I would like to announce "Game Time" is the finest piece of TV & Writing I have ever witnessed. The reason why I'm writing this review so late is simply the time required for this Master Piece to be absorbed and understood. So far I have slowly chunk by chunk Analysed this episode down to every detail, the only way possible to fully grasp the complex beast.
*** SPOILERS - Requires Prior Continuum Knowledge ***
Entrances don't get much better than a demonstration of world changing shattering ideas. The idea of manipulating and controlling other people minds, intentions and willpower. That is the dominating theme for this episode, basically Joss Whendon's DollHouse elegantly distilled into one episode. The writing goes far beyond just the possibilities of mind manipulation (not mind control) but includes the What & Who obtains such power in what technical fashion. In this case SadTech in 2076 has created brain implants using Light EMR Pulses to manipulate brain function.
Here's where the morale minefield get really gritty and dirty. The What & Who wilding such power is SadTech the Exploitative Corporate Technocracy who's power comes from their ability to exploit and manipulate the world like the mind manipulation technology, not the citizens they Control. An even more disturbing idea was revealed, I quote:
We found SOLDIERS to be the ideal test subjects since they are INDENTURED to SADTECH for 20 Years of SERVICE, we have many eager "volunteers".
In 2076 not only does the SadTech Corporation run the Civil Police Force but the Authority that Legitimises and Owns the ruthless Defence Force. Simply one of the scariest and most disturbing concepts I have ever thought about ever since Biff Tannen owning the corrupt Police Force in "Back to the Future Part II". Showing the unimaginable corrupt and exploited power the Corporate Technocracy has to beat there detractors to submission.
Back to present day 2012 infant versions of the mind manipulation technology are built into Virtual Reality Goggles. At this point the tech is only able to implant the willpower and need to carry out one single task with minimal details open to the environment. This leads to murders with varying M.O. with no reasonable motive.
While Investigating the murders Kiera & Carlos easily link all victims to Tendyne Systems a computer gaming company lie "EA" developing the next generation Virtual Reality Gaming. Kiera being from the future and implanted with sensitive neuro-technology. She gets exposed to the mind manipulation built into the Virtual Reality Gaming while trialling in the investigation. The technology not only controlled Keira but created and link to her mind. Giving the Liber8 Nerd a back door into controlling Keira. In a clich move the writers instantly make Liber8 manipulate Kiera to kill all her allies. This time both ex-Liber8 Kellog & Carlos are at Tendyne trying to stop zombie Keira. Luckily young Alec Sadler comes up with the brilliant idea to simply shutdown Kiera to the point she is unconscious. The brilliant use of technology theories here with the perfect blend of science-fiction & real tech gave me an GeekGasm.
The ordeal was a turning point for Keira as she had not only failed but became a danger to her buddies. Luckily she had the right people to help her, Kellog & Alec Sadler. "Despite what you want people to believe, I know you are only human" A realisation that Carlos & Kiera comes to now she's not in 2077 Police Force but has to rely on her buddies. Buddies like Kellog in this episode really steps up to the plate and saves both Carlos & Keira lives. The beginning of a necessary evil relationship purely out of dependency on each other to survive. A relationship that may prove to be helpful to Keira as Kellog the social engineer digs up another human weakness. This time the Liber8 Nerd's fondness of alcohol spirits previously in his life non-existent in 2077. A useful Asset relationship that Keira will eventually give into accepting blindly to the dangers of Kellog.
I realised I am drawing to a close yet I have barely even dug the surface of this Master Piece. There are soo many more elements and nuisances that I have missed, but full breakdown and insight would require a multi-page essay. "Game Time" is simply an epic piece of writing because it focus on fundamental socio-political ideas. The idea of playing with intentions, manipulation and needs like a game. The episode is not accessible to those with small closed in mind that cannot grasp vast ideas. As "Game Time" is the example of exploiting and controlling a dim witted viewer.