Welcome back Continuum fans!
Second Opinion focuses on Kiera Cameron (Rachel Nichols) as a mother who very much misses her son on his birthday. The events that are happening around her merely act as a catalyst to bring her torment closer to the surface.
MAJOR SPOILERS FOR NON CANADIAN VIEWERS!
This, of course, triggers a psychological program to become active. The objective of this program seems to be to either help or hinder Kiera’s effectiveness in the future.
In a way, Kiera’s suit and the advanced technology in her head make her the closest thing to a super hero in our time. The writers and producers continually allude to this.
How would the authorities of the future deal with a psychotic person with advanced skills and weaponry?
I would also like to point out that Simon Barry and the other producers seem to choose some really great talent for their guest stars.
This week’s episode welcomes Alessandro Juliani as Dr. Fairweather who many will recall as Lt. Felix Gaeta in Battlestar Galactica (2004) and more recently guest starring recently in Fringe, Man of Steel, and the hit Canadian program Motive now in the USA on ABC!
Kiera’s son is having a birthday party. He is missing his dad because dad has to work late, but Kiera has arranged for Sam (Sean Michael Kyer) to have a birthday party with his friends on his day, and one with mom and dad the day after.
It is a pretty cool gift, a set of action figures that come to life so that the kids can watch a battle in 3D.
Back in 2013, Kiera holds on to one of the action figures, remembering that today is Sam’s birthday, while she searches through the police data base for the mysterious Esher. She stops her searching and phones Alec (Eric Knudsen) because she is frustrated with, “this primitive database”.
All of her frustration seems to stem from the fact that she is really missing her son. Carlos (Victor Webster) does not make things better when he arrives. He sits on her desk examining the toy action figure and asking her all kinds of questions about her son. As usual, he is totally clueless about what is going on.
Kiera does not make things easy for him. She is far too secretive. It is only a matter of time before she will have to share some of those secrets with him.
Alec meets with Kellogg (Stephen Lobo) on a non-descript street not too far from where Alec lives. He wants to show off some high tech place with special security features, including a retina scan. Once inside, Kellogg indicates that it has all the bells and whistles.
Even, “that new server smell”. Alec becomes a tough negotiator, telling Kellogg that he has the majority share, even though Kellogg is up fronting the money. Alec’s argument, “I have what you want”.He also insists on a place to sleep when he, “pulls those all nighters”.
This is the first episode where Simon Barry and partners really recreate Alec to be more of a grown up. I guess being out on your own and away from Mom and farm will do that to you. Besides, it seems as if Mom is more interested in Julian than in Alec.
Two things happen fairly quickly at this point; Kiera, obviously not herself and distracted, heads to the ladies room where she has a mini-meltdown, and Dillon (Brian Markinson) finds out that his position as top dog in the department has been removed.
Kiera, of course, has a witness to her bad day in the form of her, as yet, unknown new boss. It turns out the woman’s name is Nora Harris (Catherine Lough Haggquist). As Dillon leaves the building, Kiera also heads out to get more details about what is going on.
With Travis (Roger Cross) getting away and everyone fairly sure that there is a mole in the department, Dillon tells Kiera that he is the one who has gotten the blame for everything. Dillon tells Kiera, “she won’t hesitate to throw you under the bus”, so Kiera and Carlos will have to now be more careful. There goes morale!
Meanwhile, Alec discovers that someone is following him. He ducks into a coffee shop and waits for the individual, who turns out to be Jason (Ian Tracey), to catch up with him. Alec asks, “why are you following me”? Jason has the perfect answer, “because I’m tracking you”.
Have I said how much I love this character? Well I do. Jason is hilarious while still being very dramatic. Alec asks Jason what he wants. Jason replies, “a cappuccino”. No, Jason, why are you following Alec? Jason shows Alec a huge roll of schematics related to time travel.
Nora Harris and Detective Lam (Matthew Mandzij) interrogate, I mean interview, Kiera, bringing up all of the details about how she arrived in Vancouver, and, oh, hey, wasn’t Dillon stupid to just accept Kiera at face value because she was effective. To make things even more interesting, guess who walks in to join the party; why, Gardiner (Nicholas Lea) from CSIS of course. He tells Kiera that he is there to protect her. I guess that is similar to the fox protecting the hen house.
Fortunately, Alec is listening in and manages to wipe Kiera’s phone of incriminating data while he builds her a new identity. While Kiera does her best not to tell them anything, she fingers Sam’s toy in her pocket, but it falls on the floor and Gardiner gets to it first. With Harris and Lam asking her about her family history, and Gardiner making snide comments, Kiera cannot take anymore. She goes after Gardiner, threatening to kill him.
What a perfect time for a psych review. Dr. Fairweather shows up. He tells her he is concerned she may be a danger to herself and others. How nice that only she can see him. “I am part of your CMR coding, I am familiar with your personal history, and I have access to all your files, so, I am certain we can get you operational in no time”. If he is so darned good, why does she need to be evaluated by someone in her head?
While Kiera deals with her own demon, I mean therapist, Carlos is up next for a grilling. How can he trust this woman who belongs to some secret organization called Section 6, that does not exist. Carlos of course, does his best to defend Kiera. However, the bully gang seems to want to name her as the mole and a member of Liber8.
The stakes suddenly jump into the stratosphere for Kiera when she convinces her therapist to allow contact with Alec for a brief period. It turns out he designed the on board therapist who has the ability to lock everyone out, including Alec, from Kiera’s mind.
He also has the ability to remove any memories that are causing Kiera distress, including those of her family. The therapist could end up wiping out Kiera’s life. So, the evaluation begins…in the ladies room.
Kiera discovers that her mental therapist does not know that he is in 2013 instead of 2077. She attempts to convince him by asking him to look around at the building he is in, including the bathroom where people still use paper towels to wipe their hands. Hey, we also use blow driers.
Kiera’s psych evaluation is not the only event in the ladies room. Betty walks in to tell Kiera that Dillon had files kept on her at the beginning, when he did not entirely trust her. Kiera will now have to get into Betty’s office and wipe the files with a program Betty has given her.
That is not the only problem, though. Betty admits that she attended a Liber8 meeting without sanction from the top while she was trying to get information for Kiera and Carlos, “they will think I’m the mole”.
Jennifer Spence is very good at looking as if she is terribly worried. She has the mannerisms and tremor in her voice down perfectly. Rachel Nicholls also does a wonderful job acting like she is having some real issues handling all the stress and frustrations that are piling up on her at the same time as she is trying to deal with her guilt at not being with her son on his birthday.
Now that Dr. Fairweather has shown up, she has to convince him that she has traveled back in time.
As Kiera uses the old, if this is 2013, the therapist can’t evaluate because he hasn’t been invented yet, ploy, Betty gets called in for her turn at interrogation. The interrogators find evidence of her visit to a LIBER8 meeting, call her guilty and toss her into holding.
Everything is falling apart for Kiera. She is tormented by her concern for her son. She tells Fairweather that he will be blaming himself that she disappeared. Fairweather creates an image of Sam and tells her to talk to him.
This is the full box of tissues part of the episode. Kiera gets the opportunity to talk to her son. Once Kiera has had that cathartic experience, she is better able to cope with what comes next, that she may have to accept the fact that she might never see her son again.
She also says that she will keep on trying to find a way to get back to him and she will fight not to be tossed in prison as a criminal. With that answer, Fairweather disappears.
It is at this point that Kiera uses her invisibility to erase the incriminating files on the computer thanks to the program that Betty gave her. When she returns to her seat, Harris and Gardiner show up with some files to formally accuse her of being the co-mole with Betty all because of some files on the computer.
Unfortunately for them, they are unable to find the files that they could use to incriminate Kiera and Betty. She did just erase all of them, after all. This really annoys Gardiner. Again he is stymied.
However, according to Alec, LIBER8 placed a virus inside Betty’s computer to make it look like she was the mole. Kiera tells him to make it look obvious, then she covers her tracks by telling Harris and Gardiner that, “LIBER8 embedded a Trojan virus to make it look as if Betty was feeding them information.
The truth is, they just set her up to cover their intentions. The perfect mole is the one you think you’ve caught. The obvious one. In reality, you’ve just let your guard down to the real danger.” With that win, Alec looks over his shoulder to discover Kellogg watching him and not looking overly pleased.
Once more, Harris has a confrontation with Kiera. Betty has been released, but Harris still wants that talk about Section 6. Kiera calls her out by saying that she does not work for the police department, so if Harris wants her to leave, she will, but she will not share information about her past or Section 6. By means of an answer, Harris returns the toy soldier to Kiera.
As Betty leaves the building, she is picked up by an SUV. She gets in. Lucas (Omari Newton) is driving. So, it looks like Betty really is the mole. This really surprised me. I never suspected her. I thought for sure it was Gardiner.
This episode, although written to answer the question; what if a superhero goes crazy, also raises another thought. When it comes to corporate structure and politics, in any field, there always seem to be those with ethics who work to do the right thing, and those who are ambitious corporate climbers with questionable morality.
Dillon, who has done his best to be a good role model and who has made every effort to do the right thing, finds himself losing his job because of it. His replacement quickly demonstrates that she will stop at nothing to show her bosses how effective she can be, even if it means stomping on others to do so.
It also occurred to me that Alec has a real ying and yang relationship with the two most important men in his life, Kellogg and Jason. They are polar opposites of each other. Kellogg is young, rich and devious and Jason is older, poor and earnestly honest. It would be interesting to have these two face off some time in the future.
We look forward to seeing more of you here at our review site dedicated to our wonderful science fiction series Continuum!
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