Continuum Season 2 Premiere Review: Back to the Future

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Continuum S02E01: "Second Chances"


Howdy, kids! I know, I know, Kiera Cameron has been kicking ass all through Season 2 of Continuum for like a month now in her native land of hockey and maple syrup, but the rest of us schmucks have had to wait just a little bit longer for things to get started on Syfy—except for maybe those of us who tend to get sneaky and do that thing we're not supposed to do, which we would never ever even think of doing ever. Shhh. 

After an explosive—literally—Season 1 finale, Continuum returned to U.S. televisions tonight with Kiera on the run in what looked like the worst mental hospital ever before being tackled by some orderlies and jabbed with a sedative and... KIDDING. It was just a nightmare—and by "just a nightmare," I mean, "probably something of the utmost importance." Nightmares aren't that weird, but our formerly-stranded-in-our-time-heroine waking up with her hubby and her kid in 2077 was a pleasantly WTF way to reel us back in after the long (or not so long, depending on your viewing habits) break between seasons. In the end, the Kiera of 2077 was revealed to be nothing more than the subject of flashbacks, but important flashbacks, because of Old Alec slipping that secret message into her CMR. Nice airship, bro. Really. Top notch. 

One of the most interesting things that Continuum does—and does well—is juxtapose our time and Kiera's native time. It's not the first sci-fi series to try such a thing, but it's one of the few where, despite the sharp differences between the two time periods, I rarely catch myself marveling at Kiera's 2077 tech and thinking, "Yeah right, like we're going to have that in less than a hundred years." It's not that Kiera's suit/implants, the VPN, Future Alec's ship, or the stunning renderings of Future Vancouver haven't been marvelous at capturing viewers' imaginations, but that, rather than focusing all of its efforts on creating cool gadgets and locations, Continuum has managed to do that and save some energy for a story that makes the social and technological evolution between 2012 and 2077 seem logical, plausible, and, for the sake of conflict, unavoidable. 

With his prophetic admission that "I've gone down a dangerous path, and I've taken the world with me," Old Alec rallied his younger self to Keira's cause, but the fun—and migraine-inducing—thing about time-travel sagas is that intention can often fly out the window once the key wheels are set in motion. Even with the gift of hindsight—and knowing, theoretically, what the key elements of time travel are, in the case of Continuum's world—altering the future isn't an exact science.

We know that Liber8 aims to stop the rise of the corporations. We know that, while on his rise to power, Future Alec worked very successfully within the system the corporations imposed and maybe even had a hand in creating them himself. We know that Future Alec worked with Kagame to make sure Kiera and Liber8 ended up in 2012 together, seemingly to collaborate in some kind of unknown and dysfunctional way to stop the future from happening the way that it did. 

That's where it gets messy. 


In the aftermath of losing its leader, Liber8 got a little more complicated when Sonya attempted to whack Travis in order to take the lead herself... but totally forgot about that whole not-fully-human thing. He slaughtered an operating room full of doctors (RUDE!) and landed himself in prison, where he met up with Julian (HI, JULIAN!). You'd think that the prison guards would've tried to keep two known terrorists from sharing a lunch table, but Gardiner dismissed their concerns because he thought letting the two fraternize might help him learn something about Kiera, who is seriously on his last nerve. 

After hiding out on Kellog's boat until the fervor surrounding the City Plaza bombing died down, Kiera has gone more "true vigilante" and less "shady friend of the police" in her mission to take down Liber8. When the mayor of Vancouver was assassinated, she offered her services, roping Young Alec back in—he'd been ignoring her phone calls anyway—and deciding that it was Liber8 who was responible! No, it was gangsters! No, Liber8!


Yeah, it was Liber8. 

Under Sonya's direction, the team joined forces with Jim Martin—pretty much like Kiera predicted would happen—to clear the way for his own mayoral campaign. Enjoy calling the shots now, Sonya. Something tells me Travis is gonna be piiiiissed when he inevitably gets out of the big house. 

In the meantime, Alec decided to start talking to Kiera again because they're both pretty much stuck and it's not like he can just go talk to anyone else about that time he received a coded message from his future self. She gave him part of her time machine and told him to fix it or re-purpose it. Yay, friends! 


"Second Chances" did a good job of pulling on the loose threads from Season 1 without stretching them past their breaking point. Hopefully, we'll get more answers about Future Alec's motives and how Kiera and Liber8's actions in the past are changing the future... if at all. I want these things, but I'm not disappointed that we didn't get more of them in the premiere and if we don't get them next week either, I won't be incapacitated with rage. When it wasn't doing the case-of-the-week thing, Continuum's first season was meticulous with its storytelling and I have no reason to doubt that the series will be less so in its sophomore run. 



NOTES

– Loved Kiera just non-nonchalantly telling Gardiner the whole truth and nothing but the truth and having him assume she was just being a smartass. 

– "I'm not back. I'm bored." —Alec

– WHAT DO YOU MEAN THERE'S NO BATMAN IN THE FUTURE??? WORST FUTURE EVER. 

– What did you think of the premiere? What are your conspiracy theories? 

– Show of hands! We realize that quite a few Continuum fans have have already seen much of Season 2 either in Canada or by being internet ninjas, so for the sake of matching our coverage to your needs, here's a poll: 


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