Continuum is back for a second season. Depending on which country you’re watching in, it’s either been a long time or a shot time since the explosive first season finale that saw Kagame level a building and Kiera (Rachel Nichols) sleep with Kellog (Stephen Lobo). So where do we go from here?
Let’s bitch it out…
If you ask which post has received the most comments in the 2.5 years that this blog has been active, I can immediately tell you: it’s the season finale of Continuum S1. Around half of those comments take me to task for being disappointed that Kiera failed to remember history in order to prevent Kagame’s attack (which I’ll rightly concede was credited to a different group and did take place well before she was born). The other half of the comments concern Kiera’s and Kellog’s tryst with some people encouraging Kiera as a woman married to a dick sixty odd years in the future, some seeking to excuse her frame of mind, and some people taking her to task for stepping out on her marriage. Things got so heated that one person was even banned because they couldn’t play nice! (Side Note: you can check out all the drama here)
The reactions to the finale tells me that people have a lot to say about women’s sexuality. More tellingly, the level of engagement reinforces that Continuum fans are a very dedicated and passionate group (perhaps this is why Showcase has made the wise decision to pick-up the show for S3, even before its US debut?)
Either way, we’re heading into the start of a new season with what I suspect will be a much larger fanbase and, correspondingly, higher expectations. So how does the first episode, ‘Second Chances’ fare?
That’s a tough call to make, if only because the show is significantly darker. Yes, darker than a woman stolen away from her husband and child to fight a band of “terrorists”* who aren’t afraid to resort to unconventional means to convey their point of view. I say “darker” because the characters are in very different head spaces now. There’s a harsher, meaner streak to Kiera, not just in her interactions with Kellog, but also Alec (Erik Knudsen). The boy wonder is also hardened by last season’s events; after realizing his role in stranding Kiera in 2012, Alec is off on his own tech/geek version of a walkabout. Even Liber8 lovebirds Travis (Roger Cross) and Sonya (Lexa Doig) are on the outs (hardly surprising given that Sonya tried to put him down and has since become the cold-hearted leader of the group)
*In the context of the show, terrorist is a debatable term. Continuum has been so successful in part because neither Liber8 nor Kiera are “good”, so labeling Liber8 as terrorists diminishes the murky moral dialogue the show is interested in exploring. This is, however, the term that is used most often by the show’s characters to describe Liber8, so…
Admittedly I find the case of the week a slog to get through. It’s only at the end when it’s revealed that Jim Martin (Tahmoh Penikett) is the man behind the Mayor’s assassination that I kind of perked up. I hope that this means we’ll see more of the BSG & Dollhouse alum as I’m interested to see Liber8 working with corrupt government officials. Considering their resistance to corporate culture, I’ll be interested to see how they discern one from the other.
This leaves three other storylines to discuss: Travis and Julian’s (Richard Harmon) prison bond, Agent Gardiner (Nicholas Lea) and the 2077 scenes that book-end the premiere. Since Gardiner’s angle is the least interesting of the three, let’s begin with him.
This is a tried and true sci-fi trope: the individual who saw something that he or she shouldn’t have and go around making a big deal out of it. In the best case scenario, this individual can be turned into an ally – someone who knows our protagonist’s secret and can be trusted to work with them (ie: Alec). In the worst case, this person acts as Gardiner does: a nuisance, a thorn in the progress of our protagonist and the show’s narrative. The weakest aspect of S1 was Kiera constantly coming up with excuses so that no one discovered she wasn’t who she said she was. That seemed to be put to bed when the Section XI cover-up was implemented, but now Gardiner’s storyline is resurrecting it. The problem is that his personal vendetta isn’t interesting…and it’s clearly not going away anytime soon.
Le sigh. At least Inspector Dillon (Brian Markinson) is on her side.
There’s not a lot to say about Travis and Julian, other than I’m interested to see where it’s going. I definitely find it hard to believe that the two of them would be put in the same facility together, so it’s nice when Gardiner confesses he organized it to secure intel. This makes me more inclined to forgive – and maybe even become invested – in this character. More moves like this, where he’s not snarling in Kiera’s face, will go a long way to making Gardiner’s presence palatable.
Finally, the most interesting parts of the premiere are the opening and closing sequences. In the opener, Kiera has a nightmare in which she is imprisoned. Initially it seems that something has gone wrong with her CMR, but the closing scene, when we see Old Alec (William B. Davis) record a message to his 2012 self, offers a tantalizing alternative. The positioning of the sequences suggest that there is a connection between the two future set scenes. We’ve long known that Kiera was not accidentally transported into the past, and we learned late in the season that Old Alec selected her. Is the reason why or perhaps the how (as in how was she selected) locked in these scenes? Only time – and your predictions – will tell…
- I doubt the Kiera and Kellog scene will reassure anyone who took issue with their fling last season. If you expected Kiera to be apologetic, you may have a long wait. While she’s not interested in talking about their affair, she’s not denying it happened either. She simply has more important ulterior motives: she’s blackmailing him! That’s our girl
- It’s pretty clear what’s going on between Alec and Kiera, but I can’t say that I found it enjoyable. I’ll admit that one of the reasons I found this episode a little “off” is because the relationship between these two was one of the highlights of the first season for me. Watching Alec deliberately avoid Kiera because of his uncertainty about the video from the future is frustrating (and admittedly a little too drawn-out). Obviously there are big plans to “grow” Alec up this season (hence the moving out, the inability to speak with his mom and the lame-o computer job at Memory Express) and while this might be interesting, I hope and pray that this doesn’t mean we’re going to have to suffer through yet another sullen TV teenager
- Tech of the week: Kiera’s suit can process all of the surveillance footage for umpteenth blocks and create a 360 virtual simulation. Pretty cool stuff
- Kellog (when Kiera admits to blackmailing him): “I have to say: this only makes you more attractive.”
- Victor Webster’s Carlos (when Kiera tells him to look for the signal): “Yeah, is it going to be a big bat signal projected into the sky?”
What did you think of the premiere: does this feel like a darker Continuum to you? Are you interested in Gardiner’s storyline? Any predictions on what Travis and Julian will get up to in jail? Why do you think Old Alec selected Kiera for this mission? Speculate away below
Continuum airs Fridays at 10pm EST on Syfy (New episodes also air Sundays at 9pm EST on Showcase in Canada where the show is a few weeks ahead)