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Friday, August 2, 2013

Some thoughts about Continuum 2.09- Seconds

Tonight's episode of Continuum posed a few interesting questions.  First, if you had the opportunity to take out someone who would eventually commit mass murder, do you do it?  Second, can people change their path in life?  Third, what is the appropriate balance between order and freedom?

Taking the first question, Keira discovers what we have known for some time: Julian is Theseus.  In Keira's time, Theseus is the boogeyman.  He is a mass murderer who is bent on killing anyone who opposes his radical agenda.  As such, she has an intense and burning hatred directed at him, which is understandable.  I can even understand her actions, even if I cannot condone them.  From her point of view, killing Julian would save the lives of tens of thousands of people in the future, including friends of her parents.  But, is that a good enough reason to kill him now?  Carlos argues that it is not and Alec points out that Keira has said that he is not bound to take the same path, so he asks why she cannot extend that to Julian?  The other problem is that by not killing Julian, did Keira somehow set him on the path to become the mass murderer that she so fears?  Julian seemed ready to follow a different path before Keira and the police officers took him from the hospital.

This leads directly into the second question: can we change our path in life?  Keira is insistent that Alec can but that Julian cannot.  This is logically inconsistent, but understandable once her feelings toward Julian are taken into account.  The problem is that both Julian and Alec are being manipulated by people from the future for their own purposes.  Liber8 is trying to steer Julian in the direction of Theseus again and Kellogg is trying to steer Alec towards becoming the corporate head.  Keira is trying to help Alec avoid that future and hopefully will grant Julian the same consideration.

The last one is the most complicated.  Keira speaks of the future and a justice system where humans are basically taken out of the equation, thereby removing a source of corruption.  The problem is that a system like that is not a good system.  While granting the notion that human involvement can corrupt the system, the same presence also gives the justice system a needed element of mercy and flexibility.  Then we also have the fact that the police squad which is trying to stop Liber8 is now under the control of a corporation that is not bound by the same rules and regulations that they were before.  This is never a good thing.  While the system, like anything human made, is flawed, it is not a bad system.  It may be slow to respond to new threats, but it does serve to protect freedoms, even if they are not protected as thoroughly as some might wish.  Witness the future justice system, where people are made into more or less mindless automatons and slaves because they cannot pay their bills or whatnot.  Methinks that the punishment so does not fit the crime.