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Continuum S02E05: "Second Opinion"


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. 



TIME-TRAVEL LOG

– 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? 

Previously Aired Episode

AIRED ON 10/16/2015

Season 4 : Episode 6

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I didn't suspect Betty of being the mole until the bathroom scene with the USB... That felt too opportune a story and also Betty has never liked Kiera, mainly cause Betty wants to do Carlos and Carlos wants to do Kiera... Jealousy is a powerful motivator... One of the strengths of this show, in my opinion, is how it shows that characters make decisions sometimes based on political beliefs, sometimes based on personal feelings, sometimes on both and how it all gets muddled up... It does a great job at dismantling pre-conceived ideas about political events

Love how this show writes Kiera as a hero that is strong and determined (though clearly she has been brainwashed about the past too) but who has also vulnerable moments. And Rachel Nicholls does an amazing job with it....
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I had a funny feeling about Betty, since the first episode. I just knew she was a bad guy. I wasn't sure what she was up to. I wasn't sure she was with Liber8, but i knew she wasn't a "good guy".
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Continuum really just keeps getting better and better. This episode was fantastic. I have always been suspicious of Betty, mostly because I could never figure out why they keep giving her screen time if she was only the IT girl. But it was masterfully played and kept me guessing up until the virus which she would have likely been able to see. Plus the coming to Kiera for aid was odd.

But Rachel Nichols. wow kudos to her this episode, she was fantastic. I am not sure how long this series will last. But I hope that people see it and realize that she isn't just another pretty face. Girl can act.

Overall another fantastic episode and it seems to be increasing as the season goes. So conceivably it is only going to get better.
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Another great episode. Season 2 has been fantastic, so far. Did not see Betty's betrayal coming, although I started to wonder when she confessed to Kiera that she had gone to some "low-level" meetings, but it was "off book" so there was no proof of an order from Dillon to do so.

The CMR shrink wanting to get Kiera back to an "operational" state and treating her like a cog in a larger machine instead of a person is another one of those juicy little nuggets that makes you wonder about how evil the corporations are in the future (and Old Alec, for that matter) and whether or not Liber8 has some justification to what they are doing (but not in how they are going about doing it, necessarily).
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This is my second fav epi of the series (next week's is better). I cannot imagine how awful it would be to be separated from a child that young, or how tortured a parent might be understanding how their child might think about and internalize their beliefs around the parent's absence. That is brutal, and I appreciate they took the time to explore that because up until this epi I don't think the show had really done more than pay a great deal of tedious lip-service to the idea of Kiera the devoted mother. Kiera has been cold, aloof, driven, desperate, but even in the scenes with her son, she lacked warmth, seemed preoccupied. This episode sold their relationship, showed that while Kiera wants to get back to her son to assuage her own maternal desires, more importantly, she is deeply concerned for his welfare, state of mind and sense of well-being.

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That was a really great episode for Rachel Nichols. She made you have sympathy with a woman in a situation that was complete and utter fantasy. That's the type of acting that just gets overlooked because its Sci-Fi. The pains of a time traveler - well done. It felt real. It was extra nice having the awesome Allesandro Juliani along for Kiera's very bad day as her shrink. (OK 'Felix Gaeta' is his best known role but he was also responsible for one of the best moments of Smallville's final season in the Clark's bachelor party episode when he,; Dr. Emil and Cassidy Freeman; Tess Mercer did an awesome duet of 'How Do We Do' with AJ as 'Elvis'.). He was great here and did a great job bringing out the best in Ms. Nichols. His presence never stepped on hers.

Poor Carlos still don't know anything. The 'Betty' was in on it was kind of easy to figure before the reveal. Really didn't have too many options and for it to have been Carlos or her biggest champion Dillon would have made absolutely no sense or would have had do be extraordinarily well explained. It would have been a lot more interesting had she been picked up by Team Travis but Team Kagame again makes more sense.

If I was Alec, the fact that I would create this particular program might disturb me a bit. Correcting mental issues by re-booting the entire mind - to create that - wouldn't many consider that messing with divine providence? Heavy issue. Damn you this fantasy grounded so firmly in present reality for making me think so much! But keep it coming.
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Sorry, but the only thing I liked about this episode is that, hopefully, it will end Kiera's incessant whining about her family. I've always thought this could be a much better show if her character would just suck it up and move on. There is nothing she can do until she gets more information about time travel and the possibility of getting back. That should be what she is concerned with, and worrying about a future that hasn't happened is just a waste of time. For all she knows, when she finds a way back, she will appear right where she left and no one will even know she has been gone.
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How can I say this without being spoilery? Fans on twitter, vine and youtube (sorry instagram and facebook) are determining how the finale goes down right now.
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This really was a great episode. For me this is where the show really turned on the afterburners and became a great show instead of just a good one.
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I LOVED, LOVED, LOVED Season 1. I'm really not liking season 2. And, I'm sad about that.

Overall, I think it's stupid that Kiera has started letting people see the effect of her invisibility. Sure, it's fun to see the astonished reactions, but that's just a stupid thing for her to do.

I also could not accept, in previous eposide, that the suit could give a normal person special fighting ability without the CMR.

There are other complaints for the season, but I'll leave it at that.

I thought the idea of a built-in therapist was good. But, the thing that bothered me is that the program clearly would have to know what was going on in Kiera's surroundings and should have been able to instantly know the time was not right to shut down her systems and force the therapy.

It shouldn't have taken half the episode for the program to be convinced they were not in their own time and that these were special conditions. Forcing her to talk to him in the middle of the lockdown and around all the other cops was really stupid. Made for great drama, but totally unrealistic.
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I think Season 2 has been better. Far less procedural, filler episodes. Season 2 has picked up the pace, and I love it.
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Agreed - the procedural bits were just going to get boring after a while... This is probably makes the show less commercial but since it's is doing well on the Canadian side and it's already been renewed for a 3rd Season that's less of a worry...
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I was not liking this episode until head Gaeta showed up! I hope now that Kiera has worked out some of her problems she can stop looking so gloomy all the time and get on with it. Also, I hope that this isn't the last time we see Alessandro Juliani.
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Please don't let that be the last time we see AJ.
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Is it only me or Kiera is looking like a Zombie in the post image?
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Agreed, great episode giving us much more insight into Kiera's psyche while providing a realistic portrayal of police office investigations. I liked the acting Rachel Nichols did for this episode showing some real pathos and emotions. The "analyst" was quite good too working as Kiera's psychiatrist. And of course the Betty problem and what happened at the very end. It will be interesting to see where it goes from here.
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Sorry about Betty; I liked her. CONTINUUM is a fun syfy procedural
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It's not a procedural.
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I really want to show us what is happening in Kiera's future.
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Definitely the best episode that the series has ever done. We were amazed at how well 'Second Opinion' delivered on the outstanding issues that have been building over the last few weeks - Kiera's breakdown, the threat of the mole from ep 2, Gardiner's vendetta, etc.

The introduction of the psychologist and the CMR shutdown at the worst possible time really helped to bring out the emotional trauma Kiera's going through which has really been a long time coming.

Plus Nichols killed it AGAIN!
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I actually didn't like this emotional 'filler' episode, but it was the necessary pitstop before the real fireworks happen :D As for Betty...meh, I'm sure she has her reasons, but we'll find out what they are in the future :D
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A great review of an amazing episode!
Looking forward to your review of the next episode MaryAnn (also amazing IMHO, and with another big step forward). Continuum is awesome!
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Can we limit the number of "amazing stuff coming next week" stuff? Know some people have been watching the eps in Canada/downloading but for those of us who haven't seen it, can we just focus on the current ep?
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Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day reference in the title! I knew I liked you for a reason! My mom used to read that to me when I was a youngin.
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I do not recall seeing Betty's betrayal coming.
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I liked this episode. I cried and seeing as I watched every episode of the series up to to episodes after this in less than 24 hours i didnt know if i would get that attached but a sad mum talking to her hologram son was heartbreaking.
I cant wait for the rest of the season!!!!!
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Ahh, I've been waiting for this episode review. I was growing a bit bored with the second season up until this point, and then this episode came along. It addressed many issues and finally, completely fleshed out Kiera as a character. Props to Rachel Nichols for some brilliant acting.

And the twist with Betty was the icing on the cake. Season 2 really built up and I'm guessing the finale's going to be pretty great. I'm expecting season 3 to really delve into things a lot more. This show has a lot of material to work with, and while most shows begin to fizzle out by the end of season 2, this show definitely has substance.
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"– Did you see Betty's betrayal coming? I got suspicious when the virus was spotted."
I totally did :)
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After a couple lackluster episodes here comes "Second Opinion" riding down the plains on a flaming steed. This is why I love this show, every once and a while comes an episode that completely blows everything else away. I hope that subsequent episodes live up to it.
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"– 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."

Actually, I don't think both time periods would run paralleled like that. Kiera may stay years in the past and come back to her own time just a few minutes after she left. Or she may stay here a while, but only come back much later than her original year, 2077, say 20 or 30 years later. Chances are time history has been changed so much already that the future she knows will never come to exist. Or in the multiverse theory, her future is just one possibility in an infinitude...
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Which leads to a couple of things that are usually problematic in time travel stories.
1. If the future is changed, then our hero will never get her happy ending as she will never get back to her world again. And we are kinda rooting that the future will be changed because it is dark and ruled by corporations. Still, no happy ending. The only way for closure - convince Kiera and us that he will be happy with 'ending' here in 2013.
2. Multiple universes makes the story kinda pointless since every possibility is already happening. That means that if Kiera changes something in 2013 that will lead to a bright future 2077 AND she goes back to her own 2077 then it will hardly be closure as well. She would have gotten back to the same dystopian future, just with her family.

Tricky thing this time travel. And don't even get started on the whole "would Kiera's actions lead to her not being born at all thus creating a paradox" thing..
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You are blowimg my mind with all the possibilities!!! I dont know how the shows creators are going to resolve it eventually.
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Being in Canada, I know where all this is going, but I have to say I love reading your reviews of the show as it airs in the US. It's nice to revisit the older episodes.

I didn't see Betty's betrayal coming. I was shocked and kinda bummed. Considering how jealous of Kiera she was in the first season, though, I shouldn't have been surprised. She could have hooked up with Liber8 because of her jealousy.

I love Alec's new digs! That lab is awesome! Oh what I would give for a lab like that!
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