Continuum Season Two, the Canadian science fiction and Leo award winning series, continues its exploration of how Kiera Cameron (played by Rachel Nichols), the Vancouver City Protector from 2077, thwarts the plans of Liber8 (the futuristic “Occupy Wall Street” terrorists) to change the future while working with the Vancouver PD in 2012. Last year, the show earned an all-time record of 16 Leo Award nominations, 7 of those for costume, design, acting, and directing. It’s a show with aggressive costume and set design and worth your attention.
Continuum Season Two continues to use flashbacks of Kiera’s past (which is our future) to provide backstory for the events that unfold in the current episode. This is important because the story arcs get more complicated this season. We now know that future Alec sent Kiera back in time with Liber8 to balance things out. He also left a message for his younger self that haunts present-day Alec. Liber8 has also fragmented with Sonya heading up the infiltration approach and Travis still preferring to blow things up. They both are meddling in organized crime and politics, and as you can imagine, sometimes they clash. Meanwhile, Julian, Alec’s step brother, has been inadvertently pushed to the dark side by Kiera.
So. Is the show still any good?
The secret to an excellent TV series seems to be to have one mysterious and engaging story arc that slowly reveals itself while the minor character arcs play out. This includes character corruption, romance, and other shenanigans. In this regard, Continuum Season Two doesn’t disappoint. We’re introduced to the enigmatic Mr. Escher who competes with Kellogg for future tech acquisitions. We meet a band of assassins who kill time travelers. We also see the beginning of the corporately owned police force.
While environmental concerns and the tropes of corporation evil rear their ugly heads, there is more excitement going on with the main characters of Kiera, Alec, and—surprise, surprise—Julian. This is an engaging show.
First of all, there’s Kiera. Being cut off from all known authority, she has to make a lot of judgement calls, many of which are starting to wear on her. I can’t say that “Seconds” was a favorite episode of mine for Kiera. There was a lot about that particular episode that seemed counter to her character as she was prepared to torture and kill Julian. Fortunately, she had the presence of mind to work out the ramifications of what she had done and question whether she had made things worse by trying to change the future. Meanwhile, we learn the future she knows isn’t really as she knew it.
Kiera is still fighting to return to her family, but only her son may be worthy of her agony. Something done more in Continuum Season Two are flashbacks to the future that Kiera wasn’t a personal witness to. Through these glimpses we learn her husband seems to be complicit in her being sent back to 2012, though not directly responsible. This urge of Kiera’s to get home at all costs causes her to work compromise constantly, from working with CSIS Agent Gardiner, somebody she usually despises, to working against Alec, somebody she usually cherishes.
Alec’s character went through a teenage rebellion story arc that fortunately resolved itself in time for the season ender. What teen wants to learn their future is already laid out for them? Alec gets a girlfriend, takes drugs, defies his business partner, talks to the enemy, and first creates an all-seeing computer system that would make America’s NSA Illuminati weep with joy, then tosses it all for his girlfriend (who secretly steals it for Mr. Escher). His story arc didn’t have enough time given to it. Perhaps less snogging and more development was needed. I felt his character was on hold for the next season because of his surprise trip to the future, leaving Kiera abandoned in the past.
Julian’s character saw the most growth, from whiny terrorist wannabe to cult leader. His path was more nuanced and deep than Alec’s. Future Julian wasn’t the terrorist we were led to believe, though he was responsible for mass murder. The question is, where those people actually alive? Who is truly alive if a computer chip turns you into an automaton? Back in the past, Kiera’s temper tantrum did push Julian from reluctant leader into charismatic one. He begins to fulfill a third undermining force for Kiera and the authorities to deal with. Three terrorists with three unique visions for the future. Good thing Kiera is left in the past to clean up the mess.
Reasons why you should watch Continuum Season Two? Time travel, girls in bullet proof yet invisible power suits, martial arts, future tech, intrigue, explosions and tears to prove the show has a softer side. Reasons why you shouldn’t? Is this a trick question? This is quality television.
Original Air Dates: April 21 to August 4, 2013 (Canada)
TV Parental Guidelines Rating: TV-14
Alcohol/Drugs: 3 (social drinking, and futuristic memory drug became a plot point for one episode)
Language: 2 (mostly mild deity, d & h words, but also s words, too)
Sexuality: 2 (implied cohabitation and nooky)
Violence: 3 (explosions, gun violence, blood, and plenty of martial arts combat)