Issues of destiny, personal freedom, and autonomy reigned supreme again in "Seconds," except this time the focus swung around to Julian—the future Theseus—and admittedly, Kiera's mom-ness was lacking when it came to the more bloodthirsty brother. Her willingness to engage in outright torture to get Julian to spill details about Liber8 and her insistence that Julian is evil incarnate, regardless of the fact that many of his more infamous crimes have yet to be committed, put both Kiera and us (as viewers who are expected to side with her), in a tough position—kind of like that serial killer episode from earlier this season.
We can't deny that the special insight that comes with being a transplant from the future gives Kiera an edge over the unenlightened folks who look at Julian and just see a troubled, messed-up kid who tends to make unfortunate decisions as opposed to the terrifying terrorist mastermind that Kiera knows him as in her future. However, as Carlos readily pointed out when Kiera started to go all vigilante justice, since Kiera's arrival in the past, so much has already been altered that to assume the future she came from will still play out as though perfectly scripted by a really crabby god is just plain narrow-minded.
Then again, we don't know for sure what Continuum's "laws" of time travel are, so we don't know whether Kiera and her fellow travelers have actually changed the timeline or whether they're the ultimate creators of Kiera's timeline—which makes Keira's horrified realization that she could have been the one to send Julian running into Liber8's welcoming arms through her interrogation, and the reveal that Julian did indeed meet up with his crazy little hero-worshiping colony after Carlos dropped him off—so chilling.
"Seconds" was one of the darker episodes of Continuum to grace our screens so far this season, and its bookend flashbacks were a perfect representation of the increasingly complicated worldview we have to adopt in order to interpret Continuum's scenery—both past and present.
By 2035, the public governments had collapsed and the corporations were starting to move in. New Pemberton was a "factory city," or rather, a gigantic prison complex where debtors were brainwashed via implanted chips and forced to become perfectly productive and docile workers for, as we soon learned, none other than Sadtech. In 2013, Kiera waxed nostalgic for the good old days of efficient, automated courts, but something tells me that if she had the whole story about New Pemberton instead of what I'm sure was some squeaky clean Orwellian retelling, she wouldn't have been so gung-ho for insta-sentencing.
Although she was pretty hunky dory with the torture and totally ready to waste the future boogieman of the corporations. <3 Kiera, but she can be a total tool sometimes.
So the thing is, New Pemberton was an awful terrible place that stood for so much that was wrong with the world Kiera insists on preserving, and it needed to be destroyed. Enter a grown-up Julian shooting his way into the prison with some idealistic young Liber8tors like the big damn hero they all thought he was... until he ordered a lackey to switch off the prisoners' microchips, essentially murdering them because I guess undoing the brainwashing wasn't an option or it was too hard or something? New Pemberton and the corporate government were awful, but the Julian of the future is no savior either. It's a unique position to be in as a TV viewer, to be completely incapable of taking a strong stance with one side or the other. Both options suck. Everybody loses no matter what.
And I love it.
Elsewhere, Dillon returned to the police department backed by Escher and Piron. He seems kind of slimy now—what do you think?
Momma Sadler also ended up taking a bullet for her favorite little monster-angel when a distraught dad opened fire at Julian's release. I question the judgement of everyone involved in turning the controversial setting-free of a generally hated figure into a media circus. What did they think was going to happen?
Whatever, she's apparently gonna live.
So... Julian is a free man and apparently embracing his role in Liber8. Alec is clinging to his "create your own future/master of your own destiny" mantra, which is really starting to break my grinch heart as it becomes more and more clear that the future is a suckfest no matter who wins, as evidenced by Kiera finishing the episode with some drinking, as you do when you almost waste a teenager to prevent a Blade Runner future and then find out it's probably going to happen anyway.
Happy thoughts, kids! Happy thoughts!
– Lol @ 2035 Julian's beard.
– How do you think time works in Continuum-world? Is the future being changed or are we ultimately creating the future that Kiera came from?