Saturday, April 8, 2017

Colony, Season Two, Episode Thirteen: Ronin

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Ronin is the big season finale. Colony left us with just a enough meat to spend the next few months stewing about what is next for the Bowman family and our favourite snake in the grass Snyder. Judge me all you want, there's a part of me that cannot stop rooting for Snyder, though he is conniving and self interested to the end. With the end of Ronin, the Bowmans have finally left the hated Bloc and are riding off into desert, not in celebration of a job well done but in preparation for the much needed work that still must be done, if they are going to help save humanity from the aliens. This new location will allow them to tell a more varied story as well as introduce some new characters.  

From the moment we learned that The Global Authority was not at all pleased with the Los Angelos Bloc, the tension for the season began.  If the GA (read: Global authority) decided to rendition the Bloc, whether or not Will maintained his cover would be irrelevant.  Whether or not Bram managed to survive in the warehouse would be irrelevant. Whether or not Katie managed to throw authorities off the trail and stay true to her promise not to get any further involved in the Resistance would be irrelevant.  If you're not on the planet or you're not alive, you can make no impact. 

The big drive behind the resistance's desire to get their hands on the gauntlet is because they have managed to turn a Rap into the Benedict Arnold of his people. This is a big freaking deal. It seems unfortunately for the resistance however, the aliens have somehow managed to recapture the Rap and put it back into service again.  To do this the Rap is opened up and something globe shaped is replaced on the inside. It's enough to make me wonder if there is any biological component to the aliens or if they are just tech run amok. 

In Los Angelos Bloc, everything is in a state of chaos because a total rendition of the Bloc has been ordered. As a cover story, the people have been told that they are moving to a new Bloc where they will no longer have to suffer shortages. Even though they don't want to leave their homes, being promised extra supplies and the belief in The Greatest Day, is enough for people to be in a submissive state, with the exception of course of Snyder.  All of the activity in the Bloc is enough for Snyder to get suspicious and so he goes to see Bennett to find out what is going on. Bennett has bought the story of moving to a place with more supplies but also lets slip his belief that the emptying of the Bloc is to find the missing gauntlet.

Snynder being the snake that he is thinks there's more to the story than he's been told and so he finally confronts Helena and learns the horrible truth, the entire Bloc will experience total rendition in six hours. Helena it seems has deemed Snyder's work enough for her to place him and his daughter on the exemption list. Snyder is to head to Europe where he will work in a much reduced capacity under her.  You would think that given that Snyder is lucky to be alive at all that he would be a little more grateful, but you'd be wrong. A man like Snyder doesn't take any kind of demotion as a blessing, his ego absolutely will not allow for it. 

Will and Kate manage to allow the blackjackets to track them back to their hiding place. This is not a good thing at all. Will, Kate, Broussard and Morgan manage to fight off the authorities but in the process, Morgan is shot and killed. With few options left to them, Kate brings everyone to the home of the religious leader of the little group that she was a part of. Despite the risk, the leader is willing to allow everyone to shelter in his home while they figure out their next move is. They don't have a lot of options at this point and so Will brings up the unthinkable, making a deal with Snyder.  They all know that Snyder is a snake but Snyder's proven that he does keep his word. Broussard is resistant to the idea of trading the gauntlet for a way out of the Bloc because too many of his people died to capture and maintain it. In the end, Kate and Will team up Broussard and he consents to their plan.  Will gets into contact with Snyder and they make an agreement to meet.

Clearly, things are in a crisis situation for everyone. Snyder must come to a decision as to what side he's on.  Snyder knows that those being sent for rendition are going to end up in the factory, more than likely living out their last days in misery.  Even though he has been spared that fate, he's going to lose all of the power he so recently regained. Snyder may not be in a position to save himself at the next Rendition.  There's also the argument that eventually, the aliens will evacuate the entire planet and that he's only buying himself a temporary reprieve from the inevitable.  That's a lot for one snake to weigh out and naturally, the always self interested Snyder does not disappoint.  Snyder heads to see Commander Vos, to question what would happen if  had the ability to lead them to the gauntlet. Snyder even makes it clear that he's acting on his sole authority for his sole benefit.  It seems that Snyder has decided that Helena has outlived her usefulness. When Vos suggests that the aliens would be very grateful and that Snyder would be assured comfort, that's all Snyder needs to hear. 

Will and Snyder meet up to discuss what happens next and Snyder drops a huge bomb.  Snyder has decided that he wants to leave the Colony with the Bowmans because he's tired of being a bad guy and doesn't want to end up being a low level lackey. Snyder is actually convincing as he talks about not wanting to be a rat on a sinking ship. Now that an agreement has been struck, it's time to get moving. This is when Broussard says his goodbyes. It seems that he'd rather take his chances in the Bloc.  I don't really understand this decision and the writers don't really do anything to explain it.  It seems to me that going forward the Bowmans could really use someone like Broussard.  

Snyder sets up his Red Hat security in order for the Bowmans to steal their car and their uniforms. The plan is to drive through the security check point using Snyder's official status.  Bram is the only one who is not pleased with this idea. Even though Snyder pulled Bram out of the factory before it could explode, Bram doesn't trust Snyder at all.  Bram's of course right on this point but what other options do the Bowmans have with the clock quickly ticking down? 

Everyone plays out their role at the checkpoint but they are still sent for further screening.  Snyder explains that he's on a mission to get some children of a high level person to safety and is on orders from Helena. The Bowmans are getting more and more nervous and so Snyder instructs them all to stay in their roles. Unfortunately, Snyder's story isn't convincing enough and everyone is ordered out of the car.  Will is the first to realise that the jig is up and pulls up his mask, thus revealing his identity.  Will explains that he and Kate are just like any other parents and are only trying to protect their children.  Will then brings up the elephant in the room - rendition.  Will suggests that the soldiers to check and see if the evacuees have been properly processed because the first of the people should already be at the new location. Of course when the soldiers attempt to get into contact with the supposed location everyone is heading to, they get no response back.  It's enough for the Red Hats to realise that they need to worry about their own families and not enforcing the Raps rules. The Bowmans are allowed to go free and Snyder grabs the container holding the gauntlet and gets back into the car. 

The Bowmans make it through the check point just in time. As they drive away from the Bloc, the raps arrive in ships to begin the rendition. Helena watches what is going on from a distance with Commander Vos by her side. Snyder tries to make nice with Bram, believing that he's proved his usefulness and is soundly rejected.  This doesn't burst Snyder's bubble at all. Snyder pasts a smarmy smile on his face and pushes a device which is more than likely a tracking device. Of course he didn't turn over a new leaf. 

Ronin also gave us a bit of karma this week with Maddie's situation.  Now that she's no longer part of the inside, Maddie has nowhere to go and no idea what to do.  Maddie heads back to the Yonk, obviously hoping that somehow she can back in touch with Kate.  It's all for naught because Katie having other things to do, and doesn't even scope out the Yonk. With no options left, Maddie desperately hopes that the people of the Greatest Day will help her out. She did after all help to build the church and the congregation. Maddie pushes her way to the front of the line, expecting some preferential treatment and is ordered to head to the back of line.  It seems that the minister believes that Maddie has to reconnect herself to the faith and make atonement.  

Unfortunately for Maddie, her day is about to get a whole lot worse.  Maddie is rounded up into an evacuation bus.  Everyone is placed in one room. Maddie reads her greatest day bible as though it can blot out all of the pain she's currently in, even though she's been told by Snyder that it's all bullshit. It's as though if she pretends really hard, she won't have been on the wrong side all along. It's not until Maddie actually takes the time to look around and see the despondent people she's surrounded by that she realises that she made a mistake. Maddie tries to leave, saying that she' not supposed to be there and is slapped across the face by a guard, knocking her right off her feet.  When Maddie is forced to step outside of the holding facility, she sees the ships slowly descending towards earth. 

Ronin did a really good job of setting up for next season.  It seems that we are going to have a reboot of sorts. Maddie is on her way to the factory and unless something significant happens, there's no way that the Bowmans are going to be able to save her.  Is she even deserving of saving given that she tossed her lot in with the aliens?  This is what collaboration gets you. 

The Bowmans are on their way out of the Bloc to what they hope will be a brighter future but we already know that this is not going to be easy sailing. The Rap the resistance caught has been retrieved and returned to the aliens, thus limiting the value of the gauntlet.  They still don't even really know where they are going, having been given no idea as to where Noah's resistance team is located beyond being told that they are somewhere in the desert. If that were not enough, we all know that Snyder is going to cause some serious problems for them going forward. The only way that Snyder is going to stick with the Bowmans is if he perceives that he can do better with them than collaborating with the aliens. There's also the issue that Burke is still alive and we all know that given the chance, he's got an axe to grind with Will.  At this point however, we don't know what that will look like.

I'm kind of caught on my feelings towards Maddie. I firmly believe that Nolan got everything he deserved when he was sent to the factory. Now that Maddie is getting the same fate, I'm a little conflicted to be honest.  It all started for Maddie by trying to find a safe haven for her son. Any mother would attempt to do so in the same situation.  My issue is that from there, Maddie went full on Greatest Day and was even willing to turn on her sister.  There's no family loyalty in that. Sure, we could argue that Maddie saved Bram from his own stupidity but is that really enough to undo the level of collaboration? I don't want to see Maddie die but given the ease with which she was happy to consume the aliens kool aid, I cannot definitively believe that she isn't getting what exactly what she was looking for. 

The children this season had a far more pivotal role.  We got to watch Charlie's return and just how changed he is by his experience being seperated from his family.  The Bowmans sort of thought that getting him back would be enough and were almost surprised to learn that their child is dealing with PTSD after being a slave to a ganglord for a year.  Charlie is really very quiet but he's smart and I predict some interesting storylines for him going forward. 

Bram also has changed quite a bit though I find it harder to be sympathetic towards him. And no, it's not because he's a murderer now.  I think my issue is that Bram acts without thinking and is easily led. Bram didn't even think twice when Karen, the former leader of the Red Hand, sent him on a suicide mission. Bram didn't plan while he was clearly being used by both the Resistance and Snyder. Bram just seems to fall into situations beyond his ken and then gets resentful about the outcome.  Bram however is the only one rightfully suspicious about Snyder and so I expect some sort of big confrontation between these two in the coming season. 

I'm really not pleased about the loss of Broussard. If Broussard is truly gone, we don't have any reoccurring characters of colour left. Sure, Colony introduced Commander Vos and we don't know if his role will be enlarged but it would still feel very much like a T Dog train at this point. I think part of the problem is that we were given no plausible reason why Broussard would want to stay behind on the Bloc. Was it really necessary to get rid of this character? Colony is far from an inclusive show and when I watch as the few characters of colour they have introduced have been either fridged as in the case of Broussard, or killed as in the case of Will's former partner Devon it doesn't bode well.  Colony really needs to do better in this regard. LGBT characters don't fare much better because they show up as minor side characters never to be seen or heard of again. It seems that once again, in a post apocalyptic world, only a straight, cis, het, white man will save the world.