Continuum 2.09 "Seconds"
Writer: Raul Sanchez Inglis
Director: Michael Rohl
THE ONE WHERE Julian is released from jail and instantly finds himself being courted by the various factions of Liber8. Before he can choose his future, however, he has to deal with the fact that someone tries to kill him – shooting his mum instead – and Kiera is on the warpath, determined to prevent his future as the mass-murdering Theseus from happening. Unfortunately, it seems as though she accidentally makes it a certainty...
VERDICT It's daring of Continuum to spend an entire episode focused on one character (and a character we don't like, to boot), but luckily the writers pull it off with aplomb – as does Richard Harmon in the role of Julian. It's hard not to sympathise with him as he watches so many people fight over his soul, and this is despite the fact we know he was willing to blow up an entire skyscraper full of people just last season! His little bonding session with Alec helps; we can't help but wonder if they'd ever played pool together before, or even had an adult conversation, because Julian seems to come alive at last when faced with his brother's friendship.
It all goes horribly wrong, of course, as Julian is kidnapped by the police and tortured, not to mention threatened with death by Kiera. There's so much to ponder in these sequences: the fact that Inspector Dillon has been returned to his job, but with the entire department now funded by Mr Escher, means that morality appears to have fallen by the wayside. His tag-team of cop torturers is a horrible glimpse of the path Dillon may be walking down from now on, and the fact that Kiera joins them also has us worrying for her. Naturally, though, good old Carlos turns up and gives her the, “if you do this, you're as bad as they are,” speech. Let's hope he doesn't have to do that again.
Without a doubt, the most important thing about this episode are its glimpses of the future. While we've seen some pretty horrific things so far on this show, nothing quite beats a warehouse full of mind-controlled slaves working to assemble Sadtech chips. You can almost see where Julian is coming from when he launches his campaign to destroy the place – again, Continuum doing what it's best at, and providing both sides of the story in a compelling way. Seriously, though: just how effed-up is the future? Next we'll be seeing Terminators and meeting our robot overlords!
COOL TECH Kiera uses her chip to rewind a conversation between Dillon and Betty so that she can read Betty's lips. Also, while Julian is being tortured, so sees that his vital signs are “elevated” and thus knows he's lying – although we suspect his vital signs were probably elevated because, y'know, he was being tortured. Funny, that.
OOH, BETTY They're really letting us stew about Betty, aren't they? It's been weeks since we discovered that she's a spy and nothing has happened yet. This week she's in a few little scenes being herself, although she seems to text someone surreptitiously at one point. If you missed the big reveal about her in “Second Opinion”, you'd be forgiven for thinking nothing was going on at all.
DID YOU SPOT...? When Carlos is trying to talk Kiera out of shooting Julian in the episode's climax, his hand moves to his gun. You barely even notice it; the camera doesn't linger on what he's doing, but he's most definitely fixing to shoot her. Carlos and Kiera may be friends but he's still following the law to the letter.
ISN'T THAT...? Somehow this escaped my attention before now... While watching this week's episode it hit me how much the actress playing Alec's mum looked like Superman 's Margot Kidder. Then I saw her surname: Janet Kidder. Margot was her aunt. Small world!
IT'S ALL ABOUT THE ARTWORK There are those who claim that Barack Obama was helped into the White House by the now-iconic “Hope” poster using his portrait. Theseus has his own version of such a poster now – will it usher him into power, too?
A SHOUT-OUT TO THE DOP! Continuum is a fine-looking show, but while you're following the plot it's often easy to miss moments of great photography or design. Take this week: Kiera and Carlos drive through the streets of Vancouver at night and a blue, neon-lit building colours their car. In the very next scene, we cut to Julian and the same colour blue coming from the computer in his room.
Later, you see Carlos and Keira having a talk and the glow of the city in the background is soft-focused enough to look like fairy lights. Very pretty.
Kiera [about Theseus] : “Every monster starts off as someone's baby.”
Continuum season two is currently airing in the UK on Syfy, Thursdays at 10pm