Episode 105 “A Test of Time”
You knew that in a time-travel show with a character named Cameron, there’s going to be a Terminator episode. This is it.
[SPOILERS AHEAD — SWERVE TO AVOID]
A dead Lily Jones turns up, and Kiera automatically knows what’s what. See, her grandmother’s name was Lily Jones. And this wasn’t her, so she figures out right away that Kagame and his ilk are targeting Kiera’s grandmother in an effort to test the Grandfather Paradox.
So, Kiera Cameron is Kyle Reese and Lily Jones is Sarah Connor in this episode. I can roll with that, because this episode had to happen sooner or later. Especially since we’ve had Kellog interacting with his family for a while now. What I like is that they take the whole bag of tropes and turn it on its ear in a way that raises the right kind of questions at the end of the hour.
Only this Lily Jones – the right one – is a punk/goth rebel without a clue. Certainly more attitude than Sarah Connor the Waitress. And Kiera has to get over her sense of disappointment really quick because Lily is pregnant. Meaning if she gets taken out, so does Kiera’s mother.
Which might happen anyway, because Lily is freaked out at the notion that she’s about to be a mother. She’s got no life, no focus, no direction, no experience, no husband, no family… and very little in the way of options outside of her boyfriend. So, there’s a bit of an opportunity to do some political commentary here (as a lot of US shows would do), but the show smartly opts to stay focused on the idea that if Lily makes the wrong choice, it impacts Kiera and her family. The entire future hinges on decisions made in the present.
Which brings back the Grandfather Paradox, which has been around since 1943. And Kagame figures to test the theory to see if Kiera actually ceases to exist if Lily Jones is eliminated early in her life.
Kagame doesn’t figure on Kellog, though, who’s still playing both sides against the middle. And Kagame is not happy that Travis tried to kill one of their own. But Kellog’s desire to stay in 2012 and make a life for himself also is a bit off-putting for the older terrorist. There’s bad vibes all around in this group. It feels like some of the group dynamics are starting to unravel a bit. Especially since Kellog has embraced the whole notion of money and fruit.
Wait. What’s wrong with fruit in 2077?
Following the shootout in the middle of the street between Garza and Cameron, it’s a mad scramble “race against time” type of episode, as Kagame ups the ante by taking Kellog’s grandmother hostage to trade for Lily.
Now, here’s where it gets better than just a tire Terminator trope. When Kiera goes to make the switch, and Kellog comes out of the car with a hooded woman, I figure it’s Kiera. Only she’s back in the car with Lily. So, who’s in the hoodie? None other than Kagame’s pregnant mother. Very nice twist on the old switcheroo trope. And now we have a very interesting game of Chicken, in which Team Cameron gets one up on Team Kagame, because there’s no way he’s going to put his own existence at risk.
Of course, he’s got loose cannons on his team, and when Travis takes out Kellog’s grandmother anyway, the whole thing unravels with tears. And Kellog still exists. Which means either the Grandfather Paradox doesn’t really apply, or everything that’s been done since the arrival has put us onto an alternate time track. Which means anything’s possible at this point.
Threads to monitor: Why does Alec keep an image of Lily? Is this going to factor into 2077 Alec’s relationship with Protector Kiera? What’s Kagame going to do about Travis? And what does this do to Kellog’s involvement in Libr8?