Kiera (Rachel Nichols) becomes judge, jury and executioner when Julian (Richard Harmon) is released from prison as Continuum revisits the same themes as last week.
Let’s bitch it out…In ‘Second Listen’ Garza (Luvia Petersen) nearly killed Alec (Erik Knudsen) because she believed his future was predetermined. She held off only because Alec pleaded that he could change and avoid becoming the monster she knew from the future. ‘Seconds’ replicates this argument, only it transplants the question of free will and destiny onto Alec’s brother, Julian, and swaps Kiera for Garza.
It’s a little surprising that Continuum explores such similar ideas in such a short period of time. Obviously we’re meant to draw similarities between the two inquisitions, as Kiera stands up for Alec one week, but nearly kills Julian the following. There’s been a great deal of chatter about Kiera’s black and white perspective when it comes to the future and how concerned she is something will affect “her” timeline. In recent weeks this has translated into increased focus on the stepbrothers and their roles in what is to come.
For me, the two flashforwards that bracket ‘Seconds’ are the most significant aspect of the episode. Kiera’s struggle with the “time travel and kill Hitler” paradox is well-executed, but it was highly unlikely that she would actually follow-through with her plan to execute Julian. Even when she shut Alec out and pulled her gun on the future Theseus, there was a sliver of uncertainty (I actually spent a majority of the episode trying to determine whether she might simply be acting in order to rescue him).
The flashforwards are the key. The opening is the first time we’ve seen the future without Kiera (she informs us via voice-over that it is before she was born). The event is clearly a historical milestone and serves to anchor Kiera’s emotional reaction to Julian’s moniker. The second flashforward is subject to interpretation and is therefore more interesting. One way of viewing Julian’s decision to murder thousands is that Julian does not change his ways and he goes on to become the revolutionary leader that everyone – Travis (Roger Cross), Sonya (Lexa Doig), Isaac (Omari Newton) and Kiera – believe him to be.
The other interpretation may be less obvious. What if what we’re seeing is not the confirmation that Julian decides to become Theseus, but is actually just a continuation of the opening scene? Consider this: the Theseus we see in the final scene is actually the Julian from Kiera’s original timeline. If the scene is viewed this way, Julian’s future is less certain and the role that Kiera has played in “creating a monster” remains unknown. I prefer this reading because it revels in the ambiguity that Continuum specializes in, rather than simply confirming that the interpretation of Julian that we’ve always had is the one we should have.
- One of Continuum‘s most unique aspects has been how it distinguishes itself from “safer” science-fiction by presenting Liber8’s anti-corporate agenda in a sympathetic light. ‘Seconds’ does this most explicitly in its presentation of the 2053 legal system wherein SadTech technology is used to enslave citizens of low-level crimes for the good of society. Is this the future that Kiera is so desperate to protect?
- There’s definitely a sense that we’re not getting the whole picture in some of these scenes. I imagine that we’re not done with many of the conversations that begin here, including Isaac’s suspicious back-stabbing of Sonya and Julian’s followers getting rid of Travis
- Another piece of the puzzle that we seem to be getting only a glimpse of is Inspector Dillon’s (Brian Markinson) new agenda. He swoops into the VPD, ousts Nora Harris (Catherine Lough Haggquist) and institutes a new “take the fight to Liber8 by any means necessary” policy. Is he acting under Escher’s (an unseen Hugh Dillon) orders or has Dillon been hiding this hardline attitude until he had absolute authority?
- Am I the only one getting a 70s vibe off of Kiera and Carlos’ (Victor Webster) colleagues Rosicki and Martinez? Perhaps it’s the stache on Rosicki, but there’s a little bit of Dirty Harry-light to these two
- Finally: now that we know that Betty (Jennifer Spence) is a Liber8 mole, it’s fun to watch her reactions in the background especially now that Dillon is taking a more hard-line approach
- Kiera (when Carlos expresses doubt Julian could become Theseus): “Every monster starts out as someone’s baby”
Your turn: were you surprised that we revisited the same issue as last week with Kiera on the other side? Did you wonder if she was pretending? How do you interpret the second flashforward? And is Julian embracing his Theseus future? Speculate away below
Continuum airs Fridays at 10pm EST on Syfy