What a fascinating episode! But first, so that nobody who hasn’t seen the episode yet gets a spoiler in their face from this first paragraph – I hope you’ve already heard today’s big news, that USA announced an early renewal for Colony! We’re already promised a second season. So if you have anyone around you who’s on the fence, because they don’t want to get invested in show that could be cancelled, laugh in their faces and drag them to the TV! That’s what I’m doing with Big Hubby.
So my second favorite character is gone already. That was a shock – killing Phyllis may solve the Resistance’s problems in the short run, but I think she could have turned out to be a bigger ally than they knew. Unlike Proxy Snyder, Phyllis was not a true believer, and seemed to feel that it was important for good people to fill positions like hers so that bad people (or at least those with more extreme viewpoints) couldn’t do as much damage as would be possible. And the things she knew! She could have been the highest ranking person they could have gotten their hands on – with the right persuasion, could she have told them about the Visitors, the structure, the plans? I understand that Broussard and Quayle believe they’re removing a threat – but handled differently, they could have had so much more.
“This is everything I know about the Los Angeles insurgency,” she tells Will. “You think all these cells are operating independently,” he answers. She goes on, “Despite what Snyder and the others want to believe. People have a psychological need to find the ‘super villain,’ but in my experience, reality is a lot more complicated. Morality is complicated for people in our position.” “You think these people can do real damage?” Will questions. “Not to our visitors, but to us. To all the people living here in this Bloc. If this Resistance miraculously managed to do something meaningful, do you have any idea of the kind of retribution that would rain down upon us? There’s no version of an effective Resistance. There’s just misguided idealism that leads to death and despair.”
Lots of surprises! The first scene was a shocker – a teacher hauled in by the Red Hats, for having her students read Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451? Interesting choice of subversive books, a book about book-burning (I recenty read that Bradbury himself didn’t believe it was about censorship, although that’s the message we all got from it during high school English). And at least one of those Red Hats – it’s hard to keep them straight with the masks – was overly aggressive, bouncing a student. The questions this show raises, and in particular about man’s willingness to lose moral standards if it seems that authority has “okayed” this behavior, are troubling. Then, it was even more troubling to see Broussard – one of the show’s white hats – as a Red Hat. I guess nobody knows you like your enemy. But he’s gathering intel as he works, copying his squad’s movements and detecting patterns onto a board at the machine shop. Where do they hit hardest? How long does it take to respond? What areas do they avoid, who makes complaints?
Were you baffled at first as to why Katie let her own house be firebombed? And you realize that she knew it was coming, right? She, and Quayle, knew that she would probably be brought into the Transitional Authority headquarters and questioned after an event like that, and they needed intel on headquarters and Will’s boss. But Katie is a terrible liar. Her story was unbelievable. And she was up against a trained agent – Phyllis – who could tell immediately that this just wasn’t the truth. And as much as Phyllis likes Will, and is helping him by destroying the evidence of Bram’s tapes, she can’t let Will’s “traitorous” wife go.
I think Will is beginning to be suspicious of Katie as well. The photo she removed from the wall and put on top of the fridge – if that picture had been on the wall during the fire, the wall behind it would have been clean. But instead, there are soot marks where the picture should have been, Katie doesn’t seem as upset as a trained investigator would expect her to be… She’s going to have to come clean to him at some point. Why has she not told him yet? Does she think he’ll try to stop her? Does she worry that Will knowing of her activities puts him in greater danger? She certainly isn’t worried that he’s “drunk the Kool Aid,” and will turn her in, and ultimately, she wants Charlie back. So in some limited ways, as twisted as they are, she supports what he’s doing. What do you think Will’s reaction will be? After last week, when he told her to trust him, that he knew what he was doing, he may be looking for ways to subvert from within.
But at this point, that’s not where he’s going. After pushing Bram to confess what he knows about Geronimo’s broadcasts, Will leads the way to catch the broadcaster in the act.
My fellow Colonists, brothers and sisters, if you never hear my voice again, I want you to remember the words of Frederick Douglass – ‘If there is no struggle, there is no progress. Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did. And it never will. The limits of tyrants are proscribed by the endurance of those whom they oppress.’ The one thing they cannot take from you, my fellow Colonists, is hope.
But Will’s background and experience tells him that instead of catching the Resistance’s top man, they’ve caught only the mouthpiece. The small scene of the walk into the interrogation room was enough to scare me – in these days of “enhanced interrogation” and waterboarding, just the glimpse told you that this was not going to be a simple question and answer session. And Will’s hunch can pay off – they find a drain pipe with a slider, to carry items from one area – most likely the upper-crust Green Zone, where homes are given as rewards for loyalty – to another.
This is also a major complication for Proxy Snyder – he’s already passed on what he thought was their major coup. This was an interesting exchange – “Did you actually talk to them?” Phyllis asks Snyder. “Well no, through Helena.” Helena? This feels like shades of Childhood’s End, where the Supervisor for Earth, Karellen, only spoke to one human. We still have no idea what’s really happening with the Visitors, and apparently, Snyder isn’t as close to the situation as he leads the citizens to believe.
I like that this show has very few side stories – we’re not jumping from one storyline to another very often. But I really like Maddie and what’s happening with her. By luck, it seems, she’s gotten herself into just the position she wants, working in the field she says she was involved in before the Arrival, as the assistant to Charlotte, who is basically an art thief. In another Nazi reference, Charlotte is appropriating and reassigning treasures. And Maddie can help her find more of them, with her art dealer background, in return for insulin for her son. Where can this go? Will Maddie pass information on the Green Zone and the VIPs in it back to Katie? I don’t get the feeling that Maddie has any idea of what Katie is doing, yet, but she may be Katie’s logical confidant. We’ll have to see!
Phyllis surprises Katie at the Yonk, and tells her the story of her own husband – how he loved her so much that he overlooked her affair, and compares her husband to Will – overlooking his suspicions about Katie because of the love he has for her. Katie is Will’s blind spot. And because of that, Phyllis tells Katie she has no choice, she is now Phyllis’ double agent. But in the episode’s biggest surprise, Katie may be off the hook – before Phyllis can do anything except tell her unknown caller that she has a new asset (and what was that comment about the Visitors’ “perception of time”? That was intriguing!), Broussard catches her at home and assassinates her. I really liked Phyllis – and even more so after hearing the story about her husband, then seeing the brief scene of her taking care of him – “Hello, my sun and stars…” – and how she doesn’t beg for her own life, knowing that has no chance, but asking that Broussard kill the helpless man as well, giving him an easy death rather than leave him without his caretaker. I’ll miss Phyllis in coming weeks – I think she could have been a truly major influence and a complex character.
So where does this leave us? We still don’t know for sure that the Visitors are aliens. Personally, I have doubts. What will happen to Will and Katie’s relationship once he knows what she’s been doing? Are Broussard and Quayle more than they seem – more sinister, working for an unknown antagonist? What did Charlotte, Maddie’s new boss, mean when she said, “when you work for me, you work for me“? And… where is Charlie? (Some of you have expressed concern about Maggie, the Bowman’s dog, after the pilot episode – let’s try to get some answer on what’s happened to her!)
Until next week, Colonists – Resist or Collaborate?
Follow me on Twitter: @ErinConrad2 and @threeifbyspace
Join us on our Colony Facebook Group: Colony – The Resistance
Like us on Facebook or Subscribe
Share this article using our Social Share buttons above!