Continuum: Second Guess


by Ashley Binion (@ashleybinion)

Warning: Spoilers ahead.

“Second Guess” was one of the rare episodes of Continuum in which it was not bookended with scenes from the future. However, the opening scene did tie-in to the rest of the episode’s theme of lessening privacy in an increasingly watchdog world. Kiera found out that her CMR’s recordings were being stored instead of being deleted after thirty-six hours.

Surprisingly, after the CMR fueled cold opening there was no follow up to Travis’ newly functioning CMR. That would have been a fantastic jumping off point, but the episode went a completely different direction.

The full-blown witch hunt conducted by Dillon’s precinct was reminiscent of a few historical events, mainly the Red Scare in the forties and most recently as the United States’ Patriot Act after the 9/11 attacks. Both of these real-life events were focused on finding people who had literally any connection to the protagonist’s enemy, much like what Dillon had his precinct doing.

Dillon was enraged when the police department’s dealings with Piron were exposed. He should be worried that people know about it now. Essentially the department is in Piron’s pocket and its own private security, making it extremely corrupt and even on the way to police being privatized by the corporations (much like Kiera’s future department).

“Second Guess” was written, produced, and even aired in Canada months before the recent controversy surrounding Edward Snowden, the man who leaked information about the United States’ mass surveillance programs, but the episode was oddly relevant. The premise that with a few key strokes a person’s entire private life is exposed, and increasingly, this is completely possibility.

One interesting fact to note Simon Barry, creator of the series, directed the episode. It was somewhat reminiscent of Person of Interest. Frequently, the series uses surveillance camera footage as a way to remind the viewer someone is always watching. As was shown in the last shot of the episode, in Continuum Mr. Escher is always watching.

It’s not surprising that Kellog wants to team up with Mr. Escher, but in true Kellog fashion, he has another agenda. After all is said and done, Kellog does what’s best for Kellog. So, if it’s in his best interest to side with Liber8 he will, but if it is best for him to side with Escher he will do so. The conman’s lack of loyalty makes the character predictably unpredictable.

It was hard to sympathize with Lucas’ unraveling just because he hasn’t been featured as much as some other Liber8 members like Travis or Sonya. In the two episodes prior, Lucas has had a slow decline into insanity, but in “Second Guess” he dives head first into mental illness. It was an interesting twist when it was revealed that Julian was actually Kagame some of the time. The shot of Lucas seeing a bunch of Kagames was a nice nod to Being John Malkovich.

Even though Kiera has pushed getting home back in her mind, the reappearance of the time travel sphere reignited her passion to get back to 2077. Perhaps the Protector’s recollection of the future she was ripped away from isn’t all that great anymore.

What’s Kellog’s end game? Why is Lucas the only time traveler having a breakdown? How long will Travis and Sonya’s peace last?

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

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