Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Continuum Season 2, Episode 8: Second Listen

We start in the future again, with big shiny technology and a shiny future helicopter thing. It arrives in some kind of floating structure and Kiera and a fellow CPS agent escorts the people out. A floating drone singles out one of the women inside and Kiera takes her aside. Kiera’s chip detects the woman has metal – and Kiera tells her to hand it over. She hands over her handbag then drops her coat, she’s naked underneath. The metal she hands over are nipple piercing. Kiera says they can make it fast and easy – but the woman says “I doubt that, these are very old men.” Kiera is so very very uncomfortable.

Kiera leads the woman, in a new outfit, into a room with old Alec who tells the security to come back in an hour. He calls the woman Jasmine and says how pretty she is. It’s Jasmine Garza – Liber8 member

In the present, Kiera and Gardiner ambush and arrest a couple involved in a drug deal, taking them out of the car and leaving their dog inside it. With the drugs which it eats and gets a little whacky on. These guys rented the van that was used to steal the bodies last episode. Since neither of them are technically police, Kiera’s quite happy to beat aside the uncooperative one and focus on the guy who seems most easily intimidated.

With his info they go check a truck where the men delivered the bodies. Empty. On to the building – it’s refrigerated and contains boxes from the morgue. But the bodies are gone. After a brief snark, Gardiner seems willing to keep working with Kiera rather than against her.

To Alec, she wants him to use Elena’s CMR to look through her dead eyes. Alec thinks it’s weird and creepy – and kinda cool. They see a face through the fogged vision.

Later Alec and Jason continue to work on the time travel device, though not achieving a lot the potential is huge. Until Kellog arrives and drives Jason out – he thinks they’re wasting time on it. He goes back to bigging up the amazing computer master key Alec should be trying to create – but Alec is all too aware of just how powerful and dangerous that invention is – even comparing it to nuclear weapons.

And another scene with  Alec, having breakfast with the surprising Emily while she pokes to get back into his lab and he pours out his heart – especially tension over his mother after she committed perjury last episode – it makes him wonder what else she’s willing to lie about. He tells her about his use of flash to prompt his memory (which may or may not have been fake) and he thinks it’s possible that Jason may be his father; she tells him to grab some DNA evidence and find out

At the police station the alliance between Gardiner and Kiera stretches as she gives him a picture of the graverobber she got from “section 6” and he’s just not all that happy pursuing an investigation based on “Kiera said so”. Funny that. It’s almost like he has principles – does he not know that “Kiera said so” is a cornerstone of Canadian investigation, apparently.

Kiera rings Alec and lectures him about his love life with Emily, then lectures him with cooperating with Kellog, runs through eating his greens, looking both ways before crossing the road and flossing regularly before finally asking him to dig up more info on the body snatchers

To the court and Kiera and Gardiner go see the two men they found, being given bail and Kiera, using her bionic vision, sees the two men showing signs of feeling ill. Then they faint (doesn’t take bionic vision to detect) – they start bleeding out from their ears and nose. They’re both dead and the man who was in the bodysnatching van walks away calmly.

Coroner arrives and has no clue what killed them – and guesses at aneurysms, which gets him a sceptical look. Kiera suggests and extreme low frequency weapon but Gardiner doesn’t buy it. Checking the CCTV they confirm that their bodysnatcher was present.

In the lab, Alec gives Jason a drink and the camera keeps following the can so I think that’s the DNA source they’re going to grab. He asks Jason about what happened when he arrived – he travelled back in the same explosion as Kiera (or so he claims) but arrived in 1992 – 2 years before Alec was born but Jason can’t remember much. Alec bags the can he was drinking from.

Kiera goes to see Escher with a picture of the bodysnatcher – but Escher denies all knowledge. Escher can’t tell her much but knows something – and that they’re a threat to them both. Kiera assumes because they’re both time travellers, which Escher doesn’t confirm, even after Kiera points out the lack of personal affects in his office (which proves very very little). When Kiera threatens to walk out Escher gives and tells her they have tattoos on their hands – just dots between the fingers. She asks who they are and he tells her she calls them Freelancers, though they have no word for themselves since it would imply they exist. Escher calls them a cult who like to manipulate the time continuum but they hate people like Escher and Kiera because they understand. And they want power and control; which Escher thinks everyone wants. Kiera denies she wants it and leaves – and Escher examines the dots tattooed between his fingers. I thought Escher as a freelancer was already established?

To the morgue and the coroner has another body with the same tattooed dots – a man who died from a broken neck in a brutal fight. The dots when examined under a microscope look like writing – or code. Later in the station Betty finds 2 more people in the records with the same tattoos between their fingers. Both were very different people – but they both had false identities; and they both used the same solicitors for probate: Fiskers and Associates. Gardiner goes to investigate, while complaining about Kiera’s secrecy and her section 6 nonsense. Carlos is amused now he’s not that guy.

Back to Alec, he’s achieved something special with the disc time travel scrap, but Kellog is pushing for even more (of course) when Alec’s room mate calls because of some… hacker emergency of some kind. I’m not even going to pretend to understand and I doubt the writers made an effort to make it understandable anyway.

At the office of Fiskers the worst trained clerk in the world meets Gardiner and hands over all the files he asks for – client confidentiality be damned! He finds out that the beneficiary of both wills – and apparently several more – is a Mr. Warren. The Bodysnatcher. Gardiner leaves with the files (despite her very belated objections) but no address because Mr. Warren drops in apparently

Kiera calls Alec though he’s away from his desk and snarks that he does have a life and she calls him HAL (he makes a fuss that it’s her first pop culture reference, though she reasonably counters it’s the first he’d recognise as such). He asks Kiera to try and get on with Emily before hanging up and going inside his house – to find 2 of his housemates dead and a third knocked unconscious by Jasmine Garza. She asks him if he still thinks she’s pretty.

Crime scene later and Carlos and Kiera arrive to investigate, and noting Alec is missing. Using bionic vision she spots Jasmine’s prints. Outside Emily tries to get in struggling with the cops and Kiera goes to see her – and, of course, her bionic vision reveals that Emily knows something. She keeps calling for Alec until Jason, in his lab, hears her; she asks if Alec is there and he isn’t

He’s being taken prisoner by Jasmine who sits down and wants to have a conversation about all the things Alec has been up to.

Gardiner tries to tell Kiera his lead but she cuts him off, more worried about Alec. She tries to get Jason to monitor everything like Alec does, but it’s not the same league. She confronts Emily again about what she’s hiding but she says, tearfully, if it had anything to do with where Alec could be, she’d tell her. Kiera, using bionic vision, believes her. As Kiera leaves, she wrings her hands – she wants to help

Hmmm, maybe Emily genuinely cares and isn’t just using Alec?

Alec tells Jasmine he’s working on a super-duper computer – which she assumes will be used for security and monitoring. Alec guesses you can but he describes how he’d use it to help cure cancer. He encourages her to talk – saying Liber8 do have interesting ideas (except the whole murdering thing). He says he can listen

Cut to future Alec and future Jasmine, with Jasmine accusing Old Alec of not listening; he says he is and points out they both do the same thing, listen and watch to find out how people work. She lists what she sees in Alec (old weak slow patronising curious sensual).

Back to the present she tells young Alec she sees how his inventions will be used, putting people on a leash, destroy them if they’re inconvenient. Alec says he can change that – but she just dismisses it as talk and hits him. She’s brought him to the factory because it’s the heart of what he built.

Future – and Old Alec asks Jasmine what she thought of Kiera (observant, smart, prude, tired, a mother: she saw the coloured wax of crayons under her fingernails).

At the lab Jason and Kiera are being overwhelmed by the amount of data they’re getting – and use the arc super computer to cut through it and process it. Jason asks why Jasmine would want Alec but Kiera calls Alec the architect to the future – want to change the future, kill the architect. With Kiera’s super charged arc-CMR they find where Jasmine was taking Alec – Sadtech site 1, presumably the first factory Alec’s company built.

Jasmine tells Alec that future him asked her a favour. Back in the future, Old Alec lists her charms and says he thinks Kagami would like them as well and reveals he knows he sent her to kill him. She attacks. Back to the present – Jasmine reveals Old Alec asked her to kill Alec in the past – because he knew how bad he was. Alec protests that he sent himself a message with Kiera – the steps to take to change his path. Jasmine says people can’t change – shit changes people but they don’t choose to change. He protests she doesn’t know him and we get a future cut with Old Alec making his offer, for Jasmine to change the course of history. He wants Jasmine to decide; young Alec knows this. Jasmine asks why Alec (old young whatever) wanted her to choose whether to kill him or not. Because she’s on the outside, she had perspective Old Alec lost. Alec realises she’s his insurance policy, his failsafe in case he doesn’t change.

Which is when Kiera arrives. Jasmine pushes Alec over the edge and points a gun at Kiera, saying if Kiera shoots her, Alec will fall. Jasmine tells Kiera that Old Alec sent her and Kiera tells her Alec won’t follow the same path again

Alec babbles that he’s scared that he can change the world, scared that he can’t, it’s a babbling but very real speech and how he just wants to go home to see the girl he’s in love with. To which Jasmine flashforwards to Old Alec telling her he chose her because she’s weak enough and strong enough to love, unlike him. Jasmine tells Alec she was willing to sacrifice herself in his office and nothing’s changed. Unless you do. She kicks him so he’s dangling over the edge and she runs.

Kiera hurries up and manages to grab Alec before he falls. Jasmine has escaped. And a confused Alec is left with the fact Old Alec sent Kiera to protect him and Jasmine to kill him.

Back at the lab, everything calmer, Emily asks why Liber8 would want to kill Alec. Alec reveals he’s helping the police – particularly Kiera – and that he’s going to keep doing it. She promises she won’t let anything happen to either of them

Which is when Kellog arrives and dishes out orders and Alec lays down the law – he’s not taking orders any more, the only opinion he cares about is his own. To which Kellog remarks “the boy becomes the man.”

Kiera and Emily run into each other with a big “let bygones be bygones” fresh start attitude.

Gardiner is continuing his investigation to try and find Mr. Warren and pressurises the lawyer (who also doesn’t know the meaning of confidentiality) he goes out the room, then comes back in claiming to have forgotten the key to his files. He’s followed by Mr. Warren and an associate – and Mr. Warren shoots Gardiner 3 times. Head, neck and chest.

Well that solved that problem.

Looking at the image they got through Elena’s eyes at the beginning of the episode, the man is clearly Mr. Warren’s associate- though Kiera and Alec don’t recognise him, of course. Kiera checks to see if Alec is ok, but he has a new confidence because he can see there is no fate – after all, Old Alec sent back 2 contingencies, that shows choice.

Kiera gets a call on her phone from Gardiner but no-one talks.

The plot thickens and some powerful scenes here – Jasmine looks like a much more compelling character, I had her down as little more than muscle. And Emily seems to be more than just a tool and agent as well.

The problem – beyond the laughable way Gardiner and Kiera navigate the system – is that there’s just too much going on. We have the 2 Liber8 factions manipulating the mayor, we have Gardiner, we have Escher, we have Emily’s issues, we have Old Alec’s manipulations, we have Jasmine now doing her own thing, we have Kellog and his plot – and now we have Mr. Warren and the body snatchers! I need a flowchat.

Also, Second Listen? Wow, they’re running out of ideas for episode titles.