Continuum: Survivor or Symbol?

Do you believe your gut or your slogan?” This question could be posed to both parties, Liber8 and the Vancouver P.D. Neither group has all the answers or a clear picture of events (past or future). The rest of the world is caught in the middle between a government agency slowly being overtaken by corporations and a group of people who believe that they need to change the future because they’ve seen what it becomes. They just happen to try to turn the tide by using violence and actions labeled “terrorist attacks”.

Which side are you on? Do you have to choose a side? What if you pick the wrong one? Is it too late to join the other team, or create your own? These are the questions Kiera, Alec, Emily, Kellogg, Carlos, Julian, Dillon, and Betty have to ask themselves. Carlos and Dillon have never seen a good side to Liber8. They also haven’t seen the future. Kiera has seen the future, but only from one perspective, and she wasn’t quite the good little soldier she wants to believe she was. Kellogg appears to be taking care of himself by any means necessary, playing both sides as much as possible, so it’s not clear where he stands, if he takes a stance. He might truly be the only opportunist in the midst of idealists.

Emily, Alec, Betty and Julian are truly caught in the web of deceit woven by both sides. While Alec appears to take on the role of hero while Julian assumes the villain’s mantle, we need to remember that we aren’t seeing this story from an omniscient perspective. We’re seeing Kiera’s side of things and she has been trained to think of Liber8 as the enemy. Alec isn’t exactly the adorable little geek we knew and loved in the first season. He has become just as dangerous as Julian. In this timeline, anything and anyone might change at the slightest opportunity.
Betty appears to sympathize with Liber8, choosing to aid them as a mole inside the Vancouver P.D. What’s her aim? Does she see the politicization and corporate overhaul of the police department as dangerous for the future of mankind, or is she bored with her job? Does she have an endgame in mind? Emily seems to disregard both groups in favor of her relationship with Alec, but sooner or later she’ll have to make a choice – to stay with Alec, even if he becomes the master of Piron and SadTech that Liber8 was hoping to annihilate, or to fight against him.
All of these people will have to face the question: do they want to survive, or will they become a symbol? We see scenarios like this play out in episodes like “A Minute Changes Everything” – people have to compromise to survive, or become a symbol of what happens when you try to stick to your ideals in a world corrupted by greed and lust for power.

Alec realizes he will lose his father’s company if he doesn’t secure help in the form of a “shark”. Kellogg tells him he needs someone who can fight the other sharks. Alec must decide who he wants in his corner – Kellogg, an opportunist, or someone already used to working with a corporation? Kiera must compromise in both the future and the present if she is to keep her job and figure out how to get back to her family. Not only must she work with people on both sides, she must decide who is valuable and who must become the next symbol in the historical saga that will end in her future.

In the future, Kiera goes against her commander’s wishes and saves children instead of corporate executives. In the present, she must accept that the police department she works for has covered up its mistake and that the girl dead by their hands will be branded a terrorist. She must also deal with the fact that Alec is quickly becoming the Alec Sadler she knew in the future. In order to survive, she must put aside her convictions long enough to get back to her family. Convictions, as she has seen in “A Minute Changes Everything”, will get you killed.
The police take action against a group supporting Liber8 and what follows is terrifying in that we’ve seen this before, in our own world. Police cover-ups, college campuses wracked with violence, and the media twisting the truth to produce a newsworthy soundbyte. This isn’t too far away from our own world, which should scare you. What if our future looks like the one concocted by Simon Barry in Continuum? Or…what if the future’s already here?

Of course, as is pointed out, that future could be our past. What about America’s revolution? Wouldn’t the patriots look like Liber8 to the British? The redcoats were fighting for their government against a pack of wild individuals who wanted to be free of corporate and governmental shackles. While England fought to keep the status quo, America fought to change their future. They wanted to be free. Instead of trying to peaceably find a solution, they responded with violence. Which side would you be on today?

Continuum asks the tough questions. As Kiera is asked, “Do you want to ask the right questions?” What about us? Are we content with the way things are? Do we like where we see the future heading? How do we respond if we don’t? Are we willing to compromise if it means settling into a less-than-ideal but secure future in which corporations make the rules? Or will we strive to maintain our ideals, which could end with becoming a symbol instead of a survivor?

Or is there perhaps a middle way that remains to be found, both in our world and the world of Continuum?

Image Credits: Reunion Pictures
K.M. Cone

K.M. Cone

K.M. Cone is a story nerd, particularly for the episodic stories told via the medium of television. When not parked in front of the TV, K.M. Cone can be found writing kooky urban fantasy on her personal site, attempting to learn German, or making a huge pot of soup for her friends, who are probably coming over to join her in her latest TV or animated film obsession.

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