Colony: Review, S2 Premiere – Eleven Thirteen Was What We Counted On

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It was inevitable – and much hoped for. What really happened that day of the Arrival? What happened before it? Because there was obviously a huge amount of pre-planning. And who had “embezzling low-level opportunist” in the Snyder pool?

This year’s first episode started much the same way the pilot did – breakfast at the Bowman’s. But, is it a day sometime after the end of last season? Clues start to add up – Charlie is sitting in the kitchen. Katie’s pretty free with those eggs. And Will is wearing a suit. But we have a much better idea of the “when” of what we’re looking at once Katie gets out the door – things look normal – for a while.

I had a bit of trouble understanding where Will’s partner Devin (Carolyn Michelle Smith) fit in at first. Will is suspicious that she’s taking bribes or is otherwise compromised. He lets her know that he’ll be requesting a transfer from his unit rather than throw her under the bus (the one that won’t be working for much longer). We already know he’s a stand-up, honest, ethical guy who is also often troubled by his own loyalty to friends.

But those plans are dashed pretty quickly when they both get calls to get back to the office – there’s something big going down. Several engineers and an interesting group of government officials are missing. This leads to the question – doesn’t this office talk to other offices? Do they know at this point that all hell has broken loose, and that there are (have to be) VIPs missing all over the country – and the world? Why these people?

The answer was really interesting – when they rescue Tim Lawes, a Lockheed engineer, from his panic room after he avoided being either kidnapped or killed, he tells them that he’s on a “species survival” list – if a catastrophic natural disaster or other extinction-level event occurs, he’s one of more than 1,000 people who will be evacuated. “If society ends,” he tells them, we’ll be the ones responsible for rebooting it.” So, what’s happened to the others? Were they taken by the Occupation before anyone knows about it, or killed so they can’t interfere? I hope we learn more about this! But for right now, we have no idea – both Devin and Will bug out to go take care of their own families.

What could you live without, if an EMP went off? (The first show I reviewed for TIBS was Revolution – at least in Colony, basic services are eventually restored.) It’s a fast way to bring an entire society to a halt. Cell phones, computers, most cars – and the invaders knew that about us. They were ready, and we were unprepared.

Be honest – how many of you really believed that Snyder had been Stanford’s Provost? There was definitely something fishy about that story. He can organize, sure – organize thousands of dollars into his own pocket. And he obviously has some lax moral and ethical standards, which seem to be regulation for those now serving the Occupation. I did admire him for not just immediately leaving his ex-wife alone – he tried to tell her to pack her bag and get out, even as he was only able to choose one person to be safe from coming chaos. Of course, he couldn’t tell them why – and we know his daughter wasn’t any too appreciative of his help.

And don’t you wonder who – and what – the Governor General that Helena serves is? There was something … odd about how she told him, “It’s a brave new world, Alan. And you’re about to be the most powerful man in Hollywood.” Is there something behind that? Hollywood is the land of make-believe. Of convincing people that what they see is reality, instead of the stage set it really is. Is there something more going on behind the scenes than we see? And where was this that Snyder and all the others were being taken? See my theories, below!

Broussard’s background was much less surprising. Returning home, he finds his mother’s house in total disrepair, and mother near death. His instincts, though, are right on, honed by years in combat and as a private mercenary. You put all of those “big operators” together, there’s a reason for it – and the reason was to get rid of them, get them out of the way, eliminate a powerful group of potential resistors. And he was exactly right. It looks like he knows Katie only from The Yonk, doesn’t it? Long-term customer? He didn’t know why she owned a bar, didn’t know a lot about her background – just a normal, every-day acquaintance. There’s definitely some attraction there, even before they become co-conspirators, but not an intimacy.

Will and Katie’s relationship is solid in this “before time”. She trusts his instincts, and when he tells her to get the kids and get them in place to meet him, she listens without questioning. She’s been a Navy daughter and a military wife – she knows that Will isn’t the hysterical type, and is in a position to know more – or at least be able to put pieces together. But Charlie is separated from the family, and as the Wall mysteriously and ominously descends over LA, any chances of getting to him and keeping the family together are lost.

I’m glad the story returned to post-Arrival, if only for five minutes at the end. Bram’s been arrested, after being found under the Wall at the end of the first season. Is Bram headed to the Factory? Katie is on her own to deal with Bram’s fate, and that sneaky camera in her house. And at the end of Season 1, Will was on his own to try to find Charlie, using a pass that Snyder gave him (the former Proxy isn’t a bad guy – he really did try to do the best for the LA Bloc, I believe – but obviously, no good deed keeps you out of the Factory). So where is Will? Getting beaten up by a few guys for whom the Arrival is probably the best thing that ever happened to them. And this is where former partner Devin comes back in – this must be the house that Will thought she purchased with “the Armenians'” money – will she help him?

Theories – We Got ‘Em

So we’re at the fun part of the night – theories! What’s really happened? I’m still thinking that these aren’t really aliens at all. The only glimpses of them that we’ve had have either been from far away, or cut off before they could be cut into. There’s too much pre-planning involved here – who would an alien being have contacted, and how long ago, to get this kind of scheme going? One of the missing VIPs is from DARPA, the Defense Advance Research Projects Agency. Could that person’s disappearance be part of a cover-up, rather than removing someone who could be in the way? The only thing that I have trouble fitting into this theory is the Wall – drones, even the Moon base, are things that could possibly have been developed in secret (and by using the ancient secret-keeping method of killing all the workers). But the views of the Wall dropping into place – that makes me stop with my mouth open in awe.

 

And what do we hope to learn more about this season? (What DON’T we want to know???) Did Beau make it to Big Bear? What has Devin been doing? Will Bram be ok, will Will find Charlie, can Will and Kate reconcile? SO many questions, and let’s hope the answers take a LONG time coming! (Another question – what does this episode’s name, Eleven. Thirteen, mean? The original name for the episode, as shown on the press site, was Preoccupation, and I get that. But this one – Eleven meaning immediately before the Arrival, and Thirteen, immediately after? 2011 & 2013?)

Feel free to leave your theories and questions here, or join us at our Colony Facebook page, Colony: The Resistance!

Follow me on Twitter: @ErinConrad2 and @threeifbyspace

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Erin Conrad