COLONY -- "A Clean, Well-Lighted Place" Episode 307 -- Pictured: Sarah Wayne Callies as Katie Bowman -- (Photo by: Daniel Power/USA Network)
COLONY -- "A Clean, Well-Lighted Place" Episode 307 -- Pictured: Sarah Wayne Callies as Katie Bowman -- (Photo by: Daniel Power/USA Network)

Colony: A Clean, Well-Lighted Place Hides Dark Secrets – Ep. 307 Review

The Bowmans are in, as the episode title says, “a clean, well-lighted place,” but it’s full of anger and secrets. Something is weird about Everett Kynes’ Seattle – something twisty, and scary. And this episode is feeling less like an alien-invasion story, and more like an intense family drama – which is, of course, one of the things we really love about Colony. You know there’s an overlay of “things from outer space,” but in the context of what it’s done to this family we care so much about.

I’m In Control

So what IS the deal with Seattle? The prelude was interesting – Everett Kynes, smirky as the city burns, playing hard to get for one official, then another, knowing he’s the only one with any kind of solution to what you see outside. But when the Chancellor finally calls, he has conditions for his help – free rein, no IGA, no Transitional Authority, no RedHats. He DOES want to chat with the Hosts – um, what will this be about? Don’t you want to be there? He’s just SO darn cocky. “It’s above your pay grade,” he tells the Chancellor. We have an idea of what his algorithm is supposed to do – find the people that will best be placed in positions of power, so that the alien takeover and fulfillment of their labor needs can be done as smoothly as possible, minimizing resistance, increasing support (even if the people don’t know what they’re supporting). And we know he doesn’t think it’s being used right, putting puppets in place, easily controllable people. He obviously thinks he can manage better. And so, a couple of years later, we have Seattle, the Emerald City, the place that should work. But for who? In the service of the aliens? For the best interest of humanity?


Are the “pod people” part of Kynes’s intentions with the algorithm? Was has tasked with creating a system that would not only identify people who would accept and manage an alien invasion and use of human slaves, but identify strong, intelligent people as well? What do you think these people are for? Theories I’ve seen have included repopulating Earth (or another planet) after the enemies have wiped everyone out; using them as biological bodies for the hosts, who are currently confined to mechanical bodies; super soldiers for the war…. Leave your theory below! If the answer comes out this season, I’ll come back and find the theory below that’s closest to the truth and  send you…. something.

And we knew last week that the “Daltons” weren’t fooling anyone – the man behind the curtain during their intake interview was able to quickly pull up their real name. So there must be some kind of ulterior motive behind letting them stay in Seattle, thinking they’re safe from detection. We also know that Will is on that “pod people” list – could they be letting them fool themselves, thinking they’re safe, so they can keep an eye on Will and have the ability to grab him up when they’re ready? If Will and Katie knew that they had been identified, they’d be planning their exit from Seattle as soon as Gracie could travel. We still don’t know what this list is for, though!

And Loss of Control

But is it working? It sure seems like it is – at least on the surface. Will and Katie, as James and Laura Dalton, are still dealing with Charlie’s death, and are living in a very nice house. Gracie is all healed, Bram is looking whole and healthy, and working for Peapod. Katie’s got a job as an intake processor, and is wearing some very nice clothing (so…. from where?). Will is trolling bars, working nights as a sort of private detective, using his former FBI skills to find missing people (and driving for an Uber-type of service – have to have a cover job). But there’s an undercurrent, mostly from Will, that all is not right, with Seattle, with his attitude, and with his relationship.

COLONY — “A Clean, Well-Lighted Place” Episode 307 — Pictured: Josh Holloway as Will Bowman — (Photo by: Daniel Power/USA Network)

Katie’s doing better than Will is, handling, or at least sublimating, her grief, taking care of her remaining children, trying to fit into this new community. She’s not looking at the undercurrent. She’s going to work every day, helping other people rebuild their lives – or so she thinks. She seems to have given up the firebrand side – after all, that got Charlie killed, and nearly cost Gracie her life as well. Stay safe, keep your head down, do a job, accept the home you’re given.

COLONY — “A Clean, Well-Lighted Place” Episode 307 — Pictured: Sarah Wayne Callies as Katie Bowman — (Photo by: Daniel Power/USA Network)

But she’s just been confronted with something she won’t be able to ignore – the disappearance of a family that  she thought she was helping. Where are the Winslows? We know they didn’t voluntarily head out for LA, as they had originally planned to do (and who believes that LA really would have welcomed them to any kind of decent life, assuming they could make it there through the wilds of Oregon and California?). But first, the computer system won’t let her find out where they are, and then, when her supervisor Michelle gives her an address, the apartment is completely empty, never moved into. So apparently Bus D stood for “disappear.”

And just a side-note – MIchelle, played by NIcki Micheaux, should turn out to be an exciting character! She reminds me a bit of Phyllis from season 1 – knowing more than we think she should. And Micheaux tweeted this out last night, giving us a little hint of what’s to come:


Will this be the intersection with Will’s discovery that there are people who just are also not where they’re supposed to be? After all, his search for Terry Lennox, even though ultimately successful, gave us the information that he believes there are lots of people – engineers, doctors, soldiers – that seem to have been taken by the Occupation. Are they going the same way as the pod people? Or the people being hunted in the beginning of Season 2 – the people who were supposed to be the ones to “restart” society? Are they off, sequestered somewhere, or in life support chambers?

Clearly, Will and Katie need some kind of an intersection. Or an intervention. They’re not speaking – the scene early on where Will comes home, the kids don’t talk to him, he heads up the stairs without even acknowledging Katie and the camera turns and follows her, shows us that in these intervening months, a huge rift has opened between them. She’s accepting safety, school, jobs, an imitation of life before the Arrival. He’s increasingly angry by the devastation that all of this has caused his family. He doesn’t like the restrictions, the secrecy, the fear of being found out. He doesn’t like his wife giving in to all of this. His kids are pulling away from him, afraid of his anger. Gracie even worries that her parents will get divorced. What will it take to get them back together – a shared mystery? The return of Broussard, the catalyst of Resistance action?

The Terry Lennox search wasn’t surprising for Will to be doing. He has skills and empathy – he isn’t able, emotionally, to support his family right now, but he can’t stand back, drink, and do nothing. So he’s helping locate missing persons. And he’s eventually able to track down this one guy, one he thought was a victim of the Occupation, but who just turns out to be a scumbag escaping his family, impersonating his boss. And Will takes out his anger on the guy’s face, until he sees his reflection in the car door – and can’t believe the man he’s become.

I do wonder, though, if this will come back to be a problem for him. Lennox, as Crain, is working for the Seattle Initiative – and what exactly is that? It’s highly likely that his deception is already known to the higher-ups, who wouldn’t really care what name he uses. And if he’s that high up in the colony management, that could be Will’s undoing. They already know just who Will really is – maybe it’s time to grab him up and get him out of the way! Lennox wouldn’t hesitate to get some revenge for the beating, I’d bet.

Let’s Do the Time Warp Again

The show has had some huge time jumps since the end of Season 2. I feel like the time that the first two seasons covered was pretty linear – we can assume that there weren’t any large gaps from the pilot episode to the end of the second season. But Season 3 began with the Bowmans having been at the Big Bear cabin for six months already, and how long did it take to get there? How long did they spend at McGregor’s camp, and how long did it take them to get to Seattle? Maybe that’s a total of a month or so. And they’ve been in Seattle for, I’m guessing, at least six months (Katie did the Winslow’s intake interview four months prior; it would have taken the Bowmans a little while to get acclimated, settle in, get jobs, etc). So I think realistically, we can assume that it’s been about a year, or a little more, since the end of Season 2.

What does that do? Why the time warp? In fan Facebook groups, I often see people discussing things that haven’t happened in shows. “We’ve missed so much,” “I want to know what they were doing….” “Where are the pets/old people?” “How did that new plot point reach that stage?” There’s a lot of faith and assumption built into a show like Colony. If it isn’t relevant to the plot, you won’t see it – precious minutes won’t be spent on exposition about old people or how they cleared out apartment buildings for people to move into. You just have to assume that it happened “off stage,” so to speak, and it, like most of regular life, wasn’t interesting and didn’t further the immediate story. It’s not important to know how these apartment buildings were cleared, cleaned and ready for tenants; it’s only important to know they’re there – and WOW! there’s nobody living there, here’s the story!

A time jump lets emotions build. It lets Will get angrier and angrier, without us having to sit through all the little things that have happened but aren’t important to the ultimate plot. It lets Bram find a job, a girlfriend, an underground club – we don’t care how he gets there, but now we’ve got the set up for a story. (And in the case of Bram and Gracie, the actors have grown and changed, and definitely look older – how else would you account for that?) So don’t worry about what’s happened in the last six months. If it’s important to understanding the mysteries and story coming up, the writers will tell us, like the flashback with Kynes. We needed to know he’s the architect of the algorithm and of Seattle, but we don’t need to see his discussion with the higher ups.

My Boyfriend’s Back

Oh, Broussard, how we’ve missed you! It’s been at least six months of Colony time (only two weeks in real time) since you’ve appeared. But you’re back, and ready to dig into the mysteries. I loved seeing him just pop into Will’s cab like that. “Seattle’s an interesting city. I wanted to know what you thought of the place,” he says. We can be pretty sure he didn’t go through the “intake” process – he’s likely here incognito, under the radar – hopefully OFF the radar! Is Amy/Dispatch still with him? Is she a weak link – could she give him up? Or will we find out that they parted ways somewhere along the road? OOH! I’m shivering with anticipation.

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Get behind the scenes pictures, discussions, and the official Syfy Wire Podcast on Colony’s website!

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