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- Episode: Second Wave (Season 2, Episode 10)
- Starring: Rachel Nichols, Victor Webster, Erik Knudsen, Stephen Lobo, Roger Cross, Lexia Doig
- Written By: Matt Venables
- Directed By: Matt Venables
- Network: SyFy Channel
- Studio: Reunion Pictures
Continuum: Second Wave Review
Did Alec Sadler just invent the Batcave computer?
By Chuck Francisco
August 13, 2013
Full spoilers below!
While Continuum begs us to ask many questions with robust moral implications, it sometimes strays into the peculiar. How could young Alec Sadler not transform into an uncaring dictator with a mind for software when he discovers that two rich and powerful men are simultaneously eavesdropping on his romantic dinner, to cross nefarious purpose, involving the planted mole whom he loves? That's a whirlwind ego breaker which would take some serious psychoanalytical process to overcome for the normal rank and file. For someone with Alec's genius, it may be beyond that process- he would likely follow his own hypothesis, about the motivations of all involved, to their conclusions, and then become the same man who ruined the world before.
Does this posit then that the future is immutable? Maybe not. Rather than being railroaded down one specific path, perhaps each individual in the Continuum universe has a strong pull toward a certain disposition, an intense magnetic disposition, which would require excessive counter force to course correct. Julian certainly seems forced down the yellow brick road to Theseus-hood as he prepares a captured Kiera for execution in front of his followers. The writers pull a fast one, willing us to believe that Julian didn't or couldn't change, and instead was lying to keep his life last week. The truth is in his resolve not to have his own hand forced into retaliatory violence. He will fight with his ideas until his mental magazine runs dry of philosophical bullets (or until the corporations strip his follows of the right to think divergently).
Kiera and Alec have constructed Ark from her slice of the time travel apple, granting him near real time access to any and all information on the Internet. He's transformed this into the ultimate surveillance system. A likely precursor to the global oppression system in place by 2077. It rings odd that neither of them dwell upon the implications of putting this into place so early. She likely doesn't see it as problematic, coming from a society when it's ubiquitous, but he should still be able to see the people beyond the one's and zero's. We accept this sort of a system when Batman uses it, but we've come to know the caped crusader has a code of honor and is only after the bad guys. Kiera, on the other hand, is a future cop from a fascist state, who is bent on keeping that timeline intact.
And speaking of Kiera the fascist, her interrogation tactics are brutal, possessing a throw back quality which screams of LA Detectives from the 1920's. They're also unnecessary as her handy protector device can inject truth serum into persons of interest. I could easily except it with an accompanying throw away line about the device requiring restocking, but for it to be completely forgotten seems like a massive oversight on the part of a show which is written tighter than a Death Star trench. Maybe she wanted to violently vent her frustrations on Garza's face?
Garza's escape was purely a matter of time, but her path there was exciting. I'm sure everyone else's eye was drawn to Martinez's dangling tie as he rolled his sleeves up, taunting the Liber8 soldier. Those who have seen the excellent Jackie Chan film Who Am I? where rewarded with a similar tie enhancing blow to the face. Luvia Petersen moves like a rebel taking advantage of the pliable rules of the Matrix as she flips about the room in a perverse ballet of pain. As underdeveloped as Martinez is (dirty cop willing to brutalize suspects), I didn't muster a single drop of pity for him and could not share Carlos or Dillon's anguish at the site of their three eyed comrade. What I am going to call into question is the architectural designs of the police precinct and its adjoining neighbors. Whose brilliant idea was it to include inter building access via tunnels? Doesn't that undermine the security of a police precinct? Or was the architect secretly a freelancer? I'm seeing time traveling boogiemen everywhere now.
Elsewhere time traveling freelancers Warren and Miller are acutely aware of Kiera's protector capabilities, and seem equipped to easily counter them. If they were sent back after she was, what is their purpose? With their penchant for snatching the bodies of dead time travelers, I'd been inclined to believe that they were attempting to maintain the timeline- like temporal police. They've outright murdered Gardener though, which would render my theory insoluble. The martial arts contest between them and Kiera was good spectacle, though I'm confused as to why she fled them once she'd disabled them on the ground. Having them thusly indisposed, wouldn't it make more sense to further subdue and interrogate them?
The title of this week's adventure, Second Wave, is likely an allusion to this subsequent batch of quantum visitors; a batch which it appears the expired Curtis may be a part of. Endowed with the markings of a freelance time traveller, are we to believe that he arrived in 2077 from its far future to muck about with the timeline? And how is he appearing to Lucas? The obvious conclusion is that Lucas is going crazy, but I find it more likely that the body snatchers are somehow manipulating Curtis' mind to control Lucas for as yet unknown ends. So many questions are being teased, and with only a few more season two episodes on the docket, it's reassuring to know that season three is already shooting.
Chuck Francisco is a columnist and critic for Mania, writing Wednesday's Shock-O-Rama, the weekly look into classic cult, horror and sci-fi. He is a co-curator of several repertoire film series at the world famous Colonial Theatre in Phoenixville, PA. You can hear him drop nerd knowledge on weekly podcast You've Got Geek or think him a fool of a Took on Twitter.