This review of Colony contains spoilers.
Colony Season 1, Episode 8
Some time in the next twenty years or so, when movie houses will project seasons of television in all-day retro binge-watch-a-thons, I hope that Colony’s first season will be among those screened. It’s simply too cinematic to be enjoyed on smaller devices. Even the most quiet scenes have a larger than life film quality to them thanks to a certain JJ Abrams-esque blockbuster aura that suits the show so well. I know I’d pay a good $30-40 for a day pass to see Josh Holloway and Sarah Wayne Callies give each other strained looks on the big screen while my butt falls asleep. And I’m sure most others at that time will, too, because Colony will have become a diehard cult favorite. That’s inevitable.
“In from the Cold”, this week’s episode, is a good indication why. It comes in fresh off the heels of several game changing installments, and continues to change the game Colony has loosely played with the highest of confidence. Confrontations that felt far off suddenly blew up, writing out certain characters in the fallout. Specifically, Quayle. The leader of the LA Resistance has been eliminated in yet another of the show’s “most jawdropping moment so far”: Will shoots him down at a safehouse while under Occupation custody along with two red caps. This disrupts Snyder’s plan to leverage the Resistance leader in a scheme to get a passing grade in his upcoming performance evaluation from the head of the Pacific Northwest, which doesn’t look like it will work out in his favor. (Not that it ever did.)
So why did Will snap and pull the trigger? My theory is, he’s tired of being lied to. Will’s well aware that Katie is the mole now, especially after the moral experiment he conducted when he told their children that Charlie was still alive. That was a clever way to gauge his wife’s reaction, and she played right into it. I mentioned in an earlier review that Will is a “what you see is what you get” kind of guy. I didn’t realize that this side of his nature was so strong. It fuels the man’s new personal crusade for simplicity in his life. He’s made the choice to start cutting his way through the vines of the bullshit jungle in order to restore emotional safety. I admire that. But, ultimately, he has to get shady and manipulative himself if he wants to survive.
It’s not just Katie’s betrayals that Will is tired of, though. He’s also fed up with Snyder’s games. During their rendezvous with Quayle, he let it slip that multi-colony transpasses existed. This is information the proxy governor withheld from the Bowman family just so they’d keep playing along. How could Will continue to be loyal to someone who treats him like this? (At least he has Beau on his side. Beau will never let you down. Right Beau?)
And yet Will’s loyalty to Katie doesn’t seem to falter, even when he sees her for all she is. It’s because he understands her on a basic level. He knows what she’s doing is for Charlie and their family, even if it endangers them more than anything. That doesn’t mean he thinks it’s right or fair, but he can at least see her point of view. Yet all of this is based off of subtext only right now, so it’s best to move along.
There aren’t many shows on TV that can make me feel the weight of a peripheral character’s death quite like Colony can. Rachel’s premature demise was horrifying, especially the part where her corpse was hung for all citizens to see and fear. (Another moment lifted straight out of Wayward Pines.) Ultimately, her character served as a foil for Katie. Like Miss Bowman, she was a mother that served the Resistance. But instead of lying to her children, she told them everything. Was the show trying to punish her for that by killing her off?
The other huge reveal from episode eight is that The Factory is on the moon. This is most likely setting up season two plotlines, as I could see a major character getting sent there and the show splitting its time between Bloc drama and moon action. But I’m still attached to that idea of getting to see at least one of our heroes try to make a go of it in the dangerous wastelands between Colonies. However, I’d be just as content if the show continued on as is. See, that’s further evidence to support Colony‘s greatness: there are so many possibilities, and each one is a piece of candy for your imagination.
Listen to the guys on Sci Fi Fidelity talk about Colony and interview showrunner Ryan Condal on their March podcast: