Continuum "Second Guess" Review: Lucas Interrupted

By MaryAnn Sleasman

Aug 17, 2013

Continuum S02E11: "Second Guess"

So, CMRs record memories, and in the future, those memories are stored for the users' "safety." That's pretty creepy and sketch-tastic. "Second Guess" in general was fairly unnerving; Lucas's sudden transformation from "kind of odd" to "full-blown crazypants" and Dillon's quickness to go all police state on the citizens of Vancouver now that he has the blessing of Piron brought to mind an article I read about how, these days, seemingly harmless Google searches can get the terrorism task force on your doorstep. In short, it was a big improvement over last week's messy episode, even though there was no mention of the body-snatchers and no one seems terribly concerned about how Gardiner hasn't been seen in like, weeks. Sure, he was a pain in the pooper, but personal problems aside, shouldn't Kiera's spidey-sense have started tingling awhile ago? 

"Second Guess" featured a fellow who hasn't often gotten much time in the spotlight in the past: Liber8's very own computer-hacking all-star who just wanted Momma Sonya and Papa Travis to get along during this divisive time in Liber8 history. Last week, Lucas owned up to sliding ever closer off his rocker in his conversation with not-so-dead Chen, but even with all the implications that Lucas wasn't all there upstairs, after running into one dude who was supposed to be dead, it didn't seem all that impossible when Kagami popped up too. That Lucas was so blissfully candid about why he was going off of Sonya's script for breaking Vancouver, however, seemed odd—especially when Kagami failed to show his face to his former followers and Sonya herself seemed sincerely concerned about Lucas's mental health. Awww, she cares! Sort of!

Continuum pulled the old switcheroo on us again too (love when the show does that!) by initially presenting Julian as somewhat removed from Liber8 and fed up with their tactics because he's all non-violent and zen about things now—except that he's apparently replaced overt violence with impressive powers of manipulation to achieve his desired results... like posing as Lucas's Kagami hallucination to get him to turn Vancouver's infrastructure into the least awesome kind of amusement park. I think Julian's new approach might just make him a little more scary and sinister than his original method of just blowing up all the things. For the first time since we've been introduced to him, Julian finally feels, to me, like a credible threat instead of some angry punk ass with a copy of The Anarchist Cookbook stashed under his bed. So many of Continuum's key players are terrified of their futures, but Julian is more than ready and willing to embrace his. 

Boy still has nothing on Escher, though. I mean, the man freaked Kellog out and Kellog doesn't seem like the kind of man who gets ruffled easily. Escher got to him effortlessly and sent him running to Sonya for help, but the First Lady of Liber8 was a little bit busy with her bonkers hacker, shiny new Mayor Martin, trying to sever ties after Liber8 was kind enough to assassinate his predecessor for him, aaaaaand getting back together with her B-FRIEND! Yesssss. Martin is so screwed. 

Like Julian, Escher seems to excel at creating his chaos and coordinating his players from afar, except Escher is way more skilled at it; he even has a nifty/stalkery TV room like an evil version of Serenity's Mr. Universe, or, more accurately, like the Architect in The Matrix franchise (which seems to be more in line with what Continuum was going for in that scene). With Dillon happily acting as Escher's attack dog in the field and Emily—despite her increasing reluctance to have anything to do with Mr. E's shenanigans—continuing to spy on Alec anyway, Escher has quite the set-up. Does Escher = the Architect? Given what he told us about the role of the "freelancers" in building the future the way it "needs" to be built, I'd say yes. 

There were quite a few scores for the baddies this week, but Kiera herself also snagged a big win when Alec managed to track down Lucas—mostly by taking advantage of his Kagami-flavor mental breakdown (Poor Lucas!)—and deliver him right into Kiera's waiting handcuffs. While snooping around Lucas's mobile chaos generator, she happened upon the rest of the time machine. Yes! Excellent. Look, it conveniently powered up and everything! 

What's this mean for Kiera, though? She's come such a long way from her single-minded determination to return to 2077 and things with Liber8 here in 2013 are heating up. Despite Kiera's desperation to get back to her family, I have a hard time believing that she'll just up and leave as soon as Alec gets the time machine operational. With the power and influence that Liber8 has amassed, the probability is hight that the 2077 Kiera eventually returns to looks absolutely nothing like the one she left. Plus we still have to find the body-snatchers. Body-snatchers, Kiera! Body-snatchers! 

Two episodes left in the season! I picked a bad time to ditch the nail-biting habit. 


– Totally loved Betty's outrage at Dillion's Piron-backed methodology. One of the strongest points on this show, I think, is that when you strip away the extremists, Liber8 actually makes some really good points. 

– Emily told Alec that he was responsible for what people used his inventions for, which definitely throws a wrench into his "I'm not going to break the world" aspirations. What's an enterprising young super-genius to do? Is it really fair to hold him accountable for what other people do? 

– Something tells me Kiera probably isn't going back to the future anytime soon, time machine or not. Theories? 

– Ooh, a roomful of Kagamis. Very Being John Malkovich. 

– For another take on the episode, check out this review by user theguylafayette: Escher Is Channeling Gus Fring

What'd you think of "Second Guess"? 

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  • JimmyBurstKid Aug 19, 2013

    Okay so I have cheated and downloaded all the episodes so I have already seen the final... No spoiler I just want to say how greatly underrated this programme is... For me this is some of the best story telling to grace a TV Screen, the way the keep you in the grey area and play of the idea "everyone has a dark side" is just simply brilliant!! Enjoy the last few episodes and bring on a 22 episode season 3 🙌

  • LaurenLS Aug 19, 2013

    I agree, its probably the best show not on a premium network. I'd like them to keep it at 10-13 episodes a season though because what usually happens with long seasons is you get a lot of filler. In the case of a show like this it would be random police cases that have tiny links to Liber8 or some future event. You can see a few of these kinds of episodes already in season 1 but they mixed it up pretty well in season 2. There's maybe one or two I can think of that were like that. Fewer episodes means they can keep the story rolling and make more exciting episodes.

  • Demonstrable Aug 19, 2013

    It just keeps getting better.

  • bruno_fmenedes Aug 18, 2013

    Another compelling review of another compelling episode of this compelling series! Keep it up MaryAnn!! Continuum FTW!!!

  • stevei Aug 18, 2013

    I think that in the next 2 episodes that Kiera will go back to a future that she does not recognize and want to come back so she can try and get her future back. We will also have some of what the continuum is explained to us and the players involved.I still really enjoy this show but have a favor to ask of the writers;if you are going to have characters who are computer geniuses please have them act smarter and have at least a modicum of logic and probability theory in their head. Alec should be acting way smarter and know far more of what is going on as should have Lucas.

  • Savvytvfan91 Aug 18, 2013

    It feels like a whole ago I watched this episode and i difnt really enjoy it mostly because i care very little about Lucas and Liber8 does. I find Kellog, Esher, Jason, Emily, Julian (on his own) and Kiera more interesting. Of course not as much as the most interesting and complex character Alec. It is so odd to have a charscter know both do much and so little of his own ability and his surrounding environment.

    Although what the episode did was take another Liber8 member out of rotation, score for the good guys?

  • LaurenLS Aug 19, 2013

    I think they are leading into a Liber8 run by Julian and non-time travelers which is probably the way it was before Alec sent people back. Its really only Sonya and Travis since Garza was grabbed and Lucas now in the looney bin. Kellog is getting pushed out by Escher but I'm not sure if Escher is a time traveller.

  • sleepy-sonic Aug 18, 2013

    I think that you are going to be very disappointed with Kiera in the last two episodes MaryAnn

  • dh4645 Aug 18, 2013

    show is so great! much better than last week.

  • dh4645 Aug 18, 2013

    i totally thought the Architect from The Matrix too

  • dh4645 Aug 18, 2013

    – Something tells me Kiera probably isn't going back to the future anytime soon, time machine or not. Theories?

    well if she did get back to the future, the show loses half its characters, but i could see having the main storyline in the future, but not until the last season or 2 of the show

  • Mate Aug 17, 2013

    Another great episode.

  • ludoTV Aug 17, 2013

    Great review - I thought it was a very strong episode setting up some big confrontations to come over the next two eps and some onto season 3 I guess. Escher is truly terrifying though his exact agenda is still not clear. He could be (though I personally doubt it) simply from a more enlightened future and be trying to fix things. I really like the Julian character and his growth from tantrum-teen to savvy manipulator.

    In a show full of some pretty shady characters, I despise Emily the most. Her whinging and whimpering while still betraying Alec is beyond irritating. I have to wonder if Alec gave her a traceable 'Arc' because he's smart enough to suspect her, mainly because I hated that cliche scene where he can't bear to destroy 'Arc' so he gives it to her and she steals it... Ugh...

  • stevei Aug 18, 2013

    Giving Emily the ARC program did not make sense to me. Even if it was the only copy, since Alec wrote it, he can always write another one. All that giving it to her did was either give someone else the ability to do some of the things Alec can do online or allow Alec to track whoever has it.

  • LaurenLS Aug 19, 2013

    He trusts her to destroy it even though we know she doesn't. Its not like she is a competitor or even knows how to use it so if she was not a corporate spy she would have no use for it. You would think that he can make it again though if he wanted to.

    I don't really like the argument that people are responsible for the way other people use their inventions or discoveries. I mean if you make a bomb, yeah you know what its going to be used for, but if you invent the internet its not like you envision that the government is going to use it to spy on everyone.

  • stevei Aug 20, 2013

    We have had ideas of what the government would do with the internet since George Orwell and Phillip K. Dick.

  • KateSullivan Aug 17, 2013

    I'm confused what did Alec give Emily? Just the backup but he kept the original? So not too swift of Emily or does Alec know something more (like has Kellogg warned him and we just haven't seen).

    I want to say clearly Kiera isn't going anywhere but did they ever resolve that first scene from the season premiere where Kiera was thrown in a cage in a very future looking time frame?

    And has Alec's dna test on Jason come back yet?

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