Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Colony, Season Three, Episodes One: Maquis

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Season three pretty much reboots the series, moving our band of survivors from California to Seattle, with one stop along the way.  When last we left the Bowmans, with Snyder's help, they had managed to escape Los Angeles just as a rendition was occurring, with the gauntlet no less.  Given that the entire world has been invaded that doesn't leave them with many options. The Bowmans settle in the woods in a small cabin.  It's a huge change of pace because they aren't actively in the fight anymore, nor are they actively running for their lives. Snyder has been made into the family cook and water fetcher because he has proven to be capable of little else.  The Bowmans fish, read books and play cards. It's a level of domesticity they haven't have since the invasion.

The aliens however are never far from their thoughts and so the area around the cabin has been completely booby trapped in case they have to flea quickly. Each day a drone takes a survey of the area.  The first sign of trouble is when a drone crosses the barrier for the first time. They always knew that this set up would temporary, even if it finally felt normal for the first time in a long time. Bram has been picking up resistance radio communications and wants to reach out but at this point, Will prefers to lay low for as long as possible.

Things come to a head when a ship buzzes overhead before crashing several miles away.  Will knows that they cannot afford to ignore this and tells his family to prepare to get moving while he and Snyder go check out what is going on. Even after six months, Will doesn't trust Snyder but he does believe that Snyder will best able to make sense of whatever they come across.  Snyder and Will head out into the Woods and manage to find an old ski lift. When they get to the top, they see that not only has the shipped crashed, it seems as though it has been shot down. This immediately gets Will's wheels turning.  What if the guests are actually at war with another alien species? Will wonders if it is possible to turn the enemy of an enemy into a friend. 

Back at the cabin, Kate and Bram argue about reaching out to the resistance.  Bram feels that it's no longer safe where they are and that they need to do something soon.  Kate however continues to remain noncommittal, as the two of them dig up the gauntlet from its hiding place.  Bram goes as far as to question who is actually in charge of the family, arguing that if his mother sides with him, then it's two against one. 

Snyder and Will return and barely have enough time to report on what they've found before the arrival of a kill squad.  Snyder is ordered to take Gracie and Charlie to their designated hiding space while Bram, Will and Kate hold down the fort and buy them just enough time to escape.  Will, Kate and Bram fire from the cabin for as long as they can before starting a recording of gun fire and fleeing themselves through the woods.  They kill each soldier they come across and Kate barely manages to avoid death herself.  Sensing that Gracie, Charlie and Snyder might need more time, Will sends Bram to catch up with them and cover their back while they continue to try draw the soldiers away.  Will and Kate find themselves in an open field and drone comes out of nowhere, killing the two soldier who had taken aim at them.  Will immediately jumps in front of Kate blocking the drone from seeing her. Once the drone scans Will, it moves off on its own. Kate is suitably surprised and Will explains that this isn't the first time this has happened. 

Bram catches up with Snyder and the kids who have made it safely to the hiding place. Snyder claims that he is going to double back for Kate and Will because he owes them.  Of course, Snyder isn't interested in checking in with Will and Kate but in touching base with the kill squad that he called to the cabin using the panic button. Snyder is not happy with his life in the woods with the Bowmans and believes that he is no closer to getting in touch with the resistance or the guest that they are keeping hostage.  Unfortunately for Snyder, he is not in a position to negotiate and is told that he is to return to the Bowmans and not to contact the authorities again unless he has a solid lead. In parting to give Snyder cover for his absence, the commander decides to pistol whip Snyder so that he can better sell his story to the naturally suspicious Will. 

Snyder catches up with the family and as predicted, Will is very suspicious.  Snyder explains that he went back to find Kate and Will and that he ran into patrol but that when patrol stumbled on a booby trap, he took off running.  Will is clearly still skeptical but Bram reminds his father that Snyder did leave to go and find them and he did get Charlie and Gracie to safety.  Will decides to accept Snyder at face value for now and tells him to get in the truck.  As they drive away, Bram turns the radio back on. 

I have to say that this feels like a really slow pace for Colony, even if we did get a really cool explosion.  The truth is thatthe Bowman's in a safe location, reading books, playing cards and fishing is not really that exciting. If anything, it reads like one extended camping trip with a creepy uncle along just to make things slightly uncomfortable. I do however think that it was a necessary episode to get us used to life outside the block and a new environment.  I imagine that after a few episodes, the woods won't seem nearly as idyllic.

Now that they are out of the colony and know that Snyder cannot be trusted, I really don't understand why Will decided to take him along. Sure, leaving Snyder might be a death sentence for him but taking along could easily be a death sentence for Will's family. Snyder has proven time and time again to have no interest in looking out for anyone but himself.  Snyder isn't even much use in a survival situation and has been relegated to fetching water and making eggs. If anything, Snyder is a drain on resources.

The most exciting thing we learned this episode is that the aliens are at war with another species. I think it is premature to even suggest that the enemy of an enemy might be a friend because sometimes the devil you know is better than the devil you don't. There, so how cliches work.  I do however believe that a war between alien species should heighten the tension this season and I look forward to seeing just how far Colony is going to go with it.