Continuum "Split Second" Review: Let's Make a Deal

Continuum S02E02: "Split Second"

So Sonya and Travis were a thing back when she was trying to reproduce the super soldier serum for the corporations—which, for the record, never works out well for anybody—and the order to terminate her project/boyfriend was what inspired her to go all Liber8 on everyone. That's sweet. That's also awkward. I'd say it sucks to be Travis, but he seemed generally okay with the situation, what with his "It's all going according to plan! Mwahahaha!" *mustache twirl* 

Kiera, meanwhile, was way less enthusiastic, and encouraged Alec to stick to the timeline so as to avoid horribly changing the future she plans to return to. Eventually. Somehow. Methinks she's gonna be thrilled to find out that Kellog lifted the future CEO of the world out of the suckass retail hell of Memory Express and plopped him onto a boat full of buxom babes, not to mention provided him with unlimited funds, such that he can build Sadtech in whatever manner he chooses.


Poor Alec, he just wants to have all of the money and all of the frisky women and all of the power without selling his soul. Alec's struggle made a nice counter plot to Kiera and Travis's jailbreak/car chase shenanigans—which were fun and all, but not terribly deep or meaningful or anything. I'm nervous about Alec's decision to bail on his retail job because sucky jobs really do build character and most of us who've worked them are better for it; the fact that he ditched the gig after one spilled slushy and one grumpy manager kiiiiiind of made him look like a brat. However, Kellog offered Alec a real opportunity to pursue his dreams on a tangible level—even if that opportunity reeked of "this is probably a bad idea." 

Alec didn't go into the deal totally blind, though—it's not like he has no idea who Kellog is and thanks to that message from his future self, Alec has a vague hint of who he could become. The problem, of course, is that Alec doesn't have a clue whether the old dude is a good witch or a bad witch—and if you're at all familiar with Wicked, that whole argument immediately gets a lot more complicated. Like Kellog said when Alec bluntly asked, the answer to the question of whether the Alec of 2077 is a good guy or a bad guy really depends on who you ask and how they look at it. 

The ambiguity of good and bad on Continuum followed Kiera and Carlos during their mission to escort Travis to a new prison away from Julian—because someone finally realized that letting those two chat it up in the courtyard was probably a bad idea and also Travis killed the shit out of half a dozen Aryan Nation fanboys. When he wasn't gloating about how Liber8 had already changed the future and there was nothing Kiera could do about it, Travis took some time away from his busy schedule of monologing to helpfully point out that Kiera was totally fighting for the wrong side and she just didn't realize it yet. 

The thing is... he's right

Liber8 is awful and villainous, and its members have killed a bunch of people—they continue to kill a bunch of people. That definitely needs to be stopped. However, the corporations that LIber8 is fighting against and the future they're trying to change aren't exactly good. If we're truly cheering for the greater good here, then the only apparent solution is to destroy both sides and completely rewrite history. That's a potentially dangerous prospect for anyone running around present-day Vancouver from the future—what if you prevent your own birth? Or that of your loved ones? What if you just end up making things worse? It also definitely doesn't gel with Kiera's keep-the-timeline-intact mentality, which means that there are some tough choices waiting for her in the future... it's just not the future she wants to be in.

With Travis freed, Sonya's authority is already on shaky ground—there's potential for Liber8 to be divided into two factions, each one allied with different leaders and potentially different master plans. It's a small step toward giving fate more paths to choose from on the way to the future by splintering what was once a set of only two choices, Liber8 or corporations, into three: Sonya, Travis, or the corporations. And there's still room for more, depending on whether Kiera encourages the partnership between Alec and Kellog or rejects it, and whether Kellog's influence prevents Alec from making the mistakes his older self aimed to correct, or causes them. 

"Split Second" was a strong follow-up to last week's "Second Chances," and while the jailbreak and car chase went on a little long for my personal taste, Garza being all BAMF with the helicopter rescue and Keira's Matrix-y bullet trick were worth the more mind-numbing parts. This was only the second episode of the season and I already feel like SO MANY THINGS have happened—in a good and exciting way,  not in a messy and confusing way. L8ter, kids!



QUESTIONS FROM THE FUTURE:

– Did Alec make the right choice?

– Travis vs. Sonya: whose side are you on? 


Ed. note: We'll be sticking with weekly reviews of Continuum at least for the foreseeable future, based on your comments and the results of last week's poll. As such, if you've already seen future episodes, please play along by avoiding spoilers in the comments!

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LOVE LOVE LOVE this show. At the beginning I never thought it will be that good :)

Rachel Nichiols even made me cried when she spoke to her "son".
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Great show. This has become one of my new favorites
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I thought it was a good episode to set up what likely will be the crux of the season. Trust. Carlos listening to Travis had to have realized that in part he was telling the truth. And so did Kiera, at some point she is going to have to tell Carlos because she is going to need him to get her back.

Same with Alec, he at some point is going to have to trust someone, but also trust himself. Maybe his fate is determined and no matter what he is going to become who he became. A magnate. However, I do think he has a choice either to be a good magnate or a bad one.

And then you have Travis and Sonya and you see what happens when the trust is eroded and a power grab happens. I am sure is a decent allegory for any number of things, religion, various countries throughout history. I found it interesting that Liber8 splintered off into two distinct factions. One led by Sonya, which is obviously the intelligent factions and then with Travis and Garza which is obviously the stronger, physical, militaristic side. I like the duality and hopefully they stick with it. I would like to see how Kiera deals with the two distinct sides.

And that also really sets up Kiera as a good hero. Because she is both intelligent and benefiting from her tech and she can also be great physically and deal with that aspect of it. However, the one sticking point is, if her tech can gauge the distance, time and velocity required to barely miss the train. You would think it would help her shoot one of the guys in the tunnel.
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I'd follow the reviews but I've been bad and have been doing a little something something to get my Continuum fix on Sunday nights/ Monday mornings! :)

Rachel Nichols looks like Holly Marie Combs in that picture where she's firing the gun. Anyone agree!?
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Never watched this show.
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I've never read this comment.
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then why leave a comment?
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Pretty exciting episode. I love the contemplation of how the future may have already changed and continues to change with every event, even the small ones (in a butterfly effect) that they might not even realize VS. if it's all predetermined destiny and the future we've seen is a direct result of them having come back in time. Same applies to the Alec-Kellog alliance. I also loved when Alec called out Kiera and told her that she would eventually have to choose between saving her future family (if she even can) or saving people in the present. Good stuff.
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@Editor What???!!!! That poll showed people were NOT mainly following the syfy realises.

That second poll option showed exactly what the issue will be - that there will be some who will want to post spoilers. I think you will find most people chose the second option believing it showed how not following the Canadian schedule will not work.
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But both the first and second option answered "Yes" to the question "Should we keep covering the U.S. airing of Continuum? "

"Playing along" as part of option two is not to be posting spoilers ;)

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The second option read as a joke, like "yes for those that want to give spoilers". A yes vote on that one clearly showed most people were on the Canadian schedule.
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...and they agreed to play along. So go be a good guy and play along nicely.
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-While, from the viewer's perspective, it is obvious that Alec's choice is problematic, let's be honest, if you were in that situation, you would opt for the money/women/awesome over the crap job/no money/suckiness. If I had been in that situation, I would have done the same exact thing, and believe me, I do the right thing like I have a problem (or so my family tells me).
-Sonya's side. And believe me, I'm still not sure that I'm on the right side. I mean, I suppose with that, I'm on Kagame's side, since he wanted Sonya, odd as that may sound. I am just not sure.
And, in essence, that's what I love about this show. This isn't the first show/movie to do the time shift thing. And yet, it manages to look at the shift in a sort of moral imperative view in which I haven't quite seen before. The weight of doing the right thing vs. making sure the future happens as it's supposed to do is intrinsic to this show and a lot less clear-cut than you might wish it to be. I applaud it. (FYI, if you care to know, I am a USA viewer, caught up solely to the SyFy aired episodes.)
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It's hard to comment on an episode I watched weeks ago, and I'm not sure what I can and can't mention. But all things considered, Sonya seems to have a few good ideas, and she's certainly a better alternative than Curtis. And all Kiera seems to care about is her own little personal world.

I understand she doesn't want to cause his loved ones (and herself) not to be born, but I'd feel better if at least once she either questioned the morals of her corporate-controlled futuristic government, or showed she ideologically supports it on some level because, say, it'll bring about an orderly prosperity for most (or something) in spite of the suppression of some personal liberties.

But the way things are so far, Kiera shows to be completely alienated from her political reality, and can only think in terms of following or breaking the law. Almost like she's brainwashed. I wonder if the future has some absurd laws created by the corporations. And we know that even when the laws are not the result of corruption and private interests, we can always count on the legislator's stupidity. This is why there are so many stupid laws. And Kiera seems to uphold all laws equally, without questioning their validity.

The slushy scene was just to show Alec's lack of adaptability with a regular job situation, and it's awful to clean up after a spoiled brat, but, come on, when the stupid customer started asking for something idiotic he had no idea about (something like, "terabytes? I want those!") all he had to do was say, "We don't have those. We only have gigabytes." But no, he had to give a lecture about computing. And by the way, didn't he do any cleaning on his mother's farm?
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Q: Did Alec make the right choice?
A: He still has time to change course if wants to. As long as he stays true to himself, to his real self, and continues to be best friends with Kiera, I believe he'll make the right choices, at least the most important one's, because everyone has to make some wrong decisions in their lives in order to learn which are the right ones. And he's only one person in the world, even if he's a genius, so it's wrong and unjust to think that the future depends solely on his choices. I think everyone who has seen the future and everyone they told or tell about it, have as much responsibility as Alec on how the future turns out to be, for better or worse.

Q: Travis vs. Sonya: whose side are you on?
A: Neither, for now, since they're both resorting to violence and intimidation to achieve their goals. Although Sonya seems to be the more reluctant to use violence and kill innocent people, which is always wrong no matter how noble the cause behind it, in my humble point of view, she also blindly followed the order to kill Travis, which was given by a guy that blew himself up with in big building, killing many innocent, invaluable and irreplaceable human beings.

"it's not who you are underneath, it's what you do that defines you."
- Rachel Dawes, Batman Begins.
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Great review MaryAnn!
I'm curious to read your reviews of the other 5 episodes I've already seen, particularly the last 3, which I loved the most.
This is a really good Sci-Fi show! Each season only has 10 episodes but they are all relevant to the overall story and character development. And although it has time travelers and technology from the future, which is cool and well thought out, it doesn't over-emphasizes it or over-thinks it, giving enough focus to the main characters and their human characteristics, particularly the charming and likable Kiera Cameron, convincingly portrayed by the very-easy-on-eyes Rachel Nichols.
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This season has 13 episodes I believe.
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If that's true, great =D
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1) Right for whom?
2) Neither, I'm neutral.
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I find it interesting and thoughtful on the part of the show that the future controlled by corporations isn't as bad as the viewers seem to want it to be. From everything we've seen on the show that future is actually pretty decent for the majority of the people living in it. I'm glad the show is more about a grey area than simply saying "This future is bad, this one is good". I do feel like maybe that is a point some people on here are missing.
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It seems to be lore about the lack of democracy (since in a Congress full of corporations, common people would be voiceless) than bad living conditions.
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More, not lore!
TVDOTCOM, WE WANT AN EDIT BUTTON!
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Have we seen how the poor people live?
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Apparently there are no poor people. Everybody is rich!
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Also, I think in one or two episodes we see an apartment building that's pretty much a slum. I believe it's where they captured a couple of Liber8 people.
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Ha! Very funny! haha
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To be precise, I just checked, the scene kanniball is refering to, is the opening scene of S01E06. We see Kiera in the aftermath of a riot, and people seem to have been stealing food provision that the corporations have wharehoused.
In the closing scene we learn that the corporate congress allowed the company to use that to drive up prices.
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Thanks. I'll check that. It's been a long time I saw season 1, so some details we tend to forget.
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Actually we saw the poor people. They were rioting for food because they were starving, and Kiera learned the corporations were holding back. I think we saw some other poor scenes too
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As for the food one, I forget. It was an early one. They're stopping a riot, and find out they were rioting for food. They then find the building they were trying to get into and see it was stock piled with rations earmarked for the poor. Later that night she talks to her husband about it and he reveals he knew that some rations were being held back.
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The reason I asked is that I've seen all episodes and I don't remember such scenes, so I'm not sure I agree with you.
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Well.... I just almost posted some big spoilers....

So, all I'm going to say now is: we will see some more poor people stuff.



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Really? What episode was that?
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Really enjoying this show. That good/bad, right future/wrong future conflict really keeps the story interesting. Kiera's tap-dancing to keep her secret is also well portrayed. And the introduction of the obsessed sceptic makes her cover more shaky. Definitely one of the better scifi offerings in a long time. Like the way they are developing the Liber8 characters rather than having them just be generic "baddies"
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I keep wondering when Kiera is going to realise she's fighting for the wrong future. I think it would be hard for her to admit that having the corporations in control isn't a good and if she wants to try to help create a better future that would almost definitely result in her never seeing her family or the life she once loved ever again. The way the liber8 is going about it though is not right either, the only ep that closely resembled them talking about how the corporations was bad was when they kidnapped that CEO and let the people decide whether she died or not. Loved this ep though, I seriously don't see how Carlos doesn't realise Kiera isn't who she says she is after all the stuff Travis said. I also love seeing Travis vs Sonya, I think Travis will have the brute force, but Sonya will outsmart him...hopefully, I love Sonya!
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Kiera is definitely in a tough position. I don't think it's selfish of her to want to keep the future to what she knows, especially when it comes to her family, but I think she's eventually going to end up having to decide between what's good for many vs. what's just good for her.

Oooh Carlos. I'm excited to see where all the stuff Travis said in the truck goes. It was too much to ignore, really, so maybe even if Carlos didn't jump on it this week, he'll bring it up later.
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I keep wondering if old Alec helped or helped Agame choose which Liber8 members traveled back with him and Kiera. Because it would seem to have an impact on how we view them. And whether an old man who is feeling bad but has not been questioned since he was young has a realistic perspective on who would have a positive influence on him.

I also wonder how far we are from Kiera sharing some of the truth with Carlos and Dillon less for Liber8 reasons but out of big sister concern over Alec.

And why doesn't Alec ask Kiera about him..she knew him even if just as her husband's boss. I know he doesn't know that but...I don't know he probably is afraid of the answer since he thinks of her as a good person and Kellogg sort of sketchy (I lean mostly toward to good butyou know).
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The characters on this show have some decent depth to themselves, the good, the bad and the ugly. When I compared it to Fringe last year I was exaggerating a bit and that still goes. Fringe only gets better the second time around. But this show is way better than decent and most things cannot be Fringe, not even Orphan Black. But we have a lot of good stuff to watch these days and Continuum is certainly one of them. Travis, Sonya--they both have their reasons and only time will tell--see what I did there;?
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I see what you did there! :D
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