TV Review: Colony (Series 2, Episode 3)
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‘Sublimation' is likely Colony’s best episode since its inception. And in the show’s true fashion, it’s achieved this in the most underrated way. While Will, Davon and Charlie work their way out of the Santa Monica bloc and over the wall, Katie is sought out by Jennifer, who demands she reveal Broussard’s whereabouts in exchange for keeping her involvement with the Resistance a secret from the authorities. This episode is all about challenging the viewer’s allegiances, by showing us that neither the Resistance, nor the Occupation can claim to be the good guys. By keeping the Hosts more or less invisible, most of the harm done since the Arrival has been between humans, people turning on each other to pursue their own self-interests, and hence exposing some of humanity’s darkest traits. The very opening of the episode demonstrates it perfectly. Ordinary men and women are queued up, all of them applicants to become Redhats. As one man turns to another, who distinctly looks out of place in a brightly coloured shirt and rounded figure, it’s revealed that these people’s motivations are not because they support the Occupation, but because they’re looking out for the wellbeing of those they love. With food resources growing scarcer in the bloc, they’re here for the extra rations that the job would grant. After this short, but powerful display of kindness between two strangers, they are then all slaughtered like cattle, rounded up and shot down. A man in a mask approaches the stranger, gasping for his last breath, and raises his gun saying, “You collaborate, you die”. We begin to realise that Jennifer, Snyder, Bram, even Katie have the same goal, no matter what side of the fight they choose to identify with: to preserve whatever semblance of normalcy they may have in their lives. As Katie explains to Jennifer, while she had judged people for their quick willingness to give up their freedom in exchange for retaining some kind of normal life after the Arrival, she's now found herself relating to them. In the same exchange, the two accuse one another’s camp of causing more deaths, which further highlights this episode’s theme. Jennifer, through her work, has been complicit to many deaths and arrests of people in the LA bloc, just as Katie’s actions in the Resistance resulted in far increased security and harsher treatment of people by the authorities, which in turn has also caused deaths.
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