Continuum takes on the cause of corporations vs. democratic government in a premiere that feels very much like a mid-season filler episode. Spoilers below the cut.
We begin with a much-needed and perhaps too-short "previously on" that's supposed to remind us of what happened at the end of last season, but only serves to confuse. But maybe that's because the finale was a confusing mess.
The season 2 premiere wasn't as good as it could have been. The plot basically boils down to Liber8 kills the mayor making it look like another gang did it, so that the police go after that gang instead. And even if Keira and the police know about the fakeout, they still don't go looking for evidence of it for some reason. Considering the show's overarching plotline is pretty timey-wimey they would do better if they kept the plot of the week a bit more straightforward.
And speaking of timey wimey, the episode shows us young!Alec moving into a new house with a bunch of nerdy peers, not taking Keira's calls and pretty much breaking off all ties with his mom, for the vague reason of the message he got from his future self. We finally get to see the message at the end of the episode and I don't think keeping it a mystery had any storytelling reason other than someone thinking "we need more teenage angst!" The message boils down to "Hey young padawan, corporations are actually evil, k?" which is something I guessed at since last season. The question is if old!Alec is working with Liber8 or if he's part of a less boombastic resistance. Or if he's actually lying and trying to manipulate things. And why he chose Keira of all people for this mission, knowing that family is the most important thing for her, so she'd fight to protect the status quo.
Meanwhile Liber8 in the present is into assassinating mayors and defrauding elections and making sure their candidate is firmly under control. I like Sonya as the new leader, and I love that they show a few moments of her doubting herself, but never in front of the others.
There are all sorts of other rather confusing moments in this epsiode: Carlos and his boss agree to ally themselves with a vigilante because that's apparently a good way to keep their jobs. Agent what's-his-name may or may not actually be from an alphabet agency or one of those other time travellers from the future we got warned about in the previous season. And then there's Kellog and that thing he has for Keira which kind of cute, but also doesn't make much sense since she's married and all she talks about is getting back to her family.
I think overall this episode took itself a bit too seriously, and even the moments that were supposed to be funny ended up flat, like Carlos' Batman quip. And Kellog is apparently a regular now — that seems to have been the trade for his comic relief status, which actually worked so much better for the character. This show needs a bit more fun in order for me to be able to take it completely seriously.
Visually the whole episode looked a bit too bleak and washed out. Keira's suit looked much better and slicker in copper than in black. I guess that makes more sense in the future, where everything seems to have that colour and it sticks out more in the present. But the cop!Keira - copper/ vigilante!Keira - black symbolic colour coding is a bit on the nose.
Bring on the rest of the season. I suppose.