Colony Season 3 Episode 2 Review: Puzzle Man

Colony picks up the pieces with one of its most enigmatic characters in "Puzzle Man"

This Colony review contains spoilers.

Colony Season 3 Episode 2

Okay, now wasn’t that closer to the Colony we used to know?

Kind of? Maybe?

Well, if not, it’s definitely a step in the right direction. You’ll see evidence of this in the next episode. (Gosh, everyone’s a critic.)

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Much like key Resistance leader Broussard himself, the second episode of Colony’s third season sifts through the debris that last year’s finale “Ronin” left in its wake. It also serves as a connector piece that gets the Bowman family on a midnight train to where the real action is happening now that Los Angeles has been, um, “obliterated“: Seattle, Washington.

But has L.A. really been as decimated as we originally thought? Mmm…not so much. “Puzzle Man” shows us that the City of Angels is still very much around, even though it’s been turned into a ghost town, er, city. And the lonely inhabitant that wanders its empty streets in search of truth – or, perhaps more accurately, a semblance of closure – is Eric Broussard.

As characters go in Colony’s desolate world, Broussard is one of the most mysterious and the most underutilized. During season one, he was treated as “the other man” when the show was preoccupied with chronicling the implosion of Will and Katie’s marriage under the stressful dichotomy of the Occupation and the Resistance. He was treated primarily as a sexual figure, a representation for Katie’s double life, if not a handsome face to pin her emotional infidelity onto. (And a really handsome one at that.)

But what do we know about Broussard besides that he was a military contractor, he is a pretty good leader, he had a sick mom, and he likes to pout – a lot?

Okay, so maybe we know more than that, but it’s all been through brief flashbacks that filled in a few blanks here and there. We haven’t actually spent much one-on-one screen time with this dude, alone. Sure, there was that season one episode “Broussard”, but think about it: Eric B’s been kept at an arm’s distance for a while now, and this is a fact that “Puzzle Man” is acutely aware of. Meaning, writer Michael Ostrowski finally gives it to us. What we see is someone who looking for a plotline to cling to, much like the Bowmans were last episode. 

And he finds one. A couple, actually. They both have romantic subtext. Well, “subtext” is a bit of an understatement. “Puzzle Man” is determined to giving Broussard some kind of vaporous form of a love life. (He already had a secret girlfriend at one point…right?) The first shot is a young woman named Claire who has a son named Owen who both need to get out of the LA Bloc because…um, something-something. Broussard tries to save these two charity cases and grant them safe passage, but he ultimately endangers the Resistance contacts in the process. (Oops.) Although this selfless act is punished, he’s still rewarded with a new female sidekick whose name escapes me right now. I’m calling her Dispatch until next week’s review, since that’s her codename and all.

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Besides shoehorning in sexual tension, Dispatch is brought into Broussards path as someone who will drag him to Seattle because all the secret evil things the Raps were trying to do in the LA Bloc they’re going to do in Seattle. So they have to get there – immediately. Hmm. Funny how that works. Well, that’s as good as an excuse as any, I suppose. I can’t say I’m interested to see where there relationship goes, but I am eager to see what happens when they get to Seattle. Therefore, I can deal with this.

There’s something appealing about a one-hour episode of Colony featuring Broussard wandering around the remains of L.A. that features little to no dialogue. But we don’t get that. Instead of breaking ground, “Puzzle Man” plays things as safe as it can while it searches its past for a direction towards its future. And that’s okay. After “Maquis”, which quietly obliterated the status-quo, I would expect any follow-up to start resembling the show that we know…y’know?

In certain scenes, “Puzzle Man” works. In others, it kinda doesn’t. Either way, Tory Kittles’ adapts to what’s going on impressively well, even if he gets shoved into romantic territory that doesn’t feel organic for his character.

So what’s up with the Bowman clan this time around? Are they still the Robinson family on the lam? Pretty much, yes. Dr. Smith – uh, I mean ex-Proxy Snyder is still up to no good while depending on the people he’s currently betraying for survival like he always is. I’m starting to wonder what the ultimate comeuppance for his character would look like. Getting punched in the balls by Wayne Brady on top of the Space Needle, maybe? (Crap. I hope I didn’t just spoil the season finale…)

Snyder and the Bowman Bunch come up with a story about why he…

Wait, wait, wait – hold on.

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I’ve got to get something out of my system.

Hit it!

Here’s the story of girl named Katie

Who resisted aliens in an unseen galactic war

It’s like World War II

But with no Hitler

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The threat is more abstract

It’s the story of her husband Willie

Who was busy playing double agent to survive

He was a lapdog 

For the Occupation

Just to keep their Spanish Colonial Revival home

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‘Til the one day when the family met this Proxy

Who repeatedly saved their butts from being crunched

Together, they formed an unstable alliance

And that’s how they became the Bowman Bunch

The Bowman Bunch…The Bowman Bunch

And that’s how they became the Bowman Bunch!

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Right. Okay, where was I?

Oh, got it. So Snyder makes double sure that the Bowman kids know their made-up cover story about him being their uncle inside and out. And they do. They’re Bowmans, after all. Snyder himself is understandably paranoid that anyone from the Resistance would recognize him. Bringing Snyder along with them makes our heroes vulnerable in more ways than one. Sigh.

So the family makes the Gauntlet drop for safe passage, but the Resistance members don’t seem entirely thankful or trustworthy. In fact, they shove them on a train that’s heading towards Seattle. They wind up at a particular Resistance encampment instead, one that isn’t the idyllic paradise anyone hoped it would be. But that’s another story for another time – which just so happens to be on Wednesday of next week.

So that’s “Puzzle Man”, folks: an episode of Colony that is as functional as it is transitional. Episode three, “Sierra Maestra“, is where Colony Season 3 really starts to hit its stride, so set your VCRs.

P.S. Oh, The Factory on the moon was destroyed. I forgot to mention that.

P.P.S. Does anyone else miss The Yonk?

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4 out of 5