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Continuum season 2

September 11, 2013

continuum2For its sophomore season, Continuum jumps from masking itself as police procedural to a full on time travel story.  If I did subtitles for my articles I would label this one as “shit just got real” as a lot happens this season.  In order to be able to discuss this season, pretty much on any level, spoilers are completely unavoidable.  Before I go any further I’ll just say that if you are a genre tv fan, especially of the SF end of the pool, you really should be watching this series.

Season two opens in what looks to be a few months after the events at the end of season one.  Alec has moved out of his mother’s house and seems to have cut off contact with Kiera.  He is making an earnest effort to try and change his life path based upon what he has learned from the message from future Alec.  This quickly gets derailed by Matthew who makes Alec an offer he can’t refuse, especially given his mundane job experiences.  Agent Gardiner has taken an even more unhealthy interest in Kiera given what he witnessed shortly after Kagame’s bombing.  And as if this already isn’t enough, the Mayor is publicly assassinated while making a speech about the bombing.   Then things get even more complicated from there so, rather than trying to cover the events in chronological order, I’m just going to go over the stuff that stood out to me over the course of this season.

I’ll start with Kiera as she undergoes quite a lot of personal development this season and, I’m using that term to be diplomatic as most of it is not good.  Things for her start largely where they left off, albeit with the added stress of Gardiner accusing her of being a Liber8 mole.  While it’s really just a little thing, it does begin the attack on Kiera’s rather abundant self-confidence.  A further blow comes in the form of Julian Randal aka Theseus.  To Kiera, Theseus is the boogey man and I mean that quite literally.  Apparently, in the mid 21st Theseus is used as a boogeyman by parents to scare there kids into behaving.  This strikes me as like using Osama bin Laden, prior to his death, for the same thing today which would easily make the top of my list of worst parenting decisions ever.  The opportunity to kill Julian Randal before he becomes the boogeyman proves to be too overwhelming to Kiera so, she ends up pointing a gun in his face with the intent of killing him.  Carlos ends up talking her down.  Up until this point, Julian had been trying to just go about having a normal life but, this incident shakes him into action and he decides to take on the role of Theseus.  Kiera’s realization that her actions have done the exact opposite of what she intended leads to a breakdown on her part that forces her to starkly examine her situation.  Her only real anchor at this point is the thought, promoted by Alec, that with the time sphere she can return to her own time.  However, this is ultimately ripped away from her as well when Alec throws the time sphere in an attempt to save his girlfriend.  This proves to be too much for her and she tragically forsakes Alec to chase the object that has become a symbol of her last chance for a return to normalcy.  While painful to watch, I totally sympathized with her actions.

A new character named Escher is introduced this season.  He is the head of a company named Piron that not only exists in the future but in the present as well.  His handle (I’m making a fairly safe guess that Escher is not his real name) is perfectly chosen as he is a living cipher.  I’ll state up front that, like Matthew, I do not trust him.  He claims to be Alec’s dad, which I wouldn’t believe without a paternity test firmly in hand, and begins to replace Matthew in the role of Alec’s benefactor.  He also provides Alec with a bodyguard/spy in the form of a woman named Emily.  I am skeptical with Escher’s claim because at one point I was dubious about his being human at all given that he exhibits some small behaviors that regular humans don’t.  At this point, if his paternity claim is true, I would tone it down to him just being genetically/cybernetically enhanced on the mental level.  In any case, I still am dubious of his motives.

Jason also becomes a major character this season after showing up at the end of the first season and introducing us to the existence of the freelancers.  Jason is an enigmatic character in his own right.  We learn in the final episode that he is Alec’s son which makes things temporally tidy for Alec given that he knows what happens after he sends him back in time from the memories of his own youth.  I may be reading too much into things here but, future Alec’s seeming lack of empathy towards his own son makes me wonder if future Alec sees him as little better than a tool.  Taking this idea even further, with future Alec trying to alter the time stream I’m wondering could he have conceived Jason (again, knowing his “history”) as a way to make a temporally closed human to use for this project?  If this turns out to be the case I think awarding future Alec the worst parent of the century trophy might be in order.  Like I said, I might be seeing tigers where there aren’t any but, these are the thoughts that went through my head on the reveal that Jason was Alec’s son.

Speaking of the freelancers, they lead as rather nicely into the season’s conclusion.  We learn that the name freelancer is actually a rather misleading description as timelord or, perhaps, reality police might be a better description.  I suspect that we will learn these guys are enhanced also.  Their desire to round up Alec does lend credence to Escher’s paternity claim as they seem to be “collecting” people who are temporal anomalies.  Alec is their next big target which makes a good deal of sense if his dad is from over 70 years in the future of his mother, thus, making Alec one hell of a temporal anomaly.  With Kiera declared a Liber8 agent, Carlos is forced to leave his job and approach Theseus but, not before threatening to “out” Betty as the real Liber8 mole to force her to come with him.  Next season looks like it may continue this trend of politics making strange bedfellows as Kiera may very well end of having to work with the other temporal refugees to make her escape from the facility the freelancers have locked her in.

As should be obvious at this point I really loved the second season of Continuum but, I just wanted to finish up my review with a couple of little things that, while not important to the overall story, I found pretty awesome as well.  First, I liked that they continued the episode naming convention from the first season, where every title had the word time in it, into the second where every episode had the word second in the title.  It’s one of those things only someone like me, who basically has no life, would notice but, that still doesn’t take away from my appreciation for the effort.  As the actor Fred Kwan would say “It’s the simple things in life you treasure”.  The second cool little detail I liked was the way the time sphere worked once it fired up.  The outer rings began moving around the surface meaning that when they stopped in a different position the sphere would come apart in a completely different manner.  It was a small throw away detail but, it really leapt out at me as making the time sphere technology seem that much more the product of extremely advanced technology.

 

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