Thoughts on Season 2 of Continuum

Posted: April 27, 2013 in Sci-Fi and Fantasy
Tags: ,

Well, season two of Continuum has started.  I thought I’d provide a few of my thoughts for based on the shifts we see coming from season one into season two.  I will say that if you are in the US and do not have Canadian friends or a VPN service that lets you see the show, you may want to skip this post.  There’s not going to be a lot of spoilers after all only the first episode has aired, but I will not be avoiding the season two opener.  If you can’t wait for a sneak peak of what’s ahead, however, read on…  

We were left with Kiera rather dejected that Jason seems to be more of a nut job than a real time traveler.  Her suit’s capabilities witnessed by CSIS agent Gardiner and hitting the sack with Kellog.  Ok… that latter alone is enough of a creep factor to bum out her day.  Kagame is dead, but Liber8 moves on with Sonya at the helm, though the others don’t know that last piece yet.  Alec has a message from Alec and we can only guess at the meaning.  And it seems Alec’s step brother Julian is the inspiration for Kagame.

Basically we were left with a hanging twisted mess that rivaled the rubble of the bombed building.

Frankly, the series had a very strong start for the first two or three episodes, but I thought the middle development was rather weak.  It just seemed to cycle through the same old routine each episode, just tossing out a new tidbit each time.  I’d think much of it could have been condensed into just a couple episodes with better pacing and character development.  However, episodes 7 through 10 were each outstanding.  Those are from where most of the real story questions come.

Indeed, from the start of season 2, it seems the writers have taken a bit of opportunity to make a few corrections that I hope will avoid some of the mid-season problems from last year.  For starters, Kiera is now running more outside the VPD, if not the law entirely.  Alec has left the farm and moved into town. Both of these are positive changes.  Kiera’s false life with Carlos was getting as tiring as the constant angst between Alec and Julian.

Oddly, Liber8 seems to be taking a secondary role at this point.  Jim Martin seems to be positioned as the primary villain this season, which Tamoh Penikett pulls off in an outstanding manner.  He’s up to his ears now with Libr8 and I suspect it’s going to end badly for either him or Sonya.  Ok… when you put it in those terms, it’s going to end badly for him.

Gardiner is looking like another antagonist.  I’m going to presume he’s from our time, though there may be some connection from him to the mysterious Mr. Escher and thus to Jason.  I will say, it was rather amusing that he pulled his weapon on Kiera.  He has seen a building fall on her and then she turn invisible and walk away.  Did he really think that his gun was a threat?  And let’s be honest, his orders to back off came directly from his superiors.  Combined with her obviously superior capabilities, that’s just not a smart move.

The real mystery here is Alec.  While it’s good that he’s in closer – which I hope means he’ll be more directly involved in the story – it’s still a bit lame having him working at the Canadian equivalent of Best Buy.  At least he can put the employee discount to good use for new tech.  We do finally get a hint of what the message from his future self was, though clearly we don’t get all of it yet.  It turns out that Future Alec regrets the future he helped create and not only conspired with Liber8 to change it, but has tasked Alec with making sure it doesn’t happen and sending Kiera to help.  Is he truly involved in Liber8 or was he taking advantage of them as a means of getting Kiera back to his younger self?  Not only that, but it seems that he has downloaded a large block of data into Kiera’s CMR.  We still have no idea what that will be, but being only one episode in, that’s not a real surprise.

The bottom line is that we have a time war in progress now.  Regardless Alec’s motives, Libr8 clearly has to be stopped; if not for their objective then at least for their methods.  Kellog seems content at the moment to bankroll Kiera’s activities, but the operative word there is “at the moment.”  I really think his narcissism is going to be challenged this season as he gets pulled more into Kiera actions and that he will be end up having to chose sides.

One real problem has presented itself in the first episode.  Future Alec wants Present Alec to change history so that the 2077 Corporate Government never exists.  Is that even going to be possible?  When Kellog’s grandmother was killed, nothing happened to Kellog.  He wasn’t written out of the timeline, as it were.  So the question has to be asked if Alec can change the future?  Time stories are always the most difficult to tell without tripping yourself up and they can be the most difficult to follow.  Season two of Continuum looks like it’s attacking that challenge head-on and with 13 episodes this time, they will have plenty of opportunity to blow our minds.

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Comments
  1. John says:

    I have also been watching Continuum and have been enjoying it. But there is one inherent problem with time travel stories.
    Let’s say today we have a problem and decide that it can be fixed by sending someone into the past to fix it. So, we send our agent back. The instant we send him into the past things will either be changed so our problem no longer exists or the problem continues to exist.
    You can’t send someone back in time or even send them a message without an immediate effect. You can’t have your agent take a week to fix the problem and have a week pass by in your time while he works on the problem.
    And if the problem is fixed then it would never exist in your time so there would be no reason to send someone back in time to fix it.
    With Continuum I believe they are presenting us with alternate timelines. But those also have problems regarding the branch points.
    As you said, time stories are very difficult to pull off. I’m going to stick with Continuum to see if they can actually do it.

    • Raul Ybarra says:

      John,

      You’re describing the classic paradox problem. The issue with Kellog not being written out of the timeline is a good example of your argument. I don’t know if you watched Fringe, but season 4 delved into this very conundrum.

      One of the theories that I put out then – which ultimately proved to be how the series approached the problem – was that changing the timeline was like re-recording over an audio or video tape. While there may be new realities, there is still an echo of the “original” in the substrate of the universe.

      I don’t know how Continuum is planning on addressing this, but what they did with Kellog’s grandmother in the first season as well as the arc with young/old Alec makes it clear that they are going to try their own interpretation on the paradox problem.

  2. Travis says:

    Despite failry loose scifi time traveling story elements, they are just decent enough to what I feel is the main theme of the story: political moralites and extreemism. I tweeted to Raul earliier that it feels like there are no true “good guys”. Liber8 is occupy wallstreet in all its unholiness, but somehow mixed with the ideals of conservative governance rather than wanting a nany state. And the corporations are stereotyped as normal in Hollywood. Though obviously some corporations operate corruptly, this assumes they all are per usual. They have the (also usual) added bonus of the distopian fascism working to keep the “peace”. Like Jefferson said, those who are williing to give up liberty for security will get and deserve neither. Keira is the person who may be in a position to see all of what’s wrong on both sides, and maybe help Alec fix it. Based on Raul’s blog, I wonder how much will stay the same, like the boming at the end of season 1, and what will change. Will they generate a parallel universe, or take Raul’s re-record method? What about Kiera’s son!? Though I lost a little respect for Kiera when she cheated on her…well somewhat cheating husband*, whom I don’t trust anyway. Did it seem like he knew Liber8 was going to escape the death sentence in episode 1.1? I won’t get to see season 2 until Netflix gets it, but I hope Continuum finds a good balance in keeping the scifi “real” and telling a compelling morallity tale with fewer filler episodes. From what Raul said, sounds like they are doing something well, can’t wait to catch up.

    *seriously, would your wife excuse you for saying, “Honey, I cheated on you today, but it was sixty years in your past, so that doesn’t count.” REALLY!?

    • Raul Ybarra says:

      Lou Sytsma has much the same problem as you and I regarding Kiera’s “dalliance.” I won’t spoil anything there beyond noting her regrets.

      Your thoughts do go straight to what I think is the heart of season 2 so far. What side is “good?” That’s been Kiera’s big struggle so far. That’s pretty obvious if you’ve seen season one, so it’s not what one would consider a spoiler. However, they are doing it VERY well and avoiding the weak spots of season 1 up to this point.

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