Continuum 2.02 "Split Second" TV REVIEW
Writer: Simon Barry
Director: Pat Williams
THE ONE WHERE Travis is moved between jails and Liber8 split into two factions to get him back (or not, as the case may be) during the switch. Much violence ensues. Meanwhile, Agent Gardiner makes a nuisance of himself – and could possibly be a mole – while a disgruntled Alec gets an offer he can't refuse from Kellog.
VERDICT Bloody hell! You'd be forgiven for assuming Continuum had the budget of a major US network show, given that “Split Second” features not only a massive car chase but also an assault helicopter attack. Not only is the car chase brilliantly shot, with enough drama and breathless pacing to rival a major Hollywood blockbuster, the helicopter attack is stunning, too. The action takes up most of the episode's second half, more than making up for a slow, overly talky start and ramping things up to such a degree that you're left in a puddle of sweat afterwards. Well done to all involved!
It's not the only action, either, with Travis kicking off in a prison yard and wiping out a team of fighters (every crack of bone is met with a wince and a shudder from Julian, who seems massively out of his depth). Then there's also a fight between the imprisoned super-soldier and Carlos, who would've come off second best if only Travis hadn't been chained. Both sequences are fantastically choreographed and Roger Cross sells every second. At the end of season one we'd assumed his character was killed by Sonya: we're very, very lucky that he wasn't.
We're now left with an intriguing situation: Liber8 has split into two factions – three, if you include Kellog – which can't bode well for the future. Kagame would be horrified, wouldn't he? Season two of Continuum is growing positively Shakespearean, with plots within plots, schemes and machinations that would be dizzying if it wasn't for the sure-handed writing. And on top of all this there's the added threat of Gardiner, who's now a snarling, hissing villain. Thankfully he gets chewed out by Inspector Dillon (I may actually have cheered at that bit), which is satisfying, but it's clear that he's not letting Kiera out of his sight from now on. Like she hasn't got enough on her plate...
AH, L'AMOUR... The flash-forward to the future shows us how Sonya and Travis first broke the law: she was the scientist who turned him into a super-soldier, and she refused the order to terminate him when the programme was shut down. He seems much sweeter in these scenes – being a terrorist obviously changed him – and they share one helluva kiss. Funny seeing this after she shot him just last episode, isn't it?
SMOOTH-TALKING BASTARD It's taken a long time for Kellog to come sniffing around Alec, but it's finally happened – and Alec has fallen for Kellog's schtick hook, line and sinker. Kellog's monologue about how he got up off his knees and started working for himself is a fascinating insight into the character, striking a chord with Alec despite his initial reservations. Now they're working together, the world could be their oyster; this could be either really cool or really dangerous. Incidentally, Kellog calling Alec “Zuckerberg, Jobs, Buffet, and Gates all rolled into one” is a lovely image, although Alec doesn't seem too dazzled.
COOL TECH Kiera uses her suit to produce a magnetic shield to deflect bullets, thus saving her life and Carlos's as they run for cover. The slo-mo sequence is 50% Six Million Dollar Man and 50% hellishly cool.
TWIST THAT KNIFE Gotta love how Travis taunts Kiera in the prison van, going on about time travel and the future, much to Carlos's bemusement. You can see just how much it hurts her when Travis wonders why she hasn't told Carlos the truth: “Maybe you don't care about him enough... Tell him, Cameron!” Ouch.
DEJA VU Alec's new job in a computer store seems a little too reminiscent of Chuck at the Buy More to us. Deliberate homage, perhaps?
Alec to Kiera: “At a certain point you're going to have choose between protecting the future for your unborn family, or protecting the future for yourself and those of us who are alive now.”