From the moment I saw the title of this episode, I was absolutely intrigued. I realised immediately that this would mean a shift in Colony. For the most part, Colony has really been action based and a panopticon would necessarily force a more sedate telling of the narrative because it would have to preclude large gestures. Panopticons are a mechanism of control in which the party being watched changes their behaviour because they are never sure if they are being observed at any particular moment. It's an insidious way of controlling a population because while not violent, it is effective in removing free will. A person is forced to conform because the risks of being caught for aberrant behaviour is extremely high.
The episode begins with a meeting of the Vorlaufige Globale Autoritat (VGA). Helena Goldman comes before all of the delegates to account for what is going on in her area. Helena is quick to point out that she's already replaced Proxy Snyder but that is not enough for the VGA, who are considering a total rendition on the Los Angeles Bloc. Goldwin instead proposes the kind of surveillance that was employed to stop the rebellion in Seattle. The VGA takes a vote on this and for now, they decide to go ahead with the surveillance program but warn that they will be keeping a close eye on Los Angeles from here on it. If Goldman doesn't get the block under control the next vote will be for rendition. Everyone will be watched.
There's a lot going on with the Bowmans. Charlie and Will have just returned from a harrowing trip over the wall. Gracie is steadily being indoctrinated into the government cult. The fallout from her resistance involvement has placed Katie in jeopardy. Somehow, the Bowmans must make a plan to go forward and acknowledge all of the pain that they've been going through. The warm feelings of returning home are short lived because Kate has no choice but to tell Will that Bram has been placed in a prison camp, after a failed attempt to go under the wall. There are recriminations here on both sides. Katie blames herself, feeling that her involvement with the resistance encouraged Bram to join the resistance with his teacher and attempt his reckless plan. Will is troubled that he didn't see what his son was up to. Both parents blame themselves and they are both right and both wrong at the same time, making the situation that much more complex.
The first order of business for Will and Kate is to attempt to save the son they still have. Charlie is clearly not the boy they lost contact with a year ago. Living under Solomon's reign has made Charlie withdrawn, suspicious, watchful and quiet. It's clear that his days of childhood are far behind him now. This is really evidenced by the difference between Charlie and Gracie, who having been with her family the entire time still retains much of the innocence of childhood. It's Gracie who excitedly shows Charlie his new room and gives him a tour of the house. For his part, Charlie is less interested in scoping out the house and more interested in collecting oranges should there come a time when access to food is limited. Will tries to get Charlie to talk by bringing up his experiences in the military but Charlie simply blows him off.
Charlie is clearly not going to allow himself to be taken hostage again. When Gracie's tutor rings the door bell, Charlie's response is to grab a knife and hide under the bed. When he decides that he doesn't like the tutor, he places a book on the stove which starts a fire. It's enough to freak the tutor the hell out and leave the house. Kate tried to tell Charlie that they simply couldn't dismiss the tutor, so he decided to handle it his own way. Things however aren't all doom and gloom with Charlie. On some level he wants to regain part of who he used to be. Charlie grabs a pair of scissors to cut his hair and when Kate volunteers to help, he's happy to sit and have his hair cut in a style similar to what he used to have. Even when Kate suggests that the long hair reminds her of Will, Charlie is determined to be able to look in a mirror and recognise some semblance of himself again.