Continuum returns1 and drags viewers into a moral and temporal labyrinth.

Title: “Seconds”

Cast and Crew

Directed by Michael Rohl
Written by Raul Sanchez Inglis

Rachel Nichols as Kiera Cameron
Victor Webster as Carlos Fonnegra
Erik Kundson as Alec Sadler
Richard Harmon as Julian Randol / Theseus
Janet Kidder as Ann Sadler
Luvia Petersen as Jasmine Garza
Lexa Doig as Sonya Valentine
Roger Cross as Travis Verta
Jennifer Spence as Betty Robertson
Brian Markinson as Inspector Dillon
Darcy Laurie as Martinez
Bruce Ramsay as Rosicki

Premise

An assassin’s bullet finds a target other than the intended one, Julian. Julian meets his followers, the anti-Liber8 task force gets private funding and a chilling mandate, and Kiera shows her darker side.

Meanwhile, in a future nearer than we’ve yet seen, we learn the truth behind the Pemberton Massacre, the future atrocity for which Kiera’s society holds Theseus responsible.

High Point

As Fonnegra notes, we’ve all played, if you could go back in time and kill Hitler when he was a child, would you? This episode unleashes the moral and temporal difficulties posed by the series premise.

Is Theseus the monster Kiera’s society made him out to be? Is there a context that explain his actions? Were they even his actions? Early in the episode, we’re uncertain which aspects of his story are real, which are Liber8 myth, and which are corporate propaganda. Julian has already become the face of a movement while knowing almost nothing about it. In addition, the victors who emerged from a very dark period of history wrote his future biography.

Will Kiera’s actions change the future for the better, or simply ensure that the future’s darkest days happen? She dismisses Fonnegra’s concerns by saying that “every monster starts out as somebody’s baby,” but later realizes she may have birthed the monster.

Once again, Continuum handles these questions through an interesting, highly watchable story.

Low Point

At least one of the answers to the questions posed involves a very heavy-handed reveal. I don’t want to complain too much, because humans can commit significant acts of evil, and we’ve seen some pretty impressive future technology. Nevertheless, I wonder if they couldn’t have handled this aspect with greater subtlety.

The Scores:

Originality: 4/6

Effects: 5/6 We see a version of the world that stands between the present and the future we’ve seen—a very ugly world. The visuals are impressive, though not as strong as the show’s standard future cityscapes.

Story: 5/6 Has Kiera lost the support of Alex at point where she most needs it?

Acting: 5/6 This episode gives the actors some difficult scenes, and they generally make them work.

Continuum generally has good performances, but the acting often falls short of the show’s best writing.

Emotional Response: 5/6

Production: 6/6.

Overall: 5/6

In total, “Seconds” receives 35/42

Lingering Questions and Note

If Keira may be responsible for creating Theseus (jury remains out), will the threat of Liber8 help create the corporate future Liber8 wants to prevent? Their existence has already led to a semi-privatized police force that tortures suspects.

If that is the case, what future does Alex intend to create by sending people back in time?

And have we been cheering for the wrong side?

1. In Canada. The American broadcast remains several episodes behind.