TV Review - Continuum: Season 2

Nicholas Lea (left) and Rachel Nichols
in "Continuum"

The first season premiered in January 2013 and ran through the winter. It ended on a cliffhanger for the spring but picks up from that cliffhanger in the premiere of its second season in June 2013. Back in January, the story was about a group of terrorists called Liber8 who live in the year 2077. The terrorists are able to travel back in time to the year 2013 with the intention of changing the past to make the future reflect their anti-corporation, political viewpoint. A future cop named Kiera, played by Rachel Nichols, is able to follow the terrorists 65 years into the past and work undercover in the Vancouver Police Department to stop them.

Carlos Fonnegra, played by Victor Webster, is the lead detective who partners with Kiera to stop Liber8. He doesn't know the truth about Kiera and Liber8's origins. He just thinks that they're a very radicalized version of the Earth Liberation Front or ELF, or more like a deadly incarnation of the Occupy Wall Street protestors.

Kiera also gets aid from Alec Sadler, played by Erik Knudsen. Alec is a teenage genius who despite being 18 is still able to figure out that Kiera is a time traveler. Kiera tells Alec that all the technology that she has like a chip in her head that gives her super senses as well as a body suit that gives her super powers like invincibility and invisibility were all invented by Alec in the future.

The show hasn't yet addressed the fact that it seems to be working on The Terminator (1984), time travel paradox. The reason Alec invents all this technology is because he's exposed to all this technology at a young age. Keeping with the James Cameron comparison, Alec is not only the scientists at Skynet, but Alec is also John Connor because, as he learns in the cliffhanger, Alec is the one who sent Kiera and the Liber8 members back in time.

The question lingers if Alec sent them back in time on his own or if he did it to complete the loop. Did he do it independently to change the past or did he do it because he knew that his past was already changed? In episode five of this second season, Alec starts to work with one of the Liber8 members, a man named Matthew Kellogg, played by Stephen Lobo.

Switch thinking from James Cameron to Robert Zemeckis and his Back to the Future Part II (1989). Kellogg is essentially the character of Biff. Kellogg was a part of the Liber8 movement, but he doesn't want to kill people or blow up buildings like the other terrorists. He wants to use his time traveling to make himself rich. He does so because he knows Alec is going to invent all this future technology, so Kellogg decides to invest and go into business with Alec.

As far as the other Liber8 members go, they still want to kill people and bomb buildings. In the cliffhanger, Liber8 loses its leader, so that leaves the terrorists having to establish a new leader. Through a series of incidents, the Liber8 leadership can't be decided, so the terrorists split into two groups.

Travis, a rogue soldier who has all the same training as Kiera and even a similar chip in his head, is the leader of one of the split groups. Travis, played by Roger R. Cross, is more ruthless and unemotional when it comes to accomplishing his mission. Sonya, a scientist who is also fully trained in ballistics and self-defense, is the leader of the other split groups. Sonya, played by Lexa Doig, can be ruthless and unemotional too. The wrinkle that is learned in episode 2 of this second season is that Travis and Sonya used to be lovers, back when Travis was a soldier in the government and what Sonya does in the cliffhanger was not the first time she was given that specific choice.

What's great is that creator and head writer Simon Barry like James Cameron has centered this sci-fi series around a strong and fully developed, female protagonist. Kiera is a great anchor for the show and Nichols' performance is perfect, and Barry continues to delve deep into her character in strong ways.

One way is by bringing up people from her past like her sister Hannah in episode 3, her son Sam in episode 5 and her friend Elena in episode 4 of this season. I also like how our introduction to Elena was through dancer Christian Vincent who plays Elena's son Dan. Vincent was not only a dancer but an actor in one of my favorite, short-lived TV series Noah's Arc. Another way we delve into Kiera is through the character of Gardiner, played by Nicholas Lea. Gardiner is a federal investigator who is very suspicious of Kiera and is trying to uncover her secret. Anyone who has seen Lea in The X-Files or anything else knows he makes for an awesome nemesis.

What also makes this show great are the action scenes. The chases, the shootouts and the hand-to-hand combats are all supremely well done. Last season, there was a fight where Carlos is surprised in the shower and has to fight someone totally nude. It was reminiscent of Viggo Mortensen's fight in Eastern Promises.

Each episode's title in the first season always included the word "time." Each episode's title in this second season always includes the word "second." Despite the word being muted, most people can notice when characters say the word "shit." It's a show that's very mature and that's well written, and extremely fun.

Five Stars out of Five.
Rated TV-14-LV.
Running Time: 1 hr.
Fridays 10PM on SYFY.


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