This was an amazing episode. Lots to talk about. I’m going to talk about character stuff first and then focus on the theories.
Wow. I wasn’t expecting Bram to be “in” on the Op to capture Snyder. Not only is he in on it, he is aware of Will’s goal to kill Snyder. Let’s review the timeline:
- Will and Katie meet Commander Roger and Michelle suggests that Will apply for a Community Patrol job. Will says law enforcement isn’t his thing. This happens in episode 7.
- In that same episode, Bram goes to the job placement office seeking to be moved into a Community Patrol job.
- In Episode 8, Bram is in training with the Security Patrol and asks who is in charge of assigning shifts.
- Later, Will sees Snyder and bails on the Op, leaving Broussard and Amy to complete it without him.Before this, none of our characters knew Snyder was in Seattle.
- Still later, at home, Katie tells Will that Bram has a job with the Security Patrol and Will says, “Good for Bram!” and storms out.
- Presumably the next morning (it’s daylight), Will talks to Broussard about interrogating Snyder and then makes it clear he wants to kill him when Snyder is finished.
- In Episode 9, we see Bram switching shifts to get the downtown beat, using a story about wanting to meet up with his girlfriend.
So it’s clear Bram is in on the operation by the beginning of Episode 9 when he switches shifts, but why would he have asked about assigning shifts in the middle of episode 8, before any of them knew Snyder was in Seattle? What makes the most sense is that Will asked Bram to help with the Snyder operation after Katie mentioned to him that Bram was working for the Community Patrol.
“You talked me into helping you, and now when we finally have him, you can’t pull the trigger.” I would have loved to have heard that conversation. I bet it was very short. Will: “Wanna help me kill Snyder?” Bram: “I’m in.”
“Snyder ordered his guards to shoot [Bram’s friends.] They fell into the dumpster like garbage. He didn’t have the balls to shoot them himself and neither do you.” “If we left him on the side of the road like we should have, Charlie would still be alive.” Bram hasn’t forgiven Snyder for the friends’ deaths, but has totally forgotten these points:
- Snyder’s explanation that he was attempting to save the rest of the labor camp; and
- The labor camp was destroyed by the RAPs, which both proves Snyder’s story that the RAPs will retaliate with deadly force, and puts Bram in Snyder’s debt — he could have left Bram there to die; and
- If the greyhats had not shown up when they did, Charlie might still be alive, but he and Gracie would be orphans because Will, Katie and Bram would have been killed.
Bram sees the world as very black and white, much like a lot of young people do. He’s also idealistic — he wants to believe Seattle is what the propaganda promised.
What’s Gracie Up To?
The Daleys pointed out that Gracie’s interaction with her parents, and especially Katie, seemed a little odd in this episode. I agree. I think a girl who spent at least 6 months on the run, living in various places including an underground bunker and a resistance camp, and also a cramped cabin with 5 other people, would probably not be bothered much by the small noises of her parents getting ready for work.
My initial thought was that this was a reminder that Katie and Will are keeping completely different schedules and both of them seem to be putting work ahead of Gracie in their list of priorities. I did think it was kind of awkward writing, to have this scene remind us about that, but after listening to the Daley’s podcast, I’m wondering if there’s more going on here.
I did notice Will made a special effort to interact with Gracie and Katie before they all went their separate ways for the day, and it seems like he took the time to fix the door, because later it seems to be working fine. I think he knew he was about to enter into a risky operation and wanted to part from his family on good terms in case he was arrested or worse.
Gracie tells Katie she thinks Bram has a girlfriend, when we know for sure she knows he does. I think this is just her way of trying to get Katie and Bram to talk about this. I’m thinking Katie’s remark about Gracie being smart means Katie already suspected something, but I could be wrong about that.
What’s next for Katie and Will?
I’m hoping they’re turning a corner and that they start working together again. The clips from next week’s show hint that I’m right.
Snyder’s Next Move
Our former Proxy sure does think fast on his feet (and also while sitting on his butt on a toilet). But we know he told some lies:
- About his schedule: “Nothing until breakfast.”
- When asked why the IGA wanted Snyder to dig up dirt on Kynes, he said it’s above his paygrade, though he later elaborated that it had something to do with the material in the briefcase.
- Once it’s clear they’re looking for him, he quickly blurts out: “Maybe they have my schedule wrong. Maybe I forgot a meeting.” Even Amy doesn’t buy that one.
- Snyder claims that he had nothing to do with calling the grayhats at the resistance camp. “The signal came from the Host.” It seems like it could be true, but Will isn’t buying it. Too bad Will wasn’t more interested in knowing why Snyder wanted to leave the camp, when they were still at the camp.
- “I buried Charlie.” Maybe he wishes he’d done that, but as we see in the clips they showed from previous episodes, he clearly saw Charlie’s body and then hurried off to get on with his trip to Switzerland. It’s possible he made some calls and arranged for him to be buried, after he requested the report we see him reading in the middle of the night in his posh Switzerland townhouse. But that was likely days after Charlie was killed, so it seems like the opportunity would have been passed by then.
Thanks to Broussard and Amy, he now has a hint about what Kynes is up to. We believe it’s true that Snyder doesn’t know what that material is; he’s never seen it before, but he clearly makes the connection that it’s what Kynes is hiding. Too bad he can’t just work with Broussard, Amy and the Bowmans, I bet they’d uncover things faster if they worked together.
Why didn’t Snyder rat out Will and the rest of the crew? I think it’s mostly guilt, but also, I think he’s got the germ of an idea in the back of his mind. He’d rather Kynes doesn’t know that Snyder knows about the bulletproof material.
I wonder — I know Will put Snyder’s phone in his hotel room so it couldn’t give away his location, but wouldn’t the hotel have security cameras? Now that Snyder has returned, would his security detail be curious and try to see where he went? or if his disappearance is reported to Kynes, I can see Kynes accessing the camera feeds to find out what Snyder was up to.
The Algorithm and the Outliers
Some fans are disappointed we didn’t learn more from Snyder. But we have to realize that we, as fans, already knew much more than Broussard and a bit more than Snyder. So what the interrogation accomplished is this:
- Broussard, Amy and Will learned about the Algorithm and the Outliers and, if they hadn’t heard it already, they heard the name Everett Kynes and learned the IGA isn’t so thrilled with what he’s up to.
- Snyder learned at least one of the secrets that Kynes is hiding from the IGA.
We also learned some things that our characters have yet to find out, most notably from the opening sequence which showed the previous day from the point of view of David Javor, the courier who was ambushed by Broussard and Amy. Here’s the sequence of events:
- David the Courier enters Kynes’ office. Kynes directs him to a briefcase that “just came off the plane.” He opens it and we see it contains 6 round petrie-dish-like things and 6 long things that look like they could be hypodermic needles. Each seems to have both a white label and be filled with colored substances. Orange and green and yellow; each seems to have a different color.
- Kynes says that David is to drop the briefcase off at Hendrix and then get over to the lab because “we have a sample that needs to be transported to prototyping.” It’s clear from what we see next and from last week’s episode that the sample is the material Broussard and Amy retrieve.
- David arrives at the “lab,” which is in the same building as the lab where they are growing what Snyder refers to as the “mutant cabbage.” A technician is testing the bulletproof material. She has a drone hooked up to cables and when she presses a button on her computer, it makes the drone fire at the sample. So she has control of the drone — I bet Snyder doesn’t know that, either.
- David gets into the SUV and tells the driver to “head to Joplin.” Of course, they never arrive there because they are ambushed by Broussard and crew. The driver makes a radio call and IDs himself as “Ravenwood.”
It’s even more clear than before that the bulletproof material is almost see-through. It’s not completely clear, like glass, but in the lab it looks much lighter in color than it did in Amy’s back yard. We’ve seen this stuff before, but we learn some new things in this episode:
- The IGA knows nothing about it.
- Even the Drones’ blasts don’t penetrate this material. It’s hard to tell because the lab has more lighting than Amy’s backyard, but the drone blast seems to have a bit more affect on the material than the bullet Broussard fired, but by the time the tech has walked across to the briefcase, the material has fully recovered its normal appearance.
- Kynes says the sample is headed for “prototyping.” So that means they’re going to make something with it. I wonder if the Hosts know about that.
- Broussard and Will spent time researching David’s schedule, so they would know where to ambush him. That means that he regularly visits this lab and then always heads off in the same direction, cutting through this alley. So does that mean they have samples of this stuff every day?
Another interesting tidbit we learn from the lab sequence: they’ve got a drone hooked up to cables and are able to control it. I wonder if the Hosts approved that or if Kynes is doing things the Hosts don’t even know about.
What we don’t know:
- Do they have more of this material or is this their only sample? Because, remember, this sequence was a flashback, and that sample is now with Broussard and Amy. Does Kynes have more or can he get more?
- Is Kynes making something with this material to help the RAPs or to use to defend against their attacks?
I’m really more interested in the briefcase we see at the very beginning of the episode. It “just came off the plane.” What plane? RAPs don’t fly planes, do they? so is this something from the IGA? I’m really confused and don’t know what to make of this (both what’s in it and where it came from) except to store it away in the memory bank as another piece of the puzzle that hopefully will make more sense when we have a few other pieces.
We also learned a new vocabulary term: “stasis chamber.” Stasis means balance, equilibrium or stability, but it also has an ominous meaning if you consider the context in our show: “a slowing or stoppage of the normal flow of a bodily fluid.”
Snyder says the stasis chambers used to go to space but now they’re stored on Blake Island (or under it). So it seems this change in location lines up with the destruction of the Factory, which is something Snyder did not share with our characters.
Who’s Giving the Answers Here?
I also thought there was a moment when all of our interrogators started leaping to their own conclusions rather than asking Snyder for more details:
- Broussard makes the leap that the people the drones don’t kill are destined for the stasis chambers, but he never asks if that’s true.
- It’s sort of implied that while Snyder knows the people in the stasis chambers are biological weapons of some kind, he doesn’t know exactly how that works. It would have been nice if they’d have questioned him further to get every last detail that he knows, though.
- Snyder says the Outliers are a “special group” with “special privileges.” But what is the privilege? not being killed by drones so you can later still be alive to be stuffed into a stasis chamber? Sounds like a much-sought-after privilege indeed.
- And we still don’t know this: if Will is indeed earmarked to be the occupant of one of those chambers, why has he not been apprehended when there have been significant periods of time when they knew where to find him — first in LA and now in Seattle.
- Many of the Outliers are ex-military, but not all. Some are scientists and engineers. We know this by looking at the screen shots from the computer dossier Broussard saw in the SUV near the end of season 2, and also from the investigative work that Will has been doing in Seattle. There’s something more going on here than just making really strong soldiers.
- We still don’t know how the running Outlier we saw at the beginning of episode 8 got loose. In season 2, we saw a man taken and placed into a stasis chamber in San Fernando. It wasn’t like they handcuffed him and drove him somewhere and then put him in the chamber. He was put in the chamber right away, so how did our well-muscled prisoner escape? Do they capture them differently in Seattle? Does being in the chambers cause them to get stronger and thus able to break out of the chambers? Was this one just hungry and looking for a loaf of bread? Is he an anomaly or are they often breaking out of their chambers?
The Daleys pointed out that Amy interrupted the interrogation to conclude the RAPs are building an army, and then later they seemed to think Amy is not to be trusted because she tried to talk Will out of killing Snyder. But I want to point out:
- Amy isn’t the only one who jumped to a conclusion and didn’t ask for verification. Broussard concluded people who the drones don’t kill are on the list to be put into one of the stasis chambers, but he never asked Snyder for more details about that. Either the writers are using this sequence partly as exposition so we, the viewers, understand what’s going on, or are our characters jumping to the wrong conclusions? Or, is Amy deliberately trying to mislead them?
- Amy is a doctor, so she has an extra motivation for wanting to save any human life, and she also has observed people similar to Will. She knows the affect it will have on Will and may be trying to save him from himself. It may be true that she’s not to be trusted, but I think it’s equally possible that she is just a good doctor.
Are the RAPs purely Evil?
Tracey and Jay on the Talk Colony podcast asked whether we think the RAPs are good or bad? I’m going to phrase it a slightly different way: are they purely evil, or does their situation justify what they are doing? Lots of things to think about here:
- The captured RAP said they consider themselves our “allies.” Assuming the RAP is telling the truth, we have to consider
- Do the RAPs understand what humans mean when they use the word Allies? The RAP seemed to be struggling with the language, so this word may have a different meaning to them than to us.
- The RAPs are not flesh and blood. Do they understand the value we place on human lives? If there are only a few hundred of these entities, do they see how many millions of humans there are and conclude each one has much less value because there are so many of us?
- And we also can wonder if they can understand the value we place on freedom, and how being oppressed and being forced to work in unhealthy conditions and being confined to walled-in colonies would be something many of us would be willing to risk our lives to fight against.
- The other question I have is which human organization/entity/country first negotiated with the RAPs and what did the negotiation entail?
- There was a scene at the beginning of season 2, episode 2, identified as having taken place in 1969. I went back and watched it several times to clarify details:
- There are 4 men sitting at a table and listening to a tape of transmissions from the Apollo mission. They also have some still images of the Moon. From their discussion, this happened after the Apollo mission was over, because there has been time to do detailed audio analysis of the tapes, to isolate the sound and analyze it.
- 3 of the men speak in American accents but the 4th speaks in a European accent. This man is also the only one in what looks to be an expensive wool 3-piece suit. He’s the one who says, “We need to send a response.”
- Another man theorizes that the “thing” the astronauts photographed on the dark side of the Moon is “some kind of beacon.” The conclusion is that this is when humans first attempted to communicate with the RAPs.
- So from this we can conclude that it wasn’t just Americans involved in the attempt to contact them.
- We don’t know what choices the RAPs presented to the humans they were negotiating with. Was it the choice between a rock and a hard place (be completely annihilated or work with us and it won’t be fun for many of you, but your species will survive) or was there an alternative where Earth was completely spared and the RAPs and their enemies went off to fight in a different galaxy? My guess is that if the RAPs had placed some hardware on our Moon, we didn’t have the “get off scott-free” option.
- What we can’t tell is what authority the human negotiators had to negotiate on behalf of the entire planet. Was the UN involved or was it a completely secret operation? And along with that, did the RAPs believe the negotiators had authority to negotiate on behalf of the entire planet, or did they know that most of humanity was completely in the dark as their futures were being decided?
- There was a scene at the beginning of season 2, episode 2, identified as having taken place in 1969. I went back and watched it several times to clarify details:
I have said before that I’m supposing the machine-like bodies the RAPs have may have been a way for the RAPs to outlive their flesh-and-blood bodies and thus be able to travel light-years through space. But also that, because they don’t have flesh-and-blood bodies, maybe they can’t really empathize with us. So their arrangement may seem very reasonable to them, while it’s completely unacceptable to us.
The other factor in this is the unknown race of other aliens, the enemies of the RAPs, who we learned about at the beginning of the current season. Will and Katie found a crashed ship and they saw a body with flesh (and very long fingers), not a machine. So the question is, does this other race actually have more in common with us than the RAPs? Is it too late to form an alliance with them against the RAPs?
Wow, it seems like it’s been forever since last week’s episode, and yet, as I type this, there are still more than 24 hours left before the next episode. Time is dragging . . . but also moving really fast, because we now have only 4 episodes left in the season, and after this week’s episode, there will only be 3 more.
I am worried that they haven’t renewed Colony yet, and then I remember that last year, they renewed it right at the end. And then I remember that last year, the “end” was in May, not July. So I don’t know what to think, except, at least they haven’t canceled it. Please, USA Network, renew our favorite show!
Let me know what you think about anything I’ve talked about by posting in the comments below.