Television & Film

CONTINUUM Doesn’t Break Down This Week

Episode 2.02 “Split Second”

[photos: Syfy]

The word “breakout” applies on so many levels this time.

First, we have Travis and the breakout from prison. A lot of layers on this one — with Sonia moving pieces around from a distance, using a bunch of white Aryan Nation thugs to cause a big fight inside the compound, where Travis beats the snot out of them and gets a transfer. Of course, we all know what happens when a prisoner gets transferred in a cop show, right?

This time, the chase involves ambushing the decoy caravan and attacking the real transport vehicle at the same time. And some nice gadget work from Ingram — controlling a machine gun with an iPod is pretty slick. And the little wi-fi camera on the dashboard of the actual attack SUV is a nice piece of work, too — until it gets hammered by an RPG from the helicopter.

But wait. This isn’t air support from the police. Oh, no. This is another faction fighting over Travis. A faction led by Garza, who gets tired of waiting for Sonia to get moving on pulling Travis out of jail. Of course, Garza doesn’t know Sonia’s the one who shot him in the first place, and is certain that Travis should be Kagame’s successor. When Ingram figures out what Sonia did, he keeps quiet (naturally), but it sets up the break in the Liber8 leadership cell quite nicely. Now we have Garza and Travis working at odds against Sonia and Ingram.

And that other Liber8 member? Kellog. Well, we all know he’s a lot of talk, but what if he’s not? He clearly knows more than he’s telling. And when he shows up at Alec’s new job, you can see the machinations at work. Knowing the future as he does, Kellog’s been able to do very well for himself in the past. And he offers Alec the chance to be “Zuckerberg, Jobs, Buffet and Gates… all rolled into one” and be something even bigger than he was already. Kellog’s tapping into Alec’s doubts about the future caused by his message to himself. And he plays on the frustration Alec feels being the minion at his low-pay, low-intelligence box store job.

Kellog is already convinced that the future is being re-written, and his pitch to Alec includes changing everything to make it better. Does this mean better for everyone? Or better for Kellog? He intimates that he knows more about the older Alec, so we’ll likely get some more crumbs spread on this trail soon.

Meanwhile, Agent Gardiner is getting really antsy about Kiera, knowing that she’s not exactly as she seems. The antagonism between these two is right out in the open, with Gardiner wearing his suspicion on his sleeve. Of course, they’re setting him up to look like the Liber8 mole inside the department, but it’s more likely that’s going to end up being a little twist ending where he saves the day somehow. He’s not the mole, mainly because the writers are doing their best to point big neon arrows in his direction.

And we’re one step closer to having Kiera spill the beans to Carlos, after Travis mentions time travel in the police van. Of course, at this point, Kiera can pass it off as Travis being a raving lunatic, but we know at some point, she’s going to have to come clean to her partner.

After the rough season opener, this episode feels a little more balanced and put together. Not sure if that was just growing pains in setting up the new set of circumstances or what, but this episode pretty cleanly moved between the prison break, the Liber8 group, and Alec’s gravitation toward Kellog’s offer to fund his work. I like how Kiera’s technology includes a magnetic field generator that deflects bullets. At some point, the suit’s going to have one too many gadgets that give us a little Deus Ex Machina of sorts, but for now it’s working with just enough plausibility.

The question now is how the two Liber8 groups — who all want the same thing — are going to deal with each other. Are we looking at a fragmentation of the movement? What happens to the future if the group trying to bring it about fragments and turns on each other? And is Alec going to go full-on with Kellog and try to alter future history?

[Official Show Web Site on Syfy]     [Previous recap: “Second Chances”]

Jason P. Hunt

Jason P. Hunt (founder/EIC) is the author of the sci-fi novella "The Hero At the End Of His Rope". His short film "Species Felis Dominarus" was a finalist in the Sci Fi Channel's 2007 Exposure competition.

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