Thursday, August 18, 2016

Colony, Season 1, Episode 3: 98 Seconds

The personal conflicts of Colony continues and this episode throws into stark relief the conflicts that Katie and Will face

Katie has finally been called upon to join the resistance in an actual action – a raid on a truck to check what the reaction time is of both the alien drones (which are lethal) and the human collaborators (who are slower).

Katie is horrified by the death and the blood – and that when one of their members (Justin, alas poor Asian representation you don’t last long) is injured, Broussard kills him rather than let him be taken alive.

Katie excellently depicts how horrific this is to her, how utterly traumatised she is to see death up close and personal and to be involved in such extreme violence. Her trauma is poignant (even her trauma sex – though Will is somewhat belated in realising something is wrong there). Almost more painful is seeing Katie trying to live a normal life with her sister (and new uber-creepy tutor who is supremely creepy) while dealing with this trauma

And it all gets hard when Will is the one who starts investigating the case and his expertise (actually I’m going to say allegedly since I’m not entirely sure he did anything the others couldn’t or wouldn’t have done) helps lead the collaborators against the resistance cell much more quickly and effectively than they would have without him

On top of this Will is equally troubled by what he is doing – seeing innocents rounded up by the collaborators just for being related to Justin. Just seeing what he is a part of sickens him (and I wonder if this is being revealed as part of why Beau, former San Francisco PD, is less than eager to be an effective officer). He knows he’s not on the good guy side and doesn’t even seem to think he’s managing to change the system from within. He’s focused on the creepy vast resources and information the collaborators are collecting on everyone in the hope it will help him find his son

But Kate has another conflict – the rebels are not happy about Will being a rebel-busting machine especially when he manages to find a full half of their armoury. They lay down an ultimatum – if Katie manages to get a lot of really useful information from Will, then he’s an asset. If she doesn’t, then he’s a liability

And as we saw with Justin, they kill liabilities.

Lookit the conflict and emotion!

Even finally opening the bar – The Yonk (which has some nice moments of world building in revealing that beer from San Francisco and bourbon from Kentucky is the only way these people in Los Angeles know that either place even still exists) is tainted by the slimy presence of governor Schnyder. His politics aren’t entirely unreasonable (make the best of the occupation so we can all survive) but he’s so very very very slimy. So very slimy.

I have to say how impressed I am that this show stays on message primarily by not including an alien – or even anyone who has even seen an alien. They’re behind it (are they? Or is it just a human coupe cleverly disguised?) but the focus of the story and the conflict barely touches the aliens. They are the set up for the main conflict but not really part of it

We have some more world building – Geronimo the rebel leader and his illicit radio show which is listened to by Katie and Will’s son whose name I don’t remember. He’s conspiring with his rebel-minded teacher

And he meets a girl who knows a way out from under the wall – she and her cousin Pedro have been using it to scavenge from outside the wall. They say there are no people out there which is very very ominous