I have lots of legitimate questions and thoughts about the latest episode of my favorite TV show, USA Network’s Colony. But first, some random rants and silly observations — as always, there will be Spoilers:
- “The RAPs have enemies?” says Bram. But Will said this exact same thing when he and Snyder were on the mountain overlook in episode 1 of season 3.
- “It’s time to start talking,” says Katie to Snyder. I’d say it’s well past time for all of this group to start talking. Apparently, Will never told Bram what they found out about the crashed spaceship, and Bram never asked? They never grilled Snyder about what he knew from being part of the IGA? After Bram contacted the woman on the radio, they had 24 hours (or was it 48 hours?) to wait. What were they talking about? the weather?
- Maybe Snyder got hold of a really ill-fitting pair of boots? Seems a little unlikely that one would just fall off, though . . .
- MacGregor “built this camp before the arrival” but after he “skipped bail.” He certainly wouldn’t have gone back to the same cabin he was in before, since the FBI had ransacked it and knew its location. So he built one exactly like it, and then a bunch more? Are they supposed to be built out of whatever he could find? and he what he found was a bunch of panels of some kind of frosted glass or plastic? And there are lots of cables running from building to building, and light fixtures attached to the outside next to the doors. So where does the camp get its power?
- They’re hiding in the woods but they have loudspeakers that make loud, annoying wake-up noises? And they’re clearly not worried about walker drones like the Bowmans were at their cabin. Are they just lucky to be in a location where there are no walker drones? and this location is also within a few hours’ walk of the train tracks used by the supply trains? Seems like this might be fishy, if you ask me.
- Baker 5 has been hiding out for 2 years with only a radio for company. It seems he’d have enough experience to know he shouldn’t give his location over the air to Tanya 2? Especially if he knows she’s already messed up once before and broke protocol, using someone’s real name. Why not pick a neutral location to meet?
What is Vincent thinking?
Vincent said something about how things were “before,” referring to what MacGregor was like in the early days of the camp or something like that. And we’re told that Vincent helped capture the RAP. He has a history with MacGregor.
The cold open gives us some context for MacGregor’s character. He claims to have a platform, people who believe him. I’m guessing Vincent was a true believer.
Listening to how MacGregor talks to the crowd after displaying the RAP’s trussed-up body tells us how he influences people and gets them to do what he wants without their even realizing that he’s using propaganda. He shows them “evidence,” (the RAPs body), then tells them something true (the RAP spoke and something about what it said), then spins it (claiming the RAP is really telling lies), then he tells them how smart they are (they’re too smart to fall for the RAP’s lies) and reminds them of all the bad things the RAPs have done, and then convinces them that a bold move to destroy the RAP and deliver a “devastating strike to the heart of the collaborationist military apparatus” is the only appropriate response, and they all start cheering.
The Bowmans are appalled at these plans, but Vincent is of two minds. Part of him agrees with the Bowmans, but part of him, the part of him who is still a true follower of MacGregor, wants to believe MacGregor is right. I think this is why he eventually lowers his gun and goes along with MacGregor instead of sticking with the Bowmans.
What’s Going on Behind the Scenes?
I feel like there are some things happening that we can’t see, and they are affecting what’s happening to our characters. Here’s a run-down:
- The IGA and the Grey Hats are actively looking for the resistance and the missing host, if not also the gauntlet. They’re not just sitting on their thumbs waiting for Snyder to push that button again.
- Something happened in LA that got in the way of Claire and Owen’s trip to San Fernando, and resulted in “Dispatch” getting wounded, possibly some of the other station masters being killed and the disbanding of the operation. Seems like the IGA caught up with them and shut them down. It’s surprising that Amy and Broussard were able to just walk out of the LA bloc. But more on that in a minute.
- Somebody tipped the Grey Hats off to the location of Baker 5, and now he’s dead too.
- Baker 5 gave his location over the air to Amy. And soon after, Grey Hats with guns are closing in, and almost immediately, Baker 5 is dead.
- Baker 5 is worried that the Camp had gone dark, but he leaves the bus and uses the radio to contact someone, after which he gives Amy the coordinates of the Camp’s location. No one’s supposed to know the camp’s location, but they’ve just announced the coordinates over the air?
- Either someone is listening in, or someone is a traitor. Here are the possibilities as I see it:
- Either Amy is a traitor; or
- Baker 5 is a traitor; or
- The Grey Hats are listening to the airwaves, and Amy and Baker 5 are not as careful as they could be.
I favor the 3rd option. And the conclusion I’ve drawn is that the Camp’s location was compromised and that’s what happened to cause it to be empty when Amy and Broussard arrived. The IGA was listening when Baker 5 apparently contacted someone by radio to get the camp’s location.
But I’m still puzzled about why it was so easy to leave the bloc after whatever happened to compromise their little operation with the radio and the passengers. Either something is very inconsistent with their security forces or they had a reason to let either Broussard or Amy get out of the bloc. If they “let” them leave, that probably is not good.
I feel like Amy can be trusted. I don’t think she’s deliberately trying to lure Broussard into a trap or doing anything nefarious, but I do think she has a secret, or at least something we’ve yet to learn about her that is significant. Maybe it has something to do with her necklace, or Lawrence.
I want to know where these various locations are:
- MacGregor’s resistance camp
- The green glowing structure with the hexagonal shaped building blocks that seems to give off a strong magnetic field.
Here are some thoughts and clues:
- Katie says the spaceship crash near their cabin in episode 1 was in “northern California.” So I guess my theory that it was near Big Bear was wrong.
- The train ride the Bowmans and Snyder took was at least several hours long, as it was daylight when they got on and fully dark out when they got off. But we don’t really know how long they were on the train.
- Interestingly, when they boarded the train, their radio contact did something to stop the train that gave them a 60 second window, but when they got off the train, they seemed to have more time and no fear of discovery. So the train just stops and sits unattended for a period of time when it reaches its destination, or at some point on the way. I guess this is something they plan to use to their advantage to send their bomb on its way?
- The green magnetic structure is in between LA and San Francisco. We know this because they saw it before they got to Baker 5’s location and we see them overlooking the San Francisco colony as Amy is getting a meeting location from Baker 5.
- It seems to take Broussard and Amy quite a while to walk to the Camp. I did some math. Google Maps tells me it’s 856 miles from San Francisco to Seattle. (Of course, we don’t know if the Camp is near Seattle or not.) Google says it would take 274 hours to walk that distance, but I think that’s supposing walking on pavement, so it’s not accurate for hiking in the woods. I’m thinking they can walk 2-3 miles in an hour and maybe walk for 12 hours a day. If we do an average of 2.5 miles an hour, they cover about 30 miles per day. So if the camp is close to Seattle, it could take just under 30 days to walk there, at the minimum. But they have to look for food and devise ways to cross bodies of water — I’m assuming they were crossing some part of the body of water that is the series of bays where the Sacramento River empties into San Francisco Bay, where we saw them with the raft. I’m sure it took some time to build a raft and they probably spent some time scouting around to see if there was a bridge before deciding they had to swim for it. The RAPs may have destroyed lots of the bridges to make it hard for anyone to travel if they happened to be hiding out in the areas outside the colonies. Conclusion: the time jump could be 1 to 2 months.
The Time Jump
I was not at all happy with the time jump. I’ve been watching The Walking Dead and I was very confused in the most recent season with the timeline. The jumping around that they did was often confusing and I don’t want that kind of thing to happen in Colony. Time travel generally hurts my head, even if it’s just figuring out what time it will be if we travel to a different time zone or when we switch to Daylight Savings Time.
I understand they may have a reason to do this, such as getting Broussard and the Bowmans into the same location without making us believe both groups, separately, got train rides. So here are my stipulations on ways the time jump can work and be acceptable and not confusing:
- It might be a teaser. Episode 5 might show us what happened when we last left the Bowmans and then explain how they passed the rest of the intervening time. Or,
- Episode 5 might start with the Bowmans in a new location and then give us a flashback to what happened at the camp.
Either way, by the end of Episode 5, the time jump needs to be over and explained and we then keep moving forward. No little bits of time travel or short flash-ahead scenes that show us random things from the future with no explanation.
One note: I don’t mind flashbacks when they are clearly explained as such. I liked the flashback to the day of the Arrival in the first episode of season 2, and I liked the opener of this episode which was clearly a flashback for MacGregor’s character. And time jumps when we move ahead in time can be okay if they’re done well. We just need to be clear about what’s happening and when.
Here are some things I hope we’ll learn:
- What’s Amy’s back story? Is she hiding something?
- What’s happening in Seattle? I can’t wait to find out . . .
- How did they capture the RAP, exactly? And what happened to their RAP’s gauntlet? no one is even asking this question . . .
- The man they show interrogating MacGregor in the cold open is the same man who told Snyder he had to stay with the Bowmans until he “had eyes on the missing Host” in episode 1. His name is Lt. Scott Garland. I want to know more about him and his position.
- Are we ever going to see Maddie again? Do the Bowmans think she’s in the Factory? Is/was she actually in the Factory? When will the Bowmans learn the fate of the Factory? I know there are other characters we wonder about: Bo (he’s at Big Bear); Jennifer (she’s dead); Nolan (reunited with his charming wife at the Factory before it was destroyed); But Maddie and Hudson are family and we need to at least learn their fates for certain. All of the shots showing Maddie’s face in the teasers for the earliest episodes of this season make me think we’ll see her again.
- Last season, Noa said their group had a secure location in the desert and the marine colleague of Broussard with the Bugs Bunny tattoo was in charge. Will asked Vincent about him and was told he didn’t make it. Will told Vincent almost the exact same thing. So both of these men are satisfied with these completely detail-less answers? Vincent knew Noa in person — you’d think he’d want to know more about what happened to her. And I’m pretty sure there’s something important we aren’t being told about the fate of the man with the Bugs Bunny tattoo.
What do you think? Leave a comment and let me know.