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TV Review: Colony (Season 2, Episode 6)


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This week’s episode was a little lackluster, particularly when compared to Colony’s habitually high standard. ‘Fallout’ takes a break from the series’ masterful weaving of narratives and succumbs to a more traditional, procedural-style format.

It would be wrong to categorise it as a filler episode, but it’s the closest the show has come to one thus far, since it does succeed in redirecting storylines dramatically when the Resistance’s progress thus far is, by the end of the hour, decimated.

The dynamic at the very core of Colony, the relationship between Katie and Will, is what’s responsible for this derailing. The tension and excitement that roped viewers in at the very beginning, and kept them engaged throughout season one and the beginning of season two, was due to the concealed conflicts within their marriage.

First to raise anticipations were Katie’s cloak-and-dagger actions as she, unbeknownst to Will, used him and his job within the Transitional Authority to feed the Resistance valuable information. Later, Will would find out and tensions would become more tangible, as he finds out about her betrayal and the two are openly at odds. 

‘Fallout’, however, sees the couple working proactively together, and this new dynamic shifts the fundamental drive of the show. I’m quietly hoping that this new collaboration doesn’t last, because reserving the conflict to merely one between the Resistance and the Occupation is too obvious, and overdone.

An interesting nuance to Will’s characterisation, to counter this conventional twist, follows on from last episode, when suits were left for him at his home. This was already a hint that he would be forced to prove loyalty to the Transitional Authority, but seeing him wearing the suits to the Home Office plays differently than the theory.

It’s a curious dichotomy of him looking more like those in power, those trying to quash human self-rule, and simultaneously looking more like his old self before the Arrival. It’s too noticeable for it not to be intentional, and may somehow suggest that as before, Will Bowman will ultimately follow the rules, as he did when faced with Davon’s potential corruption. This could be hinting at some great betrayal to come.

This week’s clearest fault however, is assuming that viewers would care about an hour revolving around the storylines of minor characters, whose lives we’re yet to feel invested in. Though the bookends of ‘Fallout’ brought intrigue to Eckhart’s character and his role in the broader picture, the decision to present BB’s illness and struggle as the centre of this episode was a mistake.

The key outcome of that arc was to bring something out in Will that we’ve yet to see: his capacity, when pushed to extremes, to take the life of an innocent. He’s already been pushed to kill in self-interest, to save his wife; this time rings differently, as BB begs him for a soldier’s death and Will feels pressured to grant him this request.

It is by far the heaviest scene this season, as we do not witness the act itself but see instead Katie’s face in reaction to it, marred by tears and the pain of losing someone she felt responsible for.

“There’s no glory in any of it”, Will intones, defeated. It’s the point at the crossroads, half-way through the season. Our heroes begin to doubt their faiths, whether the loss endured along the way will be worth the destination. If they choose to carry on, it will only heighten the stakes, and emphasise what has been sacrificed in the struggle, making a victory or loss more emotionally tolling.

There’s a sombre sense of unavoidability to this episode of Colony. The entire scenario feels pointless, delays to an inevitable conclusion that would see the death of a hopeful innocent.

Though we may not be invested in BB’s fate, we nonetheless understand that his loss would mean a fatal blow to the efforts and morale of the Resistance. Paired with Eckhart’s mother being used to lure him from the bunker, it very much appears that the Authorities’ tactic to ‘divide and conquer’ may be working on Broussard’s team.  

Though the main storyline does little to move the narrative forward, it’s Snyder’s double dealings that take up the mantle of building intrigue. It’s stated that there is a special shipment going through Snyder’s labour camp that would be going ‘off planet’, and Nolan makes a special visit in order to, against regulation, examine this shipment.

When prying open a shipment crate, Nolan and Snyder discover a seemingly alien pod, which he considers proof of the Greatest Day ideology he subscribes to.

The redeeming scene this week happens when Snyder calls the Governor General to inform her that Nolan has been skirting regulations, and hints that he may have motive to obtain her position.

These political, strategic moves are very clearly revelatory of Snyder’s desire to get his old position as Proxy back. Though this raises perturbing concerns about his intentions in seeking Bram’s help, the most exciting detail comes up in his phone conversation to Helena.

He tells her he only showed Nolan “the empty ones”; so what’s in the others? Humans or aliens? Are the pods to protect the Hosts from humans or vice versa? We can only hope these questions will be answered in the course of this season.

So yes, seeing the reach of Snyder’s ambitions was interesting, but ‘Fallout’ misses on pushing stories forward, insisting instead on making viewers care about a peripheral character to whom they have no allegiance. This episode is clearly a transitional one, and likely the weakest link in Colony thus far. One can only hope this was a fluke and that the show will regain its rhythm in the coming weeks.

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