Hours later, I’m still processing “Second Guess.” Probably the most relevant episode of the season, “Second Guess” focuses on political corruption, privacy issues, and a plotline I still can’t make heads nor tail of but find most intriguing.
“Second Guess” continues the corrupted political official storyline with Tahmoh Penikett’s Jim Martin campaigning in the final days of the election for mayor. He’s had meetings with Verta (who threatens his life unless Verta’s demand is met) and Sonya Valentine and begins to feel he needs to get out from under their influence. His brilliant plan, however, backfires.
A hacker, meanwhile, brings to light a host of compromising e-mails, texts, and documents, including e-mails exchanged between Jim Martin and Sonya Valentine (which may or may not actually exist). There is also paperwork showing that the Vancouver Police Department is being funded by the mysterious Mr. Escher. While it’s Alec’s software ARC that’s responsible, Julian is in possession of Alec’s phone with enough code to wield a lot of damage.
Add to all of this the fact that Lucas Ingram is seeing people – first Curtis and now Edouard Kagame – both of whom we’ve assumed were dead. If Lucas is hallucinating, what’s really there? Can we trust his eyes? If he isn’t hallucinating this, can Curtis and Kagame be from another future? When the people in his life begin seeing his descent into madness, this brings another question to mind; If this is happening to him because of the time travel, when will their brains start short-circuiting?
Lots of little things dropped seemingly unceremoniously into this episode give me a feeling that there is more to be revealed, and none of it good. When Kagame gives instructions to Lucas, he recognizes that Alec is a force that can shape the future, but warns that “there is another.” Is he talking of Escher? Who else even knows about that guy?
“I have this sick feeling we’re playing from the same playbook.” Kellogg finally meets Escher face to face, in an art gallery (a nod to M.C. Escher, perhaps?), in one of the most tense scenes I’ve seen. The characters seem to circle, gauging each other like jungle cats ready to pounce.
Julian and Jim Martin also have a toe-to-toe sizing up at the police station. Jim compares Julian to himself, saying they’re both politicians, able to attract large groups of people and wield that power to further their own agendas. If Jim and Julian are the politicians, then Kellogg and Escher are businessmen.
The police manage to catch up with Lucas Ingram, who goes with them quietly after being told by Kagame that he must not resort to violence to make an impact.
And then the pieces start falling together. Alec’s girlfriend Emily pretends to get rid of ARC but hands it off to Escher. Julian is revealed as the mastermind behind the hacking project and only looks like Kagame to Lucas Ingram. All the little black and white photos that have been snapped during the episode are being collected. And the beginning of “Second Guess” begins to make sense.
Kiera learned that her memories were not erased after the 36-hour time frame set on her CMR. Someone’s been collecting video, all video for years.
Lucas Ingram enters a mental facility to see the entire room full of Edouard Kagames. Every single person is Kagame. Except that video of the room shows it to be empty, save Lucas himself. If it weren’t for the video of Julian and Lucas talking, we could even posit that there was someone else pulling Lucas’ strings. We can make the case for that happening every other time he spoke to Kagame, since we only have the one video of Lucas and Julian together.
Julian told the people that they had no privacy, that their control over their information was an illusion. Remember those black and white photos collected from all over the city? Those are going to Mr. Escher. He’s been recording these images. These cameras have been around for who knows how long.
Perhaps going back in time sixty-five years wasn’t going back far enough.