Wow, there was a lot to observe, unpack and theorize about in the most recent episode of Colony. That’s one of my favorite things about this wonderful show. Most of this post will explore thoughts and theories about the new alien tech, the mystery of Blake Island, and some thoughts about Meadow’s Dad, with a rabbit trail regarding the guilt or innocence of Snyder.
Snyder’s Trip Behind the Curtain
The “mutant cabbage,” as Snyder calls it, looks an awful lot like the hydroponic lettuce I’m able to buy here in Upstate New York even in the middle of winter. With one big difference — no dirt around the roots.
Lettuce grows pretty quickly, even by regular Earth gardening standards. Weeks, not hours, of course, but still — if they can grow in 3 hours what normally takes 6 to 8 weeks, how long does it take them to grow oranges (which grow on trees that take years before they produce fruit). What about waffles? Wheat takes about 4 months to mature under regular Earth conditions, of course depending on the season (winter wheat takes longer), and then there are several labor-intensive steps between harvesting the wheat and having a waffle, or bread, ready to eat. We don’t see any evidence that the Hosts have shared technology on how to make ready-to-cook mini bread portions like Rey is shown making and eating in Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Nor do we know if they have some transmogrified chickens that lay an egg every 30 seconds, or cows that have been genetically altered to produce 100 gallons of milk each day while only consuming 1/4 of a pound of feed. And we haven’t seen any information about meat or fish. Being that it’s Seattle, I bet an Alien-augmented fishing industry could be something to behold.
I feel like we learned a lot of stuff about Seattle, Kynes, the Hosts and their technology in this episode (though, as usual, some of what we learned brought up new questions):
- The Hosts have technology that works with plant species from Earth (I mean, they apparently shared a growing technique and the recipe for the growth medium or “solution” as Kynes referred to it (solution meaning a liquid concoction, presumably, not the answer to a problem) rather than sharing an alien biological plant species).
- The Hosts have technology that is biological, not just machine.
- I wonder if the growing solution is related to the green goo we’ve seen being coughed up by the people in the capsules (much more on the capsule people below).
- The strange bullet-proof piece of technology Broussard recovered apparently came out of the same building where the super lettuce is grown.
- Broussard observed the men who responded to the crime scene. He said they were pros (despite the fact that they didn’t notice him standing on the roof watching them). He concluded they were looking for something — presumably the briefcase. So will this set off a big search like when the gauntlet was missing? I guess we’ll find out next week how valuable this stuff is.
- Vocabulary: the place where all of those pods are lined up is called “the holding facility” (by Kynes). It’s located on Blake island, and that alien structure right next to the island is “the launch platform,” according to Will. When Snyder is on the phone, he refers to it as the “Outlier facility.” He says there are plenty of empty capsules but “he’s definitely meeting his quota.”
- The room we first see with the rows of capsules contains, by my estimation after pausing and rewinding, probably 100 capsules. And the man was saw running came from a different room, so there must be more than that. To know what the “quota” is, we also have to know how long the interval is during which the capsules are filled with people before they’re sent off wherever they go and the process starts again.
- According to the Colony blog on the USA Network’s website, the number tattooed on the back of the Outlier is 24601, which was Jean Valjean’s prisoner number in Les Miserables. Is this a clue or just a fun little Easter egg?
One more note: I just love Snyder’s sarcastic reference to “mutant cabbage.” It was such understated sarcasm, since we have no evidence it was a mutant strain and it was, of course, clearly not cabbage. Snyder certainly has a way with words.
There’s been a lot of references to the Wizard of Oz — the Emerald City and the man behind the curtain. But Bram and Gracie talk about another Wizard, Merlin. I looked it up, and though most versions of Merlin’s story don’t have much to do with time travel, T.H. White’s Once and Future King portrays him as having been born backwards in time. But that doesn’t seem to mean he travels in time, just that he knows things that will happen in the future. I’m thinking this reference is just another one having to do with Wizards, but there may be a deeper clue here. What do you think?
Snyder and one of the guards at the holding facility used the word “Outlier.” I looked it up and it has several meanings:
- a person whose residence is at a distance;
- something that is situated away from or classed differently from a main body;
- a statistical observation that is markedly different in value from the others of the sample.
Wow, all of those seem to apply, if the theory we seem to be zeroing in on is correct:
- People are being sent places. Many are being sent to “Portland,” but some Outliers end up in these capsules. So every refugee is run through the algorithm and that determines where they go? I want to learn more about the criteria that decides where they each go.
- If Mr. 24601 is any indication, those in the capsules are in a category that is markedly different in physical prowess from the others on the bus to Portland.
- My theory is that the capsules and their occupants are destined to be sent to space. So the first definition fits as well.
- After watching the abilities of the man with the tattoo, my conclusion is that either they pick people who are extraordinarily physically fit, and maybe this man was just captured and his muscles haven’t had a chance to atrophy from being in the capsule, or maybe the green goo keeps or improves the subject’s physical health and fitness.
- The green goo is in their airways. They cough it up when they are removed from the capsules. And their nose and mouth are covered. Why do that if they’re staying in the Earth’s atmosphere? Unless the goal is really to improve their natural physical traits. I still think it’s there to help them breath and keep their lungs from collapsing in the vacuum of space, though why they’re put into the capsules before it’s time to blast off, I can’t begin to guess. A secondary theory that the goo gives them extraordinary abilities.
- I can’t wait to find out what the truth is!
So Broussard has been spying on a Courier who has some high level of security. We now know what was in the briefcase at the end of the day, but we still have questions. Here are some observations and questions:
- The Courier came out of the same building Kynes and Snyder were in, the building where Kynes showed Snyder the special lettuce. So I’m thinking the bullet-proof piece of tech they found in the briefcase is made there in that building, probably on a different floor from the lettuce lab.
- It seems like the Courier goes from place to place all day and makes exchanges. It was hard to see, but at one point, when it was still light out, we saw him at a sort of loading dock behind a chain link fence. It looked like he was turning over a briefcase and the people at the loading dock were loading a tall stack of dark containers into the back of his SUV. The stack was tall enough and heavy enough that the guy loading it was using a hand truck.
- Notice that Snyder asks Kynes if the Hosts shared other technology with him in addition to the fast-growing lettuce. Kynes says no, but once we see the special bullet-proof material, we know he’s lying. Snyder thought Kynes was hiding something and it turns out he was right.
My theory is that they’ve got the labs that make the special alien tech scattered about, to aid in keeping them secret. The Courier brings things from one to another. So, one lab makes the bullet-proof material and he brings it to another facility where they — make something out of it? I wonder what they’re making and whether the Hosts know about that . . .
Going back to the earlier flashback, we now know something of what Kynes wanted to discuss with the Hosts. He wanted to bargain to get access to their tech. And they gave it to him. So what did he offer them in exchange?
The Man in Uniform
Meadow, Bram’s girlfriend, said, “are you talking about my Dad?” when Bram said he thought she liked a man in uniform. So who is Meadow’s Dad?
My original theory was that he was the Courier, or one of the men providing security for the Courier, or one of the men Broussard saw investigating in the alley after their “op.” So I was thinking that maybe Meadow’s father was just killed, or there’d be a situation where Will is on one side as part of the people who attacked the courier and Bram would be on the other side, as Meadow’s boyfriend.
But then Tracey on Talk Colony mentioned the idea that Meadow’s Dad might be Commander Roger. At first, I thought that didn’t seem too likely, but they I noticed they replayed the scene when Commander Roger is introduced at the neighborhood event at the Dalton’s house, and they usually replay clips like that when they’re significant. Also, remember how Bram offered to take Gracie out to dinner that night — he conveniently made sure to be out of the house, because, as we find out later he already met Meadow’s family, he would have been recognized. But my question is, wouldn’t Commander Roger have known Bram’s last name and therefore he would have known Bram was the Dalton’s son.
Sounds like Will is bent on capturing Snyder and doing serious harm to him. But it seems to me that Broussard and Snyder each have at least one valuable piece of the same puzzle, and what I think will happen is that Snyder will talk his way out of being killed by offering up information and convincing Will and Broussard that the only way they can get more information is to let Snyder go back to his position with IGA so he can snoop and uncover what Kynes is up to.
I wonder if Bram is going to be called upon to help with the investigation of the assassination of the Courier and the theft of the briefcase, or the disappearance of Snyder that will clearly take place in this week’s episode. Bram seems quick to come up with a convincing lie — it will be interesting to see if this happens and how it plays out, and how it affects Bram’s relationship with Meadow and her family.
Katie is now in possession of some knowledge about where people are going, and Will has been investigating this kind of thing for a while now. Wouldn’t it be nice if the two of them compared notes and started working together? Somehow, I’m not holding my breath for that to happen in the next episode.
I’m interested to know what you think. Leave me a comment below.