Continuum 2.13 "Second Time" TV REVIEW
Writer: Simon Barry
Director: Pat Williams
THE ONE WHERE Where do we start? Let's see... A selection of scenes we've seen from the future during the course of this season are repeated, but elaborated upon to make sense in context. It seems Kiera's mind was wiped so she didn't get suspicious of her superiors, which was rather dastardly of them. We discover that Jason is actually Alec's son , not his father, because his real dad is Escher. Carlos gives up everything to help Kiera, realises that Betty is the mole and the final shot of him this season is him shaking hands with Julian (gasp!). Dillon is truly off the rails now. Travis and Kiera have a gargantuan fight in a lift shaft. We find out that Jason was sent back in time after running into a Freelancer just as the Liber8 gang were zapped back, too. Alec betrays Kiera, who wants to go home, and uses the time-travel device to go back and try to save Emily instead. Oh, and the biggest shock of all: the Freelancers are acting as time police, making sure that timelines aren't interfered with. To do this, they imprison people who are out of their own timelines – the final shot of the season is of the Liber8 gang and Kiera held prisoner with no hope of rescue. Blimey, we're glad Continuum has been renewed for another year... talk about tension!
VERDICT Bravo. This finale is basically pay-off after pay-off, as we get explanations for a ton of things that have bugged us all season – from who the Freelancers are, to why Kiera was shown waking up with a headache in one clip from the future (which was such a random scene out of context that it's been bugging me for weeks). It's absolutely fascinating watching all of this come together: clearly the Continuum writing team has been cleverly laying down clues since episode one, planning out the year to the tiniest degree. That's the joy of only having 13 episodes to work with, I suppose – you don't let the plot arc get out of hand, as so many shows do with their unwieldy 22-episode seasons. Of course the downside of that is that Continuum is over with far too soon! Dammit!
In any other episode, the highlight would be the fight scene; Travis and Kiera going at it like tigers, each armed with a super-suit and determined to kick the other's ass. Gritty, believable and wonderfully directed – particularly the scene in the lobby, with its bullet-time Matrix feel – it's a treat through and through, and the elevator shaft sequence is stunning (even if the building in question seems to be 900 storeys high).
But this isn't just any old episode. Another highlight is Alec discovering that Escher is his father, the proof coming thanks to an old photo of him with baby Alec and his mum. No wonder Escher sent Emily to protect him, although it would have been a damn sight easier if he'd just ’fessed up at the start rather than stringing him along all year. Oh well.
Next up on the “highlight” list is Carlos rescuing Kiera from her police cell by punching the lights out of Dillon. Was there a single person watching who didn't yell “YES!” when he did that? Kudos to Brian Markinson for his work this year, slowly turning last season's likeable Inspector Dillon into the boo-hiss villain of the piece. His transformation to the Dark Side was officially completed this episode when he declared Kiera “public enemy number one” and effectively gave his team permission to shoot her dead, also labelling Carlos “public enemy number two”. And then, as a final kick to the ’nads, we see him reading a handbook which is the foundation stone of the CPS Kiera works for in the future. Amazing.
In one stroke, the lawmakers/government are now the bad guys – which is why Carlos appears to join with Julian once he's fled his old life. Is he serious about joining with the man who tried to kill him? Has he really had enough of following the law? Or is he just infiltrating Julian's gang to see what damage he can do? Tune in next year, same Bat time, same Bat channel...
ONE SIZE FITS ALL Kiera's super-suit fits Travis perfectly (it's even a bit baggy around the crotch, showing us that it wasn't a tight fit). Given how utterly tiny she is, we can only assume that the suits expand/contract as required, depending on who's wearing them. In “Second Skin”, Elena's suit also fitted the guy who stumbled across it.
PSYCH! Congratulations to Alec for successfully pulling the wool over our eyes as he yells at Kiera, blaming her for Emily's death: “I will always blame you! Do you understand me? ALWAYS!” A few minutes later, he lets her know he was bluffing. Kiera's stricken face says everything we needed to know about how much his words hurt. Of course, he really does have a point – she should have protected Emily on the roof, rather than running off to save the time-travel device. But then again, Emily shouldn't have stood up and made herself a target. And if Kiera hadn't found the device, Alec wouldn't have had the chance to go back in time and (presumably) save her. So there.
FORGIVE AND FORGET? Carlos realises that Betty is the mole after seeing her texting the second Dillon has walked out of her office – something she does a lot (she should probably have been sneakier and held the phone under her desk to text, but hey-ho). Amazingly, he doesn't turn her in or even condemn her, which is odd given that she's basically been trying to get him killed for all this time. By now, however, he's so fed up with the direction the police department is heading that he's willing to go with her. Also... this may lend credence to the rumour that Carlos and Betty are closer than just colleagues, having once had a fling (something Victor Webster couldn't confirm or deny when I interviewed him a few months ago: “You know, it might have happened! You never know what happens after a few shots of tequila at the Christmas party.”).
COOL TECH Kiera plays with a nifty hologram on her kitchen table, while Old Alec browses through CPS agents using his own hologram Rolodex.
WHAT'S NEXT? I have a theory. I could be wrong. Feel free to tell us yours (if the comments are still broken underneath this review, do it on SFX's Facebook page or on Twitter: @sfxmagazine or @kakapojayne). My theory is this: Next season will pick up with Alec in the past as he tries to save Emily's life. Whether he does or not may well be moot: the point is, the action will continue from that point, and we'll never see the Kiera imprisoned by the Freelancers again. She's at the end of a different timeline, see? And Alec has started a new one. But hey, I could be wrong... and I hope I am, because the thought of Kiera and the others locked in those teeny-tiny cells for the rest of their lives is thoroughly depressing. Roll on next year so we can find out what happens.
Continuum season two is currently airing in the UK on Syfy, Thursdays at 10pm