the help of the son of a Hasidic rabbi a young man named Tzadok played by the former Hasidic reggae musician Matisyahu to help them perform an exorcism on Emily.
The Possession is not going to join the ranks of The Exorcist in the horror pantheon but it does do a remarkable job of making its characters intelligent and even occasionally droll and it offers up plenty of chills despite a PG-13 rating. Perhaps it's because of that rating that The Possession is so effective; the filmmakers are forced to make the benign scary. Giant moths and flying Torahs take the place of little Reagan violently masturbating with a crucifix in The Exorcist. Gagging and binging on food is also an indicator of Emily's possession — an interesting twist given the anxieties of becoming a woman a girl Emily's age would face. There is something inside her controlling her and she knows it and she is fighting it. The most impressive part of Calis's performance is how she communicates Emily's torment with a few simple tears rolling down her face as the dybbuk's control grows. The camerawork adds to the anxiety; one particularly scary scene uses ordinary glass kitchenware to great effect.
The Possession is a short 92 minutes and it does dawdle in places. It seems as though some of the scenes were juggled around to make the PG-13 cut; the moth infestation scene would have made more sense later in the movie. Some of the problems are solved too quickly or simply and yet it also takes a while for Clyde's character to get with it. Stephanie is a fairly bland character; she makes jewelry and yells at Clyde for not being present in their marriage a lot and then there's a thing with a restraining order that's pretty silly. Emily is occasionally dressed up like your typical horror movie spooky girl with shadowed eyes an over-powdered face and dark clothes; it's much more disturbing when she just looks like an ordinary though ill young girl. The scenes in the heavily Hasidic neighborhood in Brooklyn look oddly fake and while it's hard to think of who else could have played Tzadok an observant Hasidic Jew who is also an outsider willing to take risks the others will not Matisyahu is not a very good actor. Still the filmmakers should be commended for authenticity insofar as Matisyahu has studied and lived as a Hasidic Jew.
It would be cool if Lionsgate and Ghost House Pictures were to release the R-rated version of the movie on DVD. What the filmmakers have done within the confines of a PG-13 rating is creepy enough to make me curious to see the more adult version. The Possession is no horror superstar and its name is all too forgettable in a summer full of long-gestating horror movies quickly pushed out the door. It's entertaining enough and could even find a broader audience on DVD. Jeffrey Dean Morgan can read the Old Testament to me any time.