[Review] - Continuum, Season 2 Episode 6, "Second Truths"

Courtesy of Reunion Pictures
Considering that this episode hit two massive reveals, one that the second season has been building towards, and the other that has been hanging over the entire series to this point, I walked away from episode six disappointed. It is a rare thing for Continuum to misstep, but I feel like they have done so here. It wasn't bad, to use the word. It was just less. The dialogue seemed less authentic, the plot more procedural, the action more cliched. Which, presuming that it will be an important episode down the line, is really too bad.

Hit the jump for the review, which contains spoilers that remember all their old bus routes.

It immediately stuck me how procedural the episode was. Considering that it is a show about a cop, who works with cops, the show wisely has never been a cop show. It avoid the Law & Order plots, but came at this one head on. And the potential was great: a serial killer whose case Kiera studied in the future, is active in the present, and using evidence from crimes that have yet to be committed, she tracks him down. It's a great plot, on paper. Unfortunately, in execution, it left me wanting. Aside from making suggestions based on no evidence, and alienating her further from Carlos, she didn't use much of any of her future knowledge to help solve the crime, and was mostly just in the right place at the right time. And, in the final act, less a homage and more a bland copy of the final sequence from Silence of the Lambs.

The episode never felt genuine, something the show has rarely had an issue with. The dialogue, especially between Alec and his lady friend, seemed stilted and cliched, over written and under acted, like rejected material from a romantic comedy. The manipulations from the new friend (whose name I either missed or wasn't mentioned) were obvious and transparent, and not at all up to snuff with some of the more subtle examples the show has already given us. And, considering that last week we got the far more effective and emotional reveal that Betty was a turn coat, that this new and unexplored character is also a mole for forces unknown comes off as an empty plot, and disappointing.

Considering that last week, everyone but Carlos was certain that Kiera was either a terrorist or a criminal, that she was making these huge, wild jumps in logic that turned out to be correct, and no one but Carlos seemed concerned about that, seemed disingenuous. The new captain, again, whose name escapes me, was gun-ho to take Kiera down, and suddenly evidence appears that suggests she's in league with a serial killer and doesn't act on it (Carlos straight up states that Kiera's knowledge could only come from someone involved in the crimes) made me wonder what the point of it all was. Each episode has done well to explore a core concept in relation to Kiera, but this episode seemed divorced from the entire concept of the series, and just used the characters as best it could. Even Kiera's out of no where assertion that she is worried about her changes to the timeline effecting her existence, is a concept the show already touched on, to greater effect, in season one, with her drug addicted grandmother.

It does raise an interesting question though: the only view of the future we have is from flashbacks to Kiera's past. We have not returned to the active future since the pilot. We, as viewers, experiencing the series through Kiera, have no idea what condition the future is in. Last week, Kiera was so hung up on thinking of the future chronologically (a year having passed since she came back, on her son's birthday, for both her and him) rather then thinking about time happening simultaneously (because he's in the future, her son is both non existent, being born, dying of old age and not existing again all at once). This week she gets hung up on the idea that, her making changes to the timeline might have wiped him, or even herself from history. Meaning that she is potentially the only version of her that could ever exist. The show, looking back, has made very few actual changes, and has not explored their repercussions at all yet. But Kellogg's grandmother was killed, essentially making him a walking, stable paradox. Kiera, having come to terms with never seeing her son again, is now obsessing over the notion that she herself might be a paradox.

As for the two big reveals, we got to meet the mysterious Mr. Escher, played by Hugh Dillon, and while his scene was brief, it also revealed nothing. He claimed to be willing to answer her (our) questions, but only gave her double talk and cagey, Yoda-like responses. Not giving away the farm is one thing, but being purposefully obtuse is another. I look forward to exploring his character more in future episodes, and hopefully filling in more blanks. It did (nearly) confirm that he is in fact a time traveller. Or at least, has knowledge of Kiera's temporal movements.

The second reveal, potentially the one to have the greatest effect on the series as a whole, is Kiera's confession to Carlos about who she really is, and where she comes from. I said, back at the start of the season, that Carlos would have to find out sooner rather then later, and a show like this tends not to save that sort of thing for the season finale. Sure enough, mid season, in a mediocre episode, comes the big reveal. And it was... underwhelming. I don't know what I was expecting, but her weeping on a torture chair while he stands over, pitying her, wasn't it.

Maybe I was hoping for something a little more protracted, like over the course of a couple episodes, his using his detective skills to put together the truth for himself (it's certainly been hinted at him enough times this season along for him to begin to suspect). Spoon feeding him the truth seems lazy, like they just wanted to get it out of the way, rather then work at it. Which so goes against everything this series has established about itself. It hasn't been afraid to work at concepts, to take time, to go the slow path. Just dashing this sort of thing out of the way like an annoying house cat seems like the tactic of lesser TV shows.

For the second week in a row, we had no Liber8 activity or appearances, though that stands to change next week, as Julian heads to court, and Kiera suspects something fishy.
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About MR. Clark

Adopting the descriptor of "successfully unpublished author", MR. Clark began writing things on the internet in 2012, which he believed to be an entirely reputable and civilized place to find and deliver information. He regrets much.


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