You know what's awkward? Celebrating the birthday of someone who hasn't been born yet— and by "celebrating" I mean "having an emotional breakdown in the middle of an office witch hunt, complete with activating a dormant digi-shrink program designed to help the emotionally compromised cop of the future by either talking her through her issues or giving her a nifty memory wipe because that's not horrifying and draconian or anything."
Yeah, Kiera was having one of those days.
March 15 is her son Sam's birthday, but here in 2013, Sam hasn't been born yet, providing her with a fun existential crisis to juggle along with other everyday problems like thwarting the nefarious Liber8 and trying to get Alec to invent a time machine. With Dillon deposed by a new regime that's conveniently friendly with Gardiner (ugh) and new boss-lady Harris on the trail of the office mole, Kiera was already having a bummer time before Carlos got nosy, Gardiner taunted her about her not-yet-existent male heir, aaaaaaaand the little girl's room was out of TP. That last one alone is enough to send a lady into a state of homicidal rage, so we should probably pause and give Kiera some credit for managing to keep her shit together for at least the first ten minutes of the episode. Gold star, Kiera.
To further complicate Harris's witch hunt and Kiera's mental health day, Betty admitted to keeping files on Kiera, back before the gang fully trusted her. Locked out of her computer during Harris and Gardiner's investigation, Betty feared that the information contained within said files would implicate both Kiera and herself in some evildoing. She asked Kiera to take some time out from her porta-therapist session to sneak a flash drive into the restricted quarters and run a program that would wipe out the information. Sure, Betty. No big. It's not like Kiera was clearly in the middle of a nervous breakdown or anything. Of course, Betty was later revealed to actually be the mole (after Kiera ran her program, of course), so I guess that figures. Keep it classy, Betty.
Actually, Betty WAS pretty freaking classy. Loved her boots.
All in all, Kiera's computerized therapist ended up being pretty helpful and cooperative. He reactivated her CMR so she could make contact with Alec, albeit briefly, and he adapted to the big surprise—Hi! You're stuck in 2013!—rather well. For a computer program, the good doctor was rather personable, and once she stopped denying her need for some quality counseling, Kiera made some real progress toward accepting her lot with the separated-from-her-family-by-almost-a-century situation.
I hate to knock on Kiera because her situation really does suck and her obsessive drive to get back to 2077 is absolutely understandable, but the girl really did have to find some kind of peace before she became completely incapable of functioning—and we were getting pretty close to that point. Meeting up with Elena last week was a good start, but it's been clear from the very beginning that Kiera Cameron is totally unwilling to accept the possibility of failing to return to her own time. Elena encouraged her to find happiness where she is and even went as far as to say that Kiera would—but those of us who've been privy to Kiera's most intimate moments know that any joy Kiera finds in 2013 will be haunted by the family she lost in 2077.
"Second Opinion" gave us a much-needed look into Kiera's deepest fears. It corrected our, or at least my, assumptions that her turmoil is directly related to the desire to get home—and it is—but not in the way I initially thought. Kiera wants to get back to her family because she misses them and she isn't really dead and all that, but she also wants to get back because she knows her son well and she knows that on some level, Sam harbors guilt and second thoughts about his role in his mother's "death," like so many children do. Nothing he could have done would have made any impact on what happened to Kiera, but it doesn't matter, and that's the terrible realization that drives Kiera to operate with time-travel tunnel vision 24/7.
Given the opportunity to talk to a holographic Sam, Kiera was skeptical at first (okay, so was I) but found her mental load lightened by the opportunity to lay everything out. Kiera resolved to change her outlook. She certainly won't (and shouldn't) stop trying to get back to 2077, but she's accepted that if she doesn't make it back, her life doesn't have to end. She can still be happy. Maybe she can even start over. Maybe.
Accepting her possible future was a big step for Kiera and an important one for both Kiera the character and Continuum the show. As Kiera makes more connections in 2013, influences more people, cultivates more friendships, and unintentionally forges a life of her own in the "primitive" past, it's imperative that she find some sort of balance between what she lost and what she could gain if she chose to participate fully in her new world. While we can all understand her reluctance to do what she perhaps perceives as turning her back on her old life, it becomes harder and harder to cheer for her when she seems to go out of her way to alienate people in her new one—her new patchwork "family."
Plus, it's just not healthy to be carrying that kind of unresolved baggage around. Girl was headed for a breakdown sooner or later.
So that came sooner and with a little help from her CMR implant, she overcame her issues, and I'm genuinely excited about what Kiera's new outlook means for Continuum.
Elsewhere, when he wasn't tangled up with cobbling together a new identity for Kiera, Alec cemented his partnership with Kellog and asserted his dominance as top tech dog. For being an awkward little dweeb, Alec appeared to be a tough negotiator and landed himself a majority stake in the fledgling Sadtech, as well as a dream of a lab and what are probably pretty swankerific digs. He also teamed up with Kooky Jason to work on the time machine when Jason gave him some schematics. Aww, it's (probably) family time.
– I tend to not really think about what's going on in Kiera's future sans Kiera, but I guess she would have been presumed dead, and that's sad.
– Admittedly, as helpful as Kiera's computer shrink ended up being, the way he kept referring to counseling Kiera as getting her "operational" was a little bit alarming. Sure, you could chalk it up to the computer using computer jargon, but if he was designed by super-genius Alec to work with humans, wouldn't he use more "human" language? Considering what a douche Old Alec is implied to be, it isn't that far of a stretch to think that he saw Kiera and the other people walking around with his creations as fleshy computers themselves... which is kind of effed up, but eh, that's Old Alec.
– Did you see Betty's betrayal coming? I got suspicious when the virus was spotted.
– What did you think of this episode?
AIRED ON 6/27/2014
Season 3 : Episode 13
AIRS ON 9/11/2015
Season 4 : Episode 1