[Review] - Continuum, Season 2 Episode 11, "Second Guess"

Courtesy of Reunion Pictures
First off, in this week's lone glimpse of the future, that was David Milchard playing the technician. Milchard is the "Adult Man" in the hilarious web series Conversations With My Two Year Old. Really, I've got nothing else to add, other than you should really watch Conversations With My 2 Year Old if you haven't already.

That opening sequence though seemed more akin to the one that bookended the season premier, in which Sadler implanted Kiera with the memories of being forcibly detained, for reasons that have not yet been made clear. And this episode did not make immediate use of the discovery that, somewhere, a complete record of everything a CMR has recorded is stored and accessible. I cannot believe that both of those pieces of information won't become relevant in the next couple weeks. Because things are coming to a head, and everyone is losing their minds.

Hit the jump for the review, which contains spoilers that regularly have conversations with rooms full of a dead guy.


Last week I touched on Alec's pivotal role in all this timey-whimeiness. This week, I've dedicated thought to Escher, the series' biggest question mark at this point. What we know: he's a Freelancer. That's about it. And not even that. Escher is the mysterious CEO of the Prion Group (prions, by the way, are the infectious mutilated proteins that cause Mad Cow), a multimillion dollar company that deals primarily in tech and securities. Escher is shown to have the same markings he claims identifies Freelancers, time travellers of unknown origin and intent. With knowledge of the future, Escher has been making moves towards cultivating technologies he knows will be of maximum impact in the future, and developing them for himself, for at least in the short term, financial gain. This tactic has brought him into direct confrontation with Kellog's own interests. This week, we learned that Escher is pretty much the world leader in anti-matter development, which on the surface appears to be entirely about alternative energy. However, the use of anti-matter, a long held sci-fi staple, also has applications in time travel.

Escher's actions seem all over the map. He's clearly aware of Alec's potential and eventual success, as he has sent spies to watch the young inventor, openly attempted to seduce him to joining Prion, and holds a keen interest in the development of the ARC monitoring system, a scalable version of which this episode ended showing us he's already in possession of. Escher has also protected Kiera's cover story, fooled CSIS, and bought the police department responsible for investigating any crimes associated with Liber8, though he has made no specific moves against that organisation. So, what does he want? If my assumption from last week is true, and that the Freelancers are part of a further future group intent on maintaining, or constructing the corporate run future we've seen so far, I feel that Escher is to Kellog what the Freelancers are to Liber8. He came back with them, saw the potential in the present to build his own success, and manipulate the future for his own designs. I don't feel that Esher is working with the Freelancers, in terms of their recent bought of stealing time travellers. See, for instance, the Freelancer that Emily killed when it came looking for Alec. Unless that was a test of loyalty for her, but I doubt that. But, clearly, Escher has made himself a large target, and so I wonder why the Freelancers haven't went after him? Does he have some method of protecting himself, or are they working their way up to him?

Or, as his Dark Knight wall of privacy invasion suggests, is his ultimate goal to turn the present into the future now?

This episode turned to political intrigue rather then police procedural or action drama. In many ways, it felt like a Le Carre novel, which a dozen sides, all moving with and against each other. And any flow charts that might have been needed to keep track of who is working with whom are getting simpler, as sides are once again beginning to consolidate. After a season apart, the two factions of Liber8 came together via the power of love, apparently, which I guess means nothing shows how much you care for someone quite like trying your very best to kill them (or that Sonya and Travis are demented indivduals). Seemed like too easy an out for that storyline, but I'll let it slide if it means that Sonya actually gets to do something other then drink wine and complain about other people not respecting her methods. I respect the non violent, from the ground up approach. But while she's been sitting in her basement all season, everyone else has been accomplishing things with bullets.

A couple weeks ago, I pondered if Julian had really changed, and noted that the episode in which he was tortured actually managed to make him a sympathetic character. I take that back; he's a putz. If you want to endear yourself to the masses, rule number one is don't make a talking head video where you speak in vailed threats and metaphors. That just makes you come off as a super villain, and the only people who are swayed by a super villain's logic are other crazies. You do have to applaud his Joker-like balls, and his deft manipulating of the situation. He wanders into the police station, gloats, and walks out because they have nothing to hold him on. And, because he witnessed Lucas going bonkers weeks ago, uses that to manipulate not only Liber8 into conducting a massive cyber-terrorist attack on Vancouver, but also implicating and undermining Alec in the process. No wonder Theseus gained such a cult in the future, he's a master mind. In terms of planning, not so much on the follow through. His basic tactic there seems to be taunt and run. But between his planning things out three steps ahead, and the bald rich guy controlling things from the skyscraper, I'm wondering how many DC Comics fans there are on the Continuum writing staff.

So Lucas is crazy, a more extreme and fast acting version of the temporal dislocation that is affecting Jason. Which gave us the return of Kagame, something I've been waiting for and looking forward to all season, in some forth (I was expecting in the future glimpses). So far, no one else seems affected, but then again, we have that flashforward from the premiere of Kiera being locked away. Add to that her somewhat and increasingly erratic behaviour all year (remember the Emergency Medical Hologram?), and I wonder if she'll end this season with a sizable hole in the bottom of her bag of marbles. And in what decade? I'll admit, when she popped the top off that tackle box and uncovered all the other segments to the time travel device, I did a little happy dance. Garza is squirrelled away somewhere, Lucas is in custody, making that the first physical victory over Liber8 the police have achieved in over a year, and Kiera now has the greatest potential for finding a way home, something she all but gave up on earlier this year for the sake of her own sanity. And, Alec is just good enough at this point to get it working again.

But it's the Doc Brown problem, isn't it? Going back to the future from this point means she'll be travelling forward in this timeline, complete with any alterations that have been made along the way. This season, she's already bemoaned the fact that her family, even herself, might not exist in the future anymore. So, what happens in the finale if she jumps forward, only to arrive in some Army of Darkness hellscape, an alternate future where Sadler never rose to prominence, or Escher has absolute control, or Theseus is ten time worse then he was the first time around, or an absolute military state exists, and Kiera finds herself being taken into custody, or succumbing to temporal dislocation herself. That would be a hell of place to leave us off.

So, Freelancers are archiving all evidence of time travel. Jim is now mayor of Vancouver and has proven he has no morals of quams playing all sides and betraying everyone. Lucas is locked in a psychward. Alec has a time bomb to play with. Emily is weepy over her loyalties. Dillon continues down the road of absolute authority. Every week, Carlos looks a little bit more like he's had enough of this shit. And someone finally took an interest in where the hell Gardiner went to!
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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.

4 comments :

  1. At this point, I'm really, really hoping that Continuum goes the Sarah Connor Chronicles route with their time travel, ie. that events can be changed, but are looping. That creates some cases where an event at one point eventually loops around and causes itself to happen, but slowly iterates, which TSCC used to some pretty hefty dramatic effect. And, at least so far, it seems that might be the case.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "Anything that happens, happens.

      Anything that, in happening, causes something else to happen, causes something else to happen.

      Anything that, in happening, causes itself to happen again, happens again.

      It doesn’t necessarily do it in chronological order, though."

      When in doubt, trust Douglas.

      Delete
  2. Good reviews here. Hopefully we shall be satisfied with the season's end to an extent where we will still be engaged with the show's progression.

    P.S. - It's Piron Group.

    Cheers!

    ReplyDelete
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