This post contains spoilers up through season 3 episode 2 of Colony. You have been warned.
My mouth was literally hanging open after watching the “cold open” scene at the beginning of last week’s episode of Colony (“Puzzle Man”). We learned so much new information and new events literally changed the landscape (or, rather, the moonscape) while we watched.
I’ll have more to say about that in a minute, but first, here are some random thoughts:
- There is a scene that was in the trailer for this season and has been in every “previously on Colony” since: the scene from last season’s finale episode that shows Maddie and a group of LA residents looking up toward the RAP ships, apparently about to be “renditioned.” Are they just trying to remind us that people we care about are in the Factory, or are they telling us that Maddie is still alive and we’ll see her again? (more on that later).
- Bram is acting very confident and mature.
- I really like the hexagon structure on the hull of the crashed spaceship that Will and Katie investigate — I know that wasn’t in this episode, but they keep replaying it and each time I see it, I want to reach out and break off one of those loose hexagon tiles. If I were Katie, I think I would have taken one as a souvenir (though after what happened to B.B., you have to be careful with alien artifacts).
What Happened to Maddie?
I really hope the fact that they keep showing Maddie from last season means we’ll see her again. I have a couple of ideas of how she could have survived:
- She could have run back inside just before the crowd she’s shown with were launched into space. Clearly, not every person in LA was “renditioned.” Broussard wasn’t. And as we listen to Broussard’s radio conversations, we realize that each of the other “stations” regularly has several “passengers,” so people are being located and moved to the relative safety of, I assume, the San Fernando bloc. Maddie could be one of them.
- Another possibility was suggested by Broussard’s discussion with Claire about how the San Fernando bloc was filled with “Greatest Day Holy Rollers.” So, what if the evacuation wasn’t totally fake? What if some of the Greatest Day people were able to, or allowed to, actually put some people onto the buses and get them to San Fernando before the rendition occurred? I wondered something about one of the scenes in the season 2 finale: they showed people being herded onto buses and told to surrender their luggage and identification, and that they’d be given new identification when they arrived at their destination. But if they were going to the Factory, they’d be stripped later anyway, so why would it matter if they had ID or not? The fact that they specifically mentioned ID made me wonder when I first saw it, and I’m thinking maybe it was part of the plan to save as many of the “faithful” as possible by getting them out of the LA bloc and giving them new identities.
- Hudson: I still believe that Hudson is safe somewhere. He was put on a bus with a bunch of kids from the upper echelon families, and he is likely to be safe somewhere. Maybe he’s even in the same place as Snyder’s daughter.
- Purple: if we didn’t remember from before, Broussard confirmed that purple is the signature color of the Greatest Day Movement. There’s a scene in the trailer for season 3 that shows a group of young people, some wearing purple headbands, watching an alien ship over a city surrounded by a wall. I can’t wait to see the whole scene this shot came from. I hope we learn more about the Greatest Day movement and what they’re really up to, and maybe where Hudson is and possibly Maddie and/or Snyder’s daughter, too.
I haven’t made it a secret that Bram is my favorite character on Colony, though I know I’m in a very small minority. I’m really amazed at the new dynamic in the Bowman family in this episode and even at the end of the last one.
- Near the beginning of the last episode we saw Katie and Will discussing Bram and his radio activity, but not really coming to a decision. And then, of course, all hell broke loose.
- Then we see Bram setting up the sound effects diversion with the tape player and reminding them that they have 2 minutes of gun fire noise to cover their retreat.
- Later, Bram uses the radio to contact the resistance. We never see his parents giving him permission, or even their reaction, just Charlie telling Bram, from inside the truck, that “Dad says to say ‘Over.’ ” But we never see his parents acting as if they disapproved, so either they gave their consent or just gave up trying to rein him in.
- When they get to the bridge, Bram says he should go meet the woman from the resistance since he’s the one who contacted them. If you didn’t know the family relationship and you watched just that scene, I think you’d conclude these were 3 unrelated adults, none of whom had authority over the others. Will has some good reasons to be cautious or abort the plan altogether, but he’s over-ruled. There’s clearly a glance, some unspoken communication between Katie and Will. He’s clearly not fully comfortable with this plan but he doesn’t suggest another one.
- Role reversal: Bram’s parting word to his father also did not seem like a teen talking to his Dad: “Hey, you be careful.”
- I just want to point out that we didn’t see Bram whining once during this episode.
The Empty LA Bloc
- One of the things I’ve wondered about since the end of season 2 was what happened to the LA Bloc, and I’m glad we got to see a bit of that. I thought they did a good job showing Broussard going around to various locations, so we got a sense of empty, untouched buildings and the occasional drone flying about. Broussard’s explanation of a skeleton crew guarding things makes sense, especially considering:
- Some or all of the Red Hats in LA probably ended up in the factory or shot. There was a scene that indicated that in the season 2 finale.
- The RAP resources are suddenly needed elsewhere, though Broussard doesn’t know it yet.
- It’s clear Broussard, like the Bowmans, has set up some booby traps to alert him of unwanted visitors.
- I’m very interested to learn more about what is in those shredded letters (more on that later).
Plot Devises to Move Things Forward
We’ve had 2 episodes where we’ve seen our characters content to stay where they are, for the most part, and yet forced or strongly encouraged to move on.
- I thought everything that happened to the Bowmans in episode 1 rang true, but the decision to allow themselves be put on the train seemed out of character, trusting someone they just met, someone who isn’t offering so much as her name or any explanation about where they’re going. These are the same people who had a back-up cabin, traps in the woods and a complete evacuation plan. I’m willing to overlook this because I think this is a plot devise to get the Bowmans quickly to a new location relatively far away and in touch with a new group without knowing much about it, so they can slowly reveal some secrets. But I’m hoping we see them making decisions that are more true-to-character as they move forward.
- Some comments on location:
- I predicted that when the Bowman’s left the bloc, they’d try to head for Big Bear and attempt to meet up with Bo.
- If you listen closely to the Global Defense Minister, as Helena is approaching him, he is saying that one of the alien ships crashed in the San Bernadino Mountains.
- I’m far from an expert on California geography, but Google maps tells me that Big Bear is either in or near these mountains. So it’s safe to conclude that’s where the Bowmans are in episode 1. And we already established they wouldn’t be able to drive all the way to Seattle with the gas in the pickup truck.
- So an automated train is as good a way as any to get them quickly to Seattle. It would be hard to believe Gracie and Snyder could walk all that way.
- As a side note, I do think Broussard might walk much or all of the way, and have some adventures on the way, from the clips we’ve seen so far. I think that’s great because I want to get a clearer idea of what it’s like outside the colonies and the Bowman’s cabin didn’t do that for me.
- We still don’t know Dispatch’s name. She clearly doesn’t have any military training. She has no idea what happened to the passengers and the transfer crew, only that they’re gone, and she has no experience with weapons. So she needs Broussard to go with her, but she seems tough and her medical skills can make up for her lack of combat experience. I think she makes a good partner for Broussard and it’s believable that he would go with her.
The Big Mysteries
What the RAPs are up to, What the Resistance is doing and Other Speculations
What we’ve just learned:
- Helena is in — I’m going to guess maybe Switzerland? It’s night time but out her window we see the view includes a steep mountain and the same kind of structure we saw when she was speaking in front of the Global Authority at the beginning of season 2 (see picture). It’s snowing out.
- The Hosts have a “defense grid” but it wasn’t complete.
- The other aliens (“bogeys”) penetrated the grid and destroyed the Factory. Therefore the grid wasn’t meant to just protect Earth but, at the very least, the Moon as well.
- Three of the alien ships were damaged, presumably by the Hosts fighting back, and entered our atmosphere and presumably crashed.
- The Factory was destroyed.
- The Factory was clearly doing work that was needed to complete the defense grid and would be needed to rebuild it.
- The Hosts thought we’d have years to prepare but it sounds like that’s not the case. The Chancellor’s reply to Helena’s question about how long we might have is a vague, “Not long.”
- Broussard uncovers information in the Transitional Authority’s offices that indicates the plan was to empty LA and repopulate it and use it to build a “bio-weapon.” The woman known so far only as Dispatch says they are doing the same thing in Seattle, which was renditioned a year ago.
- Some of the works that are visible on one of Broussard’s puzzle pages: Group D . . . Operation Sea Spray . . . biological targeting criteria
We also know a couple of other things from previous seasons:
- The part of the Factory where Carlos worked contained huge vats or tanks, and workers were shown with large hoses, screwing them to valves on the tanks. Other workers had carts with various sized small containers on them. We know the work was not particularly conducive to good health, but it was unclear if the workers were exposed to something toxic or just that the working conditions were extremely poor.
- Certain humans are specifically targets to be put in special pods and transported off-planet. We believe Will is one of these, and since we know both Will and Broussard were spared by the lethal drones, we assume Broussard is also on the list. An analysis of the screen shots of other names in the dossier does not provide a clear reason why they would be targeted since not all of the people were soldiers.
- Early on the day of the Arrival, 7 VIPs went missing from the LA area. These were the Deputy Director of Central Intelligence, an official with the Defense Nuclear Agency, 3 senior military offices and the Chief Engineers of Lockheed and Boeing. More were taken as the day progressed. We know those who took them were ruthless, shooting the housekeeper of Tim Lawes, the Lockheed engineer, while Mr. Lawes hid in his panic room. Lawes explained that he was on a list. “I’m not supposed to talk about this,” he said. The list included about 1200 people in the US. “In the event of a major catastrophe — nuclear war, terrorism, natural disaster, that sort of thing, we all get sequestered. When society ends, we’re the ones who are responsible for rebooting it.”
So here are some thoughts and conclusions based on this information:
- I’m not an engineer, but it seems to me that a “defense grid” and “bio-weapon” are not the same thing.
- I wonder if you wanted to build a defense grid, maybe you’d capture people like the 1200 on the list mentioned above and take them to a secure location and make them work for you. We thought they were all killed, because the Hosts seemed to have killed so many people at the time of the Arrival, but maybe these people were singled out for another purpose?
- Clearly we’ll learn a lot when we get to find out what’s happening in Seattle.
- There’s someone in charge of the resistance camp, someone we haven’t yet seen. Vincent is told he can’t see “him” because he violated orders in going to get the Bowmans. So that leaves me with 2 questions: why would going to get the gauntlet be against orders? wouldn’t they want it? And who is “him”? Is he a human or a RAP? or maybe he’s one of the other alien species?
- Why don’t we know Dispatch’s name yet? She seems to trust Broussard and he seems to trust her, but I’m not sure about her yet. I’m sure we’ll learn more about her in coming weeks. I’m interested to see what happens with that.
- At the end of episode 1, Katie and Will take a look at a small space craft that crashed in the woods. Clearly nowhere near as big as the one they saw that was damaged, that flew overhead and crashed on the other side of the mountains. So who’s side is this ship on?
Things that are coming up
Don’t keep reading if you don’t even want a hint of spoilers
Take a look at the picture on the right and then visit Wayne Brady’s Instagram to watch this video. Specifically take note of the clothing he’s wearing and read the caption on Instagram.
Seems to me his meeting with one of the Hosts did not go as well as the meeting Snyder had in season 1.
But I wonder something — Snyder is shown wearing a warm jacket and a hat or ear muffs or something. It’s cold in the chamber he meets the RAP in. Also, the people performing and witnessing the transfer of the round “core” thing from one RAP suit to another in season 2 are wearing warm weather clothing, too. Brady’s character looks like he’s wearing a fencing outfit. So is he meeting a RAP or is he meeting one of the RAP’s enemies?
There’s another thing I am interested to see: take a look at the picture on the right. Broussard is making his way north mostly on foot. I’m excited to see what/who he encounters and the circumstances of people who are not inside one of the colonies. I find this kind of thing very interesting. Like the Walking Dead without zombies, we get to see what people do and how they survive under these apocalyptic circumstances.