[Review] - Continuum, Season 2 Episode 9, "Seconds"

Courtesy of Reunion Pictures

After two weeks off (thanks a lot Canada Day Long Weekend and, umm... Week Before Canada Day Long Weekend), Continuum returns and so does Inspector Dillon. But the return is not all sunshine and roses. In fact, in Seconds, Continuum took a dark turn that started with a gun shot, ended with some torture, and pretty much left every character short of Carlos in a place so morally ambiguous that it is hard to tell who the good guys are any more.

Hit the jump which contains spoilers that have been shot at, hunted and generally despised.

"I would kill Hitler," I think is my new favourite line from this series, not because of its profound meaning, but because of the absolute sincerity with a touch of humour that Victor Webster delivered it with, making me laugh out loud when I heard it. It also was the overarching theme of the episode, playing out the old time travel thought experiment: if you had the chance to go back and kill Hitler, would you? Julian, eventually to be Theseus, is Hitler enough in Kiera's eyes to actually consider it. The episode also got into some nature vs. nurture arguments, and topped it off with some time travel philosophy. In all, it was a very heady episode, and those are my favourite kind.

From Kiera's perceptive, Theseus is the killer of thousands, a terrorist and should rightfully be killed (her apparently not knowing that Julian was Theseus, unless I misread that scene, seemed completely unbelievable to me). He deserves to die. From Carlos' perspective, Julian is a stupid kid who made some very poor choices, but has been found innocent by the courts and deserves the benefit of the doubt. From her perspective, killing him in the past would "save" lives. From his, it would be murder. Is knowledge of what someone might do reason enough to stop them, even if the possibility exists that they may not become that person anymore? And, is the argument that they haven't committed those crime yet a valid counterpoint to the argument that they will? If you had Hitler in your sights in the early 1900's, and someone was making the argument that he hadn't caused the Holocaust yet, would that be reason enough not to kill him? Are a person's sins retroactive? Or that, he might have the chance to avoid becoming the tyrant he would be? Or, that attempting to stop him causes his shift in attitude towards becoming what he was always meant to be?

(By the way, I love time travel tenses.)

This episode did little to clear up the question of what the mechanics of the show's time travel is. In fact, it made the whole thing a lot fuzzier. It went out of its way not only to make Julian a likable character, but also a sympathetic one, but despite his apparent move away from the extremism that landed him in the sights of the courts in the first place, by the episodes end, he was preaching to the converted, thus apparently conforming to the original form of the time line. Kiera's eleventh hour horrific realisation that her abuse of him might have been the event that caused Julian to snap was a wise addition, and further proof that Kiera really does fail to think things through sometimes.

The question remains, however, of what does the future hold. Have the "changes" Kiera and company have made actually changed things, or are they all just a part of a sequence of events. My own bias makes me believe the latter, that time cannot be changed. Yet the series has made significant alterations to the course of events. Will the universe course correct as best as it can, to make the sequence as similar to its original design as possible? Is anything Kiera and Alec doing having any real effect? Until Kiera jumps back to her time, I suspect we'll never know the answer. And as much as I love puzzling over it, I think I'm happier not knowing for certain. If only because it means I get to make wild guesses based on an accumulation of evidence rather then having a definitive statement spoon fed to me.

Dillon returned to the command of the unit after some weeks away getting chummy with Escher, and he's a changed man. A more single minded, less emotional man. Apparently, he has become a true believer in Escher's cause, whatever that is (again, loved Webster's delivery of the "who is Escher?" line), and it helps to highlight that a single minded belief in anything is destructive. Dillon's forsaking of procedure and moral ethics, condoning torture and brutality (and possibly murder) is as cold and dehumanising as Liber8's own methods. Just because he can hide behind a badge doesn't make it right. And as a nice counterpoint to Dillon's conversion, you have Liber8's own spy in the police force, helping to keep things muddled. Kiera has her own agenda, leaving Carlos standing by himself, trying to be the only sane man in a room full of nutters.

And speaking of nutters, Liber8 - both sects - have apparently lost their minds. Travis' group of homeless, helpless and hippies is little more then a cult looking for a leader, while Sonya's is a desperate clawing band of directionless has beens, in equal need of strong leadership. Plus, what in the hell is happening to Lucas? Did they break his brain, thinking he's seeing Kagame, or was that just an act to scare off Julian? It hasn't been hinted at before now, but then again since the division in the ranks, we've only been catching glimpses of the time travellers. Liber8 may still think they are working towards admirable goals, but I feel they've long since gone off the rails.

I've said before that, as dystopias go, Kiera's 2077 doesn't actually look that bad. It's like Blade Runner-lite, and not a place I'd be entirely uncomfortable living in. The intermediary time seen in this week's pro and epilogues, the (lets assume) 2030's or 40's, looks terrible. A craptastic wasteland out of an Orwellian night terror. Not the most pleasent vision of the future.
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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.


  1. I have no idea whats going on with Lucas. It would have made more sense if Travis was getting orders from Kagame since they could explain it through the CMR - maybe a series of instructions. For Lucas I cant imagine how they will explain it - although it was such a prominent scene I am sure the writers are building up to something.

    1. It was that it came from out of no where that threw me off balance. The show does a decent job seeding big developments, but because we've spent so little time this season around the Liber8 members, this comes out of the dark and cracks us about the back of the knees.

      Suddenly, I'm more interested in finding out about Lucas then I ever have been. So, I guess points to the writers for that.

  2. I thought this episode was brilliant, and this show continues to surprise me and fill me with intrigue and questions of my own regarding our real life future. Anyways, it's becoming more apparent that there are no good and bad sides here. Carlos is the only really good one, while Kierra is willing to murder a boy to protect a corrupt future, and Liber8 is also murdering masses to make statements that should pave a new path to human freedom and rights in the future. I believe Alec is the key, if he can change his future, it could turn everything upside down, as he is the one who invents the technology that gives the government great power, it was his factory that lead "theseus" to murder those "people" (who were also dehumanized and 'transformed' by the the company) so if Alec doesn't go down that path, it can be argued that this "eye in the sky" government won't come to exist, and Liber8 won't see a need to go to extreme's. On the other hand, SOMEONE will replace both sides, so it might be that, no matter what anyone does, the path of future cannot change, but only be postponed. I don't know. Anyways, at this point, almost everyone is a bad guy, and those that I will root for are the ones that won't resort to violence to protect/change their future. At the moment, this looks like Alec to me. But! I have a feeling something might happen to his girlfriend that might trigger him.